Vitamins & Minerals by Anni Dahms

Spoon With Dietary Supplements

Vitamins & Minerals by Anni Dahms

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I was inspired to write this article on vitamins and minerals, as a very good friend announced “he would now go into the garden and smoke a King with great pleasure, after a difficult job had successfully been done”. With a smile, I sent him a message and expressed the hope that he also remembered to take his vitamin C. The fact is that each cigarette consumes 25 mg of vitamin C.

 

I had barely sent the message when “by chance” although I do not believe in such  things, when through the mail a nice article from Vital Advises popped up,  then, the final decision was taken what the subject of this monthly issue would be.

 

The article from vitalraadet.dk

had as a heading a new report again convincingly demonstrating the safety of food supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbs and amino acids, stating that there have never been deaths from taking vitamins, minerals, amino acids or herbs.
The annual report was published by the American Association of Poison Control Centre for all cases of poisoning in the U.S. If you have any interest in the topic, I recommend you read the article, which is very informative, easy and readable. National Poison Data System is a very reliable monitoring system.
Whatever our age, vitamin and mineral supplements improve our functioning. There is strong evidence supporting this and it constantly amazes me that so few people take vitamins minerals and antioxidants to keep them, and especially their brains, fully functioning throughout life.
There are two types of vitamins: the water soluble and fat soluble.

 

The water-soluble vitamins
secreted by sweat and urine can not be easily overdosed. They are B and C vitamins.

 

The fat-soluble vitamins
A, D, K, E  on prolonged overdose, can be accumulated in the body and cause vitamin poisoning.

 

Minerals are known both as minerals and trace elements.
When the concentration in our body is less than the 1:50.000 of our total body weight it is called trace elements. Although they are present in our body in such small quantities, they are vital.

Forgetfulness, senility, dementia

I think it’s sad that so many older people are resigned to loosing their memory as being normal and an inseparable part of the aging process. Very often mental faculties can be preserved.  The sooner action is taken, the greater the chances for success are.

By addressing something as simple as a possible B-vitamin deficiency, one may possibly regain lost faculties, stopping a development that goes in the direction of senility. Be sure to get enough B12.  B12 deficiency is one of the major causes of impaired brain function in older people. It is estimated that 20% of the population aged over 60 suffer from vitamin B 12 deficiency. After age 80 + is 40%. The reason for this lack of vitamin is that we gradually with age do not produce enough Intrinsic factor in the digestive system, which is necessary for the absorption of B12.  B12 supplements can be administrated either by injections or by placing a sublingual B12 tablet under the tongue where it is absorbed by the mucous membranes.
Be sure also to get enough folic acid and B6. These two vitamins are also linked to our brain function, dementia and depression. In general, all B vitamins should be taken at the same time as all the B vitamins work together in the body. So when taking a B vitamin, make sure that you also take a base of B-vitamin preparation.

Vitamin D

When I, about 35 years ago, still worked as a nurse, vitamin D was one of the dangerous vitamins you should be careful not to overdose. One of my exam questions for final exam as a health visitor was that I should inform patients about the danger of overdose. This situation is still in my head every time I handle a vitamin D over the counter. I am glad that our knowledge is not static, but constantly under development, which I hope may be the case in many other similar situations.
Right now it seems that vitamin D is essential for our overall health. In particular, there are several studies showing that if you’re missing vitamin D you may increase the risk of some cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, impaired immune system, cardiovascular disease and certain forms of arthritis, etc. Perhaps vitamin D is so important to the immune system that, with the proper dosage, you can greatly reduce the risk of respiratory infections.  So maybe it might be goodbye to the flu. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, there are researches showing that vitamin D, when dissolved in an oil mixture gives the best bioavailability. It is estimated that approx. half of the Danes are lacking vitamin D. For example this vitamin can be taken as D-pearls from Pharma Nord or vitamin D from Tolonen.

 

Selenium- a mineral keeping youth

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and a vital trace mineral with rejuvenating properties. It helps to prevent malicious virus escaping into the cells where it is spreading death and destruction. Many researchers believe that selenium rejuvenating effect is attributed to its ability to stimulate production of the enzyme glutathione
With age, the body’s selenium deposits are reduced. Researchers have shown that selenium levels in the blood falls by 7% after 60 years of age and by 24% after 75 years of age.
People with low selenium levels in their blood have more heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Specifically, low selenium content is associated with lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. Selenium may help to rejuvenate the immune system, and some even suggest that selenium may help to prolong life.
Studies have also shown that selenium may lower anxiety spells.  So if you are afraid of getting old, it might be a good idea with a little supplement of selenium.
The best results occur when selenium and vitamin E are given together.
Nail problems in the form of frayed or split nails can be a sign of selenium deficiency.  Best results are often obtained when combined with Selenium Zinc.
When everything good has been said about Selenium, it must be noted that selenium overdose can cause liver damage and hair loss. So, always observe the specified dosage, although a state of intoxication usually only happens at doses of more than 2,500 micrograms daily.

 

Iron

Iron is one of the most important life-trace minerals for us. It is part of haemoglobin and is essential for oxygen transport in the body. It helps to improve resistance against infection and helps with learning and growth. If you take Vitamin C together with an iron product you improve iron absorption. If you need iron, you should fortify your diet, but after that iron supplements should be stopped, otherwise the iron is deposited in various organs where it is not desired. If you have a high consumption of alcohol, then beware of that the deposit of iron can increase in your organs.

Loss of appetite

Many older people say they do not feel hungry. When they eat less they do not get so many nutrients and often suffer, for example, from a shortage of zinc. Lack of zinc brings a loss of appetite, and then we start this vicious circle which must be broken.

Good strong bones

You get good strong bones by keeping yourself physically active and fit. A body that gets daily exercise retains more calcium in its bones.  Daily exercise release ATP, which forces the rebuilding of bone. Remember that it is never too late to strengthen bones regardless of age. It may be wise to take a supplement with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Never take calcium without also taking magnesium.

Who needs vitamins and minerals and when?

There is an old tradition that says that we only need vitamins and minerals during winter. For me to see we often eat very unhealthy during the summer month. We usually consume more alcohol often accompanied by wine and a bag of chips during this time of the year. Also cold sodas, ice cream, candy and grilled food are often on the top 10 list during that season.

Although we think we are eating healthy the diet is of a poorer quality, with lots of additives, for example preservatives, dyes, emulsifiers, stabilizers, not to mention the hormones and antibiotics given to animals that find their way into our diet. We have a life full of pollution and sometimes a stressful life, so I really believe we can profit from the intake of vitamin and mineral supplements throughout the whole year. The world we live in today is far different from our parents. A good and comprehensive vitamin / mineral pill is worth its value every day year round and a good investment for your health.
Do not start taking vitamins and minerals on its own, try to buy good products with a high content of all of them, for example. Omnimin from Biosym, Multivitamin from Pharma Nord, Spektro from Solaray, Mivitotal, etc. Some people are comfortable with a especial brand, others prefer to switch. If you feel the total effect is not giving you the results you expected you could add extra of each vitamin and mineral to your daily vitamin/mineral supplement.
Good dietary supplements can, in my opinion, help to give life to your years.

 

Children and Vitamins

A survey by the Dietary Research Foundation in London on 600 children between 11 and 17 years showed that children’s intelligence increased by approx. 4% when they where given a vitamin pill daily.

 

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