Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vitamin B12

Vitamin deficiencies are an epidemic in this country. This is due to the fact that a lot  of us eat a substandard daily diet. Did you know that being deficient in certain vitamins, even slightly, can lead to great health problems. So many diseases and illnesses are misdiagnosed when a simple vitamin boost on a regular basis is all that is needed. Specifically a vitamin B12 deficiency can be masked as chronic fatigue, shingles, chronic depression.Some symptoms of being low are numbness, dizziness, headaches, muscle cramps, and slowness of reflexes.

Vitamin B12 is definitely one you do not want to lack.The usual reason for a deficiency is absorption. Anyone suffering from any kind of digestive disorder like crohns, IBS, colitis, or leaky gut is probably not taking in adequate amounts of B12. The same goes for anyone that is living with autoimmune disorders like Lupus, HIV/AIDS, or Graves Disease.

Vegetarians and especially vegans are most definitely deficient if they are not supplementing with high quality B12. There is some B12 and other B vitamins in nutritional yeast, an inactive yeast that vegans use a lot of the time for cheese flavor substitutes. It would take a dramatic amount of nutritional yeast to get what you need. Vitamin B12 is abundant in animal products like grass fed organic beef, pastured cage free chickens as well as eggs, and pastured cage free turkeys. Even omnivores can be deficient in B12 if they are not consuming high quality meats and eggs on a regular basis. Nutritional quality is severely low in grain fed cows and poultry not allowed to roam free. So don't think you are in the clear just because you consume animal foods. Therefore, it's a really good idea to supplement this vitamin no matter what your dietary preferences.

There are actually two types of B12 on the market: methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin.  The more common form you will see is the cyanocobalamin. Unfortunately, this is not the form that we need. Cyanocobalamin is actually a molecule formed in a a lab from cyanide, the poison. This is the synthetic form of the vitamin. We actually need the methylcobalamin form. The daily recommended amount is between 2.4mcg-2.8mcgs.

It is important to understand how B12 is able to be absorbed as well. For the exception of our food B12 does not get into the body through the digestive tract. When you take a multivitamin or B vitamin complex be aware that that B12 is NOT getting absorbed. B12 is best absorbed through the bloodstream. There are only three ways for B12 supplements to get into the body properly: sublingualy, shots, or my favorite, through patches. To take anything sublingualy that means you place the tablet or liquid under your tongue. Generally with tablet you let it dissolve, and with liquids you hold it there for thirty-sixty seconds giving time for absorption.

Above is my new favorite way to take in B12, patches. I really like these because they are noninvasive unlike a shot, although shots are said to be very effective, and unlike the sublingual versions these do not have unnecessary sweeteners or preservatives. The way you use them is you take off a patch from the sheet, much like a sticker, and adhere it to the back of your ear. the skin behind the ear is very thin, so its a perfect place for the B12 to be absorbed well into the blood stream. There is a total of 1000mcgs of ACTIVE B12 otherwise known as methylcobalamin that releases into the body a little bit at a time. You only need 1-2  patches a week depending on your condition and body. There are two missing above because I have been testing them out. I'll be getting a blood test after the 8 weeks of using them and I will let you know :) you can buy them online through the links to the stores on the right side of the blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Immune Health

It is the beginning of December and many people are walking around with sniffles, gunk in the throat, and nagging coughs. I thought I would share somethings I have found effective for keeping cold bugs away, and fighting them if the need should arise. I assist in managing a small health and natural supplement store. Daily customers come in asking what they can take to get rid of whatever they or a family member has lurking in their body.

My first line of defense is cut out homogenized and pasteurized dairy, white sugars, artificial sweeteners, juices in a bottle or carton, white flour, white rice, and high fructose corn syrup. Processed dairy will create excess mucous, harms the digestive tract by unbalancing our flora/good bacteria, then weakens our immune defenses. Processed sugars weaken us as well.

 Include lots of fresh raw vegetables, especially dark leafy greens. Hot teas, especially ginger, pau d'arco, turmeric, tulsi, and astragalus are very healing. Sweeten them with raw honey. Eat soups made from real bone broths like free range organic chicken and turkey. Throw all sorts of veggies in the soups, organic meats from animals that ate properly are fine.

Keep fresh garlic and fresh ginger on hand. I'll discuss why more so in the video below. Ginger breaks up the yucky mucous. Chew small pieces of it throughout the day. Garlic has natural antibiotic properties when it is RAW. Cooked garlic doesn't contain it. Chop up a clove into small pieces and swallow it like a pill with water.

As far as supplements I recommend Barleans or Herb Pharm olive leaf extract since it is an anti-viral plus antibacterial and Herb Pharm black elderberry extract. These extracts are also called tinctures. The way you take these is to just put a little bit of water into a glass, put a dropper full of the tincture into the glass, and drink it down. Health Force Nutritionals Truly Vitamin C is also a necessity. This is the ONLY vitamin C I can honestly recommend right now. No, not all are the same. Ascorbic acid runs through the urine, and can deplete our bodies of other needed vitamins. Most supplements contain the ascorbic acid.

 I also suggest making sure you have enough real vitamin D in your body. Get in the sun as much as possible without sunscreen. Note though that this time of year on the East coast we DO NOT get enough D from the sun as we need. You have to supplement. The best supplement I've found is Green Pastures Fermented Cod liver oil. When you ferment cod liver oil it keeps all of the natural properties in tact, especially the vitamin D. Be sure any D supplement you choose that it is D3 and the cholcalciferol version. Bluebonnet has decent D3 drops.

Check out the video below for a hot drink that I make to fight infections going on in the body, especially colds.