Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dietary Supplements – All You Need to Know

Our body needs a balanced diet to get all the nutrients required by the body. For that one should eat a variety of food. Foods that contain green vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, meat, fish and little bit of fat normally meet this requirement. But when these foods fail to meet the nutritional needs, you require dietary supplements.

Before going in depth about dietary supplements, you should know little more about what exactly is a dietary supplement?

A dietary supplement is actually compensating for vitamins and minerals in food by consuming capsules, pills or liquids. Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs or botanicals, an extract or a combination of these as a part of their ingredient. It is not a natural way of taking nutrients and does have some side effects.

So, the next question that may come in your mind is when do you really require a dietary supplement?

Some of the common reasons for taking nutritional supplements in an artificial way are gaining weight, healing after a surgery and bone fractures, recovering from illness and for strength during cancer. It is always recommended to take nutrients in a natural way but at times you have to also take dietary supplements. You should always remember not to take these dietary supplements for a very long duration as they do have negative effects.

Next thing to know is who all actually require dietary supplements?

• It is recommended for certain age groups such as people above 50 years so that they get extra strength as with age the body becomes weak.

• It is recommended to those you do not take proper diet.

• It is taken by pregnant women or nursing moms as they require extra nutrition.

• It is prescribed to the ill and people who have undergone some surgery.

Dietary supplements are supplements and are not meant to replace some of the food needed in a healthy daily diet. Thus, remember that no dietary supplement can ever replace a healthy diet.

Note - Looking at your physical health, a dietitian can help you decide to take a particular dietary supplement. It is always best to consult a doctor as the dietary supplements have side effects and may be they do not suit you.

Know more on dietary supplements and various nutritional supplements for easy and effective natural cures for all common health problems from acidity to yeast infection.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why Are Herbal Supplements So Popular?

Due to poor handling and manufacturing practices, much of the food we eat is depleted of its important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients before it even hits the store shelves. So, although you can get a majority of the nutrients your body needs from the foods you eat, chances are you are not getting it from your current diet.

That's why herbal nutritional supplements are so valuable...they offer a safe and effective way to ensure that you get everything your body needs to perform at maximum efficiency and they can also help treat a variety of ailments at the same time.

It's important to note that not all herbal supplements are created equal. Because government regulations are quite lax, there are a number of unscrupulous marketers out there selling subpar supplements that either don't contain what they claim to or contain too much ingredient, which can be dangerous.

If you are looking for herbal dietary supplements, make sure you research the company thoroughly to ensure a safe product. Look for a certificate of analysis (COA) for each ingredient, and make sure the company adheres to strict GMP manufacturing processes. These are the same strict guidelines that the pharmaceutical companies have to follow.

Herbal nutritional supplements are available in many health stores as well as online, so there are a lot of options for you. Some herbal supplements are sold as separate products, but you can often reap more benefit from a comprehensive formula with several herbal extracts along with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, cofactors and other important nutrients.

Talk to your doctor or nutritionist and decide if herbal nutritional supplements are right for you. You might find that they are just what you are looking for!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Vitamins Sources and Deficiencies

Vitamins are very vital for the growth and development of the human body. They are found in natural foods. A good diet virtually ensures an abundant supply of vitamins. Sometimes due to certain medical conditions, the body is deprived of certain vitamins, leading to a deficiency.

Vitamin A deficiency is a common disease in poorer parts of the world and causes night blindness. Vitamin A is found in fish, liver and green vegetables. Failure to consume sufficient quantities of meat, milk or milk products leads to a deficiency in Vitamin B12. This deficiency causes megaloblastic anemia and, if severe enough, can result in irreversible damage to the nerves, liver and intestinal tract. A person can experience hallucinations, memory loss, eye disorders and anemia.

Vitamin C, found in green vegetables, berries and citrus fruits, helps prevent infection, enhances immunology and can help prevent cancer. A lack of Vitamin C can cause anemia, bleeding gums, muscle degeneration and blood clots. A deficiency in Vitamin D affects the bones, heart, kidneys and the thyroid gland. Common symptoms are irregular heartbeat, Osteoporosis and brittle and fragile bones. Vitamin D also enhances the immune system.

Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, whole grains, spinach and milk. A deficiency may cause an enlargement of the prostate gland, gastrointestinal disease, impotency and decreased circulation. Vitamin E helps prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin K plays an important role in the formation of bones and blood clotting. It also converts glucose into glycogen for storage in the liver. A lack of Vitamin K leads to a low platelet count and poor blood clotting.

Folic acid is essential for the formation of red blood cells and is vital for normal growth and development. Folic acid is found in beans, beef, barley and chicken, amongst others. A deficiency of folic acid causes depression, anxiety and birth defects in pregnant women.

Vitamin deficiency can treated by recommending dietary regulations, oral supplements, or by injections. Oral supplements are useful for those unable to consume food rich in vitamins. Injections are useful for persons with diseases that prevent absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

11 Nutrients: Why You Need Them

Beta Carotene

What it does: In the body, beta carotene is converted to vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy vision, immune function and cell growth. It also acts as an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals. How much you need: There's no RDA for beta carotene.

Food Sources of Beta Carotene: Eat plenty of dark green vegetables and orange vegetables and fruits (papaya, mango) weekly to meet your vitamin A needs and reap beta carotene's potential antioxidant benefits.

Vitamin B12

What it does: Vitamin B12 is used in making DNA, the building block of genes, and in maintaining healthy nerve and red blood cells. How much you need: 2.4 micrograms a day for people 14 and older provides all the body needs--although some researchers have argued that a daily intake of 6 micrograms would ensure absorption.

Food sources of Vitamin B12: B12 is bound to protein, so foods like meat, fish, eggs and dairy products like yogurt and milk are the principal sources.


What it does: Chromium is required by the body for the process that turns food into usable energy, helping insulin prime cells to take up glucose. How much you need: Despite disappointing findings on chromium supplements and weight loss, the body still needs it. The daily recommended intake for adults is 50 to 200 mcg.

Food sources of chromium: Best sources of chromium are whole-grain breads and cereals, meat, nuts, prunes, raisins, beer and wine.

Vitamin K

What it does: Vitamin K is used by the body to produce an array of different proteins. Some of them are used to create factors that allow blood to coagulate--critical in stemming bleeding and allowing cuts and wounds to heal. How much you need: The current recommended daily intake of vitamin K is 90 micrograms for women and 120 for men. Luckily, vitamin K deficiency is extremely uncommon.

Food Sources of Vitamin K: Kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, arugula, green leaf lettuce, soybean oil, canola oil, olive oil and tomatoes.


What it does: Potassium is involved in almost every vital body process: maintaining blood pressure, heart and kidney function, muscle contraction, even digestion. How much you need: Surveys show that most Americans get less than half the recommended amounts of potassium, which is 4,700 milligrams (mg) daily for adults and teens.

Food sources of potassium: Foods that are closest to their original states are best, so be sure to choose whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible, especially fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and lean meats.


What it does: Necessary for some of the body's most basic processes, magnesium triggers more than 300 biochemical reactions--most importantly the production of energy from the food we eat. How much you need: Around 300 mg/day (women) and 350 mg/day (men), with the upper limit for supplemental magnesium at 350 mg.

Food sources of magnesium: The mineral is abundant in avocados, nuts and leafy greens including acorn squash, kiwi and almonds.

Vitamin C

What it does: Researchers have long known that vitamin C is an essential building block of collagen, the structural material for bone, skin, blood vessels and other tissue. How much you need: The current recommended daily intake for men is 90 mg and for women it is 75 mg. The body can only absorb a maximum of about 400 milligrams a day.

Food Sources of Vitamin C: Virtually everything in the produce section including oranges, green bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, cantaloupe and tomatoes, turnip greens, sweet potatoes and okra.

Vitamin D

What it does: Early on, most of the concern focused on bones, since vitamin D, working along with calcium, helps build and maintain them. How much you need: Official recommendations now call for 200 IU for children and 600 IU for people over 71, with other groups falling somewhere between.

Food sources of vitamin D: We rely on fortified milk and breakfast cereals to get most of our dietary vitamin D. Apart from a few kinds of fish, including herring and sardines, there aren't many natural food sources, which leaves supplements and direct sunlight.

Folate/Folic Acid

What it does: Folate is necessary for the production of new cells, including red blood cells. Folate deficiency remains a major cause of spinal-cord defects in newborns. How much you need: Many dietitians recommend taking a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid; 1,000 mcg per day is the safe upper limit for folic acid.

Food sources of folate: Rich sources of folate include liver, dried beans and peas, spinach and leafy greens, asparagus and fortified cereals.


What it does: Zinc is integral to almost every cell of the human body, from keeping the immune system healthy to regulating testosterone. How much you need: The recommended dietary intake for men is 11 mg/day, for women 8 mg/day.

Food Sources of zinc: Oysters, cooked beef tenderloin, turkey, chickpeas, roast chicken leg, pumpkin seeds, cooked pork tenderloin, plain low-fat yogurt, wheat germ, tofu, dry roasted cashews and Swiss cheese.

Vitamin E

What it does: Scientists have not yet elucidated all of vitamin E's roles, but they hypothesize that it has a role in immune function, DNA repair, the formation of red blood cells and vitamin K absorption. How much you need: The RDA in men and women is 23 IU, or 15 milligrams, and because many E-rich foods come from nuts and oils, some low-fat diets may be inadequate in vitamin E.

Food Sources of Vitamin E: Wheat germ oil. Sunflower seeds, cooked spinach, almonds, safflower oil and hazelnuts. Learn more about health and Nutrients.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements for Healthy People

There are a number of vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people in the market. Correctly choosing what you need is the key to making sure that these supplements contribute to your well-being – not take away from it. Too much vitamins may hurt you, and too little may make you prone to diseases. How do you strike a balance? Here are two very important tips.

1. Eat right and complement

An ideal diet will provide you with enough critical vitamins such as vitamin A, beta carotene, B-vitamins, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, iodine, and many others. Unfortunately, a study* of the characteristic ‘Western diet’ shows that most people get insufficient essential vitamins and minerals. The same study shows that most Americans do not get enough magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron, among other essential nutrients. This is where vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people come in.

Keep in mind, however, that vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people are not substitutes to healthy food. You still need to take your daily servings of vegetables and fruits, and then take vitamins to complement your regular diet. Supplements serve as add-ons that prevent mineral and vitamin deficiencies when your diet does not give you enough nutrients.

2. Read the supplement labels carefully

Labels can say a lot about the supplements - what active ingredients go into them, what primary nutrients they serve, the ideal dosage or serving size and how much nutrients go into a serving, etc.

Many health experts say that it is better to go for multivitamin-mineral supplements because they provide 100% of the recommended daily value of micronutrients. Unless you are in a special condition (if you are pregnant or have special nutrient needs, for example), it is best to avoid supplements with mega doses – those that provide 300% of the recommended daily value of a certain vitamin, for example, and only 20% of the recommended value for another.

Look for two important things on the label before buying any vitamin and mineral supplements for healthy people. First, see to it that the supplements have 'USP' on the label, which indicates that it has passed the standards set by the U.S. Pharmacopoeia (USP). Second, make sure that its expiration date is clear and readable. To get your money’s worth, buy only supplements that can last way longer than the period of time it would take for you to consume them. Remember that supplements may eventually lose their potency especially when kept in humid climates.

Jean Helmet is one of the editors at a collection of nutritional web sites, We offer a free health book for subscribers to our websites newsletter.

We cover everything you need to know on nutrition and how to improve your health. Make sure you check out our free nutrition e-book, for more information on the supplements we use with excellent health results.

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Antioxidant Food Supplements

Antioxidant supplements play a protective role for our general health including the health of our hair. Antioxidants supplements are supposed to slow down the oxidation reactions which are brought about by the free radicals. The Free radicals are highly reactive unstable atoms generated in our body that can damage cells leading to a number of diseases and ageing.According to the Free-radical theory of aging, these highly reactive oxygen species (ROS), damage the DNA, proteins and other cellular structures like the cell membranes and cell organelles.

The reaction of free radicals within cells, and subsequent damage has been linked to a range of disorders and chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis, atherosclerosis, alzheimer's and diabetes and inflammatory conditions

Antioxidants are able to slow down or block these dangerous reactions in the body. They do it either by reacting with intermediates and halting the oxidation reaction directly. They react with the free radicals and prevent the oxidation reaction from occurring.

Antioxidants supplements can be taken as dietary supplements or taken as tablets and capsules. Studies suggest those dietary antioxidants supplements provide a range of are benefits for our health. However, excess antioxidant supplementation may be counter-productive.

Diet carrying antioxidant supplements

A healthy and balanced diet containing antioxidant supplements plays a pivotal role in retaining your hair’s health. Some of the herbal nutrition supplements and some fruits which contain antioxidants serve as natural medications for hair loss.Antioxidant food supplements are found in various forms – vegetables, fruits, grain cereals, legumes, nuts, etc. The sources of antioxidants include fruits (berries and peppers, apple skins, cider, wine), vegetables (spinach, tea leaves), fungi (mushrooms), whole grain cereals (hops, barley, millet and maize), nuts (pecans, pistachios, almonds), beans (cacao including chocolate, coffee).

Polyphenol antioxidants

This type of antioxidant is characterized by the presence of several phenol functions. It is found in a wide array of phytonutrient-bearing foods. Examples include - most of the legumes; fruits like apples, blackberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, grapes, pears, plums, raspberries, and strawberries; vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, celery, onion and parsley. All the above are rich sources of polyphenol antioxidants.Alternative sources of polyphenol antioxidant include red wine, chocolate, green tea, olive oil, bee pollen and several grains.

Antioxidant vitamins

Some of the vitamins that are good sources of antioxidants,. the antioxidant vitamins are--vitamins A, C and E.

Vitamin A

The animal form of vitamin A is retinol. It is a yellow, fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin found in animal foods such as eggs, liver, whole milk and fortified foods like fat-reduced milk, cereals and breads. Vitamin A, are the dark-colored pigments found in plant foods like fruits and vegetables (especially dark green leafy ones) and include spinach, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant helpful in maintaining healthy hair. Sources of this vitamin are foods such as citrus fruits, kiwi, pineapple, tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes with their skins and dark green vegetables. The daily recommended dose for vitamin C is 60 mg.

Vitamin E

It increases scalp circulation which is crucial for hair growth. You get vitamin E from foods like wheat germ oil, soybeans, raw seeds ad nuts, dried beans and leafy green vegetables. The daily recommended dose for vitamin E is up to 400 IU.

Read more about Dietary Supplements at - Free Information for Your Healthy Life Style!!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Types Of Vitamin And Mineral Supplements

There are many reasons why there are different types of vitamin and mineral supplements offered in over-the-counter forms. People might choose to take additional vitamins and minerals because they are involved in sports, or have a specific skin care problem that they need to rectify as soon as possible.

The types of vitamin and mineral supplements that are available in sports nutrition might include nutrients for all areas of the body. Bodybuilders and weight-lifters require certain types of vitamin and mineral supplements to grow muscle and find that growth hormones in pill form will make that happen. These weight lifters might also supplement their diet with amino acids, creatine, anabolic, cell volumizers, protein, and other sports supplements to give their body the refined textures that they need to be competitive in the bodybuilding challenges.

There are many age groups that are concerned with skin care and the types of vitamin and mineral supplements that they might focus on could be used for an acne treatment, anti-aging barrier and to help reduce wrinkles forming on their faces, or they might use different types of vitamin and mineral supplements to repair stretch marks after the birth of a baby or after they have dropped a lot of weight.

There are many types of vitamin and mineral supplements that will help in treating hives and rashes on the body. These lotions and creams are trusted because they are natural and manufactured for treating that specific ailment. Other types of vitamin and mineral supplements might be used to help people in their nail care problems, and moistures that contain all types of vitamin and mineral supplements can help improve a wide variety of body area.

Aloe is one of the many types of vitamin and mineral supplements that people use throughout their life. They may have an aloe plant in their home that they use specifically to treat burns, or they might use this supplement in addition to a sun-block agent to keep skin moist and supplement after sun exposure.

There are many types of vitamin and mineral supplements that make fine additions to medicine cabinet supplies to treat bronchial and throat irritations. Some of these vitamins are used to treat headaches, and cough and others are offered specifically in a children's formula to handle irritations through the use of lozenges that are made with many types of vitamin and mineral supplements.

These types of vitamin and mineral supplements come in handy when you are fighting the flu, or when you need to help a child with their nasal congestion. Some of the types of vitamin and mineral supplements are offered in cherry, grape and elderberry flavors to make them taste better.

For people that suffer from anxiety, high blood pressure and stress, there are types of vitamin and mineral supplements that will treat those problems quite adequately. Some of these types of vitamins and mineral supplements will help people achieve rest and help them to relax. Others are considered natural sleep aids, and will also help people in their weight control programs. Linda Polansky writes about VitaminShoppe Code and DrugStore Online Promo

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mineral Supplements - Reasons For Taking

Mineral Supplement – be healthy

Why is mineral supplement so important? Minerals are key to maintaining a good health. But if you do not consume enough minerals with the food, mineral supplement would be the answer. Minerals play a number of roles in your body. For example, they help your body to use the energy from foods. You need to control the amount of minerals that you consume with food, since the shortage of minerals in your body can harm your health.

Mineral Supplement – sources of minerals

Mineral supplement is the answer when your intake of minerals is lower then the norm, but before using any supplements you should try to maintain a well-designed diet. There are many types of food that can provide your body with minerals. For example, fruits, vegetables, and animal products such as meats, fish, and poultry are the major source of minerals. Many health organizations suggest getting at least 5 to 10 servings a day of fruits and vegetables.

Mineral Supplement – reasons for taking

Do you need to take some type of mineral supplement? Well, it depends on many factors. For example, if you have a known deficiency of a particular mineral or if you lead a busy and stressful life, then yes. But if you maintain a well designed diet and eat many food sources of minerals, then probably no. Always try to get the minerals from fresh foods before you turn to supplements.

Mineral Supplement – how to choose the right one

If you decide to take supplements, consult with your doctor to make sure you don’t take any which can be harmful. Then you need to create a good supplement program. For example, you need to be aware of all the ingredients. Also, many supplements work better when taken together, and others, when taken separately. Why mineral supplementation?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Health Supplement

Health Supplement – what is it?

So what is a health supplement? Health supplement is a term that means products made of one or more of the fundamental nutrients, for example vitamins or minerals and which is very beneficial for our health. It provides you with some specific (or a mix of) vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, metabolites, etc. Our health depends on the correct intake of these nutrients and if the diet doesn’t work, some type of health supplement or supplements would be the answer.

Health Supplement – vitamins.

Many health supplements provide us with various vitamins. For example, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Vitamin A plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, and cell division and cell differentiation. Vitamin D maintains normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin E is a very powerful biological antioxidant, which plays a great role in preventing cell damage that may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Health Supplement – minerals.

Health supplements also provide us with various minerals. Minerals play a number of roles, like helping your body to use the energy from foods. For example, iron supplement provides your body with iron, which is an important component of proteins involved in oxygen transport and metabolism. Calcium supplement provides us with calcium, which is critical for transmission of nerve impulses, regulation of the heartbeat, clotting of blood, and building and maintaining healthy bones.

Health supplement – be careful.

A little common sense at this point goes a long way. Here's what I mean. Before you start taking some type of health supplement, make sure that an appropriate diet is not enough to increase the intake of some minerals or vitamins. Consult with a doctor to see that using supplements is right for you. Some supplements may have side effects. Get the rest of the liquid mineral and vitamin story

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dietary Herbal Supplements Guide

Herbal Supplements: What are They and What Do They Do?

Are you thinking about adding herbal dietery supplements to your diet to improve the quality of your nutrition? If so, it is good that you are taking the time to read about them. It is important so you can make informed decisions about whether herbal supplements are a sound health choice for you.

Many people know they do not eat a balanced, nutritious diet and fear for their health. They feel that adding dietary or herbal supplements to their daily eating regimen will add what they need to their diet. One of the most common mistakes people make is sometimes mistaking dietary herbal supplements for nutritious herbal supplements.

Dietary herbal supplements are designed to help you lose weight by suppressing your appetite. Some will block carbs, control carb cravings, boost energy levels and block fats. Others are designed to suppress your appetite, boost your metabolism, burn fat and give you energy.

Nutritious herbal supplements provide you with the nutrients your body needs. There are six main nutrients the body needs to receive daily. These nutrients include minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and water. It is important to consume these six nutrients daily to build and maintain a healthy body. While taking weight loss supplements, when you eat it is important that your diet is nutritious and balanced.

Herbal supplements can augment your diet. But given the lack of controls, it is a gamble to trust that any herbal dietary or nutritious supplements you might take contains all the ingredients at the intensity the label says. This is sad but true. Billions of dollars are spent on these supplements that may, for all we know, be powdered sugar. Everyday, there are news stories about supplement frauds and hoaxes.

There is hope though. Manufacturers of dietary, nutritious and herbal supplements can ask that their products be tested for free. If they meet the standards established by the U.S Pharmacopeia, they are allowed to place the USPS Dietary Supplement Verified Seal on their product. Other groups that certify herbal supplements include:

2) Good Housekeeping
3) NSF International (National Sanitization Foundation)

Then there is the FDA, the US Federal Drug Administration. Supplements that are made using Good Manufacturing Practices set forth by the FDA, and strict FDA guidelines are considered safe and effective.

Although you buy herbal supplements that have been tested by one of these organizations, and they carry their seal or certificate, or the approval by the FDA, you cannot rely on supplements for counteracting poor and unhealthy eating habits. There is no supplement that will work as well as changing your dietary lifestyle.

If you are taking prescription drugs, you need to be even more cautious about the supplements you take. You have already passed the stage of prevention and are in the treatment stage. Herbal supplements are known to prevent and treat illnesses and should be used under a doctor's supervision if you currently take prescription drugs.

There are unique, safe and effective herbal supplemental products available for certain conditions that help people supplement their lives. As well as herbal weight loss products there are products for women's health, men's health, skin care and general health products.

If you are thinking about using herbal supplements as an alternative to prescription drugs, the same caution is made - you need to be certain the supplements you are taking meet quality standards and are not frauds.

7 suggestions to consider when buying herbal dietary or nutritious supplements online are:

1) Check how long they have been selling herbal supplements online, as usually the longer the better.

2) Do they have about me, faqs, testimonial, ingredients pages etc?

3) Products on their website should contain a full description. Check when you receive the product the description matches or exceeds the information on the website.

4) What guarantees do they offer?

5) Subscribing to a newsletter is a good sign.

6) Shipping worldwide.

7) Be leery of herbal supplements made outside the U.S.

Following the suggestions should give you a good idea of the company you are dealing with. But be a good consumer and let your antenna go up when a product's claim is too good to be true.

It's important to remember that whatever promises they make for the supplements you are taking they will all have the same in common... They are not instant fixes, they need time to work and need your help to work. You have to stay the course and follow the recommended dosage level, and the advice given by the manufacturer of the herbal dietary supplement.

Nutritional supplements will help improve your health regardless of what you eat, but taken in combination with a well-rounded diet, your health can achieve even higher levels. It could take months before you get the full benefit, but depending on your condition and the product you use you could see or feel results within week's even days.

Peter Rapport writes on a variety of subjects of special interest including Herbal Supplements. The Specialists In Herbal Products To Help You In Different Areas Of Your Life

Friday, March 9, 2007

What Diet Supplements Are Right For You?

Maybe you are already eating well. Maybe you exercise regularly. You breathe in deeply and cleanse the blood of impurities, and you look at the world in a positive way. Maybe, as a result of all these good changes, you have noticed your clothes are looser. Look in the mirror and you may see your face is thinner, more angular.

You are losing weight, steadily reaching your goal, but you are not quite where you want to be. As much as you exercise and continue to eat well, however, you find yourself at a standstill. This is also known as reaching a plateau. Instead of climbing higher toward your goal weight, you have stopped and cannot seem to find another path.

It is not surprising that such situations often lead people to backslide into weight gain. To come so far without finishing is very frustrating. In these situations, it may be prudent to try a supplement to restart the weight loss process and urge your body back into fat burning mode. With all the different types of diet pills out there, how do you know which ones will work, and which ones will hinder your weight loss?

Peruse the supplement shelf at any health food or department store, and you will be bombarded with bold lettering, girls in bikinis, and grand promises. Flashy commercials and celebrity endorsements do well to sell diet pills, but it is important to research each product before putting anything in your body. If you do not know what a particular weight loss supplement can do, it can have adverse effects on your physical health. One day of severe illness may be enough to put you off supplements for good.

Here are some things to think about before you try any diet supplement.

Weight: How much weight do you really need to lose? Are you trying to take off those last ten pounds, or do you want to lose more?

History of illness: Do you have a heart condition? Do you have diabetes or problems with your thyroid? Are you allergic to anything? Read labels before you buy. Some supplements may contain ingredients designed to speed up your heart rate, and they may cause damage if your heart cannot take the sudden pace.

Purpose: What do you want the supplement to do? Do you want to burn fat, control your appetite, or block carbohydrates? Some pills may be packaged to do all three and more, but if you are looking for something specific it may be best to find a more streamlined supplement.

Cost: Is the supplement cost effective? How many pills do you get per bottle? Some supplements may cost upwards of fifty or sixty dollars a bottle, and be as effective as a product that costs half of that. Consult a consumer watch website or magazine for a comparison of products. The only thing you lose shouldn't be your money.

With thoughtful research, and a thumbs-up from your physician, a diet supplement can help you off that weight loss plateau. But before you take anything, take the time to make a good decision for your health.

Kathryn Lively writes for Compuslim, custom fit weight loss for busy lifestyles.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Role of Supplements in Health and Wellness

Even the most advanced wellness consumers, who one might expect to shun any and all elements of the modern medical establishment, are still buying the one thing that symbolizes allopathic medicine to most of us: pills.

Past Hartman Group research has shown that consumers' movement from periphery to core along the wellness continuum increases their likelihood of using dietary supplements. Some of the triggers that get people started may include nutritional needs, health conditions (such as high cholesterol or arthritis) and aging. The lack of knowledge people have about supplements initially inhibit some consumers from buying supplements. Additional inhibitors include price and the perceived lack of scientific proof of the efficacy of these products.

Consumers continue to purchase and use nutritional supplements, but with less intensity and exploratory nature than what we saw in 2000. Today, mid-level and core consumers appear to have identified key supplements that they use with some regulatory (ranging from three times per week to daily) and have decreased their exploratory shopping for new supplements. We also find new interest in key supplements such as green tea, probiotics and Omegas.

Consumers have dramatically increased the number of phrases and behaviors that define "wellness" to them from 2000 to 2005. Particularly notable is "taking supplements," which is now seen as the path of wellness by 43% of consumers, nearly double the number in 2000 (23%).

The following language map illustrates the most predominate ways in which consumers think and talk about health and wellness. The map progresses from bottom to top, with the bottom representing consumers who are less involved in health and wellness (periphery wellness consumers) and the top representing those who are most involved in health and wellness (core wellness consumers). This map depicts several interesting shifts and changes from 2000. We find that wellness consumers still begin the journey with the desire to eat well, but with more intention towards living a healthier lifestyle.

The predominant themes of the language being used from periphery to core are represented by the black areas. The grayed "bubbles" represent secondary themes that run throughout the language analysis and support the primary themes. Supporting quotes, thoughts, tactics, activities, examples, etc. to what the primary themes mean to consumers are the white areas.
At the bottom, periphery wellness consumers have little or no brand recognition of supplements and knowledge is very limited. Moving up the ladder, brand awareness and knowledge increases among mid-level wellness consumers, but only moderately. At the top, brand awareness and supplement knowledge is at its zenith among core wellness consumers.

In general, except for the use of vitamins and minerals on an occasional basis, periphery wellness consumers have a much lower involvement with products outside of the traditional food groups.

As one moves towards the core, or top on the language map, the importance of specialty supplements to consumers increases more, relative to the other supplement categories, than the frequency in which consumers use the products. In practical terms this means that consumers use of specialty supplements lags behind vitamins and minerals, and herbal and specialty supplements.

Cultural Preferences to Health Products

Most American consumers address general health concerns (e.g., staying in shape, eating well, eating balanced meals, etc.) with daily, lifestyle routines and practices rather than targeted, acute responses (e.g., taking medication). At this level, most Americans use a vague "watching behavior (e.g., "I watch my sugar intake") or, if they are more evolved wellness consumers, they incorporate lots of fresh foods into their diet to address current and long-term general health. What they tend not to use is a specific plan of action requiring health products that target a specific health condition.

When consumers are experiencing chronic or acute health problems (allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, etc.), we find that they definitely shift from more general watching behaviors and high level dietary overhauls (with the requisite focus on avoiding "bad things") to more proactive and targeted health behaviors. In the case of this proactive set, those with diagnosed chronic conditions generally take medications and, if pushed, also alter their overall diet to avoid ingredients that might exacerbate their condition.

However, most consumers with chronic health conditions, we find, will end up turning to alternative medicine - to different pills. The chart below illustrates consumers' preferred delivery of functional ingredients when asked which format they preferred vitamins, minerals and nutrients delivered in. Overwhelmingly, respondents chose pills (72%) compared to the next most popular format beverages (26%).

Consumers view dietary supplements as a key symbolic component that they use in their lives to challenge the hold that they view pharmaceutical companies have over them. The most successful dietary supplement products are those that focus on offering up modes of control, including prevention, for which modern medicine offers either poor solutions, last-minute solutions, or no solutions at all. This fits well with what consumers report as the most commonly used supplements including vitamin C, calcium, fiber and vitamins B, E and D. These supplements use levels reflects consumer concerns about and increasing roles for products that offer antioxidants, bone and digestive health, as well as an overall perceived "increase in wellness."

Blaine Becker is Director of Communications for Hartman Group, an online information source educating consumers about organic foods, natural products, health and wellness.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Are Vitamin Supplements Really Beneficial?

Humans are designed to perform various tasks. Meaning, they are also designed to consume very high levels of energy. With this regards, it is a must that humans must incorporate into their daily diets the vitamins and minerals that will act as vital supplements to keep them going. The generation in which everyone of us currently lives in is a health-conscious generation. Vitamins, minerals, and most of all, nutrition, have become very important topics. Schools, health organizations, hospitals, and clinics emphasize the importance of such to human life. Care for the human body is vital. With a malfunctioning body system, work, challenges, and health will just be dreams which will be out-of-reach.

The busy lifestyle as engaged to by all individuals now hinders proper nutrition. Why so? It is because of the reality that these busy individuals tend to eat less than what is required. They no longer eat a sufficiently balanced diet that will enhance their immune system in fighting off foreign bodies that attack the body systems. This malpractice as exemplified by the people these days has paved the way for the boom of the vitamin supplement industry.

It still cannot be denied that the intake of a sufficient balanced diet secures proper nutrition. Multi vitamins though, come in varied forms. There is the liquid vitamin, vitamin pill, and some of them come in gel capsules.

Taking in a multivitamin, be it in whatever form, will obviously give a person the very benefit of what is known as convenience. It will be much convenient for a person, particularly the very busy ones, to take one multivitamin supplement than to take a lot other of the varied kinds that contain separate vitamin supplements. For one, the children need to take only one dose of a complete set of vitamins which will further enhance their resistance. It will be very difficult to let the children take a large number of vitamin supplement. Although it is best for them to have the vitamin liquid supplement. For older people, it is as well considered beneficial to take in the traditional tablet form of vitamins.

There are a myriad of health benefits which can be derived out of vitamin intake as part of your daily diet. You may have recalled how your mother would pump you with different types of vitamin supplements. You may have clearly remembered how you managed to trick you mom or your nanny so you will not be obliged to drink your vitamin supplements for the day. Now that you have grown up from your childish ways, it is now clear to you how beneficial vitamin supplements can get, right?

Vitamin supplements provide antioxidants such as that of the Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. These antioxidants function by combating what is known as the reactive oxygen intermediates or that which is commonly known as the free radicals. It is a known fact that the free radicals are the root of serious illnesses like that of cancer, hypertension, and the rheumatoid arthritis.

What are free radicals really? And how do they harm humans?

These free radicals are the sets of atoms that contain unpaired electrons in the outer shell. They are hence fatal. And because of their struggle to attain a more stable outer shell, they need to get an electron that will be paired with the rest of their electrons. When taken inside the human body, the free radicals operate to oxidize the nearest molecule. Therefore, these free radicals are able to take their needed electron. Now, the oxidized molecule will hence become a free radical as well. A chain reaction follows and starts disrupting the living cells around.

Do you know what the free radicals do?

The free radicals primarily attack the DNA, the lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates. In all cases, the prime target is the DNA. When the DNA is the one disrupted, then mutations start on the part of the cell cycle then automatically leads to malignancy.

What must be done?

It is essential to take antioxidants as provided by the Vitamins A, C and E. These substances tend to protect the human body against the damaging and harmful oxidation reactions.
Not anybody wants to be a victim of diseases and some other illnesses. The protection against the harms brought by the free radicals and some other dangerous factors can impede good health. That is why, it is extremely a must to protect one's self. Vitamin supplements will help.

Ben Adams is the author of: 'Vitamin Supplements Health Boosting Secrets' an informative guide on how to naturally improve your health. Claim your free 5-part 'Vitamin and Supplement tips' course here: Free Vitamin Supplement Tips

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What Can Herbal Supplements Do for You?

The past decade has seen the resurgence of herbal supplements. More and more people are looking for new and fresh ways to improve their health. With institutionalized western medicine seemingly unable to confront the most pressing health problems of the day, thousands of people are turning to alternative medicine, especially herbal supplements.

Despite what your pharmacist might tell you, herbs have proven themselves as effective alternatives to medicine over thousands of years. In fact, before the conception of today's multinational drug company, it was the common herb that reigned supreme in the world of health. Some of the oldest cultures of the world, including those of China and India, have a wide storehouse of herbal knowledge as it applies to medicine. Only very recently has the West come to appreciate the value of such knowledge.

If you feel the need to find alternative ways of improving your health, then finding the right herbal supplement will be very important to you. Depending on your medical condition and your health problems, you might want to take different kinds of herbs.

Here are some of the most popular herbs on the market today:

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is considered to be one of the most powerful of herbs today, and has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands or years. It is primarily used as a salve to treat wounds and burns, since it contains compounds that reduce inflammation and swelling. Aloe vera is also used to fight bacteria that may result in infection, as well as to treat various skin ailments

Gingko Biloba

Gingko biloba is another very popular herb, not only in the United States, but in the entire world. Hailing from China, Gingko biloba is considered to be "brain food", which means that it improves the functions of the brain. Recent scientific research backs up this claim. The herb does this by improving the circulation of oxygen and nutrients in the brain, thus improving levels of alertness and concentration.

Gingko biloba is also a powerful antioxidant, and can prevent the spread of free radicals inside the human body. Not only do antioxidants prevent many conditions like cancer, they also slow down the process of aging. The herb is also used to treat vertigo, Alzheimer's, and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).


Echinacea, which is a tall flower native to the Great Plains region of North America, is reputed to be a powerful immune system booster. Almost the entire plant is used for medicinal purposes, although the consensus is that the roots are the most potent part.

Echinacea is considered to be an incredible immune system booster. Like aloe vera, it is also used to fend off infection and illnesses caused by bacteria. The herb works by increasing the potency and activity of white blood cells, which are the "defenders" of the body. Echinacea has proven effective in combating both the common cold and influenza.

Dustin Cannon is owner of and writes on a variety of subjects. To learn more about Herbal Supplements Dustin recommends you visit: World Wide Shopping Mall

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Vitamin Supplements for Healthier Living

Each of us needs the proper nutrients to attain and maintain optimum health, but sometimes the nutrients we need are not a part of our daily diet. Therefore, that explains why more than 187 million people in 2005 bought vitamins or dietary supplements to provide the necessary nutrients to their daily diet.

Proper nutrients through diet and vitamin supplements help to build a strong immunity system and thus less illness. In contrast, people with low immunity levels tend to contract many illnesses and often suffer for a longer duration than healthy individuals.

In November 2005, the DSEA (Dietary Supplement Education Alliance) found in a study that seniors live longer and more independent lives when taking vitamin supplements. In addition, further evidence of dietary supplements are acknowledged by the DSIB (Dietary Supplement Information Bureau) who also reported that vitamin supplements help people live longer, healthier lives.

As healthcare costs and health insurance skyrocket, preventive self-care seems to be more widely accepted. Many individuals can benefit from the use of dietary supplements and vitamins. Vitamins can help reduce healthcare costs by billions of dollars. Better health is attained and maintained by dietary supplements thus less illness.

The following dietary supplements may be of value to the immune system:

· Vitamin C provides antioxidant to cells, and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
· Vitamin E may reduce free radical damage and cut the risk of diabetes, and cancer.
· Vitamin A helps support mucous membranes, and the skin.
· Selenium may help protect against prostate cancer and is known as an anti-aging nutrient.
· Coenzyme Q10 may help generate energy for metabolism.
· Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart and the nervous system.

Remember, you still have to eat healthy. Get as many vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids in your diet as possible. In addition, you can also consider taking a dietary supplement to make-up for what is lacking. Taking dietary supplements is a good way to make sure that you get all the nutrients that you may need.

For more information about vitamin supplements and dietary supplements, visit Vitamin Supplements and Dietary Supplements

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Essential Facts about Natural Food Supplements

Health food stores, drug stores, and supermarkets carry a wide variety of different natural food supplements. Health benefit claims made by manufacturers should be based on extensive research, development, and use in traditional healing. It is important to note, that some manufacturers make false promises of the properties of natural food supplements. This is unfortunate, because the only intentions of these businesses have is to abuse customers searching for relief to various health conditions.

Many conservative organizations then point to these few unsubstantiated products, and label the whole industry as unreliable. It doesnt count if the supplement has been used for centuries and certain health benefits are undeniable. Later on, the same products have been discovered by researchers deemed acceptable by these organizations, and at that point the products are widely medically endorsed. It is important to be an informed consumer.

Natural food supplements can be used to aid in digestive problems, add certain nutrients to diet, and to aid metabolic processes. They may have an active ingredient to aid in health problems. In this list are some natural food supplements, which have been recommended for use in dealing with various disorders.

-Acidophilus is one if the friendly bacteria which assists in protein digestion. In this process, enzymes, B vitamins, antibiotic and some other substances are processed. Acidophilus also has antifungal properties. It aids in digestion, enhances the absorption of nutrients, and helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels. 85% of the bacteria in a healthy colon should be lactobacilli, and 15% coliform. Unfortunately the typical colon bacteria count today is reverse. This can lead to bloating, gas, constipation, malabsorption of nutrients, and intestinal and systemic toxicity. Acidophilus also helps to combat Candida overgrowth. Supplements should be kept in refrigerate.

– Aloe vera is known for its many healing properties. There are over 200 species of Aloe. It grows in dry regions around the world. It is used in many cosmetic and hair products. As a natural food supplement, aloe vera has been used to aid in healing of stomach disorders, ulcers, constipation, hemorrhoids, rectal itching, colitis, and all colon problems. It can also be helpful against infections.

-Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is a by product of wood processing for papermaking. It is an oily liquid, looks like mineral oil, and has a garlicky odor. DMSO has remarkable healing properties applied to sprained ankles, pulled muscles, and dislocated joints virtually eliminating the pain. It also enhances immune system activity. DMSO is absorbed through the skin. It enters the bloodstream and is distributed through the circulatory system and finally excreted through the urine. It has been used in the treatment of brain and spinal cord damage, arthritis, Down syndrome, sciatica, sports injuries, musculoskeletal problems, headaches, herpes, and more.

-Essential fatty acids are necessary for health and can not be made by the body. Every living cell needs essential fatty acids. They are responsible for rebuilding and producing new cells. In order to supplement essential fatty acids they must be consumed in pure liquid or supplement form, and can not be heated. Heat destroys essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids have many beneficial effects; improve skin and hair, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduce the risk of blood clot formation, in treatment of Candidiasis, eczema, cardio vascular disease, and psoriasis.

-Fiber is found in many foods, but not necessarily consumed enough. When using fiber supplements it is beneficial to rotate among several different sources. There are 7 basic classifications of fiber; bran, cellulose, gum, hemicellulose, lignin, mucilages, and pectin. Each form has its own function. Supplemental fiber should always be taken separately from other supplements and medications. Fiber will keep the colon healthy by sweeping out the fecal matter. It helps to lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar levels, and prevent hemorrhoids, constipation, colon cancer, and many other disorders.

Here are just a few natural food supplements to aid in staying healthy. In addition there are many food supplements designed for specific circumstances in every shape and form. Natural food supplements potency is affected by the time they sit on the shelf and the temperature which they are kept. Be sure to ask questions and find information about the particular supplements before using.

More information about nutrition, healthy diets, and healthy weight loss at Copyright, Tarja Anchor; Kajava Therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Why You Should Take Nutritional Supplements

Few things have been as controversial as nutritional supplements have been recently. Depending on who you listen to, they are either the answer to any problem you have or they are the devil incarnate. The truth about nutritional supplements, though, is really somewhere in between.

Nutritional supplements are more widely used now than in other time in history. This is because many people have turned to nutritional supplements in order to fill the gaps in what they know to be unhealthy diets that don't meet the minimum daily requirements for many, many necessary vitamins and minerals. Others have turned to nutritional supplements in order to enhance everything from their workout regimes to their memory and mental functions.
Considering the controversy over whether it's safe to take nutritional supplements or not, you probably wonder just what you can really expect from taking nutritional supplements. Do they have any real benefit?

The fact is that taking nutritional supplements in their recommended dosages is extremely helpful for everyone from infants to elderly people. The methods used to grow and process our foods have changed drastically in the last 100 years. In many cases, this means that the food itself is deficient in many essential, basic vitamins and minerals.

Add that to the fact that people are so time-starved today that many of us practically live on meals out of paper bags makes taking nutritional supplements almost mandatory. Taking vitamins and other nutritional supplements is a good way to be certain you get all the proper vitamins and minerals you need daily.

However, nutritional supplements should never be used as a substitute for a good diet. Eating at least three (and many experts recommend five) well-balanced meals and two well-balanced snacks per day is still the best way to be sure you're getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay fit and healthy. Adding nutritional supplements to good eating habits simply goes the extra mile to see that you're getting all the nutrients that your body needs each day.
There are many high-quality multi-vitamins available at your local drugstores, as well as through many online sources. The key thing to remember when you decide to take (and you should!) nutritional supplements of any kind is to take them only as directed. Those directions are put on the bottles and packages for a reason—to ensure the vitamins and other herbal supplements are taken correctly.

This is vital for any nutritional supplement you take to be both as safe and effective as it should be. Too high doses of anything can cause side effects you aren't expecting and don't want. When you take more of any vitamin or nutritional supplement than the manufacturer recommends you take daily, then you run the risk of taking more than your body can effectively and safely process in a twenty-four hour period of time. Any risk of taking too much or of unwanted side effects is slight, though, for nutritional supplements when they're taken as directed. Even slightly higher dosages, in most cases, will have few side effects because your kidneys will flush them from your system, which keeps your body from absorbing too much of any one vitamin or mineral. Still, to be totally safe, take nutritional supplements exactly as instructed.

If you're still uncertain as to whether you should take a nutritional supplement each day, ask for your doctor's advice. This is particularly true if you're on any prescribed medications. It is possible for some supplements to decrease the efficiency of some prescribed medicines and to interact with them, causing unwanted side effects. However, despite many news headlines you may have read, this is rare, especially when nutritional supplements are taken as directed.
Taken properly, nutritional supplements are an excellent way to ensure your body has all it needs to be healthy. Just be sure to use them to supplement, not substitute for, a good healthy diet.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Nutritional Supplements: Adding To Your Health?

Nutritional supplements refers to a wide range of products that are designed to enhance your health, improve athletic performance, or otherwise affect your physical or mental well being. These can include vitamins, sports supplements, weight loss products, teas, herbs, and anti-oxidants. Nutritional supplements can be found in almost all health food stores and many traditional stores as well.

Throughout history, nutritional supplements have been used to treat a wide range of ailments and to improve health. Many traditional medicines come from what may be considered supplements. Perhaps one of the most common forms of nutritional supplement is the vitamin. Many people take multi-vitamins, and doctors often recommend such use. Some vitamins can be risky if taken in excess, however, so an awareness of the safety of such vitamins is essential. An excess of Vitamin A, for example, can lead to liver damage and other unpleasant side effects. Consult with a doctor before taking anything vitamin supplements.

Other popular supplements are used in sports, where they are used to enhance performance and speed recovery. Many supplements used for these purposes cause debate as to effectiveness, and some have been pulled from the shelves. Ephedrine is one recent example. Used in many weight loss products, ephedrine caused serious heart problems for some users and is now a regulated substance. Creatine is another supplement of possible unknown side effects. Some people claim that it causes liver damage, while others say that it is safe when used appropriately.

One of the most important things to know about nutritional supplements is that they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This is why many product claims on packaging labels and advertising materials include the message, "These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration" or something similar. Because supplements are not regulated, the manufacturing, processing, and packaging methods can vary a great deal from one product to another. When using supplements, be sure to research the company and choose a reputable supplier. The safety of supplements may also be unknown due to the lack of regulation. Again, careful shopping is necessary.

Many producers and users of supplements claim that they are safe because they are natural or made from "all natural" ingredients. While this may seem like a logical claim, consumers must use their best judgment when considering the use of supplements. Many substances found in nature are not safe, and are in fact toxic, poisonous, and even deadly. After all, poison ivy is "all natural," but you likely won't want to rub it all over your skin, even if a great sales pitch tried to convince you that it's the best moisturizer around.

Some nutritional supplements can be useful and aid your health. Just as with any consumable, careful shopping and research is essential to your good health. If a claim seems too good to be true, it likely is. Be aware of product pitches and use good judgment before purchasing and using any nutritional supplements. Buy supplements from a reputable company and manufacturer, and when in doubt, consult a physician before beginning a supplement routine.

Nutritional Supplement Hub is an information site that contains articles, a directory and other Nutritional Supplement Resources. It can be found at: