Friday, March 18, 2011

Relieving PMS with Vitamins and Minerals

Women suffering from PMS are always on the lookout for ways to find relief from the discomforts of PMS, however over-the-counter pain medications often don't do the job, and any prescription medications may have unwanted side-effects. Something else to consider, is trying some of the more natural remedies that have been used to relieve the symptoms of PMS.

Alternative treatments including vitamins, herbs, and other supplements may be able to help ease some of the common symptoms of menstruation like cramps and bloating, particularly when combined with a healthful diet.

Having a healthy diet that which includes foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals may be able to help relieve menstrual symptoms.

Following is a list of some of the vitamins and minerals that have been reported to be specifically helpful in relieving PMS symptoms and discomfort:

Vitamin A has been reported to help relieve menstrual symptoms associated with PMS.

Vitamin B6 can help decrease bloating, as it is a natural diuretic. It may also help to regulate estrogen levels which may not be balanced during your period.

Vitamin E is know to help alleviate the discomfort of sore and tender breasts. It also plays a role in helping to regulate hormone levels, and may help with irritability and depression.

Pantothenic acid is a nutrient that is widely used to help lower stress.

Calcium and magnesium are strong natural minerals that can aid in reducing both cramps and tense muscles. They can also contribute to lowering of stress.

PMS Vitamin Supplements

If you want to take a mult-vitamin supplement specifically aimed at helping to reduce PMS symptoms, ensure that it includes vitamins A, C, D, and E, in addition to B vitamins, and the minerals phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, pantothenic acid, iron, and zinc.

If you currently take a vitamin supplement each day, ensure that the addition of a supplement for PMS doesn't result in exceeding the recommended daily dosage of the vitamins and minerals in each supplement. Also do not take a separate vitamin B6 supplement together with a B-complex supplement in order to avoid exceeding the daily limit.

Meeting with a certified nutritionist can be helpful in managing your vitamin and minderal dosages as they will be able to recommend the ideal nutrient combinations for your particular situation. It is possible that a certain standard daily multi-vitamin will contain all the supplements you need to help treat your PMS symptoms.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vitamins and Minerals to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

An important component of keeping your eyes healthy is getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals that support eye health. There are a wide range of eye conditions and disorders, and getting the right nutrients can help reduce your risk of these diseases.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant generally found in foods that come from animals including liver and eggs, and in fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and spinach. Milk is also usually fortified with vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for correct functioning of the retina. It also aids in preventing night blindness by aiding in adaptation between light and dark. It is also linked to a lowered risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the formation of cataracts. As AMD and cataracts are two of the primary causes of visual impairment and with their prevalence steadily increasing, getting sufficient quantities of vitamin A is crucial to maintaining the health of your eyes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C performs a number of necessary functions in our bodies. It helps to strengthen bones and muscles, it bolsters the immune system, it helps in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, and it lowers the risk of a myriad of diseases and conditions. It is not surprising that it is also vital for maintaining healthy eyes. Vitamin C is another powerfulantioxidant that can lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as well as the formation of cataracts. Vitamin C is not only found in citrus fruits, but can also be found strawberries, green peppers, and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant vitamin that performs many functions. Eating a diet rich in vitamin E is linked to a lowerded risk of Alzheimer's Disease, heart disease, and it is also though to guard against various types of cancers. In relation to eye health, vitamin E has been linked with a lowered incidence of cataracts and slowed growth of cataracts. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fortified foods like cereal.

Selenium and Zinc

Selenium and Zinc are the two primary minerals that act on the oxidation process. They aid the body in the absorption of antioxidants and making sure you get the daily recommended values of these minerals can ensure that you are getting the antioxidants you need to prevent eye diseases. Just like with antioxidants, absorbing too large of amounts of these minerals could lead to problems.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Skin

Your skin is one of the best, and most visible, signs of health. Dry skin, oily skin, papery skin, acne, and redness can all be signs of poor health inside your body - usually caused by consuming an unhealthy diet devoid of skin-healthy vitamins and minerals. To attempt to treat skin issues, most people count on topical cosmetics, including soaps, creams, scrubs, exfoliants, and toners. However, trying to treat skin blemishes with chemical-laden products does not address the actual cause of the problem, which is generally poor nutrition and overexposure to poisons and toxins found in food and beauty products.

Research has found that skin reacts especially well to particular vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants that help to strengthen and nourish skin, making it look more young and healthy. Following are some of the best vitamins and minerals for healthy skin:

Silica is a mineral that helps to make the body's connective tissues stronger and is necessary to keep skin healthy. A deficiency of silica can cause skin to lose its elasticity and can disrupt healing.

Zinc is a vital component for maintaining healthy skin, particularly for those with acne. Acne can actually be a sign of a zinc deficiency. Zinc works by regulating the production of skin oil and hormones that contribute to acne. It is also necessary for healthy functioning of the immune system function.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are excellent for helping to treat dry, inflamed skin and whiteheads and blackheads. Essential Fatty Acids, such as Omega-3s play a vital component in skin repair, moisture content of skin, and elasticity. The body does not make its own essential fatty acids so they have to be obtained via diet.

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral which is responsible for maintaining the elasticity and flexibility of tissues. It also works to guard against cell damage caused by free radicals and has a strong correlation with a lowered risk of breast cancer. It is thought that it might have an important role in the prevention of skin cancer, as it acts to guard the skin from UV damage.

Vitamin C is particularly good for lowering damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals damage and destroy both collagen and elastin - the tissue fibers that form underlying skin structure - and can significantly contribute to the premature formation of wrinkles. It is also a nutrient that is very effective for guarding the skin from sun damage, particularly in conjunction with vitamin E.

Vitamin E is another very strong antioxidant that minimizes the damaging effects of sun to the skin. In conjunction with vitamin A, vitamin E is excellent at acting to guard against particular types of skin cancers. Vitamin E is also widely used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and, is good for soothing rough, dry skin.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Vitmains and Minerals for Increased Energy

Everyone needs adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals to maintain good health and energy. However, specific nutrient deficiencies are connected with lowered energy levels and chronic fatigue. These nutrients are iron, magnesium, B12 and folic acid.

Iron

Iron is a vital mineral required for the production of hemoglobin, the component of red blood cells which carries oxygen and is necessary for creating energy. When the level of iron is too low, red blood cells are not carrying sufficient oxygen to the body, resulting in tiredness. When hemoglobin levels are too low, it results in anemia.

There are two different forms of iron: heme iron (found in animal sources) and non-heme iron (which is found in plant sources). Heme iron is absorbed more easily than non-heme iron, which explains why vegetarians generally have a higher risk for iron-deficiency anemia.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for the production of red blood cells (in conjunction with folic acid). Vitamin B12 aids the body in utilizing iron and is also needed for digestion, absorbing food, synthesizing protein, for metabolizing carbs and fats. It has often been observed that taking vitamin B12 (particularly injections) eliminates tiredness, even when there isn't a notable deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are becoming more common because of declining B12 levels in food, more widespread use of antibiotics, and digestive issues. This is due to the fact that B12 is manufactured in the digestive tract in addition to being absorbed from foods. The people with the greatest risk of having a B12 deficiency are vegetarians and people who suffer from digestive problems.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins (also known as vitamin B9 or folate) and is required for the production of red blood cells. Folate deficiency can ultimately result in a condition known as megaloblastic anemia.

Tiredness is generally associated with both a folate deficiency and megaloblastic anaemia. Since folate is often destroyed through the cooking process, it is one of the more widespread vitamin deficiencies.

Warning: if folate is given to a person who is deficient in vitamin B12 and they don't take vitamin B12 at the same time, the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency (particularly neurological symptoms) may be masked. Only take a folate supplement once the possibility of a vitamin B12 deficiency has been eliminated.

Magnesium

Magnesium is required for the manufacture of ATP, the primary energy-producing molecule of the human body. Therefore, when we suffer from a magnesium deficiency, our body cells are less capable of creating energy which can result in chronic fatigue. It has been discovered that almost all people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome also have a magnesium deficiency, and approximately eighty percent of people get increased energy from taking a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is the most common mineral deficiency. Most people would likely benefit from a magnesium supplement, even if they haven't had their magnesium levels checked out.

Warning: if taking a magnesium supplement makes your symptoms worse (particularly cramping, muscle twitches and spasms), a calcium deficiency is more likely than a magnesium deficiency.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vitamins and Minerals to Take for Acne

Vitamins by themselves will probably not completely cure acne. Acne is essentially caused by two related factors: toxicity of blood and the lymph glands, and a hormonal imbalance which can be contributed to by nutritional deficiency or too few vitamins in the diet.

The following vitamins and minerals are the most important for helping to regulate the hormones which make healthy skin oil, and can help to clear acne up.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A bolsters skin tissue and guards against acne. It aids in the lowering of sebum production. Vitamin A is vital for the maintainance and repair of body tissues, of which the skin is composed of. Vitamin A is also a very strong antioxidant which helps the body rid itself of toxins. A severe deficiency of vitamin A can cause acne.

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins aid in the maintainance of a healthy skin tone. They can also aid in reducing anxiety and stress. Stress could be a major component in causing acne. B vitamins should always be taken together as a complex. Each of the separate B vitamins play a specific role in helping to promote healthy skin and good general health.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which is necessary for around 300 of your body’s metabolic functions, including growth and repair of tissue. Vitamin C helps guard against infections and strengthens the immune system.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another strong antioxidant which promotes healing and tissue repair. It guards against cell damage by disrupting the oxidation of lipids (fats) and inhibits the formation of free radicals.

Chromium

Chromium helps to guard against infections in the skin. To get a sufficient amount of chromium, it can be taken as a supplement called chromium picolinate or chromium polynicotinate. There is a decent chance that you are already chromium deficient since the type of chromium generally found in foods is not easily digested and absorbed, and much of it is lost during processing.

Zinc

Zinc is another nutrient which promotes tissue healing and guards against scarring. It can aid in the prevention of acne by regulating your oil glands. Zinc contributes to a healthy immune system and the proper healing of wounds. It is also a strong antioxidant that disrupts the formation of free radicals. Acne can sometimes be a symptom of a zinc deficiency.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vitamin D's Many Health Benefits

Vitamin D has long been associated with calcium and healthy bones. It is true that vitamin D is required to metabolize calcium and for good bone health, but vitamin D plays a number of other valuable roles in your body.

Your skin is one way that the body produces vitamin D. During spring and summer you can generally make sufficient quantities of vitamin D simply by exposing your arms and face to the sun for about 15 minutes a day. Your body can produce up to 10,000 units through sun exposure. Vitamin D can then be stored in your fat.

Vitamin D helps the body to absorb and control calcium and phosphorous. If your intake of calcium is too low, calcitriol in conjunction with a parathyroid hormone can draw calcium stores from bone. This can then result in bone loss. It is vital for women to build good bone density and to take steps to prevent bone loss. It is particularly vital for women who are perimenopausal and post menopausal to supplement their diets with vitamin D and with about 1500 mg of calcium every day. Maintaining good bone health is also necessary for men since men can also get osteoporosis when they get older as well.

One study has found that vitamin D may prevent falling and reduce the chance of getting a hip fracture. This may happen because vitamin D may be important in building muscle strength, as well as the density of bones. The standard dosage of vitamin D of 400 units doesn't seem to be sufficient to accomplish this and an amount of 800-1000 units may be required for this purpose. It appears likely that calcium, combined with vitamin D, is required for preventing falls.

Those who are dark skinned may not be able to produce enough vitamin D, even at lower latitudes. If you above the age of 60 your skin and/or kidneys may be less efficient at producing vitamin D compared to when you were younger. Additionally, vitamin D receptors may reduce as we age. Obesity can reduce the ability to produce enough vitamin D through sunlight. In the obese, the vitamin D they produce can be held in fat stores and not be available to the body in sufficient quantities. If you take prednisone, you also may need to take additional vitamin D. If you are a person in one of these categories, you may need to take a vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin D May Help Prevent Type-1 Diabetes

There is currently a theory that type 1 diabetes in children and teenagers is an autoimmune response. Supplementation with vitamin D may act to inhibit an autoimmune response of beta cells in the pancreas that can ultimately result in diabetes.

Multiple Sclerosis and Vitamin D

It has been found that multiple sclerosis (MS) has an elevated incidence in people who live in northern latitudes. There is some evidence which suggests that vitamin D in elevated amounts may act to inhibit the autoimmune reactions that result in MS. In those that already suffer from MS, taking sufficient vitamin D is integral to decreasing or minimizing flare-ups of the disease. The exact amount required isn't known and it is vital to have blood levels tested.

Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention

Having too low a level of vitamin D could put women at a higher risk for cancers of the breast and colon, and men at an elevated risk for cancers of the colon and prostate. There is some evidence suggesting that sufficient quantities of vitamin D may inhibit the growth of these cancers.

Vitamin D and Mood

Insufficient levels of vitamin D may be a contributing factor to depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or simply a bad mood. The low energy and mood of sesonal affective disorder could be an effect of both low levels of light and inadequate levels of vitamin D. It is particularly vital to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter, in addition to getting more exercise and as much sunlight exposure as possible.