Thursday, June 14, 2012
Beware of Fables on Labels: Choosing a Great Vitamin
A very common question that I get is "Dr. Sonja, what vitamin do you recommend?" In fact, that question came in as a text to my cell phone just this morning from a friend. I love helping people feel better and look better so I thought I would answer it to the masses so that others may benefit from the information as well. Specifically, I'm going to tell you what I have used personally for over 11 years now. Time flys!!! It's easy to remember the beginning point of my healthy lifestyle transition because I got ON the weight loss wagon right after my youngest child (I'm a mother of 3) was born and I never fell OFF the wagon (so to speak). Yeah for me! Really what happened was that this large woman kept jumping in front of me when I went to look in the mirror. I finally had enough of her (smile) so I began to make her eat better, and forced her to exercise, and said goodbye to the bad habits she was influencing me to fall victim to. I also started using a nutrional supplement program which I recommend to anyone wanting to lose weight and gain control of their health.
Before I tell you the specific products that I use, I will give you an easy-to-understand listing of some common nutrients and what to look for when you want to provide your body with key sources of energy, metabolic enhancers, and nutritional builders for overall health and longevity. It would be a very long blog if I tried to put everything in here, but I will give you some concentrated information to help you in making your decision. Beware: Not all vitamins are created equal and I don't want you to fall victim to Fables on Labels. So here are some key ingredients to look for. If you find a product with most of these things in it, I don't think you can go wrong in making it your choice.
Alpha-Lipoic acid: antioxidant and energy production, eye health, and heart health.
L-Arabinose: decreases glucose by action on sucrose
L-Arginine: an amino acid helping with muscle maintenance, immune health, and blood flow
N-Acetylcysteine: an antioxidant, helpful in memory and in reducing homocysteine
Ashwagandha: Good for health and longevity, stress, and inflammation
Beta-carotene: a precursor of vitamin A which may prevent cancers
Beta-glucan: helps with cholesterol clearance
Bitter orange: metabolic enhancer, increases norepinephrine and epinephrine, promotes weight loss
Chromium: improved glucose control and improved lean muscle mass
Calcium caseinate: makes proteins pass more slowly through the gut enhancing satiety
Chaste tree extract (vitex agnus-castus): helps with hormone normalization.
Coleus extract (forskohlin). Highlighted on Dr. Oz show. Increases lean muscle mass and burning fat
Cranberry juice powder: urinary deodorizer, mild diuretic
Dong quai extract: Urinary tract health and menopausal symptoms
Whey proteins: a protein source helping in weight loss management
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS): helps with digestion and intestinal function
GABA: energy and focus.
Glucosamine: cartilage formation and repair
L-Glutamine: Helps with immune function and preservation of muscle mass.
Grape extract: contains polyphenols which induce endothelial vasodilation and promote heart health
Guar gum: used to reduce cholesterol (likely by its binding properties)
Hawthorn extract: increases blood flow and supports cardiac muscle health
5-hydroxytryptophan: mood and performance
Iodine: participates in thyroid hormone synthesis
Magnesium: Cardiovascular and muscle function
Magnolia extract: helps with anxiety
Milk Thistle: liver protection
Nettles extract: common in herbal products produced in Germany for inflammatory conditions
Omega Fatty acids: helpful with blood pressure, smooth muscle, and inflammation
Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid): breaks down carbohydrates
L-phenylalanine: an amino acid helping in mental energy and focus.
Resveratrol (also highlighted on Dr. Oz): a potent antioxidant. It's reported to slow aging
Silicon: a trace mineral which leads to collagen production
Teas: please refer to another blog that I wrote on various teas.
Valerian: an herb known to calm and help with sleep
Vanadium: strong glucose lowering properties and common in weight training programs.
Wow! That's a lot of information to digest. (no pun intended). At this point simply review the list and target the nutrient items that you feel would give you the most benefit in your physical need.
I personally use a product line from Advocare. www.advocare.com/04051270 is the link. You can give them a call to find out how to get a discount and become a member if you wish. That number above is my ID which might provide 20% off but don't quote me on that. On their website you will find various products to target what you are looking for. Trim, Well, Workouts, etc. I found this company years ago and feel that their Medical Advisory Board is second to none. Their expertise is incorporated into their "blends" and nutrional systems and I feel that it saves me money in the end because I don't have to buy everything individually. Also, when I read clinical nutrition articles I often see some of their names which justifies my opinion even more. Please do your homework and see what you think. Many professional athletes (and teams) use this product line as well. Check their endorsers out too. Wow!
On the weight loss note....
Early on in my weight loss journey I used their package deals which came with shakes, drinks, vitamins, and everything. If you are really serious about weight loss, that's a great place to start. You buy the package deal and just stick to it like a prescription. It works! Currently, I don't have to be as aggressive with my supplements but want to maintain the level at which I am. I now purchase about 6 things that fit my body's needs and have maintained less than 120 pounds for over 10 years. A Doctorate degree in Pharmacology didn't hurt anything either. :) We carried the product line here for several years but found that supply and demand was difficult to keep up with and just began pointing patients to the site for their favorite items. I love the Spark. I love the MNS supplement line (has tons of these ingredients). I love the Catalyst. Try it! I think you'll like it.
I also recommend a product line called Cardiotabs. We carry that line here in our store and our local physicians direct people over all the time. This line was developed by a Cardiologist and the ingredients are also blended to promote cardio health and longevity. The CardioTea is great. The Omega and Vit D lines are great. The cholesterol product Red Yeast Rice is great and comparable to prescription cholesterol lowering agents. If you have this need, it's a great place to start. I can answer your questions if you want to go that route.
I sure hope this helps you. Don't be afraid to send me your questions or interests beyond this post to my Facebook, email, or website. I want you to have a healthy life and a long life. That's my wish and goal for you!! Get started!!!
To your good health,