Monday, November 7, 2011

What is Folic Acid and why EVERYONE needs it!

Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) is essential not only in pregnant women for the formation of the neural tube, but also for a heart healthy diet.  Lack of this vitamin in both men & women can lead to a host of ailments including heart disease.

Fact: A major risk indicator of heart disease, elevated homocysteine in the blood, is directly related to folic acid and Vitamin B deficiency which can cause: 
- serious artery damage
- stroke
- osteoporosis
- cervical cancer
- macular degeneration

What does Folic Acid Do?
Vitamin B9 plays an important role in many body processes.  Among them are cell maintenance and repair, synthesis of DNA, amino acid metabolism and formation of red and white blood cells.  In addition to high cholesterol levels, an equally important risk indicator of heart disease is increased homocysteine, an abnormal protein byproduct.  

Where is Folic Acid Found?
- Asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach, beet roots
- Liver
- Yeast: whole wheat breads
- Dried beans
- Oranges
- Vitamin B9 Supplement is the *BEST SOURCE*

How does it affect me?
Unfortunately many medications, tobacco & alcohol can decrease the levels of folic acid in the body including: 
- methotrexate
- phenytoin
- trimethoprim
- birth control
- tobacco
- alcohol consumption

1. Alzheimers disease - studies have shown people with this disease have lower levels of folic acid in their blood
2. Parkinsons disease - studies have shown people with this disease have lower levels of folic acid in their blood
3. Heart attacks & strokes - folic acid is responsible for the decrease in levels of homocysteine, which is elevated in people with coronary heart disease.
4. Cancers - on going research is being done to understand the benefits of folic acid in the fight against colon and breast cancer.
5. Anemia - essential in forming new red and white blood cells. 
6. Depression - Vit B6, B9, B12 helps alleviates chronic depression by lowering homocysteine levels in the blood

What's your number?
150 mcg for kids between 1-3 years
200 mcg for kids between 4-8 years      
300 mcg for kids between 9-13 years
400 mcg for teens and adults
600 mcg for pregnant/nursing women


Visit your local Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, or Chiropractor to get your nervous system checked for optimal health & the very best supplements.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Prevent Depression this Fall, get your daily Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver and converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as calcidiol.  The second occurs primarily in the kidney and forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], also known as calcitriol.

Rickets and osteomalacia are the classical vitamin D deficiency diseases. In children, vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, a disease characterized by a failure of bone tissue to properly mineralize, resulting in soft bones and skeletal deformities.

  Age              Male           Female 
0-12m           400 IU        400 IU (10mcg)
1-70y            600 IU        600 IU (15mcg)
>70y             800 IU        800 IU (20mcg)

Sources of Vit D: 

  1. Flesh of Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, canned sardines) 
  2. Dole's Portobello Mushrooms 
  3. Fortified cow's milks (some soy & rice milk contain the same amounts) 
  4. Fortified orange juice (Two fortified brands, Florida Natural Orange Juice and Minute Maid Kids+ Orange Juice, contain 100 IUs per 8-ounce serving) 
  5. Supplements (D2-ergocalciferol and D3-cholecalciferol)
Visit your local Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, or Chiropractor to get the very best Vitamin D supplements.