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Be very cautious with supplements and treat them as you would a prescription
medicine. In general, God designed our bodies to get what we need from
food. Food is absolutely the best source of vitamins and nutrients.
Supplements in any form (including natural or liquid) are no substitute for a
good diet. Numerous studies have shown that vitamin
supplements do not reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease or cancer, and
in some cases, may actually increase the risk.
Calcium Citrate 1200mg daily – Calcium Citrate (Caltrate) is better
absorbed then other forms of calcium. Avoid Coral Calcium (calcium
carbonate) as it may contain toxic levels of heavy metals.
Vitamin D 800-1000u daily – Boosts bone health and may
prevent some cancers
Omega 3 Fish Oil – 3-9g daily – Helps lower LDL cholesterol
and reduces risk of CVD. Also seems to improve arthritis joint pain.
If the fish taste is bothersome, buy the enteric coated caps or take them at
bedtime. These may be taken all at one time. The Costco Kirkland
brand was rated best buy by Consumer Reports.
Flax Seed – Seed or meal form. An excellent fiber for
the colon and also beneficial for cholesterol (in addition to , but not instead
of, fish oil). Oat bran is also an excellent source of fiber.
Increasing fiber in the diet lowers LDL cholesterol.
Aspirin 81mg daily – May reduce the incidence of heart
attack and stroke. Some studies show that due to its inflammatory
activity, aspirin may reduce incidence of colon polyps and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Do not take aspirin if you have a history of stomach ulcers or aspirin allergy.
Check with your doctor if you are taking other blood thinning medications or
have a bleeding disorder.
Multivitamin – A simple one-a-day vitamin such as Centrum
Silver may be indicated if an elderly person is frail and eats poorly or has a
malabsorption syndrome. * Healthy adults do not need to take
multivitamins. Men and post-menopausal women should avoid vitamins with
extra iron unless they have been advised to take iron due to anemia. Limit
yourself to 1 daily as some studies have shown that higher doses may increase
risk of prostate cancer for men.
Vitamin A – Vitamin A is prevalent in vegetables and cereals.
Vitamin A is fat soluble and can accumulate, causing toxicity. Toxic
effects included headaches, vomiting, liver, bone and nervous system problems.
Beta Carotene – May promote lung and prostate cancer.
Vitamin C – Numerous studies have shown that Vitamin C does
not prevent, treat or reduce cold symptoms, heart disease, cataracts or cancer.
Some studies show it may act a pro-oxidant in high doses.
Vitamin E – Can increase the risk of bleeding and some
studies showed increased risk of heart failure and cancer.
Selenium – This trace mineral is commonly found in foods,
and taking extra supplements may increase the risk of developing diabetes.
Iron – Iron supplements can interact with other medications
and may be liver toxic, as well as worsen ulcers and cause constipation.
Only take iron if advised by your doctor. Iron is found in red meat,
legumes, dark green vegetables and iron fortified cereals
Zinc – High doses can weaken the immune system and lower
levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Zinc also interacts with numerous
medications. Meat and poultry are high in zinc.
Blue-green Algae – No proven value for any health condition
and may contain harmful liver toxins.
Colloidal Minerals/Seasilver – Health claims are not
substantiated and has potential for dangerous metal toxicity
DHEA – No proven benefits, lowers HDL (cholesterol) and
could increase prostate tumor growth
Dong Quai – Benefit same as placebo and it may stimulate
growth of breast cancer, dermatitis and increased risk of bleeding.
Shark Cartilage – No benefit as treatment or prevention of
cancer, numerous side effects and extremely expensive.
Wild Yam – Studies show same benefit as placebo with no
noticeable benefit for menopausal symptoms. Potential for risk as it contains
Sexual performance supplements – This is a multibillion
dollar industry, so there are numerous products marketed to improve sexual
performance. These products are completely ineffective and a waste of
money. Effective medications are available from your health care provider.
Weight loss supplements – Other than orlistat (Alli), there
are no over the counter products available that are safe for weight loss.
Many products contain caffeine or stimulants, which can raise blood pressure and
pulse. Orlistat inhibits fat absorption and may result in a modest weight loss.
Orlistat may cause loose stools and you should take a multivitamin if you take