Category Archives: Vitamins

Some of My Issues With Dietary Supplements

Several times here I have mentioned my issues with some dietary supplements (as well as the prescription drugs). Because I can’t have certain foods especially most vegetables, because of my digestive condition (UC), I have to have certain supplements.

Magnesium is important for muscles, nerves and joints. However, it has been difficult and frustrating having a magnesium supplement that is bioavailable and that absorbs into the system, and doesn’t act as a laxative! Magnesium oxide is one of those forms of magnesium that acts as a laxative, so I don’t want that. Magnesium citrate and magnesium glycinate are the two forms that I’ve had that are best to absorb.

So here are some of the problems with magnesium supplements (some of which I have already mentioned here). In 2015 after having reduced the Ensure down to 1 per day, I was having problems with my muscles mainly in the arms. And I saw online that it could be magnesium deficiency. I think the Ensure that I was used to has magnesium as well as other minerals and vitamins. Well, the situation got a lot better after starting the magnesium citrate. In 2015-2017 I was getting the Vitamin World magnesium citrate. But in later 2017 my Vitamin World store closed down, so I had to find a different supplement. That was a very difficult process. I finally found the Bluebonnet magnesium citrate after having tried the KAL magnesium glycinate. There was something wrong with that KAL and I saw online that it got low marks in the purity category.

So while the Bluebonnet is (or was) good, I still have had some problems with these supplements, such as last Summer that was very hot and humid. And I learned that hot and humid weather can affect supplements. And there are other factors involved. And in the past month I am beginning to wonder if the Bluebonnet may not be as good now as it was last year. So this is frustrating. (I wish I could just eat broccoli and asparagus and all that stuff, but I can’t.)

And then there are other issues with supplements, such as containing other ingredients that cause problems. There’s no reason why, for example, Solaray’s “BioCitrate Magnesium” has to have “watercress leaf,” “dandelion root,” “alfalfa leaf,” and “parsley leaf.” Do they put that stuff in there just to be cool?

I wonder how many people take these supplements specifically because they have trouble digesting important vegetables? And other ingredients that might be harsh to digest. Do the supplement makers understand these things?

Why does Whole Foods 365 chelated zinc have to contain rice flour? I looked online and, while I know that rice is mostly (if not all) insoluble fiber, a cup of rice flour still contains not that much insoluble fiber. So there should only be a teeny-tiny amount of the fiber in one of these zinc pills. Right? I still had a problem with it. So I’ve been getting the Jarrow Formulas zinc, but I’m not totally pleased with it.

And why does Nature Made magnesium citrate have to contain “medium chain triglycerides”? I haven’t had it, but online sources state that medium chain triglycerides could cause gastric distress, something obviously someone like me doesn’t need. And it could also cause liver issues.

I also have been consuming whey protein for quite a few years. Whey contains natural amino acids and L-glutamine, which have been shown to repair damaged colon tissue (damaged, in my case, from inflammation), as well as aid in general muscle tissue replacement. Which is why body-builders use whey protein. However, many of those supplements contain a lot of extra ingredients that aren’t particularly good or healthy, such as artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc. It is difficult for me to find a good product that’s reliable in my stores. And I don’t want to order these kinds of things online. I was getting one product at Trader Joe’s but they haven’t had it for a few months, so I have to get it at Whole Foods, at $15 more than I was getting it for at Trader Joe’s. Frustrating. A similar product, the same brand but a different variety (and with ingredients I don’t particularly want) is available at GNC.

So magnesium, zinc and vitamin K2 are especially important, and I have to have these supplements. That’s the way it is.

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Big Pharma Makes a Killing on Statin Drugs

Health Impact News has this article on a new study that suggests that doctors should give all patients over the age of 75 statin drugs to keep cholesterol levels down. The article links to other articles questioning the validity of anti-cholesterol studies and showing that statin drugs are really not shown to lower cholesterol. Except the makers of the drugs have been making a lot of money in their scam.

I have mentioned this here before, but both my parents had been eating healthy for a long time. They had been eating a goodly amount of fruits and vegetables as well as having fish and poultry and reducing or eliminating entirely red meat from their diet. But at some point my father had been given lipitor to lower cholesterol levels. I have a feeling that his cholesterol was not high, and that it was “maybe a little high,” and that the doctor gave him lipitor to prevent it from getting higher. But if it was only a little high the doctors could’ve suggested looking at the diet more closely. I now believe that his cholesterol probably was at a normal level, but the doctor just wanted to give him the drug anyway, probably because the doctor is getting a lot of free stuff from the drug company.

I really believe that, had he not been given lipitor, my father would not have had the two strokes he had in 2013, or the arterial blockage that was found and that was in too difficult a location and so surgery was not an option, and that he would not have developed his Alzheimer’s that is now in the “last stage,” and other further complications. (UPDATE: He died.)

A commenter to the Health Impact News article mentioned that statin drugs inhibit the effects of vitamin K2, or deplete K2, which then causes the buildup of calcium where it doesn’t belong, such as the arteries or heart. Vitamin K2 effects in efficient calcium distribution and prevents that aforementioned calcium maldistribution. Statin drugs interfere with that, so because of this interference with vitamin K2 the statins can actually cause people to have strokes or heart attacks. Here is a 2015 study which shows just that.

Clearing Arterial Blockage with Foods Such as Pomegranate Juice

Just a follow-up to my previous post about my 86-year-old father with the arterial blockage. I did do a lot of research online about the cognitive issues and Alzheimer’s related confusion and memory problems that my father has.

And what I learned was that the arterial blockage acts as a physical obstruction that gets in the way of the nutrients and oxygen that the person needs in the brain for normal cognitive functioning. When not enough oxygen, vitamins and other nutrients can get into the brain via the bloodstream, then that causes problems such as memory loss or confusion.

I am not sure what kind of blockage my father has specifically. It could be related to inflammation, it could be calcium buildup (calcifications). I learned that there are nutritious ways to try to clear away the blockage, or at least some of it. For instance, B vitamins are important. And also I saw that pomegranate or pomegranate juice has properties that help to clear things away. My mother was at some point giving him pomegranate juice as I suggested, but I don’t think he’s getting that now at his new memory care facility.

Extra virgin olive oil and other sources of healthy fats are also good, such as avocados and fish.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Supplements, and More on Vitamins

First, this isn’t “advice,” because I am not a licensed nutritionist or otherwise medical professional. I am just giving my own personal experiences with things as well as what I have learned over the years, and readers can take it for what it’s worth.

But I really wanted to write a blog or article on my experiences with “doctors” and their bad advice that made things worse and caused new problems. But before I do that (and I don’t know when that might be), I wanted to write a little more on my experiences with the ulcerative colitis (UC), a.k.a. inflammatory bowel disease, as well as my experiences with supplements.

The UC began mainly in 1999. While I was given anti-inflammatory prescription drugs from then until the late 2000s, by about 2009 I was then relying on nutritional medicine including foods of an anti-inflammatory nature, supplements that could have anti-inflammatory effects, and other vitamins and supplements to make up for whatever nutrition might be lost because of not having the vegetables that are important for anti-oxidants and minerals such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin K and K2.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have learned that one can have too much of the vitamins and supplements, which could interfere with the body’s natural anti-inflammatory functioning and could actually compromise the immune system. Since May, for instance, I have reduced the vitamin D, from a total of over 4000 i.u. per day to now approx. 2400 per day. I wasn’t counting the added vitamin D in the milk I drink, and I wasn’t counting the 1000 i.u. vitamin D that my multi-vitamin has.

And that’s another thing that I didn’t mention in my previous post, it was possible the the iron was also interfering with my magnesium. My main source of iron was the multi-vitamin, that I was taking twice of per day. So I only take one multi-vitamin per day now. I have learned that it’s not a good idea to take too much iron, because it can build up in the blood and cause more problems. And I think that’s whether one is getting it from a supplement or from food such as red meat that contains a lot of iron.

As far as foods that contain properties of an anti-inflammatory nature (at least for the purpose of keeping UC in check), that includes whole milk, because milk fat has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as butter which is mainly milk fat. Butter is healthier anyway, than margarine, because of containing natural nutrients including omega 3 and vitamins. Margarine is a processed food containing chemicals and is not good.

And extra virgin olive oil is an important factor in preventing inflammation, not only if someone has UC or inflammatory bowel but it’s good to prevent inflammation of the heart and arteries.

Also concord grape juice is good, as far as foods are concerned.

Although not related to the subject of UC, I mentioned the arteries. A common scapegoat of problems with the arteries is cholesterol, when oftentimes the real culprit is inflammation. But another cause of issues in the arteries is calcifications, a calcium buildup in the arteries. That would be because of not getting enough vitamin K2, the main sources of which are vegetables (which I can’t have because of having UC). The vitamin K2’s main function is calcium distribution, in which K2 efficiently distributes the calcium to the bones that need the calcium, and prevents maldistribution of calcium to other areas that don’t want it, such as the arteries and the heart. So I also take vitamin K2, as well as vitamin D, C, natural E, and B complex. And magnesium and zinc too.

Just one final note about the B complex. I have learned from my experiences over all these years now and from what I read on the Internet that it’s not a good idea to take too much vitamin B6. Some B-complex vitamins contain too much B6. It should be a low amount. You really have to do your own research in all these things as I have had to do. And the actual learning experiences with all these things doesn’t seem to stop.

But regarding the ulcerative colitis, I will have to save more info on that regarding my experiences in the next post.

But the post or article I really want to write is about the bad advice and prescriptions from “doctors” as well as their withholding information about nutrition. Maybe that will be some time soon.