Tag Archives: malnutrition

Top Ten Supplements

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Dr. Donald W. Miller, Jr recently published an article listing the top ten supplements that he takes on a daily basis. The article is particularly informative, as it also lists both recommended dosages and the benefits of taking each supplement. These are the top ten supplements he recommends:

  1. Vitamin D3
  2. Iodine
  3. Selenium
  4. Vitamin K2
  5. Magnesium
  6. Alpha Lipoic Acid
  7. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
  8. L-Carnitine
  9. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  10. Resversatol

To read more about the benefits of taking each of these supplements, be sure to read the full article HERE. As always, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any new supplements!

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Eating Disorders & Obesity: Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D

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The majority of the patients I see in my practice today (whether obese, anorexic, bulimarexic, or bulimic) are diagnosed with having a vitamin D deficiency by their family physician. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with reduced immune system function, 17 different types of cancer, heart disease, psychological disorders, neurological disorders, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, bone loss, muscle mass loss. Typically, when a patient’s blood test* comes back from the lab showing a deficiency in vitamin D, their physician prescribes them a vitamin D supplement. Is there a difference between the vitamin D supplement that is prescribed, the vitamin D that is sold at health food stores, and the vitamin D we obtain naturally from food and the sun? What is the best source of vitamin D?

If your physician writes you a prescription for vitamin D and you take it to the pharmacy, your pharmacist will hand you a bottle of vitamin D2 (or ergocalciferol). Vitamin D2 is a synthetic form of vitamin D that is derived from fungal sources using ultraviolet radiation; it REALLY shouldn’t be allowed to be called a vitamin, it’s more like a franken-vitamin! Synthetic vitamin D is less biologically active than natural forms of vitamin D; it takes the body 500% longer to convert synthetic vitamin D into a usable form. In addition to prescription vitamin D supplements, vitamin D2 can be found in “vitamin-enriched” foods, such as milk. There has been research done that looked at mortality rates for people who supplemented using vitamin D2 versus vitamin D3; it was determined individuals that supplemented with vitamin D2 had a two percent relative risk increase.

If you go to the health food store and pick up a bottle of vitamin D, you will likely be buying vitamin D3 (or cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is a natural form of vitamin D, it’s usually derived from either lanolin or cod liver oil extract. It is much easier for the body to convert vitamin D3 into a usable form. The study that compared mortality rates for those supplementing with vitamin D2 versus vitamin D3, individuals that supplemented with vitamin D3 had a six percent relative risk decrease. The Vitamin D Council recommends vitamin D3 for the treatment of vitamin D deficiency.

It is always best to discuss supplementing with vitamin D3 with your doctor, especially if you have sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or lymphoma. The Vitamin D Council recommends a daily dosage of 1000 IU of vitamin D3 per 25 lbs of body weight; if you weigh 150 lbs, the recommended dosage would be 6000 IU per day. If your lab test shows that you are vitamin D deficient, each additional 1000 IU will usually producse a 10 ng/ml increase; if you weight 150 lbs, and your vitamin D test shows your vitamin D is 40 ng/ml, you would take 6000 IU per day PLUS an additional 2000 IU to be in the middle of the optimal range. The Vitamin D Council considers:

  •  a vitamin D level of < 50 ng/ml to be deficient
  • a vitamin D level of 50-70 ng/ml to be optimal
  • a vitamin D level of 70-100 ng/ml to be ideal if being treated for cancer or heart disease
  • a vitamin D level that is > 100 ng/ml to be excessive

In addition to taking a vitamin D3 supplement, there are several other sources of natural vitamin D that you can take advantage of. The best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, but the amount of sun exposure that is considered safe is not usually enough to prevent and treat disease. There are also foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as eggs, organ meats, animal fat, cod liver oil and fish, but if you are vitamin D deficient it may be difficult to get vitamin D to an optimal level with food alone. In order to properly metabolize vitamin D, it is important to make sure you are getting sufficient magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin A, zinc and boron.

*it’s important to make sure your vitamin D levels are checked using a test called 25(OH)D as opposed to 1,25(OH)D. 25(OH)D is a better overall marker of vitamin D status.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:
 Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D: How to Determine Your Optimal Dose

 

Coconut Oil and Malnutrition

It’s a great honor to have Dr. Bruce Fife as a guest writer today. Dr. Fife was kind enough to write about some of the effects of coconut oil on malnutrition. Dr. Fife is an internationally recognized expert on the health and nutritional benefits of coconut oil and all coconut products. He operates the ‘Coconut Research Center’, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and medical community about the many benefits of coconut and palm products. He has authored many books, including: ‘The Coconut Oil Miracle’, ‘The Palm Oil Miracle’, ‘Coconut Lover’s Cookbook’, ‘Eat Fat, Look Thin’ and most recently ‘Stop Alzheimer’s Now’. These books are highly recommended reads, and can be purchased at Amazon.com, and Piccadilly Books.

Coconut Oil Can Help Prevent Malnutrition

By: Dr. Bruce Fife

Coconut oil can be an excellent way to increase the nutritional content of foods and improve nutrient absorption. Coconut oil is different from other fats and oils because it is made primarily of a unique group of fats known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Most all others fats in our diet are composed of long chain triglycerides (LCTs).

One of the advantages of MCTs over the more common LCTs is their speed and efficiency in digestion. MCTs digest very quickly, with minimal effort and stress placed on the body. LCTs require pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile in order to break down into individual fatty acids. MCTs, on the other hand, break down so quickly that they do not need pancreatic digestive enzymes or bile, thus reducing stress and conserving the body’s enzymes. The digestive systems of those people with malabsorption problems often have a difficult time digesting LCTs. Not so with MCTs. Consequently, MCTs provide a superior source of energy and nutrition than do LCTs.

The difference in the way MCTs are digested is of great interest in medicine because it provides a means by which a number of medical conditions can be successfully treated. Replacing a portion of the LCTs normally found in the diet with MCTs has allowed doctors to successfully treatment of a variety of malabsorption syndromes including defects in fat digestion and absorption, pancreatic insufficiency, liver and gallbladder disorders, defects in protein metabolism, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease. MCTs can even, speed recovery after intestinal surgery.

Because of MCTs are digested more efficiently, they also improve the absorption of other nutrients. As far back as the 1930s researchers noticed that adding coconut oil to foods enhanced the food’s nutritional value. For example, researchers at Auburn University studied the effects of vitamin B-1 deficiency in animals given different types of fats. Vitamin B-1 deficiency leads to a fatal disease called beriberi. When rats were given a vitamin B deficient diet, coconut oil was effective in preventing the disease. Coconut oil doesn’t contain vitamin B-1. So how did coconut oil prevent a vitamin B-1 deficiency? Coconut oil made what little of the vitamin that was in the diet more biologically available, thus preventing the deficiency disease.

A number of studies have found similar effects. Coconut oil improves the absorption of not only the B vitamins but also vitamins A, D, E, K, beta-carotene, lycopene, CoQ10, and other fat soluble nutrients, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and some amino acids—the building block for protein. Adding coconut oil to vegetables can increase the absorption of beta-carotene, lycopene, and other nutrients as much as 18 times!

What this means is that if you add coconut oil to a meal, you will get significantly more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients out of the food than if you used soybean oil, canola oil, or another oil, or if you used no oil at all. Simply adding coconut oil to a meal greatly enhances the food’s nutritional value.

This fact has led researchers to investigate its use in the treatment of malnutrition. For example, coconut oil, mixed with a little corn oil, was compared with soybean oil for the treatment of malnourished preschool-aged children in the Philippines. The study involved 95 children aged 10-44 months who were 1st to 3rd degree malnourished. The children were from a slum area in Manila. The children were given one full midday meal and one afternoon snack daily except Sundays for 16 weeks. The food fed to the children was identical in every respect except for the oil. Approximately two-thirds of the oil in their diet came from either the coconut oil/corn oil mix or soybean oil. The children were allocated to one of the two diets at random: 47 children received the coconut oil diet and 48 children the soybean oil diet. The children were weighed every two weeks and examined by a pediatrician once a week. At the start of the study the ages, initial weight, and degree of malnutrition of the two groups as a whole were essentially identical.

After the 16 weeks, results showed that the coconut oil diet produced significantly faster weight gain and improvement in nutritional status compared to the soybean oil diet. A mean gain of 5.57 pounds after four months was recorded for the coconut oil group, almost twice as much as the weight gain of the soybean oil groups of 3.27 pounds.

Coconut oil or MCTs is included in all hospital infant formulas. Premature infants whose digestive systems are not fully matured have a difficult time digesting most fats. However, they can handle MCTs. When coconut oil is added to their formula they grow faster and have a higher survival rate. Adults also benefit with the addition of coconut oil. For this reason, coconut oil or MCTs are also included in the feeding formulas given to hospital patients of all ages. When MCTs are added to nutritional formulas, patients recovering from surgery or illness recover faster.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.