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Facts About The Human Body
31st August 2017

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Dietary Supplements

DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

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Herbs and Flowers

Many supplements come from herbs and flowers, some of which may have a serious effect on the human body. One such plant is called Erythroxylum Coca which is a plant native to South America. The extract from the leaves of the Coca Plant, are used to make Cocaine.

Beautiful looking flowers with life threatening properties

There are many other beautiful looking flowers that contain life threatening properties, one plant is the Papaver Somniferum, the Latin name for the poppy, although all poppies are poisonous, not all poppies contain quantities of opium, poppies are found in many gardens, however, one poppy commonly known as the Opium Poppy has the highest concentration of narcotics. It’s not uncommon for people to associate poppy seeds with the illicit drug ‘Heroin’.
For interest, the poppy seeds are not used to make opium, it’s the sap from the seeds that makes heroin. More information on Heroin and Cocaine will be in a new section coming soon titled "Heroin Cocaine Codiene can affect Blood Pressure"

 
It has been reported that many people may be unaware that some supplements manufactured from natural flowers, herbs etc. can interact on prescribed medications and over the counter medication. The information above is not meant to give a negative view on supplements, just caution. Taking supplements that are managed by a nutritionist is one option, another is talking to your doctor or health professional. If you look on the internet and in magazines, there are many positive articles detailing how people’s lives have been transformed after taking supplements.

MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS

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MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS are an option to maintain the correct level of Magnesium in your blood, bones and tissue and have benefits on managing blood pressure. There are separate sections explaining in detail how a large percentage of the world's population is deficient in magnesium. For the reason explained above, Doctors will advise people with kidney problems, heart conditions and gastrointestinal disorders
Gastrointestinal - Relates to the stomach and the intestines.
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, to be cautious with Magnesium Supplements, I would strongly suggest you speak with your Doctor or Health Professional before taking Magnesium.
A deficiency in IRON is extremely common amongst pregnant women, the iron deficiency has an impact on the body's cells due to depletion of the bodies reserve of iron. There are many causes of iron deficiency, the most common is a poor diet in absorbable iron. Chronic iron deficiency can cause iron deficient amnesia and other conditions leading to inflammation.

THE PRACTICE OF USING NATURE (Note 20)

The practice of using nature as pharmacy dates back centuries and continues to date as many of the medications currently in use are derived from plants. Dietary supplements are food products, extracts or concentrates that are intended to supplement diets because they contain certain dietary ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids. They are usually found in many forms including tablet, capsule, powder, liquid, soft-gel and gel-cap.
Dietary supplements are generally regarded as classes of foods not drugs. This is because like foods, most dietary supplements are not screened for safety and effectiveness following their removal from the regulatory authority of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1958. This prevents dietary supplements labels from assertions showing their intended ability to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent or cure diseases.
The line between permissible and impermissible
Permissible (allowed) and impermissible (not permitted or allowed).
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health claims for supplements is not always clear to the consumer, who naturally may misunderstand the apparent bounty of medicinal-sounding risk-free benefits. However, while many supplements may be beneficial, they are not without risks. Generally, several claims have been put forward regarding the beneficial attributes of dietary supplements including prevention of acne, reduction of fats, low cholesterol content, rich fibre content, and the promotion of healthy skin.

Dietary supplements in different forms

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Dietary supplements occur in different forms ranging from vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanicals. Vitamins are organic compounds that cannot be synthesized by the body but are necessary for its proper functioning. There are two types of vitamins namely; fat soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K which can be stored in the body for future use. Vitamins B and C are water soluble that cannot be stored by the body and therefore need to be replenished regularly through diet in order to avoid deficiencies which can interfere with normal metabolic processes and cause severe illness. For instance, beriberi a disease-causing inflammation of the nerves and heart failure, result from Niacin (vitamin B3), and Thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiencies.
Minerals are inorganic elements derived from soil and water which are absorbed by plants and eaten by animals. Some of these minerals are required in large amounts by the body e.g. calcium for bone development. Others like chromium, copper, iron, selenium and zinc often called trace minerals are needed in very small amounts.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and they can be categorized into three groups namely indispensable (essential), conditionally indispensable and dispensable (non-essential). Indispensable amino acids must be consumed in the diet while conditionally indispensable amino acids can be synthesized by human body under most conditions but may require dietary supplementation under certain pathophysiological conditions such as catabolic stress.

Other dietary supplements

 
Other dietary supplements include metabolites and extracts. Metabolites are substances that are produced by metabolic actions or are necessary for metabolic processes. Extracts are substances which are usually biologically active ingredients of plant or animal tissues prepared using solvents to separate the substance from the original material. A herbal remedy is a plant or plant part (root, flower, leaf, and fruit), that is used for its medicinal or therapeutic properties. The potency of herbal products varies depending on each plant growing conditions, level of maturity when harvested and the processes used to dry and store each ingredient.
The popularity and increase in the use of dietary supplements has been reported by the media, government agencies and published studies in medical journals. Reports showed significant differences in dietary supplement usage by age, with higher prevalence in older age groups for all supplements and for single ingredient vitamins/minerals. There is also a significant difference in supplement use by sex, with women having the upper hand than men for all supplements except herbs and botanicals.

Background

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The use of alternative therapies like herbs and dietary supplements is very common among hypertensive and diabetic patients all over the world. Hypertension is a silent disease that causes increase in cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular conditions, such as a Stroke, a Transient Ischemic Attack, abbreviated as a (TIA) and Aneurysms, there are more conditions.
Other serious conditions such as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), combined with diabetes increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney replacement treatments such as peritoneal and haemodialysis . Supplements and alternative therapies have been used to treat these conditions, which can have a significant impact on the health, quality of life, and life expectancy of patients, as well as financial impacts on health care systems worldwide.
Metabolic syndrome is a name in medical terms for people have at least three of the following conditions:
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Sugar
  • Abdominal Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Excess fat around the waist
  • Abnormal Cholesterol
  • Abnormal triglyceride levels
Metabolic Syndrome is considered as a link to overweight, obesity and a sedentary life, also linked to a condition called insulin resistance. This condition occurs when the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin.
When there is insufficient insulin or insulin resistance, there is a build up of glucose in the bloodstream possibly leading to type 2 diabetes. There will shortly be a separate section totally dedicated to causes and possible ways to reverse type 2 diabetes. All the conditions referenced above can be another cause of high blood pressure.
Orthodox drugs used for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes may produce side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhoea, weakness, fatigue and erectile dysfunction. It’s these and other conditions that prompt people to consider alternate therapies in the form of dietary supplements.
This information above gave some indication of the therapeutic values of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fruits, vegetables, herbs and other botanicals used as dietary supplements. It’s possible that supplements provide better and safe substitutes to toxic and expensive conventional drug.
DO YOU SELL OR SUPPLY FOOD SUPPLEMENTS? - CLICK HERE TO VIEW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN FBO by the Foods Standards Agency
Worldwide there are many differing regulations, too many to detail all. An internet search will show more.

To summarise, some dietary supplements can be free from major side effects, readily available and affordable. The use of dietary supplement may promote good health and improve the status of hypertensive and diabetic patients. For this reason, medical doctors are encouraged to discuss adding dietary supplements into a diet for hypertension and diabetes management. (End Note 20)

Dietary supplement use has steadily increased among the elderly (Note 21)

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Use of supplements for senior citizens have been used to improve, and maintain overall health and for specific reasons, such as to promote bone and heart health. The use of prescribed drugs can increase as people age, increasing the risk of a reaction between a prescribed drug and nutrients. This scenario is referred to as ‘A Drug-Nutrient Interaction’ (DNI).
What are Nutrients? They are the vitamins and minerals that are in the food we may eat daily. It’s when people don’t provide enough nutrients which provide the nourishment to maintain a healthy life, they look to supplements to ensure their bodies have enough nutrients to keep healthy and fit and active. I would mention that research has shown that, eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, sprouts, cabbage, are high in vitamin K and can affect warfarin, used to thin blood from working correctly.
Having a grapefruit for breakfast can have serious side effects when eaten around the time prescribed drugs are taken. Grapefruit may have interactions with some supplements, I cannot find any information that gives a definitive answer, maybe caution is a way forward. At the end of this section I have provide a link for more information about grapefruit.
Although drug-nutrient interactions (DNI) are well recognized, their importance is slowly getting recognition as a potential factor that may affect outcomes in the elderly with multiple medical conditions. The medical name for multiple conditions is called comorbidities, which in turn may require multiple prescribed medications.
Highlighted below are a list of situations that could be attributed to some senior citizens and suggestions that may assist how people manage their lifestyle:
  • Dietary supplement use is common and increasing in the elderly, but not readily disclosed to the healthcare provider.
  • Elderly patients with comorbidities using multiple medications and dietary supplements are at increased risk of adverse interactions, which could be clinically serious with drugs that have a narrow therapeutic index.
  • Patient-related and drug-nutrient-related factors contribute to drug-nutrient interactions (DNI) and need to be monitored to help reduce adverse DNI.
  • Detailed assessment of nutritional status, medication use and potential for DNI should be performed routinely in the elderly with chronic health conditions who take multiple medications and are at greater risk than the general healthy population for adverse DNI.
  • Ensuring proper timing of food with drug regimens, and regular monitoring of nutritional status, medication profiles, and laboratory data to evaluate the potential for interactions may help reduce serious adverse DNI in high risk individuals.
  • Inclusion of elderly patients in clinical trials and collection of data regarding DNI may help fill knowledge gaps and increase understanding of mechanisms underlying DNI so strategies to prevent adverse DNI in the elderly can be further improved. (End Note 21)

Highlighted below are a list of situations that could be attributed to some senior citizens and suggestions that may assist how people manage their lifestyle:
  • Dietary supplement use is common and increasing in the elderly, but not readily disclosed to the healthcare provider.
  • Elderly patients with comorbidities using multiple medications and dietary supplements are at increased risk of adverse interactions, which could be clinically serious with drugs that have a narrow therapeutic index.
  • Patient-related and drug-nutrient-related factors contribute to drug-nutrient interactions (DNI) and need to be monitored to help reduce adverse DNI.
  • Detailed assessment of nutritional status, medication use and potential for DNI should be performed routinely in the elderly with chronic health conditions who take multiple medications and are at greater risk than the general healthy population for adverse DNI.
  • Ensuring proper timing of food with drug regimens, and regular monitoring of nutritional status, medication profiles, and laboratory data to evaluate the potential for interactions may help reduce serious adverse DNI in high risk individuals.
  • Inclusion of elderly patients in clinical trials and collection of data regarding DNI may help fill knowledge gaps and increase understanding of mechanisms underlying DNI so strategies to prevent adverse DNI in the elderly can be further improved.

POSSIBLE INTERACTIONS AND DANGERS OF SUPPLEMENTS

While researching more on supplements, I found that some supplements although beneficial can predispose to bleeding complications with patients who have severe coronary heart disease, requiring Coronary artery bypass grafting, impacting the outcome of surgery.
In particular Fish Oils, which are derived from the tissues of oily fish, these contain the omega 3 fatty acids, they are said to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and many more ailments. However, fish oils are known to affect platelet aggregation which is the clumping together of platelets in the blood, platelet aggregation is a part a sequence of events that can lead to the formation of a blood clot. Fish oils can also affect the process of fibrinolysis which is a process that happens in the body to break down blood clots. These effects of fish oil can therefore predispose to bleeding during surgery.
Garlic is another supplement that can have an impact on surgery, this is due to the antiplatelet effect of garlic, which predispose to bleeding. Consuming garlic supplements should be mentioned to any surgeon before any surgery. For those who want to know more, the antiplatelet effect of garlic is manifested by a reduction of platelet adhesion to collagen and fibrinogen. (Fibrinogen is a soluble protein produced by the liver and found in blood plasma).

 
 
Although supplements are considered as natural substances, some supplements have the potential to cause bleeding in patients who undergo surgery. The information above is heavy reading, the purpose of including it, was to highlight that care should be taken when taking supplements, and the need to be aware that although there are major health benefits, there are possibilities supplements may have a negative impact on your body.
My suggestion would be that if you have any concerns or questions discuss these with your Doctor or Health Professional before taking any supplement. In addition, shops that sell supplements have trained people there to answer and advise.
There are many prescribed drugs, that are designed to manage blood pressure, however it’s likely that some supplements may have a negative impact on blood pressure, due to interactions between prescribed drugs and supplements. These are just a few of the supplements that have been known to interact with prescribed drugs and cause problems managing blood pressure:
  • Ginkgo Bilboa
  • Liquorice
  • Bitter Orange
  • Ginseng
  • St John’s Wort
  • Senna
Stimulants can have an effect on heartrate, which may then have an impact on your bodies ability to manage blood pressure, I won’t try and list them as there are so many.

To summarise, can supplements, provide the nutrition we need for a healthy life?

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There is no easy answer to this question... yes supplements do have a place in life with people wanting a healthy life. Let’s first look at information I’ve found about, who should take supplements? The UK Government recommends all children between six months and five years should take supplements with vitamins A, C, & D, going on to say, if your toddler eats a healthy and balanced diet they may not need a supplement!!!
On the other side of the coin, information I’ve found explains that, healthy children who are growing normally, do not need to take multivitamins, many of the most common foods such as milk, orange juice, cereals etc are fortified with important nutrients, including vitamins B & D together with calcium and iron. Should children not drink milk they may need vitamin D supplement, and iron for babies who are breast fed. However, with all the information I’ve read, every child is different, most children it seems, have no need to take supplements, it’s when things go wrong, a supplement may assist? However, before anything is administered I would respectfully suggest a chat with a Doctor, Health Professional or dietician to avoid any possible interactions. One comment I’ve heard many times is, a healthy life starts with a well-balanced diet, no matter what the age.

Please remember, supplements are not intended as a substitute for food, they can't replicate all the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Whole foods offer three main benefits over dietary supplements:
  • Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs.
  • Essential fiber. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber. As part of a healthy diet, fiber can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
  • Protective substances. Many whole foods are also good sources of antioxidants and substances that slow down a natural process leading to cell and tissue damage. It isn't clear that antioxidant supplements offer the same benefits as antioxidants in food, some high-dose antioxidant supplements have been associated with health risks.
  • If you're generally healthy and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, it’s unlikely you need supplements. There are many qualified nutritionists who can assist if you have other conditions that may benefit from taking supplements. There are conditions where research has indicated there may be benefits from taking supplements or fortified foods, some are listed below:
    • Women who may become pregnant should get 400 micrograms a day of folic acid from fortified foods or supplements, in addition to eating foods that naturally contain folate.
    • Women who are pregnant should take a prenatal vitamin that includes iron or a separate iron supplement.
    • Adults age 50 or older should eat foods fortified with vitamin B-12, such as fortified cereals, or take a multivitamin that contains B-12 or a separate B-12 supplement.
    • Adults age 65 and older should take 800 international units of vitamin D daily to reduce the complications (bone fracture and injury) resulting from falls.

Dietary supplements may also be appropriate if you:

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  • Don't eat well or consume fewer calories than needed
  • Are a vegan or a vegetarian who eat a limited variety of foods?
  • Follow any other type of diet that restricts an entire category of foods
  • Don't eat two to three servings a week of seafood, which supplies omega-3 fatty acids for heart health
  • Have heavy bleeding during your menstrual period
  • Have limited milk intake due to lactose intolerance or milk allergy, or simply don't consume enough dairy foods
  • Have a medical condition that affects how your body absorbs or uses nutrients, such as chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance, or a disease of the liver, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas
  • Have had surgery on your digestive tract and are not able to digest and absorb nutrients properly

Ask your Doctor


 
 

Informed decisions made today – and how you manage
your diet and lifestyle - will definitely impact your

Life2Moro ®

You may wish to look at UK and American websites which have more information, some are listed below:

Drugs.com
Desert Hope
Daily Mail Online article
Men's Health article
Derek Lakin - Senior Editor at HighYa article
The websites below are some of the associations dedicated to the natural products Industry:
Natural Products Association
HFMA
HSIS

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