Tag: side effects
While you’re catching some rays this up coming summer, think about vitamin D. Sometimes its called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight, but what about vitamin D3? Is it as simple as getting out into the sun and voila, vitamin D3! I mean, what is vitamin D3 anyway? How much vitamin D3 should I take?
Did you know that the human skin makes vitamin D3 when exposed to ultraviolet rays of the sun? According to the National Institute of Health, some of the best food source for vitamin D3 are fish products, such as: cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, and sardines. With that being said, lets take a closer look at how vitamin D3 can benefit you.
Vitamin D3 Benefits:
Vitamin D3 promotes calcium’s absorption and functions for teen’s and children’s healthy teeth and bones, prevents loss of bone mass, and treats bone disorders.
It protects against adult and elderly muscle weakness and immune system issues, and lowers the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis is improved with vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 has been show to prevent/treat rickets, post menopausal osteoporosis. The vitamin also been show to help treat multiple sclerosis. Something that I found extremely interesting is that they are still conducting studies (more research is definitely needed) seeing if there is a connection between lack of Vitamin D3 and the development of Type 1 diabetes.
Benefits of D3 in the elderly and fractures are still under investigation. An analysis, reported in August 2007 by the University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center, showed higher doses of vitamin D3 of between 700-800 IU’s per day combined with calcium help prevent hip fractures for institutionalized elderly. The study did not include elderly living independently in the community.
Vitamin D3 And Your Immune System:
Cells of the immune system, such as macrophages, which hunt the body for dangerous pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and cancer cells, have receptor sites for vitamin D3. Research suggest that D3 may play a role in stimulating these cells to be more active in their hunt for disease-causing microbes and act as an immunity booster especially during the winter months when sunlight is more scarce.
As diabetics, we are all well aware of fast acting insulin and the vital role it plays when it comes to keeping us alive and upright, but for those newly diagnosed diabetics (type 1 and type 2), Insulin is secreted by the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, a small organ between the stomach and liver. This hormone regulates the sugar levels in the human body. When the pancreas stops secreting insulin, it results in hyperglycemia which is a common and lethal symptom of diabetes.
There are several rapid acting insulin brands, and as a type 1 diabetic, I am extremely reliant upon fast acting insulin, Novolog in particular. When discussing a topic over on The Organic Diabetic Facebook page, we got onto the subject of all the negative side effects associated with insulin and blood sugar regulation. So for all you newly diagnosed type 1’s, lets take a peek at some of the most dangerous side effects associated with fast acting insulin. Also, what drives the cost of insulin and are there programs to help defer the costs? Lets take a closer look!
Diabetes And Insulin:
Less common, but potentially more serious, is generalized allergy to fast acting insulin, which may cause rash (including pruritus) over the whole body, shortness of breath, wheezing, reduction in blood pressure, rapid pulse, or sweating. Severe cases of generalized allergy, including anaphylactic reaction, may be life threatening. Localized reactions and generalized myalgias have been reported with the use of cresol as an injectable excipient (preservative to keep insulin potent).
Fast Acting And Hyperglycemia:
Hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, or diabetic coma may develop if the patient takes less fast acting insulin than needed to control blood glucose levels. This could be due to insulin demand during illness or infection, neglect of diet, omission or improper administration of prescribed fast acting insulin doses.
A developing ketoacidosis will be revealed by urine tests which show large amounts of sugar and acetone. The symptoms of polydipsia, polyurea, loss of appetite, fatigue, dry skin and deep and rapid breathing come on gradually, usually over a period of some hours or days. Severe sustained hyperglycemia may result in diabetic coma or death.
Fast Acting Insulin And Lipodystrophy
Long-term use of fast acting insulin, can cause lipodystrophy at the site of repeated insulin injections or infusion. Lipodystrophy includes lipohypertrophy (thickening of adipose tissue) and lipoatrophy (thinning of adipose tissue), and may affect insulin absorption. Its extremely important to rotate insulin injection or infusion sites within the same region to reduce the risk of lipodystrophy.
Its a fantastic question and was a test that was run on me to confirm my type 1 diagnosis. A c-peptide! What is it? What is the purpose and why do they use this particular test in order to confirm a type 1 diabetes diagnosis? Lets take a closer look!
What Is C-Peptide?
C-peptide, similar to the hormone insulin is produced in the pancreas. Both are released simultaneously from the pancreas where a compound called pro-insulin is split into two pieces.
As we are aware by now, Insulin is responsible for regulating the body’s glucose levels. Glucose, the body’s main source of energy, is a sugar that comes from foods. After a meal, our bodies break down the foods we eat into glucose and other nutrients, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream to give us the energy we need in order to fuel our bodies. Glucose levels in the blood rise after a meal and trigger the pancreas to make insulin and release it into the blood, and when insulin is released, so is C-peptide.
Although both are released into the blood stream simultaneous, C-peptide has zero effect on our blood sugar levels. That being said, it is extremely useful as its used as a marker of insulin production, since the pancreas typically releases C-peptide and insulin in about equal amounts.
In a nut shell, high C-peptide levels are associated with increased insulin production, while low C-peptide levels indicate decreased insulin production.
Have you noticed that the new diet Pepsi commercials you see on television say that the drink is now aspartame free? This is not surprising as aspartame or as its been so conveniently renamed “Amino Sweet” comes with a host of negative attention over the past couple of years so it only makes sense that we look and see why manufacturers claim it to be a “healthy” choice when it comes to sweeteners.
Personally when you compare aspartame along with its not so healthy counterpart sucralose, aspartame has much more warning signs as well as side effects. So lets take a closer look!
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used widely throughout the United States. According to Elmhurst College, aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar, and it contains only 4 calories per gram. Its added to many sugar free foods and drinks and is also available in individual packets for personal use. While the use of aspartame does have some benefits, there is controversy over the safety and possible side effects. Elmhurst College states that aspartame breaks down into aspartic acid, phenylalanine and methanol in the body when it’s consumed which can cause side effects such as headache, dry mouth, diarrhea and gas just to name a few. Sound fun? Lets examine further.
Aspartame And Cancer:
Per Medicinenet.com, In an initial study, 12 rats out of 320 developed malignant brain tumors after receiving aspartame in an FDA trial. There have been other studies to both support and contradict this finding. A recent study, conducted by Italian and French researchers indicates there is no association between low-calorie sweeteners and cancer. The researchers evaluated a variety of studies between the years of 1991 and 2004. These studies assessed the relationship between low-calorie sweeteners and many cancers, including oral and pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, larynx,breast, ovary, prostate, and renal cell carcinomas. The researchers examined the eating habits of more than 7,000 men and women in their middle ages (mainly 55 years and over).
Based on the data evaluated, there was no evidence that saccharin or other sweeteners (mainly aspartame) increase the risk of cancer in humans.
All in all several studies have researched the connection between aspartame consumption and cancer,but there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that aspartame increases the risk of cancer in humans
Needless to say, the debate continues while more research is conducted.
Green beans, aka string beans, or snap bean in the northeastern and western United States are the unripe fruit of various cultivars of the common bean. Green beans are a versatile vegetable that can be grown in many different climates. This helps the plant become such a familiar food.
There are two types of green beans: “pole beans” and “bush beans”. Pole beans usually climb vines and require support systems to grow properly. These plants take longer to grow to maturity. Bush beans on the other hand need no support system and are lower to the ground. What makes these beans so unbelievably healthy for you, lets take a closer look!
Nutritional Value Of Green Beans:
Green beans are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Green beans contain beta carotene, which is found in Vitamin A. Vitamin A, a fat soluble antioxidant, helps control night blindness and other eye problems. Folic acid and vitamin B6 present in these beans, regulate the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced, as an intermediate product of the metabolic process. Increased concentration of the homocysteine is seen in heart patients. Significant amounts of magnesium, copper, iron, molybdenum, potassium are also found in green beans. Intake of these individual minerals is essential in our daily diet.
Green Beans And Fiber:
Green beans are packed with dietary fiber which is beneficial for those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber adds bulk to the stools and enables easy passage during bowel movements. Green beans are good for those with high cholesterol since fiber helps to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. People with diabetes may also include green beans in their diet since it helps to regulate blood sugar levels, always a bonus!
Green Beans & Vitamin C:
Vitamin C, in conjunction with the carotenoids, help to support the immune system and prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that, when exposed to oxygen, damage DNA. Folate may help prevent DNA damage and cellular mutation as well. According to the National Cancer Institute, populations that consume diets rich in fruits and vegetables have a lower cancer risk, in part, due to their high carotenoid, vitamin A and C content. This protective benefit is particularly pronounced for cancers of the lung, gastrointestinal tract, breast, oral cavity, pancreas, uterine cervix, and ovary. Green beans are rich in all of these protective nutrients.
In all honesty, when it comes to turmeric as of a year ago, I didn’t even know what the stuff was. Several friends of mine kept telling me that I need to check it out and start to incorporate it into my diet. After 2-3 months of this, I decided to fire up the laptop to see what this was all about and boy was I glad that I did! Turmeric is amazing and here’s why!
What Is Turmeric:
Turmeric is a culinary spice widely used in Southeast Asia. Recent research reveals why this herb is such a powerful healer due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric powder is a bright yellow powder made by dry grinding of mature turmeric rhizomes (underground stems). The use of turmeric for coloring and flavoring food, for cosmetic purposes and for medicinal properties dates back to the ancient Vedic culture of India. Used in almost all Indian curries, this spice has almost no calories (1 tablespoon = 24 calories) and zero cholesterol. It is rich in dietary fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6!
While studies concerning the health benefits are still premature, early evidence has linked it to a host of health benefits, most of which are based on its most active component, curcumin, the compound that also gives turmeric its yellow-orange color. Turmeric is full of powerful antioxidants, including curcumin, which are known to fight cancer-causing free radicals. Most research done on the health benefits of turmeric have been done using curcumin, not the whole turmeric root. While the studies are promising, more research, especially those using human subjects, need to be done. So far, what we do know is that turmeric is known to be anti-inflammatory, can help with managing pain, brain health support and liver detoxification, among several other benefits.
Jen (my wife) first introduced me to pomegranates roughly 10 years ago and I immediately fell in love. Not only is pomegranate jam packed with nutrition, this super-food has some seriously amazing health benefits. Maybe you currently incorporate pomegranates as a part of your daily diet and maybe you don’t, but lets take a look as to why if they are not currently a staple in your diet, why they should!
Whether fresh in its natural state or in the form of juice, extract, oil, or even dried and used as a spice as it is in India, pomegranate is relatively low in calories, making it a choice addition to any diet.
Nutritional research science, now, suggests that all parts of the pomegranate, seeds, juice, and peel offers its own unique polyphenol protection. Polyphenols are plant antioxidants (natural chemical nutrients) that help protect us from developing many different kinds of diseases.
As in the case of this particular fruit, which consists primarily of juicy seeds called “arils“, ellagic acid is the main polyphenol found in pomegranates, and it is this substance that helps control several types of cancer. There is also a high level of punicic acid, which is closely related to conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy trans fat found in nature. Daily drinking 6 to 8 ounces of pomegranate juice seems to prevent or inhibit cancer growth in prostate, breast, and reduces inflammatory enzymes in colon cancer.
Pomegranate And Polyphenols:
Pomegranate juice is also abundant in polyphenols, which have shown significant positive effects on the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients. Polyphenols boost the brain cells’ resistance to oxidative stress, help to control the degeneration of fats and also appear to avert the death of the cells.
Pomegranate and Heart Health:
The American Journal of Cardiology” published a study that concluded that pomegranate juice improves blood flow to the heart by as much as 17 percent. This may help those who are suffering from heart disease, or are at risk of developing it. Pomegranate juice may help reduce arterial plaque. It also lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL).
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for pickled beets, but are beets really healthy for you? Not only is beetroot great for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder, it also contains potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid
Beets also contain carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fiber. What’s more, just three baby beetroot equal one of your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Read on to find out more about how ruby red beets can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle
Helpful To Reduce Blood Pressure & Strokes:
Research has shown that beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks.
Beetroot And Diabetes:
As diabetics, we are already sweet enough, but hey, we are still human and have sugar cravings just like everyone else. Step away from the chocolate! A great alternative for us diabetics or anyone recently diagnosed with diabetes to help fulfill those sweet craving is a little beetroot. Since it contains sugars, is fat free, low in calories and has a medium glycemic index it can be a perfect alternative and just what the doctor ordered. A medium glycemic index means that it releases sugars slowly into the blood. This in turn will help prevent spikes in our blood sugars as well as help with our sugar craving.
Saffron is a golden color spice which is known for its bitter taste and distinct aroma. Known as the costliest spice in the world, it comes with various health and nutritional benefits. It is used in various cuisines to provide its yellowish color and lend a semi-sweet taste to the dishes. Let us have a look at the health benefits of saffron.
Saffron And Asthma:
Asthma can be a really frustrating problem for a lot of people. It can make it very difficult to breathe. The reason it makes it hard to breathe is because your lungs become inflamed. When your lungs become inflamed, your airways begin to restrict which causes less air to be able to pass through. Saffron helps to clear your airways making it easier for you to breath.
Saffron For Menstrual Relief:
For women who have irregular periods, they can take saffron for menstrual relief. An herbal saffron supplement can help induce menstruation as well as help relieve pain that is associated with periods. Along with period relief, saffron can also help to reduce chronic uterus bleeding.
Grape seeds contain incredibly powerful antioxidants that have a wide range of benefits to our health. But, we wouldn’t get very far by just crunching the few seeds we find in grapes! Instead, grape seeds are collected from wine manufacturers, who separate the seeds from the fruit when they are harvested. Then the grape seeds are made into highly concentrated capsules that contain a powerful dosage of the antioxidant. There are numerous health benefits associated with grape seed extract, lets take a look at a few!
Grape Seed And Hypertension:
Theoretically, grape seed extract might help treat hypertension or high blood pressure. Antioxidants, like the ones found in grape seed, help protect blood vessels from damage. Damaged blood vessels can lead to higher blood pressure. In a 2009 study of subjects with metabolic syndrome, researchers found that four weeks of treatment with grape seed extract lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. There is some evidence that grape seed extract supplements may help lower blood pressure.
According to a University of California Davis School of Medicine research study, participants taking grape seed extract experienced significant drops in their blood pressure, with an average 12 mm decrease in systolic and 9 mm decrease in diastolic pressure. While this may be because grape seed’s antioxidants protect blood vessels from damage, more research is needed to fully understand grape seed extract’s effect on hypertension.