We receive a lot of emails with questions on this subject so let’s talk about it.
Bill and I for quite a while have been big believers in the benefits of supplements as natural alternative therapies. Years ago when he was diagnosed with Rosacea, he didn’t want to go on the life-long regimen of antibiotics as prescribed, so we turned to supplements for help. And it worked! Another time I struggled with debilitating pain behind my left ear that progressed to a chronic level, sending me to various doctors which led to a possible prognosis of a brain tumor and a CT scan, which fortunately found nothing. Then by chance we went out sailing for the day with friends and I took ginger every 3 hours to manage motion sickness (yes it works), only to be amazed at the end of the day that I had been pain free! Apparently there was inflammation somewhere inside me (ah ha!) so I began a regimen of ginger for a period of time and the problem went away. And on another occasion we reversed a serious eye condition with supplements, to the amazement of Bill’s eye doctor. I’m a believer!
But think about this. By definition, a supplement is:
“Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.”
Most of us have heeded the warnings to avoid sun exposure–covering ourselves with protective clothing and sunblock. And this time of year it’s not easy to get much Vitamin D from the sun anyway, unless you live in the more southern climes. But our bodies need Vitamin D so what are we to do?
Vitamin D is essential to our health for many reasons, and it’s important to know that low levels of Vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “a growing number of studies point to vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for heart attacks, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), strokes, and the conditions associated with cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes”. Continue reading Vitamin D and your Heart→
Chances are, if you’re reading this you’re either taking a statin to lower your cholesterol, or you know someone who is. Besides lowering cholesterol levels, statins are purported to have significant anti-inflammatory and plaque-stabilizing effects, so if you’ve had a heart event, such as a stent or an attack, your doctor has likely prescribed a statin, even if your cholesterol levels are under control.
What many don’t realize (and too often your doctor doesn’t tell you) is that statin drugs also reduce your body’s natural function of producing Coenzyme Q10, because the pathway in the body that naturally produces cholesterol is also responsible for the production of Coenzyme Q10.
A: That’s a good question. This is important because, according to WebMD, B12 deficiency can boost levels of homocysteine, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Bill and I were already taking supplemental B12 when we changed our diet, so we just continued to do so. But you are right if you are consuming a mostly plant-based diet you need B12 either through supplementation or fortified foods. Additionally, it seems for many seniors B12 is not absorbed well so supplementation is often recommended. You can read more at WebMD here.