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What are nutritional supplements?

 

Nutritional supplements are vitamins, minerals and herbs or combinations of all three that can be used therapeutically to help counteract stress, eliminate toxins, and restore nutritional balance in your body so you can experience a greater sense of physical and emotional well being.

 

 

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How do I know which supplements to take?

One program of suggestions is not right for everyone. Age, lifestyle, diet, medications, and genetic disposition are just some of the many factors that help determine how much of a specific nutrient you might need to take. Our years of professional training and experience can help us suggest the combination of supplements that are right for you.

Would you like to benefit from a personalized protocol of supplement suggestions?

Call 215.481.0321 or email us at mario@naturesoptionsllc.com for an Iridology appointment or additional information. Most people report that they begin to notice a difference and start to feel better after just two weeks of following our individualized protocol of suggestions for supplements.

The following list of nutritional supplements provides general information to help you understand how vitamins, minerals and herbs contribute to your health. This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

The Basic Vitamins

vitamins in a bottle

 

There are two categories of vitamins,  fat –soluble and water soluble.

 

Fat Soluble Vitamins include Vitamin A, D, E and K. They are stored in the body’s fatty tissues, can become toxic in high doses, and are not able to dissolve in water to be carried out of the body. Due to possibility of toxic buildup, taking these vitamins should always be monitored by a professional.

Vitamin A – Promotes healthy vision, skin, teeth, bones and mucous membranes. The body converts beta-carotene that is found in orange-yellow fruits and vegetables into this important vitamin. Look for vitamin A in eggs, butter, milk and liver; look for beta-carotene in foods like carrots, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach and sweet potato.  A deficiency can increase night blindness, lower resistance to infection, and impair vision.

Vitamin D- Promotes strong bones and teeth, important for regulating the calcium and phosphorus balance in the body, and helps build immunity. Look for Vitamin D in egg yolks, fortified milk, tuna, salmon and cod liver oil. Vitamin A is also known as the sunshine vitamin. Exposure to the sun provides your body with this important this vitamin. A deficiency can contribute to lower immunity, osteoporosis, rickets, or other bone abnormalities.

Vitamin E- Helps create red blood cells, muscle, and tissues. Also, protects essential fatty acids and helps the body utilize vitamin K more efficiently. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that helps destroys free radicals. Look for vitamin E in vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds and wheat germ. A severe deficiency can decrease muscular strength and increase neurological disorders.

Vitamin K is crucial for normal blood clotting. Vitamin K is made by the healthy bacteria in your intestines. Antibiotics which destroy intestinal bacteria can disturb the body’s ability to produce Vitamin K short term. Look for Vitamin K in dark green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, and broccoli or in liver. A vitamin K deficiency can lead to hemorrhaging.

Water Soluble Vitamins dissolve in water and are excreted from the body in the urine; therefore the risk of toxicity is greatly reduced. Because the body does not store water soluble vitamins and they can be easily destroyed by cooking, light and air, it is important to eat a healthy diet that is rich in water soluble vitamins. Many of the water soluble B vitamins interact and need to work together.

B-1 (Thiamine) This important vitamin helps the body produce energy from the carbohydrate foods. It is also essential in the development and maintenance of healthy brains, nervous systems, strong muscles and heart. Lack of vitamin B-1 reduces energy and may cause muscle weakness. In extreme causes it can cause the disease beriberi, which is a wasting away of the muscle. Look for vitamin A in beef, liver, lamb, whole grains, legumes, seeds and peas. 

B-2 (Riboflavin) B-2 is another essential vitamin that supports metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It is also needed to make red blood cells, helps circulate oxygen to skin, nails and hair, and helps prevent cataracts from forming.  A deficiency of this vitamin can cause dermatitis, light sensitivity, digestive problems, and inflammation of mouth and tongue. Vitamin B-2 is destroyed by antibiotics and alcohol. The first signs of a deficiency may appear as cracks or sores in the corner of the mouth. Foods rich in B-2 include cheese, egg yolks, fish, legumes, whole grains, beef, chicken, and yogurt.

 

food pyramid

 

B-3 (Niacin) This is another B vitamin that is needed for healthy hair, skin and nerves. It helps the body process food into energy and is essential for good circulation and digestion. A deficiency may cause canker sores, bowel or digestive disturbances, fatigue, indigestion, leg pain, and muscle weakness. Good sources of vitamin B-3 are found in foods like eggs, milk, fish, poultry, nuts, dandelion greens, broccoli, dates and meat. Caution: Pregnant or nursing mothers or those with diabetes, glaucoma, gout, liver disease or ulcers should only take niacin under the care of a professional.

B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)- This important vitamin is needed by every cell in the body. It  is essential to the adrenal glands and helps metabolize fat, carbohydrates and proteins. In addition, it assists the body in handling stress and increases stamina. Without sufficient amounts of vitamin B-5, the body may experience exhaustion, adrenal burnout, nausea and tingling in the hands. Good sources of this vitamin are found in beef, eggs, fresh vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fish.

B-6 (Pyridoxine) – This vitamin is important for brain function, metabolism, making red blood cells, antibodies, and other hormones. A lack of the vitamin may cause dementia, anemia and problems in the nervous system. Carrots, chicken, eggs, fish, meat, peas, spinach, bananas, walnuts and blackstrap molasses all contain significant vitamin B-6.

B-12 (Cobalamin)- Prevents anemia by helping the body make use of the mineral iron.  B-12 is needed to produce red blood cells and it contributes to proper digestion and absorption of food. B-12 helps maintain a healthy nervous system as well. A deficiency is often seen in the elderly who do not absorb vitamins and minerals well. Vegetarians may also be at risk of not getting enough B-12 in their food. Good sources come from animal products like meat, poultry, fish, eggs and milk products.

Folic Acid ( Folacin, Folate)- Known as food for the brain, folic acid assists the nervous system, the development of red blood cells and improves immunity. It is extremely important for healthy fetal development. The first sign of a folic acid deficiency is a red tongue that is tender or hair that turns gray quickly.  A deficiency of this vitamin may impair memory, cause weakness, birth defects, and insomnia. Eat foods like brown rice, cheese, milk, split peas, root vegetables, salmon, green leafy vegetables and beans for a diet rich in folic acid.

Biotin- This mineral is needed for proper metabolism, hormones, and production of neurotransmitters. It assists cell growth and fatty acid metabolism. It is also essential for healthy hair and skin. Deficiency is rare but causes hair loss, depression, inflammation of the skin and muscular pain. Brewer’s yeast, soybeans, fish, meat, milk and whole grains all contain biotin.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)- Vitamin C plays a vital role in tissue growth and repair and adrenal gland function. It assists many other areas of the body including promoting healthy gums, produces anti-stress hormones, and helps absorb iron. Known as a potent antioxidant, Vitamin C may protect the body against infection and boost the immune system. A vitamin C deficiency may affect wound healing, hemorrhaging under the skin, bleeding gums, and infection.  Vitamin C is abundantly available in most fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.

 

Minerals


Every cell of your body needs Minerals. Minerals provide the building blocks for proper composition of body fluids, the development of bone and blood, muscle tone, and nerve function. Over twenty-two minerals work together with vitamins to help your body maintain a proper nutritional balance. The following are some of the well-known minerals that are essential to keep you feeling your best.

Calcium – Is associated with strong bones and teeth. In addition, calcium plays an important role in regulating blood pressure, blood clotting, hormone secretion and digestion. Foods that are rich in calcium include yogurt and most milk products, dark green vegetables like kale, collards and broccoli, sardines with bones, and tofu.

Iron- Helps support the immune system and sustains sufficient energy.  In addition, this mineral is needed for the production of hemoglobin, which is responsible for circulating oxygen to every cell in your body. If you do not have enough iron in your bloodstream, you may begin to experience fatigue, irritability, cold hands and feet, and headaches. Animal products like meat, chicken, fish and eggs are the best sources of iron. Vegetarian sources of iron include beans, lentils, nuts, collard greens, kale, blackstrap molasses and seeds. Vegetarians need to pay particular attention to their diet to make certain they are getting sufficient iron.

 

beanie with iron

 

Magnesium- This mineral is involved in many processes of the body. It is needed to assist enzymes specifically concerned with energy, works synergistically with calcium and potassium to help nerve and muscle impulses, and contributes to bone formation and carbohydrate and mineral metabolism.  A lack of magnesium disturbs the flow of muscle and nerve transmission and can cause twitches, spasms, cramps and muscle weakness. In addition, a lack of magnesium may produce improper digestion, rapid heartbeat, seizures and tantrums. Many diseases are associated with low levels of magnesium. Food sources that supply magnesium are found in dairy products, fish, meat, apples, avocados, bananas, garlic, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, tofu and whole grains.

Potassium- Aids the nervous system, blood pressure and the heart. It combines with sodium to help regulate the water balance of the body and transport nutrients. A lack of potassium affects skin, elimination, circulation, glucose intolerance and muscles. Can be found in legumes, fish, fruit, dairy foods, bananas, brown rice, dates, raisins, figs, nuts, potatoes and yams.

Sodium – Adequate sodium intake is necessary for establishing a balance between body fluids and blood ph. Also, the stomach, nerves and muscle need a certain amount of sodium to function properly. Many foods in the American diet contain sodium, so the concern is often that one might have an overabundance of Sodium. Sodium and potassium need to be in balance to maintain a healthy body. Sodium is in almost all of our natural food supply and in all processed foods. Too much sodium can cause swelling, elevated blood pressure, reduction of potassium and damage to the liver and kidneys.

Chromium - This important mineral helps your body metabolize glucose for energy. It also plays an important role in helping your body break down fats, cholesterol, and protein. Vital for helping blood sugar and insulin regulation, chromium can be helpful for those with high or low blood sugar imbalances. Chromium is no longer readily available in our soil and water supply thus the American diet can be deficient in this important mineral. Some sources that may contain chromium are brown rice, whole grains, beer, dried beans, cheese and eggs.

Zinc - This mineral has multiple functions. It affects the prostate gland, oil glands, collagen formation, insulin, bone formation, immunity, taste and smell, and healing of wounds. A deficiency begins to affect the sense of taste and smell, the fingernails, acne, fatigue, hair loss, cholesterol, impaired vision, memory, and infection. Zinc is found in fish, kelp, lamb, legumes, lima beans, meat, pecans, oysters, poultry, pumpkin seeds, sardines, soybeans and whole grains. Zinc should only be taken under the care of a trained professional.

 

beanie with glasses

 

Copper - This mineral is needed in small amounts and is important for its contribution to developing strong bones, the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells, a healthy nervous system, the healing process, and the formation of collagen. A deficiency of copper can lead to osteoporosis, anemia, skin sores and respiratory impairment. However, the body only needs small amounts of copper, so when the body is exposed to high levels of copper through diet, the environment, or medications, copper toxicity can occur. Copper toxicity affects the nervous system and causes symptoms of fatigue, mental and emotional disturbances, behavioral problems, eczema, insomnia and moods swings. Avocado, mushrooms, beans, nuts, seafood, beer and soy are foods are some of the foods which are rich in copper. In addition, cookware, copper pipes in plumbing, insecticides, tap water, swimming pool chemicals, and permanent-wave hair solutions all are additional sources of copper that can overload the body. Since copper levels in the body may also be raised by oral contraceptives and tobacco, copper toxicity may affect a large number of unsuspecting individuals. The unpleasant mood swings and emotional disturbances associated with copper toxicity can be reduced by eliminating excess copper from the system using appropriate vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements.

Mercury - Mercury is a metal that is found in our soil, water, and food supply due to run off from factories, farming and careless toxin disposal. In addition, we are exposed to mercury through pesticides, insecticides, vaccines, dental fillings, fabric softeners, latex, paints, plastics and tattoos. However, the greatest source of mercury exposure is from dental fillings. Mercury collects in the brain and central nervous system and can cause mild or severe physical, mental and emotional disturbances in the body. There are nutritional supplements that can begin to help reduce or eliminate mercury from the brain and nervous system.

Manganese - Although only needed in small amounts, manganese is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system, immune system, blood sugar stabilization, energy production, metabolism, and bone development. It also plays a part in generating bone, cartilage and synovial fluid in the joints. Insufficient manganese may impair the memory, vision, hearing, heart, moods, muscles, and cholesterol levels. In addition, a deficiency may cause symptoms of tremors, rapid pulse, tooth-grinding and excessive perspiration. The best sources of manganese are found in foods like avocado, nuts and seeds, seaweed and whole grain products.

Phosphorus - Phosphorus works in combination with magnesium and calcium. The three minerals need to be in proper balance at all times. Phosphorus contributes to teeth, bone and cell development. In addition, it affects heart muscle and proper kidney function. It is found in foods like asparagus, corn, dairy, eggs, legumes, nuts, meat, poultry and salmon.  Phosphorus is also prevalent in carbonated drinks. Excess phosphorus, due to frequent soda consumption, may disturb calcium balance in the body.

Selenium - This mineral’s main function is to impede the oxidation of fats. It is a powerful antioxidant that safeguards the immune system by limiting free radical damage. Together with vitamin E, selenium helps keep the heart and liver healthy. A deficiency of this important mineral can weaken the body’s resistance to infection and contribute to hair loss, brittle nails, skin problems, kidney and liver impairment, and extreme fatigue. Selenium is available in foods like cattle, Brazil nuts, fresh vegetables, spices, whole grains, brown rice, and garlic when the grown in soil that is rich in selenium. The problem is that American soil is low in selenium making American produce low in selenium.

Iodine – Only minute amounts of this mineral are needed to help maintain a healthy thyroid, metabolize fat, and contribute to good mental and physical development. Iodine is also important to avoid goiter. Either a deficiency or excess iodine in the body can cause serious problems. Seafood, kelp, iodized salt, dulse and saltwater fish all provide iodine. Since cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts, and foods like peaches, pears, and spinach interfere with iodine absorption; those with an underactive thyroid condition who need more iodine may want to limit those foods.   

 

Herbal Supplements

 

Contrary to some opinions not all herbs are gentle, harmless and safe. Many of the natural products being sold have published information about their properties and use.

 

beanies reading list
beanie reading list

 

Some people become so in love with herbal healing that they reject mainstream medicine entirely, this is a serious mistake, herbal healing can make an important contribution to human well-being, but also has its limits. It is important to know when an herbal self-treatment is working, and when is not, and other help may be needed.

Herbology is the science studying the therapeutic properties of plants.

But herbs alone for example cannot function well or accomplish much in any abused, toxin-laden body. Herbal remedies as well as any other therapy will work best in a body cleansed of toxins.

Herbs are not “magic bullets” and will not undo all the harm done by a poor diet.   Herbs will not do much of anything for a person whose coffee habit, cigarette habit, and alcohol drinking habit are pouring toxins into a depleted body, sustained only by potato chips, donuts, and junk food for the past 10 to 20 years.

beanie party

 

The first step is turning to a healthy life style.

excercise beanie

 

Many people understand the value of preventive maintenance in caring for their cars; they get regular oil changes and tune-ups, and pay attention when a warning light comes on. It is strange that more of us do not apply the same concept to our bodies, which are more valuable.

 

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Read more about Herbal Nutriton .

 

Please understand that we are not medical doctors, nor is this information prepared by a medical doctor or intended to provide medical advice.  Any person requiring medical attention should consult a medical doctor. Iridology does not name diseases.  Iridology reads tissue conditions and from that information, pre-dispositions and tendencies are notable.  Our philosophy, teachings, information, suggestions and services are designed to build body, mind and emotional awareness only and are not offered as cures. You are not expected to, nor will it be suggested that you stop taking your prescription medication or seeing your medical doctor. You must work with your doctor before discontinuing any drug.  Discontinuing a prescription without medical supervision can be life threatening.

 

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