The Amazing Sunshine Vitamin

Fat-soluble Vitamin D, also called “The Sunshine Vitamin”, is actually not a vitamin, which must be consumed through the diet, but a HORMONE, which is produced in the body.  It is acquired through sunlight, diet or supplementation.  Numerous experts agree, this hormone is responsible for general good health and well-being, and up to 85% of Americans are deficient in this hormone!  Vitamin D is necessary for growth and development of bones and teeth, boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, aids in blood clotting, and helps maintain normal thyroid function.  In addition, it protects against cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, falls and fractures and even the flu!

Very few foods in nature contain Vitamin D.  Wild fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, and fish liver oils are among the best sources. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in beef liver, cheese, real butter, fortified milk (although in D2 form) and egg yolks.

Who should supplement?  Everyone!  Numerous studies have proven the general population is deficient in Vitamin D and this has led to an increase in many diseases. Studies show many of the 23 million Americans with diabetes are deficient in Vitamin D. The following factors can cause deficiencies:  increasing age, fat malabsorption from the gut, fat-blocking weight loss agents (like Orlistat), certain medications (like prednisone and phenytoin), and sunscreen (by preventing Vitamin D absorption from the skin).  Also, African Americans should supplement due to high skin melanin, as well as obese individuals (BMI > 30) or those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery.

New research from Vanderbilt University reported that Vitamin D3 is far more effective at reducing death than Vitamin D2 (6% vs. 2%).  Vitamin D3 is made by your body in response to sun exposure, whereas, Vitamin D2 is irradiated plant matter and fungus.  Vitamin D3 is natural to your body, it is more available, is more potent and, therefore, the better choice over Vitamin D2.

Know your level!  No single dose is right for everyone.  In order to have adequate supplementation to obtain optimal blood levels of Vitamin D, your physician needs to obtain a 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D, or 25(OH)D,  blood level.   Most physicians recommend 2000 IU to 4000 IU daily for most people, however, you should take enough supplemental Vitamin D3 to keep your level in the optimal range of 50-80 ng/mL.  Levels < 30 ng/mL have been linked to hip fractures in elderly, increased risk of heart attacks, fatigue, even multiple sclerosis and cancer.  It is necessary to take calcium when taking Vitamin D.  Take with your fatty meal of the day, or at the same time as fish oil supplements.  In addition, try to get sun exposure on face and arms for 10-15 minutes, at least three times a week without sunscreen.

To know more on how Dr. Ann J. Peters can help you cope up with stress or with aging, call her office at 888.545.3047 or visit her website, http://www.mdlongevity.com, for the exact address of her various clinics across the U.S.

Benefits of Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)

Omega-3, one of the nutrients found in Fish Oil, is ANTI-AGING, ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, and is great for every single part of your body!  This supplement should be a part of every daily vitamin regimen.  Experts agree the benefits of supplementation are numerous.  It is good for your heart, brain, joints, skin, hair and nails, eyes, blood sugar, and can even boost fertility by improving sperm motility.  Omega-3 is good for the HEART by preventing dangerous heart rhythm disturbances, reducing “stickiness” of blood, lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL and triglycerides), improving good cholesterol (HDL), and lowering blood pressure, and many cardiologists are adding it to their patient’s regimens.  Omega-3 improves brain BRAIN function by keeping arteries clear and can reduce depression by stabilizing neurotransmitters.  Omega-3 helps lubricate the JOINTS, thereby protecting joints from degeneration and injury.  Omega-3 restores the natural “glow” of youthful SKIN by making the outer layer of the skin thicker and smoother, thereby decreasing wrinkles.  Leading Opthomologists are now adding Omega-3 to their recommendations as Omega-3 protects vision by maintaining the delicate membranes in the retina of the EYES.  Omega-3 naturally enhances insulin function, and is beneficial for appropriate BLOOD SUGAR modulation.  Omega-3 is also crucial for fetal brain development in pregnant women.

Consume more foods high in Omega-3.  A few good food sources of Omega-3 are: wild salmon, sardines, walnuts, olive oil, flax seeds, avocados and Omega-3 fortified eggs.  Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, and make sure to cook on low heat.  Western diets are high in Omega-6 (pro-inflammatory), therefore, it is difficult to obtain appropriate amounts of Omega-3 from food sources alone.

The most effective way to increase Omega-3 is to supplement with fish oil.  Fish oil supplements vary in amounts of ratios of DHA and EPA.  Read the labels and may sure the supplement has at least 600 mg of DHA per dose.  The total dose of fish oils is expressed as the total amount of DHA and EPA combined.  Many supplements contain Vitamin E or other antioxidants to stabilize the oils and to prevent them from becoming rancid.  Many fish oils require refrigeration to prevent spoiling.  If you have trouble with “fishy burps”, you can put them in the freezer without destroying effectiveness.
Dosing should begin with at least 1000 mg total fish oil twice a day for maintaining good health.  To improve heart health a dose of 2000 mg fish oil twice daily, or higher, is recommended.

Your entire body will thank you!

To know more on how Dr. Ann J. Peters can help you cope up with stress or with aging, call her office at 888.545.3047 or visit her website, http://www.mdlongevity.com, for the exact address of her various clinics across the U.S.

Eliminate “Bad Bugs” and Increase Energy with Probiotics

PROBIOTIC, meaning “for life”, are colony forming “good” bacteria. Your digestive tract is populated by “good” bacteria, like lactobacillus, but it is also occupied by “bad” bacteria like Candida, E. coli and Salmonella.  More and more data supports that the key to good health is creating and maintaining an optimal balance of more “good” bacteria in your gut.  According to Dr. Stephen Sinatra, the ideal ratio between the bacteria in your gut is 85% “good” and 15% “bad.” Many environmental and lifestyle habits contribute to the destruction of good bacteria like:  Consumption of sugar/fructose, refined grains, processed foods, chemicals and pesticides, chlorinated and fluoridated water, antibacterial soaps and the overuse of antibiotics and stomach acid blockers.   Probiotics produce lactic acid that makes the gut more “acidic” and stops the growth of bad bacteria.  The website Green Med Info has assembled an impressive list of more than 200 studies, which together explore more than 170 diseases which can be helped or treated with probiotics.
Probiotics are ANTIVIRAL, ANTIBACTERIAL, and ANTIFUNGAL and daily supplementation can be a great source of energy for your body.  Probiotics have been clinically proven to strengthen your immune system by fighting viruses, bacteria and infections – all energy drainers!  Naturopathic and Integrative physicians promote probiotics to help control inflammation, which is the link to many degenerative diseases.  You may have noticed that probiotics are now featured in health articles relating to all sorts of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease.  Probiotics protect the digestive tract, aid in appropriate digestion and improve absorption of critical nutrients that turn food into energy.  These healthy bacteria can stop nearly any digestive complaint including gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion and top docs utilize probiotics for irritable bowel and “leaky gut”.  They are essential for patients with yeast overgrowth of the vagina, mouth, or rectum and recurrent UTIs, and are helpful in treating food allergies and chronic fatigue.  Probiotics have been clinically proven to be useful for allergic conditions, skin health maintenance, and dental health.  Daily use supports healthy blood pressure levels, liver functions, and pain relief support.
Eating sugar nourishes the bad bacteria in your gut.  The best way to ensure optimal gut flora is to regularly consume traditionally fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir and tempeh.  Many patients assume they are getting enough probiotics by consuming yogurt.  Actually, most “probiotic” yogurts found in grocery stores are NOT good choices. They are pasteurized, and pasteurization destroys many naturally occurring probiotics.  In addition, they typically contain added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, dyes, or artificial sweeteners. Yogurt also has to be acidic and contain “LIVE CULTURES”  …  “active cultures” are not the same.  Look for the seal on the container that has the LAC seal (Live and active cultures), as this yogurt contains at least 100 million cultures per gram of yogurt after pasteurization.  A lot of people do not like the taste of fermented foods. In this case, taking a high quality probiotic supplement is definitely advised.  Experts, like Dr. Julian Whitaker, recommend that general probiotic replacement should include L. acidophilus and B. bifidum.  Other strains like L. fermentum, release antioxidants right to the digestive tract, and are more readily available.  Some people seem to respond more favorably to L. sporogenes or B. coagulans, so when in doubt, this may be a great place to start.  The Whitaker Institute recommends taking at least 2 billion CFU of probiotics a day.
If you want to feel strong, energetic and decrease your risk of illness, probiotics are the right supplement!

To know more on how Dr. Ann J. Peters can help you cope up with stress or with aging, call her office at 888.545.3047 or visit her website, http://www.mdlongevity.com, for the exact address of her various clinics across the U.S.