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K2 or not to K2, but certainly not K1 for the Heart

Increased intakes of vitamin K2, but not vitamin K1, may decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. Indeed mom was right, when she said eat your vegetables a rich source of vitamin K, but it delivers mostly K1, not the K2. So, you may consider supplemental vitamin K2, assuming you aren’t on the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin) or have a clotting disorder, may confer some extra protection. In fact a study conducted in the Netherlands showed that for every 10 microgram increase in the amount of vitamin K2 consumed, researchers from the Netherlands report a 9 per cent reduction in the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

If you glazed over the last sentence, read it again, it is a wow.
First off, heart disease is a huge cause of premature death and suffering. Secondly, vitamin K2 at a mere 10 mcg was noted to have an impact. For those metrically challenges it takes 1000 mcg to equal 1 mg and 1000 mg to equal a gram. Often a vitamin C tablet contains 1000 mg, but we are talking 10 mcg of K2, indeed a little may indeed go a long ways to helping support your cardiac health goals.

If you are thinking you are just going to consume more veggies, remember vitamin K1 had little to no effect on vascular health according to researchers.

Scientific Research:

Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases “A high menoquinone reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease in women” G.C.M. Gast, N.M. de Roos, I. Sluijs, M.L. Bots, J.W.J. Beulens, J.M. Geleijnse, J.C. Witteman, D.E. Grobbee, P.H.M. Peeters, Y.T. van der Schouw

May Your Kidneys Beware

Don’t wait until you have kidney failure or disease to protect your kidneys. We all know about drinking plenty of water, to keep our water works healthy, yet there is so much more that you can do. The buzz word is “Phosphorous”.

It was reported in the Journal of the AMA (JAMA), that additional phosphorous, such as sodium phosphate or pyrophosphate, can be too much for the kidneys to handle. It is important to remember that even if you think your kidneys are doing great, often it is not until significant damage has occurred before you start manifesting significant symptoms. The key is don’t wait to take care of your kidneys, because it might be too late.

So, the question you should be asking is why in the world with all the health scares about the world’s food supply would they put harmful substances into the very thing you need to survive. The sad news is, to make the food taste better. Really?!

These phosphorous based food additives are used to enhance flavor and shelf life and can be commonly found in packaged meats, cheeses, baked goods, and numerous drinks. Strange thing is that anyone already with kidney disease has likely been told to avoid excess meats, dairy products, whole grains, and nuts that all contain natural forms of phosphorous, so the question for those still fortunate to have healthy kidneys, why add unnecessary burdens to the kidneys.

Bottom line is to read the labels of processed foods you consume, avoid artificial sources of phosphorous, and find food and beverages that taste good naturally, that don’t contain an alphabet soup of artificial ingredients.

Scientific Research:

Journal of the American Medical Association Volume 301, Issue 6, Pages 629-635 “Effect of Food Additives on Hyperphosphatemia Among Patients With End-stage Renal Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial” C. Sullivan, S.S. Sayre, J.B. Leon, R. Machekano, T.E. Love, D. Porter, M. Marbury, A.R. Sehgal

Brain Health Discovery from Taiwan

Fermented soy to the rescue? Well it seems that the enzyme in fermented soy, called NattoKinase may very well protect your brain. Researchers in Taiwan have discovered that it can help prevent the build-up of certain plaques in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s.

You can think of this enzyme like “personal housekeeping” for the brain, it appears that it helps clean up amyloid fibrils “brain junk” that contribute to the formation of amyloid plaque that characterize Alzheimer’s disease.

The build-up of plaque from beta-amyloid deposits is associated with an increase in brain cell damage and death from free radicals, due to insufficient antioxidants. Over 13 million people worldwide succumb to the ravages of dementia that robs them of quality of life, that costs billions of dollars for healthcare, and is even more costly emotionally to those afflicted and their families.

A bonus is that NattoKinase, can also support health blood flow by controlling clotting risk in the circulatory system as well. So, this is a two for one deal, support brain and cardiovascular health all at once.

Scientific Research:

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2009, Volume 57, Issue 2, Pages 503-508, “Amyloid-Degrading Ability of Nattokinase from Bacillus subtilis Natto” R.-L. Hsu, K.-T. Lee, J.-H. Wang, L.Y.-L. Lee, R.P.-Y. Chen

It’s Time to Go Nuts for Berries

If you have been craving some berries, it is time to feed your appetite. It has been reported in the journal Cancer Prevention Research that anthocyanins as found in blueberries, bilberries, grapes and black raspberries can help the innate ability of the human body to fend off cancer risks.

The fact is though that berries are often not affordable for many people due to increasing agricultural costs. There is great news as stated by a co-author of the study that reported, “Now that we know the anthocyanins in berries are almost as active as whole berries themselves, we hope to be able to help prevent cancer in humans using a standardized mixture of anthocyanins,” said study co-author, Gary D. Stoner, PhD, professor of internal medicine at Ohio State University.

So, indeed the use of a supplement capsule with standardized anthocyanins can be just what the doctor ordered, when incorporated with a health promoting diet and lifestyle. My preferred sources of anthocyanins include grape seed extracts and bilberry. As the saying goes food is our best medicine, so if you do have some fresh berries hand, it is time to devour them. However if that is not the case, remember the buzz word from this research is “anthocyanins” and you may choose to add this in the form of nutritional supplements.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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