Category Archives: Detox News

Vitamin K, Strong Bones and Healthy Ageing

vitamin K1 vitamin K2

vitamin K1 vitamin K2Although discovered in 1929 it was not until 1943 that a Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of vitamin K.

The K in Vitamin K stands for “coagulation” or “Koagulation” as spelled in the Danish and German speaking areas in which the research was done and published.

And it refers to the ability of the blood to clot as part of the healing process that happens naturally when you cut yourself.

But the way in which vitamin K works is so complex that it is still being researched all these years later.

To steer us away from too much complexity let's stick to the facts and let's start with the basic truth about vitamins that they are needed in the diet to protect us from disease.

We're going to go through 10 important things you need to know about vitamin K

So we'll start with an obvious question – what does vitamin K protect us from?

1. A deficiency of vitamin K leads to bleeding

2. Because vitamin K does not cross the placenta new born babies sometimes have bleeding disorders and are given an injection of vitamin K

3. Here is the controversial bit – all babies in the US and UK get these injections now

4. Vitamin K is made by plants and bacteria although there are synthetic versions made by pharmaceutical companies too

5. Green leafy vegetables are the best sources for vitamin K and those with a diet lacking daily greens are at risk

6. Vitamin K1 is called phylloquinone and is found in Kale and other greens

7. Vitamin K2 is called menaquinone and is made is small amounts by bacteria in the gut – providing you don't kill them with antibiotics- and is the "Calcium controlling" version of Vitamin K

8. Overall, vitamin K1 controls coagulationand clotting, both od which are essential for healing and K2 is a traffic cop for calcium in the body; it tells the calcium where to go and where not to go. Without these instructions calcium can pile up in the arteries or the brain and with vitamin K whistling and waving at calcium so that it behaves well and builds up in and strengthens the bones.

9. Because vitamin K protects us from calcification – calcium build up in the arteries that occurs commonly with ageing and osteoporosis that also happens commonly with ageing it is gaining popularity as an all round antiaging vitamin

10. Vitamin K is blocked by some drugs such as Warfarin so if you are taking such drugs you need to consult with your health care provider so that your diet and supplements and medical drugs are not at odds with each other

Last words on vitamin K

In light of vitamin K being of major importance to bone, arterial and general health we need to take it much more seriously than has been the case. For most people the fact that Vitamin K is easily found in Kale, Greens, Broccoli and the like is exactly why they do not get an adequate supply.

For a pregnancy this is worrying. Most people are aware of the importance of Folate to the unborn but who realises the crucial issue of vitamin K? And who tells pregnant mums? Nobody judging from this research

“Almost all neonates are vitamin K deficient, presumably as a result of deficient vitamin K nutrition in the pregnant mother during the third trimester and because of the lack of colonization of the colon by bacteria that produce vitamin K in the neonate. ”

This is why babies get vitamin K injections. In my view this should not be automatic but looked at on a case by case basis.

In supplements form either as a stand-alone vitamin K or as part of a multivitamin I advise checking that it is the natural forms, phylloquinone and menaquinone that are listed and not one of the synthetics.

 

Brand Picture Notes
Top 3 Vitamin K Supplemen

Garden of Life Vitamin

Code Raw K-Complex

Go To Amazon

 

vitamins K1 and K2 in vegan capsules 60 day supply

K1 and K2 in vegan capsules

60 count

Now Foods Vitamin K-2

 

Go To Amazon

 

vitamin K2 in vegecaps

K2  only

vegecaps

100 Count

Life Extension Super K

with Advanced K2 Complex

Go To Amazon

 

vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 in softgels

K1 and K2 in softgels

90 count

180 count

And if the label does not state the exact form of K that it uses then assume it to be synthetic and avoid it or check with the supplier for details.

Any questions? Pop them in the comments section or on FaceBook

Thanks

 

How to make your immune system Smarter

I have been learning about vitamin D for years and one of the experts that has taught me the most is Dr John Cannell who founded the Vitamin D Council. In this short interview he talks about the role and power of vitamin D and on its role in optimising the immune system.

A "must watch" 🙂

 

To test your blood level of your vitamin D check out my Helpful Lab' Tests page and to check out my recommended vitamin D supplement which is a drop or 2 of vitamin D3 liquid  on Amazon click on the picture to the left

For a vitamin D3 capsule the best I could find is Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW D3

vitamin D capsulesor go here to research for a selection of liquids, capsules and other forms of vitamin D such as this high potency vegetarian version made by Thorne Research

 

Vitamin D – Do you add the “Sunshine Vitamin” to Your Day?

sunshineAdding sunshine to your day is an attractive idea and in our ABC of vitamins we've got to vitamin D which is often called “The sunshine vitamin”.

Truth be told, vitamin D is not actually a vitamin but a hormone. That was not known in the early days when the vitamins were being discovered so now we have the slightly absurd situation where a vitamin is not a vitamin – it sounds like a teaser but it really is true.

That means that we can find vitamin D in foods and it does fight disease but because vitamin D is not really a vitamin we can actually get vitamin D from non-food sources.

That's where the sunshine comes in.

Just by allowing sunshine to shine on your skin we can make our own vitamin D. There are some caveats to this – the actual amount of vitamin D may be too small to be useful to you so in practise it is still important for some of us to take a vitamin D supplement – sorry! – and even to take a vitamin D test and more on both of these points below.

Vitamin D is the name given to a small group of naturally produced steroid like molecules. They are labelled as D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5. The 2 important to us are Vitamins D2 and vitamin D3.

Vitamin D2

Found in mushrooms exposed to a ultraviolet light

Vitamin D2, has a chemical name of ergocalciferol and has a similar effect in the body.

Vitamin D3

Made in the skin when it gets enough sunshine vitamin D3 called the Sunshine vitamin by most humans and “Cholecalciferol” by Chemistry geeks is the active version of the vitamin used in the body and is the form best suited when taking a Vitamin D supplement.

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?

That depends on the amount circulating in your blood at present and the healthy level of circulating vitamin D is controversial. A simple pin prick blood test can tell you what your current level at and you can get that either through your family Doctor or direct from the websites I have listed below and on the Resources Page on this website.

The amount regarded as acceptable in the past is 20 ng/ml but this is now regarded as hopelessly deficient and a consensus is building around the 50 to 70 ng/ml region as being healthy levels of vitamin D in the blood. It is vital when receiving your blood test that you get to know the actual number and not let yourself get false reassurance by being told that your level is “Normal” because the population is generally deficient and the “Normal” level is much too low.

Dosage therefore must be decided after a blood test and all you can do without that information is make an educated guess.

My Educated Guess

Even in sunny countries like Australia many are deficient in the sunshine vitamin. Most people spend nearly all their time indoors and receive little sun exposure. In addition there is widespread superstition about sunshine giving you cancer and this adds to the problem.

The net result is that for all practical purposes I advise that we all take a vitamin D supplement. In the summer that should be a minimum daily dose of 1000 iu, in the Autumn and Spring 2000 iu and in the Winter a dose of 3000iu. These numbers look large but they are quite small and you may need double or treble this dosage – but you can only find that out with a blood test.

Blood Testing For Vitamin D

Being able to find out if your blood level of vitamin D is too low for your health can be a game changer. If you have had pain for years or another disability then your vitamin D status could throw new light on old problems. I have put some useful information on this on a new page on this site so please go here to read more.

Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D came to light as a result of bone diseases such as rickets. One of the early discoveries was that vitamin D helps the body absorb more calcium from the food we eat and that leads to better bone structure and along with other vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin K produces stronger bones.

Even more important in recent years is the discovery of the anticancer actions of vitamin D – especially against Breast and Colon cancers.

Far from being the bogey man that causes cancer sunshine which produces vitamin D now seems to be a major player in the body's ability to avoid cancer and perhaps we should be supplementing cancer patients with appropriately high levels of vitamin D.

For the rest of us here are some possible vitamin D supplements.

Tablets

I could not find a a high quality vitamin D tablet that was good enough to include here. If you know of one do please share in the comment section below or on my Facebook Page. Thanks 🙂

Capsules

vitamin d capsules vegetarian and 1000 iu per capsuleHere is a good brand, THORNE RESEARCH with 1000 iu per vegetarian capsule please click on the picture here on the right to read more.

Liquid

Lquid vitamin D supplement - drops of vitamins D3 and vitamin KIdeal for those who hate taking tablets and even prefer to avoid capsules – a few drops from the enclosed stopper either onto your tongue or into juice and you're done. You can get the dose you want by counting the number of drops you use.

 

 

Vitamin D Foods

And please don't skip healthy food sources either especially mushrooms – this lighthearted video of a Chef and a Dietician helps puts it all in perspective.

Photo credit Apollo1981

Trauma and Stress in Cancer

One of the early theories of the causation of cancer is the intrusion of a trauma into your life. Yes there are issues with pollution and toxins but without trauma and stress inhibiting your Immune system and detoxification system your body can handle the toxins – especially when you get proper dietary help from an expert.

In the video Chris Wark from Chris Beat Cancer and Dr Patrick Vickers from the Northern Baja Gerson Centre discuss this often neglected issue

Beyond the ABC of Using Vitamins – Natural or Synthetic Vitamins?

abc of vitaminsIn the previous post we looked at the ABC of Vitamins, their odd sounding names, the dosage we should take and at the whole issue of Official recommendations for our health.

The next step is to get more details about the vitamins in our food and to do that we'll go back to vitamin C again.

You can buy this as a powder to mix with water or as a tablet. Powdered vitamin C mixes well with water or juice because it dissolves well in water. Once the powder is mixed with water it tastes just like lemonade, and is rather yummy in my view.

Not all vitamins mix like this, some like vitamin A and E will mix well and dissolve in oil and fat and not in water.

Which is best – water or fat soluble vitamins?

The body needs both types of vitamins because it is made from cells which have an oily cell wall and a watery interior and both parts of the cell need the protection that vitamins give.

The vitamins that mix with water are called “Water soluble” and those that mix and dissolve with oils and fats are called “Fat soluble”.

Of our ABC of Vitamins we find that vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and vitamins B and C are water soluble.

Water soluble vitamins are going to be lost in the water used to cook foods with these vitamins if we throw the water away as most people do. Instead it is best to collect the water from cooked vegetables and either drink it with the meal – it is you might say, vegetable soup or keep it for stock.

Fat soluble vitamins may be in short supply in the average diet simply because people have been bombarded with so much wrong information about fats and oils being unhealthy that they risk not getting the vitamins in those foods! If you are persuaded to follow a low fat diet then don't be surprised that you are getting amounts of fat soluble vitamins too.

And that could be dangerous!

For example, the reason butter is yellow is because vitamin A in it gives it that colour naturally. With butter substitutes such as margarine, additives are used to give the impression that you are eating butter!

Butter and healthy oils like Olive oil carry fat soluble vitamins and adding them to foods makes it easier for the body to absorb and use the valuable fat soluble vitamins it needs

Different forms of vitamin C

Just in case you think that you now know all there is to know about vitamins we have one more slight complication!

And that is that there are several forms of each of the vitamins – each with their own pros and cons!

So vitamin C usually comes in the form called ascorbic acid but you can also buy it as calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate or…enough already! There's no need to list them all just to give you an idea of the complexity!

What to Buy

The major decision is around whether the version of the vitamin you are thinking of buying is a natural version or whether it is synthetic.

The difference may be dramatic.

There is a well publicised study of some smokers in Finland which has been interpreted by some Doctors as meaning that a vitamin supplement caused some of the smokers to die a little earlier than expected.

The problem lies in the fact, not revealed in the research paper that published the results that a SYNTHETIC molecule invented to mimic a vitamin was used rather than the natural form of the molecule.

It was not a vitamin that was used in the research – it was a manufactured “vitamin like” chemical made by the drug company that supported the research

So vitamins may be natural form or they may be synthetic and my advice is to avoid the synthetic versions.

We'll look at some of the details of this and other studies later in this series – I want to equip you as well as I can to choose and use the right vitamins to fill your needs, but I'm going to do it step by step!

OK 🙂 ?

Our next step is to look in detail at each of the vitamins and we'll do that in the next post in this ABC of Vitamins series with Vitamin A.

Do You Know the ABC…of Vitamins?

abc of vitaminsFunny enough, when we learn our ABCs we might say “A is for Apple, B is for Berry, C is for Cherry…but we don't learn about vitamins A, B or C until many years later, if at all. This means that we have only a hazy idea of how important they are to us or where they comes from or even what they are.

That stops here because today I want to fill in the gap left by our schooling and show you how important your ABC of vitamins really is.

What Are Vitamins Anyway?

Before we get to our ABC we need to clarify what vitamins really are.

Vitamins were discovered around 1900. One by one scientists found that there were unknown ingredients in food, something that was so important that animals and people die if it is missing from their diets.

Poor diets were found to lead to disease and death and one by one as the cases were studied the missing nutrient was found to be a vitamin.

Scientists found that there were several of these missing “somethings” and they then had to be given a name. The first name given was “vitamine” which was short for “vital amine” and then the letters of the alphabet were used so we ended up with A,B,C,D,E…all the way up to K.

Vital Amine?

And then the first major mistake was spotted! Vitamins were called “vital” meaning essential to life and that's correct but an “amine” is a member of the ammonia family and in a chemical formula looks like NH2 where N is for Nitrogen and H is hydrogen.

Problem is that vitamins are not amines so the very first step into Vitamin science was on quicksand and ended up with a quick correction.

A “political” correction was made – they kept the name and just knocked the final “e” of the word!

So now we call them “vitamins”.

Vital to Life

But food is vital to life – we know that without eating we get weaker, hungrier, lose weight and eventually lose consciousness and lose life.

Food supplies us with energy which we measure in calories and nutrients which we know as vitamins and other nutrients.

Scurvy is an interesting example of a disease we can get if we eat insufficient amounts of vitamin C. The disease was first described by Hippocrates who was writing hundreds of years B.C and yet 2,000 years later scientists were still unsure what the cause was. The cure was simple and had been proven many times and yet Doctors ignored the evidence.

And this was not a rare disease either as this quote from the Wiki shows “Between 1500 and 1800, it has been estimated that scurvy killed at least two million sailors ”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy

And how to cure this awful disease? Easily according to Johann Bachstrom an 18th C Polish Pastor here is the cure…

“scurvy is solely owing to a total abstinence from fresh vegetable food, and greens; which is alone the primary cause of the disease ”

Which is of course, correct.

I could fill this entire blog post with similar cases, stories and proofs of how vitamins were found to cure disease.

And rather than do that I want to focus now on how much vitamin C we need – so we will look at a few numbers and see how they can help you know how much of the vitamins you need to not just avoid obvious disease but to healthy enough to thrive.

Not knowing this is why many people nowadays have scurvy – but more of that in a minute – we need some details to be able to use this information powerfully to boost our own health.

How Much and When?

We've seen that a major killer disease was found to be caused by a deficiency of a vitamin – in this case we are looking at vitamin C.

The next thing we need to know is how much vitamin C to use – how many milligrams of vitamin C do we need and does everybody need the same amount?

The surprising answer is that it all depends on where you live! Every government has a health and nutrition board that makes recommendations for the healthy functioning of its people.

Of course the people who get to sit on these boards are all Nutrition experts…oops that should be obvious but it does not quite work out that way. In fact the members of government committees are people who have the time and inclination for the paperwork and who are politically acceptable.

Very often the real experts don't fit into these requirements and the resulting recommendations show all the signs of official data they are out of date and ignore important scientific research.

In Canada, the US, UK, India and Australia – to mention the main English speaking countries the “Official” recommendations for daily vitamin C intake for an adult are…

Country Adult Dosage mg
Australia 45
Canada 90
India 40
United Kingdom 40
United States of America 60 to 95

 

In addition, just to show you that this is a political issue, there are values recommended by the World Health Organisation and the European Union which are 45 and 80 mg respectively.

Altogether then "Official" sources say that we should take an amount between 40 mg and 95 mg !

And remember we are only looking at vitamin C values, we will find a similar divergence of view with every other nutrient!

So who is right?

What is a person going to do here? Well the practical answer is,”Ask an expert!” and my definition of an expert is someone who is trained in Nutritional science and treatment and that answer will take you to people who use Nutrition with their patients.

That excludes the vast majority of Medical Doctors and includes Naturopathic Doctors and Nutritional Therapists and some Chiropractors and Herbalists.

It may surprise you that most Medical Doctors are not taught Nutritional Medicine but that reflects the situation. They are taught a lot of Drug Therapy and little to no Food and Nutritional Therapy.

Expert Opinion On Vitamin C

If my discussion on who is an expert does not quite convince you then let me refer you to the expert above all others on vitamin C; someone who is, you might say, the expert of experts…

And that is Dr Linus Pauling – yes the Linus Pauling with 2 Nobel Prizes. He recommended we take 2000 mg a day and that is what I take.

What I noticed in my time as a Nutrition student is that the more Nutrition people knew the more vitamin C they took. It was pretty common for us to take 4000 or 5000 mg a day and to do so for years.

I have taken these doses for decades now and have enjoyed almost perfect health.

A last word on the Official dosage.

Why do the officials get it so wrong? Part of the answer is politics and part is that they do not use Nutritional therapy on a daily basis with patients and simply do not base their recommendations on practical knowledge but on theoretical requirements about how much is needed for a white blood cell and how much is needed to help absorb iron in the diet and so forth.

Real practical advice for a adult seeking good health usually concludes with doses of 2000 mg upwards.

In the next post we look deeper into the ABC of Vitamins click here to read more.

Photo credits RubyGoes

Hot Yoga and Toxins

yoga on the beachI started reading about and then practising Yoga around 1966. At first I was intrigued by what to me looked like some pretty odd pictures and somehow got drawn in and did what every book tells you NOT to do which is learn the Yoga Exercises from the books. As time went by moved my Yoga Practise to Meditation but still did some asanas.

That's been the case ever since. When I heard of "Yoga in a Hot Room" I thought it absurd frankly. Yoga is balance it is a spiritual disciple and not a physical one. The only reason that Miellenia ago the exercises were created was to help those doing a lot of meditation every day a simple way to keep healthy. My attitude on this seems to be shared by some consumer organisations too.

This is a Detox blog and we discuss and share a ton of information on toxins. If Yoga was great for detox I would be shouting it from the rooftops. If hot rooms are your thing then do a sauna or a Turkish bath. Yoga is for keeping you cool!

photo credit tiarescott

Superfoods And Their Use To Treat Cancer

spoonful of the spice turmeric Superfoods got some attention today in the National Press. Seems that someone chose to follow a superfood diet rich in juices, salads and green leafy vegetables rather than take the cancer drug recommended by their Doctor! She got well – that was the story.

This is pretty common really so I'm unsure exactly why the newspapers featured her.

But rather than mull over the unique features of her case let's look at the whole superfood angle.

All foods have nutrients such as vitamin C or potassium in them but Superfoods like tea, tomatoes or turmeric either have special nutrients such as catechins, lycopene or curcumin respectively or simply large amounts of vitamin C such as Rose hips, Amla and Camu camu.

So if you are looking to diet as one of your mainstays to recover from an illness it makes sense to choose and use as many of these superfoods as possible.

Sadly it is quite hard for the average health conscious person to do this. They may turn to a Doctor or a Dietician but find that they may have less knowledge than they do of superfoods or even worse try to persuade them to follow a so called “healthy diet” composed of government approved foods!

However, Nutritionists should be able to help them and of course Naturopaths will help you plan a healthy plant based diet with suoerfoods as a focus.

Cancer Superfoods

In the case of Cancer there are a lot of superfoods that have special nutrients of direct use. Here are a few…..

  • Turmeric is one of the most obvious superfoods. It encourages the cells of some kinds of cancer to self-destruct and interferes with the replication process in other cancers.
  • Ginger also has been found to induce apoptosis, self destruction by some cancer cells as well as being a powerful anti-inflammatory remedy.
  • Garlic has many cancer studies under its belt. Large studies show effects at reducing colon and pancreatic cancers.
  • Greens such as Broccoli have several powerful anti-cancer properties and one that is obvious here is isothiocyanate which produces apoptosis (self destruction) of cancer cells.

We could go on and on with longer lists of superfoods and their use in fighting cancer and other diseases but the point I want to focus on today is that a superfood diet makes sense and is easy to follow.

Simply put – if you have any health problems go to a health professional who can help you plan your diet – but check them out first to make sure they really know what they are talking about and have appropriate qualifications.

You may also need herbal or other treatment but putting as many superfoods on your menu as you can is a simple safe and effective measure.

The original story that prompted this post is here

And a similar story is featured in the video by Chris Wark

Photo of a spoonful of turmeric by summertomato

« Older Entries Recent Entries »