Archive for the ‘Nutritional Supplements’ Category

Melatonin Shown to Help Reduce Tinnitus in Men

Friday, November 4th, 2011

A double blind study conducted out of Ohio State Univ. showed that melatonin helped to reduce ringing in the ears (tinnitus) in men. Actually, the study was done in both men and women, and was a double blind cross-over study, which means neither the researchers or the patients knew what they were receiving (melatonin or placebo), and then after receiving one “unknown treatment” for 30 days (and 30 days of waiting inbetween), they received the other tablet (either the melatonin or placebo).

The study showed that men (more so than women) had improvement in tinnitus symptoms and sleep by taking 3 mg of melatonin. The melatonin was most effective in men with bilaterral tinnitus most likely associated with noise exposure, who had no prior treatment for tinnitus, and who did not suffer with depression. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2011 Jul;120(7):433-40

Gingko Biloba NOT Associated with Risk of Bleeding

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

For years, doctors have been warning of a possible bleeding side effect of ginko biloba, an flavonoid and terpenoid antioxidant herb that has been found to have many beneficial effects in the body.

Some doctors worried about drug interactions with specific medications, have warned a patient not to use ginko biloba due to an increased risk of bleeding. This warning is normally reserved for NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and aspirin. However, doctors started lumping in gingko biloba with NSAIDs, as causing a potential bleeding interaction.

Although such concerns are very rare, sometimes doctors warn patients about possible side effects of gingko biloba used in combination with anticonvulsive drugs, SSRI antidepressants, and immunosuppressive drugs. However, such concerns are so rare that there may be only one or two case reports …which do not necessarily show a cause and effect of using gingko biloba and the medical concern. For example, Serotonin Syndrome can happen with any SSRI with or without gingko biloba. The fact that a person who experienced Serotonin Syndrome and happen to also be taking gingko biloba does not show a cause and effect. Why blame the gingko biloba, when it was the SSRI could cause this serious problem on its own?

In either case, we can cross the biggest concern that doctors have had about gingko biloba off the list, that of increasing the risk of bleeding.

This month (May 2011), a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies found that there is NOT an associated risk of bleeding with standardized ginko biloba extract. Andrea J Kellermann and Charlotte Kloft (2011). Is There a Risk of Bleeding Associated with Standardized Ginkgo biloba Extract Therapy? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Pharmacotherapy: Volume 31, Issue 5, pp. 490-502. (See reference link below.)

People can continue to use ginko biloba extract for many reasons, and now do so without the worry of abnormal bleeding; nor worry about drug interactions that are normally a concern with aspirin and other NSAIDs.

Eighteen randomized controlled studies involving a total of 1,985 adults were enrolled to receive either ginko biloba exract (GBE) or placebo; 87% were patients with dementia, peripheral artery disease, or diabetes mellitus; 13% were healthy volunteers. Based on meta-analysis of hemostasis outcomes, comparison of mean difference or baseline change between treatment and placebo groups did not indicate a higher bleeding risk associated with standardized GBE. (See reference below.)

In other words, ginko biloba extract does not increase the risk of bleeding problems as do NSAIDs.

Gingko biloba extract is often used alone, or even better, in conjunction with other nutritional supplements such as vitamin E, vitamin C, fish oil, grape seed extract, resveratrol, co-enzyme Q10, olive extract, tumeric extract, and many others, for multiple purposes. A partial list of some of these conditions that antioxidants such as gingko biloba extract and others have been shown to provide benefits are:

Memory
Mood
PMS
Menopause
Macular Degeneration
Glaucoma
Dementia in Alzheimer’s Disease
NON-Alzheimer’s Dementia
Claudication
Mutliple Scelerosis
Tinnitus

Read More: http://pharmacotherapyjournal.org/doi/abs/10.1592/phco.31.5.490

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Arthritis, and Other Inflammatory Disorders Helped by Antioxidants and Other Nutritional Supplements

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

With over 15 years experience (both in medical practice and beyond), I have dealt with hundreds of patients, customers, and Associates with chronic inflammatory diseases, which include the Auto-Immunne Diseases (Rheumatoid Arthritis), and quasi-Auto-Immune Dz’s (Dz = Disease), such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, etc. Too often, many people have a combination of these diseases.

People suffering with one or a combination of the inflammatory diseases become very discouraged with not finding answers or help, …going doctor-to-doctor and given nothing but steroids and/or anti-depressants.

First off, it is MY belief that the steroids are not the answer. Your immune system is not the problem. The root of the problem is a genetic predisposition of their unique proteins fround throughout that person’s tissues (cells of the muscle, joints, skin, wherever the symptoms arise) to oxidative damage, of which we are all exposed. Oxidative damage will damage someone’s tissues, proteins, celluar structures (enzymes, etc.) more easily than it will another person’s unique molecular structures.

The immune system’s job is to scout around the body looking for foreign or damaged proteins …and it will now see that person’s tissues, proteins, cellular structures as “foreign,” or damaged. In other words, it will not appear to the immune system that these molecular structures are the person’s normal molecules. The immune system doesn’t “recognize” these tissues as its own, so to speak.

Now ..is the problem with the immune system? NO! We have a normal immune system mounting an attack on the abnormal tissues. This leads to inflammation and pain. The immune system cannot get rid of these “foreign” tissues because you keep making them ,…and they keep getting damaged.

Traditionally, the treament has been steroids! Yikes! To do what? To suppress a normal immune system. Does it work? Not long-term, and worse, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem, while at the same time causing damaging side-effects. This just doesn’t make sense to me.

What makes sense is to get to the root of the problem. Obviously, we cannot change one’s genetic structure, but we CAN reduce oxidative damage. We can help protect one’s tissues, proteins, enzymes, cellular structures from free radical attack (the cause of oxidation) … and therefore, there will be LESS damaged, or abnormal molecules than if we did nothing.

So, what’s the antidote to oxidation? Anwer: Anti-Oxidants! Nutritional supplements …can be used safely to reduce oxidative damage, …thereby reducing inflammation and pain. The body will be better maintained. Energy will be created and available better than without nutritional supplements. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the immune system will NOW come around and “see” normal, not damaged, molecules ….molecules that are unique to you, and will now recognize that everything is how it should be ..and will stop the attack.

Without an inflammatory attack, there is less pain, more energy, and healthy tissues.

In my experience, to optimize health in any individuals, …and especially those with MORE OXIDATION .. I give more ANTI-OXIDANTS, all of it safe, and not interfering with medications. (A person should NEVER abruptly stop steroids. Steroids must be weened down slowly, and under the direction of a doctor.)

Personally, I have a specific regimen of nutrtional supplements that I find truly benefits, not only healthy people, but people dealing with more oxidative damage in the form of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Hints for Swallowing Tablets/Pills for People Who Struggle

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Here are a few “tricks” you could try for swallowing tablets or pills. As a matter of fact by using the first trick in swallowing tablets, I’m able to swallow as much as 10 tablets at once. However, if it helps anyone be able to swallow just one or two at a time, great.

Trick 1:
After putting the desired number of tablets in your mouth; e.g., 1 to 4 tablets, … take a swig of juice …filling your mouth to the point where your cheeks puff out a little. Then swallow! You’ll find you will more easily swallow tablets with the more liquid in your mouth. It forces your throat open, making swallowing easier. (Although you may do this with water, it seems like juice works better.)

Trick 2:
Keep your head level (or chin slightly down) when swallowing tablets. Tilting your head back “closes off” the esophagus, and opens the trachea …which is how they intubate you when they put you under anesthesia. Of course you’re more likely to choke while trying to swallow that way.

So, put the desired number of tablets in your mouth, then use a flexible straw and suck down juice (or water) with your chin down, …which opens the esophagus, allowing the pills to go down more easily. Again, the more liquid in your mouth when you swallow, the easier the tablets go down.

Getting the Optimal Levels of Vitamin D

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Measuring Your Vitamin D Status

The only true way to know your vitamin D status, and therefore your proper daily dose, is with a blood test, in which the metabolically-active form of vitamin D, 25-hydroxvitamin D (25-OH-D, or calcidiol) is measured. Relatively recently (over the past 5 to 7 years) when vitamin D’s role in the prevention of degenerative diseases beyond prevention of osteoporosis was recognized, the medical experts recommended a minimum target blood level of 30 ng/ml of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. (I emphasize that “minimum target level” means just that, “minimum!” It does not mean “optimal.”) Therefore, the reference lab ranges was raised to 32 – 100 ng/ml. Most experts in the field of researching and treating vitamin D deficiencies have recommended that “optimal” serum 25-OH-D levels begin at 42 ng/ml, with the ideal target range being achieved between 50 – 80 ng/ml.

What Dose of Vitamin D is Optimal?

The vitamin D dose required to attain a serum level range of 50 – 80 ng/ml will vary from person to person, mostly based upon body mass (weight) and sun exposure. Although this will vary considerably, a 150 lb person who supplements with 2000 IU of vitamin D per day may attain blood level range of 25-OH-D between 30 and 45 ng/ml, depending upon sun exposure. To attain the optimal levels between 50 and 80 ng/ml that same person may need to supplement with 4000 IU per day or more.

On the other hand, a person who weighs 225 lbs. may require 10,000 IU/day to maintain 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood serum levels between 50 and 80 ng/ml. In all instances, the only way to accurately know the “true daily dosage” for a particular person would be to first estimate a starting vitamin D dose, get a serum 25-OH vitamin D test; adjust the dose accordingly, and get re-tested several weeks later.


For more information, read my full article on vitamin D, “D Day: An All-Out Assault on Chronic Disease with Vitamin D” on www.laddmcnamara.com under the “In the News” section.

Vitamins and Minerals Help Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure

Friday, December 11th, 2009

About 10 days ago, I went to my doctor for a check up, the nurse took my blood pressure; “146/96,” she said. (I thought, “She’s wrong. I’ll just have the doctor re-take it when he gets in here.”) “Hey Phil, your nurse got too high of a reading on me. I don’t have high blood pressure. I think she let the mercury drop too fast, so she didn’t get an accurate reading. I’ve never had high blood pressure.” “Maybe it was because it was the nurse that made your blood pressure rise,” he said with a smile. “Take it again, Phil.” The doctor obliged.

“Ladd, I just got 166/94; you have an auscultatory gap that starts at 166, drops off, and picks back up around 144. The nurse didn’t hear the higher number, but yeah, you got high blood pressure; but, I’m not going to treat it. ”

“You’re darn right, you’re not going to treat it! I DON’T have high blood pressure! I take the BEST Nutritionals in the world, you know that, and I know what they do! Take it again!” I insisted.

“Ladd, you’re upset ….if we take it now, it will be over 200; do you want that? And, if you dropped a few pounds …” “Hey, I just started to drop some pounds …again, and I just started back with my exercise program as well. I take my nutritionals faithfully, I don’t take prescription drugs, AND, I DON’T have high blood pressure! We’re going to talk about something else for a few minutes, and then you’re going to take it again, and then I’ll prove to you that my resting blood pressure is just fine.”

Two minutes later: “128/74 …. Ladd, that’s great. Wow, what a difference! You’re fine!?!” The nurse comes in, “I didn’t think a man of your size and age would ….oh, ..I mean, … well, …yeah, …you’re blood pressure looks great (forced smile), …that’s great.” (I smiled back) Very light-heartedly I said, “Hey, I’ll be back in 3 months, and you’ll see even more evidence on the labs and the scale of just what true health the best nutritionals in the world can provide!”

Here are just a few nutrients that help maintain a healhty blood pressure (along with maintaining a healthy weight, exercise, and a proper diet):

MAGNESIUM:
Extensive research has shown that magnesium is essential to maintain a healthy blood pressure. The National Institutes of Health have recognized magnesium’s critical role in supporting cardiovascular function. Because magnesium is not always plentiful in our foods, and we don’t always eat correctly, supplementation may be the most effective way to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Eur J Public Health. 2004 Sept;14(3):235-9 Circulation. 1989;80(5):1320-7 Drugs Exp Clin Res. 1978;4:49-53

The recommended intake of magnesium to maintain vascular health is 400 to 1000 mg/day (consider at least 400 mg).

alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC):
ALA with magnesium is able to help maintain a healthy blood pressure, even among diabetics. This occurs because these nutrients all increase glutathione levels, which protect bio-mechanisms that regulate arterial tone. ALA with acetyl-L-carnitine help maintain blood pressure. J Clin Hypertens.(Greenwich.). 2007 Apr;9(4):249-55. Hypertension 2002 Feb;39(2):303-307 Eur J Pharmacol 2001 Jul;20;424(2):121-129 Journal of Hypertension 2000, Vol 18, Iss 5, pp 567-573

QUERCETIN:
Studies have demonstrated the ability of the bioflavanoid antioxidant, quercetin to help maintain a healthy blood pressure. High blood pressure is a well-known risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11):2405-11 Br J Pharmacol 2001 133:117-24 Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Nov;11(6):733-40

GRAPE SEED EXTRACT:
Polyphenol antioxidants from grape seed extract of at least 180 mg/day (and possibly from other sources, such as the olive extract) also helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Siva B, et. al, Effect of polyphenolics extracts of grape seeds (GSE) on blood pressure (BP) in patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS). FASEB. 2006;San Francisco, CA. Clin Sci (Lond). 2004 Nov;107(5):513-7

Co-Enzyme Q10:
Co-Enzyme Q10 provides a myriad of health benefits, including helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure when taken at the level of at least 100 mg/day, …sometimes requiring 200 mg/day. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15(Suppl):S265-72 J Hum Hypertens. 1999 Mar;13(3):203-8 Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15(Suppl):S257-63

FISH OIL:
Fish Oil, in the dose of 1400 mg of EPA and 1000 mg of DHA/day is associated with maintaining a healthy blood pressure, in addition to a healthy heart. Hypertension. 2006 Feb;47(2):296-308 Circulation. 1993 Aug;88(2):523-33 N Engl J Med. 1989 Apr 20;320(16):1037-43 Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 1991 May;18(5):265-8 Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Nov;70(5):817-25

Vitamin D:
Vitaimn D deficiency contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes, and inflammation—all of which increase cardiovascular risk. Vitamin D3 in the dose of 1000 to 6000 IU per day (and higher for some people) helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jun 11;167(11):1159-65 J Nutr. 2005 Nov;135(11):2739S-48S J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2005 Jun;96(1):59-66 J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Apr;86(4):1633-7 Am J Hypertens. 1995 Sep;8(9):894-901 J Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb 1;88(2):327-31

Vitamin C:
Vitamin C at the dose of at least 1000 mg per day (preferrably higher) may help maintain a healthy blood pressure. J Hypertension, 2000, Vol 18, Iss 4, pp 411-415 Epidemiology. 1992;3:194-202 Lancet. 1999;354(9195):355-64 Circulation. 1998;97:2222-9

Of course, all these nutrients provide multiple health benefits besides helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure!

Resveratrol, a “Drug” for the Pharmaceutical Companies?

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Last Sunday, CBS’s “60 Minutes” program ran a story about the incredible benefits of the antioxidant RESVERATROL, obtained from the skin of red grapes.  There are numerous medical studies showing the myriad benefits that resveratrol provides.  Like GRAPE SEED EXTRACT, resveratrol helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), can benefit those with autoimmune diseases, reduces the risk of age-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, etc., etc., ….and appears to slow the aging process itself! 

These benefits were extolled in the TV story about resveratrol.  All of it true, and known for at least a decade or more.

Now, this is what REALLY BOTHERED ME:  Not once during this story did they mention the words, “nutritional supplement” or “antioxidant.”  Instead, they kept referring to resveratrol as a “drug.”  As I watched, I couldn’t figure out why they kept saying “the drug,” rather than “the supplement,” or “the antioxidant.”  Then it became crystal clear what was happening.

The researchers in this story (and they are not the only researchers studying resveratrol) had formed a corporation and sold their lab (and souls) to a pharmaceutical company!  Ah-ha!  Furthermore, the sell-out researchers said how they are working on formulating a SYNTHETIC FORM of resveratrol that then can be distributed (sold for massive profit after a patent is obtained) by a pharmaceutical company.  You see, pharmaceutical companies cannot patent a naturally-occurring nutrient, and therefore cannot make huge profits.  That’s why they are always trying to come up with a synthetic form of an effective naturally-occurring substance.  

It’s not about giving people real information so we all can benefit now, it’s obviously about twisting or hiding the information so that they can make an insane profit.  Are they in it for TRUE HEALTH, or solely for the profit?  Certainly there is nothing wrong with making a profit, …the thing that bothers me is holding back what already works very well (and making a reasonable profit off of such sales), and making people believe that our salvation lies with the synthetic formulations that can only be provided from the pharmaceutical industry ….labled as “drugs” so that they can make crushing profits ….at our expense.

This is exactly what happened with the hormone drug Provera.  Decades ago progresterone was discovered from a plant source, and would work just fine in the human body, and would be the identical structure as that found in the human body (known as “bio-identical hormones”).  However, the pharmaceutical company could not make big profits off of the natural form, and therefore tinkered with the molecule until they got it to work (partially), and then could sell it as “Provera.”  However, it does not have all the benefits of progesterone, and there are suggestions that it may increase the risk for heart disease and breast cancer.  But, to the pharmaceutical companies the profit is worth the risk.

Now we have pharmaceutical companies trying to take powerful, effective, safe, and available antioxidant nutrients like resveratrol, and make them into a synthetic form so that they can claim they have a “miracle drug” that provides so many benefits.  On “60 Minutes” the scientists said that the “drug would be ready in about 5 years or so.”

Well, the antioxidant nutrient ALREADY EXISTS!  You can get the benefits of resveratrol (and grape seed extract, and turmeric extract, and others) NOW!  Unfortunately, the pharmacuetical companies know that doctors, the media, and most people only accept such news to as “real” when a pharmaceutical company announces its findings.  Unfortunatley, too few of people realize that there are amazing benefits that they can be enjoying now from many antioxidant nutrients, including resveratrol. 

Don’t be a victim to pharmaceutical company greed.  Don’t wait to obtain the benefits “5 years from now.” Start enjoying the benefits of resveratrol, grape seed extract, turmeric extract now.  (See some of the ”In the News” updates here on my website about turmeric extract, co-enzyme Q10, vitamin D, etc.)

Grape Seed Extract Prevents and Arrests Cancer

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

In past and recent studies, grape seed extract was shown to stop the growth of human colorectal cancer cells AND cause colorectal cancer cells to undergo apoptosis, …self destruction. Furthermore, recent studies have given further evidence that grape seed extract also inhibits breast cancer, oral cancer, and prostate cancer.  It has been shown to inhibit angiogenesis (growth of blood vessels feeding cancer cells) in breast cancer cells, and most likely works similarly in all types of cancers. Research continues to show evidence that grape seed extract is both safe and effective in the prevention of many types of cancers, induce self-induced destruction (apoptosis) of cancer once present, reduce the risk of arterial plaque formation, maintain heart health, reduce inflammation in all areas of the body (including helping arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, asthma and allergies, and provide numerous other health benefits, including crossing the blood-brain barrier and reduce damage and aging of brain cells (which would then may slow or prevent dementia). The extent of the benefits of grape seed extract alone is absolutely astounding.

Since 1995, in my medical practice I recommended grape seed extract (in addition to a broad spectrum multi-antioxidant, chelated mineral formulation, and fish oil) to my patients as a way to boost the immune system, and decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory diseases, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, and many other medical maladies. The results I personally witnessed was so impressive that I learned to recommend even higher doses of grape seed extract, on the order of 360 to 720 mg per day (for more severe cases).

Recent References (scores more are available): 

Kaur M, Mandair R, Agarwal R, Agarwal C.   Grape seed extract induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human colon carcinoma cells.   Nutr Cancer. 2008;60 Suppl 1:2-11.

Leifert WR, Abeywardena MY.   Grape seed and red wine polyphenol extracts inhibit cellular cholesterol uptake, cell proliferation, and 5-lipoxygenase activity.  Nutr Res. 2008 Dec;28(12):842-50. Epub 2008 Nov 8.

Engelbrecht AM, Mattheyse M, Ellis B, Loos B, Thomas M, Smith R, Peters S, Smith C, Myburgh K.   Proanthocyanidin from grape seeds inactivates the PI3-kinase/PKB pathway and induces apoptosis in a colon cancer cell line.   Cancer Lett. 2007 Dec 8;258(1):144-53. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Lu J, Zhang K, Chen S, Wen W.  Grape seed extract inhibits VEGF expression via reducing HIF-1{alpha} protein expression.  Carcinogenesis. 2009 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Wen W, Lu J, Zhang K, Chen S.  Grape seed extract inhibits angiogenesis via suppression of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor signaling pathway.  Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2008 Dec;1(7):554-61.

Ramchandani AG, Karibasappa GS, Pakhale SS.  Antitumor-promoting effects of polyphenolic extracts from seedless and seeded Indian grapes.  J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol. 2008;27(4):321-31.

Huang TT, Shang XJ, Yao GH, Ge JP, Teng WH, Sun Y, Huang YF.  [Grape seed extract inhibits the growth of prostate cancer PC-3 cells]  Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue. 2008 Apr;14(4):331-3.

Chatelain K, Phippen S, McCabe J, Teeters CA, O’Malley S, Kingsley K.  Cranberry and Grape Seed Extracts Inhibit the Proliferative Phenotype of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas.  Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Jul 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Soy vs. Whey Protein: Confused Over Which One is Better?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Although I get asked, “Which is better, soy or whey protein?” …my question back is, “Better for what?” Each one is an excellent sources of protein, and each one has its own benefits.  I suggest to use at least both sources of protein in order to obtain the benefits each provide.  We need to consume protein in order to make and replace protein; and athletes and body-builders are very familiar with whey protein as an excellent source of “bio-available” protein.

Protein is essential for producing antibodies, hormones, new muscle tissue, and the oxygen-carrying protein in blood, hemoglobin. All protein lost or destroyed within the body must be replaced by bio-available protein in order for new tissue to be constructed.

Our bodies are able to manufacture many of the amino acids that are used to produce protein; however, there are nine “essential” amino acids that we cannot manufacture, but must obtain from the protein in our food. Not all protein sources provide these essential amino acids. For example, whey is an excellent source of glutathione and the branched chain essential amino acids L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine.

The protein in most beans and vegetables may contain all the essential amino acids, but they are not naturally concentrated in foods, and thus vegans often do not readily obtain adequate amounts of protein, particularly the branch-chained amino acids. However, this can be compensated for by consuming concentrated protein sources, such as found within quality meal-replacement drinks.

Almost daily, I drink one or two nutritious meal-replacement drinks. These drinks not only contain a blend of both soy and whey proteins, they also contain protein from two additional sources, that of rice and pea. By obtaining a blend of proteins from these four sources one is obtaining all the essential amino acids and the benefits that each provide.

Soybeans contain high amounts of protein. Soy protein and soy isoflavones have been found to help reduce the symptoms of menopause, help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and to help prevent a number of hormone-related diseases, such as endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. (Neither soy nor soy isoflavones increase the risk of breast cancer; in fact quite the opposite, they help maintain breast health.)

In addition, soy has been observed to help maintain heart health. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated 25 grams of soy protein per day can reduce the chances of developing heart disease.

Soy protein has also been shown to help the thyroid, which can help with obtaining a leaner body. In the case of a soy allergy, the opposite would be true …reduced metabolism and weight gain.

If you are not allergic to soy, there are very few side effects to including soy in your diet. The most common side-effect of soy is the production of intestinal gas. Flatulence is a common side-effect of all beans (including soy), due to the bowel bacteria’s fermenting effect on the indigestible sugars contained within beans. Humans do not have the enzyme alpha-galactosidase necessary to break down the sugars that the bowel bacteria feast upon and produce gas.

Beano, purchased over-the-counter, contains alpha galactosidase, and regular use may be able to reduce gas production by breaking down the oligosaccharides (bean sugars) before the bacteria in the large bowel has a chance to ferment the sugar.

For those who are allergic to soy, gas would not be the only problem present, but significant diarrhea and abdominal bloating, hives, skin rash, and worst case, breathing problems. Soy isoflavones are not the same as pure soy protein; and even if one is allergic to soy it wound not mean they were allergic to soy isoflavones, as soy protein (the allergen of the allergy) is not found in soy isoflavones.

Whey protein is used by athletes and body builders because of the higher level of essential amino acids, particularly the branched chain amino acids that are metabolized in the muscle not the liver. Protein is critical in repairing not only muscle, but many other body tissues. Whey is helpful for weight loss and building muscle in those who work out, but will do little to help build muscle in those with sedentary lifestyles.

Whey protein affects the digestive tract in much the same way as yogurt. Therefore, it is considered to be a natural remedy for many intestinal issues. In fact, it is often used in Sweden to help prevent bowel problems, gas, and constipation. However, since whey is obtained from a dairy source (it is the liquid by-product of curdled milk … the solid becomes cheese, and the liquid protein part is dried as a source for whey). Therefore, those who are lactose intolerant should avoid whey protein, and steer towards soy protein only, as gas, constipation, and bloating can be significant. Over-the-counter Lactaid is available to help provide the enzyme necessary to break down dairy-derived lactose sugar found in whey products.

Since both soy and whey protein may lead to constipation, it is important to find a meal-replacement drink that provides adequate fiber to overcome this side-effect.

Whey protein makes a good alternative to those who are allergic to soy, and vice-versa, but the blend of soy and whey will render the user with the benefits of each, particularly if blended with adequate fiber, as mentioned. While companies selling protein supplements tout the benefits of whatever they’re selling as “the best,” whether it is soy, whey, or a combination of rice and pea protein, which together the last two alone hit numbers between 85 to 90% bioavailable protein, it is good to know that at least one company was wise enough to combine all four protein sources in their meal-replacement drinks, along with fiber, low-glycemic sugar, and vitamins and minerals.  The balance is its greatest strength as a perfect meal replacement.

A summary of the benefits of Soy and Whey Proteins, and that you can have BOTH:

Soy Protein

  • Soy protein has been found to be higher in non-essential amino
  • The consumption of 25-50 grams of soy protein daily may enhance production of thyroid stimulation hormones that regulate the metabolic rate, thereby making it easier for us to lose both body weight and fat and create a leaner body.
  • Soy is good for athletes: in a study from Romania endurance athletes experienced lean body mass, increased strength, and decrease fatigue while training. (Revue Roumaine de Physiologie 29, 3-4:63-70, 1992)
  • It contains more protein by weight than beef, fish or chicken, and contains less fat (especially saturated fat than meat).
  • The FDA has approved the following statement: ”Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease.”
  • Other studies show that soy protein isolate has the ability to effectively lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood
  • Soy may improve kidney functioning
  •  
    Whey Protein

  • Whey protein assists in losing excess weight and maintaining optimal weight
  • Whey protein, combined with resistance training, even those who have immunosuppressive disorders (AIDS) can increase body cell mass, muscle mass and muscle strength, according to a study in AIDS (15, 18:2431-40, 2001).
  • Whey protein is superior to other proteins when it comes to anabolic response. It has consistently been shown to stimulate the anabolic hormones after a workout. In other words, whey protein improves athletic performance.
  • It mixes well and is low in fat and lactose, and has a superior amino acid profile
  • Whey protein lacks no essential amino acids. It needs no fortification or additive to make it complete. It is complete in its natural form
  • Whey enhances the immune system because it raises glutathione levels. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps our immune cells stay charged to help ward off cancer, bacterial infection and viruses. In other words, it helps improve the immune system.
  • Whey is also very high in glutamine and the branch chain amino acids L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine, important aminos for repairing muscle
  • Whey acts as a natural antibacterial or anti-viral
  • Whey reduces the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Whey reduces liver damage
  • Whey improves blood pressure
  • Whey improves the function of the digestive system
  • Whey reduces gastric mucosal injury seen in ulcerative colitis
  • How Much Vitamin D is Too Much?

    Thursday, December 4th, 2008

    I get this question all the time, because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.  If you have not already done so, please go to the “In the News” section of this website and please read my article on vitamin D.   That should answer this question adequately. 

    Although vitamin D is fat soluble the level that has been shown to be very effective in maintaining health (decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer) is between 1000 and 10,000 IU.   Vitamin D also helps with many other health situations as well.  As I mentioned in my article, vitamin D does not seem to approach toxic levels until you consume 50,000 IU per day or more.  That is why I suggest one does not supplement with more than 10,000 IU of vitamin D per day …unless instructed by their own physician.

    Personally, I take 5000 IU of vitamin D per day, and I advocate that every adult consider taking at least 1000 to 2000 IU per day.  (Children can safely take 400 to 1000 IU per day; however, one needs to discuss supplementation with their physician …a physician who is keenly aware of the benefits and high safety level of vitamin D.)