Posts Tagged ‘DHA’

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):

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

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

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, 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!

Most Prenatal Vitamins Fail to Deliver

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

When I practiced medicine as a board certified Ob/Gyn in Atlanta, Ga., I recommended a high-quality, full-spectrum multi-antioxidant, chelated mineral supplement brand to my pregnant patients.  In addition, I suggested they take highly purified fish oil capsules, extra calcium-magnesium, and an over-the-counter iron tablet to complete what I felt was a fully rounded prenatal nutrient regimen for the mother’s and baby’s optimal health.

Studies indicate that most prescription prenatal vitamins do not adequately release the folic acid (folate) they supposedly contain.   Most prenatal vitamins do not have a full-range of minerals; and what they contain is usually not in what I consider adequate amounts.  Pregnancy is a time for extra calcium (on the order of 1000 to 1500 mg per day) and magnesium (on the order of 200 to 600 mg per day), not the relatively small amounts contained in prenatal vitamins. 

It wasn’t until the last 4 or 5 years that it has become standard to put pregnant women on DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) supplement for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes (among many other benefits).  This was something that I was recommending to my patients well over 12 years ago.  It only became ”acceptable” for doctors to do this once a pharmaceutical company marketed DHA capsules to Ob/Gyn offices, as if anything done outside of what’s provided by a pharmaceutical company is “alternative medicine,” ….a topic for another day. 

Although a pregnant woman needs to be careful about fish oil capsules, as organic residues and PCBs can be a problem, I only recommended a supplement brand that I knew was “pharmaceutical grade.”  Fish oil capsules do not need to be produced by a pharmaceutical company; the nutritional supplement brand that I recommended to my patients follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that were designed for the pharmaceutical industry, and are producing pure and potent supplements, including fish oil capsules.

The fish oil that I recommended to my patients is highly purified through a double distillation process, and free of PCBs and organic residues.  (Needless to say, the capules are free of mercury and other heavy metals that can become a problem by consuming fish.)   My general recommended dose of fish oil was at least 2000 mg per day; though I preferred my pregnant and lactating patients to bump that level up to 4000 mg per day.

One last concern that I’ll mention at this time, and that is the fact that, according to laboratory analysis of prescription prenatal vitamins, most prenatal vitamins lack adequate iodine levels or they are highly inconsistent in the levels of iodine they contain.  Most prescription prenatal vitamins have the minimum level of iodine (150 micrograms per day) that is required for pregnant and lactating women listed on the label; however, when analyzed the TRUE AMOUNT contained in the tablets was found to be much less!

Fetal thyroid development and functioning is dependent on adequate dietary intake of iodine by the mother.  This, in turn, is critical for the brain functioning and normal neurological development in the newborn.  It has been shown that even a modest iodine deficiency can adversely affect the development of the baby’s cognitive development.  Mild to moderate mental retardation, or developmental delay are very possible outcomes due to an iodine deficiency.

The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 220 micrograms per day during pregnancy (the amount that is in the broad-spectrum essential multi-antioxidant and chelated mineral supplement regimen I recommend), and 290 micrograms per day while breast feeding.   The World Health Organization recommends a flat 250 micrograms per day during both periods of pregnacy and lactation.  

Iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation worldwide, affecting more than 2.2 billion people.  Only 28% of prescription prenatal vitamins and 69% of over-the-counter multi-vitamins marketed in the United States even listed iodine as an ingredient on the label.   This is concerning enough, and the fact that most do not even have the stated amounts of iodine within the tablet (from 50 to 76% of what is stated), is even more evidence that everyone needs to find a supplement brand that they can trust.