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Dietary Supplements

As we become more health conscious and determined to control our bodies, we tend to start looking for the magic pill. Everyone knows what happened to Alice when she drank from the little bottle saying "Drink Me" Instant results! Doctors prescribe little bottles of "magic stuff" for us all the time, so why shouldn't we believe in magic?

     Truth is, we can magically affect our bodies with what we put in them. But food is the safest way to control how your body feels and looks. You would be amazed at how quickly your energy and general well being will improve, simply by increasing the green leafy and yellow vegetables, fiber and lean meats like chicken and fish in your diet.

     When restricting your food intake or when participating in intense physical activity on a regular basis, it's more than likely that you may need a basic vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure your daily intake meets your nutritional needs. However, when considering taking more than a simple daily supplement, you really should consult your physician. Furthermore, individuals with medical conditions, especially those already taking prescribed medications, should always consult their physician before adding any concentrated substance to their regimen. Just because the bottle says "natural" does not mean it is safe for you. Always remember, arsenic is 100% natural and quite deadly.

     Supplements can contain powerful ingredients that may react negatively with or cancel the beneficial effects of, medicine currently being taken. Aspirin, vitamin E and ginko biloba can thin the blood, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad; quite a problem for a person with a bleeding ulcer or upcoming surgery. Taking St. John's Wort can significantly reduce the effectiveness of certain drugs, a doctor may prescribe, for depression, heart disease, oral contraception, seizures, HIV and some cancers.

     So how do you know if you should trust the claims of health benefits from a particular supplement? Luckily our government provides information on questionable supplements if you know where to look. Recent topics include:

Recent warning by the Food ad Drug Administration regarding the effects of Comfrey on the body:

FDA warning 11/19/2001 to immediately stop using as LipoKinetix as it seems to be associated with serious liver injuries:

FDA warning to immediately discontinue of products containing Aristolochia which has been associated with permanent kidney damage and the development of certain types of cancers.

      You can magically have more energy and feel more alive, naturally, by stocking you refrigerator with health conscious foods and removing junk foods from your house. Set a goal for your daily intake consisting of:

· Leafy green vegetable
· Yellow or orange Vegetable
· Green vegetable
· Fruit
· Whole grain pasta or bread
· Alternate, poultry, red meat and fish
· Dairy
· Occasionally include nuts, bananas, eggs

      What you have heard about liver is correct. It is just packed with nutrients. And although beans and legumes are not a staple in the American diet, they also have great nutritional value. When cooking dried beans, quarter a potato and drop it in the water with the beans, to reduce their gas producing effects.

     Our knowledge of nutrients is constantly evolving as we continue to experiment. Two seemingly reputable studies, can come up with very different results, and in our money hungry world someone is always rushing to market with a new cure before it is really proven effective. For a complete listing of vitamins, minerals, herbals and their effects or drug interactions, you may want to visit Ohio State University Extension.




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