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Do You Have to Eat a Minimum Amount of Carbs?

Ask Dr. Jason Fung

It’s time for this week’s Q&A about intermittent fasting and low carb with Dr. Jason Fung:

  • Do you recommend a minimum amount of carbs?
  • What to do about leg cramps in the night if you already take magnesium supplements?
  • Should I stop fasting if I feel nauseous?

Dr. Jason Fung is one of the world’s leading experts on fasting for weight loss and diabetes reversal. Here are a his answers to those questions and more:

Continue Reading →

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Vitamin D Could Reduce the Risk of Colds and Flu

prepared to take my nutritional supplements

Supplementing with vitamin D could reduce the risk of contracting colds or the flu by about 12 percent, a new meta-analysis finds:

Vitamin D is important for our immune system and bone health – and many people (especially in the North) may be deficient since we’re not getting enough sunlight on our skin (the main source). Taking a supplement could be a cheap way to err on the safe side and ensure that you’re getting enough.

What do you think? Are you supplementing with vitamin D or just making sure that you’re spending enough time in the sun?

Continue Reading →

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The Hidden Costs of Medications


4.9 out of 5 stars5 stars92%4 stars5%3 stars2%2 stars0%1 star0%38 ratings990 views Audio onlyCan medications prevent or hinder your efforts to lose weight and become healthy? Is it possible that there are side effects that neither you nor your doctor know about when you receive a prescription? Can medications cause nutrient deficiencies and should you therefore supplement when you take them?

Jackie Eberstein advocates a low-carb lifestyle as a way of getting healthy and possibly get off of (or lower the dose of) medications. In this talk she outlines what certain medicines might do in your body and what you can do about it.

Watch it

Watch a segment of the presentation above (transcript). You can watch this 45-minute talk on our member pages, including captions and transcript:

The Hidden Costs of Medications – Jackie Eberstein

Start your free membership trial to watch it instantly – as well as over 160 video courses, movies, interviews and other presentations. Plus Q&A with experts, etc.

Feedback

Here’s what our members have said about the presentation: Continue Reading →

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Should Women Really Fast?

Ask Dr. Jason Fung

There are tons of questions about intermittent fasting, like these

  • Should I take supplements when fasting?
  • Can fasting have a negative effect on women?

Dr. Jason Fung is one of the world’s leading experts on fasting for weight loss or diabetes reversal. Here are a his answers to those questions and more:

Continue Reading →

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Calcium Supplements No Good For Bones

Calcium

Will taking extra calcium make your bones stronger? Not really, according to new science. At the very least the effect of extra calcium on the bones is so tiny that it’s hardly worth the risk of side effects (like constipation and likely an increased risk of heart disease).

Talk to your doctor if you’re taking calcium supplements. In most cases it’s time to stop.

Time: Calcium Supplements Aren’t Doing Your Bones Any Good, Studies Say

Here are the new studies: Continue Reading →

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The Inuit are Genetically Adapted to a High-Fat Diet, Study Says

Smiling Eskimo woman wearing traditional clothing in wind against clear blue sky

Is a strict low-carb diet super healthy for everyone? People who argue for this often bring up the Inuit people. However, this particular argument has never been a very strong. And now it got even weaker.

According to a study released in Science yesterday, the Inuit, who have lived in the extreme conditions of the Arctic for a long time, seem to have developed genes that make them especially well suited to eat large amounts of omega-3 fat.

MedicalXpress.com: Adaptation to high-fat diet, cold had profound effect on Inuit, including shorter height

A “shorter height” is of course an excellent adaptation to a cold climate as it decreases the surface area of the body, thus reducing heat loss.

We’re all slightly different

This piece of news is a good reminder that genetical adaptations to extreme circumstances starts out right away. While it may take hundreds of thousands of  years for humans to completely adapt to a new environment, the first genetic drift (that does not require new mutations) gets going instantly.

This also means that the diet that the Inuit stay most healthy on is not necessarily the best diet for everyone on the planet. Obviously all humans are pretty similar genetically, but we are not exactly the same.

Another example: Even though insulin-resistant people (like people with obesity or type 2 diabetes) usually do best on a strict low-carb diet it does not mean everybody on the planet needs it to stay healthy.

More

For more on about the traditional diet in very northern climates – and the effect of the introduction of new Western diets – watch the documentary “My Big Fat Diet” on the membership site.

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Could Vitamin D Protect Against Alzheimer’s?

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Could Vitamin D protect against Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia? The media recently wrote about this after a new study:

However, there are a few important points to keep in mind. The study is based solely on statistical associations (an observational study). The statistics show that people with dementia are more commonly Vitamin D deficient. But this doesn’t mean that we know what the cause is.

We know from similar previous studies that almost all diseases are more common in people with Vitamin D deficiency. However, it may just as well be that for some reason people with diseases are less often out in the sun than healthy people.

If you only look at the statistics, you might think that Vitamin D is the all-time magic bullet that with some luck, may cure any disease. The most incredible pill that ever existed. However, it isn’t that fantastic.

To know for sure you need to test Vitamin D supplements in large high-quality studies to see what the effect is. Existing studies investigating supplementing with Vitamin D show more modest results than the fantastic hopes.

Maintaining a good Vitamin D level through supplementation (or sun) seems to, on average, have small or moderately positive effects on the immune system (including in several autoimmune diseases like MS), muscle strength and coordination, bone density, mood as well as fat and lean mass. It might also, on average, slightly prolong life.

Large reviews of existing studies on supplementation don’t, however, show any significant protective effect on common diseases such as heart disease, cancer or stroke. When this is tested, it will probably also be shown to apply to Alzheimer’s. But we don’t know yet.

Personally, I continue to supplement with Vitamin D daily, especially during the winter months. This is the only supplement I take daily. I think it’s good for my health and well-being – but I don’t expect any miracles. Continue Reading →

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Antioxidants May Speed Up Progression of Cancer

Cancer pills?

Cancer pills?

Antioxidants are often pushed as being beneficial for health, largely based on speculations and uncertain observational studies. But could supplementation with antioxidants on the contrary be harmful? Yes, probably.

A new study on mice shows that those who received antioxidant supplementation – including Vitamin E – suffered a dramatic worsening of their lung cancer.

Of course, mice are not humans. But studies on humans show alarming signs that supplementation with antioxidants is harmful for us too. They may increase the risk for certain cancer forms and supplementation with high doses of the antioxidant Vitamin E increases the risk of dying prematurely.

Your body makes its own antioxidants, in the right place. Supplementation with extra antioxidants may be harmful, among other things by preventing the immune system from fighting infections… and cancer cells. Antioxidants may neutralize one of the immune system’s weapons against unwanted intruders, oxidizing agents.

The irony is that excess doses of antioxidants might protect the cells you want to eliminate: harmful bacteria and cancer cells.

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Vitamin D: No Miracle Cure

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A new review of studies on vitamin D supplementation show that it does not have a major effect on common chronic diseases. There is no evidence that the risk for heart disease, cancer or stroke is significantly reduced. However, a small reduction in the risk of death (in other words a longer life) was seen in older women taking vitamin D supplements.

In previous studies, relatively small doses of vitamin D were given (800 IU, or less, daily) for limited periods of time and to relatively small groups of people. Currently, several high quality studies (supplementation with high doses to larger groups of people for longer periods of time), and the first results are expected to come in 2015. They will give us much more reliable knowledge.

We can, however, already conclude that any potential effect on heart disease, cancer and stroke is limited (probably at best less than a 15% reduction in risk). Supplementing with vitamin D does not give us immunity to our most common causes of death – if anybody expected it to.

However, very exciting findings remain, indicating that avoiding vitamin D deficiency may provide other health effects. When it comes to treatment for depression, certain pain conditions, reduction of abdominal fat and various diseases associated with the immune system (asthma, seasonal allergies, eczema, MS and upper respiratory tract infections) there are many smaller studies demonstrating a positive effect.

There are many more ongoing studies on Vitamin D – including several gigantic studies as mentioned above – and we’ll soon know more.

It may be that some people have been too enthusiastic: Vitamin D is not a miracle cure for every disease (which uncertain observational studies may lead you to think). But many likely positive effects remain. And it’s still a harmless and promising way of improving your odds for keeping healthy and feeling well during the winter months.

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The Hobbit’s Secret Weapon: Vitamin D

Hobbits.1

A couple of scientists have now determined why hobbits and elves usually win over orcs, even when they are severely outnumbered. The good guys’ secret weapon? Vitamin D.

This is of course a tongue-in-cheek statement. Being both a fantasy nerd and a Vitamin D nerd I find it quite funny.

However, imagine if it weren’t fantasy literature that was examined, but real history – perhaps the result would have been the same? What do you think?

More on Vitamin D

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