Journal of the American Medical
Association, June 2002
Over-the-counter medications and supplements are an area of great confusion for many, including health-care professionals.
Many individuals have their own treatment plan and are not taking into consideration the fact that pharmaceutical agents and supplements need to be respected.
The old saying “if a little is good for you, more is better” does not apply here. Before starting any over-the-counter medication or supplement, it is important to talk to the correct professional, as not all health-care practitioners are educated in this area.
Remember, you would not ask a clothing store about your car. So that being said, I will present here some information on supplements that will benefit your health.
If you have a health-care concern and are looking for a non-prescription treatment plan, then consult a naturopathic physician.
This information is not intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your physician for all medical concerns.
If you were told that there are certain items you need to eat in order to live, would you eat them? Better yet, if you were told your favorite foods were killing you, would you stop eating them? Most of us would.
We generally take care of our cars and homes better then we take care of our bodies. It’s ironic but true.
Free radical formation in our body it taking place as you are reading this. Free radicals and aging/disease processes are strongly linked together.
Overwhelming scientific evidence has demonstrated that those eating diets rich in antioxidants and antioxidant supplements live longer, healthier lives.
There are hundreds of antioxidants present in our foods. However, research has shown there are five appearing to work in a network to help prevent disease processes.
These include Vitamin C and E, glutathione, lipoic acid and Co Q 10. The body does not make Vitamin C and E, so we must obtain these through a food source.
Free radicals are created in the body due to emotional and physical stress, Ozone, auto exhaust, cigarette smoke, inflammation, radiation, processed foods, and drugs.
Antioxidants protect your body in several ways — free radical formation prevention, interception of free radicals, the improvement of the immune system, and the elimination of damaged molecules.
Lipoic Acid offers powerful protection against stoke, heart disease, cancer and cataracts.
It strengthens memory and prevents brain aging as well as boosting the entire antioxidant defense network, causing a natural increase in vitamins E, and C, glutathione and Coenzyme Q 10.
It has been used in Europe for more than two decades to prevent and treat complications due to diabetes.
Taking Vitamin E will substantially reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It keeps your skin youthful, protecting against UV radiation and ozone (the major cause of wrinkles, brown spots and cancer).
It assists in relieving inflammation pain, reduces the risk of prostate cancer and can inhibit the growth of some breast cancers.
A daily dose of Vitamin C will significantly reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Vitamin C reduces the risk for cancer by shielding the DNA from free radical damage.
Coenzyme C 10 is the heart-healthy antioxidant that regenerates Vitamin E in the network.
For more than two decades, Co Q 10 has been used to successfully treat and prevent heart disease in Japan and by some physicians in the United States.
Co Q 10 assists in the regeneration of brain cells and may help to prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
It is currently being studied in the treatment of breast cancer.
Glutathione is nature’s master antioxidant. Produced in the body, it is a water-soluble antioxidant that recycles oxidized Vitamin C, restoring its power.
Lipoic acid can boost the power of glutathione and is instrumental in detoxifying drugs and pollutants keeping the liver healthy. It strengthens the immune system, stores and transports protein’s building blocks - amino acids.
Ginko Biloba is a flavonoid and network booster that that protects your brain.
In Europe, this is in fact prescribed for those with poor circulation to the brain, concentration and memory difficulties, depression and anxiety.
We are beginning to understand the role that free radicals have in the onset of may illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, memory loss, immune suppression, cancer and the aging process.
Because all antioxidants are needed to support the other, and that diet alone usually proves to be ineffective, supplementation may be required.
Antioxidants not only keep free radicals under control, they can activate or suppress genes controlling out of control cell growth and destruction.
Karen Hourtovenko RN(EC), is a health and wellness consultant from Sudbury who writes columns about healthy living for Northern Life.