On July 29, 2010, the British Medical Journal published a flawed study of the usage of calcium supplements and associated risk of heart attack. The study misleadingly concluded that use of calcium supplements increases the risk of heart attacks by 27% and has no significant effect on overall mortality. The authors advise that the use of calcium supplements in treating or preventing osteoporosis should be reconsidered. Some in the media are broadcasting this study as a reason to stop using calcium supplements.
Please don’t stop your calcium supplements before reading more about the serious flaws in this study!
A major problem with this study is that it excluded people taking vitamin D, magnesium, and other common ingredients in bone protection products. As a result, the study participants generally had low levels of nutrients that are associated with lower risk of diseases such as atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease and are directly tied how calcium is used in the body. These nutrients all work together to keep calcium in the bones where it belongs, rather than building up calcium deposits in the vascular system and heart that can contribute to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) is an inexpensive and highly absorbable form of the amino acid cysteine which has numerous health benefits. Previously, I’ve written about several applications for NAC:
Furthermore, there is solid evidence that NAC helps boost the body’s levels of glutathione, one of the main antioxidants produced by the body. In particular, glutathione is critical to liver health. Many people suffer from elevated homocysteine levels, an amino acid that is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Several studies indicate that NAC can significantly lower homocysteine levels. Finally, if you sometimes drink alcohol and get a hangover, you’ll be interested to know that NAC plus vitamin B1 (thiamine) may help the body reduce the severity of hangovers. There are many other lesser known uses for NAC. I’ll discuss more of these at the end of the article.
Available Forms of NAC
NAC is often sold in capsule form containing 600 mg per capsule, but the bulk powder form of the supplement can be much less expensive. NAC is also the primary ingredient in some pharmaceutical products including a product called Mucomyst that is used to treat mucus build-up by inhalation of a sterile liquid solution of NAC.
This article reviews the 1Fast400 N-Acetyl-Cysteine, NAC sold in bulk powder form. It is priced less than 1/2 the price of the 600 mg capsules from inexpensive reputable makers such as Puritan’s Pride and NOW Foods. Thus the bulk powder form of NAC is a good choice for people who use large quantities of it. Such people might include those with families with several people who use it for general health, immune system boosting, detoxification from mercury and heavy metals, and especially people who use it for mental health care applications similar to clinical testing being done with dosages of 2000 mg per day or more.
Life Extension’s Mega EPA/DHA fish oil is on sale through September 14, 2009, at 65% off regular price. It is a very good quality fish oil supplement and also very well priced at $6.98 per bottle of 120 softgels. It is a double strength formulation with reduced cholesterol, meaning that it is equivalent of 240 typical fish oil softgels. As you may know, fish oil is well-reputed for managing blood lipid levels, particularly helping to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. What you may not know is that many common brands of fish oil supplements contain a considerable amount of cholesterol in each softgel. Mega EPA/DHA has twice the EPA and DHA (the primary beneficial Omega-3 fish oil compounds), half the calories, and 80% less cholesterol per softgel versus Costco’s Kirkland Signature Fish Oil Concentrate that is regularly priced at $9.69 (plus tax) for 400 regular strength softgels.
Life Extension Mega EPA/DHA Fish Oil is useful for improving your health in many ways. In addition to helping cut down unhealthy blood lipid levels (LDL cholesterol and triglycerides), it is also helpful for reducing the risk of depression, blood clots, inflammation disorders, heart attacks, and strokes. Fish oils containing significant quantities of DHA in particular are believed to improve brain and nervous system health.
LifeExtension.com periodically sends out mailings to its members offering special discounts on its products. One of its recent offerings, good until June 1, 2009 for members, is for 50% off its Super Bio-Curcumin product via ordering code CUC901D.
Most of this article describing the health benefits of curcumin applies to any good quality curcumin nutritional supplement. Curcumin is a nutritional supplement that has increasingly strong evidence of being widely useful and is commonly available from many other manufacturers. Sometimes it is sold as “turmeric extract” or a similar name.
What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a substance found in wine and other products derived from grapes. It also occurs in peanuts, certain berries, some pine trees, and Japanese knotweed.
Researchers increasingly show that resveratrol is responsible for the anti-aging and pro-health impact of certain wines and grape products. Studies have found that it lowers heart disease and blood clotting risks, boosts the immune system, blocks insulin resistance, and impedes the development of obesity.