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.
Low vitamin D levels have long been tied to malnourishment and resultant health problems such as rickets that involve weak bones. But what is surprising to many is that recent research on vitamin D has found that most people are deficient in vitamin D. In particular, those with dark skin such as African-Americans are at particularly high risk for low levels of vitamin D and a wide range of common health problems including obesity, diabetes, asthma, autism, and depression that research is showing are likely related to insufficient vitamin D.
Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic Tied to Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics
The mainstream media has been reporting lately on Michella Obama’s efforts to improve nutrition for kids. She is focusing on reducing calorie-laden foods such as soft-drinks and fast-food, increasing the consumption of healthier foods such as vegetables, and getting kids to trade in some of their sedentary activities such as watching TV for exercise. Yet she and her associates appear to be paying little attention to the widespread vitamin D deficiency epidemic that is increasingly being tied to the epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
Most adults who are getting regular preventive healthcare are familiar with the lipid panel performed as a routine check for cholesterol levels. What they may not know is that the standard lipid panel can only identify about 40% of the people who are at high risk for heart disease. The result of this is that many adults mistakenly believe they have reduced their heart attack risk when they are actually carrying around ticking time bombs that could be defused with improved treatment.
While the exact treatment for blood lipid problems varies, doctors seldom consider any such treatments without the test data to justify them. You could argue that the conventional cholesterol test actually increases the risk for heart attacks by leaving people unwisely complacent because of incomplete and inaccurate information about the nature of the fats in their blood. For instance, the LDL cholesterol number for “bad” cholesterol in the conventional tests is just a calculated estimate, not a direct measurement. It could be off significantly.
The VAP Cholesterol Test
A newer procedure called the VAP™ Blood Test (for Vertical Auto Profile) helps improve the ability to identify blood lipid patterns associated with heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. Atherotech, the company providing the test, estimates that it can identify twice as many patients at high risk for heart attacks than regular cholesterol lipid panel tests and also identify patients likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease that may not lead to heart attacks.
If you’re taking advantage of the buy 1 get 2 free sale at Puritan’s Pride and buying $25 or more of products, enter the coupon code 200903 during your checkout to get another $5. That’s enough to cover the standard $4.95 shipping amount with a nickel to spare. The coupon code is claimed to last until September 30, 2009, but the buy 1 get 2 free sales is over September 19, 2009.
Puritan’s Pride carries a huge variety of dietary supplements, vitamins, amino acids, skin care formulas, and other products for your well-being. Some of our favorite Puritan’s Pride products useful to a lot of people are their Vitamin D3 5000 IU softgels and 5-HTP 100mg mood and sleep aid capsules.
Researchers recently reviewed medical data collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 to 2004 for 6000 children and young adults ages 1 to 21. Low levels of vitamin D were found in about 70% of children. Vitamin D deficiency, typical of very low levels that cause rickets and severe bone degeneration and weakness problems were found it about 9% of children. Insufficient levels of vitamin D were found in another 61%. These levels are associated with a wide variety of health problems including type 1 and 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, autism, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, cancer and many other health problems.
Dr. Broda Barnes spent 52 years of his life researching the human thyroid gland and its impact on health. Although he died in 1988, his work lives on through the Broda O. Barnes M.D. Research Foundation as well as books and many in the alternative medicine community who believe he was on the right track regarding a hidden widespread epidemic of low thyroid functioning begin responsible for rising levels of metabolic related health problems. The 40% of the population affected by the rising epidemics of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome interestingly approximate the 40% of the population whom Dr. Barnes suspected have hypothyroidism, the vast majority of whom have never been diagnosed with the condition. Among Dr. Broda’s many writings on thyroid disease and treatment, his book Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness stands out as popular, relevant, and well-reviewed even decades after its original publication. The book explains how to detect low thyroid function, the adverse health effects it causes, and how to improve thyroid hormone levels to restore health.
With the increasing worldwide news coverage of widespread vitamin D deficiency and the high rates of associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and autism, you may wonder just how much vitamin D is too much? Many doctors are clueless about vitamin D toxicity and believe that 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3 on a daily basis could be deadly, and 100,000 IU in one dose would surely kill you. Surprising to some, these common beliefs of doctors are grossly mistaken. New research argues for 10,000 IU per day of vitamin D3 on a daily basis for long periods being the upper recommended limit for adult dietary intake and that single doses of 100,000 IU are helpful for rapidly building up levels of vitamin D in the body.
Vince Guiliano is a prolific writer nearing 80 years old who has assembled a fascinating collection of information on human aging and how to slow it by using dietary supplements. Among his efforts to date are the Anti-Aging Firewalls blog and extensive overviews of the anti-aging properties of many dietary supplements.
If you’re trying to save money in these sorry economic times, one way to do it may be to consult with your doctor on switching to common generic medications available at low prices via Walmart Pharmacy. Often newer medications don’t work much better than older ones, yet they usually carry higher prices and sometimes unknown long-term side effects. Click on the Walmart $4 Prescription Program for more information.
Print out a copy of the $4 generic prescription medicines list and take it to your doctor visits for your doctor to consult if you need refills or new prescriptions. Doctors are often not particularly conscious of how much medications cost, so this could help you save a lot of money if a low-cost generic can be used rather than a newer name-brand drug. Also ask your doctor about writing prescriptions for 90 days rather than 30 days. This may help you save a little additional money as many prescriptions are available for $10 for 90 days, thus saving you about another $8 per year.
Some of the most widely used generic medications available on this program include Glyburide and Metformin used widely by people with pre-diabetes and diabetes, Lovastatin and Pravastatin which are used for lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and Amitriptyline and Citalopram and Trazodone which are commonly used as antidepressants.
Cost-Effective Medications and Supplements
More Data + Less Care = Lower Cost + Better Health
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned on this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
A recent study by the National Institutes of Health explored the connection between telomere lengths in the human immune cells known as leukocytes (white blood cells) and the use of multivitamins. The data used came from 586 participants in the Sister Study of healthy sisters of breast cancer patients. The women’s ages ranged from 35 to 74 years. Women who used multivitamins on a daily basis had leukocyte telomeres on average 5.1% longer than those who did not use multivitamins.