Drugs Archives

How to Keep your Body Alkaline

As 2010 comes to a close, I hope it was a healthy year and you are looking forward to an exciting year ahead. I know I have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to in 2011.

Each of us has a path we can take — the illness path or the wellness path. The choices we make determine whether we’re headed for illness or for wellness. We are in charge of our own body. We determine what to consume. We decide if we are going to challenge our bodies by exercising. We are constantly making choices — one choice is just as easy to make as another choice. Still, over a period of time, one will lead to better health and one will lead to your doctor’s office. Which will it be for you?

One of the ways to keep your body free of diseases is to keep it in an alkaline state. I’ve heard it many times — diseases cannot live in an alkaline body. How do you keep your body in an alkaline state? By consuming more alkaline foods than acidic ones. Approximately 75 percent of your food intake should be alkaline and about 25 percent should be acidic. So, a lot more alkaline foods than acidic ones. This helpful chart at betterbones.com puts the alkaline-forming foods on a scale from low to high.

There are various places where you can buy pH paper such as a garden center or pet shop or even one that sells swimming pool supplies. If you want one that covers a wider gamut, you may need to find a lab supply store.
Personally, to keep my body alkaline, I take a “greens” supplement with every meal. What I like about this company is that their multi-vitamin is also packed with a “greens” caplet. I also drink alkaline water. I was recently tested by a health practitioner and my body was in an alkaline state. This is not to say that I leave the job to the supplements. I do try to make smart choices about what I eat.

I wish all of you the best of health. Take care and see you next year.

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Drug Interactions

I saw a small article in my favorite Prevention magazine about a deadly drug interaction between acid-reflux reducing drugs such as Prilosec or Nexium and blood thinner Plavix. There’s a 50% higher risk of suffering a cardiac event, according to a study by lead author David Flockhart, MD, PhD at Indiana University. Just imagine, you’ve been on Plavix for a long time and you go to the doctor for heartburn so the busy doctor innocently prescribes the purple pill, Nexium. Perhaps you play the coupon game like I do … I go to the pharmacy that will offer me a gift card for a new prescription which is probably not where your Plavix prescription is located.

Pharmacists are equally busy and even if all of your prescriptions were at one pharmacy, I don’t know if they would look at your list and counsel you if there were possible dangerous interactions involved … or even call your doctor. I very much doubt it. Hence, it would behoove you to be your own advocate and be aware of the possible consequences, particularly if you have a long list of prescription drugs like many seniors do.

I found many Web sites for checking for drug interactions, but I particularly liked this one: www.drugs.com. Not only do they list the interactions with other drugs, but it also gives you food/lifestyle interactions and disease interactions. In the case of Nexium, for example, it does matter whether or not you take it with food or on an empty stomach.

If you are interested in an all natural alternative where most people with digestive problems are finding relief, click here.  The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee on the product if it does not work for you. You can also read about the Indiana University study cited above here.

Best OTC Painkillers

Last week the Washington Post had an article in its Wellness section — Choosing the right painkiller doesn’t have to be such a headache. Since I had just talked about natural alternatives in my last post, I thought this was a good follow-up. Notice the row, Be careful if. Yes, there are side effects even with common over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. If the chart is not clear, please click on it and it will open in a new window.

It is important to understand your own body. Take control. Research natural alternatives. For example, the other day I twisted my knee slightly and was uncomfortable. So I gave my knee a Cellular Response energy healing treatment and doubled up on my glucosamine/chondroitan/msm (click here). I also used an all-natural topical analgesic (click here). The next day I was back at the gym.

Remember, there are side effects to even over-the-counter medications. Before you reach for one, see if there are any natural alternatives that might help.

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Anti-inflammatory Turmeric

turmericMany issues faced by seniors such as heart problems, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease are said to be a result of inflammation. Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and is a member of the ginger family. It has been used in the Ayurvedic (Indian) and Chinese medicine for ages. After processing and being ground into a powder, turmeric is better known to those of us in the west as curry. Today we are realizing more and more health benefits.

According to www.whfoods.com, (The World’s Healthiest Foods and The George Mateljan Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests, is a new force for change to help make a healthier you and a healthier world), their food rating system shows the following nutrients in turmeric:

Turmeric, powder
2.00 tsp
4.52 grams
16.04 calories

Nutrient

Amount

DV
(%)

Nutrient
Density

World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating

manganese

0.36 mg

18.0

20.2

excellent

iron

1.88 mg

10.4

11.7

excellent

vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

0.08 mg

4.0

4.5

good

dietary fiber

0.96 g

3.8

4.3

good

potassium

114.48 mg

3.3

3.7

good

DV = Daily Value

World’s Healthiest
Foods Rating

Rule

excellent

DV>=75%

OR

Density>=7.6

AND

DV>=10%

very good

DV>=50%

OR

Density>=3.4

AND

DV>=5%

good

DV>=25%

OR

Density>=1.5

AND

DV>=2.5%

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, the volatile oil fraction of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.

Ezine articles author Henri K. Junttila also writes about the benefits of turmeric in “Discover the Incredible Health Benefits of Turmeric Spice.” She says, “The best way to take advantage of the benefits of this herb is to take it in the form of multi-vitamin supplements.  Studies reveal that the substance is digested and ingested in the bloodstream better in combination with other beneficial substances. It is important however, to check which of the other complementing substances and ingredients work best with turmeric spice.”

There are nutritional supplements available. The supplements that I have taken contain turmeric as part of another supplement. For example, Immunotec has an Omega-3 product with turmeric. Vitamark International puts it in their Naturflex product and includes ginger root in their vitamin, VitaChe, specifically for heart health. My favorite, VitaOne, Vitamark’s multi-nutrition pack, contains 100 mg of turmeric. Does your favorite multi-vitamin contain turmeric?

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Prescription Medication and Nutrient Depletion

I came across an interesting study done in 2005 in Minnesota showing an increase in the use of prescription drugs as one ages. The survey results are staggering. Two-thirds of seniors in their 50’s are on prescription medication and the numbers get worse as one ages. So those of us who are not on any prescription drugs are in the minority. Drugs can produce undesirable and even tragic results, but we don’t think often about the nutrients they deplete.

2005 Survey of Older Minnesotans (Statewide Population 50+)
Take Prescription Drugs on a Daily Basis

Age Total Weighted # Take Prescription Drugs Daily No Daily Prescription Drugs
50-59 40,638 59.9% 40.1%
60-74 33,418 78.2% 21.8%
75+ 21,107 87.1% 12.9%

Age Differences Statistically Significant

http://www.mnaging.org/advisor/survey/SOM2005Tables.pdf

Prescription drugs have side effects. Ever notice the small print accompanying all prescriptions? Ever notice the last words of TV commercials for prescription drugs? More importantly, though, we don’t realize the nutrients that it depletes from our bodies. Check out this table taken from Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, 2nd ed.

Medication (RxDrug) Nutrients Depleted
Antacids Pepcid, Tagamet, Zantac Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Zinc
Prevacid, Prolosec Vitamin B12
Antibiotics General Aminoglycosides (tentomycin, neomycin, streptomycin), Cephalosporins, Penicillins B Vitamins, Vitamin K
Friendly beneficial intestinal bacteria
Tetracyclines Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin B6
Anti-Diabetic Drugs Micronase, Tolinase Coenzyme Q10
Glucophage Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid
Anti-Depressants Adapin, Aventyl, Elavil, TofranilPamelor,Sinequan, Norpramin Vitamin B12, Coenzyme Q10
Anti-Inflammatories Aspirin & Salicylates Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Iron, Potassium
Advil, Aleve, Anaprox, Dolobid, Feldene, Lodine, Motrin, Naprosyn, Orudis, Relafen Folic Acid
Betamethasone, Cortisone, Dexamethasone, Hydrocortisone, Methylprednisoone, Prednisone Vitamins C, D, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc
Cardiovascular Drugs Apresoline Vitamin B6, Coenzyme Q10
Catapres, AldometCorgard, Inderal, Lopressor Coenzyme Q10
Betapace, Tenormin, Sectral, Blocadren Coenzyme Q10, Melatonin
Diuretics Lasix, Bumex, Edecrin Vitamins B1, B6, C, Magnesium Calcium, Potassium, Zinc, Sodium
Enduron, Diuril, Lozol, Zaroxolyn, Hygroton Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc
Lescol, Lipitor, Mavacor, Zocor, Pravachol, Crestor Coenzyme Q10, Sodium
Cholesterol Lowering Agents(Statins) Lescol, Lipitor, Mavacor, Zocor, Pravachol, Crestor Coenzyme Q10
Colestid, Quetran Vitamins A, B12, D, E, K, Beta-Carotene, Folic Acid, Iron
Ulcer Medications Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac Vitamins B12, D, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Protein
Prevacid, Prilosec Vitamin B12, Protein
HTR – Hormone Replacement Therapy Evista, Prempro, Premarin, Estratab Vitamins B2, B6, B12, C, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Zinc
Oral Contraceptives Norinyl, Ortho-Novum, Triphasil, etc. Vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12, C, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc

Prescription drugs are expensive. In many cases, generics are not available. Consumer Reports has a free service where you can check on best buys for drugs you may be taking.

http://www.consumerreports.org/health/best-buy-drugs/drug-report-archives.htm

If you are on prescription medication(s), one of the best and least expensive vitamins on the market today that would help you replace the lost nutrients is VitaOne. Click here for complete information.