Provision #136: More on Vitamins

LifeTrek Provision

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt’>If ever there was a subjectthat’s prompted reader feedback, it’s been my last LifeTrek Provision on vitamins.Everyone seems to have an opinion here, as well as a favorite source andregimen. Before moving on, I want to share some reader feedback as well as the other supplements and foods recommended for specific conditions.

For Joint Health:

  • Ultra Glucosamine (VS-2137)

One 1,000 mg capsule of glucosamine sulfate, twice a day at mealtimes. This amino sugar is truly a “miracle” supplement that is well documented and well supported for long-term use. Glucosamine sulfate stimulates the synthesis and repair of connective tissue and cartilage. It is found in high concentrations in healthy joints and is critical to the integrity of joint tissue. Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to help relieve the pain and discomfort due to osteoarthritis. It’s far easier on the body than ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflamma’tory drugs.

For Prostate Health (men):

  • Saw Palmetto Complex (VS-2120)

One softgel capsule containing 160 mg of saw palmetto (standardized to contain 85-95% fatty acids & biologically active sterol compounds) as well as other prostate-friendly supplements, twice a day at mealtime. Saw Palmetto is a well tested herb, with no known side effects, that can be taken safely over a long period of time. It is derived from the fruit of a small palm tree (Serenoa repens) native to the Atlantic coast of North America.

For yeast infections (women):

  • Caprylic Acid (Solgar), in place of the Saw Palmetto Complex.

One tablet containing 350 mg caprylic acid (as calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc caprylates), twice a day at mealtimes. Caprylic acid, a short chain, fatty acid having the chemical name octanoic acid, inhibits fungal growth and helps to prevent yeast infections and overgrowth (Candida albicans).

For digestive health and gas:

  • Pro Biotic 8 (NN-2002)

2 capsules of Lacto•bcillus acidophilus, supplying 14 billion good bacteria per capsule, once a day at breakfast. Lacto•bcillus acidophilus is “friendly” bacteria that occur naturally in a healthy colon. It’s the culture behind yogurt. Although PB-8 states that no refrigeration is necessary, I prefer to store mine in the refrigerator in order to help maintain the viability of the bacteria.

For Athletic Strength and Endurance

Athletes process large volumes of air and require extra support for their hard working muscles. Dr. Julian Whitaker recommends the following:

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (VS-1395)

One 50 mg tablet, once a day at breakfast. Athletes need more antioxidant support — since they process more oxygen. Alpha lipoic acid complements Dr. Weil’s “antioxidant cocktail,” raises the metabolism, and increases energy production in muscle cells, and helps to normalize blood sugar.

  • Chromium (VS-1075)

One 200 mcg tablet of GTF Chromium, once a day at breakfast. There is discussion as to whether or not chromium picolinate or Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF) chromium is better absorbed and utilized by the body. Dr. Weil recommends the GTF form, so that’s what I go with. If you prefer chromium picolinate, order VS-1211. Chromium may also assist in the control of adult onset diabetes.

  • Magnesium Potassium Aspartate (VS-1283)

Two 100 mg tablets, twice a day at mealtime. Athletes need extra potassium and magnesium to prevent cramps and support their hard working muscles. When combined with the amino acid aspartate, they can significantly improve stamina and endurance.

  • Korean Ginseng (VS-2101) • avoid if you have problems with hypertension.

One 648 mg capsule of pure Panax ginseng, twice a day at mealtime (three weeks on, one week off). Panax ginseng, derived from the root of the slow growing ginseng plant, is an effective tonic to help build energy and relieve stress. It works on the pituitary-adrenal axis and is one of the most popular herbs cherished by both Eastern and Western cultures. These capsules can be swallowed whole or dissolved in a cup of hot water as an herbal tea. Hsu & Co. in Columbus, Ohio (800-628-8420 or http://www.hsu.com) sells a concentrated liquid form of Panax ginseng, IL HWA ginseng, that is specifically designed for use as an herbal tea (providing 500 mg Panax ginseng per cup). Dr. Weil does not recommend Panax ginseng for women with hormonal imbalances or with estrogen-dependent ailments (e.g. fibroid tumors, endo•metriosis, or female cancers).

  • Siberian Ginseng (VS-2074) • avoid if you have problems with hypertension.

One 648 mg capsule of pure Eleutherococcus senticosus, twice a day at mealtime (three weeks on, one week off). As you can tell from the genus and species, this plant is not in the same genus or species as Korean ginseng, but it has many of the same properties. It enhances immune function, builds energy and restores vitality.

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt’>Now for the reader feedback.One reader suggested that we don’t need any of this. Eat a healthy diet andthat’s all we need. I disagree. It’s so hard to consistently eat a healthy dietwhich isn’t depleted of vitamins and minerals that supplementation isessential. In addition, the higher doses provide health benefits that cannot beobtained through diet alone without the consumption of far too many calories.

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt’>Another reader suggestedthat there’s no such thing as a standard or universal “cocktail” of supplementsthat is right for everyone. This reader indicated that a skilled practitionercan use blood cell microscopy, muscle testing, and applied kinesiology in orderto prescribe a “cocktail” of supplements and delivery methods that istailor-made to each individual. This person was also surprised that a coach,who works with individuals in all their wonderful, life-affirming uniqueness,would not reflect this perspective. I agree, but.

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt’>I agree that there arethousands of supplements on the market and that each individual has uniqueneeds and requirements. Finding a skilled practitioner who can design your ownregimen is the preferable way to go. Stay away from those practitioners who notonly prescribe but also sell products. You may end up going home with ashopping bag more than you really need. I would also seek the counsel andadvice of those who integrate traditional and alternative therapies, ratherthan those who denigrate one way or the other.

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt’>But I still believe in mycore recommendations for most people living and eating in modern, urbancommunities. Those are, after all, the ones who primarily receive theseLifeTrek Provisions • people who share many of the same occupational, environmental,and physical challenges. In lieu of and often in conjunction with apersonalized assessment, I stand by my core recommendations as providing animportant foundation for health and well being. To personalize them somewhat Idid make specific recommendations related to specific conditions based upon thebest research known to me.

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt’>Several readers suggestedsources other than The Vitamin Shoppe for the purchase of vitamins andnutritional supplements. There is no way for me to sort all this out. I endedup at The Vitamin Shoppe only because Dr. Weil recommended it in one of hisbooks and because the prices are good. I figure if Andrew Weil recommends itand trusts his Web site with their sponsorship, the quality must be goodenough. No one really knows, however, since the industry is largelyself-regulated. How can you know for sure that the fish oil you’re taking istoxin-free? You can’t, other than to trust the source. The same concern appliesto your local fish market. Get to know the fish guy. Make sure it’s fresh andnatural. That’s about the best you can do.

<spanstyle=’font-size:11.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt’>One of the sourcesrecommended to me, by none other than my own mentor coach in Australia, is theLife Extension Foundation. She buys all her vitamins and nutritionalsupplements through them. The LEF is a non-profit membership organization thatmaintains high quality standards, publishes a monthly magazine (LifeExtension), and provides a wealth of information through their Web site at<ahref=”http: www.lef.org=”” “=””>http://www.lef.org. If you plan on ordering verymuch through them, you should pay the $75 membership fee (which gets themagazine sent to your door) in order to receive the substantial member discounton all their products and services. As I learn more about them I’ll pass theinformation on to you.

Another reader commented onthe expense of all these vitamins and nutritional supplements. That’s true. It costs money to live. It costs more money to live well. If vitamins and nutritional supplements reduce your medical bills and your food budget, then perhaps you’ll come out ahead. Even if you don’t come out ahead, it’s good toknow that you’ve done the best you can for yourself and those you love. That is, after all, a coach’s primary concern.

I hope you’ve found this discussion, spread out over the course of a month due to the interruption of mytravel schedule, to be of assistance in your own journey of health and well being.I know your responses have been of assistance to me. Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor and that I’m not suggestingyou treat any medical condition on the basis of this LifeTrek Provision withoutseeing a doctor. This tip is intended for educational purposes only.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
Immediate Past President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a TimeOnline Retailers

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