Conquering the Winter Blues

By Andrew Greeley

183710776Counting down the days to warmer months can feel like a rat-race. An estimated one in every 30 Americans suffers from some varying degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder, affecting females at a much higher rate than men. The disorder’s prevalence has been observed in families meaning it may have genetic origin and is more common in individuals with preexisting depressive disorders. As we plod across the halfway point of winter, we can start to see the light at the end of the igloo. Vitamin D, exercise, and Natur-Tyme events can help you get through!

Vitamin D supplementation in the winter is imperative, especially if your mood and energy takes the brunt. If exercise could be capsulated and only taken three to four times a week, it would fly off the shelves and improve the lives of anyone who took it. Unfortunately, we as humans, have evolved from primitive nomads into multi-tasking, technologically-dependant cyborgs, whom have over-looked the importance of physical movement. As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Natur-Tyme is revamping this ancient philosophy into a practical lifestyle in a bi-weekly lecture series in Natur-tyme’s community room, titled “90 Days to the Best You.” This year’s program has received such a positive response that all availability has been filled, but I strongly encourage those interested in a healthier lifestyle to stay informed of all of our health-inspiring events by following the newsletter and signing up for upcoming programs and community room events.

What to Look for in a Supplement

carolCarol B Blair, BS. DiHom, CNC
Wellness Educator

Some of us spend a fair amount of money on supplements to keep us well but are you getting what you pay for?

Here are a few tips in what to look for:

  • Are the minerals in forms that your body can absorb such as citrate, glycinate, or another chelated form (not oxide, carbonate, sulfate which are poorly absorbed by the body)?
  • Vitamin D should be the more easily absorbed D3 as opposed to the cheaper and synthetic D2.
  • Vitamin E should be mixed tocopherols and even added tocotrienols if possible. How do you know if E is synthetic? Look for an “l” after the D such as Dl-alpha tocopherol. The natural form would be D-alpha tocopherol. Studies show the synthetic form to be useless and possibly even harmful.
  • Is the nutrient in an amount that is useful or is it what I call pixie dust – enough so they can put it on the label?

Be sure to check the “other” ingredients. You may be surprised at what you find there:

  • Artificial colors, flavors, and dyes should be avoided. Why do you want to give you body more work to detoxify these non-foods?
  • Fillers such as propylene glycol (think antifreeze!) are not in there for your health. They are in there for economical purposes – so they can run supplements through the machines faster. Time is money.
  • Some supplements even contain artificial sweeteners!

Natur-Tyme carries only high-quality supplements and you won’t find any of these ingredients in our Natur-Tyme brand.

Speaking of that, our Natur-Tyme brand of supplements is a superior line. They are from GMP-certified labs that are FDA-approved, and you won’t find any “junk” in them. I use them myself because I know they are top-shelf.

So don’t waste your money buying substandard supplements that aren’t doing you any good. If you can’t afford a quality vitamin, mineral, or herb, do your body a favor and wait until you can get a good one.

Yet Another Amazing Benefit of Vitamin D

factoids-banner-sunshineMost of us, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, are deficient in vitamin D. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration has recently increased the recommended daily allowance from 400 IU to 800+ IU. Research has shown that vitamin D is beneficial for immune health, brain health, and more. And now a study by Italian researchers has found that vitamin D may benefit heart health. This small study looked at a group of heart failure patients, averaging 74 years old, with low vitamin D levels. Half the group took 4,000 IU vitamin D daily for 25 weeks, and the other half took a placebo. The vitamin D group experienced an improvement in ejection fraction rate (how well blood is being pumped out of the heart) by over 20%, but the placebo group worsened. The vitamin D group also lowered their systolic blood pressure.

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis Aug. 2014;24(8):861-8.

Thoughts on the Mystery Virus, Enterovirus D-68

By Carol Blair, DiHom, CNC Natur-Tyme Wellness Educatorcarol

A mysterious respiratory virus (actually known as enterovirus D-68) affecting mostly children has been spreading throughout the country. Proactive and concerned parents have already contacted me about what they can do preventatively. Here are some of my thoughts on this current health concern:

To keep the immune system strong, the child should be taking, on a regular basis, a good multi-vitamin supplement, vitamin D, and a probiotic. Extra vitamin C would be helpful as well. If a virus ensues, increasing the vitamin C can be very helpful because there are very few viruses that can withstand enough vitamin C. Chewable vitamin C is available in delicious flavors.

If the child is over the age of two, I suggest homeopathic Oscillococcinum at the very first sign of an illness. Then move on to King-Bio Cold and Flu, another homeopathic formula that usually proves to be beneficial. I always have these on hand.

Umcka has a strange name but not-so-strange benefits. Studied in Europe, it has been shown to increase interferon, the body’s own natural, anti-viral substance. It has been used in Germany for such illnesses as colds and flu, bronchitis, and TB.

Elderberry has been shown in many studies to keep viruses from replicating. One such study, performed at the University of Oslo School of Medicine in Norway, showed that Elderberry reduced viral flu symptoms by 50% and reduced the duration of flu viruses from 7.1 days to 3.1 days.

For older children, Zinc Throat Spray or Zinc lozenges are excellent choices. If they can swallow capsules, consider Russian Choice Immune to increase Natural Killer (NK) cells.

So parents, don’t lay awake at night worrying about this “mystery virus.” No deaths have been reported although with any respiratory illness, including a cold, those with asthma obviously have higher risks. As you can see, there are many options, so handle it like you would any other cold or flu virus–by keeping the immune system strong!

Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Supplement Educator Andrew Greeley152149018

Fall foliage is fading and snow storms are nearing. According to the laws of nature, winter months are a time to hibernate.  Well, I say hiber-not, young lad!  Kick winter in the teeth this year by utilizing Mother Nature’s deceiving gift. Get outside and build a snowman, hit the bunny hills for some skiing, or treat your significant other to a romantic evening of ice skating.

Motivate your winter endeavors with supplemental vitamin D. Nearly every cell in the body has a receptor for vitamin D, including brain cells; and vitamin D plays a role in serotonin and dopamine production. These feel-good chemicals are sure to raise you out of your seasonal slump.

Maintenance dosing for vitamin D is around 2,000 IU per day depending on each individual, but those who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may need a higher doseage. Maximize your mood and immune system this long season with vitamin D and some form of physical activity. Snow-blowing doesn’t count!

Joining a gym is a great way to avoid seasonal claustrophobia.  Not only is exercise essential for the release of those feel-good chemicals that increase mood, but gyms are usually brightly lit.  If you don’t have a light therapy lamp on hand, hit the gym and kill two birds with one stone.  Enjoy your winter!

 

The Most Superior Forms of Vitamins E, D, B-12, and B-6

By Jennifer Morganti, NDWhich Drug?

One of the most common questions I have been asked over the years is that regarding the difference between the multivitamins found at the drugstore or big-box store, and the type of multivitamins found at Natur-Tyme. After all, they seem to have the same vitamins listed on the supplement facts panel, right?

On the surface, they do all appear the same. But there are big differences in the actual forms of each nutrient in terms of absorption and the way the body uses them. As a general rule of thumb, the cheaper materials are the least effective and the biggest waste of money. So it really pays to know what forms are the best and to spend a little extra money on the ingredients that work best.

One vitamin that you want to pay close attention to is vitamin E. The most important concern is that the product contains d-alpha tocopherol, the natural form of this fat-soluble vitamin, instead of dl-alpha tocopherol, the synthetic form that should be avoided entirely. If you really want to reap the benefits of vitamin E, you should look for all four forms of tocopherol: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-tocopherol. There are also four forms of the tocotrienol part of vitamin E (the same four prefixes as the tocopherols), but it is quite rare to find all eight isomers in a multivitamin formula due to the expense. At a minimum, be sure to avoid the synthetic vitamin E, which is common in TV-commercial type multivitamins.

Another important fat-soluble vitamin is D. Cholecalciferol, known as D3, is the one better utilized by the body, as compared to D2. D2 is the form that can be toxic to the liver in high doses, but D3 is far less likely to cause a reaction. D3 is typically derived from lanolin and is very affordable, so most manufacturers have converted to using this form exclusively.

In the water-soluble B vitamin family, there are a few basic things to consider. B12 can be found as hydroxyl-, methyl- and cyano-cobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is the least effective but most common form found in a multivitamin. It is not a form found in nature and isn’t utilized effectively by the body. A high-quality multi will offer the hydroxyl or methyl-cobalamin forms which offer superior activity.

Vitamin B6 is usually found in the basic form of pyridoxine. A superior and more active form is pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, also known as P5P, but you are less likely to find this in a multivitamin.

Up next: what forms of minerals you should look for in a multivitamin!

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