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Tag: Nutritional supplements

Lycopene text with colorful fruits on table.

Lecithin, Omega-3, Lycopene, and More: Nutrition Beyond Vitamins and Minerals

As the pandemic continues, people have become more and more acquainted with the variety of vitamins and minerals available in the market offering various health claims. But did you know that some dietary supplements can give you beyond your usual vitamins ABC’s and minerals?

Not all supplements are formulated the same. Aside from the price, check how many and how much of the active ingredients do your supplements offer. Apart from your usual vitamins and minerals, here are some important nutrients to look for in your supplements:

LECITHIN: A nerve-building nutrient

Also known as phosphatidylcholine, lecithin is a large class of fat-like substance that is essential for creating and maintaining the covering of the cells. Lecithin is important in the normal functioning of a wide range of essential body systems, including the digestive, reproductive, and circulatory systems. Lecithin can improve cardiovascular and liver health. It lowers levels of blood cholesterol and increases HDLs levels (high density lipoproteins, aka “good cholesterol”).

Among its many functions, lecithin has been specially touted for its benefits to the nervous system, giving it the moniker “nerve-building nutrient.” Clinicians find lecithin useful in helping improve memory and in sustaining endurance in strenuous physical and mental activities.

LYCOPENE and RUTIN: Not your usual antioxidants

Lycopene, a carotenoid or “colorful nutrient,” is an antioxidant abundantly found in tomatoes and tomato-based products. Lycopene is regarded as the most abundant carotenoid in the human blood. Lycopene has been demonstrated to have a strong association to a reduced risk for certain cancers, mainly of the prostate, stomach, and lungs. Lycopene has also been found to be efficient in ameliorating diabetes mellitus, heart complications, skin, bone, liver and reproductive diseases and disorders.

Rutin, also known as Vitamin P or Rutoside, is a naturally-sourced flavonoid. Rutin has demonstrated several beneficial activities, including antioxidant and anticancer properties. As a flavonoid, rutin has been shown to have a strong scavenging activity or the ability to combat deleterious substances that may damage the body cells.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: The fat your heart loves

Omega-3 fats, which include ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), belong to the family of unsaturated fats that are not produced by the body, and are obtained from food sources such as fish and vegetable oils.

Omega-3 fats have been shown to lower the risk for heart diseases and strokes. Omega-3 fats were also reported to help in lowering blood pressure and improve blood vessel function. At higher doses, omega-3 fatty acids are reported to lower triglycerides and may ease inflammation, thus preventing thickening of the arterial wall.

LUTEIN and ZEAXANTHIN: Looking after your eye health

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two chemically similar carotenoids shown to have health benefits for the eyes. They are specifically concentrated in the macula, the area in the eye responsible for color recognition. Because lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties, they help protect the eyes from deleterious substances that may cause damage.

Intake of lutein and zeaxanthin have also been linked to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts by increasing macular pigment density, thus preventing vision impairment and blindness.

It is important to be familiar with the various nutrients available in different supplements and their health benefits. Reading product labels and knowing the right ingredient to look for helps us become informed and smart consumers.

Consult your doctor regarding supplementation to get proper guidance in choosing the best supplement suited for your needs.

The Benefits of Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements

What are the benefits of multivitamin and mineral supplements?

Failing to meet the body’s vitamin and mineral requirements can have serious health concerns. Read on and see the benefits of taking multivitamin and mineral supplements.

“What are the benefits of multivitamin and mineral supplements? Do they really work?”

Nowadays, multivitamin, and mineral supplements have become increasingly popular. This can be attributed primarily to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, people have become more acquainted with various brands available in the market that cater to their specific health status and needs. With a significant portion of the population taking them, it is no surprise that multivitamins and minerals have become essential in our day-to-day lives.

Multivitamin and mineral supplements refer to the combination of various vitamins and minerals typically found in food sources. They are usually taken to meet our daily recommended amount of nutrients which are not sufficient in our usual diet. They can be in the form of tablets, powder, capsules, liquids, or chewable gummies.

There are many instances wherein vitamin and mineral supplementation becomes necessary. One is when your diet fails to meet your body’s requirement for vitamins and minerals. Another is when you are in a state of nutrient loss, as in severe or chronic illnesses.

Here are some benefits of taking multivitamin and mineral supplements:

1Boosts the Immune System

Our immune system protects our body against harmful bacteria, viruses, and free radicals. Some vitamins and minerals function similarly to improve our immune defense. These include Vitamin C, A, D, E, B Complex and minerals such as Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Iron found in multivitamin and mineral supplements. In addition, they also provide antioxidant protection.

2Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins are responsible for producing the chemical neurotransmitters that affect brain functions. Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate may be linked to depression. Furthermore, Vitamin B6 is also part of the processes involved in producing brain chemicals responsible for regulating our mood.

3. Improves Overall Health

Our body requires essential nutrients to function, grow, and repair itself.
Vitamins and minerals contribute to the normal metabolism and functioning of the human body and are essential in maintaining good health.

Consuming appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals is part of a balanced and healthy diet. However, in cases where your diet fails to meet the body’s daily requirements, supplementation can support and improve your overall health. Take advantage of the benefits of multivitamin and mineral supplements and begin your healthy journey today.

References:

Vitamin B-12 and depression, Mayo Clinic

Niacin and depression

Special Nutrients in Dietary Supplements: Going Beyond Vitamins and Minerals

As the pandemic persists, people have become more and more acquainted with the variety of vitamins and minerals available in the market offering various health claims. But did you know that some dietary supplements can give you beyond your usual vitamins ABC’s and minerals? Your choice of a nutritional supplement therefore is crucial in making sure you’re getting the most out of your peso.

Here’s an important tip: read product labels. Not all supplements are formulated the same. Aside from the price, check how many and how much of the active ingredients do your supplements offer. Apart from your usual vitamins and minerals, here are some important nutrients to look for in your supplements and the benefits each of them offers:

LECITHIN: A nerve-building nutrient

Also known as phosphatidylcholine, lecithin is a large class of fat-like substance that is essential for creating and maintaining the covering of the cells. Lecithin is important in the normal functioning of a wide range of essential body systems, including the digestive, reproductive, and circulatory systems. Lecithin can improve cardiovascular health by lowering levels of blood cholesterol and raising HDLs levels (high density lipoproteins, aka “good cholesterol”).

Among its many functions, lecithin has been specially touted for its benefits to the nervous system, giving it the moniker “nerve-building nutrient.” Clinicians find lecithin useful in helping improve memory and in sustaining endurance in strenuous physical and mental activities.

LYCOPENE and RUTIN: Not your usual antioxidants

Lycopene, a carotenoid or “colorful nutrient,” is an antioxidant abundantly found in tomatoes and tomato-based products. Lycopene is regarded as the most abundant carotenoid in the human blood. Lycopene has been demonstrated to have a strong association to a reduced risk for certain cancers, mainly of the prostate, stomach, and lungs. Lycopene has also been found to be efficient in ameliorating diabetes mellitus, heart complications, skin, bone, liver and reproductive diseases and disorders.

Rutin, also known as Vitamin P or Rutoside, is a naturally-sourced flavonoid. Rutin has demonstrated several beneficial activities, including antioxidant and anticancer properties. Among the flavonoids, rutin has been shown to have one of the strongest scavenging activity or the ability to combat deleterious substances that may damage the body cells. Rutin also acts synergistically with Vitamin C to help maintain a healthy immune system.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: The fat your heart loves

Omega-3 fats, which include ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), belong to the family of unsaturated fats that are not produced by the body, and are obtained from food sources such as fish and vegetable oils.

Omega-3 fats have been shown to lower the risk for heart diseases and strokes. It was also reported to help in lowering blood pressure and improve blood vessel function. At higher doses, omega-3 fatty acids are reported to lower triglycerides and may ease inflammation, thus preventing thickening of the arterial wall.

LUTEIN and ZEAXANTHIN: Looking after your eye health

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two chemically similar carotenoids with proven health benefits. They are specifically concentrated in the macula, the area in the eye responsible for color recognition. Because lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties, they protect the eyes from deleterious substances that may cause damage.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin constitute the main pigments found in the yellow spot of the human retina which protects the macula from damage by blue light, improves visual acuity, and scavenge free radicals that destroy the cells. Intake of lutein and zeaxanthin have also been linked to a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts by increasing macular pigment density, thus preventing vision impairment and blindness.

It is important to be familiar with the various nutrients available in different supplements and their health benefits. Reading product labels and knowing the right ingredient to look for helps us become informed and smart consumers. Also, consulting your doctor regarding supplementation may give you leads and to give you proper guidance in choosing the best supplement suited for your needs.

References:


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Nutrition Source. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution

Imran M, Ghorat F, Ul-Haq I, et al. Lycopene as a Natural Antioxidant Used to Prevent Human Health Disorders. Antioxidants (Basel).

Küllenberg D, Taylor LA, Schneider M, Massing U. Health effects of dietary phospholipids. Lipids Health Dis.

Abdel-Aal el-SM, Akhtar H, Zaheer K, Ali R. Dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids and their role in eye health. Nutrients


Ganeshpurkar A, Saluja AK. The Pharmacological Potential of Rutin. Saudi Pharm J.

The Multiple Benefits of CoQ10

What is Ubiquinone or CoQ10?

CoQ10, a shorthand for Coenzyme Q10, is also known as Vitamin Q or Ubiquinone. Ubiquinone is a quinone compound that is produced naturally in the human body. Due to its ubiquitous presence in every cell of the human body, scientists who identified this compound named it Ubiquinone. Many researchers acknowledge its properties to be vitamin-like and so it is also called Vitamin Q. However, it is technically not a true vitamin. CoQ10 works in concert with enzymes of the body.  Hence, it is a ‘coenzyme’ in accelerating the efficient metabolism of nutrients.

CoQ10 is abundant in energy demanding cells. The highest concentrations of CoQ10 are reportedly present in the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas. Tissue levels of CoQ10 may decline in people who are advancing in age.  Levels may not be enough when there is insufficient intake of precursor substances and when the body is faced with increased requirements during illness.

CoQ10 helps the different body cells to produce energy for the maintenance of bodily functions. Apart from its role in energy production, CoQ10 also functions as a very powerful natural antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals and various diseases.

Given the important role of CoQ10 in the human body, numerous studies were done to explore its use as a supplement in health and disease. Juan Hernandez-Camacho and his team of researchers from the Universidad Pablo de Olavide-CSIC-JA in Sevilla, Spain, and the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore, Maryland USA did a review of these studies and found CoQ10 to be beneficial in various conditions.

Role in cardiovascular health

Camacho and his team discovered that daily supplementation with CoQ10 significantly helped in lowering elevated blood pressure. Short term daily treatment with CoQ10 was also seen to aid in the cardiac function of patients with heart failure. It improved ejection fraction (the fraction of blood being pumped by the heart per beat).  Furthermore, CoQ10 also improved the blood vessel function in patients with heart failure.

Role in metabolic health and diabetes

Camacho and his team also reported in a study that CoQ10 supplementation had a mild but significant capacity to lower fasting plasma glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In terms of managing blood cholesterol, there were reports that suggested that CoQ10 is very effective in reducing blood triglycerides and lipoproteins. It was also observed that CoQ10 supplementation may benefit patients taking cholesterol reducing drugs called statins by reducing statin related muscle pain and cramping.

Role in delaying functional decline in Parkinson’s Disease

Clinical measurements showed lower levels of CoQ10 and higher levels of oxidative changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease compared to nonaffected individuals.  Consequently, the role of CoQ10 was further explored. Clinical trials reviewed by Camacho and his team showed that CoQ10 supplementation delays functional decline among patients suffering from neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. The positive result is the improvement in cognitive function.

CoQ10 alleviates migraine

In a review published in StatPearls, researchers Britanny Sood and Michael Keenaghan also found CoQ10 to be beneficial in terms of alleviating migraine.

Sood and Keenaghan reported studies which found that supplementing with CoQ10 was three times more likely than placebo to reduce the number of migraines in the studied subjects. It was also observed that a low level of CoQ10 was seen in individuals with migraines. In the treatment process, patients with CoQ10 deficiency experienced fewer and less severe headaches. CoQ10 was also shown to decrease migraine frequency in adult migraine sufferers.

CoQ10 and exercise performance

Sood and Keenaghan also found that supplementation with CoQ10 can help increase stamina during exercise and   reduce fatigue.  Both effects can improve exercise performance. CoQ10 was shown to decrease pain, fatigue, and morning tiredness in patients with fibromyalgia, a musculoskeletal disorder characterized by fatigue and problems in sleep, mood and memory.  Improvement of physical performance during bicycling exercise routines in healthy patients was also emphasized.

There is increasing attention towards CoQ10 especially with the emergence of studies demonstrating its favorable effects to health. Daily supplementation with CoQ10 is now being considered especially in conditions and illnesses that may benefit from this particular nutrient. Multivitamin preparations with CoQ10 are readily available allowing anyone to enjoy its benefits. It should always be remembered though that a doctor must be consulted first before taking any vitamins that you might need.

References:


Hernández-Camacho JD, Bernier M, López-Lluch G, Navas P. Coenzyme Q10Supplementation in Aging and Disease.

Sood B, Keenaghan M. Coenzyme https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK531491/