I'm often asked for recommendations on books people can check out for info on nutrition. Now don't get me wrong - most of what's out there is shit, shilled by folks who don't know their ass from their elbow, but I digress.
Here is a short list of some that pass the smell test:
1. Biochemical Individuality by Roger J. Williams, PhD
2. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, DDS
3. How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek
4. The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition by John Berardi, PhD
5. The Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford
And this like I said is a short list. Visit the "Recommended Reading" section of my site for links to purchase many of these titles....and gain some valuable knowledge!
First up for a look in the B group is Thiamine, or as it is more commonly know - B1. Let's take a look at some of the functions, symptoms of deficiency, what depletes it, and finally, food sources high in this vitamin.
Functions of Thiamine (B1) (1,2)
- Needed for proper metabolism of thyroid hormones
- Required for proper nerve function
- Used for activation of enzymes in the adrenal glands
- Needed for synthesis of nucleic acids and NADPH
- Used in the synthesis of acetylcholine
- Needed for energy production
- Helps the body adapt to stress and avoid adrenal burnout
- Is needed for the making of aldosterone
Symptoms of deficiency (3):
- Vision problems
- Mild depression
- Poor memory
Substances that decrease Thiamine (B1) (4,5):
- Brussels Sprouts
- Oral contraceptives
- Alcohol (If you marinate meat in wine, soy sauce, or vinegar, it depletes levels of B1 by 50 to 75%)
- Diuretics (water pills)
Food Sources (6): (most to least)
- Brewer's yeast
- Wheat germ
- Sunflower seeds
- Pine nuts
- Peanuts (with skins)
- Brazil nuts
*Grains lose up to 100% of their thiamine when processed (7).
Caution! High doses of thiamine (B1) may deplete your body of vitamin B6 or magnesium (8). Remember what we said about supplementing with individual vitamins! Up next, Riboflavin, or as it is commonly known, B2!
1. Ibid., Bland, Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, p. 105.
2. Ibid., Crook, p. 151.
3. Ibid., Crook, p. 151.
4. Ibid., Bland, Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, p. 106.
5. Ibid., Crook, p. 152.
6. Ibid., Bland, Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, p. 105.
7. Ibid., Colgan, p. 79.
8. Ibid., Gaby, Nutritional Therapy in Medical Practice, p. 6.
"Whoever is happy will make others happy too."
I'm taking a break from my "vitamin knowledge" posts to take a look at one of the supplement industry's greatest scams - the detox. How does one become toxic in the first place? Here's how it goes:
Ingestion and digestion of:
- Alcohol (yes, its THAT bad for you....)
- Food additives
- Environmental toxins
- Pesticides in food (this is huge...)
- Food allergens
- Medications, drugs
Leads to microbial imbalance:
- Bacterial overgrowth
- Fungal overgrowth
- Irritable bowel
Which leads to increased gut issues made worse by:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Alcohol (yes, its THAT bad for you....)
Which leads to "toxic" overload made worse by:
- Lack of essential nutrients
Unsafe toxins damage the immune and nervous system, muscles and joints and disrupt hormonal imbalance. Stay tuned for my next post - I'm going to show how we can heal this issue...no gimmicks, potions, and crazy fasting necessary.
I hope you liked yesterday's profile on vitamin A. As promised, here is the scoop on vitamin D. Remember, you can find all of this info and more in the books, Vitamins: Hype or Hope? by Pamela Wartian Smith M.D., MPH and The Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford.
Much like vitamin A, vitamin D is another fat soluble vitamin. In fact, it is not even really a vitamin, it is technically a hormone. As I'm sure most know, it is present in sunlight and our bodies absorb it from the sun into our skin. Our bodies have vitamin D receptors in our bones, pancreas, intestine, kidneys, brain, spinal cord, male and female reproductive organs, thymus, adrenal glands, pituitary, and thyroid gland.
There are two types of vitamin D - D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). D2 can be found in plants and D3 comes from red meat and fish.
Functions of vitamin D in your body:
- Aids in the absorption of calcium from the intestinal tract
- Helps the body assimilate phosphorus
- Stimulates bone cell mineralization
- Helps the pancreas release insulin (1,2,3)
Things that decrease vitamin D in your body:
- Aging (your body makes less vitamin D from the sun)
- Meds (e.g., phenytoin - anti-convulsive medication)
- Decreased fat absorption
- Sunscreen (prevents vitamin D absorption)
- Prednisone (interferes with the conversion of vitamin D
to its active form) (4,5,6)
Top 10 food sources:
6. Sunflower seeds
10. Natural cheeses (6)
There you have it - vitamin D in a nutshell. Next up - vitamin E!!!
1. Holick, M., et al., "Vitamin D and bone health," J. Nutr 1996; 126: 1159S-1164S.
2. Dawson-Hughes, B., et al., "Effect of vitamin D supplementation on wintertime and overall bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women," Ann Intern Med 1991; 115 (7): 505-12.
3. Dawson-Hughes, B., et al., "Effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on bone density in men and women 65 years of age or older," NEJM 1997; 337 (10): 670-76.
4. Collins, J., What's Your Menopause Type? Roseville, California: Prima Publishing, 2000, p. 207.
5. Ibid., Bland, Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, p. 133.
6. Ibid., Bland, Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, p. 133.
It seems these days that when any health professional uses the terms "vitamins & minerals," the general zombie public automatically thinks "supplements." I thought this month would be a good time to go in depth from A to Z on the subject and dispel as many of the supplement industries myths regarding the topic as I can. So for the remainder of this month I will post an article every day on a different vitamin and mineral or something pertaining to the topic (anecdotes, research etc...). Much of this information can be found in the excellent text, "Vitamins: Hype or Hope?" by Pamela Wartian Smith M.D., MPH
Up first: Vitamin A
If there is one thing that gets me fired up it has to be the ultra-ridiculous notion of "one size fits all" dieting. For the record, no "one" diet will work for anyone, for any length of time simply due to the fact that a persons needs change too much. Throw in the fact that we are all extremely different physiologically speaking (a great book on this is "Biochemical Individuality" by Roger Williams, PhD) and you can see that there is no "best" when it comes to nutritional plans. But then again, the nutritional/medical/training industry has money to make and books on veganism, paleo, and insert fad here _________ sell big! There may be no "best" but here are some key points you can take to shall we say....improve your situation:
1. Eat to the highest quality level you can afford
2. Organic is always best
3. Drink at minimum half of your body weight in water per day
4. Think protein first
5. Avoid processed everything
6. Avoid additives and preservative laden foods (see #5)
7. Don't be afraid of fat
8. Shop your local farmer's market - Think FRESH!
9. Have multiple feedings per day
10. Listen to your body!
If you practice these 10 things on a regular basis (think 90% of the time), you will see a dramatic shift in your vitality levels and guess what - your body will let you know about it.
This is the Wholistic Revolution blog space.