Self Care for Busy Women: Part 1

Self Care for Busy Women: Part 1

Ladies and gentleman, in case of emergency, an oxygen mask will drop from the compartment above your head.  Pull down firmly on the mask to begin the flow of oxygen and be sure to put on your own mask before assisting children or other passengers.

 

After pulling another all-nighter, I woke up this afternoon to a message from a friend asking what time I was coming over.  Actually, there were three messages from her, spread across the day.

Huh?  There must be some confusion?  I said next Wednesday.  I know that because I’d worked out that I’d double-booked myself next Wednesday and had to see if I could meet the other person another day.  Why would I have said this week?  I’m promoting a movie screening like crazy and the deadline is so close and my youngest has been sick and it’s her birthday in two days and I have to organize food and a gift and I need to work out what my teenager can do so she’s not just sitting at a computer all day and all those dishes need washing before I can cook anything and aaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! 

As it turns out, I had said this Wednesday, but my brain had filed it against the wrong date.

Crap!  I messed up.  I let someone down.  I hate being that person who doesn’t show when you’re expecting them to.  What the hell happened to my memory?  Why did my brain have to rewire during pregnancy to favour fast reflexes instead of the great memory I once had? 

Sound familiar?  As women trying to balance ALL the things – work, family, friends, household, ourselves – it’s often that last thing that falls to the bottom of the priority list.  We’re so busy & so tired that we get by on the fumes of the coffee or tea that goes cold before we get to drink it or that snack that we packed in our bag for the kids the other day that they didn’t want or maybe that whole block of dark chocolate we stashed away where hopefully the kids wouldn’t find it.  Ya feelin’ me?  The great irony being that if we DO prioritise self-care more, we’re better able to manage everything else.

The thing is, I know this.  I reckon you know it. We all do, but it’s easy to forget or justify why we don’t have time to nurture ourselves.  It’s what landed me in hospital with sudden-onset convulsions two years ago, imagining the worst & wondering if I’d see my kids grow up.  Broken sleep, poor appetite, hormonal imbalance, breastfeeding, underlying genetic issues, financial strain; all these things were causing stress to my body.  I wasn’t feeling it psychologically because my brain was protecting itself, instead creating somatic symptoms as a sort of release valve.  It was a huge wake-up call at the time and these days, I try to be more aware of the whispers before my body has to scream at me again.  It’s time to go back to those things that will create a better sense of balance and calm.  I wanted to share some tried & true tips for self-care that are as much a reminder to myself as they are my way of trying to help you so you don’t find yourself sick and burnt out.

When putting this post together, it kept getting longer and longer as I went over all the things I know are important and effective, and saw the irony as the clock marched on into the wee hours and I was nowhere near finishing.  I also thought those of you who will benefit the most from the info are those of you with the least time to sit down and read a lengthy post, so I will post it in 2 parts, each with five tips.

1) Create a nurturing routine

In a case of perfect timing, a parcel arrived for me today that I’d been eagerly Nurture Me Essential Oil | unitywellness.com.auawaiting.  A beautiful limited edition blend of organic essential oils called Nurture Me.  As I looked at the bottle, I was reminded of Alice in Wonderland where she found the bottle on the table that said ‘Drink Me’.  The temptation to do what the label said was overwhelming (not chug down the whole bottle, just the Nurture Me part).  I opened the bottle and experienced an aroma that felt like a warm hug.  Earthy, spicy, grounding.

When possible, set some time aside for a warm bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of your favourite essential oil mixed into a carrier, but when time is short, do what I did & have a hot shower to relax tight muscles in the shoulders, neck & back.  After drying off gently with a towel, mix a few drops of Nurture Me into a carrier oil (I used jojoba) and rub that stuff all over yourself (except sensitive areas, because no one needs that sort of stress)!  Imagine you are massaging a loved one, or they are massaging you.  Tell each body part how much you appreciate it for everything it does for you.  It might sound strange at first, but trust me, your body is listening to how you talk to it and will respond in kind.  It only takes an extra minute, but is so worth it.

If you don’t already have one, get an ultrasonic oil diffuser and have some oil diffusing in the space you spend the most time, or in a quiet room where you can grab a bit of time to sit and breathe/meditate.  You can even get plug-in diffusers for your car, or diffuser pads that clip onto the air vent.  Just make sure the oil you use does not make you feel TOO relaxed whilst driving!

 

2) Fast Nourishment

When you’re running around, forgetting meals, getting by on insufficient sleep, it’s so much more tempting to reach for the coffee, energy drinks or fast food (or rather, food-like substances).  On days like that, I like to make a drink with coconut water, superfood powder & some medicinal herbs.  Coconut water contains electrolytes to hydrate the body, SunLove is a Naturopathic blend of 36 superfoods to boost energy, reduce oxidative stress and support adrenal function and Cosmic Calm is a blend of three adaptogenic herbs to again support adrenal function and help the body adapt to stress.  I put the coconut water and the 2 powders in a shaker cup, screw the lid on, give it a shake & drink up.  Just as quick as any of the aforementioned pick-me-ups without the resulting crash.  If I feel like an extra boost, I’ll add in some other green powder, colloidal minerals, some probiotics and maybe a little more moringa.  Being in liquid form, the nutrients are absorbed & utilised faster than they would be if you had to chew & breakdown the food first.  It won’t replace a balanced diet, but it will give you a good hit of nutrients to help you through those times your diet is lacking.

If you’re not entirely ready to kick the caffeine habit, still have a green drink like that, but try something like a mushroom coffee that gives you some extra nutrients with less of the jittery feelings.

Self Care Part 1 | unitywellness.com.au

The other thing I like to do is make a batch of bliss balls to keep in the fridge.  It only takes a few minutes and you can pack so much into a batch using dates and coconut as a base, then adding nuts, seeds, coconut oil, raw cacao powder, cacao nibs, superfood powders, collagen or plant-based protein powder, etc to taste.  Grab a bliss ball instead of something full of refined sugar.  They also double as a great afternoon snack for the kids, or something to put in their lunchbox if you leave out nuts or other things not allowed in many schools these days.

 

3) Gut health

The health of our gut plays a significant role in not only our immune system & physical health, but also how we feel mentally & emotionally.  Around 80% of the serotonin in our bodies, correlated with feelings of calm, relaxation & happiness is in our gut, so it makes sense to nurture our microbiome.  Eating a wide range of fibre-rich vegetables does the same for our microbes that compost does for our garden; it feeds the microbes that increase availability of nutrients.  The bacteria in our gut synthesise a number of B-group vitamins which help to calm our nervous system to reduce that “tired & wired” feeling.  Eating a spoonful of fermented veggies like sauerkraut or kimchi with each meal is a great way of combining probiotics with the fibre they need to thrive.

As mentioned, I’ll often use a food-based probiotic in my green drink, or you can use a synbiotic powder that combines probiotics with prebiotics, which are the ‘microbe fertiliser’, to recolonise your gut with good bacteria much faster than taking probiotics alone.  You can also get a brew of Kefir, Jun or Kombucha on the go for an endless supply of probiotics.  You can even get Hemp Kombucha kits with all the ingredients & instructions you need to get started.

 

4) Hydrate

I can hear my chiropractor every time I think about this subject……”how’s your water intake been?” he asks, knowing full-well what the answer is by the way I look and how locked up my body is.

I don’t think I’m telling you anything new when I say the human body is around 70% water and it’s recommended you drink 2-3 litres a day (more when exercising, breastfeeding, sick, in hot climates, etc).  You can get an estimated daily water requirement HERE.  Water flushes away the waste from normal cellular function, keeps our skin supple, lubricates our joints and reduces joint pain, prevents muscle cramps, maintains healthy kidney function, regulates blood pressure and keeps the contents of our bowels soft so we can pass stools easily.

If we look just at the brain for a moment, it is around 80% water.  If not properly hydrated, grey matter in the brain begins to shrink and if we become chronically dehydrated, the brain can begin to age prematurely (*takes a big swig of water*).  Water, as cerebrospinal fluid, circulates through the brain via the glymphatic system (no, that’s not a typo), to flush away toxic metabolites and proteins that accumulate between brain cells.  The activity of the glymphatic system increases nearly 10x while we sleep, with the brain cells contracting by 60% to allow the fluid to flush through more easily.  This flushing maintains healthy brain function and reduces the risk of neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s.  Almost every neurodegenerative disease is associated with an accumulation of cellular waste products, so one of the best things you can do to help your brain function during the day and reduce that foggy feeling is to be well-hydrated before going to sleep and start the day with a large glass of water.   Filtered/purified water is best.  Imagine washing yourself in a clear, sparkling stream versus a muddy pool of stagnant water.  That’s kinda how I visualise what’s going on inside the body.   If your water supply is fluoridated, you’d do well to get a filter that removes fluoride as it can compete for with iodine for receptor sites in the thyroid & reduce thyroid function, leading to more sluggishness and brain fog.

 

5) Sleep

We’ve already seen how important well-hydrated sleep is for maintaining a healthy brain.  Another thing the brain does in the sleep state is to produce support cells that go on to produce myelin that insulates our neurons to ensure the proper transmission of electrical signals in the body.  Memory & learning is also consolidated during sleep, so if you keep losing your keys, have no idea what day it is or people start calling you ‘Dory’, you probably need to look at improving your sleep habits.

Ideally, you should aim for being asleep by 9pm as the three hours between 9pm and midnight are the most restorative.  As a lifelong nightowl, I realise how early that sounds, especially when you factor in that it’s best to avoid electronic devices at least a couple of hours before bed. Throw in the need to have some quiet time when everyone else is sleeping and yeah….still working on that balance.

Sleep has a significant impact on other body systems, too.  A study by the CDC shows that both too little sleep (<6 hours) and too much sleep (>10 hours) is associated with higher incidences of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity & anxiety when compared to people getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.  Even one night of insufficient sleep can move you into a pre-diabetic state, so next time you are pondering whether to sleep or get some extra work done (or write a blog post about the importance of sleep), sleep is always the better option.  As a bonus, getting quality sleep makes your skin look better.

You can see on this Chinese Body Clock chart where the energy of our body is most concentrated at certain times of the day based on circadian rhythms:

Source: https://www.geradkite.com/

If you can plan your activities to line up with these times, you will be following the natural flow of your body and will feel better for it.  There is a similar clock in Ayurvedic medicine, also.

If you have difficulty stopping that chattering ‘Monkey Mind’ that keeps you awake, you may like to try a guided meditation or some amazing sound healing recordings to bypass the conscious mind & clear the subconscious clutter that you’re holding on to.

On that note, it’s wayyyyyy past my bedtime and I have to fill up my water bottle.  Stay tuned for Part 2 where I discuss five more things you can do to nurture your body & soul so you can live a more peaceful life.

Nyree xx

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

Early Feeding Choices for Infant Gut Health

Early Feeding Choices for Infant Gut Health

There’s no denying that breast milk is the gold standard for human nutrition.  In pre-term babies particularly, breast milk has been associated with improved growth and cognitive development, as well as a reduced risk of serious bowel infections and sepsis.

In cases where the mother is unable to breastfeed, what is the next best option to ensure a healthy gut microbiome in the child that will have far-reaching effects on their overall health?

In the last few years, I’ve noticed an increasing number of expectant first-time Mums asking for baby formula recommendations so they can stock up “just in case”.  Whilst I completely understand the drive to prepare for all eventualities when you’re having your first baby, it saddens me to think that women don’t realise there’s an intermediate option – donor human breast milk.

A study just published in the Frontiers of Microbiology journal compared the gut microbiota of 69 preterm infants in NICU fed either their mother’s own milk (MOM), pasteurised donor human milk (DHM) or formula, to understand the differences in resulting gut microbiota and the potential biological implications.

Faecal samples were collected and the microbiota composition was analysed through rRNA sequencing.  After controlling for other factors, the diversity of gut microbiota increased over time and was constantly higher in infants fed MOM relative to infants with other feeding types. The microbial profile of formula-fed infants was distinct from those observed in MOM and DHM, suggesting that DHM favors an intestinal microbiome more similar to MOM despite the differences between MOM and DHM.  DHM has a slightly different composition to MOM relative to the age of the child as women donating milk tend to be feeding older babies and differences in nutritional intake amongst donors can vary, which is offset somewhat by milk pooling – combining milk from several donors. Pasteurization of DHM also causes changes to the microbial balance, enzymes & proteins in the milk. In general though, only minor differences were observed in the functional profiles between MOM and DHM, suggesting the potential effect of DHM in mimicking the microbiome functionality of own maternal milk feeding.

In conclusion, DHM favors an intestinal microbiome more similar to MOM than Formula despite the differences between MOM and DHM. This may have potential beneficial long-term effects on intestinal functionality, immune system, and metabolic activities.

This would be of particular importance to infants born by Caesarian section who would not receive the same exposure to the mother’s vaginal microbiome as those born naturally.  In some cases, seeding takes place, where a gauze that’s been placed in the mother’s vagina is wiped over the baby & around their mouth to simulate the transfer of bacteria that occurs in vaginal birth to prime the infant’s immune system.

More research needs to be done to understand the long-term implications of feeding type, but that raises ethical issues around feeding one group an option known to be inferior.

Some people find it difficult to access sufficient donor milk as not all locations have milk banks and preference is given to babies most at risk.  It is worth exploring community donor schemes such as Eats on Feets or Human Milk 4 Human Babies.  These groups connect donors & recipients, but do not handle the milk or involve themselves in the arrangements.  The milk is unlikely to be pasteurised, although that means less damaged by heat, but it is up to you to screen the donors to ensure you feel safe with the milk they provide.

Mother’s own milk will always be the optimal choice, with the interaction between the microbiomes of the mother-child dyad informing the mother’s body of what the baby needs at any given moment to adapt to the environment they live in.  It is so important for the mother to have support around her that allows the time, space, hydration & nutrition she needs for proper lactation.  If there are issues feeding, seek the advice of a midwife or lactation consultant & have the baby checked for tongue &/or lip ties.

The next-best option is human donor milk, then milk from other species as a last resort.  I want to clarify that I am not saying that to judge or berate anyone for the way they feed their baby, but with human health declining & chronic illness rising, I think it is important to give consideration to the evidence available to maximize the health of our children and reverse the disease trends.  After all, the contents of our bowels that could get us out of this crap!

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE

Front. Microbiol., 27 June 2018 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01376

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

Eating Dates Produces Powerful Health Benefits, Religion and Science Agree

Eating Dates Produces Powerful Health Benefits, Religion and Science Agree

Originally posted on: Friday, July 6th 2018 at 6:15 am

Since biblical times, dates were to believed to possess profound healing properties, but only now is science catching up to confirm our distant ancestors knew exactly what they were talking about. 

If you go by the Nutrition Facts panel of an ordinary package of dates, they look more like sugar bombs than a healthy snack. Check this one out:

But are they really as nutritionally vapid as these label claims make them seem?

Not by a long shot.

When we apply the complementary lenses of modern scientific investigation and ancient wisdom, dates begin to look like both a holy- and a super-food of immense value.

Here’s a neat example.

From the Koran to Clinical Trials: Dates for Better Birthing

In the Koran, the central holy book of Islam, Allah instructs the Virgin Mary to consume dates when she gives birth to Jesus.[1] And so, not surprisingly, dates are commonly referred to within the Islamic tradition as beneficial to pregnant women. We might chalk this up as “pre-scientific” magical thinking without basis in medical fact, were it not for a remarkable human clinical study that confirmed their value in pregnancy…

Published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2011 and titled, “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery“, researchers set out to investigate the effect of date fruit consumption on labor parameters and birth outcomes. Over the course of 11 months at Jordan University of Science and Technology, two groups of women were enrolled in a prospective study where 69 women consumed six date fruits per day for 4 weeks prior to their estimated date of delivery, versus 45 women who consumed none. These women were matched so there was no significant difference in gestational age, age and parity (the number of times a woman has brought a pregnancy to viable gestational age) between the two groups.

The results of the date intervention were reported as follows:

  • Improved Cervical Dilation: “The women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005).”
  • Less Damage to Membranes: “[The intervention group had] a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%, p = 0.007).”
  • More Natural (Spontaneous) Labor: “Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers (p = 0.024).”
  • Less Drugs Required: “Use of prostin/oxytocin was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%) (p = 0.036).”
  • Shorter Labor: “The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 min vs 906 min, p = 0.044).”

The researchers concluded:

“It is concluded that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial.”[2]

Thanks to research like this we can see how the mythological and scientific ways of understanding now converge and confirm one another. I believe that rather than contradict and/or negate one another, the mythos and logos are beginning to assume a far more productive complementary relationship as we move into a new era of understanding where the profane and sacred are perceived as intimately entwined in our direct experience. The field of nutrition, as you can see, is no exception.

Dates Contain Nourishing Information

Dates, of course, are in the palm tree family, and along with coconut and red palm, are some of the oldest cultivated plants known in the historical record; in fact, they are so old we don’t know where they first originated.  They have provided life-sustaining nutrition in regions that are often sparse in edible resources, and are increasingly being researched as a powerful medicinal food that could reduce much suffering in malnourished and disease prone populations, especially in underdeveloped countries.

Even while scientific analysis of dates are beginning to reveal that they are actually densely packed with a wide range of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids, it should be emphasized that they are not just sources of energy and material building blocks for our body. We must acknowledge that they are also sources of biologically valuable (perhaps indispensably so) information. We can not analytically decompose a food into the minerals, vitamins, and macronutrients (e.g. lipids, fats, and protein), that we believe are responsible for its nourishing and life-sustaining properties, without losing quite a lot in the process. Foods contains hundreds, if not thousands, of physiologically important biomolecules, together which modulate the expression of thousands of genes in our body, as well as affecting our microbiome. In fact, our microbiome works on the foods we ingest, and together produce an intermediary layer of biomolecules known as the metabolome, many of which may be indispensable to our health.

This is why when we say food is medicine, we are not simply using a metaphor. We now know that food is capable, on a molecular level, of positively modulating a wide range of biological pathways simultaneously, in a manner that drugs simply can not replicate. In fact, I believe food contains an immense, if not infinite, amount of information which our bodies draw from to realize optimal gene expression, especially in times of stress or imbalance. Looking at it granularly, I believe food contains discrete units or packets of gene-regulatory energy and information. This can be inferred by the way curcumin, for instance, which is only one of hundreds of biomolecules found in the spice turmeric, is capable of modulating over 2,000 genes simultaneously within a cancer cell line, with a positive end result. Both the specificity and broadness through which these food compounds are capable of correcting imbalances is simply astounding and speaks to an intelligence within certain plants of particular food and medicinal purpose that can not be exhaustively explained through terms and methods of the reductionistic sciences that still form the backbone of our understanding of conventional nutrition.

So if my theory holds true, and dates, which are a food type (namely, fruit) we co-evolved with for quite some time, are more than just a package of mainly simple carbohydrate (half fructose/half glucose) and mineral quantities of alphabetic vitamins and minerals, but also possess gene-regulatory energy and information, shouldn’t it perform a number of therapeutic effects?  Indeed, the research now bears testimony to exactly this fact.

I took the liberty of doing a cursory meta-analysis of the extant research on dates available through the National Library of Medicine’s biomedical database MEDLINE, accessible of course through the google-like search engine pubmed.gov. And to my pleasant surprise the research on dates as a whole (including the fruit, pollen and seed extract) reveals approximately 19 specific beneficial modes of action, and a preventive and/or therapeutic role in about 40 different health conditions.

Consider for a moment that most of the blockbuster drugs on the marketplace only have one therapeutic mode of action and one condition they are approved to treat. Additionally, there are on average 75 adverse health effects for each drug. The fact that it is classified and sold as a food and not a drug should not delude us into thinking it is not as powerful as a pharmaceutical. In fact, it should be clear that foods are actually far more powerful in affecting root cause resolution of health conditions by nourishing us deeply, nutritionally, and again, informationally(literally: to put form into).

To gain greater familiarity with the literature demonstrating the various therapeutic properties of dates, view our Date research page.  You will notice that one of the potential therapeutic properties of dates are its beneficial properties in diabetes – which underscores our original point, that if you go by nutrition facts panels alone you are bound to miss out on a number of healthy foods include fruits like dates.

 

Notes

[1] The Holy Koran, Chapter 12 – verses 22-25, retrieved on Feb. 28 2015, “So she [Virgin Mary] conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. she cried (in her anguish): ‘Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!’ But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): ‘Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree; it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.'”

[2] [Note: “non-significant” here means insignificant in statistics, which is often due to insufficient numbers of subjects enrolled to draw results with adequate statistical power]

 

© 6th July, 2018 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter

 

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

Kale Chips with Sesame Seasoning

Kale Chips with Sesame Seasoning

 

My 3yo daughter can detect a single molecule of chlorophyll in her food and reject a meal because of it, so you can imagine my surprise when I made some kale chips one day & she pretty much inhaled the entire batch! Kids, hey?  🙄  😆

Luckily for her (and me) it’s kale season in these parts, so we can get beautiful bunches of organically-grown kale from the local Farmers’ Market.  Yes, ideally we’d grow our own, but until we get some more garden beds set up, we’ll enjoy the fruits……and vegetables……of someone else’s labour.

I tend to keep things pretty simple when making kale chips – olive oil, vinegar & salt – but tonight I remembered the tin of Pickld Sesame Seasoning that I recently bought.  It tastes fantastic on steamed & roast veggies, with a nice little crunch, so I thought it would be a good thing to try on the kale chips.  Boy, when I’m right, I’m right!  Sooooooooooo gooooooooooood!!!

There are several varieties in the Pickld range, all hand-blended using family recipes created over 9 generations of vegetarians.  They all have a base of activated lentils (hence the name ‘Pickld’) and superfoods to support your digestive health and add a boost of nutrients.

 

 

All the varieties except the chilli blend come with a little recipe book, but here’s how I created these super-tasty Sesame Kale Chips:

  1. Preheat oven to 125C (250F) (fan-only setting if you have one) & line a large tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat.
  2. Strip kale leaves off the central stem (cut with a knife or use your hands) & cut/tear the leaves into chip-sized pieces.  They’ll shrink a bit in the oven, so don’t make them really small.
  3. Place kale leaves on the tray & sprinkle with other ingredients.  Mix well using clean hands, massaging the kale leaves until they’re fully covered & looking shiny.
  4. Place in the oven for approx 30 mins, or until dry & crispy, ensuring to stir the leaves a few times to avoid burning. (If you have a dehydrator, you can use that instead.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions.)
  5. Remove from the oven & sprinkle with a little more of the Pickld Sesame Seasoning…..because yum!!!
  6. Eat, then wish you’d made extra because those ones disappeared in under 2 minutes!

 

Sesame Kale Chips

Crunchy kale chips with an amazing sesame seasoning!

Course Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Unity Wellness

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Kale preferably organic
  • 3 spoons Pickld Sesame Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 125C (250F) (fan-only setting if you have one) & line a large tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat.

  2. Strip kale leaves off the central stem (cut with a knife or use your hands) & cut/tear the leaves into chip-sized pieces. They'll shrink a bit in the oven, so don't make them really small.

  3. Place kale leaves on the tray & sprinkle with other ingredients. Mix well with clean hands, massaging the kale leaves until they're fully covered & looking shiny.

  4. Place in the oven for approx 30 mins, or until dry & crispy, ensuring to stir the leaves a few times to avoid burning.

    (If you have a dehydrator, you can use that instead.  Follow manufacturer's instructions.)

  5. Remove from the oven & sprinkle with a little more of the Pickld Sesame Seasoning.....because yum!!!

  6. Eat, then wish you'd made extra because those ones disappeared in under 2 minutes!

 

Sesame Kale Chips | www.unitywellness.com.au

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

Drug-induced Nutrient Deficiencies

Drug-induced Nutrient Deficiencies

 

Whilst Pharmaceutical drugs can be life-saving in some cases, it is well-known that they can cause side-effects which can impede on your quality of life.  A number of these side effects can be linked to nutrient deficiencies caused by the medications, but as medical doctors have limited training in nutrition, these deficiencies can go undiagnosed.

My late grandfather was one of those people who almost rattled when he walked from all the medications.  His maladies included GORD, Barrett’s Oesophagus, leukaemia, haemochromatosis & arthritis (rheumatoid & osteo) to name a few.  His skin was paper-thin & in his later years, he gained a lot of weight due to the steroids.  His breakfast consisted of 20+ pills, with many of the medications given to counter the side effects of others.  Although he did take some supplements & saw his chiropractor regularly, he was a creature of habit & was not one to make the dietary changes I suggested.

I know he was not alone in this regard.  Sometimes, we just want to take a pill to make the symptoms disappear rather than treating the underlying cause, but a review published in ‘Pharmaceutics’ this week looks at links between medications & nutrient deficiencies.  If you do need to take certain medications, you may want to consider specific supplementation to reduce side-effects & other unintended consequences.

Abstract:

The long-term use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can induce subclinical and clinically relevant micronutrient deficiencies, which may develop gradually over months or even years. Given the large number of medications currently available, the number of research studies examining potential drug–nutrient interactions is quite limited. A comprehensive, updated review of the potential drug–nutrient interactions with chronic use of the most often prescribed medications for commonly diagnosed conditions among the general U.S. adult population is presented. For the majority of the interactions described in this paper, more high-quality intervention trials are needed to better understand their clinical importance and potential consequences. A number of these studies have identified potential risk factors that may make certain populations more susceptible, but guidelines on how to best manage and/or prevent drug-induced nutrient inadequacies are lacking. Although widespread supplementation is not currently recommended, it is important to ensure at-risk patients reach their recommended intakes for vitamins and minerals. In conjunction with an overall healthy diet, appropriate dietary supplementation may be a practical and efficacious way to maintain or improve micronutrient status in patients at risk of deficiencies, such as those taking medications known to compromise nutritional status. The summary evidence presented in this review will help inform future research efforts and, ultimately, guide recommendations for patient care.
Let’s first look at the medications most likely to affect nutritional status:
Drug Nutrient Interactions | www.unitywellness.com.au

 

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

The main action of PPIs is to reduce gastric acid production. Thus, decreased absorption of micronutrients that depend on low pH for uptake into intestinal cells may occur with PPI use.

Vitamin B12
  • PPI use has been observed to decrease protein-bound B12 absorption and may lead to B12 deficiency in some individuals, although the results are mixed.
  • Certain PPI users including the elderly, individuals with atrophic gastritis and/or H. pylori infection, and slow metabolizers of omeprazole may be at a higher risk of B12 deficiency.
  • Additionally, certain dietary choices may influence risk of deficiency. Evidence suggests the effects of omeprazole on B12 status are due solely to impaired gastric acid secretion and not impaired intrinsic factors. Therefore, drinking acidic fruit juice concurrently with B12 may improve absorption in PPI users, as demonstrated in a small absorption study in hypochlorhydric older adults taking omeprazole.
Vitamin C
  • Vitamin C is highly concentrated in gastric juice, where it is predominantly found in its biologically active antioxidant form, ascorbic acid (AA). In addition to acting as an antioxidant, AA in gastric juice functions to eliminate potentially carcinogenic nitrites from saliva. In this process, AA is converted into its inactive form, dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA), which cannot be absorbed in the intestine. However, it may be converted back to AA through a pH-dependent process for reabsorption.
  • In one observational study, patients with H. pylori infection had plasma vitamin C levels that were at least 30% less than H. pylori-negative patients.  However, the dietary intake of vitamin C in infected patients was also lower than in non-infected volunteers.
  • Two short-term (four weeks) intervention studies found reduced circulating vitamin C levels in H. pylori-infected patients taking omeprazole independent of dietary intake.
  • Given the evidence that omeprazole increases the ratio of DHAA to total vitamin C in the gastrointestinal tract, lower circulating vitamin C levels with PPI use in H. pylori-infected patients may be due to decreased intestinal bioavailability of vitamin C.
Iron
  • There is some evidence to indicate PPI use may negatively impact iron absorption. PPI users already at elevated risk for iron-deficiency or those with pre-existing iron deficiency may be at greater risk for impaired iron absorption during PPI therapy.
Calcium
  • The collective evidence indicates that chronic PPI use is associated with increased fracture risk, particularly in individuals who may already be at risk of fractures, such as older adults, and is considered a contributing factor to osteoporosis and fracture risk by the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Magnesium
  • Case reports of hypomagnesemia with chronic PPI use have been widely documented. In some, but not all cases, magnesium supplementation alone was not completely successful in reversing hypomagnesemia until PPI therapy was discontinued. Among ~30 cases of hypomagnesemia, more than half of these patients received PPI therapy for ≥5 years and 30% for ≥10 years. All of these reported cases were in older adults (age 51–82 years) and occurred more frequently in women than men.
Zinc
  • Gastric acid secretion may play a role in intestinal zinc absorption in humans, reflecting the need for dietary zinc to be in the reduced state. In one study, omeprazole administration at 60 mg/d for one week in healthy adults almost doubled the pH of fasting gastric juice and decreased plasma zinc levels by ~40%. These results suggest omeprazole may decrease zinc absorption by increasing gastric pH, however there was no control group and the sample size was small. A more recent study found that in healthy control subjects the plasma zinc increased 126% in response to supplementation with 26.2 mg zinc twice daily for 14 days, compared with only a 37% increase in those on long-term PPI therapy. In this study, baseline plasma zinc levels were also negatively associated with long-term PPI use.
Beta Carotene
  • Thus far, only one study has investigated the effect of PPI therapy on the absorption of the provitamin A carotenoid, β-carotene. In a crossover study of 12 healthy volunteers, plasma β-carotene levels at 6 and 24 h after supplementation with 120 mg were significantly lower following seven-day treatment with 40 mg/d omeprazole compared with no omeprazole treatment.

 

NSAIDs: Asprin

Vitamin C
  • Acute and short-term doses of aspirin taken concurrently with vitamin C may alter vitamin C absorption in leukocytes, and its antioxidant activity in gastric mucosa may protect mucosal cells from damage. However, the effects of long-term, low-dose aspirin on vitamin C status, and its clinical implications, are unclear. Given the evidence that vitamin C may help prevent aspirin-induced gastric lesions, patients suffering from gastric mucosal injury due to an aspirin regimen may benefit from vitamin C supplementation.
Iron
  • Collectively, the associations between aspirin, anemia, and Hb were inconsistent, and it is unclear whether low-dose aspirin causes iron deficiency anemia. However, among older adults the association between low dose aspirin use and decreased Hb was notable.
  • One limitation to using Hb as a marker of iron status is that it is generally considered to be the last parameter to change. That is, early stages of iron deficiency occur well before measurable changes in Hb are observed.
  • Older adults on a low-dose regimen, particularly those with H. pylori infection, may be at risk of decreased Hb and serum ferritin.

 

Anti-Hypertensives: Diuretics

Calcium and Loop Diuretics
  • Loop diuretics  (especially furosemide) negatively affect calcium homeostasis, which may lead to secondary hyperparathyroidism.
  • Loop diuretics increase urinary calcium excretion, although calcium balance may possibly be maintained by increased intestinal calcium absorption. Despite this potential compensatory mechanism, some individuals, particularly older adults and the elderly who absorb intestinal calcium less efficiently with age, may be at higher risk of decreased BMD and increased fracture risk with chronic use. Other risk factors for this association include the dose, duration, and form of loop diuretic.
Calcium and Thiazides
  • Chronic thiazide use leads to reabsorption of renal calcium and may increase serum calcium levels above the normal range in certain individuals, particularly older women. Although observational studies indicate thiazide diuretics may protect against hip fractures, RCTs are needed to confirm these findings.
Magnesium
  • Extensive evidence indicates that mild magnesium depletion is relatively common with loop and thiazide diuretic use. Loop diuretics directly inhibit magnesium reabsorption in the kidney, thus, both short and long-term treatment can lead to depletion. Conversely, thiazides induce magnesium excretion indirectly through multiple mechanisms, including suppression of PTH. Therefore, long-term therapy with thiazides is more likely to cause magnesium depletion than acute thiazide exposure.
  • Population studies that investigated risk factors for hypomagnesaemia with diuretic use have determined patients with congestive heart failure who receive high doses of loop diuretics on a chronic basis, elderly patients, and individuals with poor dietary magnesium intake, or high alcohol intake may be at increased risk.
  • Oral magnesium supplementation has been shown to be effective in increasing muscle concentrations of magnesium. In patients with arterial hypertension or congestive heart failure, magnesium concentrations were restored to normal after six months of supplementation.
Thiamin (Vit B1)
  • Evidence from both animal and human studies has demonstrated that acute doses of loop diuretics increase urinary loss of thiamin.
  • The effect of diuretics on thiamin is of particular concern for the elderly, who are at an increased risk of thiamin deficiency due to low dietary intake of this vitamin.
  • Diuretic users were 2.3 and 4.2 times more likely to have intakes below the recommended dietary allowance and estimated average requirement for thiamin, respectively, compared to nonusers, even after adjusting for sociodemographic and meal pattern variables.
Zinc
  • Urinary zinc depletion with thiazide diuretic use may lead to tissue depletion, although it is unclear to what extent diuretics alone lead to clinical zinc deficiency. It is also possible the loss of zinc from thiazide diuretic use may be additive to other risk factors for zinc deficiency, such as inadequate intake, hepatic cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, gastrointestinal disorders, or renal disease.
Potassium
  • Although both loop and thiazide diuretics increase urinary potassium excretion with chronic use, most research has focused on the latter since they generate hypokalemia more frequently than the former.
  • While potassium supplements may not fully restore serum or body tissue potassium levels to normal, they appear to be effective in preventing hypokalemia.
  • However, potassium supplementation may further decrease blood pressure in addition to the effects of the diuretic itself, potentially resulting in low blood pressure.
Folate
  • In an observational study conducted after the implementation of folate fortification (1998), long-term use of diuretics was associated with lower red blood cell folate in hypertensive patients.
  • A short trial of hypertensive patients found decreased folate levels with hydrochlorothiazide use after six weeks.
  • Diuretics other than triamterene, namely thiazides, may negatively influence folate status, even in the age of folate fortification. However, the clinical significance of this drug–nutrient association is unknown.

 

Anti-Hypertensives: Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

Zinc
  • ACE inhibitors, as a drug class, may increase the risk of zinc deficiency. However, this effect is more pronounced with captopril than other ACE inhibitors. The underlying mechanism may be due to the thiol-radical group present in captopril that can chelate serum zinc and enhance its excretion.
  • Patients on chronic ACE inhibitor treatment, especially captopril, may be at higher risk of impaired zinc status, particularly when other factors associated with impaired zinc status—such as heart failure, renal disease, older age, malabsorption and diarrhea—are present.
Potassium
  • ACE inhibitors can cause retention of potassium in the kidney via their inhibitory effect on aldosterone secretion.
  • Certain factors may contribute to increased risk of hyperkalemia with ACE inhibitor use, including older age, renal disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, use of potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements or consumption of potassium-rich diets.

 

Anti-Hypertensives: Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs)

Folate
  • Gingival hyperplasia may develop in response to CCB treatment, mostly in men, but also in women. Although likely a drug class effect, the largest number of case reports have been documented with the use of nifedipine. A case–control study from The Netherlands showed current use of CCBs doubled the risk of gingival hyperplasia in a dose-dependent manner. The association between CCB use and gingival hyperplasia has been confirmed in other studies that investigated the incidence of this condition in users of amlodipine and nifedipine when compared with controls.
  • In addition to the presence of dental plaque and poor oral hygiene, a major contributing factor to the development of gingival hyperplasia is impaired uptake of folate into gingival fibroblasts. Folic acid supplementation has been shown to decrease the incidence, reduce the severity, or delay the onset of gingival hyperplasia.
  • Patients taking CCBs should be counselled on how to meet their recommended folate intake.
Potassium
  • Very limited data indicates that CCB monotherapy does not appear to influence potassium status, while the concomitant use of beta-blockers may be of concern in some older adults.

 

Hypercholesterolemics: Statins

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
  • CoQ10 is a naturally occurring, fat-soluble, vitamin-like compound obtained from the diet and, to a lesser extent, from endogenous synthesis. CoQ10 functions in the electron transport chain in the mitochondria and, thus, plays an important role in energy metabolism. CoQ10 is an intermediate in the mevalonate pathway, which is inhibited by statins.
  • Statin use may lower serum CoQ10 levels in a dose-dependent manner but the clinical implications are unclear, and it is unknown whether decreases in serum CoQ10 result in significant depletions in muscle. The risk of CoQ10 depletion in muscle may be greater in older adults, as well as patients who develop myopathy while taking statins. The efficacy of CoQ10 supplementation on statin-induced myopathy symptoms is still under debate.
Vitamin D
  • There is a higher prevalence of suboptimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in patients experiencing myopathic symptoms from statin use compared to those who do not. Furthermore, supplementation with vitamin D regressed myopathic symptoms in >90% of patients.
  • The relationship between statins and vitamin D status remains controversial, and it appears that the nature of this particular drug–nutrient interaction is complex. Some studies indicate that some hyperlipidemic or vitamin-D-deficient individuals may improve their vitamin D status while taking statins. Conversely, vitamin D levels may be lower in patients with statin-induced myopathy.
Vitamin E and β-Carotene
  • Vitamin E and β-carotene are transported in the circulation, in part, by low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and a few studies investigating whether statins influence the status of these nutrients have been conducted.
  • Statins are very commonly prescribed and may be associated with changes in circulating β-carotene and vitamin E levels. However, the effect of statins on these compounds is unclear. Additional, high-quality, controlled studies are needed to better understand potential interactions.

 

Oral Hypoglycemics: Metformin

Vitamin B12
  • Cross-sectional analyses of adult populations with T2D from the U.S., Korea, the Netherlands and Brazil have consistently reported lower serum or plasma B12 in those taking metformin when compared to either healthy controls or T2D patients not taking metformin, after adjusting for covariates.
  • Serum folate levels also decreased by 7% with metformin use, raising the concern that elevated Hcy in response to metformin may be attributable to decreased folate status, and not solely to decreased vitamin B12 status. Similar observations were made in another RCT investigating the long-term effect (~4 years) of 850 mg/d metformin on vitamin B12 and folate status in T2D patients receiving insulin treatment.
  • Data from survey and case-report studies indicate that metformin use may reduce the intestinal absorption of dietary B12. Other studies have observed clinical symptoms of B12 deficiency with long-term metformin use, including megaloblastic anemia and peripheral neuropathy.
  • Observational and intervention studies have shown that metformin use may negatively affect vitamin B12 status in a duration- and dose-dependent manner through impaired intestinal absorption. Individuals already at risk of low B12 status, including the elderly and vegetarians, may be at greater risk during drug therapy. Although more studies that include functional markers of B12 status are needed, the current evidence is sufficient to recommend periodic assessment of vitamin B12 in patients taking metformin. Furthermore, the concomitant use of a multivitamin with metformin appears to protect against B12 deficiency.

 

Oral Hypoglycemics: Thiazolidinediones (TZD)

Calcium and Vitamin D
  • There is consistent evidence that T2D patients have a higher incidence of bone fractures compared to non-diabetic patients, despite no significant differences in BMD between the two groups.
  • Long-term TZD use has been shown to increase the risk of bone fracture in women, who are already at a higher risk for osteoporosis, bone loss, and bone fracture than men [145]. Furthermore, the intake of nutrients critical for bone health, including calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium, was reported to be insufficient in T2D patients on antidiabetic therapies.
  • Although evidence indicates that TZD increase the risk for bone fracture and osteoporosis, in particular among older women, no studies have examined the potential protective effect of concurrent supplementation with calcium and vitamin D on bone health. Considering the dietary intake of these nutrients is likely insufficient in this population, supplementation may be warranted in some cases.

 

Oral Corticosteroids

Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Extensive evidence from cross-sectional and longitudinal studies indicates that prior and current exposure to glucocorticoids increases the risk for bone loss and fractures.
  • In a meta-analysis of five RCTs, supplementation with calcium plus vitamin D had a significant effect on preventing bone loss at the lumbar spine and forearm, but not on femoral neck bone mass, fracture incidence, or bone resorption. The combination of calcium plus vitamin D was also found to be more effective than calcium supplementation alone. While it is likely that calcium plus vitamin D supplementation does protect against bone loss in patients taking glucocorticoids, it may be insufficient to protect against bone fracture and osteoporosis.
  • Glucocorticoids have a negative effect on bone loss and fracture and are a leading cause of secondary osteoporosis, particularly in individuals who cannot achieve the recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D from diet alone, and in those who are otherwise at high risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, e.g., advanced age or postmenopausal females. Concurrent supplementation with calcium and vitamin D may be appropriate for some patients.
Sodium and Potassium
  • Corticosteroid use has been reported to cause sodium and water retention as well as increased potassium excretion, potentially leading to hypertension.
  • In general, it is recommended that patients on chronic corticosteroid therapy limit their sodium intake and monitor their potassium intake. A diet rich in potassium is likely sufficient to maintain normal levels during corticosteroid treatment, but potassium supplements may be recommended for individuals who are unable to obtain the recommended amount through diet alone.
Chromium
  • A study investigating the effect of corticosteroid treatment on chromium status in 13 patients reported increased excretion of this essential mineral after three days of treatment, although the clinical significance is unclear [350]. In this same study, chromium supplementation of three patients with steroid-induced diabetes was found to improve fasting blood glucose levels. To date, no additional RCTs have been performed to validate these preliminary findings.

 

Bronchodilators: Beta2-Agonists and Inhaled Corticosteroids [ICS]

Calcium and Vitamin D
  • The effect of long-term ICS use may negatively influence bone metabolism and BMD in certain patients. The association appears to be stronger in COPD compared to asthmatic patients since the former are already at an increased risk of impaired bone health. No studies have tested the effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation in ICS users on markers of bone health, and such studies are needed.

 

Antidepressants

Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Numerous studies have reported a significant association between the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and risk of osteoporosis, with considerable evidence indicating these drugs increase the risk of fracture in a dose- and duration-dependent manner. Additional evidence indicates SSRIs may also decrease BMD. However, collective findings from cohort and case–control studies report the increased risk of fracture from SSRIs may be independent of BMD.

 

Oral Contraceptives (OC)

Vitamin B6
  • Tryptophan metabolism, an indirect measure of vitamin B6 status, is abnormal in OC users compared to controls and can be corrected with supplemental doses of vitamin B6.
  • Intervention studies with vitamin B6 supplementation have reported improvements in clinical symptoms of B6 deficiency and fewer side effects in OC users who may be deficient in this vitamin.
Vitamin B12
  • Several studies have consistently reported serum B12 levels are lower in OC users compared to nonusers.  While most of these studies adjusted for confounders, not all adjusted for dietary intake.
  • Although there is consistent evidence that OC use is related to lower serum B12 levels, it is not clear whether this is actually indicative of a biochemical B12 deficiency. For populations already at risk for B12 deficiency, such as vegetarians, it is unclear how a potential change in serum B12 binding capacity due to OC use may affect them.
Folate
  • A recent meta-analysis that included case–control, cohort studies, and clinical trials from 1970–2013 concluded that OC use is, indeed, associated with lower blood folate status, though other studies conducted during the same time period found no difference in folate status between OC users and controls. This discrepancy may be due to confounding issues, including lack of adjustment for dietary folate intake, supplement use, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Even in studies that considered dietary intake of folate, results varied. It is possible inter-individual genetic differences in folate handling may contribute to the variation.
  • The collective scientific evidence, at present, is too inconsistent to support the conclusion that OC use causes folate deficiency. However, maintaining normal folate status is critical among women of child-bearing age, regardless of OC use. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration approved a folate-containing OC for use. Two recent clinical trials tested the effects of this folate-fortified product, and both reported clinically significant increases in markers of folate status when compared to women given an OC absent folate.
Calcium
  • Several studies have reported that OC use may increase BMD in women ranging in age from young adulthood to perimenopause.
  • In contrast, others have reported a detrimental effect of OC use on BMD.
  • The effect of OC use on TBBMC and BMD at specific sites may depend on a number of factors, including type and level of physical activity as well as calcium intake. Women on long-term OC therapy and high physical activity may be at highest risk.
Magnesium
  • Most cross-sectional studies have shown serum magnesium levels are lower in OC users compared to both nonusers and women on other forms of contraception, with one exception. An increase in the blood calcium to magnesium ratio due to low magnesium levels can influence blood coagulation processes. Indeed, a systematic review and network meta-analysis of 26 observational studies that investigated the risk of venous thrombosis for different combined OCs concluded OC use increased the risk of venous thrombosis, and effect size depended on the combination used.
Vitamin C and E
  • While some studies indicate circulating vitamin C levels are lower in OC users compared to nonusers, others indicate little threat to individuals who live a healthy lifestyle and consume a diet adequate in vitamin C. Then again, several studies show chronic OC use leads to increased oxidative stress, in particular lipid peroxidation, and lower circulating vitamin E. Enhanced oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation may represent a potential risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

Not only can some medications affect nutritional status, but poor nutrition or poor metabolism of nutrients, such as with leaky gut or MTHFR mutations, can affect the efficacy of some medications:

 

Antidepressants and Folate
  • Several observational studies report lower folate status, as measured by serum, plasma, and red blood cell folate concentrations or plasma Hcy, in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) compared to healthy controls. Additionally, genotyping analysis determined gene variants of methyltetrahydrofolate (MTHFR) are associated with risk of being diagnosed with depression, findings that were confirmed in a meta-analysis of similar studies.
  • The relationship between folate status and depressive symptoms is of interest because, despite the widespread use of antidepressants among patients with MDD, 31–49% of patients are either partial- or non-responders (this is around the same percentage of the population estimated to have MTHFR variants).
  • Additionally, about one-third of patients classified as responders to antidepressants were reported to have cognitive or physical symptoms, likely to be residual symptoms of depression, side effects of medication, or both. Furthermore, observational studies of middle aged and older adults found low blood folate levels were associated with greater resistance to improvement following antidepressant therapy.
  • The evidence suggests low folate status may be associated with depression and adjunctive treatment with folate may benefit individuals on antidepressant therapy, including patients with MDD who are nonresponsive to antidepressant medication. Currently there are no official guidelines regarding the most effective form, dose, or duration of folate supplementation in this capacity.

 

ACE Inhibitors and Iron
  • The most common side effect of chronic ACE inhibitor use is a dry cough, which occurs in 5–39% of patients. Given the evidence that nitric oxide synthesis is down-regulated in the presence of iron, it has been hypothesized that nitric oxide generation in bronchial epithelial cells may contribute to the ACE-inhibitor-induced cough.
  • Following iron supplementation, the reduction in mean score of daily cough severity was significantly greater when compared with the placebo group, and three subjects in the iron group reported complete cough resolution. No changes in iron status were observed in either group. These findings suggest that iron supplementation may ameliorate ACE-inhibitor-induced cough, although additional research is needed to confirm.

 

There is no doubt the use of commonly prescribed medications that can adversely impact nutritional status is on the rise.  Given the increasing prevalence of conditions that require long term medication use, and an inadequately nourished adult population, the potential public health implications are profound. While young and middle-aged adults are certainly affected, there is particular concern for older adults who are more likely to use multiple concurrent medications. Aging adults also undergo physiological changes that affect nutrient needs, and their ability to meet these needs, which may further compound the issue.

Ideally, clinicians should recommend their patients consume a sufficient quantity and variety of nutrient-dense foods in their daily diet.  Unfortunately, health professionals are not routinely trained to provide dietary advice, nor do they have time to provide effective counseling during an office visit.

Many adults are aware of potential shortfalls in their diet and take a dietary supplement, most often a multivitamin/mineral (MVM) preparation, to compensate. Indeed, observational data indicates adults who take a full spectrum MVM supplement are less likely than nonusers to be deficient in any micronutrient (14% vs. 40%, p < 0.02). Intervention studies confirm MVM supplementation helps fulfill micronutrient requirements and improve nutritional status even in healthy adults. A growing body of evidence also supports the use of MVM in preventing certain chronic conditions, especially with long term use. Historically, physicians have been hesitant to recommend a MVM, despite little evidence of harm. Current evidence indicates age- and gender-appropriate MVM supplements, formulated at or near 100% of the daily value for most micronutrients, are generally well tolerated and do not appear to increase the risk of mortality or disease.

In conjunction with an overall healthy diet, a single daily MVM may be a practical and efficacious way to maintain or improve micronutrient status in patients at risk of deficiencies, such as those taking medications known to compromise nutritional status. Practitioners should be aware that a single dose MVM will not provide sufficient calcium, CoQ10, or fish oil. Depending on the medication in use, as well as the patient’s baseline status, usual dietary intake, and current condition, a separate supplement may be warranted.

 

Drug_Induced_Nutrient_Deficiencies | www.unitywellness.com.au

 

This article is a summary of a Review published 20th March, 2018 at http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/10/1/36/htm.  All References can be viewed there.

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

 

 

 

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE & ADVOCATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.

Magic Mud: More than just a naturally awesome hand cleaner

Magic Mud: More than just a naturally awesome hand cleaner

I’ve been experimenting with the Magic Mud Hand Cleaner (not the charcoal toothpaste of the same name) to see what it can clean besides hands.

I love polishing metal to a shine, so this was so satisfying! I’ve done half of each surface so I can see the difference.

Magic Mud Results | www.unitywellness.com.au

The chrome on the sandwich press has been returned to a mirror-like surface, hubby’s mokka pot no longer has the deposit from the gas burner on its base, the base of the saucepan is brighter, but it was the ring from the burner on our stovetop that I really wanted to clean. They get dirty so easily, but being aluminium, they can’t be cleaned with steel wool or any other harsh abrasives. I think I’ve found the solution!

 

What is this Magic Mud?

 

Magic Mud is a unique natural hand cleaner containing soft zeolite and soft silica minerals found in Central North New Zealand. These are obtained through geothermic processes.

Soft Zeolite has a negatively-charged cage-like structure, magnetically pulling contaminants away from the skin or other surface, while the fine grains help scrub and deodorise, leaving your hands feeling soft and smelling great.

Tough enough to clean grease, oil and paint as well as amazing at getting rid of the most pungent smells.

Smelly hands after fishing or preparing seafood

Greasy hands from fixing the car

Painted hands from DIY adventures

Kids covered in paint from artistic pursuits

Dirty hands, possibly with a touch of manure, after a day in the garden

It’s equally effective in cleaning grease, grime & smells from hard surfaces, as seen in the photos.  It will even clean the pipes all the way back to nature!

You can watch this video to see how well it cleans a steel barbeque:

Now I just need to polish the other half of everything I cleaned earlier  😆

If you’d like to try some yourself, you can get it HERE.  There’s even a 30 day money-back guarantee if you don’t love it (but I reckon you will).

 

Magic Mud: More Than A Naturally Awesome Hand Cleaner | www.unitywellness.com.au

 

 

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Unity Wellness provides health-related information to assist people in making their own choices.  While we have exercised due care to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, it is not intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional’s advice.  Unity Wellness does not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.

AFFILIATE & ADVOCATE LINKS

This post/site may contain Affliate links or links to my Independent Advocate store. By clicking these links, you pay no more for the products/services, but I will receive a commission on purchases to keep this site running & support my family (thank you!).  I will never promote any products or services that I would not be happy to use myself.

This website is owned and operated by an independent InnerOrigin Advocate and is not endorsed by InnerOrigin Pty Ltd or InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their respective associated companies. Any opinions expressed on this website are made by, and are the responsibility of, the individual Advocate and should not be construed as a representation of the opinions of InnerOrigin Pty Ltd, InnerOrigin Australia Pty Ltd or any of their associated companies.