Archives For February 2014

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This is why I tell my patients to get their vitamins and minerals from food. Think of your salad as a multivitamin and vitamin b complex. Think of yogurt as a calcium supplement and probiotic supplement.

Here’s why: For some vitamins it is a known fact that they can be toxic in excess. An example of this is iron. Too much iron is lethal and in the hospital we have a drug called desfuroxmine that we give IV to treat iron toxicity. Too much iron is serious. And just a “heads-up”, one of the most deadliest situations in a home today is a young child getting into his pregnant mothers iron supplements and eating the pills like candy. It was one of the scariest scenarios I was told when I did my training at the poison control center here in New Mexico.

But other vitamins and supplements are not so serious. An example is folic acid. Folic acid is needed for DNA to copy itself and make new cells. If there is not enough folic acid you can either get cancer in normal cells that can not dived properly or a birth defect in a fetus that is rapidly dividing and runs out of folic acid.

But the down side is that too much folic acid can be like gasoline on fire for a cancer cell.

It’s a fine line. The folic acids levels have to be just right and the perfect level is easily obtained through food. No one has ever gotten cancer from eating too much fruit and vegetables. If anything it’s the opposite.

Now, I must also tell you there are some vitamins that are thought to be nothing but goodness or “innocuous”. Some people think in respect to vitamins, “the more the merrier” and they just gorge on vitamins.  Well, slowly we are discovering BY ACCIDENT that these vitamins might actually do harm. These accidental findings need to be confirmed by more controlled studies. They are NOT at the point where we should be taking them off the market. At this point it’s just a reason why I tell my patients to take their vitamins from food.

Example: Vitamin C at 500mg a day for 18 months caused thickening of the carotid artery, the passageway of blood going to the brain. I was unable to find an online link to this document: Dwyer JH, Merz NB, Shirocre AM, et al. Progression of early atherosclerosis and intake of vitamin C and vitamin E from supplements and food. The Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study. 41st Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention – Abstract P77. Circulation 2001;103:1365d.)

When I heard this my mind went into a tailspin. How could this be? How could vitamin C be bad for us? Well, it’s not vitamin C that is bad, it’s a concentrated, synthetic, unnatural amount smashed into a pill form that leads to very high acidity in the stomach, probably blood, and urine. Could it possibly be that the acidity in the blood is causing the thickening much like a callus? I don’t know. All I can do is theorize based on my expertise, read medical studies and looking for patterns that occur naturally.

But don’t let me discourage anyone from eating an orange, because in the natural fruit and vegetable form that, vitamin C works it’s magic. It has no harmful effects, only goodness.

Example number two: A vitamin B complex supplement was accidentally found to have worsened kidney functions in diabetics who were being treated for diabetic nephropathy. That means diabetics have a tendency to get kidney damage and they also have high levels of homocysteine which is a marker of bad health and possibly destructive to tissues.  A vitamin b complex was given to lower the destructive chemical which hopefully translated to the prevention and possibly reversal of the kidney damage. But when analyzing the data it was discovered that their kidneys, which filter the blood and make urine actually got a little bit worse. And once you damage your kidneys, it’s like a spinal cord injury. It’s a miracle if it heals.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20424250

However, I have to caution people not to jump to conclusions. It does NOT mean that healthy people are getting kidney damage from high dose vitamin B’s. It is possible, but not certain.

It doesn’t even mean it happens in every diabetic. It only means we need more studies to see if there was another variable causing this. So I don’t want to go around scaring people……Boooo! Okay, maybe a do just a little bit. But that’s why I tell people to get their vitamins from food.

There are more well-known examples of when good pills do bad things, especially with the fat soluble vitamins and minerals. I could write a book on the subject. (Well, I kind of am.) But instead I’ll post a link to the recommendations of vitamins with respect to upper limits. http://www.consumerlab.com/RDAs/

Be well J

Here’s proof that I really do like dietary supplements….the right ones

Forever Young & Healthy

IV HOSPITAL

There are at least 16 dietary products that are so powerful we use them in the hospital. 15 of them we use in the IV formulation as well as the oral form. Over time I will talk about each and every one in detail. I was inspired to do this after I learned of articles bashing vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements.

Product number one: magnesium. This mineral saves lives. When someone goes unconscious and we don’t know why…we go running to them with lifesaving drugs. Magnesium is one of those drugs, although it is actually a mineral. We use it commonly on the cardiac units for life threatening conditions such as irregular heart rhythms, open heart surgeries, Torsades de pointes and mitral valve prolapse

On the maternity ward it is used to save the lives of mother and baby in preterm labor. It’s sort of like a muscle relaxer and it relaxes the contracting uterus. It also relaxes the muscles in the…

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I like keeping everyone updated and safe so I subscribe to a website called Tainted Products Sold as Dietary Supplements Update for U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

There is new information recently released.

MyNicKnaxs, LLC., located in Florida is announcing a recall of: Magic Slim, Fruta Bio, SlimEasy, Super Fat Burning Bomb, Slim Xtreme, Meizi Evolution, Meizitang Strong Version Botanical Slimming, Jianfeijindan Activity Girl, and Japan Hokkaido Cangye Phamacy Co., LTD Japanese Chinese Formula pill for weight reduction because these products contain undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients: Phenolphthalein, sibutramine or a combination of both. At this time no illnesses or injuries have been reported to MyKnicKnaxs, LLC., in connection with these products.
I must say that this is not a new or rare occurrences. A lot of dietary supplements actually have prescription drugs illegally in them. Poison controls are full of case reports like this involving injuries. Fortunately in this case there have been NO injuries. But if something were to go wrong it would most likely be a hemorrhagic stroke. That’s when a blood vessel bursts in your brain and blood cannot get to the individual brain cells and the brain dies. This kind of stroke is very deadly and painful. At the hospital I work at a women in her 50’s came in with an excruciating headache. She was screaming in agony. The only medication she was on was a diet pill. Turns out she had a hemorrhagic stroke. I’m not sure what happened to her after that. If she was lucky she would be partially paralyzed or unable to speak. But she may have died as a result.
But despite this bad news I think that SOME weight loss products are good because they help people get rid of their diabetes and lower blood pressure. Stay tuned for a series of blogs where I will pick out a very safe and effective weight loss products based on the medical literature. I’ll post the studies that were done and the results. Just keep in mind, I am not affiliated with any products or manufactures. I am not a salesman. I hate it when people think I’m selling stuff. It happens all the time because people can’t figure out why I would just offer information out of the goodness of my heart….but I do. I’m selling myself as a drug expert, not any particular drug product.
Please be careful and safe.
xoxo

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A lot people who provide drug information, like me, tell the consumers to please tell your doctor or local pharmacist about the vitamins and supplements you are taking. Is that a cop out? Are they just trying to transfer responsibility to another person?

Doctors have the results to your blood values. They know if your kidneys are in good working condition. They know if your liver is in good working condition. They know if you are at risk of developing a deadly blood clot that can be triggered at any moment. They know if your heart is weak and failing. They know a lot of things that I will never know as an author of drug information. Your local pharmacist will also know a lot more than me.

As a local pharmacist myself, I’ve had patients tell me they don’t have a problem with their cholesterol, yet they are on a cholesterol drug. I’ll question them about it and they’ll respond by saying, “Well, I used to have a problem with my cholesterol, but I don’t now that I take a cholesterol pill.”

I often worry about what patients are NOT telling me now when I’m giving them information. But your current local pharmacist would know without you telling them. Your local pharmacist would also have drug interaction alerts built into their computers. They would be informed by the computer if your pills don’t mix. The more information you give me, your doctor, and your local pharmacist the safer you will be. Of course, information could slip through the cracks, but chances are less likely if you keep us well informed.

I specialize in information hot off the press regarding pills that can keep you healthy, looking good, and living longer. I like giving that information to people to take back to their doctor and local pharmacist.

Your doctor might respond by saying something like, “I don’t know anything about that product, but go a head and try it and I’ll keep checking your blood work to make sure it’s working and you are staying healthy.”

Or she might say, “You on the verge a heart attack. We canNOT take any chances experimenting with your health. The benefits do not outweigh the risks.”

Either way, you must defer to your doctors decision. Doctors have an innate feeling about a given situation. Their subconscious minds are always taking in new information even if they don’t realize it. Their subconscious minds also have all the information from medical school even though they may not be able to verbalize it. It manifests in a bad feeling or good feeling. That is a divine intervention. Listen to your doctor and local pharmacist. Always tell them what I’m telling you. Together we are your best bet for great health.

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I want to start out by saying,I don’t judge anyone. I want everyone to be safe and healthy and live the best life they can. But sometimes I see people NOT benefiting from their drugs. Drugs should be used to keep people living life to the fullest. They should help people wake up in the morning and start their day. To give them the energy and strength to cook dinner, clean the house, take care of their family members, plan celebrations, engaging in healthy relationships. If drugs stop you from living, if they enable you to withdrawl and become isolated and stop living and trying, then those drugs are not good for you and you should seek an alternative.

But there is another reason you might want to seek an alternative to narcotic pain pills. Five studies have shown that long term use of narcotic pain pills dramatically lowers your estrogen and testosteron levels.

(Vuong C, Van Uum SH, O’Dell LE, et al. The effects of opioids and opioid analogs on animal and human endocrine systems. Endocr Rev 2010;31:98-132……Reddy RG, Aung T, Karavitaki N, Wass JA. Opioid induced hypogonadism. BMJ 2010;341:c4462……Katz N, Mazer NA. The impact of opioids on the endocrine system. Clin J Pain 2009;25:170-5……Colameco S, Coren JS. Opioid-induced endocrinopathy. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2009;109:20-5……Merza Z. Chronic use of opioids and the endocrine system. Horm Metab Res 2010;42:621-6)

And we all know that naturally high levels of estrogen and testosterone are associated with youth, health, quick recovery from injury and all sorts of other goodness. High testostorone and estrogen levels from artificial means are controversial.

So how bad is this news? Hormone levels drop in up to 86% of chronic opioid users…and can lead to low libido, impotence, or irregular menses.

I think that is enough to think about for now. Stay well, stay healthy, and live life to the fullest. xoxo