Monthly Archives: February 2011

SUPPLEMENTS FOR OSTEOPOROSIS IN WOMEN: ZINC, PHOSPHORUS, BORON AND VITAMINS

Zinc
This important mineral helps the activity of vitamin D in promoting calcium absorption. Osteoporosis sufferers are frequently low in zinc. Good sources arc oysters, fish, animal foods, pumpkin seeds and eggs.

Phosphorus
We need some phosphorus to help make bone. But most of us have far too much of it, which upsets the calcium chemistry in the body. Excess phosphorus in the bloodstream sends a message that more calcium is required and stores are released from the bones. Some scientists believe that getting the calcium/phosphorus ratio right is more important than calcium alone in protecting bones. Nowadays it’s very easy to consume far too much phosphorus. It’s there in all kinds of food – instant soups and puddings, meat, cheese, toppings, cola drinks and fizzy drinks. Cut down on all of these. The ideal balance is equal parts of calcium to phosphorus. But research suggests we consume four times as much phosphorus as calcium. Cottage cheese, for instance, contains far more phosphorus than calcium.

Boron
Some minerals – phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, for instance – are termed macro minerals because they are present in our bodies in large amounts. Zinc, manganese, copper, chromium, selenium and boron, on the other hand, are present in small amounts and are known as trace elements. Boron is in fact an ‘ultratrace’ element – the amounts needed are even smaller. But boron is now believed to be vital for a number of reasons. A US Department of Agriculture research study demonstrated that giving postmenopausal women a short course of 3mg boron supplements a day resulted in a 44 per cent reduction in the amount of calcium excreted in their urine. It also markedly increased the amount of the oestrogen hormone oestradiol in their blood. In fact it raised the level of this oestrogen to the amounts shown in the blood of women receiving oestrogen therapy. The conclusions of this rather dramatic US Department of Agriculture study were that boron improved the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, helped raise oestrogen levels in older women to the levels found in those taking HRT, helped in the manufacture of vitamin D needed for calcium absorption and reduced calcium, magnesium and oestrogen loss. Boron is found in alfalfa, kelp, cabbage and leafy greens. It is stored in our bones and any excess is excreted in the urine.

Vitamin В6
Diets deficient in vitamin B6 produced osteoporosis in rats. It appears to increase the strength of connective tissue in bone. You can find vitamin B6 in everyday foods such as whole-grains, fish, nuts, bananas and avocados.

Vitamin К
Vitamin К is known primarily for its effect on blood clotting. But it is also needed to synthesize osteocalcin, a unique protein found in large amounts in bone. Osteocalcin helps harden calcium, so vitamin К is vital for bone formation. In one study of sixteen osteoporosis patients blood levels of vitamin К were found to be 35 per cent lower than in healthy people of the same age. Frequent use of antibiotics can result in vitamin К deficiency. The best source is of vitamin К is green vegetables.

*12/101/5*

STATUS EPILEPTICUS: A MEDICAL EMERGENCY

“Suppose the seizure lasts more than 30 minutes. Suppose the child has one seizure after another without waking up between them. What do I do then?”
Status epilepticus is a medical emergency! “STATUS EPILEPTICUS” IS DEFINED AS A SEIZURE THAT LASTS A LONG TIME. SOME PEOPLE DEFINE A LONG TIME AS TWENTY MINUTES, THIRTY minutes, or an hour. We would recommend not being too concerned about a tonic-clonic “grand mal” seizure that lasts fewer than ten to fifteen or twenty minutes. There is no evidence that even thirty minutes of generalized tonic-clonic movement does damage to the brain. Even an hour of tonic-clonic seizures is unlikely to do damage to the brain, but we would not recommend purposely allowing a seizure to continue that long.
There are actually two types of status. One is the status epilepticus that most people think about, convulsive status, in which the patient is having tonic-clonic, shaking seizures for this long period of time. A separate type, nonconvulsive status, is an episode when a patient has absence spells, staring spells, or periods of confusion lasting a half-hour, an hour, or (rarely) days. This nonconvulsive status is not life-threatening or brain-damaging, but should be recognized.
*129\208\8*

TYPE II DIABETES: COUNTING KILOJOULES

As we have already said, food is digested by your body to provide fuel to your tissues and organs. The amount of fuel is measured in kilojoules.
Let’s go a little deeper into this subject. When food is digested in your stomach and intestines, it’s generally changed from protein, fat and carbohydrate into a substance called glucose (a simple sugar). Glucose is the primary substance cells use as fuel.
During the digestive process, the glucose obtained from the food enters the bloodstream, where it is carried to the cells. For the cells to be able to use this glucose, a hormone called insulin must be available. Insulin allows the glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter the cell where it can be used as fuel. If there isn’t enough insulin available, the glucose remains in the bloodstream, resulting in the high blood glucose levels diagnosed as diabetes.
The speed of the digestive process depends on the type of food being digested. Table sugar (a simple carbohydrate) is quickly converted into glucose, and the result is a sharp, high rise in blood glucose levels. A complex carbohydrate, such as whole-wheat bread, takes longer to be converted into glucose than a simple carbohydrate. As a result, a slice of whole-wheat bread doesn’t cause as high or as fast a spike in blood glucose levels as a teaspoon of sugar. A protein takes longer to be converted into glucose than a carbohydrate.
Ideally, it would seem, your diet should be composed solely of proteins, such as meat and dairy products, so the post-meal glucose levels would be moderate. In fact, such a diet was advocated by many “experts” early this century.
Unfortunately, man cannot live on meat alone. Your body requires a variety of nutrients – carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals – in order to remain healthy. The trick is to obtain a well-balanced variety of nutrients while still meeting your individual needs for reduced kilojoules intake and proper control of blood glucose levels.
What the experts have come up with is a recommendation that persons with diabetes follow an eating plan that provides fifty-five to sixty per cent of kilojoules from complex carbohydrates; twenty-five to thirty per cent of kilojoules from fat, and ten to fifteen per cent of kilojoules from protein.
After reading this, you may be tempted to go overboard on a high carbohydrate diet. Don’t do this. Meals containing large quantities of carbohydrate tend to elevate your blood glucose levels higher than meals consisting primarily of protein.
If you have just been diagnosed as having Type II diabetes, your first task is to work on normalizing your blood glucose levels. To do this, you need to shift away from carbohydrate foods that elevate these glucose levels. In so doing, you may find that you initially are eating about forty per cent carbohydrate. As your sugars improve you can slowly increase the carbohydrate content of your meals.
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