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Bolster your health with nutritional supplements

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By The Staff

Life has its challenges. No matter how diligently you engage in diet, mental activity, and exercise you are destined to encounter adverse circumstances. You could consume a toxin in your food. Or you might develop a hernia, or cancer, or fibromyalgia, or etc., etc.

There are so many evils around us, it’s impossible to predict when one of them will target a specific person. However, all is not negative.

As persons who aspire to maintain optimal health, you are quantum levels above those who recklessly pursue life with no concern for their bodies’ requirements. Those who seek only what they can get from life – not what they should do to improve it.

As believers in the pursuit of optimal health, you have a distinct advantage when adversity strikes. You have great benefit from the health-giving support rendered by your positive attitude, your good habits, and the nutrients you receive from your food supplements.

Continuing to exercise your healthful practices should have a clearly positive impact over any negative event you encounter. Remember, food supplements provide essential nutrients. They are food.

If a food supplement reportedly interferes with a medication, ask for proof. Insist on receiving the proof in the form of reliable, independent research – not furnished by a pharmaceutical company.

When you become a patient in a hospital or other health care facility, you may not be allowed to take your supplements with you. However, your physician can grant that permission. And hopefully, you will be able to keep your own inventory of supplements in your room.

I try to stay out of hospitals, but in the past I have told my physician, “If my supplements can’t go to the hospital, neither will I.” I’ve had no problems with that attitude, but it does provide the possibility for some interesting discussions.

Your vitamin D supplements generate active concentrations of antimicrobial proteins in the cells of your mucous membranes, epithelial cells (lining surfaces of biological tubular structures), blood platelets, blood, skin, and even perspiration. These are the primary areas and tissues contacted by such infectious agents as bacteria and viruses.

As a prime example of vitamin D’s antiviral activity, there is considerable evidence that an adequate vitamin D posture in your tissues will render you immune to influenza and a host of other infections.

Remember, no matter what anyone tells you, you need approximately 4,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day. And if you are confined indoors, take it as a supplement.

Don’t think that sunshine on a bed near a window will help. The ultraviolet light necessary for production of vitamin D in your skin is blocked by window glass. For reliable information on vitamin D consult the Web site: www.vitamindcouncil.com. It’s hosted by a physician.

Vitamin C is a great ally. As we have stated many times, you need to take vitamin C to a level that is comfortably below bowel tolerance. Dr. Linus Pauling found that can range from about 6,000 milligrams to 18,000 milligrams per day. Take in divided doses and use the timed-release tablets.

Unfortunately, there are people who can’t tolerate any supplemental vitamin C. Bowel tolerance dosage depends on a person’s biological nature. Each person is unique.

Since we can’t make vitamin C (but most vertebrate species can), we need to maintain a significant concentration. Vitamin C is essential to the health of your cardiovascular system, brain, and all of the connective tissue that holds your body together. Don’t let it become deficient.

The other nutrient you must not be without is the mineral, magnesium. Again take it to a level comfortably below bowel tolerance. That will normally range between 400 milligrams and 2,000 milligrams per day in divided doses.

Again, everyone is unique, and so is your magnesium bowel tolerance.

Magnesium is an essential factor in maintaining normal heart rhythm, blood flow, muscular contraction, nerve conduction, transport of minerals across cell membranes, integrity of cellular membranes, normal blood pressure, and the list goes on. Dr. Sheldon Saul Handler in his book, The Doctor’s Vitamin and Mineral Encyclopedia, tells us: “Magnesium is absolutely essential to life. It is necessary for every major biologic process, including the metabolism of glucose, production of cellular energy, and the synthesis of nucleic acids and protein.”

Once again we’re out of space. So, in summary, be advised that magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin D are the three most important nutrients to protect you from suffering adverse events. They are the ones to monitor. At least that’s my opinion.

I am not a physician. I am not a licensed health care professional. I never advise people about their medical conditions.

The point of view you read in this article is from a consumer’s perspective for you to use as you see fit. I am a consumer of services from licensed health care professionals, just as you. I write as a reporter.

James B. Pierce, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell.