Doctors often talk about drugs in terms of the minerals they throw out of whack. Some are “potassium-sparing,” while others are “calcium-wasting.”
Iodine deficiency isn't on the radar for most Americans. As you’ve heard on the news, most people in the U.S. eat too much salt, and common table salt is "iodized" with this essential nutrient.
Recently, a close relative told me he did some bloodwork and his zinc levels “came back low.” Since I knew very little about zinc except that zinc was somehow involved in the immune system, I did some research to figure out whether he had cause for concern. As a health care attorney, research comes naturally to me, but more importantly, as a health care consumer, I believe it is important for me to be well-informed about nutrition and health issues. So, here is some of the information I found out about zinc.
Calcium is a very important mineral for the body. As you know, it keeps bones and teeth strong, but it does other helpful things as well. For example, calcium plays an essential role in blood clotting, muscle contractions and nerve impulse transmission. Studies further show that calcium plays a role in blood vessel contraction and dilation, which affect blood pressure. Women, in particular, need sufficient calcium to prevent osteoporosis, especially after menopause.
“B12 injections given here!” Doctor’s offices, chiropractic centers and other wellness-focused operations love to advertise B12. And why not? It’s profitable, and patients swear it gives them an “energy boost.” But while a “quick fix” for irritability or fatigue might be tempting, the notion of B12 as a cure-all, and a fast one at that, has a shaky foundation.
“Take some vitamin C.” You’ve probably heard it since you can remember, since your very first cold. As a kid, you probably downed glasses of orange juice at the first sign of the sniffles under your mother’s watchful eye. Later, you graduated to those popular powdered vitamin C drinks, hoping a sudden assault of extra vitamin C would make viruses retreat. But does it work?
At professional football games across America, sports drinks flow like champagne.They remind us that hydration and electrolytes are a natural and necessary finale to vigorous exercise. But what are electrolytes, exactly? Which ones do we need? And is all that sugar in sports drinks really in our best interest?
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