Freeda Presents: 
11/7/16 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 16.

Update on Arthritis

Know the Facts

Arthritis encompasses over 100 conditions which affects the joint, the most common of which are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, fibromyalgia, and gout. Some of these can also affect other parts of the body such as the kidneys, lungs, eyes, and skin.

Medical News Today reports some startling statistics:

  • By 2030 and estimated 67 million adults will be diagnosed
  • It’s estimated 294,000 children under 18 have some form or other
  • Approximately 40% of adults with joint pain report limits in their daily activity

Working, walking, and other everyday tasks taken for granted are all things that may be affected by arthritis. It’s believed that $47 billion is lost in earnings and $80.8 billion spent on things like prescription drugs, and ambulatory care, not to mention other costs like replacement surgeries for hips, knees, shoulders, etc.

Be Aware

Women are more prone to most types of arthritis, with the risk increasing with age. Genetics may also play a role in some cases. Other factors to keep in mind: weight, joint injuries, infection, and occupation may be risk factors.

According to the CDC, about 47% of arthritic adults in the United States also have at least one other disease or condition such as heart disease (24%) and diabetes (16%).

What You Can Do Now

Living with joint pain is not easy, and whether your condition is degenerative (OA), inflammatory (RA), metabolic (gout), or infectious (virus/bacterium), there are some things you can do to help manage the pain.

Exercising and losing weight are big ones. Exercising sounds counter intuitive as it may be painful, but it will help strengthen your muscles, improve flexibility, and help you lose weight, all of which will help your joints and prevent injury. Losing weight will also help in terms of the force and load on your joints.

Other things which may help are using hot and cold therapies, avoiding excessive repetitive movements, and diet. According to and, some of the foods that may help are turmeric (whose active ingredient is curcumin) and ginger, which seem to have anti-inflammatory properties. They also recommend foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon. highlights Omega-3 fatty acids along with glucosamine and green tea. Glucosamine may help keep cartilage in joints healthy and green tea may have anti-inflammatory effects. And Dr. David Williams highly regards the research of Dr. William Kaufman, who documented Niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B3) to help joint surfaces.

What’s New

The good news is that research is progressing on several fronts.

Testing. Researchers at Warwick Medical School have developed a test which may diagnose osteoarthritis in its early stages, with the potential for prevention and possibly more effective treatment. This blood test which identifies chemical signatures in the blood from joint proteins may be available in about two years.

Triggers. Research from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Queensland Univeristy, Australia, suggests that high cholesterol levels may cause cartilage cells to die by causing oxidative stress, leading to OA. This research, published in the FASEB Journal is still in the animal study phase.

Diet. Gout, caused by hyperuricemia, or the buildup of uric acid, specifically in the joints, is a rheumatic condition. Gout has seen a 1.2 rise in the last 20 years. It’s been known for many years that diet can affect gout as eating a diet rich in red meat and seafood is one of the risk factors. But researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reviewed data from the 1997 DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) trial and concluded that following the DASH diet may help minimize gout flare-ups. The researchers contend that more that 70% of people with gout also have high blood pressure. The DASH diet focuses on a reduction in salt intake and promotes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Freeda Presents: 
9/1/16 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 15.

Nutritional Factors for Dental Health

The area of nutritional aid to dental health is lately receiving more attention. Teeth and gums reflect the health of the whole body. The degree of calcium absorption and the strength of the capillaries are two factors which are especially observable in the mouth. Nutritional intake is among the very key factors of dental health. Many incipient diseases and nutritional deficiencies can first be spotted by alert dentists or dental technicians. Thus, the mouth is a “window” to the nutritional state of the entire body.

 The importance of good diet must be constantly stressed. Roughage such as apples, pears, and raw carrots is of great value. Sweets and sugars, especially “sticky ones” such as gum drops and caramel should be avoided. Even some vitamins are made with sugar, including children’s vitamins.*

 A good, balanced, healthy diet will aid dental health. Crash diets, fad diets, and reducing diets may often negatively affect teeth and the entire system, for they all may lack essential factors.

 In addition to dietary intake, what about vitamins? Many nutritionists are of the opinion that a good one-a-day balanced vitamin is nutritionally beneficial.

 Adequate calcium intake is most essential for proper dental health. Very often this presents a problem. Some individuals suffer from lactose intolerance and are unable to ingest any dairy products. Others are on special diets which limit their calcium intake. Individuals assimilate different forms of calcium (such as lactate, gluconate, carbonate, orotate, and chelate) differently.

 Other dietary factors are essential for calcium absorption. Among these are adequate intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Nutritionists believe that other nutrients such as zinc, chromium, silica, magnesium, and manganese may also play a positive part in calcium absorption.

 Many nutritionists have had success in using citrus bioflavonoids (sometimes called “Vitamin P”) to aid in strengthening the capillaries. This in turn may help the problem of bleeding gums when the teeth are brushed.

 Some of the negative factors interfering with calcium assimilation are excessive protein, excessive phosphates (found in sodas), oxalates (found in rhubarb), and caffeine (found in coffee and sodas).

 The use of fluoride supplements taken internally to improve dental health is a matter of considerable debate among nutritionists. In any case, fluoride should be taken only under the supervision of a dentist or physician, and care should be taken to avoid overdose.

 Dental health is important both for cosmetic reasons, as well as to aid in the proper chewing of food, for more complete assimilation. More and more dentists are utilizing the nutritional supplements mentioned in this article to aid in the dental health of their patients.

Click here for information these popular one a day multivitamins:
Quintabs-M or Quintabs-M Iron Free

Click here for information on these popular calcium products:
Calcium Carbonate
Cal-Citrate plus D
Super Cal/Mag

Freeda Presents: 
7/11/16 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 14.

Summer Health Tips

Summer. Just the word brings to mind warmth and relaxation, and a welcome relief from long months of cold. It is the time when many people take a vacation, schools are out and people spend a lot of time outside, picnicking, playing sports and going to the beach. But while you enjoy the great outdoors, it is important to keep in mind that the heat and sun bring with them certain health risks like heat stroke, dehydration, and sun damage. Here are some tips to help you stay well during the summer months.

Sun damage. The sun is very strong and its penetrating rays can cause a variety of health issues. Sun burns and even suntans may cause skin damage resulting in an increased risk of skin cancer and may also induce signs of aging, like wrinkles. The sun’s UV (ultraviolet) rays can hurt your eyes. There is an increased risk of certain eye cancers, as well as cataracts and possibly even macular degeneration. Keratitis, or corneal sunburn, is the burning of the corneas (this may also happen when using a tanning machine or when skiing or snowboarding when light is reflected by the snow). Lutein, a carotenoid located in eyes, may help maintain healthy cells by filtering out certain wavelengths of light.

Dehydration. The Mayo Clinic defines dehydration as when your body loses more fluid than it takes in. This can result in the body not functioning properly. One study suggests the possibility that one may get a headache or become lethargic with even a small amount of dehydration. Common causes are sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting. Symptoms include thirst, decreased urine output, headache, and tiredness. A good way to gauge dehydration is by your urine output. Urine should be light in color, a darker yellow or amber color may indicate dehydration. Severe dehydration may require medical attention. Make sure you’re getting enough water and that you don’t lose too much of your electrolytes, especially magnesium and potassium which many people do not get enough of on a regular basis.

Sunstroke/Heatstroke. According to the Physicians’ Desk Reference, sunstroke, which is a type of heatstroke, results when the mechanisms which keeps your body cool breaks down after being exposed to the sun or excessive heat. Possible factors may be age, certain medical conditions, and dehydration.

Heat rash. Heat rash, also called miliaria, can occur when perspiration stays under your skin by blocked pores. This can be very itchy and annoying but may heal on its own if skin is kept cool. A doctor should be consulted in more severe cases.

Freeda Presents: 

6/15/16 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 13.

The Far Reach of the Simple Seven - a Man’s Point of View

As people, we tend to break things down and simplify. However, there are times when it’s very important to look and see things in their entirety. Let’s take the human body for example. In biology we learn about the different systems – the digestive system, the immune system, the circulatory system, etc. And even though each system can include organs which range anywhere from the top to the bottom of the body, we tend to think of them as separate entities. This perception is somewhat enforced by doctors who specialize in certain areas – orthopedists, cardiologists, etc. But there is a good reason doctors must learn about each and every area before they decide what to specialize in. Each part actually makes up a whole and they are not exclusive of each other. Let’s take a look at the The American Heart Association’s Simple Seven and how they may help men in particular.

So what is the Simple Seven? They are seven goals for healthy living and they are:

  • Managing Blood Pressure
  • Controlling Cholesterol
  • Reducing Blood Sugar Levels
  • Exercising
  • Eating Better
  • Losing Weight
  • Not Smoking

Now let us consider that these seven things may help us more than we realize, in other words, let’s take a broader look, at the smaller picture. It’s been drilled into us that exercise helps us maintain a healthy weight. If you’re even a little health savvy, you probably know that it also helps reduce blood pressure and helps cholesterol, both of which are good for the heart. Now let us consider an article in the Journal of Men’s Health submitted by Dr. Juraij Fillo, et al. Dr. Fillo’s team concludes that as the level of abdominal obesity increases, the chances significantly increase for more men to have testosterone deficiency syndrome and metabolic syndrome. As we see, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising has a wide reaching effect in multiple areas.

New information is always emerging about how our diets affect our health. And while it is not news that the type of fats you consume may affect your arteries and heart health, new research from the University of North Carolina, shows that there might be a link between fats and prostate health. According to Emma Allott, a research assistant professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, higher intake of saturated fats (also linked to higher cholesterol levels) from foods like cheese and fatty beef is linked to more aggressive prostate cancer, whereas a higher levels of polyunsaturated fats (ex: from nuts and fish) were associated with a less aggressive form.

Diabetes is on the rise. And statistically, the number of men who have it is growing more than women. Watching what you eat, your weight and also exercising help keep your blood sugar down. This is important because the effects of diabetes can wreak terrible damage to the eyes, liver, and extremities. People can end up on dialysis and some may find that their eyesight deteriorates. There may be heart complications and there is also the fear of neuropathy, pain or loss of feeling in the extremities.

And if you need any more convincing, a study done at the University of Miami found that the more Simple Seven points a person met, the less deterioration in brain processing speed, executive function, and memory a person exhibited. So remember the seven – it’s that simple.

Freeda Presents: 

5/17/16 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 12.

The Importance of Calcium

By Dr. Philip Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Chief Chemist, Freeda Vitamins, Inc.

Calcium metabolism is an involved subject, and even today, when many advances have been made in this area, we do not possess all of the answers.  However, enough is known to provide us with basic guidelines.



 The very first aspect of Calcium metabolism is the amount taken into the system.  This is often limited due to the special diets, which avoid the use of dairy products and vegetable sources of Calcium.  Even those who take Calcium in nutritional supplements may have difficulty in assimilating this element if the sources provided are not of an easily digestible type.  It is possible that some people who are taking, the popular “Oyster Shell Calcium” (this source is being used strictly an example as Oyster Shell Calcium is NOT kosher) are not deriving full benefit from this substance.  One must remember that the shell of an oyster remains in the ocean for a great length of time without dissolving – indeed, the shell is nature’s way of protecting the oyster from dissolving in the sea.  Some individuals who experience difficulty digesting this form of Calcium do very well with other forms, such as Calcium citrate.



 The assimilation of Calcium depends on several nutrients the body requires to properly utilize its Calcium intake.  Should any of these be missing or lacking, Calcium absorption will be diminished.  Chief among these factors is Vitamin D.  Those on special diets, which avoid Vitamin D enriched milk, as well as individuals who are not properly exposed to the sunlight, may have a deficiency of Vitamin D.  Other factors needed for proper assimilation of Calcium are Vitamin C, and trace minerals.  Usually the ingestion of a good multivitamin-mineral preparation will supply the factors needed to help the body assimilate Calcium.



Silica, in a form, which the body can assimilate, often is helpful.  Silica helps provide the “envelope” of cartilage in which the bones grow, and strong “covering” helps in the proper assimilation of Calcium by the bones.  Plant sources of Silica are often absorbed easily by the body.  An example of this is the horsetail plant that is an excellent natural source that supplies readily available Silica. 



Although it may come as a surprise to some people, excessive protein, as is often found in the American diet, may serve to drive out Calcium.  Many people are on diets that feature large quantities of protein, much in excess of the amounts needed to maintain normal protein stores.  Women on high protein diets should check with their physicians if the amount of protein they are taking is excessive and may be depriving the body of needed Calcium.




There are several foods, which while harmless by themselves, if taken in large quantities, contain chemical factors called Oxalate, which combines with the Calcium in the body to form an insoluble compound that cannot be nutritionally utilized by the system.  Problems with these Oxalate substances do not usually arise unless an excessive amount of the food in question is consumed.  Individuals who do consume large amounts of these substances should be aware that their Calcium absorption could be compromised.  Chief among the Oxalate vegetables are spinach, rhubarb, beets, and beet greens.  Among nuts, which are high in Oxalates are almonds and cashew.  Yet other sources of these potential troublemakers are cocoa and chocolate.



Freeda Presents: 
3/22/16 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 11.

National Nutrition Month

If you haven’t heard, among the other very important health concerns highlighted in the month of March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has declared March National Nutrition Month®. Starting way back in 1973 as a week-long event, it was expanded in 1980 to include the whole month of March. Past years have included such themes as “Food and Fitness: Health for a Lifetime” (2000), “Eat Smart -- Stay Healthy” (2004), and “Eat Right with Color” (2011). This year’s theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. Some of the important issues stressed with this year’s theme are: mindful eating patterns, enjoying great flavors, and social experiences.

Mindful Eating Patterns. Many nutritionists bemoan the trend of not paying attention while eating. The theory, which several studies seem to back, suggests that eating mindfully will help people enjoy their food while becoming more aware of it they are actually hungry and when they are full. The Harvard Health Letter describes mindful eating as “being fully aware of what is happening within and around you at the moment”. Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, writing in a blog for Psychology Today, tells us that mindful eating involves paying attention to such characteristics as flavor, color, texture, and sound of food and our emotions while we eat. In a practical sense, mindless eating may affect our digestion of food, by slowing or stopping it, making us lose out on some of its nutritional value.

Enjoying Great Flavors. Not only is this a wonderful way to change up your eating routine, but this can also provide a wonderful way to enjoy your own culinary heritage as well as discover new and exciting foods and traditions from other cultures. Different types of cuisine emphasize different foods, spices, and herbs which give them distinct flavor, color, and texture. Additional perks may be the various health benefits which a wide range of foods may engender. For example, Asian fare includes a lot of vegetables, fish, and soy, great sources of fiber, phytonutrients, and omega 3 fatty acids. Some of the more popular Italian foods include pizza and pasta – which use tomatoes and wonderful spices such as basil and oregano. The lycopene in tomatoes is a wonderful antioxidant (coincidentally, it’s better the tomatoes to be cooked) and those particular herbs have anti-bacterial properties and may help with cardiovascular health. Basil is also a good source of vitamins A (used for eye health) and K (good for bone and heart health). Indian cuisine is chock full of health promoting substances including such spices as cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric. Foods such as hot peppers and coconut help rev the metabolism and provide sources of fiber and good fats respectively.

Social Experiences. In a way, social experience can help combine both mindful eating and enjoying great flavors. Getting together with friends, trying new things, and having fun can bring a relaxed atmosphere which promotes mindfulness and variety, especially when such friends are from diverse backgrounds and experiences, with the side benefits of strengthening friendships which in turn may have psychological benefits as well. 

For more information nutrients mentioned in this article, please click below:

Lycopene -

Vitamin A -

Vitamin K

Freeda Presents: 
2/16/16 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 10.

Winter Health Tips


Does is seem that as soon as the weather turns colder you notice the people around you start sneezing and coughing? The upswing isn’t necessarily your imagination. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the peak season for flu in the Northern Hemisphere is winter, with February and December the flu frontrunners. Also making their appearance are the allergies which are associated with cold weather. Columbia University Medical Center reports that allergens like dust mites, pet dander, mold, and chemicals can be more of a problem during this time because people spend more time indoors when it’s cold. And being inside more has another disadvantage too; the time spent in confined space means that more germs and viruses are likely to spread from person to person. And don’t forget the humble cold. The Illinois Department of Public Health informs us that there are over 100 viruses that can cause a cold and that the average person will get about three a year.

So if you’re like me, you are probably looking for ways to minimize your risks and for hints to help you feel better if you do find yourself in need of that industrial box of tissues. So here are some tips for you:

Wash Your Hands – A lot. This is probably one of the best tips out there and one that many experts and doctors recommend. According to the CDC, washing your hands can cut the risk of respiratory infections by 16%. Taking it to the next level, London researchers believe that around one million deaths a year may be prevented if we were all conscientious in this area.

Boost Your Immunity. Good nutrition and exercise can really help. Several nutrients are recommended for your immune system. Most people already know about vitamins C and D, but quotes Amy Rothernberg, ND, as touting the infection fighting properties of allicin in garlic. Zinc is another mineral needed for the immune system to work properly. The University of Illinois Extension suggests that tea may inhibit a cold virus from spreading throughout the body.

Become More Cognizant of Germs and Allergens. Germs are everywhere, especially in high traffic areas. Surfaces in mass transportation, grocery carts, gym equipment, even doorknobs/handles may have hundreds of people touching them throughout the day. Aside from keeping hand sanitizer with you, you may want to consider wiping down using a towel at the gym or making sure your hands are clean when they touch your cell phone, which is right up against your face Avoiding wall to wall carpeting to help keep dust and animal hair under control is one technique used by Lesli Kimerling, who works at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. She finds this very helpful to keep allergies in check.

Nasal Spray/Rinse. quotes Dr. Jeffery Demain, director of the Allergy Asthma and Immunology Center of Alaska, as recommending a nasal rinse to help clear secretions. And Freida Freiburg, a New York commuter, swears by nasal sprays when in the grips of a cold, to help her feel better.

It’s no fun to get sick, and the winter doldrums are hard enough without feeling physically under the weather too. But by keeping these tips in mind, we can do our part to stay healthy which also makes us happier.

Freeda Presents: 
12/30/15 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 9.

Food Labels- What Are We Eating

Food labels can be a tricky business. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is in charge of everything from what goes into our food to how it is prepared, to how it is packaged, strives to give the consumer a certain amount of transparency so they can make an informed decision about their food and health. However, it has become clear over the years that something is not working. Obesity rates, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain vitamin deficiencies, and other health issues are on the rise. In the wake of the general belief that many people do not understand how to read the current nutrition facts and are not getting the proper nutrition, here are some things to keep in mind when sifting through information common on many food labels.

Serving size – This seems to be a big stumper. The serving size is how many portions are in a package. This is important because if your package indicates that there are 150 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving, but there are three servings in the package, then if you eat the whole package, you just consumed 450 calories and 9 grams of fat. Therefore it is good to know just how many servings are in each package.

Fat – Not all fat is created equal. Some fats are actually healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil, and the fats found in many nuts. In the correct quantities, they contribute to the overall smooth functioning of our bodies. Some fats however, are not so healthful, like trans-fat. Food labels will tell you how much fat is in each serving and will let you know what portion of the fats are saturated, unsaturated, or trans- fat. One quick point, the current version of the nutrition facts label lists both calories from fat and the percentages of fat. This is very helpful because you may not care if an item has only 10% of your daily fat intake, let’s face it, it’s only 10%. However seen another way, if your serving has 250 calories, and the calories from fat per serving is 200, then you may want to think twice about what you are eating, especially if they are mostly saturated and trans-fats.

Sugars and Fiber – By now many people know that the lower the sugar and higher the fiber contents, the healthier the food. Fiber helps maintain a regular digestive system and although sugar is used by the body for energy, quality matters greatly. Many foods contain added, processed sugar which is poor in quality, and the way the body digests it may tax the body more than help it.

Blends - A blend of ingredients may be very confusing, especially for things like fruit juices. Sometimes a product will have very little of a specific ingredient which is promoted on the label. For example, a product with pineapple blueberry flavor may say with other fruit juices and may technically contain blueberry, but the amount can be as little as 3% of the juice, with a juice like apple making up the vast majority of the blend.

Vitamins and Minerals – you will also see a list of vitamins and minerals which the FDA considers particularly important for people to make sure they have enough of, like calcium and vitamin A.

Another important point. You may see on labels the words excellent source of, or good source of. To state that a product is a good source of something, it has to have 10 – 19% of the daily value (DV) for that item. And an excellent source means that it contains 20% or more. So if you’re eating something that is a good source of vitamin C, it may only have 6 mg of vitamin C, as the DV is only 60 mg.

In an effort to promote better food choices, the FDA is now proposing several changes to food labels. These include getting rid of the calories from fat, making the amount of calories and serving size very large, breaking down the amount of sugar to show the amount of added sugars, and adding the important nutrients vitamin D and potassium to the list of vitamins and minerals to watch out for.

These points highlight why it is a good idea be able to understand the food labels and to make educated decisions on what you eat. A well balanced diet helps for a well-balanced and functioning body.




Freeda Presents: 
10/9/15 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 8.

The Wealth of Gut Health

Most people know that good nutrition leads to better health. And in a general sense, better health is the basic building block to a better quality of life, a concept that has taken on new importance as people are living longer and are striving for more fulfillment. Knowing the nitty gritty of how the body functions and the minutiae of physiology, genetics, and the like is not always necessary. However, the field of nutrition is one area where a little knowledge goes a long way. We can see this in the recent insights researchers have gleaned about our gut. Yes, you read that right.

The gut may be making its presence felt, in a big way, and not just by growling when you’re hungry. All that microflora that you don’t like to think about, bacteria and the like, which reside in your gut, known as the microbiome, may be worth another thought. Promising research has shown that a well-balanced gut has far reaching implications, such as immune benefits. The hygiene hypothesis states that gut health may be impaired by an imbalance, which in turn can lead to developing disease. Dr. A. Venketeshwer Rao, Professor emeritus in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto is quoted by Today’s Dietitian as saying that “A presence of pathogenic bacteria requires a well-functioning and strong immune system to prevent infections.” If we make the right choices, the food we consume can work to keep our gut integrity. For example, the various forms of fiber, soluble, insoluble, and resistant starch, contain vital nutrients, like prebiotics, which help keep good bacteria flourishing, and bad bacteria at bay. Prebiotics may help also regulate blood sugar and promote colon health.

Recently however, a new connection has been discovered which has intriguing possibilities. It’s no secret that when someone is nervous, or upset, they can often feel it in their stomach, or as they say – “butterflies” in your stomach. But now we know that it’s not just our brain that communicates with the gut but the other way around as well so that a happy gut may mean a happy mind, as evinced by the term “second brain”, the new reference for the gut as there are more than 100 million nerve cells in the gastrointestinal tract, which runs from the esophagus to the rectum. These nerve cells seem to communicate with our brain which can affect our mood. This may help explain why a higher percentage of people with functional bowel problems battle depression and anxiety than people without, suggests Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology. It may also explain why gastroenterologists may prescribe certain antidepressants for these people.

As Dr. Emily Deans relates in her article in Psychology Today, “Our stress response doesn’t readily distinguish between mental and physical distress” the physical manifestations are the same, increased hormonal and immunological responses. She also explains that certain bacteria may help keep pathogenic bacteria low in a way that helps reduce the chronic stress response, making those carrot sticks in your fridge look pretty good right about now.


Freeda Presents: 
8/3/15 Know Your Nutrition | Volume 1 Article 7.


With all the increased attention on a proper, balanced diet, it is not news that the food we consume contains nutrients which are vital for our bodies to work correctly. And so the definition of a nutraceutical is “Food, or parts of food, that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease.” as defined by Dr. Stephen DeFelice of the Foundation for Innovation in Medicine. Included are not only vitamins, minerals, and the like, the longtime superstars of nutrition, but more and more these days, scientists are researching other aspects with benefits such as phytochemicals, bioactive compounds in plants, fiber, and pre and probiotics.

Clemson University cites that more than 40% of Americans use alternative medical therapies, of which nutraceuticals make up a significant portion. There are several reasons alternative therapies are appealing. Among them are the belief of fewer side effects than drugs, cheaper prices, the idea of preventive medicine, and a desire to get back to basics - following the Hippocrates philosophy of “let food be your medicine”. And indeed, science continues to highlight the health benefits of nutraceuticals.

Substances like lycopene, a carotenoid that is a powerful antioxidant, may help in reducing the risk of certain cancers and stroke, as reported by the Harvard School of Public Health. And the Physicians committee for Responsible Medicine reports that lycopene may also help heart health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. Lycopene is found in foods such as watermelon and pink grapefruit, but most of the lycopene in the American diet comes from tomatoes.

Nutraceuticals are not only found in what we may think of as foods, but in other edibles such as herbs and spices. Garlic, for example, has been used for many years in traditional medicine, and research suggests that it could help lower blood pressure and slow the hardening of arteries which may happen as people age. Garlic has also shown potential in strengthening the immune system and lessening the symptoms of a cold.

The use of nutraceuticals is increasingly popular. According to Clemson University, more than 100 million people in the US use them. They are also very popular in countries throughout Europe and Japan. Belfrit is a list of 1000 botanicals, compiled by Belgium, France, and Italy, based on such qualifications as safety and efficiency. This list is being used as a base, with many more botanicals still being reviewed for inclusion.

From whichever reason stems your interest in nutraceuticals, as Dr Tomislav Meštrović, MD, PhD points out, their role in mitochondrial integrity, gene expression, and reduction of oxidative stress may be very useful in improving health preventively or to boost the body’s natural defenses.

Freeda Presents: 
6/1/15 K