Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lower your risk for stroke with a simple vitamin...

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and is responsible for the deaths of 140,000 people every year. Many of these cases are caused by years of a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet choices that are in most cases preventable! Those suffering from the effects of stroke usually have long term disabilities that lower their quality of life and can make mobility an issue. This decreased mobility can cause or even contribute to other health conditions such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc and joint disease, and many others. Since 3 out of 4 stroke sufferers are over the age of 65 and already suffering from the beginning stages of these diseases, this issue can be very concerning. The good news is that studies have shown lowering levels of an amino acid called homocysteine can decrease your risk for stroke.

Studies on homocysteine have shown that a broad spectrum of B vitamins can lower their levels in the blood.  Since many of us don't eat the green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, almonds, or leafy greens that contain these vitamins and the vegetables we do eat have lower vitamin counts, most of us aren't getting enough B vitamins in our diet! So where can you get the vitamin B that you need? Supplementation seems to be our only option to really get the amounts we need since 80% of Americans aren't getting the recommended 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. According to a US Government study of 21,000 people, not one person was getting all of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins and mineral.

In the 1980's the American Medical Association said that no one needed a multivitamin but due to new research in 2002 their policy changed and they are touting that everyone needs a multivitamin in order to receive the essential nutrients our bodies need to function properly. They have claimed that getting the right nutrients can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and even osteoporosis. Read more about why to take a multivitamin.

So how do you chose a multivitamin? Well since supplements are not regulated in the US, you must be very careful about selecting a product that doesn't contain harmful ingredients such as lead, mercury, or copper. Read more about dangerous ingredients in multivitaminsMany of these dangerous ingredients may be present in the multivitamin you are taking every day due to poor quality control and can lead to health problems such as ADD, decreased brain function, and even metabolic concerns. In addition, you should be careful about selecting cheap products off the shelf because the content is most often the cheapest ingredients that aren't going to be effectively absorbed in your body and you are literally going to be flushing your money down the drain.

So what can you do to lower your risk for stroke and make sure you're getting the nutrients you need?

1) Eat a diet rich in lean meats and a range of colors of  fruits and vegetables. This will ensure you get a broad spectrum of nutrients and vitamins and it will lower your bodies pH for even more chronic disease prevention. Read more about pH here.

2) Take a high quality multivitamin everyday. I recommend Daily Balance for adults or Pedia Balance for children due to the full label disclosure, high quality control measures, and product guarantee.

3) If you're low on energy or have a family or personal history of heart disease, talk to your doctor about beginning to add a broad spectrum B vitamin in addition to your multivitamin. Active B is a great sublingual tablet for maximum absorption.

4) Drink plenty of water. 75% of us are dehydrated which can slow function in our bodies and starve our cells of the water they need. In addition water can help to lubricate your joints and muscles to help speed healing and reduce pain.

5) Get up and move. Movement and exercise can also lower your risk for chronic disease. If you're in too much pain to exercise you need to talk with a doctor. AlignLife offers same day consultations for those interested in relieving pain so they can return to an active and healthy lifestyle. Call 309-689-6200 to schedule your appointment today.