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Are You Overdosing on B Vitamins?

You may be tempted to try large doses of vitamins to improve your health. Many doctors say, “You’re now just putting out expensive urine.” Lots of the water-soluble vitamin C or the vitamin B complex is wasted. Beware when you take high doses of all the B vitamins because too much of one B vitamin can make it impossible for another to work properly. They are all important in the production of energy Some help the skin, muscles and nerves. Others help in specific ways to keep you healthy. Your body needs different amounts of each B vitamin so it’s safer to get them in natural foods like organic liver, brewers’ yeast, wheat germ and whole grains. Eggs, mushrooms and nuts have smaller amounts. Note that the livers of animals raised in factory farms concentrate insecticides and other toxins that aren’t good for you.

Vitamin B6, pyridoxine, is involved in over a hundred reactions. An important one is to prevent the accumulation of homocysteine.. Many doctors think that too high homocysteine is more important in causing heart attacks than LDL-cholesterol. But you also need folic acid and vitamin B12 in specific amounts to get rid of the homocsyteine. Also, if you take more than 2000 mg. of pyridoxine for over five weeks, it can damage your nerves causing numbness and tingling of your feet, stumbling and poor coordination. Get back to a normal dose.

Niacin, vitamin B3, is another one to avoid taking too much. It has been used to lower a person’s cholesterol, but it causes an itchy flush. High doses over time might damage your liver.

B vitamins are used every day and any excess of most of them goes out in your urine. However, it makes sense to take only as much as your body needs.

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Are You Headed for a Nursing Home?

A major cause of the high cost of health care is the number of elderly who have to go into a nursing home, sometimes for years. It now costs from $5000 to $6000 a month. Two conditions are most common. One estimate is that 70% of patients have dementia, mostly Alzheimer’s disease, or have extreme osteoporosis with the possibility of one or more broken bones. Dr. Diane Schneider says that osteoporosis is a silent disease and that one of every two women over fifty will break a bone because of it. That’s a wake–up call to get treatment before it gets worse with age. On the other hand Alzheimer’s seems to be a progressive disease that might eventually affect half of all persons over eighty.

First let’s look at the frail woman who breaks a hip from a simple fall. She has had gradually worsening osteoporosis for many years as her bones got thinner and weaker. She may be proud of the fact that she kept her body thin and doesn’t have heart disease or diabetes. She didn’t realize she needed enough magnesium and protein in her diet as well as calcium to keep her bones strong. The extreme case of a woman breaking a hip from falling out of bed means that all her bones are too thin. Her pelvic bones are so fragile that a surgeon can’t even consider a hip replacement. She is dependent on the nursing staff for everything.

Other patients may look healthy and have normal or higher weight but can’t be left alone. They are the ones with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia who might wander off and get hurt. They might live many years but have no meaningful life.

Both types of patients might have avoided going to a nursing home if they had taken care of their health when they were younger. Your body is meant to be healthy but only when you exercise as our ancestors did. They walked a lot and did work that used their muscles. Most doctors now agree that vigorous exercise will help you grow new brain cells and might prevent dementia. Aerobic and resistance exercise together can keep your bones strong as well as strengthening your muscles. Start now to improve both your body and your brain. Whether you, an insurance policy or Medicaid pays the high monthly cost of staying in a nursing home, you don’t want to go there.

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