By Natural Advocate | January 30, 2010 - 9:33 pm - Posted in Energy Enhancement, Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamin B12 gets a lot of press because of it’s ability to give people so much extra energy. Some people even think that Vitamin B12 helps them to lose weight, but there is really no connection proven, besides the fact that they may just get up and move around more because they have a lot of energy, but there is absolutely no evidence that B12 in itself helps one to burn excess calories or suppresses the appetite. Some people may think it suppresses appetite simply because it sort of replaces the purpose of food that way, by providing the body with energy.

At any rate, there are a lot of people out there taking Vitamin B12 supplements in hopes of helping them with everything from energy levels to mood, to weight loss and exercise enhancement, but what if you take too much B12? Are there any bad side effects or symptoms if you are simply taking too much of this vitamin, to where your body just can’t get rid of it through urinating fast enough. Yes, there can be potential side effects, however, they usually are not severe and they usually pass within 24 hours.

There are always exceptions for the rule of course, so be sure to monitor yourself if you are taking this vitamin in particular. Taking too much B12 vitamin can actually cause you to flush easily. It can also cause heart palpitations and shortness of breath, which is definitely never a pleasant feeling.

Too much B12 can also cause rashes on the body and hives if too much has been taken. I think I actually experienced this in Las Vegas because I was downing Five Hour Energy like no one’s business to keep my energy up constantly, and Five Hour Energy is chock full of this vitamin, and lo and behold, I actually broke out in a mysterious rash for several days.

Not knowing the likely connectiont to the energy drink with lots of B12, I kept taking it, and so I had the rash for several days in a row. I also have experienced the shortness of breath mentioned as well when taking too much of this vitamin, but I must say that this vitamin is one of the best natural energy boosters I’ve every taken, so it’s key just to make sure that you take it normally and don’t overdo it, and you’ll reap the benefits without the bad side effects.

By Natural Advocate | January 28, 2010 - 7:14 pm - Posted in Vitamins & Minerals

When we take our vitamins, and minerals, and any other nutritional supplement for that matter, you want to always make sure that what you are taking is high quality, and at it’s strongest potency possible, or else you’re just wasting your time popping these pills.

If you are taking a vitamin that has lost all of it’s nutritional value, for instance, because it has been exposed to high heat and it’s nutrients were compromised, or you have a vitamin that is a few years old or otherwise way past it’s expiration date, then you are taking them in vein.

Expiration dates and heat exposure aren’t all you have to worry about though with your treasured vitamins and various supplements. You also need to add light exposure to your list of what to restrict when storing your vitamins. Many vitamins, it’s true, are stored in light proof containers which are tinted enough to provide UV protection to the vitamins within, but you also have to be vigilant in keeping them out of the light inside as well.

It’s always best to store your vitamins, herbal and mineral supplements, in a cool, dark pantry. That way, you are protecting your vitamins from two of the biggest offenders of robbing their nutritional value – heat and light. It’s no coincidence that you should also store your foods and nutritional goods in these pantries, since these conditions are most conducive to keeping any food or goods fresh and potent.

Some of the vitamins that show they may be destroyed by the light are certain B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C to a degree, and vitamin A. I’m sure there are more, but these are noted as especially sensitive to light exposure.

This is why commercialized milk is often sold in light protectant containers. You may have seen one of their commercials where they claim that their yellow tinted milk containers actually protect the integrity of the vitamins and other nutrients, and also protect the flavor from degrading, and that is why this packaging is “superior” for milk.

Taking vitamins, as you probably know already, can make a great addition to your diet, and make up for a lack of what you may naturally not be getting in your diet unknowingly. They can enhance your health, your energy levels, your appearance and your focus and concentration, as long as you are taking them at their full potency and quality, and avoiding putting them in the sunlight or an extremely light environment will help to protect them from that.

By Natural Advocate | January 26, 2010 - 7:04 am - Posted in Smoking Cessation

We all know that quitting smoking is good for your health. In fact, it’s way better for you if you had never started smoking in the first place. But touche, we all know that one too. It’s not like we started smoking because we thought it was healthy. The reason I started smoking when I was barely twenty years old was because I hung with a crowd that went to bars and drank a lot, and that was just part of the scene.

You almost DIDN’T fit in if you didn’t have a cigarette in your hand. I was always a somewhat shy person as well, so smoking helped ease my social tension and also made me feel more like I was one of the gang, and gave me something to do with my always fidgeting hands too. For me, it was mostly a social thing, which quickly turned into an actual physical addiction complete with withdrawal symptoms and the whole nine yards.

That part was not fun, and I proceeded to pick up and put down the habit over the next seven years, until I was twenty seven and met my husband (that was eight years ago, I don’t smoke any more and couldn’t be happier about that decision when I see what it’s done to people who have never kicked the habit).

New research indicates that those who have quite the habit of smoking, most likely to the common side effect of quitting which is weight gain (which, incidentally, an herbal smoking cessation product can help prevent since it helps make the cravings a lot less severe, and the withdrawal, which is often the reason that people turn to eating too much food when they quit smoking), which increases their risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, it increases it at a fairly high rate because of the sudden putting on of weight.

The risk of diabetes was highest right after quitting, in the years following the cessation. However, you must remember that the risks of weight gain, withdrawal and other related symptoms of quitting smoking FAR outweigh the risks associated with keeping this dangerous habit. Not only are you throwing money out the window, you are also most likely spending more money on healthcare for health problems related to smoking. Smoking is related to so many illnesses and diseases that it’s scary to realize how many people still indulge in this ultimately reckless habit. Yes, I’m a sanctimonious ex smoker, thank you very much :)

By Natural Advocate | January 24, 2010 - 10:35 pm - Posted in Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins & Minerals

After my most recent bout with a pretty severe cold that lasted for DAYS and DAYS after we returned from our Las Vegas vacation, where incidentally my husband and I were married, I decided that I would take some precautionary measures that I didn’t usually take in order to not get sick – at least not that sick, for that period of time – again, this winter at least.

I should probably correct “days” to weeks, because I swear whatever bug it was that I picked up either in Vegas or at the airport, it lasted for at least a week at it’s most severe, and for several weeks after that, as a sort of watered down, less severe, but stil rife with easy exhaustion and a general lacadaisical energy level on my part. It started as a sore throat and general sluggishness, and evolved into a full bloan, coughing your lungs up, head about to explode cold in the next few days.

I decided that I would try Emergen-C over this past week, just to try it out because I had read good things about it and heard good things by word of mouth as well. Some people, who take it religiously every day, swear that they do not get sick, or rarely ever get sick when taking this Vitamin C fizzy drink. It’s also got other vitamins in it, but the highest concentration is vitamin C, which is over a 1,000 per envelope.

Emergen-C also contains electrolytes, which are great for rehydrating the body and helping with headaches associated with dehydration, and alertness, and also to help with alertness and immune function, there is alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant, and quercetin. There are also a ton of B vitamins in there as well to help with energy levels, and I swear I get a little boost almost immediately after drinking my “shot” of Eemrgen-C.

There’s a modest amount of calcium – about 5% of your daily value, in each envelope, which is good to know, even thought it’s a small amount, because I’ve read that calcium is more easily absorbed when paired with vitamin C, it definitely eases my mind to know I’m getting more calcium as well, as I do feel like my diet might fall short in that area sometimes, and I am a woman, so bone density will become a concern for me as I get older. I use a little Dixie cup and just fill it up – it’s probably only like 2 oz. of water, and down it.

I’ve found this is a great way to get my vitamin C in, especially in the winter when so many germs are floating around to get you sick, as I have always believe, no matter what science says, that vitamin C boosts my immunity and prevents me from getting ill. I really enjoy the pep and energy I get from the Emergen-C, although I will say it is short lived. Most of all, I like that I’m getting vitamins and an energy boost from a little, 25 calorie, good tasting powdered drink. I actually look forward to my Emergen-C every day now. I’ll let you know if I get sick – so far, so good!

By Natural Advocate | January 22, 2010 - 10:34 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

I remember reading about the connection between happiness and contentedness and marriage a long time ago, except this particular study really focused on men, and how marriage helps to change them for the better, and actually makes them live healthier and more fulfilling lives. It didn’t really focus on women, however, more and more research is pointing to the fact that women enjoy these same benefits with marriage as men do.

Women who are married, as men who are married, actually exhibit less signs of depression and discontent, and they also happen to abuse alcohol and substances less in this population segment.

However, while the sanctity of marriage tends to protect both men and women against life and happiness threatening habits and predispositions, it actually goes the exact opposite way if the marriage ends.

Divorced people actually exhibit a disproportionately higher degree of depression, anxiety and substance abuse than their married, or for that matter, their unmarried counterparts, leading researchers to believe that, while marriage is good for health and happiness, divorce actually makes people go to the polar opposite side of the spectrum and often times become depressed, or perhaps to start abusing substances of alcohol.

Not that this is all black and white of course, not all divorced people become more than mildly depressed or begin to abuse drugs or alcohol, but the likelihood is just statistically higher in these cases.

Interestingly enough, marriage actually reduces the likelihood of substance abuse more for women than it does for men, so this is an odd discrepancy between the sexes that cannot be really explained thoroughly, only speculated upon. Depression is of course, a very subjective problem, and the reasons for depression can vary widely in both their causes and their scope, while substance abuse is generally attributed to some sort of genetic predisposition and personality traits.

It’s important to note that while solid marriages offer a lot of mental health benefits to both sexes, unstable or beyond frustrating marriages can actually inject more depression and anxiety into the psyche than not being in a relationship at all. I guess that’s why there’s divorce.

Hey, you could do it like my husband and I did, and make sure you can live together for a while before you get married. I’d say 7 years should be enough time to figure out if you’re compatible to live together or not, right!? Of course, we are the extreme, but as much as we might get frustrated with eachother, I can honestly say that since he has been in my life, I’ve never been so secure or self confident, and I think he can say the same for himself.

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