Andreas Moritz on Vitamin B12 – Digestion, Absorption, and Herbivores

This article is based on a video by Andreas Moritz, called Debunking Vitamin B12, which I found interesting and reasonably informative, so I thought, I want to know more. I was particularly interested in vitamin B-12 for my own health reasons, since finding my energy better after cutting back on meat, fish and high-fat dairy in my diet.

Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamin, is required for every function in the body, and every single cell needs it to work. A deficiency can cause anaemia, brain and nervous system disorders, and severe gastro-intestinal problems.

The main theme of the video is that we are deficient in B12, not due to not eating enough B12 foods, but due to not absorbing enough B12 from our foods.

He is in favour of vegetarianism generally, but not as staunch as some, a bit more balanced than most, which I liked.

What’s his own diet like, I wondered? So I looked it up and couldn’t find anything. And unfortunately he has died, apparently under mysterious circumstances, as he seemed to be fit, healthy and strong beforehand, but he was researching areas sensitive to Big Pharma/Food industry – that’s the impression I got.

Anyway, he talks about intrinsic factor in the stomach. In order to digest, absorb, assimilate B12, we need intrinsic factor in larger quantity than we generally have it.

What is intrinsic factor, I wondered? So I looked it up.

Intrinsic factor

Intrinsic factor is produced by the cells lining the stomach and combines with vitamin B12, and so it is necessary for absorption of vitamin B12 later on in the small intestine. It is a glycoprotein. (The “glyco” just means there is a carbohydrate group attached to the protein part.)

The stomach acids release vitamin B12 from food during the digestion process, but vitamin B12 is sensitive to acids and so it needs to be protected. Therefore the process starts much earlier in the mouth with the salivary glands, where vitamin B12 is combined with another glycoprotein called haptocorrin, which safely transports it through the stomach, protecting it from the acids, and on in to the intestines, where there is a more alkaline environment, and it can be safely released and absorbed.

The same cells in the stomach that produce the gastric hydrochloric acid also produce the intrinsic factor (IF), which rebinds the B12 after its release from haptocorrin by digestion. So in the duodenum, a vitamin B12-IF complex is created, which then travels on through the small intestines. Interesting stuff – amazing body, eh?

Where we find it and why we need it

It is now well-known, especially among the vegan/vegetarian community, that we need to make sure we get adequate vitamin B12 in our diets. As it’s mostly found in fresh animal products, like liver, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese, you can’t just eat a healthy plant-based diet and hope you get enough. It an essential vitamin, and can cause irreversible and quite severe problems if there is a deficiency.

It used to be thought, however, that people could get it from non-animal sources, like spirulina, and fermented and cultured foods like tempeh, or not cleaning the soil completely off food taken from the ground. But the Vegan Society now states that fortified foods and supplementation are the only reliable sources of B12, and that eating only a raw (rather than cooked) plant-based diet offers no special protection.

What it’s good for

We need it for the brain and nervous system (so think stability of mood, memory, eyesight), energy metabolism (production of ATP, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism) and growth (blood formation, protein and tissue synthesis) – pretty important then I’d say!

The main symptoms of a deficiency, as stated, are anaemia and neurological problems, so the elderly need it to protect against brain atrophy and things like Alzheimer’s disease, and a lack of B12 can break down the myelin sheath protecting the nerves, causing multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

A deficiency can also cause thickening of the arteries, due increased circulating homocysteine, a digestion byproduct that can cause damage throughout the entire body, which B12 normally acts to break down.

So a deficiency can start with unclear symptoms, like loss of energy, a sore tongue, tingling in the hands, mild confusion, but if left untreated can lead to serious problems: nerve damage (even the spinal cord can breakdown), low bone mineral density, and eyesight deterioration, plus mental health problems, depression.

So being found mostly found in animal products and dairy, that’s why vegans need to make sure they get an alternative source in their diet.

Best sources of B12

Vegans

The only vegan sources are fortified cereals, milks, juices, soy and other products, and yeast-containing products like Marmite (UK name, or Vegemite in the US, and it goes under other names too, basically yeast extract – that black gooey, salty stuff you spread on your toast), but these are relatively minor amounts.

For example, Marmite contains 0.5 mcg per 100 g, but we only tend to use a teaspoon or two on our toast because it’s such strong tasting stuff, so that only contains 0.025 mcg. Whereas a cup of fortified soy milk will contain 3 mcg, which is 50% of the DV (daily value – see below).

And there is another issue here if you’re going to add fortified products to your diet, in the UK at least, the soy, almond and rice milks that contain added vitamins also contain gums (gelan gum and/or carrageenan usually), which are known to cause digestive issues – more below.

Vegetarians

Obviously the situation is better if you are vegetarian because you can have eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. Also whey powder, as 100 g of that is said to contain 42% DV.

And with milk and yogurt, you’re more likely to consume a whole cup of that, which contains 0.9 mcg (15% DV) for non-fat yogurt, and 1.14 mcg (19% DV) for reduced fat milk. So a bit more but still not brilliant though.

Even with eggs, unfortunately, 1 large boiled egg only contains 0.6 mcg, just 10% of the DV, although other types of eggs contain more, e.g. duck eggs contain 3.8 mcg (raw, not sure about cooked), which is 63% DV, and goose eggs, which are rather large, contain 7.3 mcg, which is 122% DV. But then I personally find duck eggs too fatty – you just can’t win, can you?

Daily allowance

The recommended amount you need varies between countries (according to sources on the Internet): the UK RDA (recommended daily amount) is 1.5 mcg/day (from the National Health Service website, so should be accurate and up-to-date).

Google (no source given, but which turned out to be the US RDA – recommended dietary amount) says: 2.4 mcg daily for ages 14 years and older, 2.6 mcg daily for pregnant females, and 2.8 mcg daily for breastfeeding females. For the over 50s, they should eat foods fortified with B12 or take a vitamin B12 supplement.

So those over 50, and pregnant and breast-feeding women, need more due to reduced absorption in older people of naturally occurring B12, and greater demands for B12 whilst pregnant and for nursing mothers.

Note that the DVs quoted above are based on 6 mcg daily (rather confusingly), rather than the US RDA of 2.4. (It’s to do with the value in the food apparently, rather than the daily amount you need). So that applies to reading the nutrition labels for fortified foods, which is why for egg, quoted above, it’s 0.6 mcg, which is 10% DV, not 25% (which would be the relative amount for the RDA of 2.4 mcg).

Supplementation

A Dutch study (from 2005) looked at how much oral B12 should be prescribed for patients with a confirmed deficiency of this vitamin – NB the population studied were elderly (people with what was termed a mild B12 deficiency), with an average age of 80. This was usefully pointed out by Hyla Cass M.D., in “Vitamin B12 – How much is enough?” (1)

They were given B12 (cyanocobalamin form) in a range of doses: 2.5, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 mcg daily (administered for 16 weeks).

No adverse events were reported with any dosage, but the principal result was that the 500-mcg dose was the lowest dose required for an oral dose, for patients with a confirmed deficiency of this vitamin (measured by an estimated 80% to 90% reduction in plasma methylmalonic acid).

So this study was for supplements, and the value found is quite high compared with the daily values needed, which is the amount recommended that we get from foods.

As further confirmation, a supplement from a trusted source I know of provides 1,000 mcg/capsule, which also contains 400 mcg of folate. And most supplements contain 500 mcg or 1,000 mcg (which might be the difference between the therapeutic dose and a maintenance dose).

Easier to absorb

The good thing about supplements is that in some people, the B12 is easier to absorb than that found in naturally occurring foods, where it is bound to protein. Reduction in stomach acid and digestive enzymes with increasing age, and things like inflammation of the stomach lining due to allergies, food intolerances, alcohol intake, conditions like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, all reduce body’s ability to cleave the required nutrient from the food and to absorb it.

Full list of B12 containing foods

Here is a list of the top food sources of B12 (from Nutritiondata.self.com):

  • Shellfish – clams, oysters, whelk, crab (crab: Alaska, King cooked, Dungeness and Queen, cooked)
  • Liver – from lamb, beef, veal, moose, turkey, duck, goose, pork, chicken (pan-fried, then tinned)
  • Fish eggs, specifically of whitefish, caviar (black and red, granular), mixed fish roe (cooked, dry heat)
  • Organ meats and giblets: turkey giblets, beef kidney, pancreas (from various animals), beef brain, veal heart, chicken giblets, lamb heart, beef heart, turkey gizzards (cooked)
  • Fish and sea mammals – octopus, salmon (dried chum), trout (dried, then Rainbow trout, cooked), mackerel (Atlantic cooked, dry heat), kippered herring (Atlantic), dried whitefish, red salmon (smoked sockeye), King mackerel (cooked), herring (cooked dry heat), mackerel (salted), tuna (fresh Bluefin, cooked dry heat), cod (dried, Atlantic, salted), sardine (Pacific, canned in tomato sauce and canned in oil, with bone), trout (cooked), whale (dried Beluga meat), seal (dried), red salmon (canned), bass (striped, cooked), walleye pollock (cooked), snapper, (cooked), seatrout (cooked)…
  • Fortified breakfast cereals – high fibre Bran Flakes, Kellogg’s All bran Complete wheat flakes, Multi-Grain Cheerio’s
  • Complete Oat Bran Flakes, All Bran Buds, Special K, General Mills cereals, All Bran Original, Kellogg’s low fat granola
  • All Bran yogurt bites, Nature’s Path Optimum, Ready to eat muesli (with dried fruit and nuts)…
  • Pates/liver sausage: Braunschweiger (pork liver), liverwurst and liverwurst spread, foie de gras (goose liver, smoked)
  • Wild game: caribou (dried shoulder meat), emu (fan fillet cooked), beaver and muskrat, rabbit (roasted), deer, moose, ostrich
  • Margarine-like (vegetable oil) spreads
  • Whole dried egg, dried egg yolk, goose egg (whole, fresh, raw is highest)
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soup (clam chowder, New England, tinned, condensed)
  • Meatless chicken, breaded fried
  • Baby foods (some)
  • Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and without), Instant Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and without),
  • Meat – roasted mutton, some lamb cuts, and other meats… (vitamin B12 content goes down from there)…

Not included above, there are also lower amounts in B12 in:

  • Mussels and other shellfish, haddock
  • Beef
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Fortified tofus
  • Swiss cheese, reduce fat mozzarella, parmesan, feta cheese
  • Ham
  • Duck eggs (being so much higher than chicken eggs), chicken eggs
  • Chicken meat

This is to give an idea of the top B12-containing foods, partly grouped by type of food, partly by highest to lowest, but note cooking methods also alter the amount significantly. Raw organ meats, for example, contain much more than cooked. And even dry heat versus steaming and braising makes a difference.

And I was surprised to see roast chicken has half the amount of low fat cottage cheese for example, and that low fat versions of dairy often contain more B12 than the full fat varieties. So that’s useful to know.

Fortified foods and gums

I personally have avoided the fortified milks because, as I say, they tend to contain gums which, I have read, stop your digestion. According to Dr P D’Adamo, they contain a lectin or other agglutinin (basically causing cells to stick and clump together, not least your red blood cells – eeek), and it is a metabolic inhibitor – that was for guar gum and carrageenan. Also for acacia (gum arabic): it flocculates serum or precipitates serum proteins, it contains lectin or other agglutinin, and is a metabolic inhibitor, and it increases lectin activity and binding – blimey, the whole caboodle! So you simply cannot break them down, and they can wreak havoc on your whole system by the sound of it.

Also see Dr Michael Greger’s video: “Is Carrageenan Safe?” (2)

Which is a shame, because it means I miss out on these fortified foods. And I don’t eat any other type of fortified foods either, like the cereals, because of the sugar and other additives they tend to contain, or bread and other wheat-based products they make with fortified flour, or use the fortified spreads (I only use olive oil and ghee generally on rye bread), and I don’t drink regular cow’s milk either, or the fortified drinks of any kind because of said gums and sugar, and I don’t use fake meat soy products, textured vegetable protein/mycoprotein – that and those smoke flavourings are definitely best avoided – and finally, I don’t eat baby food… hmm, I always liked the look of that stuff, maybe I should try it.

The reason I wonder if gums might stop the body breaking down other foods properly is because of what I learnt about the effect of, for example, adding milk to a smoothie or your morning tea or coffee. Milk actually stops you absorbing the antioxidants (the good stuff like polyphenols and catechins) in the tea and the coffee – same goes for chocolate – and even with fruits and berries you might have in your morning smoothie or breakfast bowl, adding milk actually stops the absorption of the good nutrients in it, as measured by blood levels of certain beneficial compounds after consuming it.

The scientific research done on this is handily summarised by Dr Michael Greger, an MD (medical doctor) who trawls the scientific literature for such useful information, and is presented in short, info-bitesize videos, making it more accessible for us.

And shockingly, it’s not just cow’s milk that does this, it’s soy milk as well – at least in tea – because unfortunately the only study they tested soy milk in was the one with tea. They didn’t test soy milk in the other (separate) studies on the chocolate/coffee and berries. So how about that then? That really surprised me, as it did Michael Greger, and no doubt the researchers as well. To find that adding even soy milk to healthy drinks/smoothies might be negating the beneficial effects of the antioxidant compounds in them. That was a real eye-opener.

I guess that’s part of the reason why dark chocolate is so much healthier than milk.

And so if the milk itself blocks absorption, I obviously wondered what the added gums in milk can do. So I’d rather just avoid them altogether, if I can.

B12 absorption – anatomy and controversy

Back to the video:

Andreas Moritz says undigested meat and protein in our guts upsets the probiotic bacteria, and that these bacteria are the principle source of vitamin B12 – didn’t know that – which is typically absorbed at the end of the small intestine in the terminal ileum.

(As an aside, I wondered whether the “terminal ileum” was the Appendix, as I had mine out when I was aged about 8 and I’ve have always been super-sensitive to foods, although not officially allergic to any). Anyway, it isn’t the appendix, because I looked it up.

Terminal ileum

The terminal ileum occurs between the large and small intestines and connects to the caecum (the first part of the large intestines) via the ileocecal valve. So it’s not quite the appendix but close, anatomically speaking, as the appendix is connected to the caecum.

Here is a 3-D picture (http://www.innerbody.com/image_dige03/dige10.html) showing the exact location of the terminal ileum within the abdomen, with a navigation grid to the left which, if you hover the little hand over it, highlights in green whatever part of the digestive system you want to look at. There is also a short description with each area. 

Storage of B12

The terminal ileum is where B12 gets absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the liver. The liver stores it there until required, and it is then recycled in most cases. The recycled B12 is used for up to 6 or 7 years.

The amount we need in an entire lifetime is as much as you can fit on the end of your little finger – interesting! Very small amount.

So it’s quite difficult to get a B12 deficiency, and as already stated, it’s not so much the food we eat, as the absorption of it that is the cause of the problem. Our own gut health is the problem.

He goes on: Junk food and medications, particularly antibiotics, destroy the probiotic bacteria in our gut. Plus eating a lot of meat which, although it contains B12, cannot really be absorbed properly if the digestion is not working very well, particularly when intrinsic factor is diminished, which does happen when you eat too much protein foods, he says.

He says the misunderstandings about B12 come from how we produce our own B12. Like cows, for example, don’t have to eat meat or drink other species’ milk in order to get B12, and that it is provided from the plant foods, and they don’t have a deficiency.

And, Andreas makes the point: Humans eating natural foods will also not develop B12 deficiency.

(This is a hotly debated topic, as to whether we can produced our own B12 from the bacteria in the gut, coming down now on the side of we can’t, or some of us may do but it is not absorbable by us, but read on.)

So how do herbivores get their B12 then? I was curious and had a look:

Herbivores and B12

Ruminants, such as cows, buffalo, goats, sheep, these guys get their vitamin B12 from these bacteria which synthesise it in their voluminous four-chamber guts. Some herbivores (horses, elephants, zebras, rabbits, hares, and many rodents) have large caecums in their digestive tracts, which is between the small and large intestine, where bacterial fermentation takes place.

Primates eat eggs and insects in the soil. Gorillas (also hares, rabbits, and some rodents) eat faeces as well. And lots of animals regularly ingest soil, so they have many more sources/ways of getting B12 than us.

As an aside, there is a suggestion that all animals need supplementation of B12 in their feed, but one source says that bacteria in a horse’s digestive tract are able to produce enough B12 if there is enough cobalt in the diet. Leading to the suggestion that often our soil is depleted of these essential minerals these days.

There are various other references about bacteria and vitamin B12 production, if you are interested, online (3).

Increasing the absorption

Other vitamins are necessary for good absorption of vitamin B12 supplements. For example, it is recommended you include foods rich in vitamin B6 in your diet, as vitamin B6 is necessary for the proper absorption and storage of vitamin B12.

Foods such as spinach, poultry, brown rice, avocados, walnuts and bananas. Poultry includes: chicken, quail, turkey, duck, goose and pigeon.

Folate is also necessary for good absorption: from dark leafy greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and beets, fruit, and beans, peas and lentils.

Along with adequate intake of calcium. One study in 2000 found that patients with diabetes were able to reverse low vitamin B12 levels by increasing their calcium intake(4).

Some calcium rich foods are: collard greens, broccoli and kale; sardines and salmon; ricotta, mozzarella and cheddar cheese; low fat yogurt, Greek yogurt and skimmed milk; fortified: milks, cereals and tofu; beans, sesame seeds, dried figs, and molasses.

Importantly, stomach acid levels and pepsin (protein digesting enzyme) are key to extracting the B12 from our food. If you have low stomach acid, taking betaine hydrochloride supplements can help to cleave the B12 from the protein foods.

It is noted by Sandi Busch on livestrong.com (5) and Dr J E Williams (integrative medicine practitioner for 25 years), that use of antacids reduces stomach acid, and heavy drinking causes the stomach lining to become inflamed, thereby reducing the digestive enzymes. Some integrative medicine practitioners recommend cranberry juice and using spices in food, which help with the absorption of B vitamins in general, and some even say consider caffeine, as this increases stomach acid production.

Also eating smaller, regular amounts of B12-containing foods, rather than all at one meal, can increase the amount you absorb overall as well, because there is a limit to the amount that can be absorbed at any one time, due to the availability of the intrinsic factor.

Other considerations

Andreas is an advocate of vegetarianism but says B12 deficiency has nothing to do with vegetarianism, and that meat eaters are just as deficient, if not more so (which has been confirmed by studies in the literature). But vegetarians can suffer too if they take medication, for example, or have used antibiotics in the past. Apparently the probiotic bacteria population in your gut can be disturbed for many years after.

To improve digestion, he says to clean out the liver and bile ducts, to get rid of gall and hepatic stones. They inhibit the body’s ability to digest food properly. As already stated, this interferes with good bacteria population. And so putrefying food, whether vegetables or meat, will lead to diminished absorption of B12 because of lack of probiotic bacteria, he says, which is the major source of B12.

NB: I imagine that partly explains why undereating is better for you than overeating. With undereating, you have no rotting food in your gut.

He says finally, B12 absorption also depends on how much vitamin D you have available to keep your digestive system strong and vital. So exposing the whole body to the sun on a regular basis will improve the healthy bacteria populations in the gut, and lead to stronger absorption of nutrients generally. (Maybe he’s an advocate of naturism too! He lived in a warm climate no doubt… ah, his Ener-Chi Centre is in North Carolina… moderate climate then! )

Other sources of vitamin D – (some overlap with the list for vitamin B12 I notice):

  • Fatty fish and tuna
  • Mushrooms (that are grown in the light – although ones that aren’t can still have some vitamin D and can be put in the sun which will increase the levels apparently)
  • Good old fortified milks, orange juice and cereal
  • Egg yolks
  • Beef liver
  • Cod liver oil
  • Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin B12 in nature

Andreas didn’t believe we would necessarily absorb B12 that well from a supplement, because in nature, it never comes alone, always combined with other B-vitamins, other vitamins and minerals, and even more substances that allow B12 to be absorbed and utilised, so eating a balanced, healthy diet is key to absorbing this vital nutrient.

Andreas Moritz was very ill when growing up, he says from eating too many dairy products and animal proteins, and that when he stopped eating them, he got the colour back in his face, whereas before he was as white as snow. And because of his own illnesses in childhood, he dedicated his life to studying the root causes of disease.

Described as a medical intuitive and writer, he spent his adolescence studying nutrition, and by age 20 had trained as an iridologist. He then studied Ayurveda in India, followed by shiatsu and various other forms of energy medicine.

Although I didn’t manage to find details of his daily diet, he does have more general diet advice online at his Ener-Chi Centre.

References

1. Vitamin B12-How Much Is Enough? by Hyla Cass, M.D. Life-enhancement.com.

2. Dr Michael Greger (2013): Is Carrageenan Safe? Nutritionfacts.org.

3. MIT biologists solve vitamin puzzle. MIT news. http://news.mit.edu/2007/b12

4. Increased intake of calcium reverses vitamin B12 malabsorption induced by metformin. Diabetes Care. 2000 Sep;23(9):1227-31.

5. The Best Way to Absorb B12 by Sandi Busch. Livestrong.com.

Natural Supplements to Grow Taller Review – Herbal Facts and Marketer’s Claims Review

Why do many consumers take dietary supplements to grow taller? The reasons are varied-many times medically valid, sometimes not. In low or appropriate dosages, some supplements offer health benefits under some circumstances. Some people use supplements with good intention: perhaps in search of protection from or a remedy for health problems such as depression, aging skin, cancer, or arthritis. Still others seek added benefits: perhaps better athletic performance or sexual prowess. Too often, supplement use is based on scientifically unfounded marketing promises. But, some people still claim to undeniable scientific proofs.

It would be great, but boosting your nutrient intake won’t cause your cells to produce extra energy or more brain power. Only three nutrients carbohydrates, fats, and proteins supply energy or calories to grow taller. Vitamins don’t. Although B vitamins do help body cells produce energy from the three energy nutrients, they don’t produce energy themselves. Many powerful drugs and toxic chemicals are plant-based. Varieties of mushrooms can be classified as “culinary delicious” or “deadly dangerous.” In the same vein, herbal supplements should be used with caution! Any healthy natural supplements to grow taller, without proper doctor acknowledgement and governement authority approbation sounds really fishy to me.

Athletes and other physically active people need about the same amount of nutrients as others do to grow taller just more energy, or calories, for the increased demands of exercise. The extra amount of food that active people eat supplies the very small amount of extra vitamins needed to grow taller and have more energy production, too.

Although protein needs are somewhat higher for some athletes, especially for those in strength-training sports, food can easily provide the extra. On another note, physical activity, not extra amino acids (protein), builds muscle. For more on nutrition for athletes and ergogenic aids.

Dietary supplements to grow taller won’t protect you from the harmful effects of smoking or alcohol abuse. Here’s the real scoop: Smoking does increase the body’s need for vitamin C; drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages can interfere with the body’s use of most nutrients. If soil can grow crops, the food produced is nutritious. When soil lacks minerals, plants don’t grow properly and may not produce their potential yield. Growing area does affect a food’s iodine and selenium contents.

Supplements won’t give you instant grow taller results, it would take at least a 2-3 months training for instance. For vitamins and minerals to do their work, they need several hours or several days to interact and do their work in your body. For any benefits from other dietary supplements to grow taller, you likely need to take them even longer. Supplements to grow taller are easy to spot. By law, they must be labeled “dietary supplements.” About eighty thousand dietary supplements are marketed in the United States with multivitamin/mineral supplements being the biggest product category-and with an average of 500 new products launched each year. They’re sold in many forms-for example, tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, powders, and bars.

Do you consume a varied, balanced diet to grow taller? With some exceptions, supplements usually aren’t necessary. If you’re healthy and if you’re able and willing to eat a balanced, varied diet. You probably can get the vitamins and minerals you need from smart food choices. According to national studies, most Americans have enough healthful foods available to do that, yet they may not. Under some circumstances, vitamin/mineral supplements offer benefits and are advised; like those for growing taller.

A woman with heavy menstrual bleeding? You may need an iron supplement to replace iron from blood loss. To enhance absorption, take iron supplements with water or juice on an empty stomach. If nausea or constipation are problems, take iron supplements with food. Absorption may be decreased by as much as 50 percent when taken with a meal or a snack. A woman who’s pregnant or breast-feeding? You need more of some nutrients, especially folate and iron-and perhaps calcium if you don’t consume enough calcium-rich foods. Check the label’s Supplement Facts to make sure you get enough for a healthy pregnancy. Ask about a prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement.

Someone unable or unwilling to regularly consume a healthful diet to grow taller? You likely need a dietary supplement to fill in the nutrient gaps. However, eating smarter would be better if you don’t have food-related health problems! Take a supplement with the advice of a doctor or a registered dietitian. For example, pre-menopausal women who don’t consume enough calcium to grow taller and stronger bones from food likely need a calcium supplement-unless they’re willing to improve their diet. Some babies after age six months, children, and teens may need a fluoride supplement to grow taller and perhaps iron or vitamin D.

If you are not able to meet your calcium and vitamin D recommendations with foods to grow taller, you may need calcium or vitamin D supplements to grow taller. Ask a dietitian or your doctor about the right dosage and type. And enhance their absorption by taking them with food. Only food can provide the mixture of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other substances for a health quality that can’t be duplicated with dietary supplements to grow taller alone. Fortunately for most Americans growing taller, there’s plenty of quality, quantity, and variety in the food marketplace.

Enjoy plenty of calcium and vitamin D-rich foods. They provide more for bone health calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and overall health than supplements do. And a varied, well-balanced eating plan offers other nutrients that appear to promote bone density, including magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K

Supplements to grow taller carry labeling, showing the amounts of vitamins and minerals in a single dosage. If you already eat a healthful diet, you probably don’t need any more than a low-dose supplement. Taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement, with no more than 100 percent of the Daily Values (DVs) as a safety net, is generally considered safe. Most nutrient supplements are produced in low dosages.

Supplements with water-soluble vitamins or minerals can be risky if taken in excess, over time. For example, taking extra vitamin B6 has been suggested to help relieve premenstrual tension. Yet there’s limited evidence to support large vitamin B6 doses for relief of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Many women have viewed large vitamin B6 doses as harmless, since they are water-soluble. Instead, they may cause irreversible nerve damage when taken in very large doses above the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): 500 to 5,000 mg vitamin B6 per day.

That said, can you overdose on vitamins or minerals naturally as you grow taller with food? That’s highly unlikely. As we mentioned, taking very high doses of dietary supplements or taking too many, too often can be dangerous. The vitamin and mineral content of food is much more balanced fortunately. In amounts normally consumed, even if you enjoy extra helpings, you won’t consume toxic levels of nutrients. So eat a variety of foods-and enjoy! Note: Nutrient amounts to grow taller can add up if you consume a lot of highly fortified foods.

You may take dietary supplements to grow taller for potential health benefits. It’s not uncommon for people diagnosed with cancer, AIDS, or other life-threatening health problems, who are desperate for a cure, to put their hopes and healthcare dollars in alternative treatments, including dietary supplements. However, supplements may offer a false sense of security-and a serious problem if you neglect well-proven approaches to health or delay medical attention.

Drink plenty of fluids with calcium supplements to avoid constipation. The lactose and vitamin D in the milk help to enhance calcium absorption. If you don’t drink milk and want an alternative to calcium pills, consider calcium-fortified juice or soy beverage. One cup of calcium-fortified juice or soy beverage can contain about 300 milligrams of calcium, the same amount as in a cup of milk, and provides vitamin C, folate, and other nutrients. Still, you need a vitamin D source to aid absorption; some calcium-fortified juices and soy beverages are also fortified with vitamin D.

Calcium supplements help to protect against osteoporosis (brittle-bone disease) It can’t make up for your lifestyle choices or poor health habits. Regular weight-bearing physical activity is important to grow taller and obtain healthy bones. For healthy bones, avoid smoking, too.

Vitamin nasal sprays or patches are effective to grow taller? No research evidence says so, even though they’re promoted for faster, more efficient absorption. In fact, they may not be absorbed at all. Here’s the reality check: Fat-soluble vitamins need fat from food to aid absorption. Vitamin C in your intestine aids iron absorption-a problem if vitamin C comes from a spray. Vitamin B12 binds with intrinsic factor made in the stomach during digestion. That cannot happen with a spray or a patch! So that means all the place that try to claim that you could grow taller with that are just scam.

Indeed, herbals and other botanicals have known medicinal qualities helping us grow taller; 30 percent of today’s drugs come from plants. Yet, herbals and other botanical supplements also are sold as dietary supplements rather than regulated as drugs. Like many plant-derived pharmaceuticals, these supplements can offer both positive health benefits and harmful side effects.

On the up side, enough scientific evidence has been collected on a handful of botanical supplements to support their limited use. For example, under a doctor’s guidance, gingko biloba may be used to help treat the symptoms of age-related memory loss and dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease); green tea extract may help reduce cancer risk. A growing body of research evidence is being gathered about their safety and effectiveness, as well as their limitations and dangers.

On the down side, like other supplements to grow taller, herbal and other botanical supplements are regulated differently from pharmaceuticals, which are meant to cure or prevent disease. You aren’t as protected from misleading claims as you might think. When you think about the quality and effectiveness of these grow taller methods; you can see that the marketer’s are absolutely in control of the quality…

According to current law and regulations, herbal and botanical remedies to grow taller and other dietary supplements to grow taller can enter the marketplace without FDA approval. The burden is on the FDA to remove a dangerous dietary supplements to grow taller from the marketplace. Currently dosages of herbal remedies aren’t standardized, so dosages vary among products. Some are even copies of the actual real-product that is made by legitimate herbal company; they put the same product name change what is inside and put the same label. Be very careful, you can look up grow taller 4 smarts free scam alerts to be ahead of scammers.

Although packaging claims can’t say that a supplement to grow taller cures or prevents disease, it may carry claims for its purported health role. Many claims have only limited scientific evidence. Are herbal supplements or botanicals are safe during pregnancy and nursing? There’s not enough scientific evidence yet to recommend safe levels for herbal supplements for pregnant or nursing moms. However, some are known to be harmful to a baby.

How To Boost Your Rats Immunity

As winter approaches, it’s important to turn our attention to how we can boost our rat’s immunity against infection and give them the best defence possible during what is often a vulnerable time for rats, especially the elderly.

High humidity, coupled with the cold can create the conditions that affect the respiratory system of a vulnerable rat. This is due to the increase in the water element which can aggravate mucus conditions or those susceptible to them. It’s important to be aware that there is a greater need to balance the water element within the bodily system at this time, so that we can increase the body’s ability to cope with damp and coolness.

In Ayurveda (an ancient Indian healing system based on maintaining balanced health), there is more aggravation of the water element during the winter months. There is a tendency for more mucus conditions to flare up. Therefore, it’s important to try and offset this tendency by creating ‘internal’ balance within the body whilst adjusting ‘external’ conditions to lower stress. We can do this by addressing the environmental factors that may aggravate a watery condition e.g. by using a dehumidifier, also avoiding sweet wet food, reducing stress and incorporating various immune building strategies (as suggested below).

Some rats are more affected by an aggravation of the water element than others, especially those who have already been having recurrent respiratory issues. These rats are going to be more susceptible at this time but it’s important that all rats will need some extra help during this season.

Following are some ideas for you to help boost your rats (and yours too) immunity. I always recommend and personally use human grade supplements because I believe that the whole family’s health is where the focus needs to be on. Many of the supplements created in the pet industry are not that great and have a certain ‘novelty/profit’ value. I feel it’s wiser to seek out better quality supplements that we ourselves would be happy using and then just ‘tithe’ some of these to our rats. Our rats need us to be healthy to look after them so I figure it’s better and less wasteful to buy the kind of supplements that we can all benefit from.

LIFESTYLE CONSIDERATIONS

Stress is a big factor in the body’s defences becoming rundown. Often rats are under stress because of group incompatibilities or other factors. Something we can do is to make sure we’re not putting rats, especially older rats under any undue stress during the winter season e.g. we can avoid big changes in their routine during this time i.e. avoiding new intros to other rats or changing cages/group dynamics etc. Avoid mating/breeding as females would naturally be conserving their own energy during this time. If you’re thinking that our rats are indoors and therefore not affected by the seasons, it’s simply not true. They are energetic beings and intrinsically linked to the greater whole. They are affected by the bio-rhythms of nature even if they are not ‘in’ nature. That is why people can see the effect the moon has on their rat’s behaviour. And why solstices and equinoxes often create a portal for many animals to take their transition. It’s all in the web and flow of energy, yin and yang.

In nature, animals are hibernating at this time of year or keeping close to home, they are not in ‘breeding’ mode. Nature knows it’s a time to withdraw and harness as much energy as possible for building reserves and keeping up resistance to the cold. It is a natural ‘build and rest’ time, which is why most of us put on a few extra pounds during the winter/holiday season! The energy is needed for keeping warm and the focus of heat is within. The trees shed their leaves in the Autumn so that they can keep the sap for sustaining themselves during winter.

You might notice how your rats sleep more in the wintertime, this is their way of conserving energy and keeping in tune with the ‘slowing down’ of nature. The time will come again in Spring when they emerge from their slumber and return to heightened activity levels again. I’m not saying they don’t play, far from it! I’m just saying that levels can fluctuate according to environmental factors/seasonal shifts. There’s always a lot more activity around a full moon, for example. Therefore, by being aware of environmental stress/seasonal shifts and making adjustments accordingly, we can help further boost immunity for our rats over the winter months.

DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS

A whole food diet of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, especially those rich in chlorophyll such as kale will supply vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemcials that will help to protect against cancer and also boost the immune system. Think in terms of availability as in seasonal, organic fruit and vegetables and if you can provide a good ‘rainbow’ plate of these, it will cover most of the nutrients needed for balanced health. Here is a list of some of the essential supplements you might want to consider adding into their diet.

Multi-vitamin/mineral – always a good back up to provide essential vitamins/minerals that might otherwise be lacking in the diet. I wouldn’t use them daily though. Overuse of vitamin supplements is easily done and wasteful. Just add them in when you feel they need a boost. Otherwise, if you’re feeding a diet rich in fresh produce, simply use vitamin/mineral supplementation as you feel necessary. I would think they are more essential for young growing bodies and elderly rats.

Omega 3, 6 and 9 (a good oil such as cool oil, flax or hemp oil will provide a rich source of these), as well as hempseed, flax and chia. Flax and chia seeds absorb many times their amount when soaked in water. I don’t recommend giving them dry to rats. You can grind them up first and just add pinches into food or use them in biscuits etc. Or, soak them first and use them in your recipes. If you already use these, please comment below as to how you use them, I am interested and I’m sure it would be useful for other readers to know. J

Selenium (a good source is brazil nuts) stimulates the production of natural T-cells which fight viral and bacterial infections. Selenium helps to make antibodies and in my studies, I have found it to be one of the essential minerals in cancer prevention. I like to grate brazil nuts over the rat’s dinner or pasta like ‘parmesan’

Vitamin C – We all know that vitamin C supplementation is recommended for humans but rats are apparently able to manufacture vitamin C themselves. Although I’ve heard this, I still think any extra vitamin C they are able to get will only be beneficial and indeed, if you are feeding fruit and vegetables, they are already getting a reasonable supply anyway. I feel it’s just good to be aware and if you want to give them rosehip tea or something, then go for it. I just bought rosehip/hibiscus tea for myself and the rats are enjoying it too. I sweeten it with agave and dilute it a little and they are enjoying slurping it during free range. So, just because they can make vitamin C, I wouldn’t hold off giving it to them anyway, you can’t go wrong! And recent studies have shown that very high doses of vitamin C are needed to ward off cancer and other viral infections.

Echinacea – It’s the echinacains in Echinacea that boost the immune system by promoting the activity of white blood cells which destroy bacteria and viruses. There have been many studies done with Echinacea and it seems that it really does help to protect against colds and viruses. I use capsules and just mix a little of the powder into food.

Probiotics – help to regulate the acidity in the gut and promote the proliferation of friendly bacteria thereby preventing the ‘unfriendly’ bacteria from multiplying. They also produce natural anti-biotics, encouraging the immune system to produce anti-bacterial antibodies. A lot of people feed yoghurt because of the probiotics but yoghurt is mucus and acid-forming as well as possibly having various hormones and vaccine variables from the dairy industry. I don’t advise it for rats. You can buy the probiotics themselves and add a capsule to a nut milk and then use that in your food preparations/meals.

Immunity boosting supplements – there are many ‘ready-made’ immune system supplements now available that contain things like medicinal mushrooms, vitamin C, astragalus etc. These blends can be quite useful. You can take them yourself and add small amounts into your rat’s food.

Iodine – this is my ‘must have’ supplement. It tastes foul so I only put a few drops in my own smoothie or milk and then share a little of that with the rats. Other ways of adding iodine into your rat’s diet is by providing a good variety of sea vegetables or by using a little kelp powder in food or the soaking water for pulses/wheatgrass. In rat studies, iodine was shown to prevent tumours developing and has natural immune boosting properties. It is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Many of the additives in our food deplete iodine from the body and so it is essential to add it back in. I will be writing more about iodine later.

Thyme – my rats like to nibble on fresh thyme so I hang a little sprig in their cage. Thyme has thymol as an active ingredient which is very good for clearing mucus passages and it also has anti-viral properties. You could try making thyme tea as well for any rats with sniffles. I have also put thyme in a little bowl of boiled water and the steam that comes from this can help any poorly rat with respiratory issues.

Pau d’arco – a Peruvian tea that helps builds resistance to infection and boost immunity. I like to have this in good supply for my rats. It helps to address candida and has been recommended for cancer prevention. It has anti-viral properties.

Summary:

Consider the ‘stress factor’ in your rat’s lifestyle and work out how you can reduce it

Become ‘environmentally’ aware regarding the seasonal changes and prepare ahead

Feed a wholesome diet rich in ‘rainbow’ foods

Incorporate supplements as you feel necessary, especially immune building ones

Think how you can boost immunity and keep doing that (the lifestyle/dietary considerations mentioned above and herbal teas etc)

Natural Supplements to Grow Taller Review – Herbal Facts and Marketer’s Claims Review

Why do many consumers take dietary supplements to grow taller? The reasons are varied-many times medically valid, sometimes not. In low or appropriate dosages, some supplements offer health benefits under some circumstances. Some people use supplements with good intention: perhaps in search of protection from or a remedy for health problems such as depression, aging skin, cancer, or arthritis. Still others seek added benefits: perhaps better athletic performance or sexual prowess. Too often, supplement use is based on scientifically unfounded marketing promises. But, some people still claim to undeniable scientific proofs.

It would be great, but boosting your nutrient intake won’t cause your cells to produce extra energy or more brain power. Only three nutrients carbohydrates, fats, and proteins supply energy or calories to grow taller. Vitamins don’t. Although B vitamins do help body cells produce energy from the three energy nutrients, they don’t produce energy themselves. Many powerful drugs and toxic chemicals are plant-based. Varieties of mushrooms can be classified as “culinary delicious” or “deadly dangerous.” In the same vein, herbal supplements should be used with caution! Any healthy natural supplements to grow taller, without proper doctor acknowledgement and governement authority approbation sounds really fishy to me.

Athletes and other physically active people need about the same amount of nutrients as others do to grow taller just more energy, or calories, for the increased demands of exercise. The extra amount of food that active people eat supplies the very small amount of extra vitamins needed to grow taller and have more energy production, too.

Although protein needs are somewhat higher for some athletes, especially for those in strength-training sports, food can easily provide the extra. On another note, physical activity, not extra amino acids (protein), builds muscle. For more on nutrition for athletes and ergogenic aids.

Dietary supplements to grow taller won’t protect you from the harmful effects of smoking or alcohol abuse. Here’s the real scoop: Smoking does increase the body’s need for vitamin C; drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages can interfere with the body’s use of most nutrients. If soil can grow crops, the food produced is nutritious. When soil lacks minerals, plants don’t grow properly and may not produce their potential yield. Growing area does affect a food’s iodine and selenium contents.

Supplements won’t give you instant grow taller results, it would take at least a 2-3 months training for instance. For vitamins and minerals to do their work, they need several hours or several days to interact and do their work in your body. For any benefits from other dietary supplements to grow taller, you likely need to take them even longer. Supplements to grow taller are easy to spot. By law, they must be labeled “dietary supplements.” About eighty thousand dietary supplements are marketed in the United States with multivitamin/mineral supplements being the biggest product category-and with an average of 500 new products launched each year. They’re sold in many forms-for example, tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, powders, and bars.

Do you consume a varied, balanced diet to grow taller? With some exceptions, supplements usually aren’t necessary. If you’re healthy and if you’re able and willing to eat a balanced, varied diet. You probably can get the vitamins and minerals you need from smart food choices. According to national studies, most Americans have enough healthful foods available to do that, yet they may not. Under some circumstances, vitamin/mineral supplements offer benefits and are advised; like those for growing taller.

A woman with heavy menstrual bleeding? You may need an iron supplement to replace iron from blood loss. To enhance absorption, take iron supplements with water or juice on an empty stomach. If nausea or constipation are problems, take iron supplements with food. Absorption may be decreased by as much as 50 percent when taken with a meal or a snack. A woman who’s pregnant or breast-feeding? You need more of some nutrients, especially folate and iron-and perhaps calcium if you don’t consume enough calcium-rich foods. Check the label’s Supplement Facts to make sure you get enough for a healthy pregnancy. Ask about a prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement.

Someone unable or unwilling to regularly consume a healthful diet to grow taller? You likely need a dietary supplement to fill in the nutrient gaps. However, eating smarter would be better if you don’t have food-related health problems! Take a supplement with the advice of a doctor or a registered dietitian. For example, pre-menopausal women who don’t consume enough calcium to grow taller and stronger bones from food likely need a calcium supplement-unless they’re willing to improve their diet. Some babies after age six months, children, and teens may need a fluoride supplement to grow taller and perhaps iron or vitamin D.

If you are not able to meet your calcium and vitamin D recommendations with foods to grow taller, you may need calcium or vitamin D supplements to grow taller. Ask a dietitian or your doctor about the right dosage and type. And enhance their absorption by taking them with food. Only food can provide the mixture of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other substances for a health quality that can’t be duplicated with dietary supplements to grow taller alone. Fortunately for most Americans growing taller, there’s plenty of quality, quantity, and variety in the food marketplace.

Enjoy plenty of calcium and vitamin D-rich foods. They provide more for bone health calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and overall health than supplements do. And a varied, well-balanced eating plan offers other nutrients that appear to promote bone density, including magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K

Supplements to grow taller carry labeling, showing the amounts of vitamins and minerals in a single dosage. If you already eat a healthful diet, you probably don’t need any more than a low-dose supplement. Taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement, with no more than 100 percent of the Daily Values (DVs) as a safety net, is generally considered safe. Most nutrient supplements are produced in low dosages.

Supplements with water-soluble vitamins or minerals can be risky if taken in excess, over time. For example, taking extra vitamin B6 has been suggested to help relieve premenstrual tension. Yet there’s limited evidence to support large vitamin B6 doses for relief of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Many women have viewed large vitamin B6 doses as harmless, since they are water-soluble. Instead, they may cause irreversible nerve damage when taken in very large doses above the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): 500 to 5,000 mg vitamin B6 per day.

That said, can you overdose on vitamins or minerals naturally as you grow taller with food? That’s highly unlikely. As we mentioned, taking very high doses of dietary supplements or taking too many, too often can be dangerous. The vitamin and mineral content of food is much more balanced fortunately. In amounts normally consumed, even if you enjoy extra helpings, you won’t consume toxic levels of nutrients. So eat a variety of foods-and enjoy! Note: Nutrient amounts to grow taller can add up if you consume a lot of highly fortified foods.

You may take dietary supplements to grow taller for potential health benefits. It’s not uncommon for people diagnosed with cancer, AIDS, or other life-threatening health problems, who are desperate for a cure, to put their hopes and healthcare dollars in alternative treatments, including dietary supplements. However, supplements may offer a false sense of security-and a serious problem if you neglect well-proven approaches to health or delay medical attention.

Drink plenty of fluids with calcium supplements to avoid constipation. The lactose and vitamin D in the milk help to enhance calcium absorption. If you don’t drink milk and want an alternative to calcium pills, consider calcium-fortified juice or soy beverage. One cup of calcium-fortified juice or soy beverage can contain about 300 milligrams of calcium, the same amount as in a cup of milk, and provides vitamin C, folate, and other nutrients. Still, you need a vitamin D source to aid absorption; some calcium-fortified juices and soy beverages are also fortified with vitamin D.

Calcium supplements help to protect against osteoporosis (brittle-bone disease) It can’t make up for your lifestyle choices or poor health habits. Regular weight-bearing physical activity is important to grow taller and obtain healthy bones. For healthy bones, avoid smoking, too.

Vitamin nasal sprays or patches are effective to grow taller? No research evidence says so, even though they’re promoted for faster, more efficient absorption. In fact, they may not be absorbed at all. Here’s the reality check: Fat-soluble vitamins need fat from food to aid absorption. Vitamin C in your intestine aids iron absorption-a problem if vitamin C comes from a spray. Vitamin B12 binds with intrinsic factor made in the stomach during digestion. That cannot happen with a spray or a patch! So that means all the place that try to claim that you could grow taller with that are just scam.

Indeed, herbals and other botanicals have known medicinal qualities helping us grow taller; 30 percent of today’s drugs come from plants. Yet, herbals and other botanical supplements also are sold as dietary supplements rather than regulated as drugs. Like many plant-derived pharmaceuticals, these supplements can offer both positive health benefits and harmful side effects.

On the up side, enough scientific evidence has been collected on a handful of botanical supplements to support their limited use. For example, under a doctor’s guidance, gingko biloba may be used to help treat the symptoms of age-related memory loss and dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease); green tea extract may help reduce cancer risk. A growing body of research evidence is being gathered about their safety and effectiveness, as well as their limitations and dangers.

On the down side, like other supplements to grow taller, herbal and other botanical supplements are regulated differently from pharmaceuticals, which are meant to cure or prevent disease. You aren’t as protected from misleading claims as you might think. When you think about the quality and effectiveness of these grow taller methods; you can see that the marketer’s are absolutely in control of the quality…

According to current law and regulations, herbal and botanical remedies to grow taller and other dietary supplements to grow taller can enter the marketplace without FDA approval. The burden is on the FDA to remove a dangerous dietary supplements to grow taller from the marketplace. Currently dosages of herbal remedies aren’t standardized, so dosages vary among products. Some are even copies of the actual real-product that is made by legitimate herbal company; they put the same product name change what is inside and put the same label. Be very careful, you can look up grow taller 4 smarts free scam alerts to be ahead of scammers.

Although packaging claims can’t say that a supplement to grow taller cures or prevents disease, it may carry claims for its purported health role. Many claims have only limited scientific evidence. Are herbal supplements or botanicals are safe during pregnancy and nursing? There’s not enough scientific evidence yet to recommend safe levels for herbal supplements for pregnant or nursing moms. However, some are known to be harmful to a baby.

The Best Foods to Improve Hearing

Many believe that age-related loss of hearing is inevitable, that it should occur as we get older but did you know that by including certain foods in your diet you can improve hearing? You heard me right, hearing can be improved not only by reducing exposure to noise, having implants, having hearing aids, or by having your ears regularly cleaned by professionals but also by making lifestyle changes particularly in the kind of food you eat.

Studies have shown that those suffering from varying degrees of hearing loss also suffer from nutritional deficiency as well. Improve hearing by including the foods that will be mentioned later in this article in your daily diet and you will have gone many steps forward not only in benefiting your ears but your overall physical health as well.

Food rich in Vitamin D will help improve hearing because Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium which is required for us to have strong bones. Lack of this vitamin causes osteopenia in adults, a condition where the bones of the ears harden and become porous.

Sources of Vitamin D: cod liver oil, fish oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna fish, liver, and egg yolk.

Food rich in Vitamin A in combination with Vitamin C and E and magnesium work together to prevent the formation of free radicals that form during noise exposure. Studies have further shown that exposure to noise also lessens blood circulation to the inner ear.

The vitamins and mineral mentioned also works by scavenging and destroying these free radicals.

Sources of Vitamin A: a) vegetables that are dark green and yellow and yellow fruits like broccoli, squash, spinach, turnip greens, carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and apricots; b) animal sources are liver, milk, butter, cheese, and whole eggs.

Sources of Vitamin C: fresh vegetables and fruits like broccoli, green and red peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, brussel sprouts, lemon, pineapples, strawberries, citrus fruits.

Sources of Vitamin E: wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, margarine and vegetable oil (soybean, corn, safflower, and cottonseed).

Sources of Magnesium: dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, green vegetables, legumes.

Interrupted or poor blood circulation, high blood pressure, and stiffening of the bones in the middle ear, are some of the causes of tinnitus or ringing in the ears, a condition that is often associated with hearing loss.

Food rich in Vitamin B12 or cobalamine help improve hearing by regulating the formation of red blood cells, assisting in the metabolism of homocysteine, and preventing tinnitus.

Sources of Vitamin B12: dairy products, eggs, lean beef, shellfish

Food rich in Folic Acid lowers the production of homocysteine which is thought to be the cause of some kinds of hearing loss and boosts circulation of blood to the inner structures of the ear.

Sources of Folic Acid: beef liver, spinach, asparagus, green peas, broccoli, avocado, lettuce, peanuts, tomato juice, whole eggs, strawberries, papaya, banana, and cantaloupe.

Food rich in Manganese also improve hearing because this mineral aids in the formation of connective tissues, and bones, plus it is also necessary for the normal functioning of the brain and nerves. If you have low levels of manganese, you will likely be suffering from tinnitus.

Sources: apples, apricots, avocado, beans, pineapples, berries, raisins, celery, egg yolks, legumes, and pine nuts

How To Boost Your Rats Immunity

As winter approaches, it’s important to turn our attention to how we can boost our rat’s immunity against infection and give them the best defence possible during what is often a vulnerable time for rats, especially the elderly.

High humidity, coupled with the cold can create the conditions that affect the respiratory system of a vulnerable rat. This is due to the increase in the water element which can aggravate mucus conditions or those susceptible to them. It’s important to be aware that there is a greater need to balance the water element within the bodily system at this time, so that we can increase the body’s ability to cope with damp and coolness.

In Ayurveda (an ancient Indian healing system based on maintaining balanced health), there is more aggravation of the water element during the winter months. There is a tendency for more mucus conditions to flare up. Therefore, it’s important to try and offset this tendency by creating ‘internal’ balance within the body whilst adjusting ‘external’ conditions to lower stress. We can do this by addressing the environmental factors that may aggravate a watery condition e.g. by using a dehumidifier, also avoiding sweet wet food, reducing stress and incorporating various immune building strategies (as suggested below).

Some rats are more affected by an aggravation of the water element than others, especially those who have already been having recurrent respiratory issues. These rats are going to be more susceptible at this time but it’s important that all rats will need some extra help during this season.

Following are some ideas for you to help boost your rats (and yours too) immunity. I always recommend and personally use human grade supplements because I believe that the whole family’s health is where the focus needs to be on. Many of the supplements created in the pet industry are not that great and have a certain ‘novelty/profit’ value. I feel it’s wiser to seek out better quality supplements that we ourselves would be happy using and then just ‘tithe’ some of these to our rats. Our rats need us to be healthy to look after them so I figure it’s better and less wasteful to buy the kind of supplements that we can all benefit from.

LIFESTYLE CONSIDERATIONS

Stress is a big factor in the body’s defences becoming rundown. Often rats are under stress because of group incompatibilities or other factors. Something we can do is to make sure we’re not putting rats, especially older rats under any undue stress during the winter season e.g. we can avoid big changes in their routine during this time i.e. avoiding new intros to other rats or changing cages/group dynamics etc. Avoid mating/breeding as females would naturally be conserving their own energy during this time. If you’re thinking that our rats are indoors and therefore not affected by the seasons, it’s simply not true. They are energetic beings and intrinsically linked to the greater whole. They are affected by the bio-rhythms of nature even if they are not ‘in’ nature. That is why people can see the effect the moon has on their rat’s behaviour. And why solstices and equinoxes often create a portal for many animals to take their transition. It’s all in the web and flow of energy, yin and yang.

In nature, animals are hibernating at this time of year or keeping close to home, they are not in ‘breeding’ mode. Nature knows it’s a time to withdraw and harness as much energy as possible for building reserves and keeping up resistance to the cold. It is a natural ‘build and rest’ time, which is why most of us put on a few extra pounds during the winter/holiday season! The energy is needed for keeping warm and the focus of heat is within. The trees shed their leaves in the Autumn so that they can keep the sap for sustaining themselves during winter.

You might notice how your rats sleep more in the wintertime, this is their way of conserving energy and keeping in tune with the ‘slowing down’ of nature. The time will come again in Spring when they emerge from their slumber and return to heightened activity levels again. I’m not saying they don’t play, far from it! I’m just saying that levels can fluctuate according to environmental factors/seasonal shifts. There’s always a lot more activity around a full moon, for example. Therefore, by being aware of environmental stress/seasonal shifts and making adjustments accordingly, we can help further boost immunity for our rats over the winter months.

DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS

A whole food diet of seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, especially those rich in chlorophyll such as kale will supply vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemcials that will help to protect against cancer and also boost the immune system. Think in terms of availability as in seasonal, organic fruit and vegetables and if you can provide a good ‘rainbow’ plate of these, it will cover most of the nutrients needed for balanced health. Here is a list of some of the essential supplements you might want to consider adding into their diet.

Multi-vitamin/mineral – always a good back up to provide essential vitamins/minerals that might otherwise be lacking in the diet. I wouldn’t use them daily though. Overuse of vitamin supplements is easily done and wasteful. Just add them in when you feel they need a boost. Otherwise, if you’re feeding a diet rich in fresh produce, simply use vitamin/mineral supplementation as you feel necessary. I would think they are more essential for young growing bodies and elderly rats.

Omega 3, 6 and 9 (a good oil such as cool oil, flax or hemp oil will provide a rich source of these), as well as hempseed, flax and chia. Flax and chia seeds absorb many times their amount when soaked in water. I don’t recommend giving them dry to rats. You can grind them up first and just add pinches into food or use them in biscuits etc. Or, soak them first and use them in your recipes. If you already use these, please comment below as to how you use them, I am interested and I’m sure it would be useful for other readers to know. J

Selenium (a good source is brazil nuts) stimulates the production of natural T-cells which fight viral and bacterial infections. Selenium helps to make antibodies and in my studies, I have found it to be one of the essential minerals in cancer prevention. I like to grate brazil nuts over the rat’s dinner or pasta like ‘parmesan’

Vitamin C – We all know that vitamin C supplementation is recommended for humans but rats are apparently able to manufacture vitamin C themselves. Although I’ve heard this, I still think any extra vitamin C they are able to get will only be beneficial and indeed, if you are feeding fruit and vegetables, they are already getting a reasonable supply anyway. I feel it’s just good to be aware and if you want to give them rosehip tea or something, then go for it. I just bought rosehip/hibiscus tea for myself and the rats are enjoying it too. I sweeten it with agave and dilute it a little and they are enjoying slurping it during free range. So, just because they can make vitamin C, I wouldn’t hold off giving it to them anyway, you can’t go wrong! And recent studies have shown that very high doses of vitamin C are needed to ward off cancer and other viral infections.

Echinacea – It’s the echinacains in Echinacea that boost the immune system by promoting the activity of white blood cells which destroy bacteria and viruses. There have been many studies done with Echinacea and it seems that it really does help to protect against colds and viruses. I use capsules and just mix a little of the powder into food.

Probiotics – help to regulate the acidity in the gut and promote the proliferation of friendly bacteria thereby preventing the ‘unfriendly’ bacteria from multiplying. They also produce natural anti-biotics, encouraging the immune system to produce anti-bacterial antibodies. A lot of people feed yoghurt because of the probiotics but yoghurt is mucus and acid-forming as well as possibly having various hormones and vaccine variables from the dairy industry. I don’t advise it for rats. You can buy the probiotics themselves and add a capsule to a nut milk and then use that in your food preparations/meals.

Immunity boosting supplements – there are many ‘ready-made’ immune system supplements now available that contain things like medicinal mushrooms, vitamin C, astragalus etc. These blends can be quite useful. You can take them yourself and add small amounts into your rat’s food.

Iodine – this is my ‘must have’ supplement. It tastes foul so I only put a few drops in my own smoothie or milk and then share a little of that with the rats. Other ways of adding iodine into your rat’s diet is by providing a good variety of sea vegetables or by using a little kelp powder in food or the soaking water for pulses/wheatgrass. In rat studies, iodine was shown to prevent tumours developing and has natural immune boosting properties. It is anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Many of the additives in our food deplete iodine from the body and so it is essential to add it back in. I will be writing more about iodine later.

Thyme – my rats like to nibble on fresh thyme so I hang a little sprig in their cage. Thyme has thymol as an active ingredient which is very good for clearing mucus passages and it also has anti-viral properties. You could try making thyme tea as well for any rats with sniffles. I have also put thyme in a little bowl of boiled water and the steam that comes from this can help any poorly rat with respiratory issues.

Pau d’arco – a Peruvian tea that helps builds resistance to infection and boost immunity. I like to have this in good supply for my rats. It helps to address candida and has been recommended for cancer prevention. It has anti-viral properties.

Summary:

Consider the ‘stress factor’ in your rat’s lifestyle and work out how you can reduce it

Become ‘environmentally’ aware regarding the seasonal changes and prepare ahead

Feed a wholesome diet rich in ‘rainbow’ foods

Incorporate supplements as you feel necessary, especially immune building ones

Think how you can boost immunity and keep doing that (the lifestyle/dietary considerations mentioned above and herbal teas etc)

Macro and Micro-Nutrient in Eggs

Eggs have been a staple in the human diet for thousands of years. From hunter-gatherers collecting eggs from the nests of wild birds, to the domestication of fowl for more reliable access to a supply of eggs, to today’s genetically selected birds and modern production facilities, eggs have long been recognized as a source of high-quality protein and other important nutrients.

Over the years, eggs have become an essential ingredient in many cuisines, owing to their many functional properties, such as water holding, emulsifying, and foaming. An egg is a self-contained and self-sufficient embryonic development chamber. At adequate temperature, the developing embryo uses the extensive range of essential nutrients in the egg for its growth and development. The necessary proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and functional nutrients are all present in sufficient quantities for the transition from fertilized cell to newborn chick, and the nutrient needs of an avian species are similar enough to human needs to make eggs an ideal source of nutrients for us. (The one essential human nutrient that eggs do not contain is ascorbic acid (vitamin C), because non-passerine birds have active gulonolactone oxidase and synthesize ascorbic acid as needed.) This article summarizes the varied nutrient contributions eggs make to the human diet.

Macro and Micro Nutrient in Eggs

The levels of many nutrients in an egg are influenced by the age and breed or strain of hen as well as the season of the year and the composition of the feed provided to the hen. While most variations in nutrients are relatively minor, the fatty acid composition of egg lipids can be significantly altered by changes in the hen’s diet. The exact quantities of many vitamins and minerals in an egg are determined, in part, by the nutrients provided in the hen’s diet. Hen eggs contain 75.8% water, 12.6% protein, 9.9% lipid, and 1.7% vitamins, minerals, and a small amount of carbohydrates. Eggs are classified in the protein food group, and egg protein is one of the highest quality proteins available. Virtually all lipids found in eggs are contained in the yolk, along with most of the vitamins and minerals. Of the small amount of carbohydrate (less than 1% by weight), half is found in the form of glycoprotein and the remainder as free glucose.

Egg Protein

Egg proteins, which are distributed in both yolk and white (albumen), are nutritionally complete proteins containing all the essential amino-acids (EAA). Egg protein has a chemical score (EAA level in a protein food divided by the level found in an ‘ideal’ protein food) of 100, a biological value (a measure of how efficiently dietary protein is turned into body tissue) of 94, and the highest protein efficiency ratio (ratio of weight gain to protein ingested in young rats) of any dietary protein. The major proteins found in egg yolk include low density lipoprotein (LDL), which constitutes 65%, high density lipoprotein (HDL), phosvitin, and livetin. These proteins exist in a homogeneously emulsified fluid. Egg white is made up of some 40 different kinds of proteins. Ovalbumin is the major protein (54%) along with ovotransferrin (12%) and ovomucoid (11%). Other proteins of interest include flavoprotein, which binds riboflavin, avidin, which can bind and inactivate biotin, and lysozyme, which has lytic action against bacteria.

Egg Lipids

A large egg yolk contains 4.5 g of lipid, consisting of triacylglycerides (65%), phospholipids (31%), and cholesterol (4%). Of the total phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) is the largest fraction and accounts for 26%. Phosphatidylethanolamine contributes another 4%. The fatty-acid composition of eggyolk lipids depends on the fatty-acid profile of the diet. The reported fatty-acid profile of commercial eggs indicates that a large egg contains 1.55 g of saturated fatty acids, 1.91 g of monounsaturated fat, and 0.68 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids. (Total fatty acids (4.14 g) does not equal total lipid (4.5 g) because of the glycerol moiety of triacylglycerides and phospholipids and the phosphorylated moieties of the phospholipids). It has been reported that eggs contain less than 0.05 g of trans-fatty acids. Egg yolks also contain cholesterol (211mg per large egg) and the xanthophylls lutein and zeaxanthin.

Egg Vitamins

Eggs contain all the essential vitamins except vitamin C, because the developing chick does not have a dietary requirement for this vitamin. The yolk contains the majority of the water-soluble vitamins and 100% of the fat-soluble vitamins. Riboflavin and niacin are concentrated in the albumen. The riboflavin in the egg albumin is bound to flavoprotein in a 1:1 molar ratio. Eggs are one of the few natural sources of vitamins D and B12. Egg vitamin E levels can be increased up to tenfold through dietary changes. While no single vitamin is found in very high quantity relative to its DRI value, it is the wide spectrum of vitamins present that makes eggs nutritionally rich.

Egg Minerals

Eggs contain small amounts of all the minerals essential for life. Of particular importance is the iron found in egg yolks. Research evaluating the plasma iron and transferrin saturation in 6-12-month-old children indicated that infants who ate egg yolks had a better iron status than infants who did not. The study indicated that egg yolks can be a source of iron in a weaning diet for breast-fed and formula-fed infants without increasing blood antibodies to egg-yolk proteins. Dietary iron absorption from a specific food is determined by iron status, heme- and nonheme-iron contents, and amounts of various dietary factors that influence iron absorption present in the whole meal. Limited information is available about the net effect of these factors as related to egg iron bioavailability. In addition to iron, eggs contain calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Egg yolks also contain iodine (25 mg per large egg), and this can be increased twofold to threefold by the inclusion of an iodine source in the feed. Egg selenium content can also be increased up to ninefold by dietary manipulations.

Egg Choline

Choline was established as an essential nutrient in 1999 with recommended daily intakes (RDIs) of 550mg for men and 450mg for women. The RDI for choline increases during pregnancy and lactation owing to the high rate of choline transfer from the mother to the fetus and into breast milk. Animal studies indicate that choline plays an essential role in brain development, especially in the development of the memory centers of the fetus and newborn. Egg-yolk lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) is an excellent source of dietary choline, providing 125mg of choline per large egg.

Egg Carotenes

Egg yolk contains two xanthophylls (carotenes that contain an alcohol group) that have important health benefits – lutein and zeaxanthin. It is estimated that a large egg contains 0.33 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin; however, the content of these xanthophylls is totally dependent on the type of feed provided to the hens. Egg-yolk lutein levels can be increased up to tenfold through modification of the feed with marigold extract or purified lutein.

An indicator of the luteinþzeaxanthin content is the color of the yolk; the darker yellow-orange the yolk, the higher the xanthophyll content. Studies have shown that egg-yolk xanthophylls have a higher bioavailablity than those from plant sources, probably because the lipid matrix of the egg yolk facilitates greater absorption. This increased bioavailability results in significant increases in plasma levels of lutein and zeaxanthin as well as increased macular pigment densities with egg feeding.

Egg Cholesterol

Eggs are one of the richest sources of dietary cholesterol, providing 215 mg per large egg. In the 1960s and 1970s the simplistic view that dietary cholesterol equals blood cholesterol resulted in the belief that eggs were a major contributor to hypercholesterolemia and the associated risk of cardiovascular disease. While there remains some controversy regarding the role of dietary cholesterol in determining blood cholesterol levels, the majority of studies have shown that saturated fat, not dietary cholesterol, is the major dietary determinant of plasma cholesterol levels (and eggs contain 1.5 g of saturated fat) and that neither dietary cholesterol nor egg consumption are significantly related to the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Across cultures, those countries with the highest egg consumption actually have the lowest rates of mortality from cardiovascular disease, and within-population studies have not shown a correlation between egg intake and either plasma cholesterol levels or the incidence of heart disease. A 1999 study of over 117 000 men and women followed for 8-14 years showed that the risk of coronary heart disease was the same whether the study subjects consumed less than one egg a week or more than one egg a day. Clinical studies show that dietary cholesterol does have a small influence on plasma cholesterol levels. Adding one egg per day to the diet would, on average, increase plasma total cholesterol levels by approximately 5mg dl_1 (0.13mmol/L). It is important to note, however, that the increase occurs in both the atherogenic LDL cholesterol fraction (4mg dl_1(0.10mmol/L)) and the antiatherogenic HDL cholesterol fraction (1 mg dl_1(0.03mmol/L)), resulting in virtually no change in the LDL:HDL ratio, a major determinant of cardiovascular disease risk. The plasma lipoprotein cholesterol response to egg feeding, especially any changes in the LDL:HDL ratio, vary according to the individual and the baseline plasma lipoprotein cholesterol profile. Adding one egg a day to the diets of three hypothetical patients with different plasma lipid profiles results in very different effects on the LDL:HDL ratio. For the individual at low risk there is a greater effect than for the person at high risk, yet in all cases the effect is quantitatively minor and would have little impact on their heart-disease risk profile.

Overall, results from clinical studies indicate that egg feeding has little if any effect on cardiovascular disease risk. This is consistent with the results from a number of epidemiological studies. A common consumer misperception is that eggs from some breeds of bird have low or no cholesterol. For example, eggs from Araucana chickens, a South American breed that lays a blue-green egg, have been promoted as low-cholesterol eggs when, in fact, the cholesterol content of these eggs is 25% higher than that of commercial eggs. The amount of cholesterol in an egg is set by the developmental needs of the embryo and has proven very difficult to change substantially without resorting to hypocholesterolemic drug usage. Undue concerns regarding egg cholesterol content resulted in a steady decline in egg consumption during the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, and restriction of this important and affordable source of high-quality protein and other nutrients could have had negative effects on the well-being of many nutritionally ‘at risk’ populations. Per capita egg consumption has been increasing over the past decade in North America, Central America, and Asia, has remained relatively steady in South America and Africa, and has been falling in Europe and Oceania. Overall, world per capita egg consumption has been slowly increasing over the past decade, in part owing to the change in attitude regarding dietary cholesterol health concerns.

6 Powerful Home Remedies for Stretch Marks That Really Work

Stretch marks are linear scars that occur on the body when the skin is stretched past its flexibility capacities. This normally happens due to sudden weight gain caused by pregnancy, a burst of growth during puberty or bulking up for body building. The hormonal surges that can accompany pregnancy and puberty also contribute to the development of these scars. The stretch marks are red or purple in color when they are new but fade to white or silver as they age.

It is recommended to treat the scars when they first appear as they are harder to get rid of when they are older. It is best to try to prevent them in the first place and there are a lot of home remedies for stretch marks that can help both in preventing the scars and treating them once they have appeared.

1. Dieting: One of the most simple of the home remedies for stretch marks involves eating a healthy and nutritional diet as well as keeping the body well hydrated. A healthy body has healthier skin that can resist stretch mark scarring and also repair damage more efficiently. Good foods for healthy skin include products made from whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables as well as cold water fish.

2. Vitamin & Mineral Supplements: The skin needs many vitamins, minerals and nutrients to stay healthy, flexible and supple. These include vitamins A, E, C and K as well as the mineral zinc. Taking a vitamin, mineral and nutrient supplement every day will ensure the body has these essential ingredients and is better equipped to defend and heal itself.

3. Exercising Daily: A regular routine of exercise that emphasizes stretching can help to break down scar tissue as well as increase circulation and blood flow for improved nutrient delivery to the skin.

4. Exfoliation Techniques: Exfoliation removes a thin layer of surface skin to help remove scar tissue as well as dead skin cells. It is accomplished by using a cleanser that has exfoliating ingredients like tea tree oil or alpha hydroxy acid or is mildly abrasive like oatmeal or baking soda. The applicator that is used apply the cleanser should also be mildly abrasive such as a loofah, coarse sponge or soft bristled brush.

5. Massage Therapy Treatments: Massage is one of the home remedies for stretch marks that has been used for many years with good success by numerous people. Massage improves circulation and blood flow in the body so that more nutrients are delivered to the skin and the pressure involved in the technique helps to break down scar tissue.

6. Creams for Stretch Marks: There are a lot of natural and holistic creams and lotions that can be used to prevent stretch marks from happening, reduce the visibility of existing scars or even remove them all together. Cocoa butter has long been used as a folk remedy for stretch marks but the list of holistic products that work on the scars is a long one. Some of the more effective include shea butter, aloe vera, emu oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, mink oil, castor oil, almond oil and liquid vitamin E. Each of these natural home remedies for stretch marks works in slightly different ways so it is possible to mix them together in order to get even better results.

Penis Health and Vitamin D – Why a D Deficiency Is Bad for the Penis

Most of us try to maintain a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and take in enough vitamins and minerals – even if it means popping a multivitamin to make up for the greasy burger and fries a couple times a week. However, sometimes the body just doesn’t get the nutrition it needs and can become vitamin deficient in one area or another, which may lead to potentially serious consequences. Vitamin D is one such vitamin that nobody can afford to fall short on, which is a bummer for those individuals who miss out on food sources of vitamin D due to milk allergies or have an aversion to the sun. Learn why a vitamin D deficiency puts one’s health – including sexual health – at risk and how to maintain the healthy penis and body for the long haul.

Why is vitamin D important?

Any one who has ever seen a milk commercial knows that vitamin D is most famous for creating strong bones and healthy teeth. Studies have also shown that vitamin D may be beneficial for the following health reasons: improving weight loss, staving off respiratory infections, reducing risk of rheumatoid arthritis, reducing bone loss, reducing risk of multiple sclerosis, preventing cancer, treating osteoporosis, keeping the skin healthy, preventing premature aging and wrinkling, supporting cardiovascular health, keeping a man’s sperm count steady, supporting penis health and reducing incidence of erectile dysfunction. These are just some of the many health benefits of vitamin D, with new research underway to help us further understand this powerful vitamin.

What is a vitamin D deficiency?

Simply put, a vitamin D deficiency occurs when an individual’s body does not have enough vitamin D in it. Pretty easy to see the correlation on that one! Vitamin D comes from food sources such as dairy products, fish, eggs, and fortified grain products, but the body also produces vitamin D in response to sunshine. When an individual does not take in enough or produce enough vitamin D, health issues can arise.

What are the health side effects?

Perhaps the most well known symptom of vitamin D deficiency is rickets – which is a painful disease characterized by skeletal deformities, bone disease, and slow growth. Rickets is relatively rare in the United States, as it is associated with severe malnutrition, but it occurs in other parts of the world. Other potential side effects of a D deficiency that are liable to pop up in an otherwise healthy individual include the following:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease – including death from the condition
  • Severe asthma symptoms – particularly in young children
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Cognitive impairment in the elderly
  • Possible erectile dysfunction – in part due to circulation issues caused by poor cardiovascular health

How to stock up on vitamin D

Skipping milk for a week is not going to cause a vitamin D deficiency, it occurs over time, from a consistently low amount of vitamin D in the system. In order to avoid it, one can stock up on food sources such as cheese, milk, fish, egg yolks, and liver. Being sure to get sunshine whenever possible will help keep the body’s natural production up — try to soak up a little sun before slathering sunscreen on, as sunscreen slows down the body’s production of D. It is also important to note that individuals who have darker skin are at more of a risk of deficiency because the pigment melanin inhibits the body’s production of the vitamin; therefore, they may need to rely on other methods of stocking up on D. Vitamin D supplements can also help, especially if a special diet or the time of year inhibits one from getting enough vitamin D. In terms of sexual health, a man can keep his penis healthy and stock up on D by using a penis vitamin cream every day (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil). A health cream delivers a daily dose of vitamin D right on the manhood so it can be absorbed easily which is important as Vitamin D may help keep a man’s swimmers at the ready, while supporting penis health – if that isn’t reason to believe in the power of D, nothing is!

Why Semen Color, Smell and Even Taste Varies Widely

Semen quantity and quality varies not just between different men, but with the same man over the course of the month, the year, and over his whole life. Variances in color, viscosity and smell from month to month are normal, depending on stress levels, vitamin and mineral intake, hydration levels and hormone fluctuation. However, some changes in semen may reflect an underlying pathology such as a prostate disease or an STD. Learning more about penis health, nutrition, and going to the doctor when necessary, are all important factors for men to consider.

Color

There is a right way and a wrong way for semen to look. In healthy men semen appears, normally, as a milky white color. But when semen color changes, it can mean many different things. Pink or brown semen occurs because blood has mixed with the seminal fluid. According to Dr Rob Hicks on the BBC Health website, most often pink or brown semen occurs because of an infection, either in the urethra, the prostate or the seminal vesicles. Other causes include trauma, urethral polyps, prostate cancer and prostate surgery. Yellow or green semen may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are two STI’s known to cause yellow and/or green semen. Other possible causes of yellow/green semen include the presence of high-dose vitamins, jaundice, and even urine.

Smell

Semen has a distinctive smell which could be described as metallic. This odor comes from the high concentrations of zinc found in semen. Zinc is an important mineral in the human body for cell growth, wound healing and immune function. For men zinc also plays a very specific function in protecting male fertility and sexual health. Zinc concentrates in the prostate tissue and acts as a local regular for healthy cell growth, helping to prevent benign prostate growth and cancerous changes. Zinc also acts as an antioxidant and antiseptic for both the prostate and the sperm. Though this micromineral is important for male health, it is not found in a huge variety of foods — the best food sources being oysters, scallops pumpkin seeds, oats, sesame seeds and chia seeds; not foods that men would eat in huge quantities every single day. Increasing these foods in the diet, or taking dietary supplements containing 15-30 mg of zinc daily, may cause a man’s semen to intensify in smell. If the semen smell changes to become malodorous and foul-smelling, it may be a sign of an infection and should be checked out by the doctor.

Quantity

Semen volume can vary a lot in men, especially as they age. The WHO states that semen volume tends to fluctuate between 1.5 ml to 7 ml in most men. Anything less than 1.5 ml may be a sign of infertility, as well as possible health problems. Often how much semen a man produces is not something he thinks about very much until he is not producing enough of it. Reasons for this can be as simple as dehydration, or as complicated as heart disease, cancer, blocked seminal vesicles and prostate disease. Researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland, found during a clinical study that men with diabetes were more likely to suffer from low semen volume and poor sperm motility. Obesity, a high-soy diet and normal aging also contribute to low semen volume, due to increased estrogen levels which affect semen production.

Taste

Whether your semen tastes like fruit or foot might not make that much difference to you, but it might to your partner. The flavor of semen varies quite a lot between different men, and women indicate that if a man’s spunk doesn’t taste nice, they are less willing to perform oral sex. In fact, as many as 85% of women do not enjoy the taste of their partner’s semen and the reason for this may have a lot to do with his lifestyle. Male ejaculate isn’t just made up of sperm — only 2-5% of it is. The other 95-98% is comprised of water, amino acids, vitamins (ascorbic acid), minerals (zinc, selenium, potassium, magnesium), hormones, enzymes and sugars (fructose). Hence, not getting enough nutrition in the diet each day may affect the way that semen tastes. In addition, smoking tobacco, eating red meat, taking drugs and a high alcohol intake are known to make semen taste bitter or sour. Natalie Ingraham, M.P.H., states on The Kinsey Institute’s blog that oranges, pineapples, grapefruit, parsley, wheatgrass, celery and some spices may have specific functions in improving the taste of a man’s spunk.

Penis Health crèmes

Health crèmes designed specifically for the health of the male reproductive system can provide needed nutrition and support that cannot be gained from the diet. Specialist penis creme formulas (most professionals recommend Man1Man Oil) provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and into the local tissues. Vitamin C, E, A, D, L-carnitine, L-arginine, alpha lipoic acid and shea butter all have shown in studies to support multiple levels of male sexual health. Many of these, especially vitamin C, E and L-arginine, are important for the health of the seminal fluid and semen production.