The organics of prescribed drugs vs. supplements

By Jim Fain

In our nutty system which often pits medications/science against nutritional supplements, the bias supporting medicine is usually given top dog status.

Dire warnings abound that if you do this drug or that, then these supplements will interfere causing harm.

Rarely is there a balanced approach. Suppose the prescription medication bias with huge amounts of corporate money backing it is entirely backward?

Suppose the prescription drug is actually interfering with the absorption of the nutritional supplement. Suppose, it is well established that prescribed drugs often and commonly create new ailments by causing vitamin and mineral deficits … what would you do? Think about this as this is more often the case than we can imagine.

Consider the mineral magnesium. This all-natural gift is used in thousands of body processes each and every day. We simply have to have enough in our systems to avoid short-term or long-term illnesses due to deficit.

Did you know prescribed diuretics, blood pressure medications and statin drugs interfere with the benefits of magnesium. Other drugs do, too. Did you know, in fact magnesium can lower blood pressure along with reducing cholesterol as well as helping reduce atrial fibrillation, migraines, reducing calcium overload, helping muscle function, relaxing the body, improve breathing for asthma, reducing constipation … the list is very long.

Of course, if you take prescribed drugs and have symptoms, you’ll likely be prescribed more prescribed drugs. This sets up a vicious circle doesn’t it?

Blood testing can be done to measure magnesium levels but are likely to be imprecise at best in terms of measuring your need. You see a blood test just shows how much is in your blood but not in the tissues where it is needed. Additionally, it is thought that drugs processed through the liver may elevate amounts of magnesium in the blood as the body dumps stores in order to detox from the very effects of the drug.

What to do? First emphasize eating anything green like chard and kale adding nuts and beans to the recipe. If you’re using prescribed drugs I’d add 300-450 magnesium each day. Remember, magnesium is required for a long list of body processes yet we don’t get enough in our diet. Making this worse is that prescribed drugs like heart medicines, and others, decrease absorption of this very needed mineral. I like the chelated type and take 2 tablets daily. Supplement formulas typically named Blood Pressure Support have enough magnesium for most people.

Be aware your blood pressure (BP) may drop so keep a log of home measurements. If it was me then as my BP drops I’d start reducing my BP meds. Keep your doctor informed and keep him/her as your health partner.

The organic benefits of Selenium

By Jim Fain

Unlike many well-proven supplements, selenium has crossed into the realm of acceptance by the conservative establishment. It is such a non-assuming mineral that I suppose it poses no threat to anyone. Selenium has been on the market shelves for decades and has been a potent yet quiet healer.

When I talk about selenium, I really mean the kind of selenium found in food (yeast-based) or selenomethionine. These are readily absorbed by our system and cause no interaction with Vitamin C. The yeast-bound selenium is the most common and is easily found on store shelves at 200 micrograms (mcg)/tablet. Using very little selenium daily does a great deal. Absorbable selenium is also found in onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, mushrooms, wheat germ, liver, tuna, seafood, chicken and bran, though the amount in each may vary based on the soil content (at least in the plant sources) of selenium.

Modern science has clearly shown it as being important in the fight against colon and prostate cancer. I usually suggest that men supplement with 200-400 mcg daily if over 50 years and both men and women if there is family history of colon cancer. Other benefits are many, such as causing Vitamin E to be more effective, as well as enhancing the enzyme glutathione, which does so much that books have been written on it alone. Other benefits include proper growth and development, help in preventing strokes, angina and endometriosis, helping control epileptic seizures, decreases blood platelet clumping, aids fertility in men, helps reduce wrinkles, reduces asthma attacks, stimulates immune function, lupus, may protect against cataracts and macular degeneration and is one of the strongest antioxidants.

A couple of other fascinating facts have to do with HIV and the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Studies at the University of North Carolina suggest a lack of selenium in the cells may activate the AIDS virus. Gastroenterologists who treat Hepatitis C will often suggest supplemental selenium as a sort of “birth control” for the virus, which causes this potentially fatal illness. Selenium clearly impacts viral infections. With all of the weird viruses in this strange time, it is good to know of this unassuming helper from the earth.

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