TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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Test Yourself for “D”eficiency

With your thumb, press on your sternum (breastbone). Is it tender or painful? Now, press on the tibia (shin bone) of both your legs. Is it sore or tender? If the answer is “yes” to both of these tests then you have a 93% chance of being Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D may be the most prevalent vitamin deficiency in our culture. What is Vitamin D and what does it do for us?

Function of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is both a vitamin (vital amine) and a hormone. It acts as a vitamin when it binds with calcium for proper absorption. Humans cannot digest calcium without adequate amounts of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is a hormone (a messenger inside your body) because it directs cells, organs, muscle and bone in daily activity. It is a hormone because your body creates it in response to sunlight on your skin. It participates in weight loss, the function of your immune system, blood sugar regulation and basic human metabolism.

Humans mobilize essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3, with Vitamin D. In order to properly use calcium and Omega-3 you simply must have enough Vitamin D. Yet, many people don’t.

Signs of deficiency
The test above is one way of checking for low levels of Vitamin D. You see, calcium and other minerals are delivered to an area in your bones that is like a gelatin matrix. This gelatin matrix hardens into sturdy bone. Calcium can only arrive in this matrix if it is escorted by Vitamin D. If you are deficient in Vitamin D, this matrix will revert back to gelatin near the surface of the bone. Tenderness and bone pain will result.

This kind of bone pain can be seen in cases of osteomalacia (softening of the bones), as well as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and even the pain associated with chronic depression.

Further, Vitamin D deficiency can result in:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Psoriasis

Eventually, Vitamin D deficiency may lead to cancer (especially breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer), osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.Reasons for deficiency
The primary reasons people become deficient in Vitamin D are cultural. For instance, women that wear veils in certain cultures are almost universally deficient in Vitamin D, as are submariners who spend extended time submerged. Neither group spends much time with their skin exposed to direct sunlight. The most common reasons for Vitamin D deficiency in North America also relate to lack of exposure to sunlight and infrequent consumption of cold-water fish. Cold-water fish such as wild salmon, mackerel and sardines are good food sources of Vitamin D – as well as good sources of calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Many foods have been supplemented with Vitamin D, but this has not resulted in an overall increase in Vitamin D levels. This is likely because food and supplement manufacturers rely on an inexpensive form of synthetic Vitamin D called “ergocalciferol” – a form of Vitamin D-2. Food sources of Vitamin D and supplements such as TriVita’s Bone Growth Factor, VitaCal-Mag D and Leanology Capsules use Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same form that your body makes from sunshine.

What to do?
If your bones are tender or if you have a low blood level of Vitamin D the solution may be as simple as increasing your sun exposure (see the Weekly Wellness Report, “Is the Sun our Enemy?“). Spend 20 minutes daily in the sunshine with 40% of your skin surface exposed. Morning and evening sunshine is best; afternoon sun is acceptable. Never allow yourself to sunburn.

When supplementing with Vitamin D always choose D-3. It is also good to remember that this is a “fat soluble” vitamin. That means that you can store the nutrient for many days.

I will often suggest two capsules of TriVita’s Bone Growth Factor or two tablets of VitaCal-Mag D to be taken at every meal. Test the tenderness in your sternum and shin bones every 6 months. Reduce your supplements to one capsule or tablet per meal when the tenderness has disappeared from the sternum and shin bones.

If Leanology Capsules are a more appropriate source of Vitamin D for you (if you are overweight and otherwise in a low-risk category for osteoporosis), taking two capsules at each meal is a good strategy. However, since most overeating occurs in the evening and since Vitamin D reduces appetite, it may be best to take three to six Leanology capsules all in the evening.

It is good to get a blood test for appropriate blood levels of Vitamin D twice a year and a DEXA scan of your bones at least every two years to help you structure a supplement program.

Eventually, health comes down to healthy habits practiced every day. Every day we should nourish our body and nurture our spirit for sustained health.

Take Control of Your Health
  • Spend time in the sun daily
    • 20 minutes in the morning or evening sun
    • 10 minutes morning and evening work also
    • Expose 40% of your skin surface to sunshine
    • Never allow yourself to sunburn!
  • Eat foods high in Vitamin D
    • Cod liver oil
    • Fortified milk
    • Salmon, mackerel and sardines
    • Egg yolks
    • Beef liver
  • Take Vitamin D supplements
  • Take Vitamin D supplements with food – especially foods high in Vitamin D

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Energy
  • Nopalea

Send us your topic suggestions!
If you have specific health topics you’d like Brazos Minshew to discuss in upcoming reports,
click here to submit your suggestions.

Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

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Inflammation Hot Spots

The process of inflammation starts with injury, toxicity, deficiency or emotional distress. One particular deficiency that causes inflammation is a genetic deficiency called MTHFR. This deficiency is relatively common – perhaps the most common genetic deficiency in North America. It is related to the way we manufacture proteins. A sign that we have MTHFR deficiency is elevated homocysteine.

MTHFR deficiency creates pools of homocysteine that ignite inflammation like bonfires in specific tissues of your body. The strategies for reducing this inflammation depend greatly on where the bonfire starts. And, like many forest fires, inflammation often features multiple fronts that require different strategies for quelling its flames.

Burning brain
The delicate tissues of the brain are common victims of inflammation from an MTHFR deficiency. Elevated homocysteine feeds the fire that melts fragile neurons. Movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease are associated with elevated homocysteine.  Further, inflammation in the brain associated with MTHFR and elevated homocysteine are also implicated in autism, ADD/ADHD, bipolar depression and schizophrenia.

MTHFR deficiency is addressed by increasing folates in the diet. Folates describe a B vitamin from foliage – leafy green vegetables. Actually, all fruits and vegetables contain some folate. Eating the optimum amount of folate can go a long way to filling the deficiency associated with MTHFR and elevated homocysteine. Remember, the optimum number of servings for fruits and vegetables is:

  • 5 servings for children
  • 7 servings for women
  • 9 servings for men

Make sure you eat vegetables of every color – eat a rainbow!

Supplements such as HCY Guard® provide nutrients that help “re-methylate” homocysteine in the presence of this MTHFR deficiency. Inflammation is normalized by the anti-inflammatory Betalains found in Nopalea™. Essential fatty acids and EFA supplements such as OmegaPrime® serve as primary building blocks for a healthy brain. Also, Omega-3 EFA, Betalains and ECGC polyphenols in Energy Now!® serve to help the body protect DNA strands and create stem cells that are needed to repair delicate, fragile brain tissues.

Burning bones
Bones are living tissue. Osteoblast cells lay down a matrix of collagen proteins and build minerals around it. Collagen provides tensile strength for the bones and minerals provide compression strength for the bones. Homocysteine shatters this matrix and melts the collagen in your bones (and elsewhere), resulting in brittle bones. Further, without collagen, minerals cannot form and the bones become porous. The end result is often osteoporosis.

Folates and plant hormones such as Vitamin K found in leafy green vegetables help reduce the impact of MTHFR deficiency and increase the opportunity for osteoblasts to make healthy bone. Healthy bones also require significant amounts of Vitamin D. Sunshine is the best source of Vitamin D; however, in North America it is not always possible to get enough healthy sun exposure to meet our Vitamin D needs. Supplements such as Bone Growth Factor and VitaCal-Mag D can help give us the nutrients we need for healthy bones. HCY Guard can help the body reduce inflammatory homocysteine and Betalains from Nopalea can help reduce the impact of inflammation.

Burning blood
MTHFR deficiency was discovered when scientists began searching for the reasons why heart disease and stroke seemed to cluster in certain families. It was discovered that these families shared a genetic deficiency that required far more folate than their diet provided. Folate deficiency depletes Vitamin B-12 and compounds the homocysteine problem. Homocysteine ignites LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the bloodstream and creates the inflammation at the root of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and stroke.

A high folate diet focusing on leafy green vegetables can fill this deficiency. Supplements such as HCY Guard, Nopalea and OmegaPrime can help the body ease’ the fire in the delicate tissues lining the blood vessels. According to the VISP study (Vitamin Intervention for Stroke Prevention) this comprehensive strategy can fill the deficiency created by MTHFR, put out the fire fueled by homocysteine, and reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke.

Conclusion
Inflammation hot spots build fires around your body in places like your brain, your bones and your heart.

  1. A high folate diet can fill the deficiency that causes these body bonfires.
  2. Safe daily sun exposure along with exercise and peaceful sleep can help build a solid foundation for wellness.
  3. Appropriate supplementation can help satisfy the needs created by MTHFR while putting out the fires of inflammation and creating vigorous cells for health today and a healthier tomorrow.
Take Control of Your Health
  • Eat 5, 7 or 9 servings of fruit and vegetables
    • Eat a rainbow – include leafy green vegetables (see “Dietary Sources of Folate” below)
  • Supplement appropriately:
  • Sleep peacefully every night and enjoy activity every day

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Vitamin D
  • Energy


Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

TriVita’s Weekly Wellness Report With Brazos Minshew, TriVita’s Chief Science Officer

Forward to Friend Printer Friendly Version View Current Specials

Stress and Your Health

There are four common causes of imbalance that affect our health:

  • Trauma
  • Toxins
  • Deficiency
  • Emotional distress

Stress triggers a flood of hormones that sacrifice healthy organs in order to solve the stress crisis. Chronic stress causes us to wear out and age prematurely.

According to the book, “Who Gets Sick?” stress is reducing the quality and quantity of life of most people in North America – including you! It strangles the joy and pleasure from your days and nights. It makes you miserable, and then it makes you sick. You become susceptible to diseases such as heart attacks, cancer and diabetes. Once you are sick, stress keeps you from responding as well to medical care. Yes, stress is a killer!

Know your enemy!
Stress is short for distress. Distress describes an unpleasant influence by forces outside or even inside your body trying to tear you apart; it can come from your environment, your body or even your thoughts.

Stress triggers the fight or flight mechanism. Your body will prioritize resources to meet specific demands of stress. In fight or flight, your body prepares to do battle or run away. Either of these actions will require fuel – and right now!

Where do you get that fuel? From organs you don’t need at that moment to survive.

So, if you are being chased by a lion, you don’t need digestion. Stress will take nutrients from digestion as fuel to meet this particular crisis. The same is true for other organs and systems: Stress will literally rob nutrients from your reproductive system, your bones, and aspects of your immune system, your nervous system and more – all in an attempt to survive.

Now, assuming you survive the stress, are the nutrients returned to those systems? No, not at first. They are taken out quickly and returned slowly, just in case there is another lion around.

Gradually, you begin to show signs of chronic stress that we call premature aging: your blood sugar becomes more difficult to control; your arteries begin to clog up with cholesterol; and your muscle and bone mass begins to melt away. Then, enzymes in your cells begin to turn off and caramelized sugars begin to damage your brain and nerves. You can’t think and you have no energy. Your body cannot stand that kind of stress and it breaks down.

Fighting back
This illustrates why we need nutrients from food and supplements to combat stress. The more nutrients we have “on board,” the less fuel your body will have to rob during a crisis.

The opposite of stress is homeostasis. So, while stress is constantly trying to pull you apart, homeostasis is constantly working to put you back together. Homeostasis is the priority process your body uses to combat stress. It requires nutrients to function. So, a key strategy for helping reduce the impact of stress is to take Healthy Aging nutrients (including a robust supply of Sublingual B-12) every day.

Rather than being just an isolated event, stress accumulates over time. A single stressful event can affect you for up to two years or more. Therefore homeostasis must be constant, relentless and dynamic in working to return you to a normal state. It must do this no matter which direction stress is pulling you.

Homeostasis is a very important process in our body and we need to support it in every way we can. Homeostasis encompasses all of our resources: our brain and nervous system, our immune system, our hormonal system and every other body function.

  • Adaptogens support homeostasis in all body systems. Adaptogens are “non-specific” in that they help your body reclaim balance. Adaptogens are non-toxic at any level, so you can feel free to take an added serving of Adaptogen 10 Plus as needed in order to break the cycle of stress. A daily serving of adaptogens can help keep you calm and relaxed.
  • A specific target of stress is the thyroid gland. Specific proteins found in Energy Now! support healthy thyroid function when stress creates thyroid imbalance.

Healthy Aging nutrients along with Adaptogen 10 Plus and Energy Now! can help protect against the relentless stress we all face. We need nutrients and nurturing; these lifesaving resources are found in the 10 Essentials for Health and Wellness. Learn them and live them, and you will be able to resist the relentless killer: stress!

Take Control of Your Health
  • Practice deep breathing at least 20 minutes daily
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Eat high protein foods; avoid sugar and caffeine
  • Take Healthy Aging nutrients
  • Use adaptogens to fight off the effects of stress
  • Support your thyroid with Energy Now!

Learn More…

Upcoming Weekly Wellness Reports…

  • Inflammation Hot Spots
  • Vitamin D

Send us your topic suggestions!
If you have specific health topics you’d like Brazos Minshew to discuss in upcoming reports,
click here to submit your suggestions.

Please note that Weekly Wellness Report topics will be chosen at the discretion of Brazos Minshew and based on general relevance.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.