March is National Nutrition Month

Dear Church Family,

March is National Nutrition Month. I have had a number of you recently questioning me about Vitamin levels. I decided it would be a good opportunity to write about vitamins and minerals.

An important fact to remember is if you are eating a proper diet, you should already have the recommended daily allowance of these nutrients in your system. Due to decreased absorption from aging, illness and chronic diseases, it does become necessary to take supplements. However, do not assume that just throwing a multivitamin or any dietary supplement into the mix with other meds is harmless.   I had a woman on cardiac meds who decided to go to a herbalist for her stomach problems. The herbs he put her on completely negated the effect of her cardiac drug and she had a massive heart attack. If you are taking coumadin (a blood thinner), vitamin K will decrease the effect and make it more likely for you to have a blood clot. If you have issues with sodium and potassium levels, you not only need to think of the amount in your food, but what about that multivitamin? Always tell your doctor and pharmacist before you decide to take a dietary supplement with other meds. It could save your life!   

First we’ll talk about vitamins. There are 14 considered “essential’’. Vitamins are divided into 2 groups, fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fat and in the liver. You are more at risk to overdose on these vitamins. They are vitamins A, D, E, and K. Water-soluble vitamins are C, choline, biotin and the 7 B vitamins. The body tends to not store up large amounts of these.

The minerals your body utilizes in large amounts are Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Sodium. Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride are all very important in regulation of water and chemical levels in your body. Potassium, Sodium and Calcium together effect heart rhythm, digestion, and nerve impulses. Too much potassium can cause a heart attack. High levels of Calcium have been linked to prostate cancer. It is a balancing act!

All these nutrients are extremely important for normal body function. Eat well, supplement when your Doctor agrees it’s a good idea and be completely informed about anything you put in your mouth!! I don’t have enough space to go into detail about specific supplements. I will have info out on the health table for you. Call with questions. 315-759-903

God Bless, Beth