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krill oil supplements

When it comes to cardiovascular health, the terms DHA and EPA are often thrown into the table. These are basically the good stuff your heart and blood vessels need to be in good condition especially with health threats brought by aging. But there are several other health benefits that these two provide the body. However, what is brewing in the market today is the question on which one is the better source; fish oil or krill oil?

What are essential fatty acids?

When we talk about fish and krill oil, it is important that we understand what essential fatty acids are. These are classified as polyunsaturated fatty acids that are necessary for the body to perform its metabolic functions. Since the body cannot produce this, it has to be acquired through our diet.
Whole food sources include shrimp, tuna, halibut, trout, sardines, cod and spinach. Another option is to take supplements to supply you with the recommended daily intake.
To narrow it further, one of the essential fatty acids that our body needs – and something you can get out of fish and krill oils – are omega-3 fatty acids. This is the major selling point of fish and krill oil supplements, and the bearer of the numerous health benefits.
Let’s take high cholesterol levels, for instance, since this is a common problem people struggle with. Instead of taking statins to control your bad cholesterol levels, taking supplements can help you prevent it from spiking up. You also avoid the side effects that comes along with maintaining these medications. This is just one condition that you can steer away from, just imagine how much your are saving in medicine expenses with the number of conditions that Omega-3 can help you avoid?

What good can you get from Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

I am sure you might have heard of omega-3 fatty acids and what it does for heart health. There are many research studies available to support this. But it actually has a lot to offer when it comes to overall health, which makes it a very important nutrient to be included in your daily health arsenal. Included in its wide range of benefits are the improvement of cholesterol levels, lowered risk of coronary heart disease, protection of the arteries from hardening, reduced risk for cancer, and it improves the symptoms of depression and attention-deficit hypersensitivity disorder (ADHD).
As mentioned earlier, two of the popular sources of omega-3 fatty acids prepared in supplements are fish and krill oil. There have been a lot of comparisons between the two, saying one is better than other. Let’s see the important points to consider between these two, and decide for yourself which sells better for you.

Fish oil

fish oil supplements

This type of oil is the first to come into the market, and it caused such a stir being a new heart health hero. It earned more acceptance when it was learned that fish oil was also able to help with aging, bone health, cancer prevention and memory-boosting properties among many others. This made fish oil a “superfood” because it gives the body several benefits which protects you from diseases and different inflammatory processes as you age.

  • Important components

The important component found in fish oil is the omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentanoic acid). It was found that the levels of these two omega-3 fatty acids are fewer in Americans compared to individuals from other nations with lower heart disease rates, like Japan. This shows that nourishing your body with these fatty acids is one foot out the door from diseases.

  • Sources

The usual sources of fish oil, which are used in supplements, are fatty fish such as tuna and mackerel. But due to the increasing demands in the market, some companies turn to farm-raised fish. Ocean-caught fish are already at risk for contamination from PCBs, mercury, and toxins; the same also goes for farm-raised fish but with a higher incidence.

  • Drawbacks

Just because it can do you good, you can already get away with taking plenty of it. This doesn’t necessarily hold true with fish oil supplements because high doses can have harmful effects. It increases your risk for bleeding, affects your blood sugar control, and even increase your bad cholesterol levels.
Another common complaint with fish oil supplements are the “fish burps” you get afterwards. It leaves you with this fishy taste in your mouth. Fish oil supplements are prone to oxidation and rancidity which can cause the release of damaging free radicals in your body.
As was discussed above, fish oil extracted from species that are contaminated with dangerous heavy metals can also be possible. This is highly likely when the company does not take certain measures in manufacturing.

Krill Oil

krill oil

Slowly gaining popularity and acceptance in the supplement market are krill oil supplements. It is derived from krill, a tiny crustacean that looks like a shrimp which thrives in the pristine waters of Antartica. These little creatures feed on plankton that are floating on the ocean floor surface.
Krill oil also promotes better heart health, maintains normal blood sugar levels, controls cholesterol levels, and supports bone and joint health. It also helps build a healthy immune system which protects you from common inflammatory diseases, like cancer, as you age. On top of that, it also controls your mood levels.
This oil is also able to control your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. It is crucial that these two fatty acids are kept balanced so you are able to better absorb the omega-3 fats.

  • Important components

Krill oil contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which also gives the oil its red pigment. It is reported that the oil derived from krill has a higher concentration of EPA and DHA. It is also rich in vitamins A, E and D and is even said to possess more antioxidant action than other sources. And what makes it more efficient in providing nutrients is its unique phospholipid structure which allows it to become more absorbable.
This oils also contains lutein, with its antioxidant power 47 times more effective. It also has a rich dose of co-enzyme Q10, an enzyme necessary for basic cell function which decreases as you age.

  • Sources

The krill from which this oil is derived from is found in the clean waters of the Antarctic. This is a major selling point because these areas are not polluted making the product safe and healthy. With it, you no longer have to worry about the dangerous levels of heavy metals, PCBs, dioxins and other contaminants.

  • Drawbacks

To reduce the oxidation process krill has to be frozen or kept in water tanks after it is harvested. They are kept there until it is already time to process the oil. This increases the manufacturing cost which also increases the price of every bottle of krill oil supplement.

Which is a better source?

So on the question as to which among the two is a better source of Omega-3 fatty acid, we can conclude that Krill oil has more advantage. First of all, research shows that it is able to provide more DHA and EPA. So when it comes to efficiency, krill oil has the upper hand because it not only gives you more, but it is also better absorbed by the body.
Since purity is a major concern when it comes to supplements, Krill oil provides us better assurance of quality. The sources alone will tell us that it is less likely to be contaminated. Plus, krill oil also doesn’t give you those nasty fish burps.
However, you do have to accept that such a product can come at a price. Compared to fish oil, krill oil supplements are more costly because of the manufacturing process.
It’s not to say that fish oil are outdated and dangerous because these still remain to be a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. But if you are looking for something better, then krill oil definitely gives you the advantage.

You can check out this Krill Oil Review:

Jim Strong’s OmegaK Krill Oil

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muffin top best multivitamins guide

Are you struggling with that unrelenting and unattractive belly bulge? You might have noticed that you are not the only one who is fighting this battle. Having a big belly is something that stems from the unhealthy lifestyles that most of us are living. Some go for the easy way out with surgery, and that’s okay. But for most people who either don’t have the budget or the guts to go under the knife, here are ten ways for you to achieve it the healthier way.

12 Ways to Bust Belly Fats

flat stomach - best multivitamins guide

Practice Good Posture

Aside from societal strictures, another good reason to maintain a good posture is to reduce the appearance of belly fat. This may not rid you off it, but it will certainly be a good way to make it look like you did, and its healthy too. So put yourself in a routine that will help you achieve a good posture. Bring your shoulders back, your head up, and your stomach in. Good posture also allows you to breathe better and it also helps you tone your abdominal muscles.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

BELLY BUSTING SUPPLEMENTS

According to research almost 10% of people skip breakfast. I guess not all of us believe that this is the most important meal of the day,  the question is – are you one of these people? Regularly eating breakfast can help you trim down your belly fat because it allows you to maintain a stable blood sugar level. This means that you prevent hunger pangs which causes you to binge.

A good breakfast meal should contain energy-boosting food or drinks like whole wheat bread, fruits, yogurt, milk, tea, almonds and honey.

Load Up on Fiber

BELLY FAT SUPPLEMENTS

A high fiber diet not only fills you up easily allowing you to eat less, but it can also prevent constipation and bloating which can hamper your chances for a flatter stomach. According to Dr. Lawrence J. Cheskin, a gastroenterologist of John Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore, you need to aim for 22-25 grams of fiber a day. You can get these from fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Detox Drinks

Juicing are an excellent way to stay fit, lean and healthy today. It is becoming a popular health practice which is proven to trim the stomach, and it is also an efficient way to detox. This is like hitting two birds with one stone because by getting rid of antioxidants you are more able to burn fats more effectively.

Drinking a glass of water in the morning is also a simple, yet effective, way for a flatter stomach. This alkalizes your body to help you burn fat better. For efficient results, you can even drink alkalized water which are already being sold widely today.

Stop Smoking

cigarette smoking supplements

A lot of smokers may scoff at this statement as they generally see this vice to keep them thin. However, there are studies to prove otherwise, and that is thanks to the stress hormone cortisol.

Smoking puts us more at risk of the formation of visceral fat. These are the kind of fats that attach to our vital organs found inside our abdomen. Aside from creating aesthetic  concerns by giving you that unattractive bulge, this type of fat can also be very dangerous to your health. The presence of nicotine in your circulation will only make it harder for you to burn these fats up. So if you want reduce that belly, stop lighting up another stick.

Low Caloric Foods

supplements

Less calories also means less fat. Overall this means less belly size because when you consume a low caloric diet, you consequently reduce your weight. But it doesn’t mean that you have to slave away counting calories every single meal. You can still enjoy your food even with some restrictions. Boiled foods are far more better than those that are sweet, high fat and fried if you want to effectively cut back on your calories and belly fat.

Green Tea

This health drink may not zap the fats right off your stomach in one drink, but it can help you get there safe and sure when coupled with diet and exercise. There are multiple studies which showed that an antioxidant in green tea called EGCG can help boost your metabolism to get rid of the abdominal fats.

supplements

As much as this drink is good for you health, it doesn’t mean that you can chug liters in a day. It is best to drink no more than 5 cups every day to avoid caffeine-related side effects.

No More Soda

BELLY FAT SUPPLEMENTS

You can also bust that belly when you stop your soda habit. Aside from being unhealthy, it can also contribute to a ballooning belly size. Studies show that those who drank soda almost tripled their belly fat for over nine years. Soda contains empty calories which can contribute to the excess weight you put on which your body will have a hard time burning. Sodas also contain high fructose which can also make you obese, and it is also unfortunate that the fat buildup will focus on your midsection.

Bust that Stress

supplements

Did you know that even slender women who have high levels of cortisol due to stress can still get a belly bulge? This was proven by a study conducted at Yale University. It showed that women who are greatly exposed to life stressors are more able to accumulate abdominal fat. So try to manage your stress better, and do it the healthy way, to effectively get rid of that belly fat.

Choose Your Exercise Routine

A way to effectively flatten your belly is to do the right exercise. We may dedicate ourselves to doing a hundred crunches every day, but this won’t be that much of a help if you don’t do it right. You see, crunches only strengthen the muscle which lie behind the stomach fat, so you have to get rid of these fats first to achieve a flatter abdomen. A good way to reduce overall body fat is to perform cardio exercise. Pairing this with crunches will help you achieve the trimmed and toned physique you desire.

Eat Fats

Most of our diet are already laden with fats, which is why it is both good and sinful. If you want to flatten your belly, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on fats. You just have to choose the right one. You must go for oils and foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) to stimulate the production of fat-fighting hormones in your body.

omega 3 supplements

These kind of fats will lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increase good cholesterol (HDL), these actions help control blood insulin levels. If this happens you are also able to control your appetite, as well as fat formation.

Supplements

weight loss supplements

Another way for you to bust that belly fat while improving your health at the same time is to go for supplements. There are a lot of these brands available today which contains different active ingredients, or “superfoods” as they are also referred to. From the likes of green coffee, African mango, and to newer types of tropical weight loss superstars like Garcinia Cambogia. These fat-busting supplements are now hogging the spotlight because they are formulated to be safe and effective as well. However, you must also be wise in spotting the fakes because the market is also littered with it. Overall, supplements are also a good addition to your fat-trimming arsenal.

Here is a list of belly busting supplements that you might want to look into:

Garcinia Cambogia Extract

Garcinia Cambogia Slim Fast

GC180XT

Nature’s Pure White Kidney Bean Extract

Miracle Saffron

I hope that you had a lot to learn from these tips. They have been tried and proven to bust the fats safely even without surgery. Don’t expect a change overnight because real results will always take time, with some showing it faster than others.

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Fortunately there are several measures that can be done to correct this problem. Some try out pills, stretching exercises, certain lengthening devices, and even penis surgery. But many are inclined towards convenience, which is why male enhancement supplements have become widely popular.

Let’s look into the the business and promise of these products, and see why it remained to be huge in the market. But before all that, it is important that we also take up on these important facts. We will also look into some of the male enhancement supplements in the market today and how they fare.

Sexual Dysfunction in Men

WebMD defines sexual dysfunction as a problem that occurs during the any phase during the sexual response cycle. This prevents the person, or the couple, to experience satisfaction from the sexual activity. It can be due to stress, an illness, medications and/or emotional problems.

It is even estimated that one in ten males have problems related to having sex. Erectile dysfunction is actually more common that most people realize. Not only is it a problem for older males, but it also affects even those who are still in their twenties.

According to Dr. John Tomlinson of the Sexual Advice Association, there are 7-8% of those within the 20-40 year old age group who are affected by erectile dysfunction, and 11% from the 40-50 age group who have this problem. The numbers are considerably much larger for those over 60 as it affects 40% and more than half for those who are aged over 70.

Physiology of the Male Reproductive System

male reproductive system

  • Penis

This is the part that is mainly used for sexual intercourse. It is composed of three parts which is the root, the shaft and the glans.

  • Scrotum

The scrotum is the pouch of skin that hangs behind the penis. It is lined with nerves and blood vessels, and it also contains the testicles. It also controls the temperature of the testes, making it conducive for the sperm to thrive in.

  • Testicles

These are oval-shaped organs that are encapsulated by the scrotum, and it is responsible for the production of testosterone and sperm.

  • Epidedymis

This part acts as sperm storage. But also one of the major function of the epididymis is to help bring the sperm to maturity.

  • Vas Deferens

This brings that sperm from the testes to the seminal vesicles.

  • Urethra

For the males, the urethra has an added function. Aside from being the passageway to expel urine, this also helps in ejaculating semen during orgasm. The flow of urine in an erect penis is blocked in the urethra, which is why semen is the only fluid ejaculated during orgasm.

  • Seminal Vesicles

These sac-like structures produce a fluid that gives the sperm the energy to move. The fluid from the seminal vesicles actually makes up most of the volume of a man’s ejaculate.

  • Prostate Gland

The prostate gland actually controls two primary functions. It assists in controlling urination and it also plays a significant role in sexual activity. In its sexual function, it is responsible for producing a whitish glandular secretion that is then directed into the urethra during ejaculation. This fluid is important for sperm motility.

  • Bulbourethral Glands

Also referred to as the Cowper’s glands, and these are pea-sized structures that are found at the sides of the urethra just below the prostate gland. The duct of each duct is about an inch long and it opens to the penile part of the urethra. Its function is to produce pre-ejaculate the viscous secretion produced during sexual arousal. It also lubricates the urethra and neutralize any residual activity making it easier for sperm to pass. With age, the size of the bulbourethral glands diminish.

What Happens in an Erection

The process of having an erection actually starts in the brain. This is caused by physical and/or mental stimuli that signals the brain to send chemical messages to the nerves that line the penis. It tells the penile blood vessels to relax so to allow blood flow to go through freely to the structure. Once the blood runs through the penis, high pressure traps it in causing the structure to expand and maintain an erection.

An erection subsides when the flow of blood to the penis is stopped and the channels to which it is released opens. This causes the penis to become soft.

How Does an Ejaculation Occur?

An ejaculation is controlled by the central nervous system, and it occurs when a man reaches a certain level of excitement that is also combined with a certain degree of friction. This brings certain impulses that is sent through the spinal cord and to the brain. The brain then sends signals to the spinal cord, then to the genital area causing the pelvic muscles to contract.

This sets a series of reaction where the sperm is transported from the testes squeezing it through the prostate towards the base of the penis. Simultaneously the seminal vesicles also release secretions at the back of the urethra. When this happens ejaculation is most certain to happen. The muscles at the base of the penis contracts forcing the semen through the urethra and out of the penis.

Causes of Sexual Dysfunction

erectile dysfunction

It is a widely known fact that man’s sexual function gradually falls with age. This is because his testosterone level falls, making it harder for a man to get aroused. It also follows that getting an erection and an orgasm can be quite challenging as well. Age also causes semen volume and sperm quality to be low. All these changes usher in sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence.

Getting aroused is a collective action of the hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels. Aside from the physical aspect, emotional and mental health can also cause or even worsen erectile dysfunction.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction:

  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Low Testosterone
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcoholism
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries that affect the spinal cord or the pelvic area
  • Parkinson’s Disease

Medicinal Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

  • Diuretics (drugs that induce the production and release of urine)
  • Antihypertensives (drugs that control blood pressure)
  • Fibrates (medicines used to lower cholesterol)
  • Antidepressants (medicines used to treat depression)
  • Antipsychotics (medicines used to treat mental conditions such as schizophrenia)
  • H2-antagonists (drugs that are used to treat stomach ulcers)
  • Antihistamines (medicationst that are used to treat allergies)
  • Corticosteroids (medications that contain steroids)
  • Cytotoxics (medications that are used in chemotherapy)
  • Anti-androgens (medications that suppress male sex hormones)

Psychological Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Poor Communication
  • Relationship Problems

Medical Remedies

There is a roster of medications that are available today to treat erectile dysfunction. This includes the following:

Sildenafil (Viagra)

Taldanafil (Cialis)

Verdenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)

These medications basically work the same way by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide, which is a chemical produced by the body to relax the muscles in the penis. It increases blood flow allowing you to get an erection as a response to a sexual stimuli.

What these medications vary on are the dosage and length of the effects. Their side effects also vary, and this is something that should be strongly considered.

Penis pumps are also a rather interesting invention to stimulate erection because it is a tube that is placed over your penis and then a pump is used to suck air out of the tube. This creates a vacuum that will cause the blood to rush to the penis. Then once an erection is achieved, a tension ring is placed at the base of the penis to hold the blood in and keep it firm. The vacuum device is removed and you can have an erection can last long but it can risk bruising the penis during the process.

Psychological counseling can also help especially if the cause of erectile dysfunction stemmed from stress, anxiety, or deperession.

If you want to go with surgery, you can either go for penile implants or blood vessel surgery. The first involves the surgical placement of two devices at the sides of the penis. These implants is made of semi-rigid or inflatable rods that allow you to control when and for how long you can keep an erection. There is no need to worry about the rods because they may help keep the penis firm but they are bendable.

Blood vessel surgery is appropriate for cases where leaks or obstruction in the blood vessels cause erectile dysfunction. Surgery is the right course of action to properly fix the problem. But you really have to weigh the pros and cons. But ultimately this should only be considered when you have exhausted all other options.

Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

Herbal remedies or supplements for erectile dysfunction is also another approach to handling the problem. Some men go for it because of it being an all-natural solution to the problem also suggesting that it will be much safer. Interestingly enough natural supplements does provide a handful of herbal remedies, but despite being a natural alternative they should still be used with caution.

Some men also choose to use alternative treatments along with traditional methods, however before anything else it is still of primary importance to always consult your doctor first.

Common herbal ingredients for erectile dysfunction:

You can read more about herbal supplements that can help relieve erectile dysfunction here.

 

 

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Are you aware that your hair also needs to eat? Not that you have to feed it some food, but you also have to nourish it with the important nutrients to let it grow strong and healthy. To explain it out more clearly, Dr. Cybel Fishman, a New York City dermatologist, said that even a week of poor diet can already cause dry and sallow skin within days. The effects may not be so obvious right away, but poor nutrition has compounding effects. That is why it is only right to counter this effect by opting for healthier food options. Here are five nutrients that can help you achieve optimum hair health.

Biotin

This is a water soluble vitamin that is one of the most important nutrients for hair health. It is found in small amounts in a variety of foods. There is no recommended dietary allowance for biotin, but those who promote it suggest that taking 5,000 micrograms in supplement form everyday can help strengthen your hair shafts.

Biotin deficiency is evidenced by a red scaly rash, thinning hair, exhaustion, depression and a tingling sensation felt on the arms and legs.

thinninghair

This nutrient is important to achieving a healthy head of hair, but there is not enough evidence to prove that it can counter hair loss. According to WebMD, there are prelimenary evidences that show that it can reduce hair loss if taken by mouth in combination with zinc. A cream that contains clobestasol propionate will also be concurrently applied to the skin.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

You might have noticed most hair care ingredients available today are already formulated with omega-3 fatty acids. This particular nutrient may be big on heart health, but it also has a wide range of benefits for your locks.

It’s all because of the its 3 components, ALA, EPA and DHA. It is best that these three go together because our bodies cannot convert ALA into EPA and DHA. These omega-3 fatty acids improve dry and brittle hair, prevent hair loss, prevent dandruff and improve circulation to the scalp. These also improve its elasticity and the quality of the hair follicles by making it shinier, as well as help the hair grow quicker and stronger.

omega3

Since we do not produce omega-3, we need to get it from other sources, such as food or supplements. Tuna, walnuts, eggs and milk are just some of the food sources that are teeming with this particular nutrient. You can also use fish oil or krill oil supplements, which often contain healthy doses of all three fatty acids.

Zinc

Aside from its brain boosting prowess, zinc is also important for hair health. In fact, insufficient levels can result in dull and thin hair, or hair loss. This is also the reason why you can see it often formulated in hair care products. It is marketed to help improve hair thickness, and takes care of the scalp at the same time. Zinc is also a vital component in maintaining hair strength because it supports healthy cell growth and development.

Fortunately, zinc is present in a number of foods, like meat, poultry, oysters, beans, nuts, crabs, whole grains and fortified cereals. You can also get it in supplement form, which often contains several forms of the nutrient, such as zinc sulfate or zinc acetate.

zinc

Women who are pregnant, lactating moms and vegetarians require more zinc daily than the average individual. The demands of a growing fetus also requires more zinc, while breastfeeding can also deplete it. Vegetarians, on the other hand, often eat legumes or whole grains. These contain phytates which binds to zinc and prevent its absorption in the body. That is why this group would need 50% more to make up for the deficiencies and losses.

Iron

Iron deficiency was singled out to be one of the root causes of hair loss. This was concluded when a group of researchers observed that hair loss patients, who have their iron stores replenished, are able to regrow hair and stop hair shedding.

It is best that you use whole foods to help you restore normal iron levels instead of giving yourself iron supplements. First of all, it is not advised to take iron supplement without consulting a doctor.Your iron level will have to be checked first by assesing the ferritin levels in the blood.

iron

If you will be taking iron supplements, it is expected that you will experience gastrointestinal upset and constipation. You have to remember that getting your iron levels through supplements is in one way different than when you eat whole foods. Food sources for iron include red meat, fish, poultry, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, tofu and dark green leafy vegetables.

But, you should take note that having too much iron in your system can also be dangerous. According to experts, iron supplements are safe when used appropriately, but it can be harmful when used inappropriately.

Vitamin D

This particular vitamin is produced by the body, and can only be found in a few natural food sources. Due to habits and changes in lifestyle, most of us cannot produce vitamin D the old fashion way through sunlight exposure. That is why we end up relying on fortified foods and supplements. But even if we get it through food sources, it still has to be activated. This is why it is called the sunshine vitamin because you would need sunlight to synthesize Vitamin D so that it can be used  by the body.

vitamind

Research shows that hair follicles contain vitamin D receptors that play an important role in the hair cycle. Consuming vitamin D3 and its analogs is found to stimulate hair growth. Experts recommend 1,000 IU of the supplement daily. The very few food sources of vitamin D include beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, fatty fish (salmon, tuna and mackerel), milk, cereals and fortified yogurt.

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7 Ways To Boost Testosterone Levels Naturally

Did you know that as men reach the age of 30, their testosterone levels start to decline at a rate of one percent every year? A lot of men may have been dealing with this problem, but they remain unaware that this is actually going on, and that something can be done about it.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is responsible for a number of functions in the body. These include sperm production, sex drive, fat distribution, muscle mass, muscle strength, red blood cell production and bone density. Since it is able to affect a number of important processes in the body, any significant alterations not only creates physical changes, but emotional ones as well.

But, it is true that one of the main concerns that men have that is related to testosterone levels is the changes in sexual function. Low levels can negatively affect their desire, drive and endurance.

As for the physical aspect, low testosterone levels is evidenced in an increase in body fat, decreased strength, decreased body hair, increased fatigue, fragile bones and even hot flashes. Emotionally, this condition can lead to depression, a low sense of well-being, poor self confidence and a lack in motivation.

These symptoms may not always necessarily mean that a man has low testosterone levels, in some instances, it could be due to a thyroid condition, alcohol use or the side effects of medications. This is why it is best that you get a definitive answer through medical consultation which would include a blood workup.

Ways to improve testosterone levels naturally

If you do have low testosterone levels, there are natural ways to improve it. These measures are relatively easier to maintain, and are much safer too.

  1. Get a lid on your stress levels

When your body undergoes a lot of stress on a regular basis, it triggers the body to release cortisol, a stress hormone. Its increasing presence can lower the production of testosterone. Either physical or mental stress can create a downer on your testosterone levels.

stressedman

Professor Robert Josephs of the Psychology department in The University of Texas confirmed after a study that, “When cortisol levels remain elevated, as is the case with so many people who are under constant stress, the ability to reproduce can suffer greatly. However, these effects of cortisol in both men and women are reversed when stress levels go down.”

That is why it is important that you know how to manage stress so that it doesn’t control your hormones or your life.

For instance, if work happens to be overwhelming, try to pencil in some rest time or a breather, so that you can get yourself back together. Try activities that are relaxing. You can either read a book, go on a hike or maybe do some R & R with friends or family, whatever floats your boat.

  1. Control your alcohol intake

According to a research, the presence of alcohol in the system inhibits testosterone secretion by the testes. In another research that was conducted in the Netherlands, that moderate alcohol consumption can affect circulating hormone levels. Testosterone levels in the blood was decreased by 6.8%.

alcohol

This is why it is wise to ditch too much alcohol intake. Try to give your body the discipline, especially if the effects of low testosterone levels are really bothering you.

  1. Maintain a healthy weight

In a study conducted among middle-aged, overweight and pre-diabetic males, the results showed that they have low testosterone levels. Based on the numbers, this phenomenon is common in overweight men. They were subjected to lifestyle modifications, and after a year, the prevalence of low testosterone levels among the study participants have decreased.

weight

If you see that you are already packing excess weight, it would be the right time to rethink your diet or maybe start considering the gym. The researchers advised in their conclusion that obese males who have low testosterone levels should consider lifestyle changes first before considering hormone therapy.

  1. Strive for an active lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle can breed a number of ills. And one of these is decreasing testosterone levels, since it can affect its production.

Testosterone adapts to the changes and needs in the body. Being signals the body that you do not need the boost in energy for your bones and muscles. But if you get your body moving, this tells the body to produce more of the hormone to keep up with the activity level your system is exposed to.

exercise

So many of us may struggle with this, especially when most do not have the luxury of time for exercise. But you don’t have to really sweat it out in the gym. If work is in the way, why not go for walks when going home. If you have time in the morning for a jog or some aerobics, then the better.

But you also have to be careful because excessive endurance exercises can also lower testosterone levels.

  1. Get enough sleep

Being sleep deprived also poses a negative impact on the testosterone levels of healthy young men based on a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). According to Eve Van Cauter, PhD, the director of the study, men who slept less than five hours a night for a week showed low testosterone levels compared to when they had a full night’s sleep.

sleep

This is a prevalent problem today, with the stressful and busy lifestyle a lot of men have. Low sleep duration and poor sleep quality are pointed to disrupt the endocrine function. The decline is already apparent even with just a week of short sleep, decreasing the testosterone levels by ten to fifteen percent.

Men should never undermine the importance of a good sleep. Not only will it leave you cranky in the morning, but it actually creates gradual and long term negative effect, particularly to your hormones.

  1. Go over your list of medications

There are some medications that can result in low testosterone levels as part of its side effects. The following drugs are known to reduce blood levels of testosterone:

  • Statins and fibrates (drugs that lower cholesterol levels)

  • Blood pressure medications

  • Antidepressants

  • Antipsychotics

  • Benzodiazepines

  • H2 blockers (drugs that treat gastrointestinal disorders)

  • Anticonvulsants

If you are concerned of side effect on your testosterone levels, you can discuss this with your doctor so he can manage his treatment accordingly.

  1. Consider the benefits of Supplements

There are a number of testosterone-boosting supplements today that have earned a good reputation. Supplements can be a good way to improve testosterone levels naturally because there are a number of well-researched and carefully manufactured brands out in the market today.

testosterone

If you do choose to try testosterone supplements to improve or maintain your levels, then be sure to inform your doctor about this.

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7 Ways on How Kiwi Benefits Your Health

Image Source: fruitandproduceguide.com


Image Source: fruitandproduceguide.com

When we think of nutritional value that is derived from fruits, the first thing that comes to mind are apples, oranges, or bananas. Not often do we hear the kiwifruit being thrown into the table when it comes to good health. Not that it’s not healthy, but it often finds itself down the list. But did you know that this rather mundane-looking fruit holds a multitude of health benefits? Here are seven reasons why.

Nutritionally packed fruit

This fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients, and is low in calories. This means that you get more nutrients per gram of this fruit. Here is a nutritional breakdown of the fruit as taken from Medical News Today.

  • Calories 42
  • Protein 0.8 grams
  • Total Fat 0.4 grams
  • Fiber 2.1 grams
  • Vitamin C 64 milligrams
  • Vitamin A 3 micrograms
  • Iron 0.2 milligrams
  • Potassium 252 milligrams
  • Folate 17 micrograms

Studies also show that the kiwifruit is one of the best sources of vitamin C, as it is able to provide a person with a bulk of their recommended dietary intake. Adding kiwi into a diet that is severly low in vitamin C can improve its levels in the plasma.

Kiwifruit is an antioxidant

This fuzzy brown fruit may seem ordinary but it is loaded with nutrients. This can be attributed to its high vitamin C content. But according to a research conducted by Hunter et. al., other phytochemicals also has a part to play. The fruit is also a good source of Vitamin E, carotenoids and phenolics.

The Kiwifruit can help prevent heart disease

Image Source: colourbox.com


Image Source: colourbox.com

In a research published in 2004 by the University of Oslo in Norway, it showed that eating 2-3 kiwifruits a day can lower fat in the blood, thins the blood, and reduce clotting (or the risk of potentially fatal clots).

This thinning effect to the blood is compared to what aspirin does. Lead researcher Professor Asim Duttaroy even said that it is the polyphenolic compounds in the fruit that posses anti-clotting properties. It may not be a replacement for aspirin, but consuming it can improve cardiovascular risk profiles in adults. This means that it also lessens one of the common killers in America, which is stroke.

Improves the skin

Image Source: bublews.com


Image Source: bublews.com

This very action by the kiwifruit can be attributed to its very potent antioxidant action. It prevents the damage caused by pollution, chemicals, or the sun to the skin. The fruit’s vitamin C component is important to the health and strength of our collagen layer that keeps the skin tight. So if you get healthy amounts of the fruit everyday, you are a step closer to smoothening out your wrinkles and improving your overall skin texture.

A research done by psychologists at the University of St. Andrews showed that eating three daily portions of kiwis can improve skin tone. Based on a photo documentary that was done on men and women in the study to analyze their skin tone, they found that a daily increased consumption of fruits and veggies aids in deepening the natural red and yellow color of the skin giving the person a healthier glow.

Improves lung function

Image Source: parenting.com


Image Source: parenting.com

There are reports which showed that daily consumption of fruits that are rich in Vitamin C, like kiwis, improve respiratory problems in children. The intake of these citrus fruits provided a protective factor against wheezing in children who underwent the study.

Promotes better sleep

Image Source: mirivalresorts.com


Image Source: mirivalresorts.com

Based on a study that was conducted in Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University, it showed that eating kiwi daily can improve the quantity and quality of sleep. Other significant findings showed that the study participants were able to fall asleep more quickly, slept more soundly, had better sleep quality, and the total amount of time that is spent actually sleeping has also improved.

It is the high antioxidant levels and serotonin component of the kiwifruit that is believed to have caused this action. Poor sleep causes a marked decrease in antioxidant levels, while recovery sleep can also help in restoring it. Serotonin, on the other hand, is a neurotransmitter that is critical in initiating sleep, maintaining it, and the progress of sleep from one stage to the next.

Prevents Constipation

Image Source: modernhealthmonk.com


Image Source: modernhealthmonk.com

The kiwifruit is also known to improve bowel function, especially in patients who are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation. Based on a study that was done by Chang et. al., the results showed that after consuming the fruit for four weeks, there was better colon transit time, increased frequency in defecation, and an improvement in the bowel function of those affected by IBS with constipation. This relieves that bloated feeling, in which the researchers even states that “the kiwifruit is a safe and effective dietary intervention for facilitating laxation.” There are also many other studies that support this claim. This action is due to the high dietary fiber content, the enzymatic action of thiol-proteases that improves colonic motility, and the action of a substance called actinidin.

If being able to pass stool regularly is a big problem, two to three kiwifruits a day can help, or you could look into reliable dietary supplements where kiwi is also an active ingredient.

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tiredwoman

Lifestyle, poor nutrition, and a bevy of other factors leave the body sorely lacking in vitamins. We may not feel it from the getgo but the body eventually show some signs. From the tiny cracks on the lips to some tingling sensation that we simply disregard, it’s the body’s way of saying that it needs more nutrients. It is important that we become aware of the telltale signs of vitamin deficiency.

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Did you know that there were 382 million people worldwide who had diabetes in 2013? The incidence of type 2 diabetes are said to be increasing in every country.  It was even estimated that this number may even reach up to 592 million by 2035 according to the IDF Diabetes Atlas. So, where do you think is your lifestyle taking you?

The projected numbers are telling us that diabetes is a reality that will be experienced by many if we are not careful. And if you remain lenient about the problem, kidney failure, blindness, and amputation are just few of the bad news in store for you.

Lifestyle changes is the key to avoiding or lessening the blow of the problem. But, nature also provides a wide range of choices when it comes to managing the condition. Herbal supplements are touted to be a good way to regulate sugar levels, maintain a healthy insulin production, and alleviate some damages caused by diabetes.

But, how can these help you? What are the components, and how do they act to improve the condition? Are they safe? What are your precautions when taking herbal supplements? These are the questions every discerning consumer must ask. With the increasing popularity of herbal supplements, it is good to know what you are in for should you decide to include this in your treatment regimen.

Herbal supplements is a type of alternative or complementary medicine that is also known as dietary supplements. But, these should not be considered as a substitute for food or even replace a meal. According to Lyn Baillif, coordinator of Diabetes Education of St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, approximately 22% of people with diabetes are taking herbal supplements.

But you shouldn’t just jump into the badwagon, because it is important that you also know what you are taking. Remember, just because it worked for someone, doesn’t readily mean it will also be effective for you. Knowing the ingredients and what it does will allow you to be more alert about how safe it might be for you.

When it comes to herbal or dietary supplements, the manufacturers don’t have to prove the safety or effectiveness of the supplements. It is only after the products are sold can the FDA perform its regulations. Therefore, it is good to know the important herbal or natural components that can improve or prevent diabetes so that you can make an informed decision.

Components usually found in dietary supplements for diabetes:

Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is a fat soluble antioxidant that is known to reduce the effects of oxidative stress. Studies also show that it lowers insulin resistance in individuals who have type 2 diabetes, and it can also decrease blood sugar levels. However, high levels of ALA in supplements can also cause gastrointestinal problems.

Magnesium

This mineral is often low in most diabetics especially when they are taking drugs for their high blood sugar or diuretic drugs (given for diabetic complications like high blood pressure). When you have very little of this in your system, your body’s ability to use insulin can be affected. But, studies also show that getting more than the recommended amounts don’t provide much benefit either.

To know exactly about the levels inside your body, it is important to ask your doctor about it. It is not advised to take more of it on your own.

Chromium

This is called a trace mineral because only very little amount of this is needed for human health. It is known to improve blood sugar levels in individuals who are in their prediabetic stage and those who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If your chromium levels are low, your can’t use glucose more efficiently.

It is also important to be cautious about chromium supplements because this can cause bloating and stomach pain. Skin and muscular problems have also been reported when in it is overdosed.  The recommended dose ranges from 200-1,000 micrograms in the form of chromium picolinate.

Fish oil supplements

A recent study that was done in the University of Eastern Finland, called the Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, showed that high levels of serum long chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish or fish oils reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. http://www.best-multivitamins-guide.com/articles/omega-3-supplements/ Fish oils supplements can be a good adjunct therapy for diabetes.

Bitter Melon

As the name imply, this vegetable is indeed bitter but it has a number of medicinal uses. Usually, it is pounded until the juices are extracted for the person to drink. There are animal studies which shows that  bitter melon can help in stimulating growth of pancreatic beta cells. These are the cells that are responsible for producing insulin. This can be particularly helpful for those insulin-dependent individuals because these cells are often subjected to burn out, and in time, may no longer produce insulin.

Green Tea

This beverage is much loved for its array of health benefits, one of which is lowering blood sugar levels. Its component, EGCG, is responsible for reducing oxidative stress which is associated with diabetes. It was also found that it slows sugar absorption after a meal, preventing peak levels. Green tea is also known to aid the progression of type 1 diabetes.

Milk Thistle

This is a plant where the upper portion and the seeds are used for medicinal purposes. Its Sylimarin component is known to lower blood sugar levels in individuals who have type 2 diabetes. It also battles the effects of oxidative stress which can ultimately lead to diabetes. There are also studies which suggest that Sylimarin can also help in regulating blood sugar levels. Further, it can improve diabetes by treating insulin resistance.

Banaba extract

It prevents an increase in blood sugar levels. This was proven by a study done in 1996 where significantly reduced blood sugar levesl in participants who are taking the extract for two weeks.

Gymnema

There is a preliminary research done that adding gymnema to diabetes drugs you are taking will help in lowering blood sugar and HbA1c levels for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It has to be taken for 20 months to achieve the desired effect. But, more human trials are still to be conducted on this matter.

What to remember before taking herbal supplements for diabetes:

  • Always inform your physician if you want to take herbal medications. Even though they may be marketed to be safe or natural, they can also create interactions with your anti-diabetic drugs. Some may hamper its effects, while others may even counter it. Therefore, inform your doctor about it so that you can be kept in the clear. This will also create a coordinated treatment regimen.

  • Many supplements are not tested on pregnant mothers, lactating moms, or children. Therefore, extra caution should be given. Do not just drink anything or give your child anything without running this through with your doctor.

  • Herbal supplements can also act similar to prescription medications, therefore you should also take its effects just like the latter. The difference between the two is that herbal supplements may contain a lot of components whose effectiveness and safety have yet to be proven.

  • Select your herbal supplement brand wisely. They may not undergo FDA testing, but there are also brands that test their product independently. These products are more likely to give you the exact components listed on their label. This is your consolation since these matters are not required with food supplements.

  • Never substitute herbal supplements or your anti-diabetic drugs with proper dieting and regular exercise.

So, are herbal supplements a safer alternative for diabetes treatment? There are a number of components that may have been shown to lower blood sugar levels. However, you must take these information with a grain of salt for the fact that more research is needed on herbal supplements. But, there are also brands that also keep their safety and efficacy on top of the list. You just have to scrutinize the ones on the market more so that you give yourself the safest one available. But, still inform your physician about it first.

A reliable herbal supplement for diabetes that has been carefully tested and improved to deliver safe and effective care is Xtend Life Systemic Care. Many brands can promise you a natural treatment, but only a few actually mean it. So never give your health second best, therefore choose the one that proves quality.

Image Source: nlm.nih.gov

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Diabetes is among the top causes of death worldwide and it continues to inflict millions every year. If you are part of the negative statistic, then you very well know the gravity of the battle you are constantly facing. But, what is more unsettling is what this condition can progress into. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to kidney problems, heart diseases, nerve damage, gum disease, amputated limbs and even death.

For those who are affected with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, getting a grip on the problem that has been robbing you from your health, and some delicious foods along the way, can be a sigh of relief. This is what Xtend-Life aims to provide through their product called Systemic Care.

Systemic care is formerly marketed as Diabet-Eze. It contains 31 active ingredients that support and maintain the health of the vital organs that are often affected by diabetes. The company claims that it provides advanced care to aid the body in regenerating the production and secretion of insulin.

The main natural ingredient that is highlighted in the product is its bitter melon and gymnema component. These two are known to control blood glucose levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetics. So, I took it upon myself to see on what these two particularly have that they are touted to be effective in fending off high blood sugar levels.

Bitter melon against diabetes

Bitter melon has long been used as a herbal treatment for a wide range of health problems, which includes type 2 diabetes.  This is due to three active substances that posses anti-diabetic properties. These are charantin, vicine and polypeptide-p.  They can lower blood glucose levels, and polypeptide-p, in particular, acts like insulin. The vegetable also contains lectin, a substance that controls appetite and also reduces blood glucose concentrations.

There are many studies that have been conducted on its efficacy, but they are varied, with some claiming that there is little effect, while others saying that it significantly reduces blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.

Gymnema against diabetes

It is the leaf extract of the gymnema plant that is used for diabetic purposes, and according to studies it is a natural treatment for type 2 diabetes. There are also studies which claim that it can also control type 1 diabetes.

Gymnema acts by lowering the glucose levels that is absorbed by the body from the food an individual eats. This prevents sugar levels from spiking after a meal. In addition to that, the extract can develop more beta cells that produce insulin, and it also makes the other cells in the body more responsive to available insulin.

Other Systemic Care Ingredients against diabetes

Aside from the two main ingredients, the product also contains minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, and herbal components that aid in controlling blood glucose levels.  In addition to that, these ingredients can aid in reducing the risk of diabetes-related diseases that are potentially fatal. These include the following:

  • Calories

  • Niacin

  • Biotin

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Zinc

  • Selenium

  • Copper

  • Manganese

  • Chromium

  • Molybdenum

  • Green tea extract

  • Milk Thistle extract

  • Indian kino tree extract

  • Quercetin

  • Valerian extract

  • Rutin

  • Luteolin

  • Inositol

  • Banaba extract

  • Betain HCL

  • Bromelain

  • Muricetin

  • Alpha Lipoic Acid

  • Amylase

  • Lipase

  • MSM

  • Black cumin extract

  • Piperine

  • Tungsten

Supporting the health of diabetics

The body can really take a beating with diabetes. And if you are not cautious about this, you will only see the compounding effects in which treatment is expected to be more aggressive and expensive. That is why it is best that you face the problem early on, especially since diabetes is a highly controllable disease.

Based on numerous research, the ingredients are trusted to be effective in controlling blood sugar levels and damage from the organs affected. However, the results are not collective, since there are also other studies which claim that the ingredients are not enough to take effect. So, you might easily say that increased doses might do the work, but it is not that easy either. High doses, can also lead to toxicity, which is another serious problem.

Xtend-Life’s response to effectiveness issues

With the reputation that surrounds herbal supplements saying that their efficacy and safety is questionable, Xtend-Life aims to rise above the usual products.  They invest in research and development to ensure that they get the right ingredients and formulation that will provide optimum benefit for the consumers.

One way to ensure that consumers get the most out of their supplements, Xtend-Life uses enteric coating to protect it from getting destroyed by stomach acids prematurely before it even has the chance to do its work.

The brand is confident with the effect that it has in controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining the health of the organs because they are giving consumers a 30-day money back guarantee.

They are also honest about the fact that their claims are not evaluated by the FDA, and it is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease.

Preparation

A bottle contains 180 tablets prepared at 450 mg each. Adults are advised to take 6 tablets everyday and divide these into two doses. The first one should be taken in the morning, while the other is best taken in mid to late afternoon. To ensure that the potency is preserved, the bottle should be stored in a cool and dry place.

Considering the number of tablets that has to be taken daily, it may seem too many and rather expensive in the long run. Others lower their doses to 4 tablets a day instead of six, after two to three months of taking full doses. With this, they are still able to experience improved results in their blood glucose levels.

Final Verdict

Xtend-Life offers promising results, especially with the efforts they put into creating a quality product that actually delivers what they promise to provide. Seeing the list of ingredients, they not only rely solely on herbal supplements, but on other important elements as well. This is the only herbal product I learned by far that is concerned about providing the optimum levels of the nutrients needed to combat increased glucose levels and its damaging effects. Indeed, there is a systemic care in Xtend-Life’s Systemic Care.

But, you should always be cautious when using this herbal supplement, or any similar product for that matter. It has the potential to interact with prescription medications which you are already taking, therefore, always inform you doctor about these matters so he can advise you accordingly.

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When searching for that one multivitamin supplement you can trust for the health of your little one, you can get lost in a sea of products basically promising the same thing. How you just wish some northern star would materialize somewhere guiding you to the one that can really deliver.

I understand that when it comes to the health of your child, it is no eenie meenie miny mo decision. So here are tips that can put you on the right track.

  1. Go for multivitamin and multi-mineral supplements

Not only should a supplement contain a range of vitamins but minerals as well. Each mineral have their own benefits, but it is also important that they get a complete array to promote optimum nutrition for proper growth and development. From the bone strengthening effects of calcium, to the brain boosting power of zinc, your child can get overall development -which frankly- some supplements lack.

  1. Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids (EFA) have become a staple in adult multivitamin supplements but you don’t often hear these nutrients marketed in children’s products. But did you know that they contain heaps of benefits for your little one? According to Dr. David C. Leopold in an article for WebMD, “Pretty much everybody’s diet is deficient in Omega-3s.”

Omega-3 is just one of the string of essential fatty acids, which is hailed for its numerous benefits. Dr. Leopold points out several evidence-based data as to why this particular EFA is important in a child’s development. Even in the womb babies can benefit from omega-3 fatty acids which is why some doctors even advise pregnant moms to take this. Studies show that it promotes better hand-eye coordination, social skills, attention span and IQ scores. Another research also showed that it lessens the risk for asthma in teenagers.

  1. Probiotics and Prebiotics

This may not be always seen in most multivitamins, but they are definitely a plus for those products that have it. Probiotics are actually supplements or foods that contain the good bacteria called lactobacillus. Not all bacteria are bad, and this one in particular can aid in correcting the bacterial balance in the body, more precisely in the gut. Its benefit lies in the fact that it prevents infection by stopping bad bacteria from taking over, which is the usual cause for diarrheal diseases.

Prebiotics on the other hand promote probiotics. Therefore their marriage creates a strong fortress in your child’s tummy preventing bouts of diarrhea, especially at a time when your little one is taking everything he touches to his mouth.

  1. Avoid products that are heavily laden with sugar

Do you still have those memories where your mom would force you to down a spoonful of multivitamin syrup? All you could think of was that it was an “eeky” ritual that you have to go through everyday in the name of good health. That is why manufacturers thought to make it easier for the parents to coax their child into taking their vitamins, and of course, to make it more enjoyable for the little one. Hence, the gummy multivitamins!

This may seem like genious, but it can be detrimental in the long run. Most of these child supplements contain so many sugars, high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes, artificial flavors, and even some allergens. It may be tempting to buy those cute little gummy vitamins since they just make a part of everyday life a bit easier, but this are actually doing more harm than good.

Some people even commented that this is already pushing the children into that mindset that healthy should be always tasty, fun or sweet. This can leave them to simply hate bland but highly nutritious veggies.

  1. Prefer supplements that have more natural content

The thing with supplements that are marketed to be “natural” or “all natural” can sometimes be no more than just plain marketing tactics. That is why parents have to be vigilant because most of these are simply laden with a bunch of synthetic ingredients. You can learn how to spot reliable multivitamin supplement brands here.

  1. Always ask your pediatrician

But don’t take our word for it. You see, it is always best to consult your pediatrician especially if you are deeply concerned of your child’s health, but more importantly if they are diagnosed to have some deficiencies. Children with certain conditions ought to be referred to professional medical help so that they get the proper management for their diet and supplements.

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