What Can Vitamin C Do For Me?

Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and repair of tissues in the body; it forms an important protein to make skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.  It helps form scar tissue, heal wounds, and repair/maintain bones, teeth and cartilage.   Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that assists to block damage caused by free radicals.  Free radicals are formed from exposure to radiation or tobacco smoke, and when your body breaks down food.  They are thought to play a role in heart disease, cancer and arthritis and are responsible for the majority of the aging process.

Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, left over amounts are excreted from the body.  Thus, a continuous dietary supply is needed.  Dietary sources include:  citrus fruits, mango, kiwi fruit, pineapple, watermelon, berries, broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and tomatoes.  The best sources are uncooked/raw fruits and vegetables.  Side effects from too much vitamin C are rare, but doses greater than 2000 milligrams a day may lead to diarrhea and stomach upset.  Vitamin C deficiency may lead to anemia, easy bruising, dry skin, decreased ability to fight infection, and nosebleeds.  According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition, and offers comprehensive vitamin testing to her patients.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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How Can Magnesium Help Me?

Magnesium is a very important mineral needed for a normal, healthy metabolism.  It is an essential mineral that is necessary for numerous functions within the body.  It helps reduce immune reactions and malabsorption related to celiac disease.  Magnesium is a component of mineralized bone, it works together with calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones and teeth strong, and also promotes proper muscular development.  It supports normal functioning of muscle and nervous tissue, and is required for release of energy.  It also helps the body handle stress.   Individuals suffering from headaches and/or insomnia have reported reduction of symptoms with magnesium use.  Last, but not least, magnesium promotes cardiovascular health by facilitating normal platelet activity and helping to regulate cholesterol levels.

Magnesium is found in the following foods:  dark leafy green vegetables, bananas, avocados, nuts, soy products, whole grains, and beans.  Adult females should consume between 310-320 mg daily and adult males should consume between 400-420 mg daily.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition, and offers comprehensive vitamin testing to her patients.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Can Vitamin E Help Protect Against Obesity Health Effects?

A recent study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has found that vitamin E may help alleviate symptoms of obesity dependent liver disease.  Approximately 63 million Americans are at risk for developing obesity-related liver disease.  During the study mice with nonalcoholic  steatohepatitis (NASH) responded favorably to vitamin E supplementation.  NASH is a common complication of obesity that causes fat accumulation, inflammation and oxidative stress in the liver.  It is a major cause of cirrhosis (liver tissue scarring) that can lead to liver failure and cancer.  The vitamin E supplementation averted the majority of NASH-related symptoms in the mice during the study, proving that simple dietary changes may benefit at risk individuals.

The majority of American adults do not consume the recommended amount of vitamin E as established by the National Institute of Medicine.  The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E for adults is 15 milligrams daily.  Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, leafy greens and fortified breakfast cereals are all excellent sources of vitamin E.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Natural Help For Weight Loss

According to the National Institutes of Health, 78 million Americans are considered obese.  Obesity has been linked to a number of health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.  Your weight is linked to a number of factors – genetics, your metabolism, your environment and your lifestyle choices.  Obesity does not happen overnight; it happens over time.   If the energy taken in by eating is not balanced with the energy burned from exercise, weight gain occurs.

A number of vitamins and minerals have been shown to be beneficial to help with weight loss.  Zinc helps regulate hormones that control appetite.  Vitamins D and K are essential for carbohydrate and sugar metabolism respectively.  Vitamins E, A, and calcium reduce the size of fat cells, as well as inhibit their formation.   Niacin and chromium both assist the body with building lean muscle mass.  Magnesium, biotin, glutamine and lipoic acid all improve glucose uptake into the muscles – which reduces fat mass and increases lean muscle mass.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Natural Treatment For Post-Menopausal Bone Loss

Many women suffer from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, decreased libido, and vaginal dryness. If you are post-menopausal, you may also be at greater risk for developing osteopenia and osteoporosis. Osteopenia and osteoporosis are diagnosed with a special type of x-ray called a bone mineral density scan There are no symptoms in the early stages of osteopenia and osteoporosis. However, with a large amount of bone loss, you may notice pain and loss of height due to broken bones. To reduce your risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis you should: consume 1500mg of calcium and 800mg of vitamin D daily, limit alcohol use, do not use tobacco products, and do daily weight bearing exercise.

Fosteum is a vegetable based medical food product approved by the FDA for “dietary management of the metabolic processes of osteopenia and osteoporosis.” It is a blend of genistein aglycone, citrated zinc bisglycinate and cholecalciferol (vitamin D 3). Fosteum is given under physician supervision. It is indicated when diet and calcium plus vitamin D supplements are not enough, but prescription medications are not yet needed. Dosage is one tablet twice a day. The most common side effect of Fosteum use is minor upset stomach with nausea. Fosteum has also been shown in clinical trials to significantly reduce menopausal hot flushes.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Which Vitamins and Minerals Can Help Depressive Symptoms

Depression affects how you feel, think and behave.  It is a medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness.  Other symptoms include:  irritability, insomnia or excessive sleeping, appetite changes, restlessness, trouble concentrating, crying spells and unexplained physical problems.  The exact cause of depression is not known.  However, it is thought that a variety of factors including:  biological differences in the brain, neurotransmitters, inherited traits, and hormones may play a role in the development of depressive symptoms.  Your physician can help you determine the right treatment to help with your depression.  They may recommend medication and/or counseling.  It is important that you share all of your concerns with your healthcare provider as untreated depression may result in emotional, health and behavioral problems that affect daily life.

How can vitamins and minerals help depressive symptoms?  Magnesium helps regulate mood.  Zinc and serine both regulate neurotransmitter function.  Antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E, Co Q10, and lipoic acid) help protect neurotransmitter functions from oxidative stress.  Deficiencies of the B complex vitamins (biotin, B2, B6, and B12) have been linked to depression.  Vitamin D acts as a hormone precursor – and thus may improve symptoms of depression.  Finally, chromium elevates serotonin levels    with in the brain (serotonin is our feel good hormone).  Chromium also affects blood sugar regulation, and thus may alleviate the depressive symptom of carbohydrate craving.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Dr. Hermann is also board certified in in nutrition.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Natural Treatments for Insomnia

Insomnia is a disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both.  How much sleep is needed per night varies from person to person, but most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep nightly.   Causes of insomnia can include:  stress, anxiety, depression, certain medications or medial conditions, changes in environment or work schedule, and caffeine, nicotine or alcohol use.  Your doctor may recommend blood work to check for medical conditions which may cause insomnia.  If the cause of your insomnia is not clear, or if you have signs of other conditions such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, your physician may order a sleep study.

How can vitamins and minerals help insomnia sufferers?  Niacin (vitamin B3) increases REM sleep and improves the quality and quantity of sleep.  Vitamin B12 helps to normalize the sleep-wake cycle.  Folate and vitamin B6 help with the regulation of sleep patterns.  Optimal vitamin A levels are needed to regulate non-REM sleep and improve restfulness.  Oleic acid (a fatty acid) helps regulate our drive for sleep; it also facilitates vitamin A absorption.  Magnesium promotes better quality sleep and helps alleviate symptoms of restless leg syndrome.  Finally, optimal levels of zinc and copper help regulate sleep duration.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, is pleased to offer comprehensive insomnia evaluation and treatment management options to her patients.  Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition.  Dr. Hermann maintains offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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Preventative Migraine Treatment

Migraine headaches can cause pulsing and throbbing pain in one side of the head.  They are commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.  The exact cause of migraine headaches is unknown, but they may be caused by changes in the brainstem and trigeminal nerve.  Imbalances in the brain chemical serotonin may also play a role, as does a family history of migraine attacks.   If you think you suffer from migraine headaches, your physician will perform a neurological exam and may order tests including an MRI and blood work.  There are prescription medications that can be prescribed to both prevent migraines and help stop them once they begin.

There are also various non-pharmacologic agents that are beneficial for migraine prevention. According to the American Academy of Neurology, Butterbur root (a perennial shrub), effectively prevents migraines.  It is marketed as a food supplement in the United States, and is generally well tolerated at a dose of 50mg daily (in two divided doses).  The most common side-effect during use is gastrointestinal upset, primarily burping.  Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) aid in mitochondrial energy metabolism; their use has been shown in studies to lessen the frequency of migraine attacks.   Vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B12, calcium and magnesium may also aid in migraine prevention.

Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, maintains offices in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida.   Dr. Hermann is also board certified in nutrition.  Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.