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Tidbits of information...

After reviewing studies published between 1966 and 2002 that examined the links between vitamin intake and disease, Harvard Researchers concluded that everyone needs a daily multivitamin regardless of age or health. Their findings, published in two recent articles published in a June issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, reviewed, for example, research showing that when pregnant women take folic acid supplements, their babies have lower risks of birth defects. Others who take the vitamin have a lower incidence of certain cancers and heart disease, and birth defects in pregnant women. The authors noted that a daily multivitamin is of particular importance for the elderly or those following restrictive diets, but said that even individuals who eat a normal diet may not be obtaining the recommended daily intake of certain vitamins. And they found that most Americans do not even consume the minimum recommendation of five fruits and vegetable servings per day, which are important sources of several essential vitamins including C and folate. Because of the link between low vitamin intake and a variety of health conditions, the Harvard researchers concluded that everyone should take a daily multivitamin.

  • If you're taking corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs - perhaps for treatment of an autoimmune disease or to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ - avoid long term use of reishi, maitake and astragalus.  You also could run into problems combining St. John's Wort with antidepressants, birth control pills, immune suppressing medications and theophyllines (bronchodilators used to treat asthma).

Trying to boost your fiber intake? Eat more fruits (especially berries), vegetables (especially beans) and whole grains.  Fiber helps to clean your colon and bowels and aids in the elimination of consumed fats (fats present in the digestive system but not yet absorbed) which, in turn, helps to eliminate toxins in your system. 

  • Raw hazelnuts contain paclitaxel, a potent cancer fighter also found in yew tree bark, which is the source of the anti-cancer drug Taxol.

Research from Boston University indicates that drinking tea can help protect against heart attacks and certain types of cancer.  The latest study found that tea containing flavonoids (also called polyphenols) - disease-fighting antioxidant compounds also found in red wine, purple grape juice and onions - may improve the function of the inner lining of the artery walls.  This could lead to the formation of fewer blood clots, which are a major cause of heart disease and stroke.  Polyphonels from black tea were found to destroy colon cancer cells.  In another study, mice that were fed green tea had a lower risk of breast tumours compared to those who were fed only water.

Useful Sites:
* Dieticians of Canada - excellent nutrition site with recipes, eating habit assessment
* Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor - an informative, interactive site which bases its recommendations on information you provide about your health and lifestyle.  The site recommends "Dr. Weil's" vitamin packs but you have the option of looking at the ingredients/components to see the recommended daily amounts.
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada - information on heart disease, stroke and healthy living

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