According to Healthline, folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin used in different supplements and foods that have been fortified. The naturally occurring form is called folate, while the synthetic form of this is called folic acid. This vitamin exits the body quickly and needs to be replenished daily, especially if you take medications that deplete this vitamin from the body. Your body converts the folic acid back to the active form of folate for your body to use, but some people have a genetic inability to activate this nutrient when it is consumed. This issue causes high homocysteine levels in the body, which is not ideal for your overall health and wellness. Folate also plays a vital role in cardiovascular disease. Folate, Coenzyme Q10, and many other B vitamins protect your heart; if you run out of these nutrients, your heart struggles.
Blood tests allow you to see your current levels - you want them below seven micromoles per liter of blood. Levels above thirteen give way to high-risk circumstances for heart attack, stroke, inflammation, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, autoimmune disorders, pain, cervical and uterine, and cancer. (*confirmed by a 2009 study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention)
Folate is necessary for the body's detoxification process, which is referred to as methylation. The methylation process involves deactivating and clearing toxins from the body. Low folate levels mean more toxins in the body. DNA methylations slow down about 1700 cancer-promoting genes. Your body must methylate, but some are not able to because of their genetic makeup. These people need extra folate in the 5-TMHF form, which is available at our pharmacy.
Here are some great sources of this nutrient:
Folate deficiency can also cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), depression, irritability, pale skin, megaloblastic anemia, low energy, confusion, forgetfulness, and diarrhea. Folate also plays an essential role in cardiovascular disease. Folate, Coenzyme Q10, and many other B vitamins protect your heart. Suppose you run out of these nutrients, your heart will struggle. Freedom Pharmacy puts unique stickers on the bottles of medications, indicating the need for supplementation. We know the importance of correcting drug-induced nutrient depletions to keep disease states from getting worse or others from occurring.
Medications that can deplete this nutrient:
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which also goes by the name cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is imperative to our health and serves a diversity of roles in the body, including:
What are some sources of Vitamin B12?
Our bodies do not make vitamin B12. Instead, we must get this nutrient from food sources or supplements. Unfortunately, this attributes to the fact that many are not getting enough of this nutrient, which leads to vitamin B12 deficiencies.
Animal foods, such as grass-fed beef, fish, dairy products, cage-free eggs, and poultry, contain naturally occurring vitamin B12. Some other sources of this vitamin come from foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. These include plant-based milks and different types of bread. We suggest reading nutrition labels to check if your food has been fortified with vitamin B12.
Who is at risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency?
According to health professionals, there are many ways in which a vitamin B12 deficiency originates. Those who are most at risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency include:
Aside from Metformin, what other medications affect the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12?
Certain heartburn medications:
What are some signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Warning signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency may take months or even years to appear, making the diagnosis process even more difficult. Some significant signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include:
If you, a family member, or a friend are experiencing signs and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency, please consult with your healthcare provider. Freedom Pharmacy has a dedicated team ready to assist you with your health and wellness journey. Our pharmacists are prepared to suggest daily lifestyle changes, supplements, and more for you to start feeling like your best self! Stop by today to talk with a pharmacist about creating a healthier lifestyle plan personalized just for you. We are conveniently located at Midtown in Hattiesburg at 3902 Hardy Street.
Smith, M. W. (2021, May 3). Vitamin b12 deficiency: Causes, symptoms, and treatment. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#1.
West, H. (2017, October 7). 9 signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms#Supplements-101:-Vitamin-B12.
According to worldhepatitisday.org, World Hepatitis Day occurs each on July 28 to bring global recognition to hepatitis. The campaign does so by uniting the world under one theme, with the theme this year being ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait.’ This global day of recognition brings awareness to the disease, the importance of knowing your hepatitis status, prevention, and treatment options. This might be a serious topic of conversation for the day, but it is also a day to celebrate the progress that has been made surrounding the disease over the last few decades.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease located in the liver. There are different originations of the disease as well as different types. While a viral infection most commonly prompts hepatitis, there are other causes. Altogether, there are five different types of viral hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B, C D, and E. Noninfectious hepatitis can be caused by either autoimmune responses or toxins such as certain medications, drugs, and alcohol.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis?
Symptoms may not occur at first in more chronic forms of hepatitis such as B and C. These symptoms may also be more subtle in more chronic states. Contrarily, the symptoms of acute hepatitis develop quickly and can include:
How is it diagnosed?
Your health history is taken into account, as well as a physical exam done by your healthcare provider. Slightly pressing on your abdomen is another way your healthcare provider observes any underlying physical symptoms. Some other tests involved in the physical examination include observing the color of your eyes and seeing if the liver is enlarged. From there, your doctor will determine if a liver test, blood test, liver biopsy, or ultrasound are necessary.
Treatment options are dependent on the type of hepatitis you possess and whether it is acute or chronic. It is important to note that hepatitis can’t wait, so speak up if you feel as though you need to be tested. Consult with your physician if you notice any of these symptoms in your health.
Source: Kahn, A. (2017, May 9). Hepatitis: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis.
When it comes to our diet, we tend to focus so much of our time and efforts on staying away from certain foods that we end up depriving our bodies of the essential nutrients we should be receiving according to dietary guidelines. Instead of focusing on staying away from fats, sugars, etc., shift your focus to essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
Current U.S. Dietary Guidelines explain that most Americans are not receiving sufficient amounts of seven different vital nutrients present in food. These include:
While it is common for most to fill those nutrient gaps with supplements immediately, there are healthier (and more cost-effective) ways to achieve this before rushing to do so. Making adjustments to your daily diet can provide you with all the nutrients you require to live a healthy life.
Calcium assists your body’s muscle function and supports maintaining healthy teeth, strong bones, and a normal heart rhythm. The amount of calcium needed is contingent upon your age. For adults who are 18-50 years old, 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day is recommended. For adults over the age of 50, it is recommended to get 1,200 milligrams per day. These guidelines can change in the case of osteoporosis, upon which you should consult with your doctor.
Some great sources of calcium include:
Another source of calcium includes some fortified foods such as orange juice, soy milk, and breakfast cereals.
*Note: Make sure that you are also getting adequate magnesium, vitamin K, and vitamin D along with calcium, or else it will not get adequately absorbed, which can potentially cause kidney problems and/or hardening of the arteries.
Potassium is crucial for supporting healthy blood pressure, fluid balance, and nerve and muscle function. Potassium is easily found in several foods, but the problem here lies in the fact that most people are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that adults get 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day.
Here are some excellent sources of potassium:
Contrary to popular belief, fiber isn’t just for those who are older. It is imperative at all ages. Fiber is commonly known for supporting intestinal health, but it also serves many other roles, such as protection against heart disease, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
The recommended amount of fiber varies based on age and sex:
What are some good sources of this nutrient?
Magnesium is a nutrient that assists the body in several processes such as strengthening bones, heart function, immune health, nervous system regulation, and heart function.
Recommendations for magnesium are as follows:
What foods are great sources of magnesium?
Vitamin A is vital to our health by supporting our vision, immunity, and tissue growth. Men should be getting around 900 micrograms per day, while women should be getting around 700 micrograms per day.
There are two types of vitamin A: retinol and carotenoids. Carotenoids are commonly lacking in American diets, and while there are no set recommendations on daily intake, you should aim to eat foods with this nutrient each day.
Great sources of carotenoids:
Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to boost our immune systems, but did you know this nutrient also plays a vital role in cell damage prevention and collagen production? Adult men should be getting around 90 milligrams of vitamin C per day, while women should be getting around 75 milligrams.
A few sources of vitamin C include:
Vitamin E is a highly effective antioxidant that aids the body in protecting cells from damage. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t receiving enough of this nutrient because it is frequently found in foods with high-fat contents such as nuts, seeds, and oils.
Before consuming foods with this nutrient, remember that diets low in fat are great for overall health and wellness, so eat foods with this nutrient in moderation.
What are some excellent sources of vitamin E?
Please remember that if you cannot tolerate some of these food groups (for example, dairy) or do not like any green foods, you probably need to supplement specific vitamins and minerals. This is especially true if you are taking medications that deplete these from your body. As always, consult with your healthcare providers before making lifestyle changes. Stop by the pharmacy today to talk with a pharmacist about setting up a Healthy You Partnership plan so you can take control of your overall health and wellness!
Griffin, R. M. (2009, May 12). Missing Nutrients in the Traditional American Diet. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/missing-nutrients-in-your-food?print=true.
Incorporating vitamins and supplements into our everyday routines can be a great way to support our overall health and wellness. Taking these vitamins and supplements will boost the vitamins we already receive naturally through the foods we consume and the sunlight we get from being outside. It is essential to know what types of vitamins you are incorporating so that you can properly take them, which allows for better absorption in the body. Different types of vitamins are absorbed at varying rates and have additional requirements for effective absorption.
Vitamins can generally be categorized into two types: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
Water-soluble vitamins are those that require water to be absorbed into the body. These vitamins dissolve in water and immediately absorb into tissues, so they are ready quickly ready for use. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, and therefore, need to be replenished quite often. Keep in mind that too much of a good thing can become toxic to your body, including excess water-soluble vitamins. While it is essential to make sure you are getting enough of these vitamins, it’s also vital to note that taking these vitamins in excess can cause health problems. For example, ingesting too much vitamin C can result in diarrhea.
Water-soluble vitamins include B-complex vitamins and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The B-complex group includes:
Fat-soluble vitamins are those that require fat to be dissolved and later absorbed into the body. These vitamins are absorbed by fat globules that migrate through the small intestines and then enter the body through the bloodstream. While water-soluble vitamins are readily distributed throughout the body, fat-soluble vitamins are stored away in the liver and fatty tissues for use in the future. Ensure you are taking these vitamins with foods containing fat, like whole or skim milk yogurt. Please note that ingesting too much of these types of supplements can cause health problems and toxicity in the body.
Fat-soluble vitamins include four different types of vitamins:
Always remember to consult with your healthcare providers before including new vitamins and supplements in your diet. Not sure if you should be incorporating specific vitamins and supplements into your routine? Call to schedule a consultation with one of our pharmacists today at 601-450-6979!
Alma, L. (2020, January 6). What Is the Difference Between Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble Vitamins? Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/fat-vs-water-soluble-998218.
Do you have a specific time set to take your vitamins during the day or do you take them whenever you remember? Have you ever been curious as to when the best time is to take your vitamins?
Vitamins are an excellent way to assist with your health and wellness, but if they are not taken correctly, your body cannot completely absorb them, and in turn, cannot fully reap the benefits. While many of us are under the impression that we should be taking our vitamins at certain times throughout the day, doctors suggest syncing your supplement intake with your daily schedule for optimal results. The effectiveness of your vitamins depends largely on your eating and drinking schedule, if the vitamin is fat soluble or water soluble, and the type of vitamin.
Multivitamins include a mix of both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, so it is recommended to take these with food and water. Make sure you are taking your multivitamins on a full stomach rather than just washing them down with a glass of water in order to avoid a potentially upset stomach.
B Vitamins and Vitamin C
Both vitamin C and B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins, which means they need to be taken with water in order to be properly absorbed. Vitamin B12 is known for its energizing properties, so it is best to take this in the morning in order to avoid interference with your sleep schedule.
Vitamin D and Other Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins, which means that they require fat in order to be fully absorbed. In order for your body to fully absorb all the nutrient-dense benefits, take these vitamins with a small amount of food that contain fat, such as low or whole-fat yogurts.
Folic acid and prenatal vitamins are essential for healthy pregnancies. Not incorporating enough folic acid into your routine could lead to potential neural tube defects. Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, so it should be taken with a glass of water on an empty stomach. Prenatal vitamins should be taken with both food and water in order to be effective. Doctors suggest taking these around breakfast or lunch to avoid acid reflux, upset stomach, and heartburn.
While calcium has been considered a vitamin by many, it is truly a mineral. The majority of people receive enough calcium from the foods they eat, but some might need to supplement their calcium intake, such as those with postmenopause or those who just aren’t taking in enough calcium-rich foods. There are two types of calcium supplements, calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. In order to experience the benefits of calcium, it must be taken correctly. Take calcium carbonate with a meal so it can be properly absorbed by the body. Calcium citrate can be taken with or without a meal, as it does not need acid in the stomach to be absorbed like calcium carbonate does. *Please note that K2, D3, and Magnesium are also necessary for Calcium to make it into the bones.
Multivitamins can be a great way to supplement nutritional needs and improve health and wellness, however, it is important to note that before you start incorporating multivitamins, vitamins, and other supplements into your health and wellness routine, you should consult with your healthcare provider(s). Contrary to popular belief, not everyone needs to be taking multivitamins or certain supplements. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making lifestyle changes such as these.
Cleveland Clinic. (2021, April 26). The Best Time to Take Vitamins. Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-best-time-to-take-vitamins
Testosterone plays several important roles in the human body, among them are reducing excess body fat, helps maintain memory, increases muscle mass and strength, increases muscle tone, increases sense of emotional well-being and self-confidence, and increases libido.
The lifestyle and health conditions that contribute to a decrease in male free testosterone levels are:
Symptoms of male testosterone deficiency include anxiety, decline in muscle tone, decreased HDL (good cholesterol), decreased sex drive, droopy eyelids, dry skin with reduced elasticity, dry and thinning hair, fatigue, low self-esteem, mild depression, muscle wasting, saggy cheeks, thin lips and weight gain, especially around the belly.
While some physicians may recommend testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), that option doesn't come without several potential harmful side effects such as acne, fluid retention, breast enlargement, increase risk of blood clots, prostate stimulation, worsening of sleep apnea, decreased testicular size, increased aggression, mood swings and may increase risk of heart attack and stroke. With those risks in mind, there are some natural ways you can increase testosterone without the use of TRT.
If you have questions about potential drug interactions of supplements with your existing daily medications, consult with one of our pharmacists. Simple blood tests can reveal vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can contribute to low testosterone levels. As always, please consult with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.
National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was founded by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Observed every April, NDLM encourages Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. It also honors people who’ve saved lives by donating life-saving organs. What’s more, it’s a perfect time to honor the actual organ recipients, their families, caregivers and clinical teams as well, because everyone working together makes a difference.
There are many reasons why organ, eye and tissue donations are so vitally important and have such life-changing impacts, not the least of which are:
When you sign up on a donation registry, you’re added to a national system that ultimately matches available donor organs with people on a waiting list. A new person is added to the list every 10 minutes, and 22 people die each day awaiting a transplant that never comes.
In addition to the national Donate Life America organization, here at home Donate Life Mississippi is a partnership of Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Mid-South Transplant Foundation, Mississippi Lions Eye Bank and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS). Its mission is to promote the need for organ, eye and tissue donations in our state. It does this by educating Mississippi residents on the growing need for registered donors so that they can make an educated decision about donating when asked by a DPS examiner if they wish to be a registered donor and to have this designation indicated on their driver’s license.
NDLM has traditionally featured in-person events. In light of the impact COVID-19 has had on most in-person gatherings, however, Donate Life America is encouraging an online-only approach to this year’s observances. Here are some ways you can do so.
Sources and More Info:
#NationalDonateLifeMonth #DonateLife #ShowYourHeart #DonateLifeMississippi
March is National Sleep Awareness Month. We wanted to take the opportunity to talk about some important things that you may not know about sleep.
1. Lack of sleep increases the risk of Alzheimer's: Sleep plays a major role in cleaning out toxins in the brain and throughout the body. The system that removes toxins is 10 times more active when the body is sleeping than when it is awake. Sleep deprivation is believed to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, because the body has been denied the opportunity to remove the amount of toxins necessary. As these toxins accumulate, diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia can develop.
2. Sleep deprivation is more dangerous for women: Women and men face different challenges when it comes to health; for sleep, it is no different. A recent study from Duke University found that sleep deprivation has a greater impact on the health of women. While men are more likely to be impacted by sleep deprivation, women appear to suffer more consequences. Women who suffer from sleep deprivation are at higher risk of cardiovascular and diabetes than their male counterparts, according to the researchers. They speculated that the difference in naturally occurring hormone levels in men and women could be the reason but said more research is needed.
3. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system: While you sleep, your immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances like antibodies and cytokines. It uses these substances to combat foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Certain cytokines also help you to sleep, giving your immune system more efficiency to defend your body against illness. Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building up its forces. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fend off invaders, and it may also take you longer to recover from illness. Long-term sleep deprivation also increases your risk for chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
As you can see, it is vital to your health to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Here are a few tips on how to improve your sleep
Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis can help you to feel well rested, refreshed and avoid fatigue. The number of hours of sleep that a person requires varies but is usually between 7-10 hours. Here are some of the health benefits of getting enough regular, quality sleep.
We carry top-quality herbal, mineral and nutritional supplements that may help you improve your sleep. Learn more and to order, visit https://shop.freedompharmacyms.com/collections/sleep-support.
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