Pharmics Nutrition Blog
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Feeling Drained? Reach for iron supplements, not sports drinks
The surging popularity of energy and sports drinks is rapidly approaching health crisis levels. Young people especially love the jolt of energy that comes from these sugary stimulants, but the risk to their health is both alarming and well-documented. Without even considering the effects of caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone and alkaloids, just the sugar content alone can be seriously damaging to your health. The 150-200 calories found in a can of soda may not sound like much on their own, but people that drink one soda per day typically gain 10-15 pounds per year. That weight can often be lost by doing nothing more than cutting out soda. How many of us find ourselves feeling like we need that coffee, soda or Red Bull to get through the afternoon? There is a better way.

If you find yourself feeling drained and tired regularly, it’s easy to fall into an unhealthy cycle of sugar rushes and crashes. Instead of using these quick fixes that have been linked to obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, consider your other options. One of the symptoms of iron deficiency is a consistent feeling of low energy. If you think low iron may be contributing to your lack of energy each day, consult a doctor and ask for your iron level to be checked and consider a diet rich in bioavailable iron compounds. Iron supplements may also help make up for any dietary deficiencies.

One of the simplest ways an expecting mother can help her baby: prenatal vitamins
Nothing is more exciting than the anticipation of a baby on the way.  The list of things to do to prepare for a baby’s arrival is long, and expecting parents want to do all they can to welcome their new little one into a family.  While painting a nursery, buying baby items, and picking a name are all important steps in preparing for a baby, one of the most important steps in getting ready for the new arrival is taking a prenatal vitamin.
One of the best things we can do to prepare for our unborn children is provide them with the prenatal nutrition they need to grow big and strong before they ever even leave the womb.  Prenatal vitamins may provide nourishment for both the mother and infant and also play an important role during the breastfeeding process and recovery following birth.

Prenatal vitamins have numerous benefits, yet they are one of the simplest things an expectant mother can do during her pregnancy.  Better yet, start prenatal vitamins while trying to conceive and you can take comfort in knowing that you and your baby may be getting the best nutrients possible from the very start.  So just remember, before heading out the door to birthing class, or before sitting down to read another parenting book, take a prenatal vitamin and know you are already giving your baby the very best.

How does iron deficiency impact your workout?
For those who love a good workout, nothing is worse than getting all ready and starting your exercise routine for the day only to find that you feel fatigued and don’t have the energy to finish what you started.  If you find yourself losing interest in your favorite exercises and physical activities, and can tell your endurance is suffering, you may want to find out if you are low on iron.  Low iron levels during exercise may result in loss of stamina, fatigue, recurring injuries, decrease in appetite, and an often times can put you in a bad mood.  For some athletes, low iron levels can derail training for a big event. For others it may impact performance while playing a team sport. For many people, low iron just keeps them from engaging in their daily fitness routine that they have become accustomed to.

Iron deficiency does not just happen in a day.  It is the build-up of nutritional deficit over an extended period of time and this condition can be exacerbated by intense physical activity and exercise.  If you are starting to feel the effects of low iron, it may be hard to make up the difference with diet alone.  If you are experiencing symptoms and find out that your levels are low and need a boost, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider and find out if iron supplements are the answer for you.  You may be back at Cross-Fit or finishing your first triathlon before you know it.

Iron Supplementation May Help Children with ADHD - check with your physician
Iron supplementation may be considered a first-line treatment for children with ADHD and Iron Deficiency.

Studies indicates that adding iron therapy may decrease the need for psychostimulants and may improve central dopaminergic activity.

Children with ADHD are found to have abnormally low ferritin levels compared to children without ADHD. The Children that were most impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive where also the ones that had severe iron deficiencies. 30% of ADHD severity may be due to low iron stores.

When iron supplementation is needed choose Ferretts Iron Supplements. Better Tolerated for Better Results. 

Check with your Physician or healthcare provider before taking any iron supplements or administering an iron supplement to any child.

The Effects of Iron Supplementation and ADHD in Infants and Toddlers
Having a low birth weight (LBW) baby can be a scary experience. The thoughts of your precious newborn having possible health issues due to an early delivery and/or low birth weight can weigh on your mind. Many studies have been done on pre-term infants and low birth weight infants to see if it could be linked to delayed learning, cognitive development, and many other issues.
A study you might find interesting was done on 285 LBW infants that weighed between 4.4 to 5.5 lbs.  Typically, babies that are LBW will be iron deficient. The study was performed to show if LBW infants who receive iron supplementation will have a lower risk of developing ADHD or other behavioral issues later on in life.

During the study the group of LBW infants were given iron supplements of 0, 1, or 2 mg/kg each day from 6 weeks to 6 months of age.  When the children were 3.5 years old, along with 95 infants of normal birth weight (control group), were given a psychometric test and a questionnaire on behavioral problems.  Scientists discovered there was no notable differences in IQ, but there were differences with behavioral issues, including ADHD.

It was discovered that 12.7% of LBW babies that were given no iron supplements displayed signs of behavioral issues, compared to the 2.9% of kids in the 1-mg group, 2.7% in the 2-mg group, and 3.2% in the control group. 

Iron supplementation if found to be very important in an infant’s continued development even after birth.  A great iron supplement for your baby would be Pharmics’ Ferretts IPS, it is non constipating, gentle, well absorbed and is a much better choice than ferrous sulfate.  Choosing the best for your baby is important so do your research and take comfort in knowing that Pharmics is there to provide the very best.  

Taking multivitamins is vital for improved health in both mind and body.

Many people are improving their lifestyle with the goal of getting more healthy and feeling better.  While a balanced diet and regular exercise are certainly critical components of becoming more healthy there are other aspects being overlooked.

One of the most ignored aspect to improving health is taking a multivitamin regularly.  Most people assume that taking vitamins is only done with the purpose of fixing a problem.  This might be true in many circumstances, but multivitamins are certainly an exception.  When taken regularly they will actually work at improving overall health by ensuring the body is balanced.  Basically they work to fill-in any voids a body might have and can produce many different benefits.

One of the biggest benefits multivitamins produce is helping to maintain a healthy weight by setting a metabolic rate.  Some of the other improvements commonly scene are improved immunity and energy as well as a boost in energy.

While the benefits are common regardless of who is taking the multivitamins, they have different formulas that need to be catered for each person.  Specifically they are adjusted based on gender which makes them even more effective.  For women it improves their reproduction system and creates healthier pregnancies.  Similarly, it helps men’s reproduction system to remain healthy and strong.

Don't let the holidays take a toll on your body.

The human body has an amazing ability to thrive through many different challenges.  One large challenge the body can face is various vitamin deficiencies.  Some of the common deficiencies are vitamin C, vitamin D, or vitamin B12.  These can be exacerbated during the holidays as people start neglecting taking care of their bodies.  There are some easy ways to keep vitamin levels up without too much hassle.

Some of the signs of a vitamin C deficiency are bloody noses, fatigue, and poor immune system.  To improve vitamin C most people think of oranges, which are great.  However there are some other great options.  Since vitamin C should be part of a normal daily intake using a combination of raw pineapple, broccoli, and asparagus (among others) is the ideal route to go.

Statistics have shown that low levels of vitamin D can contribute to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and obesity.  With such major site effects it’s important to make sure to keep levels up.  Sunlight will help raise vitamin D levels, but it usually isn’t enough.  Fish, milk, and some cereals are other foods that can get the levels moving upward.

Vitamin B12 can impact the body physically, but can also cause issues such as depression, irritability, and memory loss.  When combined with muscle loss this can be a major issue.  For vitamin B12 to improve there are basically two choices.  The first is to eat more meat.  Liver is easily the best source for boosting B12.  If liver isn't appetizing enough to justify the reward salmon and other meats are the best bet.  If meats aren't on the menu there are supplements Methylcobalamin being the best choice.

Why are prenatal vitamins vital for a developing baby?

A healthy diet is always an ideal way of controlling nutrition; this can be extremely difficult for pregnant women.  Prenatal vitamins are a tremendous tool for helping babies to develop and grow.  They also limit the possibility of birth defects and in preventing Autism.  While there are no guarantees in a fetus’ development, prenatal supplements help by essentially filling in nutritional gaps in the soon-to-be mother’s body.

Prenatal vitamins offer a wide range of nutritional help.  One area they can help is supplying iron.  This helps a body to create red blood cells, which transport oxygen through the body.  With an iron deficiency a person will feel tired and weak, which is emphasized when pregnant.  Iron is also needed to help prevent both anemia and low birth weight babies.

Another area prenatal supplements help is by increasing folic acid, which is vital for fetal development, especially right after conception.  By ensuring you have enough folic acid early will help the fetus’ brain and spinal cord develop properly.

Of course a healthy diet combined with regular doctor visits are the first steps to helping a baby to develop.  Relying too much on vitamins alone can cause undesirable results.  Compare it to car insurance, which every driver should have.  However, having car insurance doesn't make it safe for a person to drive recklessly.  Similarly, just because someone is taking prenatal vitamins doesn't mean they can ignore other critical areas.

What are the benefits of taking iron supplements?

When talking about vitamins and supplements many people simply ignore iron.  This can be a huge mistake.  If your feeling exhausted or have a hard time just doing simple movements it could be an iron deficiency.

Iron is a mineral that is vital for a person to be healthy.  Iron is an essential component in red blood cells.  These cells distribute oxygen through the body.  If the body doesn't have enough iron the body is unable to make enough red blood cells, which in turn creates a lack of oxygen.  This lack of oxygen, commonly referred to as an iron deficiency, will make you feel tired and weak.  In addition to feeling lethargic, an iron deficiency also affects fingernails, skin, and even your hairs health.

Iron deficiency is more common than most people think, especially in women.  Statistics show that 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women and 5% of men are iron deficient and don’t have enough iron.  If you have any of symptoms it’s best to consult with a doctor.  An adjustment to your diet by eating high in iron foods and if necessary taking supplements can resolve the problem.

If you do require an increase in iron it’s best to gradually increase your iron intake to allow your body to adjust.  If increased to quickly your body can have a hard time adjusting to the sudden jump in iron.  The most common side effect is stomachache, which includes nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.  If dealing with these consult your doctor and have your dosage adjusted accordingly.  Good news though, Pharmics Ferrets Iron is going to adjust much more easily, because it really does depend on the iron supplement you use and Ferrets Iron is made to be easy on your body.

Feeding Your Baby's Brain During Pregnancy
The first trimester is vital to the development of a baby.  This is the time the baby is formed, and all the vital organs begin to develop, including the brain. 

As early as weeks one through four, the neural tubes are formed in the baby’s brain.  Neural development is the process that will generate, shape, and reshape the nervous system, from the earliest stages of embryogenesis to the final years of life.

The exact causes of neural tube defects aren’t known.  You are at greater risk to having a baby with a neural tube defect if you:

  • Are obese
  • Have poorly controlled diabetes
  • Take certain antiseizure medications

The two most common neural tube defects are anencephaly and spinal bifida.  Getting enough folic acid before and during pregnancy prevents most neural tube defects.

Many studies have shown that women who get 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) daily prior to conception and during early stages of pregnancy reduce their chances of their baby developing a neural tube defect by up to 70%.

Foods that are high in folic acid that women can eat during pregnancy are:

  • Lentils
  • Leafy greens
  • Citrus
  • Asparagus
  • Kidney beans
  • Broccoli
  • Fortified bread and cereals
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocado
  • Tomato juice

Here are some extras a woman can do during pregnancy to better help the development of her baby.  Take your prenatal vitamins daily, get Omega-3s, be mindful of mercury with the fish that you eat, munch on fruits and veggies for snacks throughout the day, avoid alcohol, boost protein, pump up on your iron intake, don’t gain too much weight, and take steps to avoid food poisoning.

*FDA Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids-The Mystery Within

What exactly are Omega-3 fatty acids?  How do they affect the body?  How to tell you are getting a good supplement form?

When it comes to fatty acids there are three types found in fish (EPA and DHA), then ALA which is found in sources such as seeds and nuts.

You need these fatty acids to function.  Here are some of the health benefits:

  • Lower elevated triglyceride levels.
  • Help with joint stiffness and pain.
  • Known to boost the effects of anti-depressants and help with depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.
  • Important in visual and neurological development in infants.
  • Can reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some children and improve their mental skills.
  • May help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Fish that are high in DHA and EPA are:

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon (wild has more Omega-3s than farmed)
  • Sardines
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Tuna

Good food sources of ALA are:

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed and flaxseed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Soybean oil

Taking a good Omega 3 supplement  is a great way if you don’t eat fish 2-3 times per week.  When looking for an acceptable supplement make sure it has all sources of DHA, EPA and ALA.  Make sure you know the daily amount you are suppose to take.  If you are treating a condition, discuss the amount of Omega 3 with your doctor.

If Rocky can do it, you can too.  Take your Omega-3s! 

Click on the link above to learn more about our Omega 3 supplement.

*FDA Disclaimer: This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Are you living in a Food Desert? Could iron deficiency be what’s taking the spice out of your life?
For those that suffer from iron deficiency, the lack of energy and chronic fatigue can become a real drag on their life.  If you’ve noticed that you no longer have the desire to get out of bed or to perform tasks that used to be second nature, then you might have an iron deficiency.