Beliefnet
A Prescription for Healthy Living

You pass by Magnesium dietary supplements on the shelves, maybe wondering about magnesium benefits. Well, maybe you can benefit from magnesium.  Studies have proven that Magnesium could help control blood glucose level, blood pressure, muscle and nerve function, energy production and plays an important role on having a normal heart rhythm. Not having enough Magnesium in your body (Magnesium deficiency) could lead to serious health issues that could be avoided.

According to recent research, an adult body contains approximately 25 g magnesium, with 50% to 60% present in the bones and most of the rest in soft tissues. Less than 1% of total magnesium is in blood serum, and these levels are kept under tight control. Normal serum magnesium concentrations range between 0.75 and 0.95 millimoles (mmol)/L . Hypomagnesemia is defined as a serum magnesium level less than 0.75 mmol/L. Magnesium homeostasis is largely controlled by the kidney, which typically excretes about 120 mg into the urine each day. Urinary excretion is reduced when magnesium status is low.

Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium Intake

Food

Magnesium is widely distributed in plant and animal foods, and in beverages. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources. In general, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium. It is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods. Tap, mineral, and bottled waters can also be sources of magnesium, but the amount found in water varies by source and brand.http://_wp_link_placeholder

Intake and Benefits Of Magnesium

Daily values were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The daily value for magnesium is 400 mg for adults and children aged 4 and older. However, the FDA does not require food labels to list magnesium content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient. Foods providing 20% or more of the daily value are considered to be high sources of a nutrient.

It is also a primary ingredient in some laxatives. Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia®, for example, provides 500 mg elemental magnesium (as magnesium hydroxide) per tablespoon; the directions advise taking up to 4 tablespoons/day for adolescents and adults. It is also included in some remedies for heartburn and upset stomach due to acid indigestion. Extra-strength Rolaids®, for example, provides 55 mg elemental magnesium (as magnesium hydroxide) per tablet, although Tums® is magnesium free according to resent research.

Groups at Risk of Magnesium Inadequacy

  • People with gastrointestinal diseases
  • People with type 2 diabetes
  • People with alcohol dependence
  • Older adults

Habitually low intakes of magnesium induce changes that can increase the risk of illness over time, some of  these diseases includes:

  • Hypertension and cardiovascular disease,
  • Type 2 diabetes,
  • Osteoporosis,
  •  Migraine headaches.

Now, before rushing to the vitamins shelves, you need to know that Magnesium could interact with some medications or illness.

Bisphosphonates

Magnesium-rich supplements or medications can decrease the absorption of oral bisphosphonates, such as alendronate (Fosamax®), used to treat osteoporosis. Use of magnesium-rich supplements or medications and oral bisphosphonates should be separated by at least 2 hours.

Antibiotics

Magnesium can form insoluble complexes with tetracyclines, such as demeclocycline (Declomycin®) and doxycycline (Vibramycin®), as well as quinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) and levofloxacin (Levaquin®). These antibiotics should be taken at least 2 hours before or 4–6 hours after a magnesium-containing supplement.

Diuretics

Chronic treatment with loop diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix®) and bumetanide (Bumex®), and thiazide diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide (Aquazide H®) and ethacrynic acid (Edecrin®), can increase the loss of magnesium in urine and lead to magnesium depletion. In contrast, potassium-sparing diuretics, such as amiloride (Midamor®) and spironolactone (Aldactone®), reduce magnesium excretion.

Proton pump inhibitors

Prescription proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs, such as esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), when taken for prolonged periods (typically more than a year) can cause hypomagnesemia. In cases that FDA reviewed, magnesium supplements often raised the low serum magnesium levels caused by PPIs. However, in 25% of the cases, supplements did not raise magnesium levels and the patients had to discontinue the PPI. FDA advises healthcare professionals to consider measuring patients’ serum magnesium levels prior to initiating long-term PPI treatment and to check magnesium levels in these patients periodically.

Magnesium and Healthful Diets

The federal government’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that “Nutritional needs should be met primarily from foods. … Foods in nutrient-dense forms contain essential vitamins and minerals and also dietary fiber and other naturally occurring substances that may have positive health effects. In some cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful in providing one or more nutrients that otherwise may be consumed in less-than-recommended amounts.

 

 

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Alcohol: Health Boost or Health risk? When is it ok to hold your glass up and say Cheers?

When it comes to alcohol, how much is too much?

Find out what the experts recommend and how to recognize the signs that you’re drinking too much alcohol.

A large number of studies have shown that moderate alcohol intake can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. Moderate drinking means one drink per day for women and one to two for men, says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. “The difference in amounts is because of how men and women metabolize alcohol,” Dr. Novey explains.

“When you say one drink, the size of that drink matters,” Novey adds. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture one drink is equal to:
12 ounces of beer or
5 ounces of wine or
1½ ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey, 80-proof).

The Dangers of Drinking Too Much

Unfortunately, some people can’t stop at just one or two drinks. Too much alcohol can result in serious health consequences. Heavy alcohol intake can damage the liver, causing cirrhosis, a fatal disease. Excessive drinking also can raise blood pressure and damage the heart, and is linked to many different cancers, including mouth, esophagus, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. The health risks are even greater for those who not only drink but smoke as well.

The consequences of excessive drinking can be serious not only for the alcoholic, but also for their friends, family, and even innocent bystanders. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 16,000 people die each year in automobile accidents that involve drunken drivers. Other data indicates that one in three violent crimes involves the use of alcohol and as many as three out of four violent incidents against a spouse involve alcohol. “Alcohol is a depressant. It makes people sad over time, not happy,” Novey says. When depressed, people can do some rather unfortunate things to themselves and their loved ones.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse

How can you tell if you or someone you know might have a drinking problem? Physicians often use the CAGE test, which involves four simple questions, Novey says:

Cutting down. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
Annoyance by criticism. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
Guilty feeling. Have you ever felt guilty about drinking alcohol?
Eyeopeners. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (an “eye-opener”)?
If the answer to just one of these questions is yes, a drinking problem is likely and professional help is needed, Novey says.

Other signs of a drinking problem:

You find you can’t stop drinking once you start.
You’re having problems at work or at school.
Other people notice your drinking and comment on it.
You can’t remember what you did when you were drinking alcohol.
Moderation Rules

Consuming no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks for men is safe, and perhaps even heart healthy. On the other hand, excessive drinking can have serious consequences. If you think you may have a drinking problem or suspect that someone you love does, seek professional help. Contact your family physician or a support group for substance abuse before irreparable damage is done.

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviors. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

DON’T OVEREAT

If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.

St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the aging process.

STAY OUT OF THE SUN

Avoiding too much sun can head off skin cancer, and it can also keep you looking young by preventing wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy skin.

It’s never too early—or too late—to add sunscreen to your daily skin-care regimen (look for an SPF of 30 or higher). And don’t focus only on your face. Sun damage spots and splotches on your chest and neck will also make you appear older.

DRINK IN MODERATION

Women who have two or more drinks a day and men who have three or more may run into detrimental effects ranging from weight gain to relationship problems. But in smaller quantities, alcohol can actually be good for you.

A 2010 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology linked light drinking (defined as one drink a day for women and two for men) to significant heart benefits.
EAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Getting fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can eat away at your health. Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer.

As an added bonus, the inflammation-fighting and circulation-boosting powers of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies can banish wrinkles.
FOCUS ON FITNESS

Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2008 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to four years to your life, which isn’t surprising given the positive effects working out has on your heart, mind, and metabolism.

Even moderate exercise—a quick, 30-minute walk each day, for example—can lower your risk of heart problems.

DON’T SMOKE

Quitting smoking is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your health—and your life span. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that women who quit smoking by age 35 add roughly six to eight years to their lives.

It’s never too late to kick the habit. Quitting can slow disease and increase survival odds even in smokers who have already caused significant damage to their lungs, like those with early lung cancer or COPD.
GET BUSY

Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories—sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)

Regular sex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.

TURN OFF THE TV

Too much time in front of the boob tube can take a serious toll on your health. In fact, a 2010 study found that people who watched four or more hours a day were 46% more likely to die from any cause than people who watched less than two hours a day.

Even cutting back a little can help; each additional hour you watch increases your overall risk of dying by 11% and dying from heart disease by 18%.
REACH OUT

Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.

Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression.

 

Have you been told that your breath smells bad? Do you fear someone may be even thinking of it, but don’t want to embarrass you?

Once you know your mouth could use some freshening up, you might be able to make it better without drowning in mouthwash or visiting the dentist. Try the tips below. If you don’t notice a change in a few weeks, ask your dentist or doctor for help. Bad breath can be caused by an illness — including tonsil issues and stomach reflux — or medicine.

Clean Your Teeth and Gum

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Many bad-breath problems are linked to oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss well, your mouth breaks down the tiny chunks of food that are caught between your teeth. This can give off an odor that can smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. Toothpaste or mouthwash may mask it for a while, but it can’t fix the problem.

Bacteria that causes bad breath can be found in one of three places:

On the teeth
Under the gums
The tongue
To avoid bad breath caused by food that lingers in your mouth, brush twice a day, floss once daily and get regular checkups from your dentist.

Scrape Your Tongue

Close-up Of A Woman Cleaning Her Tongue

Brushing and flossing alone may not fix your bad breath, because the tongue can house food particles. To get to them, brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper when you brush.

You may spit out yellow or brown saliva after you use a scraper. Rinse your mouth after each use.

Eat for Better

Biting an apple

Crunchy, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can help cleanse your mouth of food particles that can cling to your teeth and tongue between meals.

It’s wise to avoid too much dessert, and did you know that it can affect your breath? It’s true! Refined foods and white sugar can cause some bacteria in your mouth to be overfed, which sets off an odor.

Try Probiotics

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Many people swish mouthwash to kill bacteria that cause bad breath. The truth is that gargling can kill good and bad bacteria.

If you eat more foods with good bacteria, you may change the good-to-bad ratio inside your mouth, leading to better breath. Try yogurt, or food with Probiotics.

Eating the yogurt, you swish it all around in your mouth while you’re enjoying it, and hopefully, you get it to work for your mouth .

Fight Dry Mouth

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Bad breath is common when your mouth’s dry. You may find relief if you use artificial saliva and drink plenty of water.

Many medicines can cause the drynessIMG_0510

“If you go on a medication and suddenly your mouth is really dry, talk to your doctor.

Also, some people breathe through their mouths. This dries out the teeth and tongue, and can cause odors. Sometimes, an over the counter nasal decongestants or allergy pill can help you breathe easier.

Breath Through Your Nose

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If you can breathe through your nose but use your mouth out of habit, especially when you sleep, a chin strap might help. It lets you get used to keeping your mouth shut in bed or around the house until it becomes second-nature

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Smoking can also give you a dry mouth. If you quit, your breath won’t smell like cigarettes anymore, and you should make more saliva again. That will also help fight the odor.

Chew GumIMG_0513

Some people hope the minty flavor of gum will mask their bad breath. But a stick every now and then can do even more. It can help you make more saliva — and sugar-free kinds sweetened with xylitol fight the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth.

It’s a good idea to stay away from gum with sugar.

Now, you can enjoy hanging out with your friends, go to your interview, or approaching your boss!