One of our great missions at Village Green Apothecary is to provide support and education to our customers. On a daily basis, we field numerous questions about various health challenges and help navigate customers through confusing or conflicting news reports. We also provide guidance to customers wanting to take nutrients safely alongside prescription medications.
In an effort to provide even greater care, we have a new comprehensive tool to use with customers. Called the Natural Medicines Database, it is considered the most authoritative resource available, providing unbiased, scientific clinical information on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies.
Some of the key features of this in-depth tool include the ability to check for drug/nutrient interactions, effectiveness, nutrient depletions, safety during pregnancy and lactation, as well as adverse effects. In addition, the Natural Medicines Database has over 1,200 food, herb and supplement monographs with information about effectiveness, dosage and administration, adverse effects, and warnings with medications. There are also monographs on health and wellness, sports medicine and medical conditions. All Database materials are updated on an ongoing basis and are thoroughly referenced. Continue reading “Introducing Our New Health Resource: The Natural Medicines Database”
Studies recently published in the the British Medical Journal suggest that taking supplemental calcium does not boost bone density or prevent fractures as people get older.
In the new studies, scientists in New Zealand looked at the effect of diet and supplements on bone health in people over age 50. The first study found that increasing calcium intake from dietary sources or by taking supplements produced small (1%-2%) increases in bone mineral density, and the second found there was no evidence from clinical trials that increasing dietary calcium intake prevented bone breaks.
The researchers concluded that most people should get enough calcium through a normal diet with the inclusion of dairy products, vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, soy beans, nuts, and anything made with fortified flour. Currently, the US National Osteoporosis Foundation promotes at least 1,200 mg calcium, plus 800-1000 IU of vitamin D daily, as a goal for women age 50 or older. Many also believe that few people can achieve these intakes through dietary means alone, and this is where nutritional supplements may be beneficial. Continue reading “New Research on Supplemental Calcium”
Recommendations for healthy blood pressure numbers may change, as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced last week that aiming for a lower blood pressure rate saves more lives. The SPRINT Study (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) found that patients who got their blood pressure well below today’s usually recommended level significantly cut their risk of heart disease and death. The benefit was strong enough that NIH stopped the study about a year early.
Approximately 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure, raising the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems. Normal blood pressure is less than 120 over 80. High blood pressure is diagnosed once that measurement reaches, or passes, 140 over 90. Current guidelines recommend getting the top number (systolic pressure) down to about 140 in generally healthy adults and to 130 in patients who also have kidney disease or diabetes.
NIH sponsored a nationwide study to test if aiming for a lower systolic rate would either help or harm. The study started in 2010 and looked at more than 9,300 high blood pressure patients. Half received an average of about two medications with the goal of lowering their systolic pressure below 140. The other half received an average of three medications with the goal of getting below 120. Continue reading “New Normal For Healthy Blood Pressure?”