Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn.
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Table of Contents
Some people roll their eyes and ridicule those who suggest that supplements or a change in diet can affect the human body in a positive way. I guess they never heard of beriberi, pellagra, rickets, or scurvy. Those aren't the only diseases that can be prevented by changing the diet or taking supplements. Most of us don't eat enough fresh, clean, uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, so we make ourselves sick with all of the cooked and processed foods we eat. If we can't overcome our addictions and dislikes, we can at least take certain supplements to improve mental and physical health.
Skeptics say that any health improvement that you might get from a supplement is just an example of the placebo effect. I wanted every supplement I have ever tried to work, but some of them did nothing to improve my heath. Where's that good old placebo effect when you need it? Why didn't they all work? I know there are a lot of nutty, delusional people out there, but for me, a supplement either works or it doesn't. My wishful thinking doesn't change the result.
My own doctor and at least one of his nurses believe that all supplements are the same and a waste of money. That's until he puts you on something like a potassium pill, then supplements magically become good for you and worth the money.
Below is a list of health supplements and related products that seem to work for me. I am not giving out medical advice. You could be allergic to one or more of these products or have some other strange reaction, so get your doctor's permission before even thinking about changing your diet, trying a health product, or doing anything else health related (even if your doctor is an evil pill-pusher who gets kickbacks, equipment, and vacations from drug companies).
The Magic Bullet
I have been told many times over the years that there is no magic bullet for various problems, but I have found some of those 'magic bullets' on my own. I list the magic bullet effect that I get from each product. Remember, you may not get the same results if you decide to try any of these products, since everyone is different.
I used to rely on original flavor Pepto-Bismol Chewables almost every day for my constant upset stomach, but now I don't need them. I still keep a pack with me in case diarrhea strikes, but that rarely happens.
Before I started taking Chlorella, it seemed like I always had heartburn or the general upset stomach you often hear people complain about in TV commercials. There are better reasons to take Chlorella, such as how it helps many people to feel better, think clearer, and feel calmer, but the upset stomach relief is just as important to me. Since it contains a lot of chlorophyll, it also helps get rid of bad breath.
Chlorella works great, but after I started taking enzymes, my stomach felt even better. I take an enzyme capsule when I eat a major meal and that helps to digest just about everything.
Chlorella and mega-enzymes are usually enough to tame my stomach, but sometimes holiday foods and a tendency to overeat can make me feel like vomit is going to shoot out of every hole in my head and that's when it's nice to have Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar in my refrigerator. I have tried various over-the-counter and prescription acid reducing heartburn control products and none of them come close to the almost instant relief I get from apple cider vinegar. As various people have recommended, including Sylvester Stallone in his book Sly Moves, I take a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in a few ounces of liquid, such as water or apple juice. It's nice knowing that I'll never have to use anything like Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Prilosec, Rolaids, Tagamet, TUMS, Zantac and so on ever again.
The Magic Bullet
Chlorella eliminates the constant burning upset stomach that I normally have without it. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar almost instantly gets rid of most pukey feelings when I overdo it on the fun food or eat a boatload of greasy popcorn. Seems like enzymes can help you digest just about anything and get more out of the food.
I've been drinking distilled water since 1989 and I haven't had any noticeable problems because of it so far. I rarely get sick (colds, flu, etc.) as long as I drink distilled water 90 percent of the time. I used to get sick at least a few times a year before I started drinking distilled water, but I'm still not convinced that it's the best thing for the human body. There is one thing I'm sure of though: Le Bleu ultra pure distilled water is better than most gallons of distilled water sold at grocery stores and other places. Le Bleu seems to be more stable, so it can sit around for a long time without sucking a bad taste from the air. I was also tired of spending the extra time to run poor quality distilled water through a Brita filter so it would taste better (and it still didn't taste that good). Le Bleu tastes great straight out of the bottle. Switching to Le Bleu has also made it easier to keep track of how much water I drink, which is usually 6 bottles a day.
My joints popped, snapped and creaked since before I was a teen, but all of that stopped when I started drinking distilled water in 1989. I noticed over the years that if I would guzzle soft drinks instead of distilled water for a few days, the popping, snapping and creaking would come back. So not only does distilled water help keep me from getting sick, it keeps my bones quiet too.
Talking heads on the various news channels keep saying that tap water is just as good as bottled water. That might be true when it comes to most bottled water, but I guess they're not bright enough to understand that not all bottled water is the same. Le Bleu ultra pure distilled bottled water tastes cleaner to me than filtered tap water, spring water, mineral water, and other bottled waters. Le Bleu also uses ozonation. Ozone kills bacteria, toxins, mold, yeast spores, organic material, parasites and even viruses. Somebody at YouTube tested the purity and it really is pure.
The Magic Bullet
I can say bye-bye to colds and the flu as long as I drink Le Bleu distilled water more often than unhealthy things such as soft drinks.
The popping, snapping and creaking of my bones go away when I drink distilled water instead of soft drinks.
Someone I know got kidney stones in 2006. It's kind of funny because he told me once that he heard distilled water causes kidney stones, so he'd never drink it. Not too many years later, he was told by his doctor to drink distilled water and lemonade made from real lemon juice. Lemon juice will get rid of mineral deposits in a sink or tub and it can clean us out too. I don't drink lemonade that often, but I do drink distilled water most of the time and I haven't had any kidney stones so far.
The doctor also told the person I know that only drinking sports drinks when you are active can cause kidney stones to form. He drank nothing but Gatorade when working outside in the heat, so it looks like the doctor was right. I drink Gatorade when I do yard work, but I don't just drink that. I take Gatorade and distilled water out with me in a little cooler and switch it up so I'm not just drinking one thing.
It seems there are a lot of people who don't get enough of the various B vitamins. Some people cannot metabolize vitamin B supplements, so it's important for them to make sure they are getting the B vitamins in their diet. A lack of certain B vitamins can cause things such as anxiety, depression, hostility, and what seems like insanity. Right now there are probably a certain number of people who are locked up in mental hospitals and others who are just on powerful drugs that could have been 'cured' by making sure they were getting enough of the B vitamins and other vitamins and minerals a human needs every day to stay sane and healthy.
I've always had a problem with depression and irritability, but when I take a vitamin B complex every day, I'm much easier to live with. No B complex I have tried so far has worked perfectly, so it's nice that I found Chlorella which you can read more about in the next section. Both supplements seem to complement each other and make me feel more normal. I seem to have some food allergies and intolerances, so I have found that added MSG in certain products and whole grains such as wheat and oats can almost neutralize the positive effects of both Chlorella and the B complex.
I tried Phosphatidylserine in August of 2006 to see if it would help improve my memory and it seemed to reduce the effects of the B complex and Chlorella by at least 50 percent. The Phosphatidylserine was made from soybean oil, so it's possible that I'm also allergic to soybeans or certain soybean products.
I have no idea which B complex is best, but you might want to know that I use Jarrow Formulas B-Right. It seems to be the best of what my local health store carries. In May of 2008, my foot doctor said that I probably wasn't getting enough vitamin B12 from my B complex. He said the best way to get B12 is through a shot or you can take the active form orally, so he put me on Metanx which contains the active forms of B6, B9, and B12. Since I was taking Metanx, I had to stop taking the B complex. I dropped Metanx after a few weeks and went back to B-Right. Metanx made me harder to live with again; problems with hostility and irritability popped back up, so I'm sticking with B-Right.
Before I started taking a B complex, my arm would hurt a lot when using a computer mouse. B-Right almost completely eliminates that problem. I still take a break once in a while (as you should) to avoid getting a repetitive strain injury. I do not want to get carpal tunnel syndrome and it looks like B-Right will help me avoid it.
The Magic Bullet
Helps make me more 'normal' and easier to live with. Seems to significantly tone down irritability, hostility, and anxiety most of the time. It also helps to keep my arm from hurting as bad when using a computer mouse.
Chlorella in tablet form doesn't seem to work for me. What does work is Chlorella that looks like green powder in a capsule. Most anyone interested in health knows that a vitamin B complex has many benefits, including balancing mood, but that wasn't enough for me. A vitamin B complex and Chlorella together make me feel calmer, less irritable, and less depressed. Chlorella also got rid of my constant upset stomach.
The Magic Bullet
No more upset stomach unless I eat something so horrific that I need industrial strength help. Helps me to focus a little better, improves mental clarity, and helps to balance my mood. (Some people claim that Chlorella can help the body avoid or fight off various diseases such as leukemia. If true, that's a very nice magic bullet.)
Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil Soft Gels improved my eyesight (things look sharper and clearer) and they make the aching pain in my eyes go away. I take one in the morning and one at night. If I stop taking it, my eyes start killing me again within 2 or 3 days. One time I ran out for around 2 weeks and once I started taking them again, it took almost a week for the pain in my eyes to go away. Without a doubt, this is one supplement that I never want to run out of.
You don't get any fish flavor coming up on you with Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil Capsules. As far as I know, Nordic Naturals is the only company that has learned how to eliminate that problem. Don't settle for cheap and disgusting, buy the best; it's worth it. If your favorite heath food store refuses to carry it and they tell you that the stuff they sell is just as good and act like you're an idiot because you don't want to take their inferior brand, you might want to find a different health food store that will carry Nordic Naturals. You don't have to put up with that crap. A health food store that I often have to go to tries to shove Carlson fish oil down my throat. No thanks. Tried it. Hated it.
In September of 2009, I wanted to save some money, so I tried Nature's Way MEGA 3/6/9 with Fish/Flax/Borage/Olive Oils. Looked like it might be even better than Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil. Wrong! After about a week, my eyes started to hurt again. I had to go through 3 weeks of pain before I could finally get more Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil Capsules. I'm done experimenting when it comes to my eyes. I'm sticking with Nordic Naturals.
The Magic Bullet
Makes my vision clearer and gets rid of the constant pain I usually have in my eyes without it.
Although distilled water helps to keep me from getting sick, it seems that I am even less likely to get colds and the flu when I take a vitamin C capsule every day. Those times when I have too many soft drinks too many days in a row, vitamin C capsules seem to boost me up before I switch back to nothing but Le Bleu.
The Magic Bullet
Seems to make it even less likely that I'll get sick.
Books such as The Yeast Connection and The Yeast Syndrome back in the 1980s helped my family understand that we needed to take acidophilus capsules every day. It puts the 'good germs' back in your intestines and fights Candida overgrowth, among other things. I try to take a Jarro-Dophilus capsule every day. Each capsule contains approximately 3.4 billion probiotic organisms.
Many people think they have to eat yogurt to get probiotic bacteria, even if they think yogurt is nasty and too much like eating chilled mucus. You don't have to eat yogurt if you don't want to. You can get your probiotic bacteria in capsules and skip the refrigerated mucus.
Acidophilus capsules also seem to be good for preventing and 'curing' canker sores. Sometimes I forget to take my Acidophilus capsules since they are kept in the refrigerator and I'll get a canker sore once every 3 to 5 years. To get rid of the canker sore, I just open up an Acidophilus capsule, empty it into my mouth (being careful not to breath it in) and hold the 'powder' in there as long as possible, swishing it against the sore, and when I think I have waited long enough, I take a drink of water and swallow it. I do that a couple of times a day and the canker sore disappears pretty fast (goes away in a day or two instead of weeks). As long as I remember to take an Acidophilus capsule three times a day, I don't get canker sores.
A semi-relative of mine had a painful canker sore when he was around 9 years old. He drank milk, so I opened up an Acidophilus capsule and dumped the 'powder' into his glass of milk and stirred it up. After doing that whenever he had milk, his sore was gone in a day or two.
I have no proof, but I still wonder if scientists are wrong about why people have trouble with the appendix. It's supposedly true that the appendix holds and incubates the good germs and helps the digestive system to get back to normal during times when all of the good germs have been killed off for various reasons.
It is claimed that underdeveloped countries have fewer cases of appendicitis, so some say that our clean living in the United States is the problem. But is it because we're too clean or is it because their food isn't as processed and full of antibiotics? Have you ever eaten something like chicken from a fast food restaurant and then smelled that nasty antibiotic smell in your urine hours later? I wonder if things like antibiotics in our food kill the good germs much too often and the appendix is overworked or possibly even overrun by the bad germs?
Sometimes I have gone weeks without taking Jarro-Dophilus instead of three times a day like I'm supposed to. One day I was cutting down a weed-like tree with an electric chainsaw and a piece of tree hit me below my left eye. I had a red patch for days. It turned into seborrheic dermatitis and started to spread around my face and ears. I had the problem for months. My doctor said that nobody knows what causes it. I looked up seborrheic dermatitis on the Internet and saw that it's supposedly caused by yeast and that acidophilus capsules might help. I felt like smacking myself in the head. If I would have kept taking Jarro-Dophilus, there's a possibility that I wouldn't have gotten seborrheic dermatitis!
The triamcinolone acetonide cream that my doctor gave me didn't help, so based on the knowledge that taking acidophilus capsules might eventually help, I decided to speed up the process. I opened up a Jarro-Dophilus capsule and mixed the 'powder' with some fragrance free Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion and applied it to my face and ears and most of the seborrheic dermatitis disappeared that day. It wasn't a one-time permanent cure, so I had to do that a few more times, but the seborrheic dermatitis has been gone ever since then. I just need to remember to take a Jarro-Dophilus capsule at least once a day. (Remember, do not copy anything that I do without asking your doctor first or Jesus won't love you and the Easter Bunny won't bring you a basket filled with candy.)
The Magic Bullet
Gives the body what it needs so nasty problems like yeast infections can be avoided. Puts the good 'bugs' back into the intestines that get killed off from poor diet, antibiotics, and so on. Besides the general benefits, it 'cured' my seborrheic dermatitis and it also eliminates canker sores.
Their web site says "Certified Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized and 5% acidity. Contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules." Their web site also says that "Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar does not carry the E.Coli bacteria as the acidity in the vinegar is effective in killing the 0-157 strain of E.Coli bacteria."
They say that you don't have to keep it refrigerated, just keep it out of direct sunlight, but I always keep mine refrigerated. There are supposedly various health benefits from taking Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, but the main thing I like is how it can get rid of my worst stomach aches from eating too much or eating something that was too greasy. It works better and faster than any product I have ever used that is supposed to calm an upset stomach. You can read more about that by clicking here.
I got an unexpected side effect when I tried Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar. My joints rarely hurt now, but sometimes the weather seems to bring on a pain or two, so whenever that happens, I take two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in some water or apple juice and it makes the joint pain disappear like magic (it could be more than two teaspoons since I just pour a little into a small cup to save time). It may not do the same for you, but I read after my personal discovery that some people have had the same results, so you never know.
The Magic Bullet
Makes my occasional joint pains disappear like magic. And when I eat something that is too much for even Chlorella and enzymes to handle, this stuff gets the job done. Goodbye pukey feeling. Some say that it can also help if you get food poisoning.
I switched to NOW Super Enzymes in 2015. They work even better than the MegaFood DailyFoods MegaZymes that I used to take.
The Magic Bullet
Helps me digest food better and gets rid of the pain on the right side of my belly.
A lot of people don't get enough vitamin D and that can cause all kinds of problems. I got tested by my doctor and it was very low, so I take D3 now.
The Magic Bullet
Taking D3 could prevent many problems if the information about it can be believed.
I don't drink alcohol and that means I don't get the benefits of red wine, so I thought I'd try MuscadinePlus Vinetra (made from muscadine grapes that contain high levels of resveratrol).
After only the first 12 days of taking MuscadinePlus Vinetra, I noticed that the forehead wrinkle I've had for at least a few years over one of my eyebrows was almost gone. I wasn't expecting that result. I didn't know that resveratrol could make wrinkles fade. I also lost about 10 pounds in those 12 days and MuscadinePlus Vinetra must have been responsible for it because I stopped losing weight when I stopped taking it. When taking MuscadinePlus Vinetra, I don't feel the need to overeat and cravings between meals go away for the most part.
The Magic Bullet
Resveratrol supposedly has all kinds of benefits such as anti-aging, cancer/diabetes/Alzheimer's prevention, weight loss, and more. It seemed to help me lose some weight and seemed to make a noticeable wrinkle on my forehead fade. We'll see if it does more over time.
I take Nature's Way Cranberry capsules since I do not like cranberry juice. It's supposed to help keep your urinary tract healthy. I keep the bottle in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. If I don't, the powder in the capsules changes color and kind of dries up.
The Magic Bullet
Too many soft drinks can make my bladder feel abused, but cranberry capsules get rid of the problem in a hurry.
Even the clueless who claim that all supplements are a waste of money will take a multi-vitamin every morning. I take Ultra-One Daily Caps by Nature's Plus at this time. There might be something better that I haven't tried yet, but I like these so far.
The Magic Bullet
Not much of a magic bullet here. I don't notice anything extraordinary with this multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.
I got a couple of unexpected results when I tried Fenugreek. I took one Fenugreek capsule two times a day at first. My skin started to smell like the stuff. A kind of sweet smell. I noticed my skin started to look a little younger as if it was holding more moisture, so I increased to two capsules two times a day. My skin smelled sweeter and it look even better (I didn't have to use hand cream on my hands and arms as often as I used to). After a few more weeks, the strange sweet smell disappeared, but my skin still looked better. I did not expect younger-looking skin and I sure didn't expect what was to come next.
I tend to get a sunburn fairly quickly, so I used to mow the yard after the sun popped down below the tops of the trees across the street where I used to live and that gave me around 4 hours of light (depending on the month). I had to go out earlier to mow one day because a storm was supposed to be on the way. I thought it would be OK since there seemed to be a thick batch of clouds blocking the sun, but the clouds soon moved on and I had sunlight beating on my face, neck and bare arms for at least two hours. I didn't want to waste time changing my shirt since I still thought a storm was coming. After a while I could see and feel the signs on my skin that I was in for some sunburn pain later that night. Well, night came, but there was no pain and the redness went away. I thought the pain would surely come the next day, but nothing. Fenugreek must provide some kind of sunburn suppression or protection (at least for me anyway). It may not work the same for you, but I'm glad I tried it. I do not recommend that people take Fenugreek and try to get a sunburn and I hope that I never get too much sun again, but it was a nice surprise.
The Magic Bullet
Younger-looking skin and some kind of weird resistance to sunburn.
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