Friday, January 25, 2013

Red Palm Oil

Palm oil has been used as both a food and a medicine for thousands of years. It was prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt as a sacred food. Today palm oil is the most widely used oil in the world. In tropical Africa and Southeast Asia palm oil is an integral part of a healthy diet just as olive oil is in the Mediterranean.


Palm oil possesses excellent cooking properties. It is more heat stable than other vegetable oils and imparts in foods and baked goods superior taste, texture, and quality.

Palm oil is one of the world’s healthiest oils. As a natural vegetable oil, it contains no trans fatty acids or cholesterol. It is currently being used by doctors and government agencies to treat specific illnesses and improve nutritional status. Recent medical studies have shown that palm oil, particularly virgin (red) palm oil, can protect against many common health problems, including Alzheimer's. Some of the health benefits include: 


  • Improves blood circulation
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Protects against cancer
  • Boosts immunity
  • Improves blood sugar control
  • Improves nutrient absorption and vitamin and mineral status
  • Aids in the prevention and treatment of malnutrition
  • Supports healthy lung function
  • Supports healthy liver function
  • Helps strengthen bones and teeth
  • Supports eye health
  • Highest natural source of health promoting tocotrienols
  • Helps protect against mental deterioration, including Alzheimer’s disease
  • Richest dietary source of vitamin E and beta-carotene


The health benefits of olive oil have been touted for many hundreds of years. More recently, coconut oil has become all the rage and hailed by many as the king of oils. But, whatever oil you choose – whether it’s olive, coconut, almond, canola, peanut, safflower, walnut, or even avocado oil – none compare to the powerful nutritional virtues of virgin organic red palm fruit oil.

Bonus: The health benefits of red palm fruit oil can be achieved by incorporating only 1-2 tablespoons into your daily diet.


Red Palm Fruit Oil vs. Palm Kernel Oil


Regarded as a sacred healing food by many civilizations, including the ancient Egyptians, crude or virgin red palm fruit oil should be regarded as one of the most nutritious edible oils in the world. It is not to be confused with palm kernel oil. It is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) and is referred to as “red palm oil” because of its rich dark red color in its unprocessed natural state. Palm kernel oil is derived from the seed or the kernel.

Palm fruit oil contains mainly palmitic and oleic acids and is about 50% saturated, while palm kernel oil contains mainly lauric acid and is more than 89% saturated. The general assumption that kernel oil and palm fruit oil are one in the same may have lead to one of the greatest oversights in modern nutrition. The stigma attached to the kernel has kept the fruit in the dark – at least until now. Virgin organic sustainable red palm fruit oil is otherwise a bona fide miracle food.


Palm kernel oil does not convey the same health benefits that red palm fruit oil does. The health benefits are only achieved due to the red color of the palm fruit oil that is attributed to its high content of carotenes, which include beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are the same ones that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors. What may shock you is that red palm fruit oil contains more that tomatoes or carrots. Red palm fruit oil is also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols – a powerful form of vitamin E.Processed palm oil does not contain cholesterol and behaves like hydrogenated fats (the dangerous trans-fatty acids) in packaged foods since it has “thickness” at room temperature. This makes it ideal for many food manufacturers to use in place of hydrogenated oils in their snack products. Processed foods can then be advertised as being “trans fat free” and “cholesterol free”. But, when red palm oil is refined and processed, the red color disappears and its nutritional and healing benefits are destroyed. Once it becomes part of a processed snack food, it no longer features the health benefits and powerful antioxidants found only in the raw palm oil.


Red Palm Fruit Oil vs. Fish and Coconut Oils


But how does red palm fruit oil compare with fish oil you may ask? Frankly, comparing fish oil to red palm oil would be comparing apples to oranges.

The health benefits of fish oil come mainly from its high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids known as EPA and DHA. These are incredibly important to our health. In fact, fish oils feature some of the most wide-reaching health benefits, and far and away have the most robust science to back claims related to heart, brain, and immune health and serve to manage inflammation better than any other oil. However, fish oil is extremely susceptible to high temperature, air and light – which is why you can’t cook with it. Red palm fruit oil, on the other hand, is very stable.

Palm fruit oil contains less cholesterol-lowering “long-chain” omega-3 fatty acids than fish oil. What red palm oil contains, however, is a lot of “medium-chain” and “short-chain” fatty acids – both of which scientists recognize as healthy for us and necessary in moderation.

And while we’re comparing, let’s look at an apple-to-apple scenario: coconut oil vs. red palm fruit oil. Even when you account for the marginally higher levels of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) levels that coconut oil has over palm, it is once again the carotenoid and tocotrienol antioxidants that give it a significant health advantage over coconut oil.


Red palm oil has great science behind it for its beneficial role in fighting heart disease and high cholesterol. Over the past two decades, researchers have intensely studied red palm oil’s effect on cardiovascular health and the preliminary results initially baffled scientists.

At room temperature, this semi-solid oil seems as likely as lard to clog your arteries. But what might shock you to learn, as it has equally stunned researchers, is that although red palm fruit oil is indeed high in saturated fat, it actually protects against heart disease. Saturated fats behave like a thick molasses through the cardiovascular system, eventually contributing to plaque (atherosclerosis). But studies show that adding palm oil into the diet can remove plaque build-up in arteries and, therefore, reverse the process of plaque and prevent blockages. In fact, studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have shown that a natural form of vitamin E called alpha tocotrienol, which is the form found in high amounts in red palm fruit oil, can help reduce the effects of stroke by 50% by protecting your brain’s nerve cells.

Removing plaque is not the only way red palm oil may protect against strokes and heart attacks. Red palm oil can also improve cholesterol values and also helps maintain proper blood pressure. Science now understands that inflammation in the artery lining is what warrants cholesterol to deposit in the first place. So, it makes sense that the protective effects come from the high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory content of the red palm oil which works to quench free radicals and keep inflammation under control.


But red palm oil’s benefits aren’t exclusive to heart health. Research is showing that the antioxidant power of red palm oil can be of help in protecting against a variety of health problems, including osteoporosis, asthma, cataracts, macular degeneration, arthritis, and liver disease. It can even slow down the premature aging processes by protecting the skin against damaging UV rays.


But nothing ages us faster than being overweight. And, where traditional fats and oils like margarine, or other vegetable oils take a long time to break down for energy and are eventually stored as fat, red palm oil goes straight to liver and ignites metabolism. That means you’ll burn calories from fat much faster.


When it comes to your brain, the special form of vitamin-E (tocotrienol) in red palm oil stops destructive damage and improves blood flow to brain cells, which can also help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.


Shared from


Cancer Fighter

Lipids in our skin can be damaged or oxidized by ozone exposure, which can lead to free radicals being generated in our skin. We've established that palm oil can fight free radicals, but it can also prevent them from forming in the first place. The oxidation of lipilds resulting in free radicals have been proven to be an underlying cause of many skin diseases, including cancer. Dr. Betty Kamen, PhD notes that toctrienols have been proven to be 40 to 60 times more powerful than the common tocopherol in preventing lipid preoxidation.

Cleansing & Moisturizing

Palm oil is found in shampoos, conditioners, soaps, lotions, creams, foundations and more. It is found in shampoos and soaps for its ability to remove oil and dirt from hair and skin. It also contains a refatting agent that helps restore the hair and skin natural oils most soaps and shampoos strip away letting moisture escape. In shampoos and conditioners, it also provides a conditioning agent. It is added to skin care products not only for its anti-aging properties, but also because it provides deep moisturizing properties making the skin soft and supple.

Healthy Hair

The best thing you can do for your hair and skin is eating a healthy diet and drinking appropriate amounts of water. The hair specifically requires fat soluble vitamins A & E to nourish the roots and scalp, and red palm oil specifically is not only very high in vitamin E, but also in beta carotene. When consumed, beta carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A.


Palm oil contains the hard to find toctrienols, which are members of the vitamin E family. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that helps the skin to fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Betty Kamen, PhD confirms that as a stronger antioxidant than tocopherols, toctrienols have been proven to be more effective in preventing aging and damage from free radicals. Used topically, as with tocopherol, toctrienols are able to penetrate deep into the skin's layers to enable healing and protection from the base up.

Read more:


Should you use vitamin supplements with DS?

Should you supplement with vitamins?  This is a question that each parent of a child with Down Syndrome should ask themselves.  It is an individual choice, but one that must be made after you educate yourself as to the differences of a child with DS.  The following article gives a good explaination as to why and how it could be beneficial.  We believe in TNI (Targeted Nutritional Supplement), and Presley has been on the Nutrivene program since she was 2 1/2 months old (she is currently 19 months old).  Although I am a Physician Assistant and my husband is a Nurse Practitioner, this was still discussed and approved by our Pediatrician and genetic physician prior to using any supplements.  The genetic physician made the comment that in his experience, he thought children with DS using TNI seemed to do better, but that parents who use TNI also do a lot of research and are more actively involved with their children and that would have the most overall postive effect.  Read the article below to see if TNI is appropriate for your child.  I will soon be writing a detailed post of the recommended labs to obtain whether on TNI or not, so you will know if he/she has any deficiencies.  Blessings, Robin


Nutritional approach to Down's Syndrome

Can Vitamins and Diet affect the Health of Children and Adults with Down's Syndrome?

Please note that none of the following should be construed as medical advice, and does not represent the opinion or policy of Beannachar Ltd.

Having attended a conference in London organised by the Down's Syndrome Research Foundation ( and subsequently investigated the matter together with the doctors at the Camphill Medical Practice, Aberdeen, I write this article in order to gather together the current trends in the understanding and treatment of people with Down's Syndrome using a method called T.N.I. (Targeted Nutritional Intervention). TNI consists of taking food supplements containing vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes and amino acids, as well as certain oils rich in essential fatty acids.
This is a controversial treatment, as no fully scientific clinical trial has been conducted to date and many people understandably are very cautious about recommending its use. The internet is a rich source of arguments for and against nutritional intervention. (See links at the end of the page.)
Dr. Karl Koenig, the founder of the Camphill movement, was deeply connected to children with Down's Syndrome and wrote a book (in German) on the subject: Der Mongolismus. (Mongolism), the term formerly used to describe what is nowadays known as Down's Syndrome) He was partly inspired by the work of Dr. Haubold in Germany, who was one of the pioneers of nutritional therapy. Dr. Koenig treated many children with vitamin C, emulsions of vitamins A and E and a mineral supplement with trace elements. According to Dr. Koenig's observations over many years, children to whom he gave the supplements were generally stronger and healthier than those coming newly into his care.
Although this article is intended to raise awareness of these recent trends, it is not meant to be a final word on the subject. It is known, for example that social and intellectual stimulation for children with special needs is vital for their development and physical well being, and that these factors are at least as important as physical measures that are presented here. It has often been observed that people with Down's Syndrome become stronger and healthier when they are part of a lively and stimulating social/cultural environment. It is also known, that disharmony, for example marital tensions in the immediate environment, can bring about a degree of confusion and sadness that their physical health suffers.
The whole question of digestive weakness could also be studied and treated in other ways, for example using natural medicines. The main speakers at the London conference were doctors and researchers from the US and Canada. Conventional understanding of Down's Syndrome has lead us to believe that it is a genetic disorder that is a fait accompli, and that therefore there is little more that can be done to help the situation. There can easily arise an attitude of just accepting that they are who they are, and not much more can be or needs to be done. They usually do not present much of a problem, and in many cases get stuck in a convenient slot within an institution or community. A small group of motivated parents and doctors in the USA and Canada claim to have demonstrated that if nutritional intervention is started early enough the growth rate and cognitive development might be normalised, and many of the physical and mental features of Down's partially prevented or improved. Those who begin early enough claim their children even avoid the physical characteristics typical of the syndrome. Photographic evidence presented at the conference showed dramatic changes in facial features and general bearing among treated children. (Please note that no one is suggesting that supplements should be taken to change anyone's facial features.) In Down's Syndrome there is an extra 21st chromosome leading to a genetic overload. Doctors call it Trisomy 21 (meaning that instead of two number 21 chromosomes ('somy'), the Down's person has three ('tri'). As genes create enzymes and proteins, this extra chromosome, which then occurs in each cell in the body, causes a number of metabolic imbalances due to too many enzymes and proteins. These may be factors leading to the typical Down's characteristics: the underdeveloped nose, the Asiatic facial appearance, small growth, waddled gait, difficulty in running, sparse straight hair, underdeveloped jaws, flattened upper lip, oftentimes short-sightedness or crossed eyes, and the floppy, rag doll feel. One could liken Down's Syndrome to a cake recipe with too many ingredients. The idea is that 'short' ingredients can be added to balance out the 'extra' ingredients. In other words, nutrition can be used to compensate for the genetic overdose.
Researchers continue to discover that Down's children share similar metabolic disturbances. The heart of the problem is abnormal levels of antioxidant enzymes - too little catalase is produced and the three (instead of two) chromosomes 21 produce one and a half times as much of the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) as normal. This causes a profound disturbance of the antioxidant defence system. Ordinarily, levels of SOD, whose job is to mop up free radicals and convert them to hydrogen peroxide, exist in subtle harmony with catalase and glutathione peroxidase. But where there is too much SOD produced, the body overproduces hydrogen peroxide, which builds up in the cells, and breaks down further into more free radicals. When there aren't enough antioxidant enzymes to detoxify this H2O2, the dietary antioxidants we take in as food must finish the job. The most important dietary antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, co-enzyme Q and the minerals zinc and selenium. (Beta-carotene is provitamin A and is an important antioxidant.) Some studies have shown that children and adults with Down's Syndrome exhibit deficiencies of the antioxidant nutrients vitamin A, E, C, zinc, selenium and glutathione. According to Dr. Lester Packer of the University of California, (author of 'The Antioxidant Miracle') coenzyme Q and lipoic acid are also vital to what he calls the 'antioxidant network'. According to his research, the major antioxidants work intrinsically together and work better when they are taken together. Further, research has shown that when the major antioxidants are given to people with Down's Syndrome, they disappear from the blood much more rapidly than usual. With low levels of antioxidants, free radical production runs riot in each cell, causing problems with many major bodily functions, especially the immune system.
Oxidative free radicals are chemical entities that are often found in the cell environment; being highly reactive, they can cause serious damage within the cell. They are found in larger amounts as a result of pollution, smoke, e.g. from barbecues or cigarettes, radiation, ozone, and even stress. In a normal person, these are fairly effectively inactivated by a series of enzymes and anti-oxidant vitamins. It seems that this mechanism in the Down's Syndrome metabolism is deficient, and the excess of free radicals causes damage to enzymes, DNA and the cell wall. The damage to the cell wall is of particular consequence for the brain and nervous system, where it causes loss of the transmission of nerve impulses and a more rapid than normal loss of neurones in the brain (apoptosis). This can result in a wide variety of effects from poor motor coordination, low IQ to memory loss and the early onset of dementia (Alzheimer's disease) which is very often the case with people with Down's Syndrome. The cell wall is predominantly lipid (fatty) substance. The brain is also predominantly composed of lipid substance, the most common of which is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a highly unsaturated omega 3 fatty acid. By including in the diet the correct essential fatty acids, such as omega 3 unsaturated oil as found in flax seed (linseed) oil as well as DHA, found in fish oils, the damage to the cell walls caused by the free radicals can be more rapidly repaired. This is vital if progressive brain degeneration is to be avoided. The typical physical appearance of the brain of a 40 year old person with Down's Syndrome has the same characteristics as that of a person with Alzheimer's disease, even if dementia is not present. Trials have shown that vitamin E, one of the most powerful antioxidants known, is effective in delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease and maintaining memory function in old age.
It is well known that People with Down's Syndrome have a greater incidence of infections, which is largely due to the poorly functioning immune system. This could be caused by caused by oxidative stress (excess of oxidative free radicals) and low levels of antioxidants. With a normal diet, the typically inadequate levels of antioxidant vitamins are being rapidly used up, which leads to low blood levels. The person with Down's Syndrome probably needs a higher intake of these nutrients in order to maintain adequate blood levels and a healthy immune system. Independent research has shown that vitamins A, C and E, zinc and selenium all help to improve resistance to infection. It is interesting to note that many of the symptoms of vitamin A deficiency can be seen in people with Down's Syndrome i.e. depressed immune system, dry skin and mucous membranes, night blindness and defective teeth.
Other researchers have found lower blood levels of B vitamins in people with Down's Syndrome. One of the main functions of the B group of vitamins is to maintain the healthy function of the nervous system. TNI contains a broad spectrum of B vitamins. In some versions, a night time dose of vitamin B6 together with essential amino acids is intended to stimulate the growth hormone in sleep, in order to improve growth.
Diet: Some research in the USA has shown that most children with Down's Syndrome are lactose-intolerant, and do better on a milk-free diet (although some dairy products like yoghurt are better tolerated.) Milk also contains vitamin D2, which is not well tolerated. Dr Koenig advocated a low-dairy diet for them. It is known that milk products increase the production of mucous, which can increase nasal congestion and the tendency to bronchial infections. Doctors in Germany have reported that post-mortem examinations performed on people with Down's Syndrome brought to light many cases of advanced bronchial infections which had not been previously diagnosed.
Also, significantly more people with Down's syndrome than average are gluten intolerant, i.e. have coeliac disease. This results in damage to the lining of the small intestine, poor absorption of vital nutrients and severe digestion disorders. This can be tested for, and if found to be the case, then complete avoidance of wheat, rye, barley and oats is the only known treatment.
Further, a diet high in damaged fats and margarine can result in reduced levels of all essential fatty acids, which are vital for a healthy nervous system. Cold pressed, unrefined oils such as olive, sunflower and linseed are infinitely better than the depleted supermarket oils and margarine. Organic butter is also an excellent source of good fats and vitamins.
People with Down's Syndrome often have a weaker digestion than the general population which can result in malabsorption of foodstuffs including vitamins etc. It is likely that larger quantities of essential nutrients need to be given than normal. Most versions of T.N.I. include digestive enzymes, which help with the correct digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It also includes specific amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) in order to compensate for digestive weakness and to supply those, which may be lacking.
Leukaemia: There is a higher incidence of leukaemia in D.S., and it has been demonstrated that this can be reduced by antioxidants.
Thyroid Activity: Many Down's children also evidence abnormal thyroid activity even at birth; one per cent show signs of hypothyroidism which rises up to 10 per cent in childhood. This is 28 times more frequent than in the general population. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause speech and hearing defects. However, this may have something to do with low levels of zinc. One study demonstrated that zinc affects the metabolism of thyroid hormones in children with Down's Syndrome. Once given zinc and other supplements, the thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroxine levels normalised.
N.B. It is very important to have regular thyroid tests done especially if TNI is given, as this can alter the thyroid status, and thyroxine doses (if taken) usually have to be reduced once supplementation is given.
Nutritional Therapy (T.N.I.): The pioneer of the nutritional approach in America was Dr Henry Turkel, who developed his programme more than 50 years ago. Dr Turkel developed a programme he called his 'U series' - a compilation of vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, essential fatty acids, amino acids and several drugs, including thyroid hormone. He managed to get approval to sell his programmed in Michigan and treated some 5,000 patients, reputedly with some success.
T.N.I. must not be confused with Megavitamin therapy, which gave vitamins a bad name by using massive doses at unsafe levels.
The current recommendation for therapy consists of administering a supplement containing a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and digestive enzymes, at doses close to or slightly higher than recommended daily allowances, but well within recognised safe limits. MSB plus is available from Nutrichem in Canada; Nutrivene from America and "Euro-TNS" from Beannachar (see below for details.) The supplements are specifically tailor-made for the needs of the person with Down's Syndrome. It is recommended to have regular blood and urine tests performed to determine the individual's metabolic needs. The company Nutrichem can also further customise the formulation to the individual requirements.

Further recommended supplements:

DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid, a fatty acid.)

DHA can be supplemented at 300 to 400mg daily, or 20mg per Kg of body weight. This substance is one of the vital natural ingredients in breast milk that is essential for the correct maintenance of the cell walls of the nerves of the brain and retina that are so readily damaged by free radicals. The availability of DHA is now considered the main reason why breast-fed children have a higher I.Q. and lower incidence of schizophrenia than non-breast-fed. It would be important for expectant and breast-feeding mothers to ensure that they have a high enough intake of DHA. DHA is also present in oily fish, and to a lesser degree in some meats and eggs. It is also present many proprietary brands of fish oils.

Flax seed oil (linseed oil)

One of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids. It helps to maintain the integrity of the cell walls that are easily damaged by the high levels of free radicals. The body can produce a certain amount of DHA from flaxseed oil and other oils high in linolenic acid. Flax seed oil can be supplemented at 2 teaspoonfuls daily for an adult. (As capsules or as liquid oil) The best flaxseed oil is cold pressed in the absence of oxygen - this is completely free of bitterness unlike the normally extracted oil - and can even be added to salads and other foods. (There are good quality brands of linseed oil at varying prices - many people take some every day and find it quite delicious! See appendix for details.) However, some research indicates that Flax seed oil is not suitable for children - so the jury is still out on this one.

Evening Primrose oil

or Borage seed oil capsules contain the omega 6 fatty acid GLA. A very relevant book about oils in the diet is 'Fats that heal fats that kill' by Udo Erasmus.

T.N.I. for adults: Experience seems to show that the best results are obtained when T.N.I. is started as early as possible, even in utero via the mother's diet. However, between birth and three months medical advice should be sought. There is little documented evidence with its use for adults. Generally, there are fewer infections, better overall health and well-being, delayed onset of aging, dementia and reduced risk of cancer. While it is quite legal and within anyone's freedom to purchase and use these products, it is strongly recommended to involve a doctor and to have any relevant tests carried out.
Observed effects of Targeted Nutritional Intervention:
  • There are far fewer infections, resulting in fewer days off school.
  • The immune system is enhanced, as shown by blood levels of IGA, IGM, IGG (immunoglobulin.)
  • White blood cell count and T cells are normalised.
  • There is often an improvement in speech, gross motor and fine motor coordination and cognition.
  • Intelligence (I.Q.) has been shown to be enhanced by some researchers, but many are wary of making claims in this direction partly so as not to build up the hopes of parents.
  • Some parents report more normal growth, better muscle tone, thickening of hair, more supple skin and some changes of the facial features.
Natural verses Synthetic. It may be argued that vitamins and minerals are best taken in through the normal nutrition, where they arise through the natural life processes within the plant and animal kingdom, from which nutrition is normally derived. Vitamins that are synthetically produced in a laboratory, even though they may be chemically identical to those naturally found in food, have been shown to be different with regard to their dynamic qualities. (See Hauschka; 'Nutrition' and 'Nature of Substance.') On the one hand, research has shown that diet alone cannot supply the level of vitamins necessary to normalise the blood levels in Down's Syndrome; the amounts of these substances in the diet are believed to be too low. Companies like Cytoplan and Higher Nature produce vitamins and minerals in a 'natural form' that are claimed to be up to 10 times more bio-available and effective than synthetic forms. It is, of course, important to give a diet that is naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, such as organic or biodynamic fruit and vegetables, that are either raw or at least not overcooked, even though diet alone is unlikely to have the same levels as T.N.I.
Foods that are particularly rich in antioxidants are prunes, bilberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, raisins, grapes, blackcurrants, carrots, garlic, kale and broccoli.

For those wishing to find out more, the following comprehensive study on TNI gives a well balanced and authoritative view: "Nutritional supplementation in Down syndrome: theoretical considerations and current status" (by Cornelius Ani* MBBS MSc DCH, Research Fellow; Sally Grantham‑McGregor MBBS MD, Professor of Child Health and Nutrition, Centre for International Child Health; David Muller PhD, Reader in Biochemistry, Biochemistry Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London.)
Kent MacLeod, the founder of Nutrichem has written a book: 'Down Syndrome and Vitamin Therapy' (January 2004) which is probably the most authoritative, comprehensive and readable publication on the subject to date. Highly recommended!


Targeted Nutritional Intervention for Down's Syndrome

In the UK, the Special Health Store supply Nutrivene, one of the original TNI (Targetted Nutritional Intervention) formulations for people with Down's Syndrome, at a very reasonable price

Omega 3 Oils

Beannachar supplies the following products:
Linseed Oil, organic (Granovita) - 2 teaspoonfuls per day (adult)
Fish Oil, (Cytoplan) - one teaspoonful per day (adult), half for a child
St. Clement's Cod Liver Oil. An excellent and pure cod liver oil, rich in DHA, with an orangy pleasant taste. We suggest you order directly from Healthspan Tel: 0800 7312377 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0800 7312377 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Oils can be added to food if desired, but should not be cooked.


  • It is important to take all supplements with or just after meals.
  • Breast-feed the child for as long as seems appropriate. The mother should consume a good source of DHA (fish oil) and flaxseed oil.
  • Avoid sulpha drugs as they deplete zinc, if they must be used, supplement with extra zinc. There are questions about the level of iron supplementation. Too much iron stimulates the Fenton reaction, which converts cellular H2O2 to OH radical, thus increasing oxidative stress. Hence, iron preparations should be avoided.
  • Avoid supplements with large amounts of folic acid as this can cause hyperactivity.
  • Some researchers advocate the use of Piracetam; a drug that helps soften cell membranes, enhances inter-hemispheral connectivity and increases activity of acetylcholine receptors. It is supposedly a very safe drug, (with a very high LD50 - which means that huge amounts would need to be taken to cause a lethal reaction) but it has some worrying side effects such as hyperactivity, autism, epilepsy and depression have been reported. (I do not recommend this.)
  • Other similar products include MSB plus from Nutri-chem in Canada, and Nutrivene from International Nutrition in the USA. Addresses can be found at the end of the article.

Addresses and Links

Down's Syndrome Research Foundation
Web site:

Down Syndrome OPTIONs
Blog, Down Syndrome: A Day to Day Guide
Join me on Facebook
Secure your spot on the DS Conference Cruise
A Conference in May 2012, but has some interesting links...

Manufacturer of MSB+
Nitri-chem Laboratories
Tel: 001 613 820 9065 (001 888 384 7855)
International Center for Metabolic Testing
Same address as Nutrichem above
Producers of Nutrivene-D:International Nutrition Inc.
P O Box #43422
Maryland 21236
(800) 899-3412
Fish OilHealthspan: 0800 7312377 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0800 7312377 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

VAT Exemption

Down's syndrome people in the UK may get exemption from VAT and import duty charged on imported medical items. Contact DTI Customs and excise at 0171 215 5000 (or -4508) and ask for form BFA(BH)89 (Application for relief from Common Customs Tariff Duty - Articles for the blind or handicapped). When the form has been filled in, send to the Customs and Excise office at the place where the items entered the U.K. Note that it is important to retain the customs charge form that will be attached to the parcel, as this shows this address and other essential information.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me:
Richard Phethean
Aberdeen. AB12 5YL.
01224 869251 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01224 869251 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Phone and fax.)

Article was obtained from the following website:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Breathe easier inside your home with these tips

Since all children in general can suffer from respiratory issues and allergies, it is important to do what we can when we can.  Let's make it easier for our children to breathe.  Improving the air inside your home naturally can make everyone feel better.  The following is an article from . Also check this simple tip on how to reduce home toxins by 60% in your home (hint, take your shoes off):

The air you breathe matters. A lot. And I’m not just taking about the great outdoors. Nope. We’re talking indoor air quality here. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air quality may be anywhere from 2 to 5 times poorer than outdoor air quality. In some cases, it’s more than 100 times worse (source).
This becomes even more of a concern during the winter months when we spend less time outside. And let’s be honest, most of us spend more time indoors than we do outdoors no matter what the season.

Some of the immediate reactions to poor indoor air quality include:

  • Frequent sneezing and coughing at home
  • Waking up congested or with a headache
  • Irritated throat, nose or eyes
Long term reactions include things like asthma and respiratory infections.
3 simple ways to improve your air quality (and why you need to!)

Poor indoor air quality: Common culprits

  • Smoking indoors, smoke drifting in from outdoors, or smoke being carried indoors on clothing
  • Other things that burn, like oil, gas, kerosene, charcoal briquettes, wood or candles
  • Central heating, cooling or humidifying systems
  • New or recently installed building materials and furnishings, including carpets and certain wood pressed products
  • Household cleaning and maintenance products
  • Personal care products, like hair spray or soaps
  • Too much moisture in the house
  • Tracking pesticides and pollens in on shoes and clothes
  • Improper circulation of fresh, outside air
The quality level in your home is determined by how much and how often pollution is getting into the air. For example, if you have a properly adjusted gas stove, it will emit significantly less carbon monoxide than one that is not properly adjusted. And of course, good ventilation contributes to improving air quality.

Improving indoor air quality

Aside from the obvious solutions (don’t smoke indoors, replace air filters, check for mold, etc), there are three simple ways that you can improve your indoor air quality right now. And they don’t require fancy technology, either. Awesome.

1. Open your windows

3 simple ways to improve your air quality (and why you need to!)
Circulating fresh, outdoor air through your home not only removes stale air but it also moves pollutants out. It brings in fresh oxygen and makes your home feel better really fast.
But it’s cold outside!
During the winter months it’s especially important to circulate air. I will open 1 or 2 windows for 10 – 15 minutes once or twice a day. It generally doesn’t affect my heat, but I do notice a difference in the air almost immediately. (I’ll often turn my heater off during that time so that it doesn’t turn on and push money out the window.) You can also choose one room, close the heat vents and open the windows for 20 minutes with the door closed. When you are done, close the windows and then open the door to let that fresh air in throughout the whole house.
Note: If the air outside is really bad you may want to hold off on opening the window. For example, in Utah (the land where I live) we usually get a nasty inversion during January. I will always check the air quality outside before opening my window during those “yucky” days.
Check your outdoor air quality here. (for U.S. Residents)

2. Go green: House plants to the rescue.

3 simple ways to improve your air quality (and why you need to!)
In the late ’80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. Since plants are nature’s lungs, it makes sense that they would be good to have in the home. Best of all, many houseplants not only filter the air but can also absorb air toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
According to the NASA study, here are the top plants to improve indoor air quality:
The NASA studies generated the recommendation that you use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers to improve air quality in an average 1,800 square foot house. The more vigorously they grow, the better job they’ll do for you. (source) But even if you can’t get that many right now, any houseplants are better than none.

3. Ditch the toxic chemicals

Homemade Glass Cleaner: Simple. Effective. Nontoxic.
The fumes and chemicals from common household cleaning products are big-time offenders of indoor air quality. Ironically, things like commercial “air fresheners” are some of the most toxic stuff around (and often have labels on them informing the use not to inhale… even though the product is designed to be sprayed in the air?)
There are so many basic recipes out there to help you get rid of the toxic stuff for good while improving indoor air quality, too. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider checking out my new ebook: Toxic Free. It’s perfect for those looking to remove harmful toxins for good. You’ll also simplify your life and put a few extra bucks in your pocket to boot.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three things we built to help with development

Here are three simple things my husband built for Presley.  It really helped him to get involved when she was just an infant.  Dads can sometimes feel left out, and he loved building things for her. The first was the crawling track.  We propped it up on one end just to get her moving forward.  Presley was in a onesie so she could feel the material on her and wiggle her way down the track.   It is a great way to show them they can be mobile, plus they are on their belly for tummy time.  You can lower the track as they get stronger and faster so they use more muscles and less gravity.  We learned of the crawling track from a few blogs previous listed and the book: How to Teach Your Child to be Physically Superb by Glenn Doman.  ( )  It can also be found on amazon reasonably priced.  We also printed black, white, and red infant stimulation cards to line up on both sides of the track. This was donated to a local therapy group to help other children when we were done.

Next is the activity board.  We just wanted to stimulate Presley's mind, challenge her sensory experiences, and encourage her hands to explore.  So we made a trip to Lowe's to find different things.  My husband took a piece of wood, smoothed the edges and attached everything himself.  It didn't take long and it still entertains Presley and Payton a year later. There is acolorful wheel to spin made out of a coaster, a door bell to practice pushing buttons, faucet knobs to practice turning, colorful beads to slide up and down, a scrub brush with the handle cut off to have a different texture (Presley's favorite as an infant), a closet light she could push to turn on, a mirror, latches, and two stretchy keyrings to pull on.  There is a ruler on the floor to show its size.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Building a Healthy Immune System

Most parents say “I would do anything for my child”, sometimes this requires stepping beyond your comfort zone and trying things you never would have tried or believed in before.  As a medic, LPN, RN, then Physician Assistant, I have been in the medical arena for over 20 years.  I have had lots of experience handing out antibiotics to all ages.  However, when Presley was born with Down Syndrome, I began looking into ways to prevent illness more than ever.  Most children with DS begin life with a weaker immune system, which can lead to more frequent infections which can also end up more severe.  As a infant/toddler, their tendency to have very small ear canals set them up for repetitive ear infections and potentially surgery for tube placement.   Ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss (very common with DS), which directly affects their ability to learn.  So, I wanted to influence and strengthen her immune system to help avoid all of this if possible.  Below is the list of things I do, I believe that each activity helps a little.  so cumulatively, they could help a lot.  I hope this will give you some ideas to discuss with your child's primary care physician and areas to research for yourself.

1.   Healthy diet:  I highly recommend the previously posted recipes recommended by our nutritionist that are full of incredible nutrition.  Please see .   One recipe called Thermos Cereal contains grains, nuts, seeds, while the other is a Potato Peel broth made from fresh vegetables.  We do choose organic when possible.   We avoid sugars, processed foods, and “junk food” in general.  We are gluten free and very light on dairy (occasional cheese).  You greatly influence your ability to fight off infections by the foods you choose.    We choose lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Presley starts off each morning with a green smoothie with strawberries (vit C), bananas, apples, elderberry, and probiotics each morning.  See here more information about our smoothies and breakfast routine.   Our second smoothie for the day can be made with the potato peeling broth and frozen fruits for additional nutrition.

2.  Targeted Nutritional Intervention:  A typical child’s diet can be lacking in all the proper nutrients or with the numerous gut issues, there can be a nutrient absorption issue.  Children with DS require specific additional nutrients and extra antioxidants to keep their body functioning at their best.  There are several vitamin supplements designed for DS, such as Nutrivene or MSB.  We do specific lab testing each year to assess and give more individual supplements based on her nutritional needs.  

3.  Vitamin D:  Additional Vitamin D is helpful during the winter months since the days are shorter, and the cooler weather keeps children indoors more.  We use a liquid supplement daily of 2000mg orally, but you should test your child's blood level to see what their baseline is initially.  I try to take the girls outside to play for a minimum of 30 minutes each day.  They love being outside, nature therapy is always the best.

4.  Sambucus :  this is a children’s syrup containing Elderberry, Echinacea, and Propolis.  It can be given once or twice a day during an acute illness to strengthen the immune system or daily prophylactically.  My girls like the taste of plain elderberry that we make.  Here is Tricia's recipe for it, easy and cheaper to make yourself.  I put it in in Presley's smoothie each morning.  Here is a link to it on amazon.

5.  Humidifier:  During the winter months, we have humidifiers going in the house almost at all times, but especially at night where the children sleep.  Heated air within a home can be very dry.  Humidifiers keep the nasal passages moist, and therefore less likely to let infectious invaders through the mucus membrane barrier.  Also, it thins any mucus present during a respiratory infection, thus making it easier to clear.  Humidifiers decrease the dry skin effect of winter, therefore protecting the first line of defense.

 6.  Handwashing:  we do a lot of handwashing.  Most of us wipe the shopping cart down before we go into the grocery store now, but what about after you touch everything in the store?  I use a homemade hand santitizer as soon as we get to the car, followed up by a soap and water handwash when we get home.  Infectious germs can remain alive on inanimate surfaces for several hours, so when you touch the surface then rub your eye, nose, or child’s face, then you just contaminated yourself.  Teach good hygiene.

7.  Avoid crowds: We avoid highly populated areas during the flu season or choose to do these activities during the week when other children are in school or first thing in the morning after the germs have died off during the night.  Shopping with the new "click list" at places like Kroger could be helpful to limit additional exposures.

8.  Chemical free cleaning:  We avoid using a lot of chemicals in our household.  Children’s immune system work over time if they attend day care or school, so it is best to avoid unnecessary exposures when possible.  Just one thing less their immune system has to tackle.  We have used environment friendly (“green”) laundry detergents and now make our own, dish soap, and household cleaners (bakin soda and vinegar can be used on almost anything).  No dyes, no fake scents.   It is also recommended to air out your home every so often.  During the winter months, you can close the door to one room and open the windows and rotate them a couple of times a week.

9.  Probiotics:  a healthy gut is a must.  Probiotics keep healthy normal flora within the digestive tract.  It is stated that 70-80% of the immune system is located within the gut.  I give goat milk almond milk, or coconut milk yogurt daily.  Dairy is notorious for increasing mucus during an illness, so we avoid or minimize it.   We have tried a variety of different probiotics, so I will not list each of them, because the probiotic that works for one child may not be the best for another.   We also alternate probiotic kinds to keep a variety within the digestive tract.   We have also tested her gut bacteria using websites like Viome to see what her baseline is and ensure she has a adequate population of good bacteria.   Some people have had success using protocols like Nemecheck to help restore proper gut function.   Please discuss with your doctor.

10.  Vitamin C:  We give powdered vitamin C to both of our girls each morning in their green smoothie or applesauce.    It was also recommended by our specialist to try a vitamin C flush.  See here to learn more and discuss with your physician.

11.  Chiropractor:  we are fortunate to have a pediatric chiropractor in Little Rock.  Muscles can tighten during illnesses, stress or from everyday occurrences.  This can pull the spine out of line.  Please visit Dr John Vincent’s webpage and watch his informative video about how chiropractic care can help with respiratory illness, ear infections, and the immune system.  I was skeptical initially, but I took Presley when she had a fever over 102 for two days, and I was amazed when it completely resolved within two hours of an adjustment.  Video explaining chiropractic care: and for ear infections:

12.  Garlic:  I cook with garlic almost daily.  Garlic has antimicrobial properties.  I also use turmeric in most meals, as it is an anti-inflammatory and is the precursor to circumin, which is very popular for DS.  I also give the girls 1/4 tsp liquid garlic daily in their smoothie and 1/2 raw clove in my smoothie each morning.

13. Massage:  this relaxes the muscles and calms the body.  I attempt to rub the girls down with coconut oil once or twice a day.  Coconut oil is another great topic for DS, especially concerning Alzheimer’s disease.

14. Exercise:  this is good for everyone.  Active children are more likely to be healthier than sedentary children indoors playing video games.  Go for a walk.   Fresh air is great for you. 

Be sure to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

15.  Laughter:  we have all heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine”.   Dad takes care of the “tickle-fests” each day.   It warms my heart to hear them laughing.  Make sure you take the time to hear your child laugh each day by spending individual time with them.

16.  Aromatherapy:  After reading how some DS moms put oils in humidifiers when their children were sick,  I purchased the book “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy ” by Valerie Ann Worwood.  It only costs about $7 on Amazon.  It opened a whole new world of being able to treat our children without medicine.  For example, if the girls have a runny nose, I may mix rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus oils in a carrier oil base like sweet almond.  Have you ever read the ingredients in vick’s baby rub?  This is exactly what they use, except in a petroleum base.  I can add other things if I believe they have an infection, like tea tree oil.  Tea tree oil has been documented effective against MRSA, a nasty bug resistant to most medications.  I also infuse a mixture called “Plague defense” (aka thieves oil) or “Respiratory relief” after potential exposures or at the first sign of illness.  I can also add a few drops of lavender and eucalyptus to their baths.  It doesn’t take much.  I put a few drops of recommended oils in their humidifiers each night too.  I have moistened a Q-tip with Myrtle and put into each nostril, as was recommended for a persistent runny nose.  All congestion stopped within minutes and lasted 3-4 hours.  The oils are reasonably priced and last a long time.   To learn more, please see my previous post concerning Aromatherapy.

17.  Detox:    Children with DS have lower levels of natural glutathione, the body's super antioxidant as a side effect of the extra chromosome. So, we attempt to limit harmful exposures as we can through our diet and our environment to avoid overburdening the body.  We have done heavy metal testing through our physician and took appropriately lab monitored measures to counteract what we found to help the body function more optimally.   Some other ideas to help the body do its job is adding cilantro to food/smoothies, ionic footbaths, Epsom salt baths, filtered water, filtered shower head for baths, decreased screen/EMF exposures, infared sauna, and reflex integration using a low level laser.   Some other items to look into and discuss with your doctor include AMLA (highest antioxidant value of anything), black seed oil, oregano, aloe, moringa, turmeric or curcumin,  and green tea.

As always, I am not attempting to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition.  Use this information as a launching point to discuss with your physician. 


Friday, January 4, 2013

Surprising Results From Magnesium Research

Recently I started doing some research on teeth grinding.  I noticed Emmalin started to hold her jaw in a very tight position and move it back and forth, similar to teeth grinding but there was no teeth on teeth grinding.  There were similar concerns posted on D.A.D.S. so I decided to do some digging.  I thought it might be more common in DS but after further investigation it just seems to be common with everyone.

First thing I discovered is that most people will say the cause of teeth grinding is an uncommon bite, the teeth, the jaw, anxiety or stress.  Regarding Emma the first three are not an issue and there does not appear to be any stress or major anxiety what is next?  I quickly turned to Andi Durkin at and this is what I found:

Studies show that children with T21 have lower levels of magnesium than a typical child. Unfortunately, problems common to individuals with DS such as oxidative stress and neurodegenerative processes as well as symptoms such as teeth grinding, sensitivity to sound, some forms of stimming and constipation often accompany a magnesium deficiency.
Hmmmm...okay so lets start there.  What I discovered was very interesting.  First things first, let's talk about Magnesium.

Magnesium (Mg) may be the most overlooked mineral. No one has yet popularized a simple way to remember it, in the way that we usually associate potassium with bananas, calcium with bone health, and sodium with blood pressure. But magnesium is an incredibly versatile and important nutrient that many doctors, nutritionists, and researchers believe is the single most important nutrient for human health.

It is essential for over 300 different chemical reactions in the body, including maintaining your energy level, helping you relax, and sustaining the health of your heart and blood vessels. Unfortunately, in most of the developed world, magnesium deficiency is probably the most common nutritional deficiency. Because it has so many crucial functions, and because it appears to protect us from serious conditions that are most prevalent in the developed world, magnesium really is the “miracle mineral.”

More Benifits of Magnesium
One of its most common uses is for alleviating constipation; you may recognize it as the active ingredient in well-known over-the-counter laxative medicines. It is also a natural calcium-channel blocker – many integrative medicine practitioners have used magnesium supplements to help lower blood pressure and maintain healthy blood pressure.

While we often hear about the importance of calcium for bones, magnesium is the other key mineral for healthy bones. And because so many people take calcium pills without magnesium, there may actually be a greater need for magnesium than for calcium in people who are most vulnerable to osteoporosis.

Magnesium is probably the most important nutrient for that energy powerhouse, the human heart; it helps the heart muscle itself function better. Magnesium also helps protect blood vessels, which is where most of what we call heart disease actually happens. Magnesium is also a natural blood thinner, much like aspirin, so many doctors and researchers believe that it may help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Perhaps the area where magnesium could have the biggest impact is in the prevention of diabetes: Scientists have proven that magnesium levels are low in people with diabetes; people with higher magnesium levels do not develop diabetes; and that supplementing with magnesium appears to help reverse pre-diabetes.

As with all minerals in foods, the mineral has to be present in the soil where the food is grown. The best food sources of magnesium are beans, especially soy; whole grains, including bran; nuts like almonds and brazil nuts; and seeds, including flaxseed, sesame, and sunflower. Dry cocoa powder, and thus dark chocolate, is also a great (and incredibly tasty!) source.

Magnesium for Pain Relief

Clinical experience, as well as research in nerve pain conditions such as pancreatic cancer, has shown that magnesium can be an effective treatment for pain. Although it is clear why magnesium can decrease muscle pain (it makes muscles relax), why it would help nerve pain was less clear. A new study on rats to be printed in The Journal of Physiology confirms our clinical experience that magnesium decreases nerve pain — while also pointing to how it works.

A major mechanism of pain is the excessive stimulation of a brain chemical called “NMDA.” The few medications that help decrease and balance this pain-carrying neurotransmitter have the downside of causing significant side effects. Magnesium seems to settle down NMDA without the toxicity. The upside of magnesium is that is very inexpensive (pennies a dose). The downside is that it hasn’t yet made it through the FDA approval process.

The good news is that you don't have to wait for the FDA. Magnesium can be found in supplement form at most health food stores. And magnesium oxide, though not as well absorbed, can also be found for about a nickel per 500 mg tablet.

For an especially powerful effect, the magnesium can be used intravenously, and is an important tool used by most holistic physicians (including those at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers). Many holistic physicians use IV magnesium to eliminate an acute migraine headache. It has even been shown to ease the incredibly severe nerve pain that can sometimes be seen in pancreatic cancer. It is also very helpful for settling down fibromyalgia pain, which has a muscle and nerve component.

The authors of the study suggest that magnesium deficiency can be a major amplifier of pain. Because of food processing, most people are magnesium deficient. If you have pain, taking magnesium each day can start to decrease these deficiencies as well as the pain, after just several weeks — while also leaving you feeling more energetic. (If you have kidney problems, do not use without your physician's OK.)

Magnesium and Teeth Grinding

Magnesium's vital role in nerve and muscle function led at least two researchers to the suspicion that bruxism may be traceable to insufficient consumption, or inefficient utilization, of this metal. A magnesium-deficient diet is said to cause frequent teeth grinding in both sleeping and awake pigs (cf. Lehvila, 1994, p. 219). In humans, the suggested treatment involves magnesium supplements. According to Ploceniak (1990), for instance, prolonged magnesium administration nearly always provides a cure for bruxism. This confirms the earlier report of Lehvila (1974), which claimed remarkable reductions in the frequency and duration of grinding episodes (and at times, their complete cessation) in six patients who took, once a day, a tablet of assorted vitamins and minerals (which included 25 mg {in children} or 100 mg {in adults} of magnesium), for at least five weeks. When the intake of supplements stopped, the symptoms returned.

The proverb “you are what you eat” is very true. Simple diet changes can help your teeth grinding problems. A powerful natural item to be included in your Teeth Grinding Diet for immediate relief is magnesium. A deficiency in magnesium levels is suspected to be one of the causes of many health problems, inducing teeth grinding, migraines, headaches and diabetes.

An important factor in magnesium deficiencies is alcohol intake. The difference between a hangover and a magnesium deficiency can be hard to distinguish. The sensitivity to light and noise and headache are characteristic of both.

Teeth grinding is one medical condition that is associated with vitamin deficiencies, in particular calcium and magnesium. A person who is deficient in their magnesium level will find that their bodies regulate and metabolize calcium in a much less beneficial way, leading to a lower level of bone density.


A magnesium deficiency is not uncommon in this country.  Processing and refining of foods removes most of the magnesium, which is not replaced during the enrichment process.  Also, cooking, freezing, and canning destroys magnesium, so eat the foods listed below.  Chemical fertilization, our most common farming method, depletes the soil of magnesium, whereas organic gardening does not.  Soft-water, which is typical of drinking supplies in many areas of this country, lacks the magnesium content of hard water.  Feel lucky if your soap doesn't lather well, that's a sign of hard water and high magnesium content.  Don't use a water softener for the water you drink. 

More than half of the human body's magnesium is found in bone, the rest is in cells, soft tissues, muscle, and blood.  If magnesium is lacking in the diet, it is taken from bone to insure an adequate amount exists in blood.  Calcium and magnesium are closely related in their body functions and must be in proper proportion.  One part magnesium should be accompanied by approximately two parts calcium.  (Note that the RDA's are not in that proportion.  They are way off-=1 to 10 instead of 1 to 2.)  There is a reciprocal relationship between calcium and magnesium in muscle functioning, calcium stimulates muscles and magnesium relaxes muscles.  Remeber that the heart is a muscle and needs calcium to stay healthy.  Excess calcium may cause a magnesium deficiency.

A deficiency of manganese may lead to atherosclerosis, confusion, convulsions, eye problems, hearing problems, heart disorders, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, irritability, memory loss muscle conpulse, teeth grinding, tremors, and a tendency toward breast ailments.

Functions In The Human Body

Necessary in formation of bones and teeth.  Activates enzymes which help the body use energy from food.  Controls blood pressure.  Regulates body temperature.  Regulates acid-alkaline balance in the body.  Helps in the manufacture of protein, RNA, and DNA.  Used in muscle contraction and relaxation and in nerve functioning.  Helps with constipation by acting as a laxative and flushing out intestines.  Neutralizes stomach acid.  Helps stiff joints. 

Deficiency Symptoms

Magnesium deficiency is sometimes hard to recognize because the symptoms may be linked to other problems or deficiencies.  Severe defiency symptoms include weak muscles, muscle spasms, poor coordination, tremors or convulsions, hypertension, loss of appetite, depression, apprehensiveness, change in personality, a desire to commit suicide, confusion, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, hair loss, swollen gums, irregular heartbeat, calcium deposits in the kidneys, heart, and blood vessels.  Long term magnesium defiency can cause heart and cardiovascular problems.  All of these can cause magnesium deficiency: stress, alcohol, diuretics, highly refined processed foods, lack of protein in the diet, a high carbohydrate diet, too much calcium in the diet, vomiting, diarrhea, and taking too many diuretics.  Magnesium deficiency can cause painful uterine contractions in women in the later stages of pregnancy. 

Toxicity Symptoms

Toxicity is unlikely, being that the kidneys excrete excess magnesium.  If kidneys are not functioning properly, as in the aged and in those with kidney problems, magnesium toxicity may result.  People with kidney problems should not take magnesium supplements unless their doctors approve.  Symptoms include weakness, lethargy, drowsiness, and difficulty breathing.

Life Extension Neuro-Mag L-Threonate $28 w/free shipping
Jarrow MindMag $22.17, buy two and get free shipping
Vitacost has the same Life Extension brand for $30 and a Vitacost brand for $27.


Through Skin
A recent paper by Rosemary Waring from Birmingham has been very helpful. She did experiments with people looking at the absorption of Epsom Salts in the bath. A 15 minute bath at 50ÂșC with a 1% solution of Epsom Salts caused significant rises in plasma magnesium and sulphate levels together with an increase in magnesium excretion in the urine. To achieve a 1% solution, a standard UK bath of 15 gallons requires 600grams, (just over a 1lb) of Epson Salts. The water should feel slightly soapy. In this experiment there were no adverse effects, indeed 2 of the volunteers who were over 60 years of age commented without prompting that their rheumatic pains had disappeared.

RDA in mg:

Males and Females
0 to 630
7 to 1275


Sources of Magnesium

The largest quanitities of manganese are found in avocadoes, nuts and seeds, seaweed, and whole grains. This mineral may also be found in blueberries, egg yolks, legumes, dried peas, pineapples, and green leafy vegetables. Herbs that contain manganese include alfalfa, burdock root, catnip, chamomile, chickweed, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, ginseng, jops, lemongrass, mullein, parsley, peppermint, rasberry, red clover, rose hips, wild yam, yarrow, and yellow dock.

World's Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of
Foods Rating
Swiss Chard1 cup cooked35.0150.5037.619.4excellent
Spinach1 cup cooked41.4156.6039.117.0excellent
Sea Vegetables0.25 cup8.624.206.012.7very good
Basil2 tsp7.011.823.07.6good
Turnip Greens1 cup cooked28.831.687.94.9very good
Summer Squash1 cup raw18.
Pumpkin Seeds0.25 cup180.3190.9247.74.8very good
Mustard Greens1 cup cooked21. good
Cumin1 tsp15.815.373.84.4good
Blackstrap Molasses2 tsp32.129.397.34.1very good
Cucumber1 cup15.613.523.43.9good
Dill2 tsp12.810.752.73.8good
Romaine Lettuce2 cups16.
Cloves2 tsp13.611.092.83.7good
Green Beans1 cup raw31. good
Collard Greens1 cup cooked49.438.009.53.5very good
Halibut4 oz-wt158.8121.3430.33.4very good
Flax Seeds2 tbs74.854.8813.73.3good
Mustard Seeds2 tsp20.314.803.73.3good
Asparagus1 cup raw26.818.764.73.2good
Celery1 cup16.
Kale1 cup cooked36.423.405.82.9good
Broccoli1 cup raw30.919.114.82.8good
Sesame Seeds0.25 cup206.3126.3631.62.8good
Tomatoes1 cup raw32.419.805.02.8good
Cauliflower1 cup raw26.816.054.02.7good
Mushrooms, Shiitake87 g29.617.404.32.6good
Eggplant1 cup raw19.711.482.92.6good
Sunflower Seeds0.25 cup204.4113.7528.42.5good
Buckwheat1 cup154.685.6821.42.5good
Fennel1 cup raw27.014.793.72.5good
Quinoa42.50 g156.483.7220.92.4good
Beets1 cup raw58.531.287.82.4good
Brussels Sprouts1 cup raw37.820.245.12.4good
Black Beans1 cup cooked227.0120.4030.12.4good
Cashews0.25 cup189.5100.0425.02.4good
Soybeans1 cup cooked297.6147.9237.02.2good
Scallops4 oz-wt127.062.3715.62.2good
Almonds0.25 cup206.098.6724.72.2good
Green Peas1 cup raw115.753.7213.42.1good
Tuna4 oz-wt157.672.5718.12.1good
Leeks1 cup raw54.324.926.22.1good
Raspberries1 cup64.
Strawberries1 cup46.118.724.71.8good
Tofu4 oz-wt86.
Tempeh4 oz-wt cooked222.387.3221.81.8good
Brown Rice1 cup216.483.8521.01.7good
Bell Peppers1 cup raw28.511.042.81.7good
Spelt4 oz-wt246.495.0623.81.7good
Wheat1 cup cooked151.158.2414.61.7good
Oats1 cup cooked166.163.1815.81.7good
Navy Beans1 cup cooked254.896.4624.11.7good
Lima Beans1 cup cooked216.280.8420.21.7good
Millet1 cup cooked207.176.5619.11.7good
Cantaloupe1 cup54.419.204.81.6good
Winter Squash1 cup baked75.826.656.71.6good
Pinto Beans1 cup cooked244.585.5021.41.6good
Shrimp4 oz-wt112.338.569.61.5good
Watermelon1 cup45.615.203.81.5good
Kidney Beans1 cup cooked224.874.3418.61.5good
Rye0.33 cup188.561.3515.31.5good
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