Balancing Supplements and Food Intake

Part Three Vitamins and minerals_by Clarice C. Cook

s always, consult your health care provider for answers about nutrition.  Include supplements in the list of prescription drugs for health care records. However, it is ultimately the job of each individual to do the daily work to eat, exercise and make note of how our bodies react to foods and supplements.

Planning meals should include considering the food values in relation to supplementation.  In our busy world, it is aggravating for most of us to have to fit in reading labels and researching what we are putting into our bodies.

Why is it important?  Why can’t we just take a multivitamin, eat what we want and call it good?

 Persons with dementia, heart disease or other disorder are deficient  or overly stimulated in vitamins and minerals that produce the natural body chemistry or build muscle, bones or in some way strengthen and enhance the body’s immune system to guard against a shut down.  Everybody is different and one size does not fit all.

The formula must be balanced.  Too little can cause a deficiency.   Too much of a certain supplement or food value can do more harm than good.  This las t sentence is enough to make a person throw up their hands in disgust.  However, there is a solution. 

Contact a licensed nutritionist for an individual analysis of what good guys and what bad guys are cruising through your arteries and veins.  Learn about food values and about the function of each vitamin and mineral.  Keep a food and supplement diary and do a count of vitamins and minerals in food and supplements that you are consuming each day.  In the diary, take note of any health issues or complaints you may have throughout a month’s time.

Seemingly innocent herbs and vitamins can interfere or interact with medications in a negative way.

 If a person is on a blood thinner, it is not wise to take any supplement that also adds to an anticoagulant action.  Report to your health care team if you take Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Garlic, Ginsing or Gingko.  These might interact with blood thinning meds and cause bleeding.  Some foods are also blood thinners, such as broccoli.

 St. John’s Wort is famous among persons who have high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure. This supplement can interfere with statins and high blood pressure medications.

 Under no circumstances should anyone take Kava.  It has been known to cause liver damage.

Amounts of vitamins and minerals are also important to control. 

Read food and supplement labels and record amounts of suggested nutritional values.  Choose supplements or foods according to the needs of the body.  Take note of amounts of food as well.

 Supplements to monitor are Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Vitamin C. 

Vitamin B’s and Vitamin C’s are water soluble and important to include in the daily plan.  However, take no more than 100 milligrams a day of vitamin B6, because more can cause temporary nerve damage.  Huge amounts of Vitamin C can develop risk for kidney stones in men.  Check to see that only the recommended doses are taken a day.  Include the amounts of C consumed in foods like fruits and juices.

More than 10,000 IUs a day of the hormone vitamin D might develop symptoms like poor appetite to frequent urination.  A deficiency can lead to bone disorders and can be best obtained through sunlight and foods.  Ds need choline, calcium, phosphorous and vitamins A, C and F in order to assimilate properly.

Vitamin A’s are important for organs such as the skin, hair and eyes.  However, taking more than 10,000 IU’s a day can cause vomiting, headache, dizziiness and blurry vision.

 References:  AARP August -September 2016  Checkup for your medicine cabinet by Robin Westen and Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James E Balch, MD and Phyllis A Balch, CNC






Food values










Clarice Cagle Cook, CDP is the author of Creating the Dynamic Dementia Care Team and Memory Path Care Solutions found on, Barnes and and other book stores.

















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