Dr. Miaken Zeiger | Tuesday March 9, 2021
My definition of health is vastly different from the average person.
Most people define their health as how they feel. Meaning, if you feel good, you’re healthy. But, most chronic diseases start long before you feel anything. For example:
• Heart disease’s nickname is “the silent killer” because it’s first symptom is a heart attack that often kills people;
• Breast cancer is said to be present within the body for 10 to 12-years before it’s large enough to identify under a microscope; and
• For osteoarthritis and degenerative disc/joint disease to present on x-ray, it’s estimated to have been around between 5-30 years!
In fact, a 2018 study conducted at the University of North Carolina revealed that 88% of the United States adult population was at risk for chronic disease. That means a small sliver of the adult population meets the criteria for metabolic health, defined by optimal blood pressure, blood sugar, HDL cholesterol, body mass and triglyceride levels without resorting to medications. (1)
This can give us insight as to why we, as Americans, have experienced such crisis and challenge during the 2020 Pandemic. And… it’s NOT OKAY.
As a side note, it’s worth noting that although the disease process is labeled the “bad guy,” it is, in fact, an intelligent response by the brain and body to survive years and decades of stress. What stress? Our founder, DD Palmer called it the 3Ts: thoughts, trauma, and toxins. Below is a short list of just some examples of the different types of stressors we can experience in life.
Creating Health and Vitality
… requires a much more diverse definition than just how we feel. My definition: health is how we eat, move, think, sleep, hydrate, connect with our community, heal past trauma, live with/on purpose, daily joy, gratitude and laughter, clean air, and a subluxation-free brain/body connection to fully integrate all of it. Creating health and vitality is work, takes discipline and accountability; is an investment in time, energy, money.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is a worth a pound of cure.”
As I get older, I realize the stress of life will likely not lessen, but increase; and increasing stress coupled with aging – that’s where breakdown can occur. Having a daily health regimen that supports a higher expression of health and well-being is a necessity. If you tuned into our blog last month, I shared my personal health story and regimen in hopes of inspiring you to fine-tune what you’re already doing. This month, I’d like to bring clarity to my nutrition and supplement choices.
Dr. Miaken’s Supplement Choices
This blog focuses on my supplement choices. For food and nutritional recommendations, I encourage you to check out my blog on How Nutrition Boosts Immune Function or Promising Foods that Stop Covid, the Flu & Colds; additionally, we cover the topic in our YouTube Wellness Workshop: Nutrition Essentials.
Dark, leafy green vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrition containing carotenoids, antioxidants, Vitamins C, K, folate, iron, calcium and fiber. Because greens are often lacking in the Western diet, I opt for a greens powder from a clean source (organic, non-GMO, no additives/fillers, sugars, etc.) to supplement my food choices.
A multi-vitamin is meant to bridge the micronutrient gap that busy lives and lacking food sources create. It is strictly intended to supplement a well-rounded diet to ensure inadequacies don’t stack up. There is a good deal of evidence supporting multi-vitamin use for prevention or outcomes for anemia, eye health and bone disease; even indications of a connection between multi-vitamin use and prevention of cancer and heart disease.
Optimal nutrient bases are more likely to be found in supplements that spread the contents over several tablets or capsules.
Essential Fatty Acids, Omega 3s/Fish Oils
Your body requires a balance of omega-6 (processed vegetable oils, foods and restaurant fare) and omega-3 fats to reduce your risk of chronic illness. 100-years ago, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 was 4:1; consuming the standard American diet, the ratio has drastically reversed to 25:1; many believe this has resulted in the skyrocketing rates of disease. Consumption of Omega-3 fats have been shown to prevent coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, bronchial asthma and diabetes. (2)
Types of omega-3 fats: EPA is important to your heart and musculoskeletal system, DHA is vital to brain health.
General dosing requirements:
• Daily supplement for healthy people who rarely eat fish: 0.5-1.0 g/day
• Chronic ailments that may benefit from increasing intake, 2-4 g/day
• Acute therapy for serious illness, recovery from injury or surgery, 3-30 g/day
High levels of Vitamin D are crucial to avoiding chronic disease and supporting overall immune health. Additionally, it is vital for calcium metabolism, cell and growth development and brain health. Pneumonia, breast and liver cancers, and depression are all associated with insufficient levels of Vitamin D. In fact, Vitamin D deficiency increases your risk of death to Covid by 15fold. (3)
To naturally increase Vitamin D levels, sun exposure for 20-minutes between 10am-2pm several times a week is recommended. Even with optimal sun levels, the majority of people are deficient. It is important that when supplementing, you are taking the active form of Vitamin D: cholecalciferol (or D3.)
I supplement between 5,000-10,000 IUs, daily; however, I recommend you get your Vitamin D levels tested; you can then utilize a Vitamin D Calculator for appropriate dosing. Re-tests can be done every 3-6 months to assess your levels and subsequent dosing.
Because magnesium is required to activate Vitamin D, it is essential. Magnesium decreases oxidative stress, reduces blood vessel dysfunction and lowers blood clot and stroke risk by decreasing the “stickiness” of red blood cells.
In a meta-analysis published by BMC Medicine in 2016, researchers found higher magnesium linked to decreased risk of death from all causes; additionally, lowered odds of developing stroke, type-2 diabetes and heart failure. (4)
My goal is to take 400-500 mg/day. To increase your dietary intake of magnesium, you can find it in: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews and walnuts, beans, whole grains, tofu, bananas, spinach, green leafy vegetables, oatmeal and dark chocolate.
Extensive research has shown a link between the use of probiotics, ideal gut bacterial balance and disease prevention. Imbalance in the gut microbiome, the delicate ecosystem of good bacterial that assist in performing life-sustaining functions, can contribute to increased intestinal permeability, which allow toxins to enter the bloodstream and stresses the immune system. Probiotics encourage the presence of friendly bacteria that help correct bacterial imbalance.
I recommend a high quality formulation and wide-spectrum containing between 20-100 billion colony forming units (CFUs.) To get more probiotics into your diet, eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and yogurt with active cultures. (5)
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the immune system, improves the function of arteries, suppresses inflammation, and reduces cellular oxidative stress. Recent research confirms the cardio-protective effects of Vitamin C, and its ability to reduce the odds of premature death from any cause. In a Chinese study, higher vitamin C levels were associated with 23% reduced risk of premature mortality, along with a 38% lower risk of dying of heart disease. (6)
Additionally, Vitamin C can also alleviate and prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. (7)
My Vitamin C dosing ranges between 1-4,000-mg; taken throughout the day (as Vitamin C has ½ life of 30-minutes.)
Quercetin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables; it’s been shown to suppress inflammation (which contributes to heart disease,) especially when coupled with Vitamin C. It lowers levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker that when elevated is associated with heart disease and obesity. Additionally, quercetin lowers LDL cholesterol, supports artery flexibility, acts against high blood pressure, reduces blood sugar and combats obesity.
For more information on Quercetin and other Micronutrient rich foods, check out my previous article.
Melatonin is crucial for the regulation of your sleep cycle. It is an important energy hormone and potent antioxidant that plays a significant role in cancer prevention. It benefits your brain, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health, and has been shown to boost immune function. Melatonin helps protect your mitochondria, which generate energy inside cells. (8)
Optimizing melatonin production by making sure you sleep at night is key to mitochondrial health, which directly impacts longevity and prevention of chronic health problems. Additionally, getting natural sunlight daily to help set your circadian rhythm; and avoiding bright and blue lights when the sun goes down.
Remember, supplementation is meant to fill in the gaps of a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. And, just like chiropractic, what you do consistently builds health and vitality over time. The components that make-up health are diverse and multi-faceted; and when you choose to approach your health journey holistically, you are choosing to love and invest in you. I’m doing it with you; and here to support you along the way. Love and appreciate you!
1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Prevalence of Optimal Metabolic Health in American Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2016
2. Mercola: More Data Support Heart Healthy Benefits of Omega-3s
3. DiNicolantonio, James et. al. The Immunity Fix: Strengthen Your Immune System, Fight Off Infections, Reverse Chronic Disease and Live a Healthier Life. October 27, 2020.
4. NCBI: Magnesium
5. Natural Health 365: Probiotic
6. Natural Health 365: Vitamin C Lowers Risk of Death from Cancer and Heart Disease
7. Natural Health 365: Vitamin C Deficiency
8. Mercola: Melatonin