7 Nutritional Strategies for Headaches

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If you suffer from headaches, migraine or otherwise, finding dietary strategies may prove difficult. Take the banana as an example.  The banana has a lot of good stuff in it: potassium, magnesium, vitamin B 6 and vitamin C. A lot of these nutrients and minerals appear on this list of headache fighters. However, bananas also find themselves on the list of possible migraine trigger foods. That means, finding a nutritional strategy is really an individual journey, one that should possibly be even undertaken with the aid of a health care professional.  With that said, here’s a list of vitamins and minerals that have shown promise for headache prevention and elimination.

  1. Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) 
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50% RDI of B-2, B-6, B-12

According to current lines of scientific thought, migraine sufferers are believed to have an impaired ability to metabolize oxygen due to mitochondrial dysfunction. Since riboflavin plays such an important role in metabolism, it could therefore improve mitochondrial functioning and overall oxygen metabolism. The majority of test subjects in a Belgian study saw a significant reduction in migraine attacks after consuming 400 mg of vitamin B-2 daily.

2. Magnesium

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High concentration topical magnesium

Of all the nutrients on this list, magnesium probably has the best scientific evidence backing it for migraine prevention, migraine reduction and headache relief in general.

  • First, people who suffer from migraines are believed to have magnesium deficiencies in their brains.
  •  Secondly, serotonin deficiency can cause migraines. Guess what nutrient balances serotonin levels? It’s magnesium.
  • Thirdly, it’s shown promise as a way to relieve PMS-related headaches.
  • Magnesium may also be able to stop small, calcium-related blood clots from forming and causing headaches.
  • For general headaches, magnesium may relieve tension and spasms in the head and neck muscles.

3. CoQ10

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60 mg of CoQ10, balanced EFAs

A 2002 study found that migraine sufferers who took CoQ10 for periods of three months or more reduced their frequency of attacks by half.

Sources (1-3): Migraine Trust, The Magnesium Miracle

4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

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Balanced omega fatty acids

In a small study published in Pain, researchers found that balanced omega fatty acids reduced headache pain and frequency and improved quality of life. A 2002 study on adolescents found that omega 3’s may be beneficial for recurring migraines.

5. Folate, B6, and B12

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10% RDI folate and other B Vitamins

A study released in early 2015 linked a diet high in the B vitamins folate (B-9), B-6 and B-12 to a reduction in migraine frequencies.

6. Probiotics

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Friendly bacteria

Some headaches are associated with a stomach bug known as helicobacter pylori.  Eliminating that stomach bug with antibiotics cleared up the headaches. However, if those people followed up the antibiotics with probiotics, they only had a 20% chance of relapse. Those who took the antibiotics alone were 50% likely to relapse.  Source: CBS News

Counter-intuitively, irritable bowel syndrome can cause headaches. Probiotics may relieve IBS and would then reduce headaches in that way.

7. Vitamin B-3, Calcium and Vitamin D

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38% RDI Calcium, 70% RDI Vitamin D, 26% RDI Magnesium

Vitamin B-3, calcium and vitamin D have all shown promise as a way to reduce premenstrual headaches.

5 Nutritional Strategies for Acne

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The connections between diet and acne are often overlooked. This is strange due to the fact that one of the most common treatments for acne is prescribing 13-cis-retinoic acid (RA) to suppress sebum in both pill and topical form. This chemical (that sounds like a Star Wars robot) is “a retinoid that could derive from the metabolism of Vitamin A.” (–“The Relationship Between Diet and Acne”).

From the aforementioned paper.

Let’s also not forget that most dermatologists are influenced by nutritional studies to recommend ingestion of isotretinoin with fatty foods. Retinol (Vitamin A), carotenoids (provitamin A) and retinoids (Vitamin A metabolites) are absorbed better with parallel intake of vegetable oils.

Therefore how could we ever rule out the possibility that diet has no effect on acne? Especially when diet influences the absorption of a nutrient or a drug that affects the mitigation of that disease? May be we cannot treat acne with nutrition but we can certainly influence it

With that quote in mind, let’s look at some nutritional choices that could influence acne.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays a big role in the health of the skin. A-vitamin deficiency can cause dry skin among other, greater problems. As stated previously, synthetic vitamin A is used to treat acne. This vitamin also helps the skin repair itself and boosts the immune system which can help the body fight off acne-causing bacteria.

Omega-3 

According to Web MD,  “Omega-3s have been shown to control the production of leukotriene B4, a molecule that can increase sebum and cause inflammatory acne.” This finding comes from a study released in 2008 where test subjects consumed omega-3s for two months. At the end of the study, the subjects saw a significant reduction in lesions and inflammation.

Vitamin D 

A 2014 study showed that vitamin A and vitamin D regulate the inflammatory response in acne and suggested that they could be effective nutritional tools.

Low GI Foods

A 2007 study looked at the diets of over forty test subjects. Some subjects were asked to follow a 12-week low-glycemic index diet. The subjects who did had less acne and even lost some weight.

Cut Out Cow’s Milk 

It has been suggested in several studies that the hormones in cow’s milk may worsen acne.  (Instead, you can get your calcium and vitamin D from CalciAIM).

The AIM Companies provides several nutritional supplements that can fit into a low GI diet. Additionally, we have AIMega for omega-3s, CalciAIM for calcium and vitamin D and Just Carrots and BarleyLife Xtra for your vitamin A needs.

Nutrition for Lifelong Skeletal Health

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Osteoporosis International recently published an article that examined the nutritional needs of the skeleton during its bony lifetime.  Using the results of over 130 studies, the researchers set out to outline ideal nutritional goals to aid the bones during their journey from the cradle to the Craftmatic adjustable chair.

Here are some highlights:

During Pregnancy: 

  • An overall healthy diet was linked time and time again with the skeletal health of the child
  • The most important element, however, was vitamin D intake
  • In England and the US, a third of mothers tested weren’t getting adequate amounts of vitamin D
  • Low levels of maternal vitamin D were linked to an increase in childhood fractures in a Danish study
  • Vitamin D supplementation has been assessed as safe and effective for all expectant women in a US study
  • Increase in protein, fiber and potassium recommended
  • Significant increase in calcium and vitamin D recommended

During Childhood

Specifically, calcium, vitamin D and protein are the most important nutrients for bone health during the first two decades.

  • Inadequate calcium is a worldwide problem affecting both children, adolescents and expectant mothers
  • The same groups also tend to not get enough vitamin D
  • Protein provides amino acids that help to build the bone matrix and provides materials for bone formation
  • A high-dairy diet was linked to greater bone density and greater bone mineral content
  • It is theorized that some mild distal forearm fractures (the most common in children) may be preventable through lifestyle intervention

During Adulthood (Aged 20-60)

During this 30–40-year period, bone mass remains comparatively high in both sexes until the onset of menopause in women and the beginning of the eighth decade in men. As for younger individuals, a well-balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein, with adequate amounts of certain other micronutrients, will fulfill the nutritional requirements of the adult skeleton.

  • Inadequate dietary calcium intake has been reported worldwide
  • Vitamin D deficiency is widespread
  • High-risk groups for vitamin D deficiency include the obese, the dark-skinned, people who live at high latitudes, people with intestinal disorders and others who can’t get enough sun for whatever reason
  • Vitamin D helps with calcium uptake
  • Protein has been linked to a small improvement in bone mass density and bone mineral content
  • Vitamin K has been linked to lower risk of hip fractures
  • Vitamins B12, B6 and folate may help keep hyperhomocysteinemia (a fracture risk) in check
  • Magnesium plays a role in producing bone-repairing osteoclasts
  • Zinc helps renew and mineralize bone tissue
  • An acidic diet can lead to the destruction of osteoclasts
  • Usually associated with being bad to the bone, smoking and drinking are actually bad for the bones

As a Senior

  • Low levels of vitamin D and calcium reported
  • Malnutrition is common in seniors
  • Seniors tend to need significantly more protein, especially if they suffer from acute or chronic diseases with some exceptions
  • Many chronic illnesses disrupt the ability to get optimum nutrition
  • Exercise is important

CalciAIM Video


CalciAIM™ is a natural citrus drink mix that provides free ionic calcium and bioavailable nutrients essential to proper skeletal function and overall wellness. Each scoop contains 38 percent of the daily intake of calcium, along with support minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, copper, and vitamins A, C, and D.

CalciAIM: A Healthy Foundation for Your Body

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Postmenopausal women, the lactose intolerant, vegetarians, people who consume large amounts of alcohol, caffeine, and/or soda, folks with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, people who don’t get enough sun, those who live in nursing homes, IBS sufferers, the obese, the very dark-skinned, and most people. It may seem like a random list of qualities, but everyone mentioned has something in common. They are all at risk of being either calcium or vitamin D deficient. The body relies on vitamin D to produce a hormone called calcitrol to absorb calcium. That means if you’re deficient in vitamin D there is a good chance that you’re lacking calcium, too. And if you don’t have enough calcium, it may be because you don’t get enough vitamin D.

The good news is that you can get both of these essential nutrients in every scoop of CalciAIM, a great-tasting citrus drink that provides you with everything that you need for strong bones and a healthy body.

Calcium
Apart from skeletal health, optimal calcium levels are important for vascular contraction, vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmissions, intracellular signaling, and hormonal secretion. A full-grown adult needs at least 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Postmenopausal women and elderly men need 1,200 mg or more. CalciAIM provides 386 mg of calcium per serving, and unlike milk, CalciAIM doesn’t contain estrogen, saturated fat, or lactose. It’s also a vegan source of this essential nutrient.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and a healthy heart. According to Medscape.com, most people are deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency in this vitamin has been linked to weight gain and depression as well as breast, prostate and colon cancer. CalciAIM has 70 percent of your daily vitamin D, so there’s no need to go without any longer.

Magnesium
CalciAIM also contains significant amounts of other bone-building vitamins and minerals. It has 30 percent of your daily magnesium. Studies have linked magnesium to increased bone density and the ability to retain calcium. Furthermore, magnesium deficiency (as well as calcium deficiency) is linked to osteoporosis.

Vitamin C, Zinc, Copper
CalCiAIM contains 54 percent of your daily vitamin C needs for improved immune system health and assistance in the absorption of calcium required for the synthesis of bone and connective tissue. Last but not least, copper (24 percent) and zinc (12 percent) both help stop bone loss.

Low Vitamin D: High Rate of Cognitive Decline

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Vitamin D deficiency–alongside magnesium, potassium and folate to name just a few–is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies. You need vitamin D to absorb calcium for bone growth, and your muscles need it for movement; it helps nerves transmit messages and bolsters the immune system. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer,  autoimmune diseases and more. But a recent study out of UC Davis and Rutgers University has now linked vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

Published in JAMA Neurology,  the study looked at 400 ethnically diverse elderly men and women who lived along the same longitude. (People with olive skin and darker are at greater risk for vitamin D deficiency due to higher levels of melanin in the skin). At the beginning  of the study, all participants were healthy or showed only slight signs of cognitive decline. They had their blood tested for vitamin D.  Twenty-six percent of the group was D deficient and thirty-six percent were vitamin D insufficient.

The researchers followed up with the group over the next five years. Those who suffered from insufficient levels of vitamin D experienced cognitive declines two-to-three times faster than those with adequate vitamin D levels.

From the Press Release:

“Independent of race or ethnicity, baseline cognitive abilities and a host of other risk factors, vitamin D insufficiency was associated with significantly faster declines in both episodic memory and executive function performance,” said Joshua Miller, professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the time when the research was conducted and now professor and chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University.

The body mainly gets its vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. However, as humans have become more industrialized, we’ve tended to spend less time outdoors than our ancestors. This is probably why most of us are low on this all-too-important nutrient. The good news is that there is AIM’s CalciAIM. It contains 70% RDA of vitamin D alongside calcium, magnesium, copper and vitamin C.  It’s a great-tasting beverage that combos well with Herbal Fiberblend or Peak Endurance.

Vitamin K has also been linked to slower rates of cognitive decline. 

5 Nutritional Strategies for Knee Pain

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The greatest danger to your knees is simply using your knees–as one does–for years and years and years.  According to WebMD, there’s a 33% chance that if you’re at the doctor, you’re there because your knee hurts. The majority of knee problems are caused by osteoarthritis, a condition brought about by wear and tear.  Athletes, the overweight, women, rheumatoid arthritis sufferers and the elderly are those people at the greatest risk of suffering this kind of knee pain.

One of the simplest ways of reducing knee pain is by losing weight.  A study in Arthritis and Rheumatism found that for every pound lost, it reduced four pounds of stress on the knees.  In other good news, exercise that helps strengthen muscles around the knees can also reduce pain. Additionally, there are several nutritional strategies that can help alleviate knee pain.  Here are some.

  1. Glucosamine and MSM

Several studies have shown that glucosamine and MSM fight osteoarthritis pain by reducing inflammation.  A study published in Clinical Drug Investigations concluded that:

From the abstract:

Glu, MSM and their combination produced an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect in osteoarthritis. Combination therapy showed better efficacy in reducing pain and swelling and in improving the functional ability of joints than the individual agents. All the treatments were well tolerated. The onset of analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity was found to be more rapid with the combination than with Glu. It can be concluded that the combination of MSM with Glu provides better and more rapid improvement in patients with osteoarthritis.

Related Product: Frame Essentials

      2. Vitamin K

In 2009 study from the Journal of Orthopaedic Science, researchers found a link between low levels of vitamin K and the development of knee osteoarthritis.

Related Product: LeafGreens, BarleyLife, BarleyLife Xtra, CoCoa LeafGreens,

3. Choose Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Increased inflammation can lead to increased pain. So you’ll want to stay away from inflammatory foods: trans fats, sugar, red meat, refined carbohydrates and the like.  Instead, choose anti-inflammatory foods like leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish.

Related Products: BarleyLife, BarleyLife Xtra, LeafGreens, CoCoa LeafGreens

    4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids 

Not only have Omega-3 fatty acids been shown to reduce inflammation, but low levels of omega-3’s have been linked to the development of osteoarthritis in animal studies.

Related Product: AIMega

  5. Vitamin D

A study on 400 people with osteoarthritis found that subjects who had low levels of vitamin D had more than a 50% chance of their condition worsening when compared to those who had healthy vitamin-D levels.

Related Product: Veggie D, CalciAIM