By Eoin Roe, Chiropractic
Last month I wrote an article looking at omega 3 and vitamin D3 supplements, and based on evidence they are two supplements that nearly everybody would benefit from taking. But there are others supplements that I routinely find in people who present in clinic, normally with joint and muscle problems. The most common of these are Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin B12.
Calcium is something that I find lacking in patients of all ages. Osteoporosis is a severe deficiency of calcium causing weak bones and although it is most prevalent for postmenopausal women due to the changes in hormone balance it can also cause a loss of bone density in men.
The relationship of calcium to support your bodies’ function is much more than just providing bone strength. Calcium ions are important molecules for our muscles, nerves (including heart rhythm), blood clotting agents and immune system. Actually one of the roles of our bones is to be a storage device for the calcium that we need for all other functions.
The best natural food sources we can add to our diet are green leafy vegetables and sardines. You will note that I have not mentioned milk. Whilst milk is high in calcium too much has been potentially linked to other health issues. Many of the calcium supplements available are made from calcium carbonate which is basically chalk – and definitely not very digestible – If you a sourcing a supplement a much better source of calcium which is more easily digested is made from calcified seaweed.
Commonly people who present in clinic who are calcium deficient will often have soreness around their hips and/or shoulder and often this is in both shoulders and/or hips. They will also have stiffness and muscle soreness and will nearly always present with weak psoas muscles.
This is another important element, which has over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It is involved in many of the same functions as calcium, and has an additional role to play in regulating blood glucose levels and energy production. Magnesium deficiency can affect people of all ages and activity levels particularly those doing strenuous exercise as we can loose magnesium in our sweat. Natural sources of magnesium come from green vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. The best form of supplementation for musculoskeletal issues is Magnesium Citrate.
Vitamin B12 is an especially important vitamin for maintaining healthy nerve cells, and amongst other things it helps to make red blood cells and to help iron work better in the body. Symptoms often related with B12 deficiency include persistent tiredness, aches and pain, neurological symptoms, memory loss and severe B12 deficiency related to pernicious anaemia to name a few.
Whilst B12 deficiency is well known in medical circles there are many difficulties in diagnosing this deficiency with blood tests as it seems unclear as to what actually constitutes a vitamin B12 deficiency and whether circulating B12 in the blood is actually a good indication of B12 that is in use in the cells. If this is something that interests you can take a look at my Facebook page as I have posted a great article about this.
It is important to have sufficient amounts of B12 and natural sources are eggs, dairy, meat (particularly liver) and shellfish. B12 deficiency is prevalent in vegans and eating foods fortified with B12 or taking a supplement is recommended.
This article is meant for information only if you have any questions or would like an assessment please give me a call. I am currently working on updating my website and hope to have more information on my blog www.eoinroechiropractic.com soon. Do check it out as I currently have a special offer of a free follow up treatment available through the website.
Eoin Roe is a Chiropractor and Musculoskeletal specialist working in Skibbereen, Kinsale and Douglas – 087 958 2362.