Alternative Medicine

Helpful Nutritional Supplements. Part 2

There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that vitamin A may, in fact, protect against some of the ravages of smoking. But smokers should not interpret this to mean that if they take vitamin A, they can go on smoking without risk. Such protection would, at best, be only partial.

Vitamin A is available in two forms: fully formed vitamin A (technically known as Tecinol), and several pre-vitamin A substances, most notably beta-carotene, which are converted to vitamin A inside your body. Preformed vitamin A can have toxic effects at relative low levels. but beta-carotene is relatively nontoxic because it is converted into the active form very slowly. Beta-carotene is found in dark yellow, orange and green fruits a vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, asparagus, apricots and cantaloupe. One simple way for smokers to increase the level of vitamin A in their diet is to add carrots to their snack time menu.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an active antioxidant and can block the formation of some cancer-causing substances, especially the nitrosamines. These carcinogenic substances can be formed ? after you eat smoked, cured or pickled foods which contain nitrites. Tobacco products also contain nitrosamines. Vitamin C may also block the formation of other cancer-causing substances.

Vitamin C is also required for proper functioning of white blood cells in fighting infections, but smoking decrease the vitamin C levels inside these cells. The vitamin C levels of the white cells are frequently diminished during infections and during periods of environmental, physical or psychological stress. There is some evidence to suggest that high levels of vitamin C help reduce the duration of colds.

Smoking Breaks Down Vitamin C Smoking one cigarette breaks down roughly the same amount of vitamin C as you would get from an orange. As a result, smokers have 30 percent to 50 percent less vitamin C in their blood streams than nonsmokers.

A number of studies suggest that the diets of many American ? smokers and nonsmokers alike ? maintain low levels of this vitamin. Smokers take in less vitamin C than nonsmokers, even though they have a greater need for it. Smokers who do not eat breakfast are even more likely to be deficient in vitamin C intake.

Thus health-concerned smokers who don’t already eat plenty of vitamin C-rich foods may be well advised either to add more vitamin C to their diets or to consider taking vitamin C supplements. Fresh fruits and vegetable especially cirrus fruits, green pepper cantaloupe and broccoli are the best sources of vitamin C. One of the most convenient and least expensive ways to take vitamin C is in granular, rather than tablet, form. Granular vitamin C is a grainy powder. It is usually taken dissolved in water or juice.

A well-equipped first-aid kit contents will help out you respond effectively, quickly to common emergencies and injuries. Everyone must have an individual first aid kit handy in the workplace, at home and in the car.