Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘diabetic’

Enviga

The Coca Cola Corporation has begun a joint venture with the Nestle Corporation to produce a new drink called Enviga.  This green tea based beverage is claimed to be a “negative calorie” drink that will help burn calories.  Enviga does have calories, actually 5 per can.  The “negative calorie” claim must therefore be the belief that the drinks will burn more calories than it provides. W ill the drink really help you lose weight though and at what cost?

The manufacturers of Enviga claim that drinking 3 cans of Enviga a day will burn 60 to 100 calories per day.  This is the equivalent number of calories of the average éclair, one cup of fat free ice cream, or 4 to 6 level teaspoons of sugar.  In terms of fat, this equates to the loss of about of about 5 pounds over a year.  Each can of Enviga costs an average of $1.40.  Therefore, to lose that 5 pounds, if the drink really causes weight loss, would cost $1,533.00.

On the other hand, drinking a cold glass of water burns around 17 calories as the body burns calories to warm the water.  Therefore, drinking 8 sixteen ounce glasses of cold water daily will burn 136 calories daily.  In addition, drinking water not only helps to cleanse the system but it also suppresses the appetite.  Both of these will help reduce weight.  A brisk walk burns 7 calories per minute.  If it took 10 minutes to walk to the store to buy the Enviga you would burn 70 calories and another 70 calories on the way back.  That is more calories burnt than by drinking 3 cans of Enviga.  In addition, regular exercise helps to build muscle, which burns fat even when in a resting state.

Calories are not the only cause of weight gain though.  So the real question is will Enviga help people lose weight.  In my opinion, no it will not help people lose weight.  In fact, it is more likely to cause weight gain than weight loss.  To understand why we must first look at the ingredients:

Carbonated water, calcium lactate, concentrated green tea from tea leaves, citric acid, phosphoric acid, potassium sorbate and potassium benzoate, natural flavors, Aspartame, caffeine and Acesulfame-K.

The only ingredients in Enviga that will have any real effect on weight loss are the green tea concentrate and added caffeine.  Catechins in green tea have been found to help boost the metabolism. as does the added caffeine and the additional caffeine from the tea extract.  On the other hand, Enviga uses two artificial sweeteners, Aspartame, and Acesulfame-K.  Not getting in to the other dangerous adverse effects of these two artificial sweeteners, both Aspartame and Acesulfame-K cause insulin spikes.  Insulin in turn promotes fat production.  In addition, Aspartame is also well known for causing weight gain because it promotes appetite.  To further compound the problem, Aspartame can cause dry mouth syndrome increasing the likelihood that the person would drink even more Aspartame containing beverages, which can lead to further weight gain.

If you are really interested in losing weight I recommend staying away from diet sodas and other diet drinks.  Water is your best choice for a beverage.  This is especially true  if you are diabetic.

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Vitamin C Interactions

Pharmaceutical drugs often react with foods and supplements, including vitamin C.  And as we have seen, excessive vitamin C intake can interact with some nutritional compounds.  Sometimes these interactions are beneficial such as increasing the absorption of minerals.  And sometimes it leads to problems such as iron overload or copper and B12 deficiencies.
Another problem that is often overlooked is the interference of laboratory tests by excessive intake of vitamin C.  For example, excessive vitamin C intake may lead to false high or low bilirubin levels depending on the assay test being used.  Lactate dehydrogenase, cholesterol and triglyceride levels will read erroneously low.  Aspartate aminotransferase levels may read erroneously high.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported on a case in which a woman with unexplained anemia was taking 2,000mg of vitamin C daily.  When tested for occult blood in the stool repeated tests showed negative results.  The woman discontinued taking the vitamin C for 4 days, and when retested stool samples tested positive for blood.  It was also found that taking 750mg of vitamin C daily can interfere with detecting blood in stool and urine.

Vitamin C interferes with several glucose tests, including tests diabetics use at home.  Urinary glucose test strips will test false positive with as little as 2,000mg of vitamin C daily.  Home test strips can show normal blood glucose readings even when glucose levels are elevated or with as little as 2g of vitamin C daily.  Laboratory glucose tests may show erroneously low glucose levels with excessive vitamin C intake.

To decrease the risk of false laboratory readings it is recommended that all supplements be stopped at least 48 hours before having any lab work done.

Below is a link from the NIH and a portion of the article that discusses the interactions of vitamin C with drugs and supplements, and interference with laboratory tests.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-vitaminc.html

Interactions with Drugs

Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Vitamin C may increase adverse effects associated with acetaminophen.

Antacids: Vitamin C may increase adverse effects associated with aluminum-containing antacids such as aluminum hydroxide (Maalox, Gaviscon).

Aspirin: Vitamin C may increase blood levels and adverse effects of aspirin, whereas aspirin may decrease blood levels of vitamin C.

Barbiturates: The effects of vitamin C may be decreased by barbiturates including phenobarbital (Luminal, Donnatal), pentobarbital (Nembutal), or secobarbital (Seconal).

Fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin): Vitamin C supplementation may decrease levels of the drug fluphenazine in the body.

HIV medications (protease inhibitors): Concomitant administration of high doses of vitamin C can reduce steady-state indinavir plasma concentrations.

Levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa): There is limited case report evidence that high dose vitamin C may reduce side effects of levodopa therapy such as nausea or malcoordination.

Nicotine: Nicotine products such as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, or nicotine patches may decrease the effects of vitamin C.

Oral contraceptives/estrogens: Oral estrogens may decrease the effects of vitamin C in the body. When taken together, vitamin C may increase blood levels of ethinyl estradiol.

Tetracyclines: The effects of vitamin C may be decreased by tetracycline antibiotics such as doxycycline (Vibramycin), minocycline (Minocin), or tetracycline (Sumycin).

Warfarin (Coumadin): Vitamin C in high doses appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of Warfarin by lowering prothrombin time (PT) as noted in case reports in the 1970s.  Complications have not been reported (such as increased blood clots).

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Iron: When taken together, vitamin C may increase the absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal tract, although this effect appears to be variable and may not be clinically significant.

Lutein: Vitamin C may increase absorption of lutein vitamin supplements.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin, cyanocobalamin): Large doses of vitamin C may interfere with the absorption and metabolism of vitamin B12.

Interactions with Laboratory Tests

Bilirubin: Vitamin C supplements may cause false increases in tests of blood bilirubin levels.

Carbamazepine levels: Vitamin C supplements may cause false increases in blood carbamazepine levels.

Creatinine: Vitamin C supplements may cause false increases in blood creatinine levels.

Glucose: Vitamin C supplements may interfere with the accuracy of blood glucose tests.

LDH (lactose dehydrogenase): Vitamin C may cause a false decrease in blood LDH levels.

Prothrombin time (PT): Vitamin C in high doses appears to interfere with the blood thinning effects of warfarin by lowering prothrombin time (PT), as noted in case reports in the 1970s. Complications have not been reported (such as increased blood clots).

SGOT (glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase): Vitamin C supplements may cause false increases in blood SGOT levels.

Stool occult blood (guaiac): Vitamin C supplements can cause false-negative stool occult blood tests, within 48-72 hours after vitamin C ingestion.

Theophylline levels: Vitamin C supplements may cause false decreases in blood theophylline levels.

Uric acid levels: Vitamin C supplements may cause false increases in blood uric acid levels.

Urinary acetaminophen (Tylenol): Vitamin C supplements can cause false-negative urine acetaminophen tests.

Urinary glucose: Vitamin C supplements can cause false-positive urinary glucose results with the cupric sulfate reagent test and false-negative urinary glucose results with the glucose oxidase test, within 48-72 hours after vitamin C ingestion.

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