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Weekly Oz Roundup: Oyster Mushrooms, Bitter Melon and Vitamin D

By , Managing Editor
Friday, July 6, 2012
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Dr. Mehmet Oz is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon but he's also a fan of alternative therapies using pure, natural ingredients with proven results. Each week on "The Dr. Oz Show," Dr. Oz recommends various products for common conditions such as pain, heart health and sleeping problems. Chosen thoughtfully, these supplements can help improve your health.

Couldn't catch the latest episodes? We took a closer look at the five supplements that made the biggest splash on his show this week.

1. Red Yeast Rice
Produced from fermented rice, this ingredient has been used by the Chinese since 800 A.D. Administered as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to support healthy energy, digestion and circulation, recent research has found red yeast rice helps lower "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels and improves the overall cholesterol ratio. A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed decreased LDL by 19 percent and total cholesterol by 13 percent in individuals who are intolerant to statins. Dr. Oz recommended 1,200 mg of red yeast rice taken twice a day for the best results. 

2. Oyster Mushrooms
These particular mushrooms actually contain statins, which are usually administered in drug form to help lower levels of  LDL cholesterol. Statins work with the liver to help remove more cholesterol from the body. You can eat the mushrooms on their own (about one half cup, cooked or raw, daily) or you can take a supplement for the same effect. These mushrooms are also rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and are free of cholesterol and fat. If you're currently taking a statin medication, don't reduce or stop usage without first speaking with your physician about adding oyster mushrooms to your routine for this purpose.

3. Bitter Melon
Used in traditional African folk medicine, bitter melon (Momordica charantia) can be taken to regulate blood sugar levels. Bitter melon helps facilitate the release of insulin from the pancreas to prevent glucose formation in the bloodstream. It can be as effective as insulin itself in some individuals. Research continues regarding bitter melon use for regulating blood sugar, but studies as recent as last year confirm its ability to lower blood sugar. Anyone already being treated for diabetes should consult their physician first before beginning use and/or altering current treatment plans.

4. Olive Leaf
Beneficial for those with high blood pressure, Dr. Oz recommended adding this supplement to your routine in addition to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. A 2002 animal study conducted in Egypt confirmed these results along with a 2008 study conducted in Switzerland. Olive leaf contains active compounds that have anti-fungal, antibiotic and antibacterial properties that also contribute to overall health. In addition to lowering blood pressure, olive leaf helps promote proper circulation and digestion and fight fatigue while boosting the immune system. 

5. Vitamin D
This vitamin is undoubtedly one of Dr. Oz's favorites and he stressed the need for everyone to make sure they're receiving enough everyday. Not only does vitamin D help with calcium absorption for stronger bones and teeth, studies are showing this vitamin can help reduce your risk for developing certain cancers. Dr. Oz recommended 1,000 IUs per day of vitamin D to maintain proper levels. Your doctor can determine if you're lacking in vitamin D. During the summer months, or when temperatures are favorable, 15 minutes in the sun daily will also help you meet your requirement.  

All of these supplements and more are available at eVitamins. Check back next week to see what else the doctor orders!

Products you may like:

Solaray Red Yeast Rice 600 mg  Solaray Red Yeast Rice 600 mg 
Why you may like this product? Each capsule of this supplement from Solaray provides 600 mg of red yeast rice extract. Taking 1,200 mg twice a day can help you see an improvement in your cholesterol levels.
Life-Flo Olive Leaf Plus  Life-Flo Olive Leaf Plus 
Why you may like this product? Life-Flo's contains the most potent form of this extract available, oleuropein, combined with olive leaf power. This supplement can help lower blood pressure while improving circulation and digestion.
eVitamins Vitamin D3 2000 IU  eVitamins Vitamin D3 2000 IU 
Why you may like this product? Our vitamin D3 is a high potency supplement that provides 2,000 IUs per softgel. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and new research suggests it can lower your risk for certain cancers.
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