Posts Tagged ‘Supplements’

Herbal food supplement labels may be misleading

Some herbal food supplements do not contain what they claim on the label according to new research.

Herbal food supplement labels may be misleadingThe BBC health series ‘Trust Me, I’m a Doctor’ teamed up with experts from University College London to test a selection of products bought from high street shops or online retailers.

Of 30 ginkgo products tested, eight contained little or no ginkgo extract.  In one case of milk thistle, unidentified substances were present in place of milk thistle.

The UCL team tested around 70 products overall, using two methods – nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and high performance thin layer chromatography – to study their composition.

Herbal products can be sold either as food supplements, or as Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) remedies.

In every THR tested, the product contained what was claimed on the label- however the food supplements showed a wide range of quality.

Whilst many food supplements contained high amounts of the herbal ingredient as claimed, several had none at all.

The manufacture of THRs falls under regulation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), but herbal food supplements come under the remit of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Trading Standards at local authority level. Their manufacture is not regulated.

Head of the UCL research team Professor Michael Heinrich said: “I think some of the suppliers of food supplements are lying. In other cases I think they don’t know what they’re doing. Many of the botanical drugs come from rare or increasingly rare species, so it makes perfect sense to get something cheaper…which helps to you get a better price at a lower cost.”

He warned consumers that a high price tag was no guarantee of quality.

A spokesman for the Food standards Agency said: “The FSA champions the rights of consumers and misleading them in this way is unacceptable.”

He said a herbal food supplement would be investigated if a complaint was made about a specific product, if members of the public were to fall ill as a result of taking these products, or if evidence of mislabelling were provided.

The results of the BBC/UCL tests have been passed on to the FSA’s Food Crimes Unit.

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Britain’s bad summer will see epidemic of vitamin D deficiency

Britain faces an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency which can cause rickets and is linked to cancer and other diseases because of the poor summer, a leading expert has warned.Britain's bad summer will see epidemic of vitamin D deficiencyProf Norman Ratcliffe, from Swansea University, said the dull summer will lead to high levels of deficiency in the sunshine vitamin.

Other experts said vitamin D deficiency was a ‘major public health concern’ and Britain was heading back to the 1920s when large numbers of children suffered bone pain and bowed legs from the effects of rickets.

The combination of a 21st Century childhood of not playing outside, being driven to school and constantly wearing high factor sunscreen will be compounded by the poor weather this summer, they said.

Most doctors have yet to ‘wake-up’ to the problem, it was argued.

Prof Ratcliffe said that because 2012 was one of the dullest summers on record, vitamin D stores have not been replenished in time for winter, when light levels in most of the UK are insufficient to make vitamin D.

Figures from the Met Office show that hours of sunshine in the summer of 2012 were 18 per cent lower than the average over the last 30 years and lower than at least any of the last ten summers.

Prof Ratcliffe said parts of northern England recorded sunshine hours in summer similar to late winter.

He said: “Unfortunately, the dull summer of 2012 will probably result in a record number of people with vitamin D deficiency.

“The situation in 2012 is probably much more serious than normal with the dull summer leading to even more people with vitamin D deficiency.

“This deficiency may be present almost continuously throughout 2012, commencing during the summer months rather than, as in previous years, in the winter and spring.

“Thus, vitamin D inadequacy may stretch over much of the period from June 2012 until the spring/summer of 2013.

“The effects of low vitamin D levels in the body are very serious as adequate levels may be necessary to prevent common cancers, heart and autoimmune diseases, rickets, osteomalacia (bone pain and muscle weakness), diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and depression.”

He said widespread fortification of foods with vitamin D and use of supplements was the only way to combat the problem, however pregnant women are not routinely informed that they should be taking vitamin D and vitamins for children under the Healthy Start programme are not promoted, Prof Clarke said.

Pregnant women, children under five, over 65s and people with dark skin are particularly vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency.

The vitamin is present in some foods but most is made by the body when exposed to sunlight and stored.

Prof Clarke said Kellogg’s have now added vitamin D to cornflakes and some other food manufacturers are beginning to talk about it.

Earlier this year Prof Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, highlighted the problem and said up to one in four people have low levels of vitamin D.

She said: “A significant proportion of people in the UK probably have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood.

“People at risk of vitamin D deficiency, including pregnant women and children under five, are already advised to take daily supplements.

“Our experts are clear – low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of poor bone health, including rickets in young children.”

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Green tea extract eradicates cancer tumours

New anti cancer drugs based on green tea could soon be developed after scientists found an extract could make almost half of tumours vanish.Green tea extract eradicates cancer tumoursThe University of Strathclyde team made 40 per cent of human skin cancer tumours disappear using the compound, in a laboratory study.

Green tea has long been suspected of having anti-cancer properties and the extract, called epigallocatechin gallate, has been investigated before. However, this is the first time researchers have managed to make it effective at shrinking tumours.

Previous attempts to capitalise on its cancer fighting properties have failed because scientists used intravenous drips, which failed to deliver enough of the extract to the tumours themselves.

So, the Strathclyde team devised a “targeted delivery system”, piggy-backing the extract on proteins that carry iron molecules, which cancer tumours vacuum up.

The lab test on one type of human skin cancer showed 40 per cent of tumours disappeared after a month of treatment, while an additional 30 per cent shrank.

Dr Christine Dufès, a senior lecturer at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, who led the research, said: “These are very encouraging results which we hope could pave the way for new and effective cancer treatments.

“When we used our method, the green tea extract reduced the size of many of the tumours every day, in some cases removing them altogether.

“By contrast, the extract had no effect at all when it was delivered by other means, as every one of these tumours continued to grow.  This research could open doors to new treatments for what is still one of the biggest killer diseases in many countries.”

She added: “I was expecting good results, but not as strong as these.”

Dr Dufès said population studies had previously indicated that green tea had anti cancer properties, and scientists had since identified the active compound as epigallocatechin gallate.

But the Strathclyde researchers were the first to delivery it in high enough doses to tumours to have an effect.

She explained: “The problems with this extract is that when it’s administered intravenously, it goes everywhere in the body, so when it gets to the tumours it’s too diluted.

“With the targeted delivery system, it’s taken straight to the tumours without any effect on normal tissue.”

Cancer scientists are increasingly using targeted delivery to improve results, relying on the many different ‘receptors’ that tumours have for different biological substances.

In this instance, the scientists used the fact that tumours have receptors for transferrin, a plasma protein which transports iron through the blood.

The results have been published in the journal Nanomedicine.

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Daily aspirin dose cuts cancer risk

A daily dose of aspirin for over 60s can cut their risk of cancer by up to 40 per cent and may offer protection after just a few years- researchers claim.Daily aspirin dose cuts cancer riskA study of more than 100,000 healthy people found that those who took a dose of aspirin every day were two fifths less likely to develop and die from stomach, oesophageal or colorectal cancer in the following decade.

They also had a 12 per cent lower risk of dying from other cancers, adding up to an overall 16 per cent lower risk of death from cancer of any type.

Although earlier research had found similar results, the new paper adds to the evidence in favour of taking the drug as a protective measure.

Doctors have previously called for low doses of aspirin to be taken from middle age, especially for people with a family history of cancer or heart disease, which it is also thought to protect against.

The authors of the latest study, Can Aspirin Reduce Cancer Risk and Mortality? published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, said: “Even a relatively modest benefit with respect to overall cancer mortality could still meaningfully influence the balances of risks and benefits of prophylactic (protective) aspirin use.”

The researchers, from the American Cancer Society, studied data on more than 100,000 healthy men and women, most of whom were over 60, and questioned them about their use of aspirin at regular intervals over the next decade.

They found that those who used aspirin every day were less likely to die from cancer in the following eleven years, with the biggest effect on cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Unlike previous research, the study found there was no difference between patients who had been taking the drug daily for less than five years, and those whose use was longer-term.

Referencing a separate study, the scientists said there was “some suggestion” the protective effect of aspirin could begin within three years of daily use.

In an editorial accompanying the article Dr John Baron of North Carolina University said the health benefit of aspirin estimated by the study could be “conservative”, adding: “The drug clearly reduces the incidence and mortality from luminal gastrointestinal cancers, and it may similarly affect other cancers.”

But Dr Eric Jacobs, who led the study, emphasised people should not take aspirin every day before discussing the potential side effects, such as stomach bleeds, with their doctors.

He said: “Although recent evidence about aspirin use and cancer is encouraging, it is still premature to recommend people start taking aspirin specifically to prevent cancer.

“Even low-dose aspirin can substantially increase the risk of serious gastrointestinal bleeding. Decisions about aspirin use should be made by balancing the risks against the benefits in the context of each individual’s medical history.”

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Eat fish twice a week to protect the heart

Everyone should eat two portions of fish a week to prevent heart disease leading experts are suggesting.Eat fish twice a week to protect the heartThe new guidance was compiled by the European Society of Cardiology at its conference EuroPrevent in Dublin.

One of the two portions consumed a week should be oily fish, such as salmon, mackeral, sardine or trout, they said as these contain the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids.

Supplements can be taken by people who do not like fish but they should stick to pharmaceutical grade products because many over-the-counter capsules contain sufficient amounts of omega 3.

The recommendation was that those taking supplements should have 1g of omega 3.

Philip Calder, a metabolic biochemist and nutritionist from the University of Southampton, UK, said: “Omega-3 fatty acids are really important to human health, whether you’re talking about CVD, brain or immune health. Heath professionals have a key role to play in educating the public about the beneficial effects of including fish in their diets.”

Mr Calder added: “It’s important that health professionals give clear guidance around the need for patients to take 1g of omega-3 a day to achieve any beneficial effects.

“With over the counter brands containing different concentrations there’s a danger people may not be receiving sufficient intakes.”

“Fish, it needs to be remembered, don’t provide a total panacea against cardiovascular disease. As well as consuming fish, people need to eat healthy diets, not smoke and be physically active.”

If you would like to buy great value, pharmaceutical grade Omega 3 supplementst, please click here now. Share this:

Vitamin D deficiencies linked to cot deaths (SIDS)

Two senior paediatric pathologists say they have discovered vitamin D deficiency in a significant number of children who have died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome- cot deaths.Vitamin D deficiencies linked to cot deaths (SIDS)The two doctors, Dr Irene Scheimberg and Dr Marta Cohen, say that vitamin D deficiency and associated diseases such as the bone disease rickets could also explain deaths that are often thought to be suspicious.

Both doctors believe their findings merit further investigation and research.

The findings in children from London and Yorkshire followed the discovery by Dr Scheimberg in 2009 of congenital rickets in a four-month-old baby whose parents had been accused of shaking him to death.

Chana Al-Alas,19, and Rohan Wray, 22, were acquitted of murdering their son Jayden after the jury learned that his fractures, supposedly tell tale signs of abuse, could have been caused by his severe rickets. Dr Scheimberg also discovered rickets in Jayden’s mother.

Michael Turner QC, who defended Miss Al-Alas, told the BBC that he was shocked by the lack of knowledge about vitamin D deficiency of some of the expert witnesses at the trial, held at the Old Bailey.

In London, Dr Scheimberg discovered vitamin D deficiency in a further 30 cases. Vitamin D deficiency was found to be a cause of death in three cases. Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, was discovered in two small babies. A third died of hypocalcemic fits, a condition of low serum calcium levels in the blood caused by vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency was a co-existing finding in the sudden and unexpected deaths of eight children, so-called Sudden Infant Death or Sids; in five children with bronchial asthma and another five with combined bacteria-polyviral or polyviral infections. Two of the babies, including baby Jayden, also had rib fractures.

In Yorkshire, Dr Cohen found moderate to severe levels of vitamin D deficiency in 45 children, mostly infants aged less than 12 months, who died of natural causes. Of the 24 sudden infant deaths Dr Cohen investigated from this group, 18 – or 75% – were deficient in vitamin D.

Dr Scheimberg said severe vitamin D deficiency could make the bones of small babies very brittle and capable of fracture with little or no real force.

Dame Sally Davies Chief Medical Officer was quoted as “We need to investigate the vitamin D levels of these children carefully and the circumstances in which the bones fracture,” she explained.

“Obviously if you have bones that fracture easily then they will fracture easily they will fracture with any normal movement like trying to put a baby grow on a baby you will twist their arm. In a normal child you won’t produce anything. But in a child whose bones are weakened and [who have] an abnormal cartilage growth area, then it’s easier for them to get these very tiny fractures or even big fractures.”

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, and endocrinologists are experts in how the body is regulated by the hormone excreting glands – or endocrine organs.

Stephen Nussey is professor of endocrinology at St George’s Hospital at Tooting in south London. He believes that, despite repeated government recommendations on vitamin D supplementation, vitamin D deficiency is still not being taken sufficiently seriously by the authorities.

“Lizards are quite like humans in their vitamin D. Their dietary intake is pretty low and they need to have sun exposure and you need to have a light in the enclosure in which you keep your lizard of the right wavelength.

“If you don’t have one of those lights your reptile will get osteomalacia [adult rickets] very similar to humans. I guess the RSPCA would quite rightly prosecute you if you didn’t give your reptile vitamin D.

“But there’s no action taken against you if you don’t give it to your daughter. So that rather illustrates the importance placed on vitamin D for your reptile rather than giving it to your daughter.”

Earlier this week, the chief medical officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, wrote to doctors, nurses and other health professionals advising them to consider vitamin D supplementation for certain at risk groups, including pregnant mothers.

“We know a significant proportion of people in the UK probably have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood. People at risk of vitamin D deficiency, including pregnant women and children under five, are already advised to take daily supplements. Our experts are clear – low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of poor bone health, including rickets in young children,” she explained.BUY NOWIf you have questions about Vitamin D, or you want to buy some great value Vitamin D supplements, please click here now

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Omega fish oil supplements- high quality, ultra pure

Omega fish oil supplements- the basics:

  • Provides advanced and guaranteed levels of EPA and DHA, two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids important for memory and learning*
  • Supports sound cardiovascular, immune, health and joint health*
  • Critical for promoting healthy pregnancies and healthy babies*
  • Plays a role in many important cellular processes critical to the body’s survival*
  • Supports healthy inflammatory response*

Omega fish oil supplements- high quality, ultra pureBiOmega Difference

  • Each capsule delivers 100 IU of vitamin D
  • Formulated with lemon oil to eliminate the fishy aftertaste associated with most fish oil supplements

USANA Difference

  • Effective
  • Safe
  • Science-based
  • Pharmaceutical Quality

You know that fish oil is really good for you because it contains important omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to brain development , cellular function, and immune, joint, and cardiovascular health.

They also support healthy inflammatory response. But storing fish and cooking it properly is a hassle.

And when you have a busy lifestyle, eating fish out every night can get pretty pricey, pretty quick.

BiOmega is a fish oil supplement that’s easy to take every day, especially when you don’t feel like you’re getting enough fish in your diet. What makes BiOmega exceptional is that it has all the benefits of fish oil in a convenient gel capsule, and it is essentially free of harmful contaminants like mercury because of its triple distillation process.

It also contains concentrated doses of DHA, a beneficial fat that supports memory and learning, and is greatly recommended for pregnant women. And BiOmega contains an additional dose of vitamin D, a nutrient found deficient in the average diet.

BiOmega is also formulated with lemon oil to kill the fishy aftertaste found in other fish oil supplements. Because of its exclusive advantages, when you buy BiOmega, you know you’re getting quite the catch!

If you would like to buy some great value Omega fish oil spplements, please click here nowBUY NOW

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Vitamin D deficiencies lead to rise of rickets in the UK

Vitamin D deficiencies are creating a big increase in the number of children suffering from rickets.Vitamin D deficiencies lead to rise of rickets in the UKRickets was common in the early 1900s but had almost disappeared from Britain. However, a recent study carried out by Professor Nicholas Clarke, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, found there were 185 cases in 2001 and that figure rose to 479 cases in 2009.

The data was from 42 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) which responded to the survey, commissioned by Kelloggs.

Professor Clarke said: “I saw an infant a month ago who was referred to me because of delayed walking. The child was 15 months old and could not stand physically.”

He acknowledges the balance parents have to strike, but lifestyle changes concern him greatly.  Rickets causes the bones to soften and legs to bow.

A lack of exposure to sunlight can lead to a vitamin D deficiency, which causes the disease.

It helps control the amount of calcium we absorb and is important for the development of strong bones.  Without it rickets can develop which cause bones to soften and usually legs appear bowed.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because our skin can produce vitamin D from the sun’s ultra violet light (UVB). It helps control the amount of calcium we absorb therefore and is important for developing and maintaining strong bones.

Why do we need Vitamin D?

A lack of Vitamin D can reduce the body’s ability to absorb calcium, and have a negative impact on bone health.

Health Care Professionals are seeing more cases of children with Rickets in their hospitals due to a lack of Vitamin D. 82% of Paediatric Dietitians say they have seen an increase in Rickets over the last 5 years.*

Rickets is a condition that affects growing bones – so it only occurs in children. It is a softening of the bones that can lead to fractures and deformity.

Why children don’t have enough Vitamin D in the UK?

There is a combination of reasons for children not getting enough Vitamin D – spending more time indoors and not playing outside, and covering up with sunblock means they are not exposed to the sun. Also there are few foods that provide Vitamin D, and children may not be taking supplements when it is recommended – worryingly many children are not getting enough of this important vitamin.

Who is at risk of Vitamin D Deficiency:

Some groups of the population are thought to be at high risk of deficiency. These include:

  •     Pregnant or breast feeding women
  •     Breast fed infants from 6 months
  •     Formula fed infants, if formula fed is less than 500mls a day
  •     Children up to 5 years
  •     People with dark skin pigmentation
  •     The elderly (over 64 years)
  •     People who don’t go outside much
  •     People who cover skin with clothing for majority of summer months e.g. religious reasons
  •     People with poor or restricted diet

    How to get Vitamin D

Spend 15-20 mins outside in sunshine 2-3 times each week without suncream. Encourage children to play outside, take a brisk walk or do some gardening?

Try to eat oily types of fish regularly (at least 1-2/week). This includes salmon, trout, mackerel, herrings or sardines.

Choose a breakfast cereal with added vitamin D (not all cereals are fortified so check the label). Kellogg’s Cornflakes, Kellogg’s Choc N Roll, Special K and Bran Flakes all include Vitamin D. We are adding it to all of our children’s cereals by July 2012.

Ensure that babies and young children have a vitamin D supplement, e.g. Healthy Start vitamin drops from the Healthy Visitor and if you are pregnant speak to your GP about taking vitamin D supplements.

    Should I give my child Vitamin D supplements?

The Department of Health has recommended vitamin D supplements for infants and children up to the ages of 5 years, as well as pregnant and breast feeding mothers.

If you have questions about Vitamin D, or you want to buy some great value Vitamin D supplements, please click here now BUY NOW

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Heart Health- how to improve your cardiovascular system

A healthy heart- the average adult heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood each day. As one of the hardest working organs in the body, the heart has unique nutritional needs. Nutritional deficiencies may even contribute to cardiovascular disease – the number one cause of death in the United States.

Our Heart Health supplements are specially designed to support healthy heart function.

BiOmega™ You know that fish oil is really good for you because it contains important omega fatty acids, which contribute to brain development and both joint and cardiovascular health. But storing fish and cooking it properly is a hassle.

And when you have a busy lifestyle, eating fish out every night can get pretty pricey, pretty quick. BiOmega is a fish oil supplement that’s easy to take every day, especially when you don’t feel like you’re getting enough fish in your diet.

What makes BiOmega exceptional is that it has all the benefits of fish oil in a convenient gel capsule, and it is essentially free of harmful contaminants like mercury because of its triple distillation process.

It also contains concentrated doses of DHA, a beneficial fat that supports memory and learning, and is greatly recommended for pregnant women.

And BiOmega contains an additional dose of vitamin D, a nutrient found deficient in the average diet. BiOmega is also formulated with lemon oil to kill the fishy aftertaste found in other fish oil supplements. Because of its exclusive advantages, when you buy BiOmega, you know you’re getting quite the catch!

BiOmega also supplies 200 IU per day of vitamin D. Added lemon flavour also helps reduce fishy aftertaste.

Health Basics

  • Provides advanced and guaranteed levels of EPA and DHA, two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids important for memory and learning
  • Supports sound cardiovascular health and joint health
  • Critical for promoting healthy pregnancies and healthy babies

BiOmega Difference

  • Each capsule delivers 100 IU of vitamin D
  • Formulated with lemon oil to eliminate the fishy aftertaste associated with most fish oil supplements

USANA Difference

  • Effective
  • Safe
  • Science-based
  • Pharmaceutical Quality

To buy online your healthy heart supplements or for more information, please click here now.Buy Now

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Calcium supplements- the benefits and the risks

What are the benefits of taking calcium supplements?Calcium supplements- the benefits and the risksNew research recently published by the British Medical Journal of the study of more than 40,000 older women found calcium was the only supplement to reduce the risk of dying early.

However also taking multivitamins, iron, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, copper and zinc all increased the risk.

The study has its weaknesses – it’s possible that women were taking supplements because they had illnesses that caused them to die early – but it does highlight the scarcity of research into dietary supplements.

Supplements that are now taken daily by about one third of the UK population.

Calcium supplements seem especially popular, often being prescribed (along with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium) for the estimated 3 million people with osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) as well as being taken by healthy women who wish to keep their bones strong.

Yet research published in the BMJ this year came up with rather different results from last week’s study.

The BMJ analysis, which involved nearly 17,000 women, found that taking daily calcium supplements of 1g (plus vitamin D) increases the risk of heart attacks by 20 per cent.

Whilst that may sound dramatic- when looked at another way, the supplements would cause an extra six heart attacks or strokes for every 1,000 women taking them for five years.

Researchers aren’t sure why calcium supplements might increase the risk of a heart attack, but it’s possible that they contribute to hardening of the arteries, or encourage blood clots.

According to Dr Claire Bowring, of the National Osteoporosis Society, the jury is still out on the safety of calcium supplements, with studies giving different results. She questions whether most women need calcium supplements, arguing that diet is usually adequate.

“Supplementation may be warranted for people who can’t get enough calcium from the diet,” she said. “And people with osteoporosis are at increased risk of painful and debilitating fractures, so this needs to be considered alongside any risks.”

But more calcium is not necessarily the answer. Another BMJ study of 60,000 women found that just 700mg of calcium a day – the level recommended for adults and slightly over the amount in a pint of milk – was enough to protect them from bone loss. Boosting calcium beyond this level had no extra benefit.

Ursula Arens, from the British Dietetic Association, argues that calcium supplements taken in later years may not have much effect.

“Most of the deposition of calcium in the bones happens during the teenage years so it’s important to get enough calcium when you’re young. For women, whose bones weaken after the menopause, increasing your consumption of calcium after this point is pretty much leaving it too late.”

While 700mg of calcium is enough for adults, this rises to 800 milligrams per day for teenage boys, and 1,000 for teenage girls.

Low fat milk and cheese are good sources, as are leafy green vegetables, nuts, sardines and pilchards. Adequate vitamin D intake – mainly triggered by sunlight on the skin but also found in oily fish – is also crucial for healthy bones, as is physical activity.

If you would like to buy online some calcium supplements or you would like more information, please click here nowBUY NOW

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