Mailbag: Answering Your Health Questions

Our health has been front-page fodder for months now… thanks to a certain nasty virus.

On one hand, it’s good that people are paying closer attention to their health and well-being and looking for answers…

But on the other hand, anytime health stories are top of mind, the media sure knows how to scare up viewership… and amplify Big Pharma’s $6 billion advertising voice.

That’s why it’s critical to remain skeptical and ask questions.

So today we’re dipping into our mailbag to answer some of your questions.

Let’s get to it…

K2 and You

In response to our piece on the importance of vitamin K2, one reader noted…

There was no mention of how much to take. Can you please provide this? – Reader T.G.

To date, the medical industry doesn’t consider vitamin K2 to be “essential” here in the U.S., so there are no “official guidelines” on the books.

It’s a crying shame, but much of the medical community doesn’t even recognize the difference between vitamins K and K2 yet – despite their varying impact on our health.

The simple truth is even a tiny boost of vitamin K2 can be beneficial.

Studies have shown that taking just 32 micrograms of vitamin K2 per day to be associated with a 50% reduction in death from cardiovascular issues related to arterial calcification.

Doctors in Japan have been treating osteoporosis patients with high doses of vitamin K2 since 1995.

And in peer-reviewed studies, researchers have found that it causes no serious side effects regardless of its dose. So doseage isn’t really as important as just making sure you’re getting some on a daily basis… whether that’s from foods like cheese and dark chicken meat or a supplement.

Nothing Boring About Boron

In response to our piece on the oft-overlooked nutrient boron, we were asked…

Where can I get boron? Do Health Food stores carry it? – Reader L.H.

There’s a reason boron is overlooked. It’s not readily available in your grocery store’s vitamin aisle. And after scouring the websites of my local health food stores, I found that some had it… but the bigger health food chains did not.

So if you have a local retailer that specifically peddles vitamins, it’ll almost certainly have it. And there are plenty of online retailers that carry it as well. Puritan’s Pride, Life Extension and GNC are all safe bets with a great reputation for their products.

Just make sure you pick up a formula that was produced here in the U.S. That will come with better transparency into the manufacturing and supply chain process.

Expiration Schmexpiration

We’ll close with a question regarding the piece we ran about raiding the depths of our pantry and coming across some foods that may or may not still be good. The big secret: They’re probably still good. Nonetheless, safety first. So with that we’ll try to answer this one:

I agree with you 100% about canned foods. But how do you tell if it’s still good. If there are no leaks and the can’s not bulged, can we tell by smell? Tell me more please. – Reader F.G.

F.G. has it right. If the can hasn’t been compromised (dented, bulging, crushed), then there’s very little chance the contents have been exposed to air and grown mold or become home to bacteria.

Here’s a fun story. A steamboat on the Missouri River sank in 1865. The contents of the boat were excavated nearly a century later. And among the booty were cans of tomatoes, vegetables and oysters.

All those years later, the contents of the cans still had significant nutritional value… and had zero dangerous microbial growth. In other words, perfectly healthy to eat.

But if you open up a can of whatever and it spurts out liquid, that’s a sign that mold has developed. The can should be thrown out. Same goes if you spot any mold as you empty the contents of the can.

And, as F.G. asked, trust your nose. If the contents of a freshly opened can smell acrid, particularly pungent or just plain unnatural, don’t eat it. The nose knows best.

Keep the questions and comments coming. Drop us a line by clicking here.

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