Q. Dear Terry, “A few years ago, my fingers started changing colors when I got cold. The doctor told me I have Raynaud’s Syndrome. The only other trigger I’ve found, aside from temperature, is when I get stressed. What do you recommend to help my hands?” – Aubrey C., Milwaukee, WI
A. Dear Aubrey, I highly encourage you to keep your healthcare practitioner in the loop with any supplementation you are considering. To strengthen circulation, there are several ingredients I recommend: French grape seed extract, vitamin B6, magnesium, and zinc.
I think French grape seed extract is incredibly beneficial for the vasculature. In scientific studies, grape seed extract has been shown to shield blood vessels and arteries from oxidative stress and free radical damage. I recommend taking a grape seed extract that is tannin-free and standardized to contain only OPCs small enough to be absorbed. I would take grape seed extract three times per day.
I also think that vitamin B6 is very useful to help with vasospasm, which is one of the mechanisms indicated in Raynaud’s. I prefer the human, biologically active form of B6 called pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P). This special form of vitamin B6 is easily utilized by the body and has numerous health benefits. I would combine P-5-P with the minerals magnesium and zinc. Magnesium plays many roles in the body including helping muscles and blood vessels to relax. Deficiencies are very common due to our diet and lifestyle. Zinc works synergistically with magnesium and vitamin B6. I would take vitamin B6 (as P-5-P), magnesium glycinate chelate, and zinc glycinate chelate three times per day.
Whether you suffer from occasional or frequent anxiety, I would recommend adding narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) to your daily regimen. Researchers have discovered that compounds in this unique type of coneflower can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. These compounds have been shown to attach to certain brain receptors, which helps to instill a sense of calm and relaxation.
I would take 20 to 40 mg once or twice per day of the coneflower extract, especially on days you might be feeling more stressed. This extract is safe enough to be taken daily to help prevent anxiety as well. Make sure you look for a clinically studied, narrow-leaved coneflower root extract standardized for alkamides in the right ratio to reduce anxiety.
Terry . . . Naturally
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