South Beach Diet - 3 quick questions for South Beachers

Fat Melanie
10-20-2009, 03:23 PM
Hi ladies! Got 3 questions for ya regarding supplements.

I am constantly hearing that the supplement Chromium helps support metabolism and weight loss. Does anyone here take it? If so, what's your opinion on it? I don't mean to imply that it's a magical fat loss pill, just that it is said to support diet plans.

Also they're saying these days that cinnamon is great for leveling out blood sugar, even for non-diabetics, which if true is great for us South Beachers. They're selling cinnamon in pill form now to make it easy to swallow. I've started taking cinnamon pills, does anyone else do this, and what is your opinion on it?

Thirdly, the supplement niacin is supposed to support metabolism and energy, does anyone take this and what is your opinion on it? I also know that niacin is supposed to cleanse the body out, people use it when they think they might fail a drug test. Of course failing a drug test is not a problem for me, I don't do drugs! But it seems as if niacin may help cleanse your body of toxins, aiding in the Phase 1 process?

What's you guys' take on this?

EDIT: Oh, another question, I don't want to clutter up the forum with another thread! If I'm taking ground flax seed as a daily supplement of omegas, do I consider it as a fat?? Or could I still eat say, 2 eggs scrambled in smart balance, with a tablespoon of flax seed washed down by v8?

10-20-2009, 03:48 PM
Chromium has never done anything for me. I tried it like 7 years ago and saw no difference.

Niacin is a B vitamin (B3 I believe?) I don't know anything about it helping flush out the body, but B vites are awesome happy vitamins. They boost mood and get your nerves under control, for sure. I love how I feel when I take a B Vitamin Complex.

I don't know anything about cinnamon either. Good luck!

10-20-2009, 03:49 PM
Hi Melanie

I use cinnamon daily, although I've never taken it in capsule form. I had read of the health benefits and felt it couldn't hurt.

I tried Niacin once, and I was very uncomfortable with the flushing side effects. In my case, my face really red and felt like pin pricks.

I had taken BP meds for 4 years prior to starting SB. Within 6 weeks my BP had substantially lowered and I'm off meds totally now.

10-20-2009, 03:55 PM
I do use a lot of cinnamon, but mostly because I like the taste of it in my oatmeal. There haven't been a lot of studies done concerning blood sugar control and cinnamon. Chromium is popular among weight lifters & some athletes, but scientific studies don't support the claim to aid weight loss or add muscle. Be careful with niacin as high doses can cause the flushing Debbie talked about and should only be taken under a doctor's care. I've never heard of it clearing toxins from the body. Your body does a pretty darn good job of that by itself. I wouldn't waste my money on supplements. A healthy diet (SB) and a multivitamin are all most people need.

Fat Melanie
10-20-2009, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the input, you guys. Weezle, I was happy to hear how the niacin is a b vitamin that can make you feel happy and boost your mood. I could use some of that for some of my minor mood swings, it sounds great, even if it doesn't have any dietary effects.

Lexiis, what has cinnamon done for you, how long have you taken it? Have you noticed less cravings due to stabilized blood sugar? Do you feel it makes a difference in your health and weight loss goals? When do you take the cinnamon, and how often? I've been taking it in the early evening because I've been taking chromium in the morning and I'm afraid to mix it.

If I start taking the niacin, I'll definitely keep aware of any facial redness and pin prick sensations, thanks for the warning.

Wow, girl! That is amazing about your BP. Congratulations! You're proof that the SB is really good for one's health.

Oh also, does anyone know if taking all of those things at once is bad for you? I mean like, getting up in the morning and swallowing a niacin, a chromium, a cinnamon, and a garlic pill all at once?

EDIT: Thanks as well, MurphMitch, and I'll heed the warning on niacin. I may be wrong about the cleaning toxins thing, my brother and another lady I know swore by it for passing drug tests but they may be mistaken.

10-20-2009, 04:02 PM
I can't help as far as supplements but I use a lot of cinnamon in my morning oatmeal and I have great blood sugar levels. Not sure if that has anything to do with it though.

10-20-2009, 04:08 PM
I love how I feel when I take a B Vitamin Complex.

I agree, Weezle, taking a B Vitamin Complex makes me feel good, too. Actually when I notice is when I miss a day and have a real low point in the afternoon.

Taking a multivitamin or B Complex is something totally different from Niacin, however. My DH was a crab fisherman in Alaska for years, and they took Niacin when they were working the Bering Sea in the winter. The flushing action actually made them "hot" while working in the freezing cold.

Answering your question about stabilizing Blood Sugar, I'm totally stable now-absolutely no highs or lows. Once again, my BS gradually stabilized and really normalized at about 6 weeks. I do not have cravings as long as I stay OP. As to detox, healthy meal plans and elimination of sugar and refined flour will be detoxifying in itself. I wouldn't take niacin to "detox", but would eat properly. If one isn't eating healthy, no amount of niacin is going to help one to detox. I don't "take" cinnamon, I add it to smoothies, yogurt, is an ingredient in my "Pumpkin Pie Spice" and Curry spice.

I take my vitamins at one time in the AM-I take C, Salmon Oil, Calcium, Coenzyme other vitamins are included in my smoothie/greens drink I have every day.

Fat Melanie
10-20-2009, 04:19 PM
Ahhh, the flushing is what my brother was referring to, I just worded it incorrectly.

I think too much flushing = not a very good thing, it could deplete your body of vitamins and mineral and hydration.

Some flushing, may be good to remove accumulated toxins pre-SBD? I dunno. I'll ask a doc on this one.

EDIT: Oops, sorry Lexiis, I read your earlier post incorrectly, I now realize you said you use cinnamon daily, not take it! Hehe! Sorry about that. :)

That is amazing about your BS! Like I stated earlier, you're living proof of how the SBD is such a great lifestyle change for good health.

After what everyone said, I think I'm going to avoid the niacin. I'll finish up the bottle of chromium since I already opened it but I know not to expect results. Since the cinnamon capsules are just capsules filled with the actual spice, like the stuff out of the cupboard, I'll keep taking that for now, it can't hurt, and also use cinnamon in my foods (I love cinnamon anyway! Curry mmm mmm!) I'll keep taking garlic because it's safe.

I like to eat lots of dark greens for vitamin and minerals, it makes me feel great. :D

Thanks everyone for the input, I greatly appreciate it.

10-20-2009, 06:34 PM
Now I want to get back on B Vites. I used to only take them if I was stressed. I may have to pick some up at the store.

10-20-2009, 08:19 PM
From the Mayo clinic website:

What about niacin side effects, like flushing?

Niacin comes in a variety of forms, ranging from fast-acting forms to those that are longer acting. Some forms of niacin, especially in high doses 1,000 milligrams or more do cause temporary flushing of the skin. The flushing can make your skin redden and possibly feel warm to the touch. While annoying, this flushing isn't harmful. If you have flushing, talk to your doctor about taking an aspirin shortly before you take your niacin. Aspirin can counteract this flushing effect. Also, avoiding hot drinks and alcohol can decrease the flushing. Versions of niacin with reduced flushing effects also are available by prescription.

Other possible side effects include:

* Upset stomach
* Headache
* Dizziness
* Liver damage
* Increased blood sugar

However, your doctor may be able to find the right dose and form of niacin that minimizes side effects. Also, taking niacin with food may help prevent side effects. Remember, don't take niacin even in the over-the-counter form without discussing it with your doctor first. Niacin can cause side effects when taken in high doses.

I thought the part about increased blood sugar was interesting. Of course, this is with high doses of niacin, not what you would get in normal supplements.

Fat Melanie
10-20-2009, 09:35 PM
Oh, flushing, like redness! I thought you guys meant flushing like flushing out the system! I'm such a dope sometimes.

The increased blood sugar has put me off niacin completely. I don't want it or need it, I don't know why I even thought I wanted to take it to begin with!

Murphmitch, thanks for your very informative post and for looking it up on webmd! I really appreciate it and have definitely learned something today. :)

10-21-2009, 12:48 PM
FM, I use cinnamon on my food liberally because of the rumored effects, but can't tell you what the difference has been.

Flaxseed doesn't provide the Omega-3's you actually need: EPA and DHA. Flaxseed and other plant-based omega-3 sources provide ALA, and your body has to convert that into EPA and DHA before it gets any benefits. Our bodies aren't very effective at this conversion. Therfore, you'd be better off eating fish (being aware of the guidelines so you avoid mercury poisoning) or taking fish oil supplements.

Either way, yes, you count them as a fat.

10-21-2009, 12:49 PM
SAlmon oil is Omega 3 and Flax seed is Omega 6. We need both.

10-21-2009, 02:23 PM
I just had to point everyone to this article on cinnamon. Everything in moderation, right.
take care

10-21-2009, 02:42 PM
Good point, Ruth. However, most Americans have too much Omega-6 in their diet already. We can get it from corn and soy oils among many other sources, so I don't think I'd be willing to waste my fat calories on flax seeds when I didn't need more Omega 6, but it's a personal decision.

Either way, if you're going for Omega-3s, you need to find a better source than flax seed. :)

10-21-2009, 02:49 PM
SAlmon oil is Omega 3 and Flax seed is Omega 6. We need both.

Is this misleading? Flax seed has about 3 times as much omega 3 as it has omega 6.

10-21-2009, 03:33 PM
I think Flax seed is known for it's Omega 3's:

Flaxseeds are rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that is a precursor to the form of omega-3 found in fish oils called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Since the fats are found in their isolated form in flaxseed oil, it is a more concentrated source of ALA than the seeds themselves (although it doesn't have the other nutrients that the seeds do). ALA, in addition to providing several beneficial effects of its own, can be converted in the body to EPA, thus providing EPA's beneficial effects. For this conversion to readily take place, however, depends on the presence and activity of an enzyme called delta-6-destaurase, which, in some individuals, is less available or less active than in others. In addition, delta-6-desaturase function is inhibited in diabetes and by the consumption of saturated fat and alcohol. For these reasons, higher amounts of ALA-rich flaxseeds or its oil must be consumed to provide the same benefits as the omega-3 fats found in the oil of cold-water fish.
Yet research indicates that for those who do not eat fish or wish to take fish oil supplements, flaxseed oil does provide a good alternative. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flaxseed oil capsules providing 3 grams of alpha-linolenic acid daily for 12 weeks-an amount that would be provided by 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil a day-increased blood levels of EPA by 60% in a predominantly African-American population with chronic illness.

Fat Melanie
10-21-2009, 09:44 PM
I'm really confused now! Jorge Cruise said in his book that flax oil is an excellent source of omega-3's, he also says that we don't need omega 6's because we already consume enough of those.

Ohh, that article on cinnamon was interesting, and a good warning. The amount I'm taking is the recommended amount, though. I won't double up the dose so I should be good, I think. Thanks for the link! :)

10-21-2009, 11:07 PM
I'm really confused now! Jorge Cruise said in his book that flax oil is an excellent source of omega-3's, he also says that we don't need omega 6's because we already consume enough of those.

Melanie, he is correct. I'm reading a book right now "Queen of Fats". It's basically about how the Western diet is overloaded with Omega 6 fats now and how we don't get enough of the Omega 3's due to corn fed livestock and processed foods.

Fat Melanie
10-22-2009, 03:03 AM
I'm relieved, I thought my flax seed consumption was all for naught!

That books sounds interesting, I'll have to look for it in the local bookstore. I am such a huge fan of healthy fats these days. I feel so nourished when I know I'm consuming them. :D

10-22-2009, 06:12 AM
Sorry - I goofed. More research needed - I mis-remembered.

10-22-2009, 11:32 AM
I'm all about the feel good Vities I take 2 Multis 2 fish oil 2 d 2 calcium (separately)a cayenne a b-complex liquid and Iron at night

(Mind you I had WLS so my vitamin consumption is higher than "normal")

in re to the cinamon a girl I work with has typ 1 Diabetes and says that her sugars are more stable with it
I also eat flax pretty much every day
good fiber good fat and it's like a scrub brush for your colon!

10-22-2009, 06:45 PM
My husband and I started drinking essiac tea not too long ago. All herbs. If you google it, tons of sites come up.
It has made us both feel great. It takes horrible, so I have been adding cinnamon to it. Extra cinnamon can't hurt! May be worth a try. I can't find it locally, so I order it online.

We also started growing and taking wheat grass shots every morning too. Between the two of those and a healthy diet, we both feel wonderful.

I keep flax seed in the fridge and grind it up fresh and use it a lot adding it to foods.

10-30-2009, 01:45 PM
I'm relieved, I thought my flax seed consumption was all for naught!

It's not all for naught, FM, but if you're relying on it as your sole source of Omega-3s, you're not getting much. If you're replacing bad fats in your diet with ground flaxseed, then that's a good thing. But if you're aiming for Omega-3s, which really are valuable, you need to get them mostly from animal sources unless you have no other option.

If you have no reason to avoid fish oil capsules, you'd be best off taking them (being careful to find ones that have high amounts of EPA and DHA. As the quote posted said, you have to convert the ALA into EPA. If you aren't able to do that, it's wasted in terms of Omega-3s. On the other hand, if you take EPA and DHA straight, they can just go to work.

10-30-2009, 01:54 PM
FM hasn't been back since the 22nd so let's close this. 24 posts for three quick questions? :rofl: Perhaps someone will volunteer to consolidate all the info in this thread and we can move it to the FAQ. (Hint! Hint! For anyone all alone and bored this weekend.)