Thursday, October 27, 2011

Vitamins and Minerals for Athletes

We received the following question via email recently. The writer attended a symposium at UCLA in 1994 where Dr. Cooper spoke about the vitamins and minerals he suggested long-distance runners take to counter free radicals. The writer advised that she is still a long-distance runner, and would like to know what the current recommendations are. Her notes from the 1994 symposium document that Dr. Cooper suggested long-distance runners take 1,000 mg Vitamin C, 400 IU natural Vitamin E, and 25,000 IU Beta Carotene. She closed by also asking about recommendations on Vitamin D.

The world of supplements is honestly an area of constantly evolving science. Dr. Cooper wrote a book, the Antioxidant Revolution, back in 1994, following his research on the impact of antioxidants and athletic recovery. (The book is out of print.) The guidelines in that book were the foundation of Cooper Complete Elite Athlete, a multivitamin and mineral formulation specifically for elite athletes, including marathoners, triathletes, competitive body builders and cyclists to name a few.

The recommendation of Dr. Cooper, and his scientific team of advisors has changed significantly over the years, and Cooper Complete Elite Athlete has been revised multiple times in response to the expanding body of research available. The level of vitamin A (as natural beta carotene) is now dramatically lower, in part due to the prevalence of vitamin A/Beta Carotene in packaged cereals and many other fortified foods, while the levels of vitamin C and E have been increased to 2,000 mg (Vitamin C) and 800 IU (Vitamin E). Vitamin D, originally at 400 IU, is now at 2,000 IU. We encourage Vitamin D blood testing, and those who find levels still low with 2,000 IU per day may add additional Vitamin D to their regimen.

The latest formulation change is set to occur early next year, when we adjust the level of folic acid from 400 mcg to 200 mcg, and change the form from folate to Metafolin, a patented form of 5-methyletrahydrofolate (5-MTHT) made by Merck. Along with this ingredient change, the tablets will receive a vanilla flavored coating to make them easier to swallow.

We suggest that those taking Cooper Complete Elite Athlete exercise more than five hours per week at 80 percent maximal heart rate or higher (as defined: 205 – ½ age x 0.8) or as recommended by their healthcare professional. Here is the Cooper Complete Elite Athlete ingredient composition.

In addition to taking Cooper Complete Elite Athlete, we suggest that all adults take a minimum of 1,000 mg per day (combined) of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, as studies show that EPA is a great overall inflammation fighter.

For more information about Cooper Complete vitamins and supplements, please call 888.393.2221 or visit

Joint Health -

Advanced Omega-3 -

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the division that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call Jill at 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Monday, October 17, 2011

All About Magnesium

Magnesium is essential to good health. The fourth most abundant mineral in our body, about fifty to sixty percent of the body’s magnesium is found in our bones, with the balance in our muscle and other soft tissues. Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regulates heart rhythm, supports a healthy immune system and keep bones strong. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is involved in energy metabolism.

The daily recommended intake for magnesium is 400 mg for men 19 to 30 years of age and 420 mg for men over 30 years of age; 310 mg for women 19 to 30 years of age and 320 mg for women over 30 years of age. Cooper Clinic routinely tests magnesium levels as part of the blood profile in the comprehensive physical. A normal blood plasma level is 1.8 to 2.4 mg/dL.

Foods that are naturally high in fiber generally have decent levels of magnesium. Dietary sources of magnesium include legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds and nuts (especially almonds and cashews). Other sources include dairy products, meats, chocolate and coffee. Per 3 ½ ounce serving, Kelp provides 760 mg magnesium, while almonds and cashews have approximately 270 mg, and pecans and English walnuts around 135 mg.

The health status of our digestive system and kidneys influences our magnesium level. Primarily absorbed in the small intestine, magnesium is then transported through the blood to cells and tissues. Our kidneys excrete magnesium, so in instances where kidney health is impaired, too much magnesium may be expelled. In general, healthy individuals absorb about one-third to one-half of the magnesium ingested. Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal disorders can impair absorption of magnesium.

Older adults are at increased risk for magnesium deficiency. In addition to consuming less magnesium than younger adults, magnesium absorption decreases and renal excretion of magnesium increases in older adults. Seniors are also more likely to take drugs that interact negatively with magnesium. Magnesium supplements should not be taken at the same time as tetracycline or thyroid hormones - take either two hours before or after the medication.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency could include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, insomnia and weakness. Later signs may include numbness, tingling, personality changes, muscle contractions, cramps, seizures and abnormal heart rhythms. Because these symptoms are so broad, a magnesium deficiency can sometimes go undetected as physicians eliminate other issues.

Magnesium supplements combine magnesium with another substance such as a salt. Magnesium supplements include carbonate, chloride, gluconate, glycinate, hydroxide, oxide, silicate, stearate and sulfate. Epsom salts, often used to sooth a variety of skin conditions, is actually magnesium sulfate. Elemental magnesium refers to the amount of magnesium in each compound, and the amount of elemental magnesium in a compound and its bioavailability influence the effective of the magnesium supplement. Bioavailability is the amount of magnesium that is ultimately absorbed and useable by our body. In a more bioavailable form of magnesium, it is not unusual to find that four or more tablets are required to get to 500 mg of magnesium.

Nutritional Magnesium Association

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Magnesium

Jill Turner is VP Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Email ( or call 888-393-2221 with your questions and comments regarding supplements.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Radio Interview by Todd Whitthorne Discussing Vitamins

In this interview with Todd Whitthorne by Joanie Greggains on KGO Radio in San Francisco, Todd discusses the following issues:

1. The best time of day to take a multivitamin.
2. If other supplements can be taken at the same time as the multivitamin.
3. The synergistic impact of supplements, such as calcium and Magnesium.
4. Vitamin D and dosing.
5. B vitamins and their importance pre-pregnancy in preventing neural tube defects.
6. Omega-3 levels and military personnel suicide statistics.

Listen to the Interview