By Stephenie Karony

Wednesday, September 1, 1999

Vitamin O supplements
are bogus, deceptive

Question: What's your opinion of the supplement called Vitamin O?

Answer: Vitamin O supplements are bogus. To start with, there is no such nutrient as vitamin O, so its very name is deceptive. The manufacturers of vitamin O supplements claim it can eliminate toxins, boost immunity and cure various diseases. How do they say this is possible?

According to the label, it does so by delivering "stabilized oxygen" to the body's cells and tissues.

This is just downright silly! Why? Because the human body isn't designed to absorb O2 (oxygen) through the gastrointestinal system. That's why we have lungs.

It's the function of the lungs to deliver O2 to our body's cells and tissues - and, I might add, not in the presence of water - unless, of course, you want to drown.

In fact, the Federal Trade Commission, the governmental agency that oversees truth in advertising, filed a complaint last April against the manufacturers of vitamin O, alleging that their product is nothing more than ordinary salt water.

If you want to rid your body of toxins, eat a natural, well-balanced diet, get plenty of exercise and don't have toxic thoughts. To boost immunity, eat a natural, well balanced diet, get plenty of exercise, and stay away from toxic substances such as tobacco and alcohol. To cure various diseases, assuming you've already contracted one, eat a natural, well balanced diet, get plenty of exercise and follow your doctor's orders.

Don't waste your money on vitamin O. It's better spent on fresh fruits and vegetables.

Q: What are shin splints?

A: Shin splints is a condition in which there is pain on the front and side of the lower leg in the region of the shin bone. Shin splints are caused by strained and swollen muscles.

There are a number of reasons people, usually runners, develop shin splints.

Too much exercise, which places a lot of stress on the bones, is the No. 1 cause. Wearing worn-out running shoes, running on hard surfaces, having weak rolled-in ankles and over-developed hamstring muscles are some other causes.

To prevent shin splints, stretch the leg muscles after every run.

Do leg extension exercises that strengthen the front of the legs (running works the rear leg muscles only).

Add distance to your run slowly, increase intensity (speed, hills, etc.) gradually, and replace worn-out running shoes.

If you already have shin splints, cut back your running by 60 percent, ice the painful area after each run, and take aspirin or ibuprofen for pain. Avoid running on hills and don't run fast.

If running on hard surfaces is the cause of your shin splints, seek out alternatives. A running trail or the track at your local sport facility are a couple of examples.

If the pain hasn't subsided after a few weeks see a sports podiatrist. You may be a candidate for orthotics - shoe inserts which stabilize your feet.

If shin splints are left untreated they can become hair-line fractures on the tibia (shin) bone. This is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Stephenie Karony is a certified health
and fitness instructor, a personal trainer and the author of
"Body Shaping with Free Weights." Send questions to her at
P.O. Box 262, Wailuku Hi. Her column appears on Wednesdays.

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