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Weak and inefficiently functioning muscles often cause problems about which little is done until they become serious. Yet the strength and normal function of muscles can be judged by excellent carriage and grace of movement, both of which are rare indeed. In America, weak muscles are evident in all age groups, from the wobbly necks of the newborn to the stoop of the aged and far less than aged. And muscle diseases of every variety are said to be increasing rapidly.
Body Muscle Diagram
Poor muscle tone interferes with the circulation of blood, inhibits normal lymph flow, prevents food from being digested efficiently, often causes constipation, and at times makes it impossible to control the passing of urine; or even to void. Not infrequently weak muscles allow the internal organs to sag or to loll about ,on each other like so many soft boiled eggs, thus interfering with the functions of these organs. Clumsiness, jerkiness, muscle tension, and lack of co-ordination, so frequent in the malnourished child and usually passed over with the statement that "Johnnie is not good at athletics," are symptoms frighteningly similar to those seen in muscular dystrophies and multiple sclerosis.
Muscles consist largely of protein but contain some essential fatty acids in their structure; hence these nutrients must be adequate before muscular strength can be maintained. The chemistry of muscles and the nerves controlling them, however, is extremely complex;
and because innumerable enzymes, coenzymes, activators, and other compounds are involved in their contraction, relaxation, and repair, every nutrient gets into the act in one way or another. For example, since adequate calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and D are each necessary for their relaxation, muscular cramps and tics and tremors can usually be relieved when increased amounts of these nutrients are taken.
Potassium is essential to the contraction of every muscle in the body. In a single week healthy volunteers given refined foods such as those eaten daily by millions of Americans developed muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, constipation, indifference, and lack of feeling, all of which disappeared almost immediately when 10 grams of potassium chloride were given them. Severe potassium deficiencies are frequently brought on by stress, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney damage, the use of diuretics, or cortisone therapy, causing sluggishness, flabbiness, and partial paralysis. Muscles of the intestines, thus affected, allow bacteria to form such quantities of gas that colic occurs and/or spasms or twisting of the bowel may result in obstruction. When a potassium deficiency has caused death, autopsies have revealed severe muscle damage and scarring.
Some persons have such unusually high potassium requirements that they are subject to periodic paralysis. Studies of these individuals show that blood potassium is decreased by the typical American high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet of well-salted foods, and especially by candy binges, stress, or ACTH and cortisone. Even though muscles become weak, lax, soft, or partially paralyzed, recovery occurs within minutes after potassium is taken. A diet high in protein, low in salt, or rich in potassium can prevent this abnormally low blood potassium. Such studies help to reveal why American children, who consume so many candy bars, soft drinks, refined foods, and salted popcorn and potato and corn chips, made a poor showing in comparison with European children on recent physical tests.
When weak muscles result in fatigue, gas distention, constipation, and perhaps inability to pass urine without a catheter, the taking of potassium chloride tablets has proved especially advantageous. Most people, however, can obtain ample potassium from fruits and vegetables, particularly cooked green leafy ones, and by avoiding refined foods.
A lack of vitamin E is a frequent but rarely recognized cause of muscle weakness. In the same way that red blood cells break down when essential fats forming the cell structure are harmed by oxygen in the absence of this vitamin, so are muscle cells destroyed throughout the body. The muscles are left damaged and scarred, particularly in adults who do not absorb fats readily. The nuclei of muscle cells and the enzymes needed for muscular contractions cannot be formed without vitamin E. Its lack tremendously increases the need for oxygen in muscle tissue, inhibits the utilization of several amino acids, and allows phosphorus to be lost in the urine and many B vitamins to be destroyed by rancidity, all of which interfere with the function and repair of muscles. Furthermore, enzymes that break down dead muscle cells may increase as much as 6,000 per cent when vitamin E is under supplied; and the calcium content of vitamin-E deficient muscles increases so tremendously that calcium is deposited in them.
Muscular weakness in pregnant women caused by a vitamin-E deficiency--frequently induced by iron supplements--often makes their deliveries difficult by decreasing enzymes needed for muscle contraction. When 400 milligrams of vitamin E were given daily to 112 persons with muscular weakness, pain, stiffness, wrinkled skin, and lack of elasticity in their muscles, marked improvement was made by elderly and young alike; and those who had suffered from many of these abnormalities for years recovered almost as quickly as did others who had been ill only a short time.
The most spectacular improvement in muscle strength I have seen occurred when 100 to 300 units of vitamin E were given daily to babies slow in holding up their heads, sitting erect, crawling, or walking. Often within a week their muscles became firm, and the child was looking about, sitting up, or crawling or walking normally. Repeatedly mothers of these children have told me their pediatricians have claimed that vitamin E was dangerous.
Johns Hopkins physicians have given massive doses of this vitamin to children with excellent results and could observe no toxic effects. Mongoloid and mentally retarded children have received up to 3,000 units daily for years with amazingly beneficial results in some cases; and equally huge amounts have corrected such muscle problems as crossed eyes and been given to volunteers with no sign of toxicity. Many outstanding physicians believe that all bottle-fed infants should be given approximately 30 units of vitamin E daily; and that a vitamin-E deficiency can be suspected in any baby unable to sit up well when three months old.
About The Author
David Crawford is the CEO and owner of a Male Enhancement Products company known as Male Enhancement Group which is dedicated to researching and comparing male enhancement products in order to determine which male enhancement product is safer and more effective than other products on the market. Copyright 2009 David Crawford of Male Enhancement Pills This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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