ASK DR. V
One of my friends gets B-12 shots on a regular basis. Should I be getting them, too?
B-12, otherwise known as cyanocobalamin, is a water-soluble B vitamin essential to our overall health. It is difficult to get enough B-12 from our diet, and B-12 absorbs poorly by oral supplementation. The best way to get your dose of B-12 is by intramuscular injection. B-12 shots have gained popularity lately for their numerous health benefits and lack of unwanted side effects.
While true B-12 deficiencies are rare in the US, even mild deficiencies can contribute to anemia, nerve damage, altered brain function and other medical problems. Patients who get frequent B-12 shots report they experience an increase in metabolism, which can aid in weight-loss efforts and give an overall boost in energy. Many others believe that B-12 helps support proper immune function. It is impossible to overdose on this vitamin, and best results are seen with a series of injections. This painless shot is usually given in the buttock and ranges in price from $20 – $25 per injection.
Dr. Elizabeth VanderVeer is President /Medical Director at VanderVeer Center in Portland Oregon. She is an International expert in aesthetic medicine.
Email your burning questions to AskDrV@portlandinterviewmagazine.com
Most of us love a fresh cup of coffee, and Portland is a coffee epicenter. Scientific research supports modest consumption of this caffeinated beverage (thank goodness!). What may be part of a healthy routine can become detrimental to our health depending on what we put in our coffee. Beware the “add-ons,” such as cream, sugary syrups, and chocolate. These tasty coffee additions can add empty calories, carbohydrates and saturated fat—and all before breakfast. Just one pump of a flavored syrup can contain over 20 grams of sugar and 80 calories per pump! A daily intake of these calorie-laden drinks can cause weight gain and an unwanted spike in blood sugar. So, save the add-ons for a special treat, and go “bare” in the morning. Your body will thank you.
Vitamin D—otherwise known as “the sun- shine vitamin”—is made in our bodies when we are exposed to the sun. This vital vitamin is in short supply in the sun-starved Pacific Northwest, leaving most of us severely vitamin D deficient. Deficiency has been linked to depression, heart disease, and even cancer. Conversely, high levels of vitamin D have been found to slow the growth and recurrence of breast cancer!
It is extremely difficult to get enough vitamin D from our diet, so daily supplementation is necessary. I recommend getting your vitamin D level checked every year and maintaining your level at the high-end of normal. If you take supplemental vitamin D, look for D3—the ideal form of this vitamin—in a liquid or gel caps. Additionally, 10 minutes of sun exposure on most days (without sunscreen) is good for you, too. Your Doctor said so!
SkinMedica Lytera Skin Brightening Complex One of the most common signs of aging is brown spots on the skin. Laser medicine can effectively treat these “age spots,” but regular maintenance between treatments is needed to keep these pesky spots at bay. Lytera Skin Brightening Complex is a wonderful, daily serum that lightens and brightens all complexions and skin types.
Lytera does not contain hydroquinone and uses a blend of gentle ingredients to block all four pathways of hyperpigmentation in the skin. Its silky formula glides on the skin and does not clog pores, look shiny, or interfere with the application of makeup. Clinical testing has shown a minimizing of the appearance of dark patches and discolorations, as well as improved evenness of skin tone—better overall skin appearance, and increased radiance and clarity. For best results, use twice a day. Available only at your Doctor’s office. $125
N.Y.C. New York Color Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder
Can a $3 bronzer really perform like a high-end department store brand? Yes! This N.Y.C., afford able summer staple delivers what it promises: as healthy glow for face and body—all year long. Bronzer is the best way to get a tan without sun damage or increasing brown spots.
Apply sparingly to dry skin with a clean brush for day and night. Use a medium-sized kabuki brush for contouring, and a large, round brush for an overall glow. Reapply as needed, and be sure to wash off at night to save your linens! $2.99
Calluses on our feet can be more than just unsightly. Depending on their size and location, they can also be painful. Summer weather, certain shoes, and walking barefoot can cause or worsen calluses. If left untreated, calluses can deform the foot, contribute to infections and cause poor wound healing. Care must be taken when trying to minimize or remove calluses, for it is easy to make them worse.
Ironically, the more aggressively you try to remove a callus, the more damage you cause to the foot. Do not use sharp tools or any kind of razorblade to scrape off calluses. Instead, soak your feet in warm, soapy water for 10 minutes; dry completely; gently exfoliate your calluses with professional smoother; then seal the job with a foot cream or your favorite body lotion. Dr.’s tip—use a lotion or cream on your feet containing glycolic acid for extra callus care.