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Ask Dr. Mike: Green Supplements, Staying Limber, & Can You Give Supplements to Your Kids?

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans. Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

What is your take on green supplements like amazing grass and green vibrance? Is there any substantial literature out there?

The green supplement industry has been around for some time now. These supplements are based on a whole food philosophy. They're really great... you get protein, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants out of them. However, you may wonder at what level are you getting these things, because these products aren't standardized.

What's the importance of staying limber, whether you're active or more sedentary?

Dr. Mike thinks it's very important to stay limber, especially in major muscle groups. It helps you feel better, stay active, and live longer.

Is it okay to give supplements to my kids?

Yes, you can give supplements to kids. However, you just want to be mindful of the dosing for your kids, based on their age.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: April 28, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

You are listening to RadioMD. It's time to ask Dr. Mike on Healthy Talk. Call or email to ask your questions now. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 877-711-5211. The lines are open.

DR. MIKE: Kahlil Sharif, a listener of Healthy Talk sent an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you can do the same thing. Send me your questions and I enjoy doing this and reading them on air. You can be as detailed as you want or as vague as you want. You can put your name, or not put your name. It's all up to you. You can even ask me to read it on a certain day and I'll do my best to do that.
So here is the question from Kahlil:

"Hi Dr. Mike. I have been listening to your podcast for around 8 months now. I am British and based in...", and then my ink kind of smeared, so I'm not sure what he says there. He says that he works for a multinational pharmacy company. "I really enjoy the topics you cover and the practical advice you give." And he said a couple of other lines that I can't read and then it skips down to the questions. So, he has two questions here.

The first question is:

"What is your take on green supplements like Amazing Grass and Green Vibrance? Is there any substantial literature out there? They have been growing rapidly in popularity over here." I'm assuming he means in Britain.
Okay. I am not sure if I am familiar with, I think I have heard of Green Vibrance. I don't know if I have ever heard of Amazing Grass but the green supplement industry or products have been around for quite some time now. Normally, Kahlil, they are based on whole food philosophy. These green drinks are usually not necessarily standardized to any specific compounds in the plants.

They are basically just whole plant based. They're awesome. You are going to get proteins out of it; you are going to get good fats out of it; you are going to get some fiber out of it; you are going to get vitamins and minerals and antioxidants out of it. The question often becomes, though, at what level are you getting those things? Because unless you actually standardize for the fibers, standardize for the polyphenols which are the plant-based antioxidants. If you don't standardize for those things, we don't really know what you are actually getting in terms of dose and that's why, if you look in to the label for a lot of the green supplements or a lot of the green drinks, it's just a proprietary blend. It will list everything that's in there but often not giving you any specific doses and that's fine.

I mean, they're great products. I think it's a great way to get some of the basic vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers you need every day. I don't have any problem with them. Sometime I just maybe question the dosing. That's all. So, I like them. I don't do them personally. I'm more of a standardization extract type guy. But I think they're good. I think the need to work on the taste a little bit to be honest with you. And to overcome that some of them will put some sugar. Hopefully, they don't put any artificial stuff in it.

So, just make sure and double check that kind of stuff. Make sure there's no artificial gunk in there but I think most of them don't do that. But they do sweeten it up. I think lot of them is using Stevia now which is a good alternative. But just make sure there is no gunk, no coloring stuff, like that and other than that I think they are fine. It's just a dosing thing for me.

The second question that Kahlil ad was:
"The importance of stretching your muscles and keeping them limber for overall health whether you are active or sedentary, particularly for sedentary individuals."
So, it's not really a question. I think he just wants me to comment on the importance of staying limber. I think it's incredibly important. Keeping your muscles, especially in your legs or what we might call the major muscle groups--arms, biceps, triceps, chest, stomach, legs, and calves--keeping those muscle fibers nice and long and limber is very important.

It just helps you to feel better, stay active and if your muscles are limber, and you can stretch and touch your toes, for instance. Listen, that often is associated with longer, healthier life. There was, I don't remember the year, but a couple of years ago, Kahlil, at Life Extension, we wrote a whole article on just being frail and not staying limber--exactly what you are talking about. And there are studies showing that as we get older, like, if you can't touch our toes, just as an example, that's a good sign that there are some issues and that has an impact on more morbidity and more mortality across the board.

So, yes. Here is another thing to think about, too. When your muscles are stretched every day, nice long muscle fibers, those fibers tend to be more metabolically active, which means they are going to bring sugar in and they are going to burn that sugar more efficiently. That's going to help something called insulin sensitivity down the line. So, keeping your muscles working, keeping them limber, can also impact how you manage sugar throughout your life, which is extremely important.

Thanks. I appreciate you sending me your email question. Let's go on to some other ones here. I've got some quick ones. I save these ones for trying to get through the last couple of minutes here. I love the email questions, by the way, but sometimes they are really long and I know it's going to take a while to get through them but I have some quick short ones here that I reserve for the last couple of minutes.

So, here is one:
"Is it okay to give supplements to my kids? I have a 5 and 7-year-old boys and what are the essential considerations in giving supplements to my boys?"

Yes. Okay. Sure, you can give supplements to kids, without a doubt. But you just have to remember that the essential consideration, as you're asking here, is in dose. So, there are pediatric formulations of multivitamins and omega oils and so you just have to make sure you stick with those pediatric formulations, unless your doctor tells you something different.

You can always verify with the pediatrician what the appropriate dose of things should be. But let's not forget, too, that at age 5 and 7, although a multivitamin is not bad...Now listen, let me back up, though. Be careful about some of those very popular children's multies that they can eat and that are usually based on some sort of dinosaur or some cartoon characters. Those are usually loaded with sugars and artificial colors and stuff like that.

So, I don't like those. I think there are better ones out there. But don't miss this opportunity, kids, boys and girls, around 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are the prime years to teach them about eating healthy introducing vegetables. This has been shown: the earlier you introduce vegetables to your child, the more they like it later on in life, right?

I remember when I was that age. Unfortunately, I grew up in the TV dinner age. This is when canned foods and TV dinners became very popular. This was like in the 70's and we didn't eat that many fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the vegetables. Most of them were canned, they taste horrible and it took me a long time to overcome that. I do enjoy fresh vegetables now. So, yes, a multivitamin for a child is fine; some omega oil is fine, just with the pediatric dosing formulations but this is the opportunity to really start introducing fresh foods and cooking vegetables.

Oh, I mentioned before, I say all time that I am not a chef, but I love to eat and I watch a lot of the food channels, like Food Network. They have a great website by the way, I think it's They have a whole section about how to turn vegetables into something that kids like. Oh! Go check that out. That's the opportunity that I think that you have right now. So, check with your pediatrician about dosing. Don't do those cartoon based ones, full of sugars and colors, and teach your kid about healthy fresh foods right now. That's your opportunity.

This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I'm Dr. Mike. Stay well!