- and a regular blood test cannot reveal it
Although humans generally live longer now, an increasing number of people suffer from chronic diseases. Our medicine consumption is steadily increasing, yet the underlying causes are not addressed, and it is often down to a lack of essential nutrients. Just think of magnesium, a nutrient that is involved in more than 300 different enzyme processes that are important for our nervous system, digestion, muscle function, heart function, blood pressure, bone health, pregnancy, and utilization of vitamin D. This also means that lack of magnesium may be involved in the development of asthma, stress, insomnia, constipation, migraines, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, premature deliveries etc. A recent review article published in Scientifica looks at the importance of magnesium in clinical therapy, and it is vital that magnesium supplements are in a form that the body can absorb and utilize.
Elevated blood pressure causes more premature deaths worldwide than any other factor. Blood pressure is regulated by a number of things such as diet and lifestyle. Science has also discovered that low blood levels of zinccontribute to high blood pressure because it impairs the ability of the kidneys to regulate sodium levels. This was demonstrated recently in a study that is published in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. Clinical zinc deficiencies are especially common among type 2 diabetics and people with kidney ailments. Subclinical zinc deficiency is also quite common. Even if you get plenty of zinc from your diet, the risk of poor zinc absorption increases with age. Vegetarian and vegan diets, overconsumption of calcium, drinking too much alcohol, using birth control pills and several types of medicine, plus certain other factors can also increase the risk of a zinc deficiency.
An adult contains around one kilogram of calcium, which is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Bones and teeth store around 99% of our calcium and 1 per cent is used to support metabolic functions. Levels of calcium in the blood are tightly controlled, as the slightest deviations may result in serious symptoms of the nervous system and the heart.
Yes, according to a new study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, lack of seleniumlowers the kidneys’ sodium excretion via different mechanisms, and that leads to elevated blood pressure. The study results are highly relevant because hypertension and subsequent premature death is a growing global problem. Selenium deficiency is also a widespread problem. One billion people worldwide are believed to be lack this essential nutrient, primarily because of the selenium-depleted agricultural soil in large parts of China, Europe, and other places.
Copper is an essential trace element. An adult contains around 100-150 micrograms of copper. Most of it is found in the liver, brain, kidneys, and heart. Fetuses and newborn babies have particularly high copper levels in their liver. In fact, the liver is believed to serve as an extra storage facility during lactation where the copper content in breastmilk is rather low.
Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world, and the heart is particularly vulnerable. According to a study from the University of Birmingham, Alabama (USA), foods that are rich in potassium such as bananas, potatoes, avocado, and almonds protect against this disease, which takes years to develop. Beware that too much salt and the use of diuretics may deplete the body’s potassium stores.
Surprisingly many people suffer from hypertension without knowing it. That is a concealed threat, as elevated blood pressure is a common cause of stroke and premature death. However, people with hypertension who take folic acid along with their blood pressure-lowering medicine have a substantially lower risk of stroke.
Hypertension is a growing problem. Worldwide, it causes more premature deaths than any other risk factor. Chinese researchers have now found that supplementation with a combination of folic acid and anti-hypertensive medicine lowers the risk of stroke by nearly 75 percent. It is important to underline that many people have elevated blood pressure without knowing about it, and many things can cause a folic acid deficiency or poor utilization of the vitamin.
Potassium and sodium (which is found in regular table salt) work together in an elaborate and essential way in the body. Unfortunately, we get far too much concealed salt from industrially processed foods, and our intake of potassium from vegetables is often too low. This increases our risk of elevated blood pressure and stroke. Nonetheless, people on low-sodium diets have a lower risk of suffering a stroke and dying, according to a large Chinese study. The scientists assume that sodium may represent an inexpensive and simple way to improve public health. How important is it really to have the proper balance between sodium and potassium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral. An adult contains around 20-30 grams of magnesium. Approximately half of the body's magnesium supply is stored in the bones. The rest is distributed in the muscles, liver, nerve tissue and other soft tissues. Magnesium is mainly found inside the cells where it supports over 300 different enzymatic processes.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death. It is therefore vital to get enough magnesium because according to research, low blood levels of magnesium are linked to an increased risk of atherosclerosis, hypertension, and type-2 diabetes.
Many older people sleep poorly and tend to have elevated blood pressure. Luckily, supplementation with melatonin seems to correct both problems. Melatonin can even improve sleep in people who take beta-blockers for high blood pressure. So what is melatonin, and why is this substance particularly useful for older people?
Omega-3 fatty acids belong to a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Their "omega-3" name indicates that they have a double bond at the third carbon atom in the middle carbon chain. Omega-3 fatty acids provide energy and constitute an important element in all cell membranes and various biochemical processes. The type known as ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) is essential, as the human body is unable to produce it. We depend on a dietary supply of this fatty acid. By means of enzymes, ALA is converted to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and finally into some hormone-like substances named prostaglandins (E3).
Elevated blood pressure, a problem many people have without knowing it, is the major cause of early death. Our lifestyle and what we eat play an enormous role and according to a new meta-analysis that is published in Journal of the American Heart Association, daily intake of three grams of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your blood pressure. It is possible to get this amount of omega-3by consuming a serving of oily fish like herring or taking a high-quality fish oil supplement.
An adult contains around 150 grams of potassium with 98% inside the cells. Potassium works in synergy with sodium, which is primarily found outside the cells in the tissue fluids. The potassium-sodium distribution is essential for the so-called electrolyte balance of cells, and this is crucial for the cellular uptake of nutrients, for the ability of cells to get rid of waste products, and for the maintenance of essential fluid balances. The kidneys regulate the body's potassium levels and they must always be in balance with sodium. A major sodium source is table salt (sodium chloride). Excessive consumption of sodium may result in a potassium deficiency.
Many people suffer from chronic heart failure - often without knowing it. Numerous studies have shown that supplementing with Q10 can improve quality of life and even reduce mortality. An article published in Pharmacologic Therapy reviews the many Q10 studies and makes a point of saying that it is important to choose a Q10 preparation with good bioavailability.
- that can often be remedied with simple diet changes and specific supplements
The number of Danes suffering from one or several chronic diseases is a lot higher than previously thought, according to a group of scientists behind a new study from Danish Center for Healthcare Improvement at Aalborg University. Diseases such as hypertension, elevated cholesterol, depression, bronchitis, asthma, type 2 diabetes, rheumatism, and osteoporosis are among the most widespread ailments. Although there may be a reason of underlying factors, diet and lack of essential nutrients often play a key role. This is something that we have written about over the years on this website, and we have tried to gather some facts from various articles. Simple diet changes and the use of relevant nutritional supplements may play a key role in the treatment of these chronic ailments that come at a huge price, both to the individual sufferer and to society.
Vitamin D plays a major role in our health. The main focus, however, is on vitamin D’s importance for bones, while many health professionals are totally unaware of the nutrient’s other essential functions. According to a review article published in Nutrients, half the global population has low vitamin D levels in the blood, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory infections like COVID-19, and early death. The authors also mention that vitamin D science is often inadequate or misleading because studies focus on supplementation rather than looking at blood levels of 25(OH)D. Consequently, trials are often made with far too small vitamin D doses or with too a short a trial period. In either case, blood levels of vitamin D fail to reach their optimum. What is more, levels of 25(OH)D in the blood should ideally be above 75 nmol/L in order to protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and early death. Because this threshold level is higher than the official threshold levels, the scientists recommend high-dosed vitamin D levels as a way to reach an optimal nutrient status.
Our ability to absorb zinc is reduced with age, and many older people lack zinc, even though there is plenty of zinc in the diet they eat. The trace element is involved in over 1,000 enzyme processes and is also an important antioxidant that protects our cells. Even minor zinc deficiencies can speed up ageing processes and contribute to skin and hair problems, infections such as bladder infections, chronic inflammation, elevated blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases. People with unhealthy diets, vegetarians, vegans, and older people are at particularly vulnerable. Certain types of medicine that many seniors take can also increase the risk of a zinc deficiency.