Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a liver disease that is spreading like a bushfire. NAFLD is associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome, which is an early stage of type 2 diabetes. What you eat plays a major role, and a large Chinese study has actually demonstrated that higher dietary intake of vitamin C can improve blood sugar levels and the liver function. It is also wise to lower your intake of carbohydrates, especially fructose that can put a huge strain on the liver and turn it into a virtual “fat factory”.
Brain cells (neurons) contain comparatively large concentrations of vitamin C, a nutrient that helps us maintain a healthy nervous system in a number of different ways. Scientists have discovered that lack of vitamin C can affect the brain’s neural signaling. Consequently, a vitamin C deficiency can impair memory and other cognitive skills in seniors. This was demonstrated in a study from Flinders University in Australia. Mild cognitive impairment is widespread among older people and represents an early stage of dementia so it is important to get plenty of vitamin C every day throughout life.
- and what else does it do?
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has increased the fear of nuclear warfare or radioactive leaks from local nuclear power plants. For that reason, many people have purchased iodine tablets to protect themselves from radioactive contamination. Being relatively close to a radioactive leak creates a sudden need for very large intake of iodine. It is important to realize, however, that the thyroid gland can only store iodine for a limited period of time and it can be dangerous to take extreme doses of iodine. Therefore, it makes no sense to take mega-doses as a preventive measure. On the other hand, it looks as if iodine deficiencies are rather common. Furthermore, we do need a certain amount of iodine to support the thyroid function, estrogen balance, and a number of other things. The question is how much iodine do we need on a day-to-day basis and how much do we need in the case of being exposed to radioactive radiation?
Minerals are involved in countless functions of vital importance to the immune defense. That is why lack of one or several minerals can increase your risk of infections or perhaps trigger unwanted inflammation that can damage healthy tissue. In a new review article that is published in Nutrients, a group of scientists look at magnesium, selenium, zinc, iron, and copper and their role in the immune system. They also look at the fact that vegans, older people, chronically ill, pregnant women, and elite athletes often have nutrient deficiencies that call for supplementation. The agricultural soil in Europe and many other parts of the world is selenium-depleted, which makes it challenging to get enough selenium from our diets. But it is also important not to overdose on minerals. In this article, you can read more about how to optimize your nutrient intake for your immune health.
Parkinson’s patients have less vitamin B3 in their blood due to interactions with medicine and certain other factors. Vitamin B3 is important for our energy turnover and some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be caused by lack of B3. On the other hand, vitamin B3 supplements can help by reducing fatigue, improving handwriting, and improving your mood, according to a study that is published in Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience. The scientists assume that giving supplements of vitamin B3 to patients with Parkinson’s disease has the potential to improve quality of life and delay the progression of their disease.
The rate of autism and ADHD has exploded over the past decades, and the problem comes with an enormous human and socio-economic price tag. A study from the University of Copenhagen has shown that fish oil helps adults with autism and ADHD by improving their attention and working memory. In the study that is published in British Journal of Nutrition, the scientists look closer at omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and their vital role in the brain and nervous system.