Lack of dietary vitamin A increases the risk of skin infections and acne. Science has known for a long time that creams with synthetic vitamin A can be used against various skin problems, yet they do not know how vitamin A really works. Now, a study conducted by scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Texas, USA, reveals the underlying mechanisms by identifying a bactericidal skin protein that requires vitamin A in order to work. But what kind of vitamin is vitamin A really? When does it work optimally? And is there in fact vitamin A in carrots?
Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, certain gastrointestinal infections, and a host of other diseases are so-called autoimmune diseases that occur as a result of the immune defense overreacting and attacking the body’s own tissues. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have now mapped out exactly how vitamin D regulates the immune system. In fact, vitamin D may have a positive effect on autoimmune diseases such as sclerosis. But at our latitude, this provides that we get enough vitamin D from the sun in the summertime and take vitamin D supplements in the winter period. Besides, it is a problem that being overweight both increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency and sclerosis, while lack of magnesium makes it difficult for the body to activate vitamin D.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential, as they are needed to make cell membranes and support a host of biochemical functions. During pregnancy, there is a particular need for the two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA to support the growth and brain development of the child. Fish oil is a good source of these two fatty acids, and supplementing with them in the third trimester can prolong the pregnancy and increase birth weight, according to a Scandinavian study published in Journal of Nutrition. The study supports earlier studies of pregnant women, where it has been shown that fish oil lowers the risk of preterm delivery and complications such as development of disorders and death.
Scientists have discovered traces of antibiotic-resistant super bacteria (NDM-1) in the soil of Svalbard. This archipelago is located in the arctic ocean between the North Pole and Norway, several thousand kilometers from India where the bacteria was originally discovered. This is described in a study that is published in the science journal, Environment International. Bacteria with the resistance gene NDM-1 have now spread to a number of other countries and many people have lost their lives to them. Humans are also challenged by other antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the British health authorities consider this to be a larger threat to humans than climate change. But what causes these bacteria to develop resistance? And what vitamins and minerals are particularly important for bolstering the immune system? After all, our immune defense is our only way of protecting ourselves if antibiotics fail to work.
- and people are misguided
Unhealthy eating habits account for one in five deaths globally and are now considered the single most life-threatening risk factor. In most countries, people could reap a lot of health benefits and live longer by eating healthier diets, but it would be wrong to hold each individual responsible because there is an urgent need for international collaboration that involves politicians, agriculture, the food industry, and the health sector, according to a new study (The Global Burden of Disease) that is published in The Lancet. An earlier and larger Czech study published in the science journal Nutrients calls for a paradigm shift with regard to diet recommendations, claiming that the scaremongering about saturated fat and cholesterol should never have been introduced.
Parkinson’s disease, also known as shaking palsy, is one of the most common chronic disorders among older people. There is no effective cure at this point, and the only way to address the disease is to suppress the symptoms but that does not treat the underlying cause. Even though most cases of Parkinson’s disease are sporadic, it turns out that the hereditary variants of the disease are linked to mutations in a particular gene. A team of scientists from University of the Basque Country in Spain has discovered that vitamin B12 blocks the enzyme that is involved in these mutations. An earlier study has also shown that in newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients who have low levels of vitamin B12 the disease develops faster than in patients with higher levels of the nutrient.
The scientists therefore recommend supplementing with vitamin B12 to prevent or at least delay the disease. Earlier studies also show that vitamin B3 and Q10 may have a positive effect. So the reason that Parkinson’s disease is especially likely to affect old people is that they are at increased risk of lacking these essential nutrients.
Vitamin B1 is particularly important for carbohydrate metabolism, mental balance, and the production of gastric juice, which is essential for your digestion. Deficiencies and poor utilization of the nutrient typically occur as a result of unhealthy diets, lack of magnesium, overconsumption of sugar, alcohol, and other stimulants, and regular use of birth control pills and diuretics. The reason why alcoholics can binge drink is chronic vitamin B1 deficiency and life-threatening brain inflammation, both of which are problems that require immediate attention, according to a new review article in StatPearls. It is also believed that large quantities of vitamin B1 may prevent mosquito bites, but is this really true?
- with links to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders
The mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells that churn out energy in a process that involves oxygen, Q10, selenium, and other nutrients. Around 100 years ago, the German Nobel Prize winner, Professor Otto Warburg, demonstrated that even if cancer can be caused by a number of secondary factors, there is only one primary cause: alterations in the mitochondrial oxygen turnover. In his recent book, Tripping over the Truth, molecular biologist Travis Christoffersen describes how contemporary scientists confirm Warburg’s theories and says that we need to look at prevention and cancer treatment from an entirely different angle. Other studies show that Parkinson’s disease, migraine, senility, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders may be rooted in defects of the mitochondria that have many other functions besides delivering energy. It is therefore vital to take care of the mitochondria throughout life. You can read more about the ketogenic diet that optimizes mitochondrial energy turnover in different mitochondrial diseases.
Irritable bowel is the most common intestinal disorder and affects around 15 percent of the population. The symptoms are typically unstable digestion, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and intestinal cramps. Several studies have shown that lack of vitamin D may cause the symptoms, and that taking a vitamin D supplement helps. This is because vitamin D is highly important for the intestinal immune defense and for controlling inflammation.
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