There are countless reasons why an expecting mother must make sure to get plenty of vitamin D to support the health of her child. Neonates that lack vitamin D are 44% more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life compared with neonates that do not have a vitamin D deficiency. This was demonstrated by Danish and Australian researchers in a recent study. This vital knowledge may help prevent schizophrenia in the future, and the scientists therefore recommend more focus on the importance of having adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy.
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia. Science has observed changes in the brain that show decades before the disease surfaces. According to a study carried out by the Italian neurologist Lisa Mosconi, eating a Mediterranean diet helps lower the risk of some of these changes that signal the onset of the disease. The study results suggest that one can help prevent this common neurological disorder by eating Mediterranean-style food. What is also important is to focus on having stable blood sugar levels and getting the right nutrients that strengthen and protect the brain.
We need plenty of vitamin D for our bones and immune defense, for preventing cancer and so on, but if we lack magnesium, vitamin D does not work as expected. This is because magnesium is needed for activating vitamin D and enabling it to benefit the body’s cells and tissues. Magnesium also regulates blood levels of vitamin D, more specifically by increasing them if they are too low and lowering them if they are too high. This was demonstrated in a recent study from Vanderbilt University, the United States. The scientists call this highly important information, as there has been conflicting results from studies that compared blood levels of vitamin D in relation to colon cancer and various other diseases. Because magnesium deficiency is a widespread and overlooked problem, there is reason to believe that many people have difficulty with regulating levels of vitamin D in their blood. Also, they risk that their vitamin D does not have the desired effect in terms of preventing a host of different diseases.
A large Irish study has shown for the first time ever that people from 50 years of age and older, who are vitamin D-deficient, are more likely to develop depression.
The study also showed that vitamin D deficiencies are more widespread among seniors, and that taking a vitamin D supplement can make a significant difference. The study supports earlier studies that also link vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of depression, including winter depression. It is essential to get enough vitamin D all year round, as the nutrient is important for many different processes in the brain and even helps protect against local inflammation that is associated with depression.
We all hope to remain mentally alert throughout life, to be able to manage on our own, and to avoid diseases such as dementia. The diet plays a major role, and blood levels of various B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and certain other nutrients are linked directly to brain activity and cognitive functions. This was demonstrated in a new study of elderly people, which is published in the science journal Neurolmage. At the same time, other studies show that there is widespread lack of these nutrients due to poor dietary habits, the use of pharmaceutical drugs, and lack of sunshine. This may have consequences for both public health and health care expenditure, unless one installs timely prevention by providing the brain with vitamins, essential fatty acids and all the other things on which it depends.
Premature infants have a higher risk of development disturbances. On a global scale, preterm delivery is the leading cause of death among children younger than five years of age. Pregnant women, who increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids by taking supplements of fish oil, are able to lower their risk of preterm delivery, according to a new Cochrane review article. Earlier studies show that increased intake of oily fish can also lower the risk of preterm delivery, but it is important that the expecting mother avoids eating predatory fish such as tuna and other types of fish that are likely to contain too much mercury.
Infertility affects around one in seven couples. WHO considers it a global health problem. One of the leading causes is impaired semen quality, and Danish, Norwegian, and German men have lower sperm quality than any other male populations. Impaired sperm quality may be a result of an unhealthy lifestyle with stress, tobacco, stimulants, and hormone-disrupting compounds. On the other hand, scientists from Mexico have found that supplements of zinc, selenium, Q10, and omega-3 have an effect on the number of sperm cells and their quality. Other studies show that zinc and selenium protect sperm cells and are important for testosterone levels.
Colon polyps are rather common, and there is a specific type of polyps that increases the risk of colon cancer, which is also a widespread problem. According to a new clinical study from the University of Leeds in England, a concentrated form of the omega-3 fatty acid, EPA, which is found in oily fish and fish oil supplements, helps reduce the number of colon polyps. The same is the case with aspirin. The two preparations work differently, however, depending on where in the colon the polyps are found, and aspirin may have long-term side effects. Earlier research has shown that supplements of selenium and antioxidants have a preventive effect, which appears to be even greater.
A higher intake of vitamin C is essential for people with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, both of which are early stages of type 2 diabetes. The reason for this, according to scientists from Oregon State University in the United States, is that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the damage that oxidative stress causes to our cells and cardiovascular system. The question is, how do we make sure to get enough vitamin C, and is eating loads of fruit and drinking a lot of juice a good or bad solution?