One in nine Danish women gets breast cancer, and the situation is not improving, on the contrary. One of the reasons why breast cancer is so widespread is that so many women lack vitamin D, and it looks as if the official recommendations for this nutrient are too low. A new American study has shown that those with higher amounts of vitamin D in the blood have a lower risk of the dreaded disease. The question is how much vitamin D do we need for optimal disease prevention, and what role does the nutrient play for those who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer?
- and that increases the need for selenium
Selenium is necessary for ensuring proper functioning of around 25 different enzymes – also known as selenoproteins – that are essential for energy turnover, metabolism, immune defense, fertility, and for antioxidant protection to help prevent cells and DNA from being damaged by oxidative stress. Selenium is also a so-called mercury antagonist that works by attaching itself to mercury, thereby preventing mercury’s harmful impact on the brain and nervous system. Once selenium has attached to mercury, however, it is no longer available to carry out all of its essential functions in the body. Because we are all exposed to mercury in some degree, this may cause a relative selenium deficiency that leaves our brain and nervous system particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage. In a new review article based on published research, Professor Nicholas V.C. Ralston and Dr. Laura J. Raymond explain why the toxic damage to the brain and nervous system is primarily a result of mercury’s inhibiting impact on the selenium metabolism. Selenium deficiencies are rather common, and mercury poisoning is an insidious problem, so the combination of these two problems deserves a lot more attention.
- but are all those dairy products really necessary?
Eating breakfast has a positive effect on cognitive skills such as memory and learning in children and teenagers, according to an article about Danes and their breakfast habits that is published in Nutrients. However, many children are delivered in their institutions early in the morning, in some cases without even having had a chance to eat breakfast. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration therefore recommends offering these children the chance of eating breakfast in their institutions. It seems that symptoms such as poor concentration, hyperactivity, and apathy, which tend to be viewed as psychological problems, are often the result of not eating breakfast, having low blood sugar levels, and lacking essential vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. In the following, you can read more about the value of eating a healthy breakfast, while you can find out more about the low-fat dairy products that actually increase your risk of unstable blood sugar and overweight.
Girls with high blood levels of vitamin D are generally stronger, while the same relation is not seen in boys, according to a cohort study from Odense University Hospital in Denmark. The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Nonetheless, all humans need adequate levels of vitamin D, as the nutrient has a number of other important functions in the body.
- but the official recommendations are too low
According to an American study, individuals with higher blood levels of vitamin D are far less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, the early stage of the disease, which is characterized by insulin resistance, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol levels. Because it takes many years for type 2 diabetes to develop, it is essential to have sufficiently high vitamin D levels from the early years in life. Both the new American study and earlier research point to the fact that it is not possible to obtain high blood levels of the nutrient without getting plenty of sun during the summer period and taking a high-dosed vitamin D supplement in the winter.
An only six-month-old baby died of heart failure and the following complications. The tragedy was a result of severe vitamin D deficiency, which, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham, could have been avoided with better control. They now demand that the health authorities change their policy regarding vitamin D supplements, so that they take into account the special needs of babies, pregnant women, dark-skinned individuals, and population groups that are more likely to be vitamin D-deficient. With this tragic death, which does not stand alone, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Having too little vitamin D can also increase your risk of weak bones, infections, asthma, autism, and many other diseases.
Tuberculosis is one of the most common diseases in the world and costs millions of lives, especially in the underdeveloped countries. Tuberculosis typically goes hand in hand with malnutrition, and now a group of scientists from Dublin in Ireland has found that vitamin A helps the lungs’ immune defense fight the disease. Their research is published in the esteemed Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.
Magnesium is involved in over 350 different enzyme processes in the human body and is of vital importance to our complex hormone balance. Because women’s hormone system is particularly sensitive, and because magnesium deficiency is so common, all women should make sure to get enough of this essential mineral, especially if they suffer from stress, sleep problems, a sensitive blood sugar balance, PMS, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), metabolic disorders, or adrenal fatigue. Always make sure to balance your intake of magnesium and calcium.
Large population studies of adults and their diet habits often tend to overlook certain groups such as younger adults. A British study therefore took a closer look at eating habits of adults in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. It revealed a widespread lack of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Being deficient in these essential nutrients can harm your fertility and increase your risk of different diseases, while speeding up concealed ageing processes such as loss of cognition and bone mass.