The majority of supplements with vitamins and minerals fails to extend life or protect against cardiovascular disease, although fish oil does seem to have a good effect, according to a large review from John Hopkins University. On the other hand, a Danish study shows that blood levels of vitamin D are crucial for a person’s expected lifespan, and a groundbreaking Swedish study shows that patented supplements with Q10 and selenium benefit older people by improving their cardiac health and reducing cardiovascular mortality by 50%. What matters is to use supplements that contain nutrients in the right quantity, which have a proper quality and can be absorbed by the body. In the following, you can read more about the different studies and learn how you can improve your heart health and increase your chances of a longer life.
A growing number of children and teenagers suffer from anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems. Although there may be a number of underlying causes, it appears that vitamin D deficiency may be a contributing factor, according to a study that is published in the Journal of Nutrition. The problem is only made worse by the fact that many youngsters get too little sunlight during the summer period and that sun awareness campaigns warn against sun exposure without informing people about alternative ways of getting vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bones but also for the brain, the nervous system, the immune defense, and many other physiological processes.
- and there is focus on nutrient deficiencies
The whole climate debate has made it increasingly popular to become a vegetarian or a vegan. However, according to a new and comprehensive study from Oxford, this choice of lifestyle may have grave health consequences and can increase your risk of apoplexy, also known as stroke, cerebral hemorrhage or cerebral thrombosis. The study is published in British Medical Journal. Earlier studies also give rise to concern, as a plant-based diet often lacks protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, selenium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, and that can increase the risk of thyroid disorders, neurological disorders, infections, chronic inflammation, impaired fertility, growth disturbances in children etc. Some of these deficiencies are insidious and difficult to link to the diet.
Alcohol is one of the most compromising factors when it comes to public health, and alcohol abuse comes at an enormous cost, both to the individual and to society. A large alcohol consumption contributes as a factor to insidious dementia, but according to a new study from Taiwan, supplementing with vitamin B1 (thiamine) may prevent alcohol-induced dementia. The scientists that have conducted the study therefore point to vitamin B1 supplementation as having an important role in the treatment plan for people with alcohol abuse problems and to prevent dementia from developing or progressing.
Each Dane consumes 12.3 kilos of candy on average every single year, which makes Denmark the single largest candy eaters worldwide, according to Euromonitor that has studied candy consumption in 100 different countries. This rather unhealthy champion status has a number of grave health consequences, as it affects our blood sugar levels, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. In the long run, it may lead to dependence on these quick “energy fixes” and contribute to problems with the immune system, insulin resistance, overweight, diabetes, digestive disorders and other lifestyle diseases. To make things worse, there is all the concealed sugar that we get from our diet. A new science project aims at developing methods for helping families improve their daily health. In the following, you can read more about the dangers of consuming too much sugar and what you can do to stabilize your blood sugar by distributing your energy intake and taking a supplement of the trace element chromium.
- and why are certain exposed groups at risk of deficiency: new report
Vitamin C plays a key role in our energy turnover, immune defense, connective tissue, wound healing, antioxidant protection, cardiovascular health, brain, and a host of different enzyme processes. An English population study has shown that having low blood levels of vitamin C is associated with poor physical condition and that may spawn a number of different symptoms. The researchers behind the study also found that people from lower social classes, smokers, men, and older people in general are more likely to be deficient. Alcohol abuse, sugar abuse, stress, and poisoning may also increase the need for the nutrient, which means that many people may benefit from taking a supplement or improving their diet. The big question is how much vitamin C do we actually need for optimal health?
Involuntary childlessness has become increasingly common. Many women find themselves in a race against time, and their biological clock keeps ticking louder and louder. Fertility therapies, miscarriages, preeclampsia, and other complications during pregnancy contribute to the physical and emotional burden. In a new Australian study that is published in Nutrients, the authors write about selenium and zinc and how these nutrients play an important role in fertility and a healthy pregnancy. They also address the problems with widespread selenium deficiency and point out that environmental toxins like mercury deplete levels of vital selenium-containing proteins in the body. The scientists point to supplements for fighting deficiencies, just like folic acid and iron are routinely recommended to pregnant women. It pays off to choose selenium yeast with multiple organic selenium compounds and organic zinc to help improve the bioavailability and utilization of the nutrients.
A growing number of people suffer from overweight and type 2 diabetes, both of which are problems that come at a cost both to society and to the individual. The traditional dietary guidelines are not of much use, and many people find themselves in a hopeless battle because they also suffer from insulin resistance with impaired cellular glucose uptake. Countless epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the widespread lack of vitamin D contributes to the problem. In a review article that is published in Nutrients, the scientists address vitamin D’s many functions with relation to blood glucose regulation, satiety, body weight, and prevention of type 2 diabetes. It should be noted that overweight people and type 2 diabetics may have an increased need for vitamin D, and magnesium is also required for activating the vitamin.
Those with a higher dietary intake of vitamin A than what is officially recommended are 17 percent less likely to develop the second-most common skin cancer compared with those who get limited quantities of the nutrient, according to a study from Brown University in the USA. Beware that vitamin A is found in different forms in various foods and that one of these forms (retinol) can be overdosed.
Diabetes is spreading with epidemic proportions, and an alarmingly high number of people are affected by metabolic syndrome, an early stage of diabetes that causes insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, and enlarged waist circumference. Ever since the 1970s, diabetics have been advised to stick with a low-fat diet consisting of bread, potatoes, and other carbohydrate sources. However, a new Danish study reveals that it is best to cut back on your carbohydrate intake. The new message to diabetics supports research from other parts of the world. Diabetics and people with sensitive blood sugar should focus on eating a diet with fewer carbohydrates, more protein, and more healthy fats. They should also make sure to get enough chromium, vitamin D, and magnesium, all of which are nutrients that support the body’s blood sugar levels. Furthermore, vitamin B12 and Q10 are important for those, who take diabetes medication and cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins).
- that is the common thread in most chronic diseases
Lack of dietary zinc may disrupt the immune defense and increase your risk of inflammation, which is the common thread in most diseases such as eczema, rheumatism, diabetes, and cancer. Zinc’s underlying mechanisms used to be relatively unknown, but a new study published in the science journal Immunology shows that zinc regulates the white blood cells of the immune system plus the formation of various proteins that are important for controlling inflammatory processes. Unfortunately, zinc deficiencies are widespread for a number of reasons.
Diabetes is spreading like a bushfire across the globe, but even if governments, doctors, and health authorities have tried desperately to bend the curve, they have not succeeded so far. On the contrary. Today, diabetes is controlled with help from different medical drugs that do not address the underlying cause and actually affect or organ systems. Because of this, diabetics often have impaired quality of life and shorter lifespans than healthy individuals. What is more, diabetics have widespread vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiencies, which are associated with diabetic neuropathy, which is a serious complication. Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) are also linked to reduced levels of Q10, a compound that is necessary for energy turnover, the heart, and the cardiovascular system.
Heart failure is when the heart loses power and is no longer able to deliver blood to the different parts of the body. Typical symptoms are shortness of breath and physical exhaustion. There may also be symptoms like fluid retention, persistent coughing, chest tightness, increased sweating, or cold sensitivity. Chronic heart failure may be caused by different things, and it is a life-threatening condition. However, according to a study that is published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, magnesium supplementation can improve a type of heart failure called diastolic dysfunction. Previous studies have demonstrated that supplements of Q10 can also improve cardiac function in patients with heart failure.
Selenium is a trace element that supports over 30 essential selenoproteins, which have numerous functions. For the first time ever, a study of Mexican children reveals that lack of selenium delays the growth of pubic hairs and the development of sex organs in boys. It is a known fact that the agricultural soil in Mexico is low in selenium and that affects the entire food chain. The same is the case in Europe, for which reason farmers for decades have supplemented livestock with selenium as a way of improving fertility and preventing a number of deficiency problems. The big question is to what extent can selenium deficiency problems explain the impaired sperm quality that has been observed among young men? An estimated 500 million to one billon people worldwide get too little selenium from their diet.
- 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.
Expecting mothers should pay careful attention to getting enough vitamin D all year round, especially because vitamin D deficiencies are so commonplace, to begin with. Lack of vitamin D at birth and the first years of life is associated with an increased risk of infant hypertension, and the problem can even continue to adulthood. This was shown in a study that is published in the science journal Hypertension. The researchers advise pregnant women to have their vitamin D levels measured, and they even recommend vitamin D supplements for pregnant women and children as a way of preventing elevated blood pressure later in life.
Vitamin K occurs in different forms and has a variety of biological functions. A growing number of older people want to be able to manage on their own for as long as possible, which is why a team of scientists from Tufts University, USA, has taken a closer look at the risk factors that are known to impair mobility. The researchers discovered that lack of vitamin K is a serious problem. Other studies suggest that vitamin K deficiencies are quite widespread because older people tend to change their diet habits and use cholesterol-lowering medicine.
Vitamin D is essential for muscle function and normal muscle size, according to a new study that is carried out by scientists at Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Sidney. Lack of vitamin D may result in impaired muscle function, including such problems as poor physical fitness level, muscle tension and loss of muscle mass.
- and increases the risk of degenerative disease and early death
It is commonly known that degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney ailments, and liver diseases are often linked to poor quality of life and shorter lifespan. Supplementing with Q10, possibly in combination with selenium yeast, may have a positive influence on the mentioned conditions and lower your risk of premature death by as much as 50 percent or more. In fact, Q10 can help delay the ageing processes by protecting the heart, cardiovascular system, and cells, according to a large review article published online by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). As mentioned in this article, it is essential to use supplements that are pharmaceutical-grade in order to ensure proper absorption in blood and tissue.
People in the Western part of the world consume far too much omega-6, primarily in the form of linoleic acid from vegetable oils and processed foods such as margarine, fries, chips, and ready meals. A new study that is published in The Journal of Physiology shows that this may be harmful during pregnancy and can increase the risk of complications and developmental disorders in the baby.
Earlier studies show that consuming too much omega-6 increases the risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease. And it is essential to balance your intake of omega-3 and omega-6, whether you are pregnant or not.
Patients who take glucosamine for their osteoarthritis have a bonus effect: The preparation also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a large population study published in the science journal British Medical Journal. Always choose pharmaceutical-grade glucosamine so you are sure to obtain the desired effect.
- and do not have a clue
Global heating and the whole climate debate have greatly increased the number of vegans and vegetarians. Their intensions may be good, but what they do not know is that their lifestyle can lead to serious health problems. A Spanish study of vegetarians and vegans has shown that 11% of the study participants had subclinical or clinical vitamin B12 deficiency. Earlier studies supporting this finding. Because the problem is insidious, it is often difficult to see the link between the deficiency and the symptoms caused by anemia or disturbances in the nervous system. The lack of vitamin B12 may also increase the risk of impaired fertility and development disturbances in the fetus. It is therefore a good idea for vegans and vegetarians to take a vitamin B12 supplement.
Melatonin is primarily known as a sleep hormone and a powerful antioxidant. According to a new study, melatonin may even improve the condition of rats that have heart rhythm disturbances with an increased risk of heart attack. Melatonin’s ability to improve the heart function is not related to its antioxidant function, however, and that surprised the scientists behind the study. The new study was presented at an annual meeting for the American Physiological Society (APS) in Orlando. Melatonin has several vital functions, but as we age our endogenous production decreases. Not only does this affect our quality of sleep, it also has a negative impact on the heart and the body’s cells.
It is commonly known that fish oil with its high content of the two omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA helps prevent atherosclerosis. According to a new international study, it appears to be DHA that has the major effect. This new insight, which has surprised the scientists, is relevant to public health because cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death.
Get lots of sunlight. It is the richest source of vitamin D. Also make sure to take a vitamin D supplement if, for some reason or other, you are unable to get enough sun exposure – and most certainly during the winter period. Studies show that lack of vitamin D may lead to heart failure due to insulin resistance, which is an early stage of diabetes. In other words, having too little vitamin D in your blood may impair the heart’s ability to take up blood sugar and that can cause a morbid enlargement of the cardiac muscle. This was seen in an Indian study that is published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. The scientists see vitamin D as having huge potential in the prevention and treatment of cardiac failure plus insulin resistance and diabetes that is spreading like a bushfire.
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.
Peripheral circulatory disorders are primarily caused by clogged blood vessels in the extremities. Symptoms typically include walking-induced leg pain, cold hands and feet, or impotence caused by a poor blood supply. According to a new study that is published in the science journal Lipids, people with peripheral circulatory disorders have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood compared with people who do not suffer from these diseases. Omega-3 is believed to have several mechanisms that protect against atherosclerosis. It is also important to make sure to consume omega-3 in the right balance with omega-6.
Vitamin D is important for our bones, cardiovascular system, immune defense, and for preventing cancer. Still, vitamin D supplements are less effective if you are overweight and that may lead to a variety of problems, according to a new study that is published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. In other words, being overweight means that you have an increased need for vitamin D. Other studies even show that overweight individuals have an increased need for magnesium, which activates vitamin D in the liver and kidneys with help from different enzymes.
Swiss scientists have observed that if you take a type of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside it increases the production of blood cells by improving their stem cells. This may help solve serious problems associated with anemia as a result of stem cell-based therapies that are used to treat leukemia and aggressive lymphomas.
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.
According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, vitamin D is able to protect overweight children against asthma caused by urban air pollution. Sunshine during the summer period is the main source of vitamin D, but due to our modern lifestyles, many people, including children, fail to get enough of the nutrient. This may have widespread consequences, as lack of vitamin D also increases the risk of overweight.
– and that may harm your fertility, metabolism, nervous system, and the growth of your child
Everyone is talking about the climate, and meat has lost popularity for a number of reasons. But let us keep our heads clear on the facts. There is a big difference between CO2 emissions, animal welfare, and the quality or quantity of meat on one hand and the nutritional aspects of meat on the other hand. Humans have been eating meat (including fish) for around two million years, and animal food sources have contributed to our large brains and development in general. Nonetheless, more and more people choose to become vegetarians, and the trend is especially popular among women. This gives rise for concern, as lack of protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, selenium, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids not only impairs fertility but even increases the risk of metabolic disorders, serious growth disturbances in children and a lot more. Some of these symptoms are insidious and therefore difficult to link to the diet.
- and cause serious physical and psychological disease
Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire, and taking the diabetes drug metformin increases the risk of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 deficiencies. Lacking these two important B vitamins is associated with fatigue and cognitive dysfunction that resembles dementia. This was shown in a study that is published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. An earlier study that was presented at an endocrinology conference in Glasgow suggested that type 2 diabetics that take metformin on a regular basis have their vitamin B12 status checked once a year to prevent irreparable damage to the nervous system. It is also important to focus on vitamin B6, which is also crucial for the brain and nervous system.
Bladder infection is one of the most widespread bacterial infections. It can lead to serious complications such as kidney infections and blood poisoning. A team of scientists from University of Queensland in Australia has discovered new details about zinc and its role in the immune defense, and how zinc helps the white blood cells fight coli bacteria that are the main cause of bladder infections. Women are more exposed than men, and there are some rather easy ways for them to prevent coli bacteria from spreading to the urinary tract.
- while omega-6 can aggravate the disease
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our diet have opposite effects on the severity of asthma in vulnerable children. Omega-3 appears to reduce the severity of asthma symptoms, while omega-6 seems to make the symptoms worse, according to an article published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine. The problem with modern diets is that they tend to contain far too little omega-3 and far too much omega-6. However, this is something one can correct with help from dietary changes and fish oil supplements.
Vitamin K occurs in various forms and has a number of different biological function. The most recent research focuses on vitamin K2, which is of vital importance to the body’s calcium distribution and therefore has a crucial role in bone building and in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Vitamin K2 is also important for various proteins that are involved in energy turnover, blood sugar regulation, and cancer prevention, according to a review article that is published in BioMed Research International. Actual vitamin K2 deficiencies are considered rare, yet there are studies to suggest that many people lack the nutrient due to altered diet habits and the use of cholesterol-lowering medicine. The question is how much vitamin K2 do we actually need?
Lack of selenium, an essential trace element, may cause thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, virus infections, AIDS, infertility, neurological disturbances, and cancer. An estimated one billion people worldwide are selenium-deficient. This is mainly a result of nutrient-depleted soil, which is a real problem in places like Europe. For decades, scientists have been warning about this problem, and a lot suggests that we need more than the officially recommended intake to protect ourselves effectively against disease, according to a review article published in StatPearls.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C are able to counteract chromium-6 poisoning, according to a new study that is published in Experimental Biology. Chromium-6 (hexavalent chromium) is used for many industrial purposes, and the different signs of poisoning such as cancer were described in the movie “Erin Brockovich” that is based on a true story. Now, Danish scientists even claim that the threshold level for chromium-6 is far too high and gives a false sense of security. It is vital to avoid exposure to chromium-6 and to get plenty of protective antioxidants. However, we depend on chromium-3 (trivalent chromium) for controlling our blood sugar levels.
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 zinc contribute 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.
Tuberculosis (or TB) is one of most widespread diseases in the world. It claims millions of human lives every year, especially in underdeveloped countries. A team of scientists from Queen Mary University in London has discovered that vitamin D supplements can support therapies used in the treatment of multi-resistant TB, which can otherwise last quite a long time and comes at a considerable cost. Earlier studies have shown that vitamin D generally helps prevent the disease by supporting the immune system in different ways.
Stress is associated with a host of physical and psychological health problems such as headache, fatigue, tension, insomnia, sore throat, constipation, flu-like symptoms, depression, and anxiety. Stress is not all in your mind. It is a physiological condition that affects the whole body and increases your need for specific nutrients. Earlier studies carried out with humans and animals have shown that supplements of magnesium and vitamin B6 both have the potential to reduce stress symptoms. Now, a team of French scientists has carried out a randomized study showing for the first time ever that a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 administered to people with severe stress and magnesium deficiency works better than magnesium supplementation alone.
All cells in the body depend on vitamin D. Unfortunately, many people lack the nutrient, and the list of diseases caused by too little vitamin D is growing. A new study from Trinity College in Dublin shows that it is possible to measure vitamin D levels in hair, and this can reveal the large fluctuations that occur in the course of a year, and which an ordinary blood test fails to show. The scientists can see a huge potential with this new type of measurement, which can even be used on historical populations such as the ancient Egyptians or on prehistoric animals such as the mammoths.
Scientists from Queensland in Australia have discovered that vitamin D is of vital importance to the structure and health of the brain. Also, deficiencies of the nutrient may lead to dysfunctions and loss of cognitive skills plus depression and schizophrenia. More than one billion people worldwide are believed to lack vitamin D. This may have widespread consequences for their health and may even be linked to the huge increase in mental illnesses.
- and for the utilization of other nutrients
A healthy and regular digestion requires magnesium, a nutrient with several different mechanisms of action. Irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, both of which impair quality of life, are linked different conditions such as headache, bad mood, eczema, and aching joints. It is therefore essential to address such digestive disorders. In this article, we will take a closer look at magnesium and its role in a healthy digestive system as well as why magnesium deficiencies are so common.
An increased intake of B vitamins can help improve concentration and other cognitive skills in young patients that are about to develop schizophrenia and other psychoses, according to a study conducted by scientists from Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Australia. Here, it is important to consider all the different factors that may lead to a deficiency of the essential B vitamins, including unhealthy diets, too much sugar, energy beverages, alcohol, and other stimulants. It appears that the unhealthy lifestyle that many youngsters have increases their risk of psychoses. It is therefore not enough to treat them with anti-psychotic drugs and psychological therapy, if the brain and the nervous system lack essential nutrients.
According to a study from Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, there are certain compounds in fish oil that can prevent pregnancy complications that follow in the wake of a regular bacterial infection. These complications include miscarriage, preterm delivery, and infant death. There are an estimated 15 million premature deliveries per year on a global scale, and each year around one million babies die as a result of this. Preterm infants also have an increased risk of vision impairment, retarded physical development, and learning disabilities. The researchers therefore suggest new strategies for recommending nutritional supplements and fish oil supplements during pregnancy.
Most people think of vitamin C in connection with the immune defense, but as it turns out, the largest concentration of vitamin C is actually found in the brain. This is because vitamin C is enormously important for the energy turnover, the nervous system, and the cognitive skills, and this is described in a new review article. There is also evidence of widespread vitamin C deficiency, which may eventually impair cognitive skills and increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If a pregnant woman lacks vitamin C, it can disrupt the development of the baby’s brain. There is a number of factors that increase our need for the nutrient, so the big question is how much do we need to secure optimal brain function throughout life?
Alcohol has a greater negative impact on public health than most other things. It is commonly known that alcohol abuse burdens the liver and depletes the body of B vitamins. Now, scientists have also demonstrated that overconsumption of alcohol leaches vitamin C from the body, and they call for further studies to show that vitamin C supplements may help improve the health of alcoholics. It is also possible that vitamin C supplementation can limit the damage of short-term excessive drinking. Their new review article is published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.
This almost sounds too good to be true, but scientists from Germany and the United States have discovered that zinc combined with a compound found in cocoa beans, coffee beans, tea leaves, and grapes is able to activate a particular molecule that protects against oxidative stress. In ageing, oxidative stress holds a key role. It is caused by an imbalance between harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants. Although anti-ageing is normally conceived as something that can delay the exterior signs of ageing, it is really more important to slow down internal ageing such as atherosclerosis, fatigue, dementia, and early death in worst case. Many people lack zinc, and deficiencies of this nutrient are widespread and typically observed among vegetarians, vegans, older people, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. What the scientists are telling us now is that it is good for us to enjoy a little dark chocolate, coffee or tea in order to benefit even more from the zinc we get.
- and pre-diabetes and overweight caused by unstable blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a global health problem, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, eye disorders, kidney disease, and amputations. Many people unwittingly have an early stage of diabetes called metabolic syndrome. This condition is characterized by insulin resistance, where the cellular uptake of glucose is impaired. This causes insatiety, and you risk eating too many sweets and other quick carbohydrates, which the body is unable to burn and therefore stores ad fat, instead. Many people who struggle with their weight also have insulin resistance and unstable blood sugar that affect their strength of will in terms of food choices and increase their risk of type 2 diabetes. A new meta-analysis has shown that chromium supplements may be useful as add-on therapy for type 2 diabetics. Chromium yeast has the best bioavailability, and specific dietary changes can positively influence your blood sugar levels, waist circumference, and weight.
– and many people are deficient of the nutrient
Overweight is a growing problem, bringing in its wake problems like type 2 diabetes that is spreading like a bushfire. Many people lead a hopeless battle against overweight, unaware that it is their insulin resistance that gets in the way. This is when cells have difficulty with absorbing sugar from the bloodstream. Now, a new Brazilian study has demonstrated that vitamin D increases insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering the risk of overweight and type 2 diabetes. Still, according to existing science, it is not possible to get enough vitamin D without sufficient exposure to sunlight. At our latitude, it is necessary to take a vitamin D supplement throughout the entire winter period.
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?
- and preventing cancer from spreading
Vitamin B6 is needed for over 150 enzyme processes and has an overlooked role in the prevention of inflammation, which is a common thread in most chronic diseases, including cancer. Severe vitamin B6 deficiencies are rare, but scientists believe that even moderate deficiencies of the nutrient can increase the risk of many diseases. Deficiencies and poor utilization are a result of unhealthy diets, ageing, stimulant abuse, hormone pills and certain medical drugs, which means that many people are at risk of lacking this important vitamin.
- here is a check list of typical signs and diseases
An estimated two billion people worldwide lack zinc. The essential trace element is involved in more than 1,000 different enzyme processes, besides being a powerful antioxidant that protects the body’s cells. Even minor zinc deficiencies can lead to impaired digestion, infections, skin problems, fatigue, impaired fertility, and DNA damage. Such deficiencies can eventually increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. People with unhealthy diets, vegetarians, vegans, older people, and pregnant and breastfeeding women are at particular risk of lacking zinc. Even if your diet provides sufficient amounts of zinc, different factors can affect the uptake and utilization of the nutrient, thereby increasing your body’s actual need.
Migraine is the most common neurological disorder. According to a large review article, which was published in the scientific journal, Nutrients, large doses of magnesium may be useful for treating migraine by several accounts. Many people lack magnesium and should therefore consider taking a supplement. Just make sure that it is a form of magnesium, which the body can absorb and utilize. Also make sure to consume magnesium in the right balance with calcium, and avoid other things that can trigger a migraine attack such as certain foods and chemicals.
Our skin is among the body’s organs that contains the most zinc, and the trace element is of vital importance to the formation and protection of skin cells. A zinc deficiency can therefore contribute to poor wound healing, sensitive skin, acne, eczema and other skin disorders, and hair loss, according to a new study that is published in the scientific journal Nutrients. Although clinical zinc deficiencies are rare in our part of the world, sub-clinical deficiencies are rather common. For instance, vegetarians, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and older people are particularly vulnerable. A large intake of sugar, calcium, and alcohol, the use of birth control pills and several types of medicine, plus certain diseases and other factors can also increase your risk of becoming zinc-deficient.
Phosphorous was discovered in the 1600s by an alchemist, who manage to make it from large quantities of urine. Ever since, phosphorous and similar compounds have been used to make matches, fireworks, nerve gas, bombs, manure, and pesticides. We hardly ever read or hear about phosphorous and its role in human health, but it is actually one of the most vital minerals, and it is important that we make sure to balance our levels of this mineral with calcium.
If you have a large waist circumference, you are more likely to have low blood levels of vitamin D, according to a study that was presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) in Barcelona in 2018. The researchers therefore suggest that overweight individuals with a large waist circumference have their vitamin D levels measured, as this may help prevent many of the health problems that are linked to low vitamin D levels, including such things as an increased risk of infections, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, winter depression, blood sugar irregularities, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
Everyone has the desire to stay as youthful as possible, to be healthy, and to be able to enjoy senior life with good cognitive functioning and the ability to remain physically active. Of course, this requires that we take good care of ourselves, and a healthy diet is extremely important. It turns out that having high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which we primarily get from oily fish, is linked to a better chance of healthy aging and a longer life. There is a big difference between omega-3 fatty acids from animal sources and plant sources, according to a large population study that is published in the British Medical Journal.
- plus thyroid disorders, poisoning, and a lot more
Iodine is the only mineral, which is compulsorily added to foods because it is can prevent goiter. Studies show that iodine also plays a role in the metabolism, the energy levels, estrogen balance and even helps prevent breast cancer. What is more, iodine can help the body get rid of environmental toxins such as fluoride compounds. Many experts believe that the official iodine recommendations are too low, and it is important to make a note of the fact that refined table salt often contains anti-caking agents like aluminum, and that sea salt is not enriched with iodine.
- 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.
Epidemiological studies have led to different results when it comes to vitamin D and its ability to protect against cancer, infections, and various diseases. However, according to a new study published in Cancer Research, this is because magnesium is involved in the activation of vitamin D, on which all cells depend. It therefore does no good to take supplements of vitamin D, if you lack magnesium. And this is exactly the case with many people who eat unhealthy diets, are stressed, use medicine etc.
More and more people get autism. The disease is linked to, among other things, lack of zinc in the childhood. Although it has still not been proved, whether zinc deficiencies during pregnancy can cause autism, scientists have discovered a link between zinc, genes, and the abnormal neurological connections that are associated with autism. The scientists therefore see a whole new potential for treating the condition, but one must also take into account other factors in the environment.
One in nine Danish women gets breast cancer. Diet and lifestyle play a major role, and now an American study shows that omega-3 fatty acids, which are typically found in oily fish and fish oil supplements, may help prevent breast cancer cells from growing and spreading. According to lead investigator Saraswoti Khadge, who is affiliated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, omega-3 fatty acids support the body’s immune defense and certain anti-inflammatory mechanisms. This study is in line with earlier research, so it may very well be prudent to make sure to get plenty of omega-3 for preventing and treating breast cancer.
Having healthy-looking hair means a lot to most people. Hair that splits at the ends, hair loss, and other hair problems may be caused by stress, hormone changes, and numerous other factors. In this article, we will take a closer look at the diet and its impact on hair health, and we will look at available studies of protein, iron, zinc, selenium, silica, B vitamins, vitamin D and vitamin A. The fact is, we need plenty of these nutrients in a form that the body can absorb and utilize. On the other hand, getting too much can do more harm than good, according to an article in Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, in which the author has analyzed the available research.
Scientists have discussed for quite some time to what extent vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are able to lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and cancer. Although quite a lot of studies have been conducted in this area, there still is no large-scale clinical population study that includes different races. However, an American study has shown that fish oil supplements lower your risk of a heart attack, and large quantities of vitamin D have a long-term preventative effect on different cancer forms. The effect of these two different supplements is also affected by a person’s race.
It is commonly known that vitamin D plays a vital role for our bones and immune system, and there is even evidence that vitamin D also plays a role in the functioning of our lungs, heart, and muscles. According to a new study, blood levels of vitamin D are determining for how well we utilize our oxygen, and that affects our training capacity and lifespan. The study is published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
– but focus on sodium if you have high blood pressure
Salt is a flavor enhancer, and the good news is that salt is not as harmful as previously thought. In fact, salt is essential when consumed in the right quantities, and for most people, it poses no health risk to consume up to five grams – or two and half teaspoons – of salt daily, according to a study that is published in the Lancet. Many people on anti-hypertensive drugs are advised to cut back on their salt intake, but it takes more than that. In fact, it is potassium that controls how much salt the kidneys excrete.
During the winter period, many people catch a cold or are bed-ridden with a bout of the flu. They may consider this to be perfectly natural, but it is actually a sign of a weakened immune defense, and that makes them susceptible to contamination. What matters is to make sure to get plenty of vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc, all of which are nutrients that have different functions in the immune system. Some nutrients are also needed in larger quantities to tackle a beginning infection, and it is important to act quickly in order to nip the infection in the bud.
In fact, it is vital for us to be nutritionally bolstered during the winter period, where otherwise harmless virus infections can lead to complications such as herpes, bronchitis, and pneumonia, if the immune system is unable to work full throttle.
Vitamin E is said to be a powerful antioxidant that counteracts wrinkles, reduces the degeneration of joints in rheumatoid arthritis, and even protects against atherosclerosis and cancer. However, studies have shown contradictory results, and the positive effects are most probably a result of luck. Now, a team of international scientists has demonstrated that the effect of vitamin E is not related to the vitamin itself but rather to the effect of a vitamin E-dependent metabolite that is produced in the liver. The researchers see a huge potential in vitamin E therapy that is tailored to fit each person’s individual utilization and metabolism of the nutrient. Vitamin E supplements should contain natural forms of the vitamin to provide the best effect.
Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire, and most people will be affected by periodontal disease at some point in their life. Now, science has discovered that lack of vitamin D, which is also increasingly common, enhances the risk of both diseases. Their observation is based on new study that sheds light, for the very first time, on vitamin D and its role in preventing and treating the two conditions.
- but specific nutrients protect you
People, who eat nutrient-depleted diets, have an increased risk of contracting cancer, according to a French study that is published in PLoS Medicine. The scientists therefore recommend labeling food to help consumers make healthier choices. In the Nordic countries, we already have the “Keyhole label” on certain healthy food items, but even if you follow the official dietary guidelines, it may be difficult to get enough vitamin D and selenium, both of which are nutrients with several anti-cancer mechanisms.
A pregnant woman can support the development of her baby’s brain and vision by consuming oily fish regularly, according to a new Finnish study. Meanwhile, a new Danish study shows that fish oil supplements given to pregnant women give their offspring a better start at life because of their content of omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the consumption of omega-3 has gone down, and pregnant women are discouraged from eating tuna and other good sources of omega-3, as these fish contain mercury. Health authorities should take this dilemma into account and possibly recommend high-quality supplements of purified fish oil to pregnant women and small children – just like they recommend extra folic acid, iron, and vitamin D. Pregnant vegetarians and vegans should pay careful attention and make sure that their child gets enough omega-3.
- and a common trait in most chronic diseases
Although chronic inflammation is not something that you feel as such, it sets the stage for a number of symptoms and a host of different diseases including fatigue, overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatism, metabolic disorders, asthma, periodontal disease, bowel infections, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, sclerosis, and cancer. Not surprisingly, people are more and more hooked on the anti-inflammatory lifestyle, and we will take a closer look at studies showing how fish oil, vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, and zinc contribute to preventing and fighting inflammation, related diseases and premature death. Any nutritional supplements must be of a proper quality that the body can absorb, and they should contain therapeutic dosages.
- but is heavily overrated in energy beverages and breakfast cereals
Vitamin B6 is essential for the energy turnover, nervous system, hormone balance, and a number of other important functions. Vitamin B6 has been added to many energy beverages and breakfast cereals as an “energy booster” or a way of telling consumers that the product is healthy. But don’t be fooled. The same products often contain loads of sugar and caffeine, which burdens the blood sugar balance and the nervous system. It is therefore far better to get vitamin B6 by eating a balanced and healthy diet, possibly topped off with a supplement if necessary. Those who are likely to benefit from a supplement are strict vegetarians and vegans, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and seniors.
Perhaps so. More and more studies reveal that it helps to take large quantities of Q10 and a vitamin B3 derivate. Q10 and vitamin B3 are both essential for the body’s energy turnover, which takes place inside the mitochondria of the cells. A more recent study shows that taking supplements of the mentioned nutrients can also have a positive effect on the heart, which is the body’s central motor.
– whereas the often scolded cholesterol is good for you
Cardiovascular diseases account for more deaths than anything else. Still, there is a lot of discussion about the diet and its impact on cardiovascular health, typically when it comes to the question of avoiding fat and choosing margarine instead of butter. A team of Czech scientists decided to study diet habits among different populations and compare these with the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. Their study shows that there is no need to be afraid of cholesterol. In fact, the official dietary guidelines could easily do with an adjustment. At the same time, it is important to reduce our intake of carbohydrates and omega-6 fatty acids that are the real culprits. Finally, it is essential to increase the intake of omega-3.
– but what about the mercury? – but what about the mercury?
Oily fish is a great source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are important for the development of the brain and nervous system of the unborn child. Pregnant women with low levels of these two omega-3 fatty acids have a statistically significant increased risk of preterm delivery compared with pregnant women who have high levels of EPA and DHA in their blood. This was shown in a study from SSI in Copenhagen, carried out in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, the United States. The problem is that many women are afraid to eat oily fish during their pregnancy because of the risk of mercury poisoning. So which fish are the safest for consumption – and what about fish oil supplements?
- and that may down to a lack of the sleep hormone melatonin
Sunlight is important for our mental health for various reasons. At northern latitudes, we are exposed to less sunlight. According to a new American study, that increases your risk of the OCD, a psychiatric disorder characterized by compulsive thoughts and behavior. The scientists point to the fact that people with OCD often have delayed 24-hour rhythm and get to bed late at night, and they theorize that these disturbances of the circadian rhythm and lack of melatonin may play a role. This presents new potential in the treatment of the disease, and morning light is part of it. Melatonin supplements may also be worth trying.
- and improve their cognition and motor skills
According to a large meta-analysis, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids has a positive effect on children by improving their vision, their cognition, and their motor skills. Unfortunately, modern diets provide far too little omega-3. For that reason, health authorities should consider recommending supplements of purified fish oil for pregnant women and children, just like they recommend folic acid, iron, and vitamin D.
Most people thrive on the idea of staying physically active throughout life, but as we grow older, our skeletal muscle slowly vanishes and our figure changes. This is known as sarcopenia and is one of the main reasons why older people become more fragile and perhaps even disabled. Exercise and diet play a major role, and it seems that the official dietary guidelines are not optimal and should focus more on increased intake of protein as well as lysine, vitamin D, and omega-3 according to a new Canadian study. Earlier research shows that magnesium, selenium, and Q10 are also important for muscle mass and strength.
The human brain needs omega-3 fatty acids, and according to a study from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the US, something as simple as a fish oil supplement can help reduce disruptive and violent behavior, a growing problem among children and teenagers. Pedagogical and psychological approaches are not the only solution to stressed and externalizing behavior. It is every bit as important to look at the children’s nutritional status.
- and lack of nutrients is an overlooked problem
According to the statistics, far too many patients contract an infection while being hospitalized in a Danish hospital. This has enormous human and economic costs that need to be addressed. Hospital infections are not only a consequence of poor hygiene, it actually turns out that 40 percent of the patients are malnourished to some degree, which impairs their immune system and makes them an easier target for infections. Lack of vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and iron seem to be the big and overlooked problem.
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.
- and routine screening is not enough
Cancer in the colon and rectum is rather common. One in 20 Danes gets colon cancer at some point in life. Since 2014, the Danish Health Authority has recommended a screening program, offering middle-aged and older people a screening for colon cancer every other year. If the disease is discovered in its early stage, the chances of successful treatment increase. Supplementation with organic selenium yeast has been shown to lower the risk of colorectal cancer in the first place, and selenium even has a protective effect against other cancer forms, so the nutrient is an essential part of the prevention. The problem is that selenium deficiencies are so common as a result of our nutrient-depleted soil.
Earlier studies have found a link between low selenium and overweight, but only few and limited studies have investigated this connection in children. Therefore, Chinese researchers wanted to take a closer look, and selenium levels in nail clippings give a rather accurate picture of the body’s general selenium status. Selenium deficiency is common in many parts of the world, including parts of China and Europe.
- and it increases their risk of fatigue, sleep problems, dementia, and neurological diseases
According to a big Irish study, a large part of the population from aged 50 and older lack vitamin B12 and folic acid. This increases their risk of a number of chronic diseases and lack of cognitive skills because the vitamin deficiencies are not discovered and treated. Because older people can lack vitamin B12 and folic acid for a number of reasons, scientists suggest enriching staples. Dietary guidance and supplements are also useful strategies to be on the safe side.
- and has a long-term effect on the maturation of a woman’s eggs
It is well established that zinc is important for the maturation of the eggs in the fallopian tube during a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, a new American study has shown that zinc is involved in even earlier stages of the maturation of the eggs. A zinc deficiency therefore reduces the chance of the eggs being fertilized and dividing later on, which they are supposed to during pregnancy. Lack of zinc is rather common and may harm your fertility for several months to come.
Lack of sleep is common among children and adults. It increases the risk of overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, blood clots, depression, infections, and a number of other diseases. Lack of vitamin D is also common, but a team of Chinese scientists have revealed that there is a link between having too little vitamin D and not being able to sleep properly and waking up feeling refreshed.
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.
Supplementing with strong antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium, and coenzyme Q10 may help patients with cystic fibrosis by reducing a number of the respiratory infections that come with the disease. This was seen in a study by researchers at the Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado, United States.
Women from the age of 50 years and older have an increased risk of blood sugar problems, weight problems, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome, if they lack vitamin D, according to a new study from Sao Paulo in Brazil. If you want to control your blood sugar levels and lose weight, it is not sufficient to eat less and work out at the gym. You also need sun exposure (without getting burned), because the summer sun is our richest source of vitamin D. You may even want to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter period.
- because of the many antioxidants
A new Chinese study that is published in the science journal, Heart, shows that eating an egg every day can lower your risk of stroke by 26 percent. The reason is that eggs contain selenium and other powerful antioxidants that protect against atherosclerosis, and we do not get all that much selenium from our diets. Therefore, forget all about the cholesterol scare and warnings against eating eggs. That dietary advice is outdated and has done more harm than good.
- which your brain, nervous system, and liver need
A cold beer with lunch or a glass of red wine to go with your steak may be tempting. In fact, alcohol in limited amounts can be relaxing and it provides beneficial antioxidants. However, Danes drink too much, and our excessive alcohol consumption is one of the worst threats to public health. Many alcoholics suffer from unstable blood sugar levels, which can have a rather bad impact on their willpower. In addition, the empty calories deplete the body’s levels of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, on which the nervous system, the brain, and the liver depend. This can easily turn into a vicious cycle. Therefore, having stable blood sugar and making sure to get plenty of vital nutrients is important for preventing and treating alcohol abuse.
- and worsens the odds for women who have the disease
Decades of research show that there is a link between lack of vitamin D and an increased risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D deficiencies are especially common at the northern latitudes because the sun sits too low in the sky for humans to be able to synthesize the vitamin during the winter. However, even in the southern hemisphere, many women have too little vitamin D because of spending too much time indoors, using too much suncream, or veiling themselves. Vitamin D has many anti-cancer properties, and postmenopausal women with too little vitamin D in their blood, who are diagnosed with breast cancer, have worse odds, according to a study of Brazilian women. In other words, it is not enough to treat breast cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. You also need to optimize your blood levels of vitamin D and other nutrients, which the body needs in order to function optimally.
Birth control pills are commonly used as a source of prevention. Most women seem to tolerate the pills rather well, but there are known side effects such as headaches, mood swings, and a slightly increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer. The different side effects are a result of the birth control pills and their disturbing impact on various enzyme processes, which depend on most B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Vitamin C, zinc, and selenium also serve as effective antioxidants that protect our cells and cardiovascular system against oxidative stress. It is therefore essential to get plenty of these nutrients in order to lower the risk of side effects.
A growing number of people are affected by depression and anxiety, and there are quite a few who do not benefit from their medicine, which in some cases may even cause side effects. Earlier studies show that lack of omega-3, the essential fatty acids found primarily in oily fish, play a major role in depression. The question is how important is omega-3 for those, who already receive therapy for their depression, and what about those in therapy for anxiety? A group of Dutch scientists set out to answer this question. A thing to make a note of is that it is the two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which have a direct influence on our mood, and when supplementing, it may take some time before the effect is optimal.
- this may improve vegetarian diets in the future
We need vitamin B12 for blood formation, for the nervous system, and for our cognitive skills. Vitamin B12 is almost primarily found in animal sources. However, researchers from the University of Kent in England have just made an important discovery. They have observed how some plants such as cress can absorb the nutrient when cultivated in a certain way. With this knowledge, we can make vegetarian and vegan diets healthier and more complete in the future. Many vegetarians and vegans appear to be doing just fine on their green diets, but many are unaware that a vitamin B12 deficiency can be insidious, and it may take years before they experience obvious symptoms such as anemia, tiredness, poor memory, and other signs of a nervous system that is out of balance. It is therefore a good idea under all circumstances to take a vitamin B12 supplement, until some of these vitamin B12-containing vegetable solutions are available on the market.
-and many chronically ill people do not get the proper diagnosis or treatment
The most harmful heavy metals are mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel, and cobber, but aluminum, fluoride, iron, and calcium can also be toxic. Poisoning with heavy metals and minerals blocks other minerals such as selenium, iodine, magnesium, and zinc, all of which support numerous essential enzyme processes. At the same time, if you lack these important minerals, heavy metals are able to cause unhindered damage and increase your risk of impaired immunity, impaired fertility, autoimmune diseases, thyroid diseases, brain damage, neurological diseases, depression, hypersensitivity, etc. Chronic heavy metal toxicity is an overlooked problem, but in this article, you can read more about the subject and find out how to deal with it.
- and selenium deficiencies are widespread
An estimated 500,000 Danes suffer from some kind of thyroid disorder, the most common of which is Hashimoto’s disease, which slows down your metabolism. The formation and activation of thyroid hormones depend on iodine and selenium, and it is essential that the two nutrients are properly balanced. Having too little or too much iodine increases your risk of Hashimoto’s disease, and the same is the case with selenium, a nutrient that many people lack.
Some of the problems that are seen in people with slow metabolism are extreme fatigue, weight gain, constipation, cold sensitivity, swollen neck, and dry skin. The symptoms can vary, however, and many people still have not been given the proper diagnosis. Medical therapy with thyroid hormones will not necessarily solve the problem. In fact, as many as 20 percent of patients actually feel worse, although their blood tests appear to be normal. It is therefore important to focus more in the role of iodine and selenium in the metabolism.
Pregnant women are advised not to smoke, as this may harm the unborn baby. However, not all pregnant smokers are able to quit their habit. A new American study shows that vitamin C supplementation can reduce the risk to the baby’s lungs and improve the baby’s breathing.
Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to malfunction and is therefore the leading cause of dementia. According to a new American study, a particular form of vitamin B3 may help prevent neurological damage and therefore has a positive impact on Alzheimer’s patients. As part of the prevention of this disease, it is also important to make sure to get plenty of all the other nutrients.
Patients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and who have low levels of vitamin B12 develop their disease faster than those with higher levels of the vitamin, according to a new study. For that reason, the scientists recommend vitamin B12 supplements as a way of delaying the onset of the disease. Earlier studies even show that vitamin B3 and Q10 have a positive influence on the ailment.
– and many other things
Vitamin B2, also know as riboflavin, is found in different foods and in supplements containing multivitamins and strong B-vitamins. Most people are unaware that the vitamin has a host of important functions, which are especially relevant for energy levels, the nervous system, the psyche, the body’s iron metabolism, vision, skin, and lips. A study that is published in Neurology also shows that taking large amounts of vitamin B2 can help prevent migraine headaches. It appears that vitamin B2 deficiency is a common problem because of stress, ageing processes, unhealthy diets, the use of birth control pills, medicine, and certain other causes. In the following, you can read more about this exciting yet overlooked vitamin and find out how best to utilize vitamin B2 from your diet or from supplements.
- getting too little fluids may be fatal
Fluid depletion (or volume depletion) lowers your performance and may be life-threatening in worst case. However, it can be every bit as dangerous to drink too much water. In fact, there have been several deaths as a result of this among athletes. Another thing is that one should not just focus on water. When engaging in strenuous sport, there is a very delicate balance between fluids and minerals. Many sports beverages contain too much sugar and caffeine that often do more harm than good, so the question is how much liquid you need when engaging in the different types of sport. Read more about the subject in the following.
- then make sure to get enough of the essential nutrients so you can cope with more
Stress is a large problem for many people. It is believed that the majority of people who consult their physician do it because of stress-related problems. Many people try to relieve their stress with sweets, coffee, alcohol, painkillers, and sleeping medication just to get through the day. However, in the long run, this can turn into a vicious cycle that increases your risk of disease and faster ageing. There are dozens of books about stress that can be useful for solving problems and slowing down your pace, but don’t forget that stress is also physiological. It is a condition that deteriorates tissues, burdens the body with free radicals and increases your need for B-vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium and coenzyme Q10. If you make sure to get the necessary essential nutrients before it is too late, you can cope with more.
- a condition that may cause a variety of different symptoms
It appears that an increasing number of people suffer from some kind of milk allergy. Science is primarily focused on lactose intolerance, a condition that is caused by a deficiency of a digestive enzyme. The allergic reactions normally show almost immediately after ingesting dairy products. Allergy as such occurs when the immune system overreacts to various milk proteins. The allergic reactions occur in many different places in the body, and several days may pass before the symptoms are noticed. Now, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna have demonstrated how animal feed that is enriched with vitamin A may prevent allergic reactions caused by milk protein. It also seems that the quality of milk has changed, and that in itself may be a contributing factor to hypersensitivity.
- and an overlooked deficiency of nutrients for the nervous system
Far more children are diagnosed with psychiatric disorders today. In the past seven years alone, twice as many cases of ADHD, autism, depression, and fear are diagnosed in Denmark. Communities are under pressure to find teachers, educators, psychologists and other relevant people with the right skills. Another challenge is that most families with children do not follow the official dietary guidelines, and children generally don’t get enough sunshine. Studies reveal that lack of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and magnesium increases the risk of psychiatric disorders. These diseases may therefore simply be a consequence of not eating a sufficiently healthy diet.
- or are you wasting money on the wrong supplements?
It is only natural to expect a nutritional supplement to be absorbed and deliver an effect. However, for this to happen, you must look for products with documentation. Countless multivitamin products and supplements with Q10, selenium, chromium, magnesium, and iron have very poor quality and are not properly absorbed. Our ageing process alone impairs the uptake of vitamins and minerals, and the same is the case if we lack essential fats, have too high calcium levels, or use antacids and other types of medicine – so this also needs to be taken into account.
According to a large American study, a high dietary intake of vitamin D and calcium is associated with a lower risk of early-onset menopause, where the menstrual periods cease before a woman reaches 45 years of age. Premature menopause affects around 10 percent of women, and the condition increases the risk of impaired fertility, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and earlier cognitive impairment. The prevention of these diseases is also a matter of getting enough sunshine, magnesium, and omega-3.
It is widely established that women of childbearing age have high levels of estrogen that protect them against cardiovascular disease. However, if they have type 1 diabetes, having high estrogen levels actually increases their risk of these diseases. A group of scientists is therefore planning to investigate whether nutritional supplements with antioxidants can protect diabetics against cardiovascular disease and the premature death caused by these ailments.
The majority of chronic ailments, including autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer, involve inflammation. Science has known for a long time that omega-3 fatty acids counteract inflammation. A study from the University of Illinois, USA, shows that the process is controlled by cannabinoids, which the body itself can produce but are also found in cannabis oil. In other words, it is possible to activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors in the immune system and nervous system by means of large quantities of fish oil, which contains the most active forms of omega-3.
Children and youngsters who are exposed to lots of sunlight and have plenty of vitamin D in their blood are much less likely to develop sclerosis later in life, according to a new study. In fact, there is a reason why sclerosis is more prevalent at northern latitudes. During the winter, the sun sits too low in the sky for us humans to be able to synthesize vitamin D in the skin. However, one must also realize that the intensified use of sunscreen can block the skin’s production of vitamin D. It is therefore essential to get plenty of vitamin D from sun exposure or to take a vitamin D supplement, as this may help prevent diseases such as sclerosis that take years to develop.
People who suffer from dry eyes have reduced tear production. The condition has become increasingly common because of all the hours we spend staring at screens from devices like smartphones, computers, tablets etc. Dry eyes are irritated, and the problem may cause damage to both your eyes and eyesight. However, a team of scientists from the Hokkaido University in Japan has demonstrated that healthy fats such as omega-3 are able to protect the eyes and repair damage. You can also find other useful tips on natural ways to prevent and treat dry eyes.
Eat plenty of oily fish from clean oceans or take a fish oil supplement to make sure that you get enough of the essential omega-3 fatty acids. It lowers your risk of premature death by protecting you against atherosclerosis and a number of other diseases. In fact, blood levels of omega-3 tell a lot more than levels of cholesterol, according to a new study that is published in Journal of Clinical Lipidology.
Having high blood levels of vitamin D lowers the risk of several cancer forms, according to a new study of Japanese adults. The study is the first to take a closer look at how vitamin D affects an Asian population. Over the past decades, numerous studies have pointed to vitamin D’s role in cancer prevention. Meanwhile, other studies have demonstrated that there is widespread vitamin D deficiency. There is even evidence suggesting that our need for the nutrient exceeds the official recommendations, at least if we want to protect ourselves against cancer.
- find the right balance and make sure to get enough of the essential vitamin
It is a known fact that too much sun gives you wrinkles and increases your risk of skin cancer. However, fearmongering and new lifestyle habits have resulted in widespread vitamin D deficiency, especially because of getting too little sun exposure and using too much suncream. This could have grave consequences. Several studies show that people who stay out of the sun have an increased risk of neurological disorders, sclerosis, and premature death from heart disease and cancer. Make sure to expose yourself to sufficient amounts of sunlight during the summer period, so your skin can synthesize enough vitamin D – but be responsible. If this is a challenge, vitamin D supplements are a good alternative.
- and that is really bad for your health
Vitamin D comes in different forms that all need magnesium to be activated in order for the vitamin to be able to benefit all the cells and tissues in the body. Unfortunately, many people lack magnesium, and that makes vitamin D ineffective. Vitamin D also increases the uptake of calcium, but with too little magnesium in the organism, the risk of atherosclerosis increases, as does the risk of osteoporosis, impaired immune resistance, and metabolic syndrome (an early stage of type 2 diabetes.) All of this was observed in a study that is published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
Irritable bowel syndrome – also known as IBS – is one of the most common diseases in the Western world. According to a new study from the University of Sheffield, England, many IBS patients lack vitamin D, and vitamin D supplements can alleviate symptoms like abdominal bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. This is because vitamin D has a number of functions that are relevant for the digestion. Science generally knows very little about what triggers IBS, but it is accepted that disturbances in the intestinal microflora, food intolerance, and stress may contribute to the problem.
- which is important for your metabolism and estrogen balance
We humans are exposed to many toxic fluoride compounds from toothpaste, mouth rinses, tap water and mineral water, Teflon pans, cookie sheets, rain clothes, waterproofing agents etc. Fluoride poisoning may increase your risk of thyroid disorders, breast cancer, kidney diseases, ADHD, and birth defects. In addition, the need for iodine is increased, and it is also important to mention that the symptoms of a fluoride poisoning are often similar to the symptoms of an iodine deficiency.
After giving birth, the mother’s adaptability and resources are put to the test. Also, the mother’s “baby brain” tends to take over. Unfortunately, many new mothers get the baby blues, and around 10 percent develop an actual postpartum depression that requires immediate attention. It is important to focus on the underlying causes that include the course of the delivery plus hormonal, biological, social, and emotional changes.
An important element in skincare and natural anti-ageing is to protect our cells against free radicals, which are aggressive oxygen compounds that we humans are exposed to. The free radical burden increases tremendously as a result of stress, too little sleep, ageing processes, smoking, inflammation, poisoning, medical drugs, and sunburns. Our only source of protection against free radicals is the presence of different antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, zinc, and Q10, but we also need essential fatty acids. Optimal skincare requires that we get adequate quantities of the different nutrients, which are also an important element in our energy turnover. But what is skin ageing really? And why can we not simply stop it with anti-wrinkle creams, Botox, and plastic surgery? Also, which antioxidants and essential fatty acids are difficult to get in the right quantities?
In a matter of four months only, large doses of vitamin D were able to reduce arterial stiffness in young, overweight but otherwise healthy Afro-Americans, according to a study from Georgia, the United States. The study also showed that those participants, who only took the officially recommended quantities of vitamin D, had increased arterial stiffness. This suggests that the official vitamin D recommendations are too low to prevent stiff arteries and atherosclerosis. Another thing is that dark-skinned people living at northern latitudes, overweight individuals, older people diabetics, and those who overuse sun screen are at increased risk of synthesizing too little vitamin D.
Selenium is a constituent of at least 25 essential proteins (selenoproteins), including several antioxidants that protect cells against oxidative stress and disease. A team of researchers from Munich in Germany has mapped out the mechanisms, which the selenium-containing antioxidants use to protect neurons in the brain against cell death. The scientists see a whole new potential with selenium because of its ability to protect against neurological disorders and cancer. It is problematic, however, that we have widespread selenium deficiency in our part of the world. Even if you stick with the official dietary guidelines, it is very difficult to get enough selenium to saturate all the different selenoproteins.
Type 2 diabetes and early stages of the disease such as insulin resistance are spreading like a bushfire. The good news is that if you consume many antioxidants from fruit, vegetables, berries, tea, and dark chocolate and limit your intake of alcohol, you can lower your risk diabetes risk. This was shown in a new study that is published in the European journal Diabetologia, which focuses on diabetes research.
Early stages of psychotic diseases such as schizophrenia are associated with deficiencies of specific nutrients like vitamin D and folic acid, according to a new Australian study. The researchers also point to new ways of preventing and treating psychotic disease, which affect millions of people worldwide.
- and some good dietary advice
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is a common eye disease that impairs your reading vision in particular. High-dosed supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and other antioxidants has been shown to help. The recommendation of these nutrients is based on documentation from a large American research project and demonstrate that normal recommendations (DRI = Daily Reference Intake) are inadequate as treatment for various disorders. There are also different foods that are highly relevant for preventing AMD or as part of a treatment against the condition.
- which is why we need enough vitamin C, selenium, and other antioxidants
Modern man is exposed to a lot of free radicals because of factors like stress, environmental toxins, etc. Free radicals are like “internal terrorists” that contribute to atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and a host of other diseases. Our only protection against free radicals are antioxidants from vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Antioxidants work in different ways. Being deficient in a single primary antioxidant such as selenium may leave the body vulnerable to oxidative stress and disease. What most people are unaware of is that free radicals are also essential, as they are a part of our energy turnover and immune defense. The question is how do we protect ourselves the best against infections, oxidative stress, and disease? What type of antioxidant do we get from dark chocolate, green tea, coffee and red wine? How does redox therapy with vitamin C in great quantities work on cancer patients? You can read more about these topics in the following.
Scientists from Alberta University in Canada have observed that lack of sunlight may contribute to the weight increase that many people experience during the winter period. This is because our fat cells are sensitive to sunlight. Lack of sunlight may also result in poor sleep and low levels of vitamin D, a nutrient that has other metabolic functions.
- and the upper safe limit makes no sense
There really is no need to have an upper safe intake limit for folic acid, and we ought to enrich flour with this nutrient to prevent children from being born with potentially disabling or life-threatening brain or spinal cord defects. This is part of the conclusion of a new study from Queen Mary University of London, and it supports an earlier study from Aarhus University in Denmark. Folic acid deficiencies, which are rather common, may lead to fatigue, poor memory, dementia, and a number of other health problems later in life. It is therefore important that we focus on this essential nutrient.
Magnesium takes part in over 300 different enzyme processes, some of which are relevant for the nervous system. Magnesium deficiencies are common, and there is a link to the increased prevalence of subjective anxiety and stress. Researchers from the University of Leeds in Great Britain have reviewed a number of studies that show how supplementation with magnesium may help in cases of mild anxiety, stress, and depression. Magnesium appears to be a precondition of a healthy and sturdy nervous system, and getting enough of this nutrient is therefore important for preventing these conditions.
More than 25 percent of people older than 65 years have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Deficiencies in vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron are also common. This is the conclusion of a large study that was conducted by scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, Germany. The widespread lack of vitamins and minerals among older people is critical, especially because this population group is increasing. The lack of essential nutrients affects the calcium uptake, immune defense, and nervous system among other things, leaving older people increasingly vulnerable to osteoporosis, influenza, dementia, and a host of other diseases that impair quality of life and burden the entire public health sector.
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.
Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are important for normal development of the baby’s brain and immune defense. Pregnant women who eat oily fish several times a week help their babies against developing asthma later in life. Oily fish and fish oil supplements have similar effects. This was shown in two studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa, USA. However, pregnant women should avoid predatory fish like tuna that contain mercury. For those who dislike the taste of fish or who simply do not eat enough, fish oil supplements are an option.
Earlier studies have shown that zinc plays an important role for our health and for preventing esophageal cancer. However, it has been a puzzle to science to understand how zinc protects against this widespread cancer form. Now, Professor Zui Pan and a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA, have identified the mechanisms through which zinc protects healthy cells and prevents cancer cells from spreading in the esophagus. The scientists behind the new study believe that zinc given in the right dosages has a great potential for helping to prevent the disease and serving as an adjuvant in therapy. Their study is published in The FASEB Journal.
Forget about keeping track of calories if you want to shape up. Weight loss is about eating the right kinds of food, and ensuring an optimal blend of carbohydrates, fat, and protein that guarantees satiety for four to six hours so you are not tempted by quick energy fixes. Continue reading and find out more about why it is so important to get plenty of Q10, iodine, selenium, and chromium for permanent results. The question is, why is it difficult to get enough from a normal diet? And why are so many people suffering from weight problems caused by metabolic disorders and insulin resistance?
- here are some delicious sources
Type 2 diabetes and early stages of the disease such as insulin resistance are spreading like a bushfire. The good news is that if you consume many antioxidants from fruit, vegetables, berries, tea, and dark chocolate and limit your intake of alcohol, you can lower your risk diabetes risk. This was shown in a new study that is published in the European journal Diabetologia, which focuses on diabetes research.
- and other inflammatory conditions
It is hardly a coincidence that many patients with arthritis feel worse during the winter period where the sun sits too low in the sky for us humans to be able to synthesize vitamin D. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, there is a direct link between vitamin D levels and neuropathic pain caused by irritated nerves. This was shown in a study that is published in International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
- here is a check list with 15 typical signs
All B vitamins work together as a close-knit team, and they are involved in most of the body’s enzymatic processes. For that reason, lacking one or several B vitamins may cause a long list of different symptoms. We humans depend on a regular supply of B vitamins. A wholesome smoothie or a multivitamin in the morning is no guarantee that the body has enough B vitamins for the rest of the day. Add to that the fact that some factors can impair our nutrient absorption and increase our need for B vitamins. But if you keep your body adequately supplied with B vitamins at all times throughout life, it can work wonders.
- and widespread deficiency has serious consequences
It is commonly known that vitamin C has an essential role in our connective tissue and immune defense. However, vitamin C is also vital for the brain. This was demonstrated in a new Australian study of the link between vitamin C and cognitive functions like memory, lingual skills, calculation, and orientation. The scientists also point to the fact that vitamin C deficiency is rather common in western countries, either due to dietary factors or because of conditions that increase the need for the nutrient.
It appears so. Iodine is an essential trace element that is vital for metabolism and estrogen balance. Iodine also helps the body get rid of environmental toxins. In fact, exposure to these toxins increases our need for iodine, and many experts believe that the official recommendations for iodine are too low.
Taking a supplement of vitamin D in combination with your prescription asthma medicine may halve your risk of an asthma attack that would require hospitalization, according to a new meta-analysis from Queen Mary University in London (QMUL). A vitamin D deficiency alone, which is rather common at northern latitudes, can increase the risk of asthma. Therefore, it is vital to make sure to have sufficiently high levels of this nutrient all year round to protect your respiratory tract.
Decades of intensive farming have depleted the soil. As a result, crops lack up to 40% of their essential nutrients, according to a previously published study from University of Texas and a more recent one from Switzerland. Even if you stick to the official dietary guidelines, you may have difficulty with getting enough calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and other essential micronutrients that are required for good health.
- and help prevent dementia, depression, and impairment of your cognitive skills
People with elevated levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood have better circulation in those parts of the brain that handle learning, language, memory, and other cognitive functions, according to a recent report that is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The scientists also observed a link between blood levels of omega-3 and the rate of dementia and depression. They call their study an important discovery that supports earlier studies, which have shown how simple dietary adjustments such as increasing your intake of oily fish or fish oil supplements help preserve mental skills and a healthy mind.
British scientists have tested whether omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements have a pain-relieving effect on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. As it turns out, consuming fish oils with large quantities of EPA and DHA has the best effect, so make sure to read the label to see how much of the two omega-3 fatty acids your supplement contains. Rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are a result of joint inflammation, so it may also pay off to look into the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Three recent studies show that vitamin C may enable genes to kill uncontrolled stem cells that cause leukemia, thereby giving the nutrient a role in cancer prevention. However, it takes more than a few oranges or vitamin C in tablet form to obtain this therapeutic effect. It requires intravenously administered vitamin C in large quantities. These doses have been used for decades and are known as redox therapy. Here, vitamin C works by entirely different mechanisms and effectively kill off cancer cells.
Three American researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology for their discovery of the molecular mechanisms that control our 24-hour rhythm and the ticking of the cellular clocks. Lack of sleep can lead to overweight, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, which is why it is vital to get to bed at a proper time. If you have difficulty with falling asleep or cannot sleep through the night, supplements of melatonin serves as a natural sleeping pill that comes in handy.
There is absolutely no reason not to consume eggs, meat, butter and other cholesterol-filled foods with a good conscience. American dietary guidelines have finally exonerated cholesterol, which happens to be an essential compound. Many scientists actually claim that atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease are both a result of inflammation and lack of specific micronutrients. It is important to pay attention to factors that are known to promote inflammation in the body and take the necessary steps by looking after your circulatory system, making healthy lifestyle choices, and possibly even using supplements.
It is essential that your heart is able to pump optimally throughout life. A study from Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, the United States, has just shown that a diet with low levels of vitamin K1 from dark, leafy greens increases your risk of an unhealthy enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle that pumps the oxygenated blood to the aorta (the body’s largest artery). The scientists even observed this enlargement in teenagers. Vitamin K1 is primarily known for its role in the blood coagulation process, but it is also converted to vitamin K2 in our gut flora. In fact, it is vitamin K2 that is important for the heart and cardiovascular system.
More and more studies show how important our digestion and gut flora are for our health and mood. A new study published in Scientific Reports reveals that omega-3 fatty acids are able to influence positively the diversity of our gut flora.
There is a link between low blood levels of trace elements like zinc and early stages of diabetes, according to Russian research published in Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. A large number of people are believed to have diabetes without knowing it. One of these early stages of diabetes is insulin resistance, a condition where the cellular uptake of sugar is impaired. Another is metabolic syndrome that includes hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, and a characteristic apple-shaped figure with too much abdominal fat. The question is, how do we get enough zinc, and why do so many people appear to be deficient in this essential trace element?
If you consume too much red meat it may increase your risk of colon cancer, but is there meat with the opposite effect? According to a new and groundbreaking study, eating salmon or other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids appears to help prevent this rather common cancer form and possibly even other cancers, as well. Just make sure not to get too much omega-6, especially from margarine and other plant oils, as it is vital to have the correct balance between the two types of fatty acids.
The number of children diagnosed with autism has increased steadily over the past decades, and a number of factors can cause the disease. Now, scientists from the University of California and other institutions in the United States have discovered that pregnant women who get the recommended amount of folic acid or increase their intake right around the time of conception have a lower risk of giving birth to a child that develops autism caused by pesticide exposure.
Q10 and selenium are powerful antioxidants that are important for the heart, cardiovascular system, and the energy turnover. As we grow older, our endogenous Q10 synthesis decreases, and many people lack selenium. A Swedish study has shown that older people who take supplements of Q10 and selenium have a 50 percent lower cardiovascular death rate. Another (more recent) Swedish study shows that Q10 and selenium also increase elderly peoples’ levels of IGF-1, a hormone with many functions in the body. The scientists assume that this helps reduce the risk of cardiac death among elderly people.
Zinc strengthens the immune defense and controls inflammatory conditions such as eczema. According to a Finnish meta-analysis, high-dosed zinc supplements can help the immune defense fight a regular cold much faster. It turns out that there are widespread zinc deficiencies. First of all, sugar, birth control pills, inorganic iron supplements, and normal ageing processes impair the body’s zinc uptake. Secondly, it may be difficult to get enough zinc if you are on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not only does a zinc deficiency have a negative effect on your immune defense and skin health, it also upsets the countless enzymatic processes in which zinc is involved.
- but researchers warn against reduced intake levels
Even if you eat a healthy and balanced diet, it can be difficult to get enough selenium because of climate changes and nutrient depletion of the soil, especially in Europe. This was shown in a study conducted by Swiss scientists. Selenium is very important for the immune system, but how much do we need to be optimally protected against infections? There also appears to be a connection between widespread selenium deficiency and the increased rate of cancer.
It is hardly a coincidence that so many of us contract virus infections in the course of the winter. It is because we lack vitamin D, which we are unable to synthesize when the sun sits too low in the sky. Danish scientists have discovered how vitamin D activates the immune system, and a comprehensive meta-analysis shows how vitamin D supplements can prevent colds, flus, and related complications.
During the winter period, many of us have runny noses and some may end up in bed with a bout of flu. Now is the time to prime your immune system by getting all those vitamins and minerals that your diet is not always able to provide you. That way you can ward off germs and avoid unnecessary sick days. But what effect does vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, and zinc have on the immune system’s different “troops”, and how much do we need?
Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and intestinal infection. The infection may even be life-threatening. A new American study that is published in PLoS Pathogens shows that this bacterium can only thrive with an overload of calcium in the intestinal system. Such a calcium excess can be caused by overconsumption of calcium, lack of vitamin D, and regular use of antacids.
Researchers from Sweden and England have discovered a link between vitamin A and diabetes. According to their new study, vitamin A is essential for enabling pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin, the hormone that helps cells take up sugar. This discovery could open new doors to better diabetes therapies in the future. However, it is also important to focus on diet, weight management, and the intake of other nutrients like chromium for proper blood sugar control, which is necessary for preventing and treating diabetes.
- that are a threat to public health
Climate changes and soil depletion increase the risk of selenium deficiency, especially in Europe as shown by Swiss scientists. Selenium is an essential nutrient, and existing studies clearly show that low selenium intake increases the risk of cancer, metabolic disorders, impaired immunity, poor sperm quality, and atherosclerosis. Selenium deficiencies are therefore to be taken seriously and should be prevented one way or another. A good way to get enough of the nutrient is by taking a high-quality selenium supplement.
Despite official recommendations to give infants a daily vitamin D supplement, nearly 50% of parents forget to follow this advice according to a large new Danish study. Not only do the children risk weak bones, it also increases their risk of infections and autism, other studies suggest.
It is common knowledge that omega-3 fatty acids are vital for our brain development and nervous system. Now, researchers from Harvard Medical School in the United States have discovered that they also play an important role in maintaining the blood-brain barrier that protects the central nervous system against bacteria and toxins.
A new British study that is published in British Journal of Nutrition shows that getting too little vitamin D during pregnancy has a negative effect on the social development and motor skills of the toddler. Vitamin D is believed to play a role in brain development. It is vital for the pregnant mother to pay careful attention to getting enough vitamin D all year round, as our modern lifestyle with indoor activities, our frequent use of sunscreen with high sun factor, being overweight, and having dark skin contribute to the widespread deficiency of this nutrient.
An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression, a disease with huge economic and human costs. Not everyone benefits from the traditional medical treatment, which can even cause various side effects, so there is every reason in the world to aim for more prevention and better therapies. A new study that is published in PLoS One shows that magnesium supplements are effective as an adjuvant in mild or moderate depression. The researchers have also discovered which biochemical effect magnesium has on mood.
A substantial number of people suffer from Hashimoto’s disease, a condition that causes hypothyroidism (slow metabolism), extreme fatigue, cold sensitivity, weight gain, and numerous other symptoms because the cells lack energy. Quite a few people suffering from this disease receive treatment, but the results are often unsatisfactory, and most people have not been given the correct diagnosis or do not receive proper help.
A groundbreaking new Australian study shows that something as simple as a vitamin B3 supplement can prevent miscarriages and congenital defects of the heart and other organs. This is because the nutrient is involved in the body’s production of NAD, a molecule of vital importance to fetal development. Because vitamin B3 deficiencies are common, it is important to have increased focus on the vitamin, especially in connection with pregnancy.
An international team of researchers has just completed a huge study of the possible link between maternal DNA, selenium deficiency, and preterm labor. Earlier studies have shown that women with low blood selenium have an increased risk of preterm birth and that selenium supplementation may lower that risk. A problem in that respect is that climate changes and soil depletion may increase the risk of selenium deficiencies, especially in Europe.
A new study shows that vitamin B3 has the potential to prevent skin cancer and melanoma, which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Apparently, vitamin B3 can boost the body’s repair of DNA damage caused by UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds.
According to a study from Ohio State University, Columbus, USA, people suffering from dry eyes may find relief by consuming more oily fish or taking a fish oil supplement.
Vitamin D deficiencies are widespread among people who are overweight or have type-2 diabetes. However, researchers have not been able to explain the exact link. A study done by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, suggests that it has something to do with vitamin D’s role in the brain, where the nutrient helps control both weight and blood sugar levels.
The brain normally only uses blood sugar in the form of glucose. However, people suffering from insulin resistance have impaired cellular uptake of blood sugar, causing an energy shortage of the brain. According to a recent Israeli study, insulin resistance may speed up impairment of the cognitive functions that include the ability to think, speak, and solve problems. Because insulin resistance is an early stage of type-2 diabetes that spreads like an epidemic, there is every reason in the world to start preventing or treating this condition. A few dietary adjustments combined with a blood sugar-regulating trace element may do the trick.
- but dietary and lifestyle changes make a difference
Approximately one in seven couple is childless. Although there can be many underlying causes, poor sperm quality is an increasing problem. It may be caused by a lack of certain nutrients and exposure to different environmental factors, but, fortunately, it possible to improve sperm quality and increase the chances of conception by means of relevant dietary adjustments and the use of specific supplements. New research shows that epigenetic factors (factors that affect the environment of the sperm cell) determine sperm health and are therefore crucial for activating the genes of the sperm cell so the fetus can develop.
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?
Vitamin K2 clears calcium from the bloodstream and embeds it in bone tissue. Therefore, vitamin K2 is of vital importance to bone building and the prevention of atherosclerosis. Medical News Bulletin has placed even more focus on vitamin K2’s role in maintaining strong bones and reducing the risk of a fracture. The question is, how much vitamin K2 do we really need for optimal bone health, and why is it important to know the difference between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2?
We consume far too much sugar from candy, soft beverages or in the form of concealed sugar in our food. This impairs the body’s uptake and utilization of calcium and magnesium. Sugar can skew the body’s mineral balance, thereby setting the stage for osteoporosis and an increased fracture risk caused by minor strains. Children and youngsters are particularly prone to bone weakening and osteoporosis from an early age, which is why there is good reason to lower the threshold level for sugar intake.
Folic acid plays a role in tissue growth and fetal development during pregnancy. A new study that was presented at an annual congress for British psychologists in Brighton shows that folic acid supplements may even improve the child’s psychological development. This is vital for the child’s ability to handle his or her own feelings and managing socially.
In May 2017, new data linking vitamin D and fertility was presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology (ECE) in Lisbon. The new findings contribute to our understanding of vitamin D’s impact on male testosterone levels and of our knowledge about whether vitamin D supplements may actually improve fertility in both sexes. Involuntary infertility, a widespread problem, may be a result of many factors, but if the reason is a vitamin D deficiency, it is easy to treat with increased exposure to sunlight and the use of supplements to keep vitamin D levels optimal all year round.
For decades, medical science has claimed that fish oil increases the risk of bleeding and has therefore warned against taking fish oil supplements prior to surgery. A large, systematic review of studies that is now published in the Danish Medical Journal shows that fish oil supplements do prevent blood platelets from aggregating, but this biochemical effect is not associated with increased bleeding risk in connection with surgery. It is therefore safe to continue taking supplements – and eating oily fish.
It is no coincidence that sclerosis is more prevalent at the northern latitudes. A major factor is lack of vitamin D, a nutrient that we only synthesize from sunlight during the summer. A new study published in the scientific journal Neurology shows that the risk increases even more if people are overweight, and children are particularly vulnerable. As part of the strategy for preventing sclerosis, we must pay more attention to weight management and make sure to get plenty of vitamin D all year round and throughout life. Furthermore, various campaigns that warn against sun exposure and recommend the use of sunscreen should at the same time advise children and adults how to get enough vitamin D from other sources.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) is important for our nervous system and mental balance. Epidemiological studies have shown that vitamin B3-deficient diets are linked to aggression, and increased prevalence of homicide and suicide among people and cannibalism among animals. More than 60 years ago, Dr. Abram Hoffer observed that high doses of vitamin B3 had a positive effect on schizophrenia, and later studies have shown similar results. Lack of vitamin B3 may be caused by genetic, dietary, or environmental factors that are easy to correct.
Vitamin B12 is important for the development of the brain, and young children with low levels of the nutrient are challenged when it comes to solving cognitive tests such as puzzles, letter recognition, and the ability to understand the feelings of other children. Vitamin B12-deficient children are therefore more vulnerable and generally have a more difficult start in life. Researchers have demonstrated this in a study that is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Psoriasis patients are generally interested in their diet and how it affects their disease. So far, there has not been much data so far to support a connection, but a new American study has mapped out the exact effects of regular diet habits and various supplements.
Schizophrenia is a serious psychotic condition with delusions and hallucinations, which can be very taxing for the sufferer as well as for the rest of the family. Most people experience a slow and gradual worsening of the brain ailment, and the disease may even spread to other organs. On average, people who suffer from schizophrenia die 10 years earlier than the general population, which is why it is vital to prevent the disease or ameliorate its symptoms. Scientists have discovered that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids has a positive effect for several reasons.
If you find it difficult to control your desire for chocolate, candy, cake, soft beverages, and stimulants in general, and if you struggle with tiredness, overweight, and other problems related to unstable blood sugar, you will be pleased to learn that Danish researchers have revealed that a hormone produced by the liver controls our desire for sweets and stimulants. The scientists therefore see a potential in developing a new type of medicine that can control the need for sugar. However, it is also possible to control your sugar cravings by means of simple dietary changes combined with supplements of chromium, a mineral that increases insulin sensitivity.
We all are exposed to some degree of air pollution, but a new study shows that supplements of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids work like a dynamic duo with a highly protective effect on cells and the cardiovascular system. This is because vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties.
- that is involved in atherosclerosis, rheumatism, and most other chronic diseases
Scientists from Mexico, Iran, and Australia have gathered data from several studies and focused on a certain protein that is a marker of inflammation in the body. According to the researchers, magnesium supplements can significantly reduce levels of this protein. Because magnesium deficiencies are widespread, it seems obvious to administer magnesium supplements as part of the anti-inflammatory treatment, especially because inflammation is not always easy to detect and may even set the stage for a host of other chronic diseases. It is important, however, to balance magnesium with calcium. This is a general rule both in the prevention and treatment of all chronic inflammatory conditions.
- but only few preparations work
The plant extract Ginkgo biloba contains some biologically active compounds that improve circulation through blood-thinning and vessel-dilating actions. However, a study of 29 different Ginkgo biloba preparations revealed that only 10% of the investigated products actually contained Ginkgo extract. You can avoid this problem by only using Ginkgo biloba in the form of natural remedies, because they are registered as pharmaceutical drugs.
The mineral zinc has demonstrated a surprising ability to help the liver fight virus infections and prevent tissue damage caused by chronic liver diseases. By regulating a specific protein, zinc both strengthens the immune defense and counteracts undesirable inflammation. This was shown in a new Australian study headed by scientists from Westmead Institute for Medical Research.
It also turns out that minor to moderate zinc deficiencies are rather common. Most importantly, sugar, birth control pills, inorganic iron supplements, and ageing processes impair the body’s ability to absorb zinc. Moreover, it is often difficult to get enough zinc from vegetarian and vegan diets. Being zinc-deficient takes its toll on the immune system and the liver, but also has a negative impact on the countless enzyme processes that involve zinc.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the leading cause of infertility and hormone disturbances in women of childbearing age. The condition is often a result of insulin resistance, an imbalance in the sugar metabolism that is typically accompanied by fatigue, abdominal obesity (apple-shaped body), overweight, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. It makes perfect sense to stick with a blood sugar-stabilizing diet and to include a chromium supplement that increases insulin sensitivity and helps, indirectly, regulate the hormone balance. As a bonus effect, it becomes a lot easier to obtain and maintain your ideal weight.
Lack of magnesium makes your bones weak. However, according to a study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, if you increase your magnesium intake from food or supplements, you can prevent bone fractures, which is a common problem among middle-aged and old people. Although calcium and vitamin D are normally touted as being important for strong bones, it is equally important to get enough magnesium and to generally be aware of factors such as diet, medicine consumption, and lifestyle, all of which can deplete levels of this essential mineral.
Recent studies reveal that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are able to prevent and ameliorate a number of neurological ailments such as depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia. There is evidence suggesting that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids work by controlling the synthesis of serotonin in the brain. The listed neurological conditions are all characterized by defects in the body’s synthesis of this important neurotransmitter. It is therefore vital to get plenty of sunshine, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, as widespread deficiencies in all three most likely contribute to the increasing rate of different neurological disorders.
Zinc supplements help your immune defense fight colds faster. This was seen in a Finnish meta-analysis where the majority of cold-ridden subjects who took supplements had recovered from their colds after five days, as opposed to those who did not take extra zinc. It is important to choose high-quality zinc supplements, which the body is able to absorb. Moreover, it is vital that the dose is sufficiently high during those days where the immune system actively fights the cold. High-dosed zinc supplementation is not encouraged for therapeutic use in other cases.
Research conducted over the past decades reveals that vitamin D plays a major role in the brain and nervous system. Now, a Finnish study published in Scientific Reports links vitamin D deficiencies to chronic headaches. Vitamin D deficiencies are becoming increasingly common because we spend too much time indoors. Even during the summer period, it seems that we are unable to produce enough vitamin D because of our exaggerated use of sun cream. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D and it is therefore important that you expose yourself to enough sunlight to ensure adequate vitamin D synthesis (without getting burned.)
- and provide other benefits
Zinc is a trace element that is necessary for around 300 enzymes that control the thyroid gland, fertility, the nervous system, the immune system, and a number of other functions. A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has found a close link between the body’s zinc status and cardiac function. Although clinical zinc deficiencies are rare, short-term subclinical zinc deficiencies are more widespread than previously thought. Even a minor zinc deficiency may affect cardiac health and the countless enzyme processes that depend on the presence of zinc. Besides, zinc is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against oxidative stress. There are many reasons why it is important to get enough of this nutrient.
The low spring sun and bright sunlight can trigger a migraine attack. According to a new report, migraines may also be caused by a lack of vitamin D, which are common during the spring period. The combination of both is therefore rather unfortunate. Earlier and more recent studies show that lack of Q10, magnesium, and B vitamins can also trigger migraines, a condition that makes life miserable for millions of people. What is important is to detect and avoid the things that seem to cause these attacks and, at the same time, make sure to compensate for the nutrients, which the cells are lacking, in order to help the nervous system, the hormone system, and the cardiovascular system function properly.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to positively support chemotherapy by maintaining body weight and muscle mass. According to a new study that is published in the esteemed science journal, Nutrition, omega-3 supplements can even reduce different side effects of chemotherapy.
Lack of vitamin K2 increases your risk of stiff arteries and atherosclerosis, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. This was observed in two new studies, one that is published in the American Journal of Hypertension, the other in the journal Nephron. A third study that is published in Clinical Nutrition reveals that daily supplementation with vitamin K2 lowers the risk of early death caused by cardiovascular disease. Our diet used to provide substantially more vitamin K2 from fermented foods than now, and this type of food deserves a comeback. It is also important to know the difference between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.
Mice that are genetically predisposed to glaucoma may avoid the eye disease if vitamin B3 is added to their drinking water. This was seen in a study that is published in the journal Science. The scientists behind the study say that vitamin B3 was surprisingly effective at eliminating the molecular alterations that normally occur with age-related glaucoma. They even see the vitamin as an inexpensive and potentially powerful tool for preventing this disease in the future. People should make sure to get plenty of vitamin B3, and it is also important to know that imbalanced diets, alcohol abuse, and the use of diuretics may easily result in a deficiency of the nutrient.
During spring and summer, many people suffer from allergy symptoms and hay fever because their immune system overreacts to airborne pollen. However, according to a new American study, it is possible that different lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria can help alleviate the symptoms. The explanation lies in our intestinal microflora and its importance for a properly functioning immune system.
Ageing processes are associated with loss of muscle mass and impaired physical performance, both of which tend to lower quality of life. It is commonly known that coenzyme Q10 plays a significant role in cellular energy turnover and protects against oxidative stress. Now, two independent cohort studies even show a relation between the body’s Q10 status and muscle strength. Earlier research even suggests that Q10 supplements may help older people develop more youthful muscle fibers. Individuals who take cholesterol-lowering statins are advised to take Q10 supplements.
According to a study that is published in PLoS Medicine’s Special Issue on Dementia shows that low levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain may speed up the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It is therefore vital not to shy away from dietary fats. What is important, however, is to consume unspoiled sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the proper balance. Polyunsaturated fatty acids have numerous functions in the brain, on which our nervous system, cardiovascular system, memory, learning ability, and lingual skills depend.
- that increases your risk of different diseases and premature death
Approximately one billion people worldwide lack vitamin D because they get too little sunlight, they overuse suncream, or they have chronic diseases that prevent proper utilization of the nutrient. This was shown in a new study that is published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. During the summer period, health authorities and organizations issue warnings against the sun and recommend the use of suncream. These campaigns, however, should ideally be accompanied by recommendations on how to get enough vitamin D from other sources. Otherwise, the campaigns may do more harm than good, as all cells in the body need this essential nutrient, and the sun is the single best vitamin D source.
Alzheimer’s disease causes brain malfunctions, and the condition is the leading cause of dementia. According to a studies of humans and mice, there may be a link between borderline vitamin A deficiency and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin A is important for the immune system, but it is also a powerful antioxidant that protects neurons and other cells. Vitamin A deficiencies are widespread globally. In the industrialized countries, we mainly see vitamin A deficiencies in connection with unbalanced diets, ageing, and chronic illness.
- and the huge difference between the omega-3 forms ALA, EPA, and DHA
Most people lack omega-3 fatty acids acids that are vital for the brain, the nervous system, and the cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting properties. It is important to consume omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the right balance in order to benefit from their many health effects. But how do we make sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids that we can utilize? And what is the difference between ALA, EPA, and DHA?
- and stable blood sugar helps to prevent it
Science has found a link between unstable blood sugar levels, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (the leading cause of dementia). Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire, and people many are unware that they have early stages of the disease, typically characterized by fatigue, overweight, and cravings for fast carbohydrates or stimulants. People with Alzheimer’s disease have insulin resistance of the brain, which is why this disease is now referred to as type 3 diabetes. Because it takes many years for Alzheimer’s disease to develop, there is every reason in the world to start early prevention with exercise and a blood sugar-stabilizing diet. Also, a particular trace element may help increase insulin sensitivity, which is why it is vital to get enough of this nutrient.
According to researchers, women with weak thighs and hamstrings have an increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. Of course, leg muscle exercise is important for preventing this condition, but adequate nutrient intake and maintenance of the right body weight also contribute. For those who are already affected by knee osteoarthritis, glucosamine supplements can be useful. Make sure to choose glucosamine sulfate and to stick with glucosamine supplements that are listed as medical drugs if you want to be sure to obtain the desired effect.
Schizophrenia, a brain disease, is an extreme burden to the patient as well as to the patient’s family. However, a large meta-analysis published in Psychological Medicine documents that adjuvant therapy with large doses of vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and biotin (vitamin B8) in combination with standard therapy can reduce the symptoms more effectively than standard therapy alone. It is an advantage to start taking high-dosed B vitamin supplements as early as possible in the disease course. There are several reasons why B vitamins have such a great impact on the brain and our mental health
- and what can we do when we cannot sleep?
Sleep disorders are common in the western world, and many people find that the problem gets worse when we shift to daylight saving and get an extra hour of light in the evening. It can be difficult to fall asleep when it is still light outside, and this may even be a stress factor for those people who need to get up early the following day. Getting just one hour less of sleep can affect your concentration, mood, heart function, fertility, and a number of other things. Nevertheless, the sleep hormone, melatonin, combined with some practical advice may work wonders for your sleep, and proper sleep is of great importance to your health.
Medical science has claimed for decades that elevated cholesterol levels pose a health threat, especially if you have too much of the so-called “bad” cholesterol – or LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein). However, a team of international experts is now arguing that this theory is exaggerated. In fact, the experts specifically advise against taking cholesterol-lowering statins. Meanwhile, science is focused on how to improve the safety of statins by combining them with supplements of coenzyme Q10.
Selenium is crucial for your thyroid function, immune system, cardiovascular system, and even for preventing cancer. Fish and shellfish are among the best selenium sources, but even 200 grams of fish and shellfish five days a week won’t do the trick, according to a Danish selenium study. What makes it even more difficult to obtain optimal amounts of this nutrient is that the agricultural soil in large parts of Europe is stripped of vital nutrients like selenium. Margaret P. Rayman, one of Europe’s leading experts on selenium, says that there is a direct link between the decreasing selenium intake and the increasing rate of cancers, rheumatism, infertility, and numerous other health problems. The question is, how do we humans get enough selenium?
According to a Japanese study, some people with Parkinson’s disease may find that coenzyme Q10 helps to relieve their symptoms. Q10 occurs in two forms, both of which have vital functions, but the scientists observed that only the one form had a positive effect on Parkinson’s disease. Nonetheless, when supplementing with Q10, both forms are equally good. What matters is that the active compound can be absorbed. Once it has been absorbed, the body can shift from one form to the other, a process that also requires selenium.
A new study shows that patients with early stages of Parkinson’s disease may benefit from getting more vitamin B3 from their diet or from supplements. This is because the nutrient supports cellular energy turnover and helps repair damaged nerve cell DNA. It is vital to get sufficient amounts of vitamin B3 as part of the prevention of the much-dreaded disease.
Parkinson’s disease, one of the most common chronic disorders of the nervous system, is characterized by destruction of the nerve cells. This insidious disease normally appears around the age of 50-70 years. The symptoms are caused by a lack of the neurotransmitter dopamine. The brain constantly uses dopamine to control various movements and constantly produces and breaks down dopamine in an end-less loop. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, the production of dopamine is reduced due to the damaged nerve cells. This is how the shortage occurs. Parkinson’s symptoms include uncontrollable tremor, muscle stiffness, slow movements, poor balance, fatigue, and an impaired ability to control facial expressions.
Lack of vitamin B3 or poor utilization of the nutrient occurs as a result of consuming an unbalanced diet, overconsuming alcohol, antacids, and diuretics (which many older people take).
Damaged nerve cell mitochondria
The team of researchers from the University of Leicester in England studied fruit flies that had a gene mutation, which emulated the human disease. Their research identified a mechanism that affects the brain during the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, and the results point to various kinds of medicine that can help this group of patients.
Miguel Martins, a neurologist who headed the study, explains that nerve cells in the brain are destroyed for different reasons. In some cases, the main problem is that the energy-producing powerhouses (mitochondria) of the cells are either dysfunctional or destroyed. Because of the large energy turnover in the brain, it is vital to have effective mitochondria in the nerve cells. Also, the mitochondria have several other functions inside the cells that are important for their ability to carry out different tasks.
Mitochondria help control the following:
Mitochondrial gene protects against Parkinson’s disease
PINK1 is a gene inside the mitochondria that controls the quality of the mitochondria and protects them against dysfunctions. PINK1 is able to identify destroyed mitochondria, prevent destruction, and generate various types of activity in nerve cells. However, if the PINK1 gene itself mutates, it is no longer able to protect against mitochondrial damage, and if the problem accumulates, the mitochondria can no longer produce energy or carry out any of their other functions. The destroyed mitochondria also release toxic molecules that can do additional damage to nerve cell DNA and block the nerve cells’ production of dopamine. In many patients with Parkinson’s disease the PINK1 gene is unable to protect the mitochondria against stress-induced dysfunctions. It would therefore be desirable to support the PINK1 gene, thereby helping it to protect both mitochondria and nerve cells. This approach could be used as both a preventative and therapeutic strategy.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) activates NAD that protects mitochondria and nerve cells
The researchers point to a substance in the body called NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), which is important for both energy turnover and DNA repair. They even speculate whether Parkinson’s patients lack this substance.
In order to investigate this, the fruit flies were given mutated PINK1 together with vitamin B3, which is converted into NAD in the body. It turned out that these fruit flies had fewer damaged mitochondria compared with fruit flies who got the same diet but without vitamin B3. It also turned out that vitamin B3 was able to prevent the loss of nerve cells in the fruit flies.
Afterwards, the neurologists investigated whether NAD was able to protect the fruit flies against Parkinson’s disease by stepping up DNA repair. By activating NAD with vitamin B3, the researchers discovered that they could switch on the function that keeps mitochondria and nerve cells alive. This improved the strength, mobility, and lifespan of the fruit flies.
A new way to prevent and treat
According to Miguel Martins, the study results suggest that adequate amounts of NAD are a determining factor for mitochondrial health and the prevention of Parkinson’s disease. In support of this, it is relevant to mention that is not harmful to consume more niacin (vitamin B3) to increase NAD levels. Although vitamin B3 alone does not cure the disease, the vitamin is likely to improve the outcome of conventional treatment in those Parkinson’s patients who have mitochondrial defects.
How to get enough vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 is water-soluble. Because we are unable to store it in the body, we need to consume the vitamin regularly. Alternatively, we can synthesize it in the body in a process that includes tryptophan and vitamin B6. Good sources of vitamin B3 are protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, poultry, nuts, kernels, seeds, eggs, whole-grain, vegetables, and fruit.
Vitamin B3 supplements should ideally be taken together with other B vitamins. In order to achieve the best absorption and utilization of the B vitamins they should not be taken with antacids.
Consider taking a Q10 supplement
Coenzyme Q10 is involved in the energy turnover of the mitochondria and is at the same time a powerful antioxidant that protects mitochondria against oxidative stress.
University of Leicester. People with forms of early-onset Parkinson’s disease may benefit from boosting niacin in diet, research suggest. ScienceDaily. 2017
Lehmann S. et al. Enhancing NAD salvage metabolism is neuroprotective in a Pink1 model of Parkinson´s disease. Biology Open 2016
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- which may be caused by lack of melatonin and the presence of toxic substances in the brain
Night owls stay up late in the evening and get up late in the morning, and they risk depression, according to a new study. In fact, there seems to be a link between the increasing number of people with disturbed 24-hour rhythm who expose themselves to blue light from computer screens and other devices, and who become depressed. Lack of sleep at night and low levels of the hormone melatonin are a burden to the brain and nervous system in several different ways.
Asthma is the leading disease among children and adolescents in the Western world, and the rate has been going up for the past 20 years. A new Danish study that is published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that pregnant women who take supplements of fish oil are much less likely to give birth to children that develop asthma later on. The question is how much fish oil it takes to obtain the positive effect.
- and read more about why too much calcium and overconsumption of dairy products can be harmful
Fragile bones, also known as osteoporosis, is an insidious scourge. Science has its eyes on calcium and vitamin D, but osteoporosis may also be a result of getting too little vitamin K2 and magnesium, both of which are nutrients that must be properly balanced with calcium. If not, calcium may do more harm than good. Carbonated beverages, stimulants, and medicine (including statins) may also interfere with the bone-building processes. Therefore, strong bones require a lot more than calcium, and it is also important to remember daily, bone-challenging exercise.
Vitamin C is extremely important for the brain’s blood vessels, nerve cells, neurotransmitters, and connective tissue. An estimated 10 percent of the adult population is vitamin C deficient without specific symptoms. According to a scientific article in the Danish journal Aktuel Videnskab, vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy may harm brain development in the fetus.
– and why it is vital to get the exact right amount!
All our cells contain different selenium compounds that support a number of vital functions, and which have several cancer-fighting mechanisms. As an antioxidant, selenium prevents iron from developing some of the most harmful free radicals that can damage cellular DNA and lead to uncontrolled cell division. This is why a selenium deficiency combined with excess iron is a lethal cocktail. Although iron is essential, it is vital that we do not get too much. It is also important to get plenty of selenium from food and/or supplements and in a form that the body can absorb and utilize in each and every cell in order to be properly protected against cancerous substances.
Nothing beats a good night’s sleep. Still, sleep disturbances are widespread, and surprisingly many people struggle through the day, trying to survive on far too much coffee and other stimulants – and they cannot do anything about the problem. It turns out that many vegetarians, users of birth control pills, older people, and diabetics suffer from sleep problems because they lack vitamin B12. A vitamin B12 deficiency may also affect the nervous system and memory so it is vital to get enough of this nutrient.
– but will enrichment do the trick?
Even minor zinc deficiencies may cause poor digestion, infections, skin problems, and fatigue – and many other diseases may occur along the way. A new study shows that a diet with as little as four extra mg of zinc daily may strengthen cellular DNA and help protect the body. The four milligrams of zinc are about the same as populations with deficiency symptoms can get by eating zinc-enriched wheat and rice.
A team of scientists from Oregon State University in the United States has managed to explain why lack of vitamin E may cause neurological damage to the developing fetus, and why it increases the risk of spontaneous miscarriage. Their study is published in the science journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine and here, the scientists underline how important it is for both women who are pregnant and those plan pregnancy to get enough vitamin E.
It came as good news for vegetarians, vegans and sclerosis sufferers when Danish health authorities allowed strong vitamin B12 preparations on the market some years ago. It was also positive that the active methylated form of vitamin B12 was added to the list of approved ingredients.
Cancer researchers from the University of Iowa in the United States have finally clarified how extremely high doses of vitamin C given as infusions are able to kill cancer cells. It turns out that the low levels of the enzyme, catalase, in cancer cells make them vulnerable to vitamin C’s ability to generate free radicals. That way, vitamin C works like a type of chemotherapy, while, at the same time, stimulating normal activity in healthy cells. We are dealing with a treatment that is virtually devoid of side effects.
- and for the prevention of allergies and inflammation
Every day, the intestinal immune system has to defend itself against hordes of microbes and toxins. If it fails to function optimally, there is an increased risk of infections, allergies, and inflammatory diseases. More and more research reveals that essential nutrients help to control the intestinal immune defense. Also, new research shows how important a well-functioning immune system is for our digestion and health in general. This article takes a closer look at the vitamins that are known to be particularly important for the intestinal immune system. Another thing that is vital is to have adequate amounts of gastric juice.
– especially among those with metabolic syndrome, an early stage of type-2 diabetes
Millions of people who are overweight suffer from blood sugar imbalances and metabolic syndrome – often without being aware of it. A study shows that people with metabolic syndrome are severely vitamin E-deficient. This poses a serious threat to their health, as vitamin E is important for the liver, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the body’s ability to protect its cells against oxidative stress and carcinogenic substances. The study, which is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, reveals that normal measurements of a person’s vitamin E status are misleading.
We all know the importance of eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting sufficient sleep, and sunbathing with caution. Still, life is not always that simple, and even if we stick with the official guidelines for healthy living, it can often be challenging to get adequate amounts of the essential nutrients. Nonetheless, supplements are useful as compensation for these shortcomings. In fact, the use of such products can be compared with plant fertilizers that make plants look healthy, flourish and thrive.
There is widespread potassium deficiency, and it is common knowledge that an increased potassium intake lowers the risk of hypertension, which is the leading cause of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and early death. However, not many people know that potassium has a vital impact on blood sugar levels and the prevention of diabetes, just as it counteracts side effects of diuretics. The question is how much potassium do we need – and how does the balance between potassium and sodium (salt) affect our health?
- and you also need magnesium for your bones
It has been discussed whether it is calcium or vitamin D that improves women’s cholesterol balance. Earlier studies of women who use combined supplements have not been able to determine whether the positive effect is due to calcium or vitamin D. However, a study from Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) reveals that the effect is down to vitamin D. If you want strong bones and a healthy cardiovascular system, it is a good idea to combine both calcium and vitamin D with magnesium.
- that cause many sick days and even deaths
Vitamin D supplements prevent colds, influenza, and intercurrent complications. This was seen in a large meta-analysis emphasizing that vitamin D is not only important for bone health but also for the immune system, which may require larger quantities. Because many old people or weakened individuals die of pneumonia, supplementing with vitamin D may potentially save millions of lives.
Nowadays, fruit, potatoes, and vegetables in general contain very little vitamin C, and the majority of people fail to eat the recommended amount of these foods, in the first place. Unhealthy diets and lack of vitamin C increase the risk of colds, influenza, and other infections, simply because the immune system consumes large amounts of vitamin C in connection with the first explosive attacks that prevent virus from causing an infection. Vitamin C also has an important role in battling infections and preventing them from dragging on and leading to complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
It is important for the health of the unborn child that the expecting mother keeps her vitamin D levels high during her entire pregnancy. According to a study from Southampton University, vitamin D supplementation is less effective, if a pregnant woman starts with low levels of vitamin D in the early stage of her pregnancy, has major and sudden weight gain, and gives birth during winter.
According to a new study, hormone-disrupting substances like bisphenol-A and phthalates can lower levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream. During the winter period, it is a problem to get enough vitamin D to begin with, as the sun sits low in the sky and we only get a limited amount of the nutrient from our diet. The combination of too little vitamin D and hormone-disrupting substances is rather unfortunate because lack of vitamin D increases the risk of infections, winter depression, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and cancer.
There is an increasing amount of science that links lack of vitamin D to autism. In a new study, 109 autistic children were given either a vitamin D supplement or placebo. According to the lead researcher, Dr. Khaled Saad, there was a distinct improvement in autism symptoms such as hyperactivity, social reclusion, and other function impairments in the children who took supplements of vitamin D, but not in the placebo group. The study is published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2016).
It is alarming that many babies are born with a vitamin D deficiency, or become vitamin D deficient later in life. The nutrient controls numerous processes in the brain – including gene control and regulation of serotonin (neurotransmitter) levels and inflammation processes.
New Year’s resolutions are often related to healthier living with better dietary choices, fewer stimulants, and more exercise. We want to stay as young and vital as possible with lots of energy. However, life is not always that simple, and nature often needs a helping hand. The following anti-ageing tips – including the essential beauty sleep – are based on a summary of articles that have all been published previously on this site.
- and lacking certain nutrients may play a vital role
New figures from the cancer database, Nordcan, reveal that Danish women hold the record in cancer prevalence, and both sexes still have the lowest cancer survival rate among the Nordic countries. Experts claim that this is linked to our lifestyle. However, cancer even occurs among people with healthy lifestyles, and international studies suggest that modern diets tend to lack optimal amounts of selenium, vitamin D and omega-3, all of which have cancer-preventive properties. Research also points to melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone.
Q10 is involved in the energy turnover in all cells. The highest concentration of the compound is found in the heart, as this muscle needs to pump day and night and to supply muscle cells with more blood when we are physically active. The cellular energy turnover takes place inside some minute powerhouses called mitochondria. A Danish-Swedish study has shown that the mitochondria in the muscle cells of top-notch athletes have a different construction that makes them able to produce up to 25 per cent more energy. Earlier studies show that Q10 is able to improve athletic performance, and it all boils down to optimizing the energy turnover in the cells.
It is commonly known that vitamin A is good for your vision, but most people are unaware that we also need specific nutrients in order for our hearing to function optimally. In this connection, age-related hearing loss is not necessarily linked to mechanical dysfunctions of the ear but rather to how the brain processes the sound information.
Fewer children have eczema around the age of 12 months if their mothers had higher levels of a particular B vitamin during pregnancy, according to a new study from the University of Southampton.
Living in contradiction with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle may be life-threatening, as shift work reduces the body’s production of melatonin, which controls our sleep pattern and many general physiological processes. However, taking melatonin supplements may compensate for the lowered endogenous production and even for shift work and other disturbances of the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
- and may save the lives of many weak and older people
Supplementing with high doses of vitamin D may lower the rate of acute airway infections by up to 40 per cent. This simple trick may have the potential to save millions of lives, as many older people, cancer patients and others people with impaired resistance die of pneumonia.
Lack of vitamin E increases your risk of fertility problems, atherosclerosis, blood clots, and Alzheimer's disease. The diet contains eight different forms of vitamin E. The vitamin is also available in supplement form, either as natural or synthetic vitamin E, and there are huge differences in terms of their effect.
- which is involved in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and most chronic diseases
This time of year, many people suffer from asthma, aching joints, or an exacerbation of other chronic diseases that involve inflammation. This is often because they lack vitamin D, as the sun sits too low in the sky for us humans to be able to synthesize the vitamin. Also, the diet and normal vitamin pills only provide minimal amounts vitamin D. It has been known for a long time that vitamin D counteracts inflammation. Now, a large systematic study is planned to investigate how supplementing with large quantities of vitamin D can affect the molecular mechanisms that counteract inflammation.
Vitamin K is primarily for its role in helping blood coagulate. Otherwise, the vitamin is heavily underrated. For instance, the bones depend on vitamin K, and those people who consume the greatest amounts of vitamin K have the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and blood clots. It is important to know the difference between vitamin K1 and K2 and to know how well they get absorbed in the body.
- but ageing processes and cholesterol-lowering drugs inhibit the body’s Q10 synthesis
No matter how you twist and turn it, cholesterol is an essential substance, and we humans produce most of it ourselves. What is important is to make sure that the cholesterol we have in our blood does not oxidize, and that is something which Q10 and other antioxidants take care of. Stable blood sugar levels also help us maintain a healthy cholesterol balance.
A new study reveals that children of mothers’ who lacked vitamin B12 during their pregnancy are at increased risk of metabolic diseases like type-2 diabetes. The study also shows that too little vitamin B12 may lead to abnormal levels and malfunctions of the hormone leptin, which signals satiety.
A new study shows that adding eggs to your mixed salad increases the uptake of vitamin E from the vegetables, so don’t let your fear of fat and cholesterol keep you from consuming eggs. Eggs (yoke and white) contain a multitude of nutrients that are beneficial for your cardiovascular system and blood sugar.
Many people take a multivitamin this time of year. However, even if the manufacturers really squeeze together the ingredients it is impossible to put enough vitamins and minerals in one pill to cover our actual needs. In fact, the manufacturing process determines if we are able to absorb the different nutrients in the first place, and that is important for them to work properly in the body. Therefore, it is vital that you choose a supplement that has good quality, and you must make sure to focus on the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that we humans typically tend to lack.
Breast cancer is one of the most widespread cancer forms, with 80% of cases being classified as estrogen receptor-positive. The risk of this type of breast cancer increases when you receive hormone therapy with estrogen (estradiol). The risk is also increased by hormone-disrupting substances in the environment. However, a new study shows that melatonin is able to inhibit a gene that influences the estrogen receptors in breast cancer cells. Melatonin is primarily known for its role as a sleep hormone, but an increasing amount of research shows cancer-protective potential. It is therefore essential to make enough melatonin yourself or to compensate for deficiencies by taking melatonin supplements.
According to two clinical studies, daily supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is found in fish oil, may prevent thousands of premature deliveries – before the 34th week of pregnancy. In addition, both mother and child may have other befits from the active compounds in fish oil.
Many people take calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis. However, research shows that high-dosage calcium supplements may harm your heart and cardiovascular system. It is important that you take calcium in the right balance with vitamin D and magnesium if you want the calcium to get absorbed properly and get all the way into your bones.
According to a new study, supplementing with large doses of vitamin D may lower blood levels of estrogen, which may be vital for the prevention and treatment of the dreaded disease.
According to a Cochrane review, supplementing asthma medication with vitamin D may halve the risk of having a severe asthma attack and improve quality of life for those who suffer from this condition.
Insomnia is common among cancer patients. Sleep medicine is associated with serious side effects, but research shows that the natural hormone, melatonin, may help improve the sleep quality of cancer patients in several different ways. Melatonin even has cancer-inhibiting mechanisms that deserve a closer look in terms of prevention and treatment.
According to a new study from Melbourne's Swinburne University, supplementing with B vitamins gives you more vitality and surplus in mentally challenging situations, thereby reducing the subjective feeling of stress. The study is the first to use a special technique to reveal the circulatory flow through the brain.
Iodine's ability to protect against breast cancer has been demonstrated in animal studies. Furthermore, epidemiological studies suggest that consuming more dietary iodine lowers the risk of the dreaded disease, which represents 25% of all cancers in women.
For the first time ever scientists from California have discovered copper's role in the burning of fat. This improves the nutrient's reputation as an essential nutrient.
- and older people should ideally consume more than the official recommendations
Undernourishment and lack of protein is common among older people. Evidence even suggests that the recommended daily intake of protein is too low, at least as far as seniors is concerned. The problem is most likely a slowdown of the muscle-building enzyme processes. The quality of protein also has something to say just like the amount of physical activity is a factor.
Several studies show that nutritional supplements may help against aggressive behavior in children. Based on this knowledge, American researchers have tested the effect of combining supplements of fish oil, vitamins, and minerals with psychological treatment - and it appears to improve the outcome.
Melatonin is primarily for its role as a sleep hormone. However, it also increases the effect of tamoxifen and reduces side effects in the aftercare of breast cancer. Science has known about melatonin's cancer preventative properties for quite some time, and by embedding the hormone in small "lipid bubbles", tamoxifen is able to destroy even more breast cancer cells, according to Iranian research.
Q10 is a coenzyme that is involved in cellular energy production and protection of our cells. There are numerous cosmetics with Q10 that are believed to delay skin ageing. However, only limited amounts of data have been available to prove the effect of Q10 on skin - until recently.
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.
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.
Lack of vitamin D and selenium increases your risk of catching a cold or the flu or accompanying complications. Many people resort to Echinacea, ginger, and smoothies filled to the rim with vitamin C and secondary immune compounds, but these measures can never replace the two essential nutrients, selenium and vitamin D.
There are several reasons why pregnant women have an increased need for folic acid. Overweight women should even pay special attention, as folic acid reduces their risk of having babies who are also overweight. This was seen in a new American study that got published in JAMA Pediatrics.
- increasing your risk of pancreatitis and other complications
A new American study shows that chronic alcohol abuse impairs the ability of the pancreas to absorb vitamin C, and that increases the risk of infection of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and other diseases. Lack of certain B vitamins may also damage the pancreas and increase the risk of encephalitis.
Apparently so. According to a new study, vitamin B3 (niacin) is a powerful antioxidant that, by means of enzyme processes, protects the body against aging and diseases caused by oxidative stress.
Periodontal disease affects most people at some stage in life. However, according to a recent study that is published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry, supplemental use of Q10 and tea tree oil may have potential benefits.
According to a new study that is published in the British Journal of Nutrition, even minor zinc deficiencies may cause poor digestion, skin problems, and fatigue - and lead to numerous other health problems in the long run. You should therefore avoid zinc shortages, and people with poor diets, vegans, vegetarians, and older people should make sure to get enough zinc.
For decades, science has had its focus on vitamin D in terms of cancer prevention. A new study shows that this applies particularly to women older than 55 years. It may be because cancer often takes many years to develop and because our ability to utilize the vitamin decreases as we grow older.
Women who eat a healthy diet may prevent or delay their physical deterioration. But what type of diet has the best effect? And how can specific nutrients, which are difficult to get from the diet, improve the overall effect?
Many people suffer from insulin resistance that impairs the cellular uptake of glucose from the bloodstream. Insulin resistance typically causes untimely hunger or a craving for stimulants accompanied by fatigue, mood swings, tension, overweight, and numerous other problems that arise as a result of the cells producing too little energy. The condition increases the risk of type-2 diabetes, even among children. But how does magnesium affect our blood sugar levels, and how do we make sure to get enough of this nutrient?
It has long been known that vitamin D deficiencies increase the risk of sclerosis. According to a study that is published in JAMA Neurology, having too little vitamin D is even a problem during pregnancy, as it increases the child's risk of developing sclerosis later in life.
Inflammation appears to be a key factor in the majority of chronic illnesses such as e.g. rheumatism, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. Science has primarily focused on EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), but new research points to supplementation with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) as being even more effective in healthy patients with too much abdominal fat and subclinical systemic inflammation.
If you are pregnant it may be wise to eat salmon. According to a new study it lowers your child's risk of developing asthma, which is a rather common ailment. But what is it in salmon that prevents asthma, and what about those who dislike the taste of fish?
Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Also, breast cancer patients with optimal levels of vitamin D in their blood can expect to live longer than breast cancer patients with low blood levels of the nutrient. But how much vitamin D is needed to prevent the dreaded disease?
Cataracts is a common cause of impaired vision, especially among the elderly. However, a new study of twins and the impact of genetic and environmental factors shows that higher intake of vitamin C may have help prevent this eye disease.
It pays off to make sure to get enough omega-3 from your diet or by taking supplements. Studies show that the content of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood are linked directly to a lower risk of developing atherosclerosis and dying of a heart attack. This was ween in a large epidemiological study that is published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
A selenium deficiency may increase the risk of gluten intolerance/celiac disease, which can lead to metabolic disorders and vice versa. Because selenium deficiencies may be a result of eating a poor diet and suffering from malabsorption, this may easily turn into a vicious cycle.
PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) entails a long list of symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, fatigue, irritability, fluid retention, and a strong craving for sweets and stimulants - and even a desire for divorce.
Overweight or obesity during pregnancy is linked to low vitamin D levels. This negatively affects the health of the expecting mother, and in the long run it increases the child's risk of weak bones, overweight, type-2 diabetes, and allergies.
According to a study that was presented to a group of endocrinologists at an Edinburgh conference, supplements of vitamin D may improve sports performance and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. One of the things vitamin D does is to block the stress hormone cortisol that makes your blood pressure go up. The problem is that many people lack vitamin D, not only in the winter time but even during the summer period.
Once the sperm cell has penetrated the egg cell, sparks fly from zinc atoms in a fascinating fireworks display. This new discovery may help fertility doctors select the most best eggs