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 That dietary advice is outdated and has done more harm than good.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.