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the Vitamin and Mineral Guide

Are you getting enough vitamins and minerals?

the Vitamin and Mineral Guide

Click here and read about your body's most important nutrients in the Vitamin and Mineral Guide

 

Magnesium supplements counteract inflammation

- that is involved in atherosclerosis, rheumatism, and most other chronic diseases

Magnesium supplements counteract inflammationScientists 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.

Ginkgo biloba helps against poor circulation

- but only few preparations work

Ginkgo biloba helps against poor circulationThe 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.

Zinc is effective against hepatitis C, influenza, colds and other virus infections

Zinc is effective against hepatitis C, influenza, colds and other virus infectionsThe 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.

PCOS and infertility can be helped with dietary changes and a single nutritional supplement

PCOS and infertility can be helped with dietary changes and a single nutritional supplementPolycystic 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.

Magnesium helps prevent bone fractures provided you get enough

Magnesium helps prevent bone fractures provided you get enoughLack 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.

Vitamin D and omega-3 improve mental health by regulating the synthesis of serotonin

Vitamin D and omega-3 improve mental health by regulating the synthesis of serotoninRecent 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.

Get over your cold faster with a zinc supplement

Get over your cold faster with a zinc supplementZinc 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.

Headaches may be caused by too little vitamin D

Headaches may be caused by too little vitamin DResearch 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.)

Zinc supplements may boost heart health

- and provide other benefits

Zinc supplements may boost heart health 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.

Steer clear of migraine triggers seek natural solutions

Steer clear of migraine triggers seek natural solutionsThe 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.

Vitamin K2 counteracts atherosclerosis and benefits the heart

Vitamin K2 counteracts atherosclerosis and benefits the heartLack 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.

Vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma in mice and possibly even in humans

Vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma in mice and possibly even in humansMice 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.

Probiotic bacteria may help alleviate allergy symptoms

Probiotic bacteria may help alleviate allergy symptomsDuring 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.

Coenzyme Q10 as a determining factor of muscle strength and ageing processes

Coenzyme Q10 as a determining factor of muscle strength and ageing processesAgeing 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.

Alzheimer’s disease is linked to deficiencies of polyunsaturated fatty acids – especially omega-3

Alzheimer’s disease is linked to deficiencies of polyunsaturated fatty acids – especially omega-3According 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.

Excessive use of suncream may cause vitamin D deficiency

- that increases your risk of different diseases and premature death

Excessive use of suncream may cause vitamin D deficiencyApproximately 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 may be linked to a marginal vitamin A deficiency

Alzheimer’s disease may be linked to a marginal vitamin A deficiencyAlzheimer’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.

The health benefits of fish oil

- and the huge difference between the omega-3 forms ALA, EPA, and DHA

The health benefits of fish oilMost 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?

Alzheimer’s disease is now called type 3 diabetes

- and stable blood sugar helps to prevent it

Alzheimer’s disease is now called type 3 diabetesScience 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.

Women with weak leg muscles are more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis

Women with weak leg muscles are more likely to develop knee osteoarthritisAccording 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 symptoms can be reduced with large doses of B vitamins

Schizophrenia symptoms can be reduced with large doses of B vitaminsSchizophrenia, 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

How does daylight saving affect our health

- and what can we do when we cannot sleep?

How does daylight saving affect our healthSleep 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.

Is cholesterol dangerous or is it a myth?

Is cholesterol dangerous or is it a myth?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 essential but we don’t get enough from fish and shellfish

Selenium is essential but we don’t get enough from fish and shellfishSelenium 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?

Q10 may help people with Parkinson’s disease

Q10 may help people with Parkinson’s diseaseAccording 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.

Vitamin B3 has a positive effect on Parkinson’s disease

Vitamin B3 has a positive effect on Parkinson’s diseaseA 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:

  • Energy turnover
  • Cell division
  • Calcium signaling
  • Apoptosis (programmed cell death or self-destruction of damaged and diseased cells)

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.

References:

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PINK1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotinamide_adenine_dinucleotide

http://www.netdoktor.dk/sygdomme/Fakta/parkinson.htm

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/one-form-coq10-treats-parkinsons-study-find

 

Night owls have increased risk of depression

- which may be caused by lack of melatonin and the presence of toxic substances in the brain

Night owls have increased risk of depressionNight 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.

Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy prevents childhood asthma

Fish oil supplementation during pregnancy prevents childhood asthmaAsthma 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.

Prevent fragile bones early in life

- and read more about why too much calcium and overconsumption of dairy products can be harmful

Prevent fragile bones early in lifeFragile 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.

Your brain and mood need vitamin C but are you getting enough?

Your brain and mood need vitamin C but are you getting enough?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.

Selenium’s and iron’s different roles in cancer prevention

 – and why it is vital to get the exact right amount!

Selenium’s and iron’s different roles in cancer preventionAll 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.

Lack of vitamin B12 triggers fatigue during daytime and sleeping problems at night

Lack of vitamin B12 triggers fatigue during daytime and sleeping problems at nightNothing 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.

Zinc offers protection against disease and even protects cellular DNA

– but will enrichment do the trick?

Zinc offers protection against disease and even protects cellular DNA 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.

Lack of vitamin E is widespread and it increases the risk of fetal damage and miscarriage

Lack of vitamin E is widespread and it increases the risk of fetal damage and miscarriageA 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.

Mega-doses of vitamin C can kill cancer cells

Mega-doses of vitamin C can kill cancer cellsCancer 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.

Certain vitamins are crucial for the intestinal immune system

- and for the prevention of allergies and inflammation

Certain vitamins are crucial for the intestinal immune system 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.

Lack of vitamin E is widespread

 – especially among those with metabolic syndrome, an early stage of type-2 diabetes

Lack of vitamin E is widespreadMillions 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.

Beauty care and anti-ageing secrets that pay off in the long run

Beauty care and anti-ageing secrets that pay off in the long runWe 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.

Increased potassium intake counteracts hypertension and diabetes

Increased potassium intake counteracts hypertension and diabetesThere 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?

Supplements of calcium and vitamin D improve women’s cholesterol balance

- and you also need magnesium for your bones

Supplements of calcium and vitamin D improve women’s cholesterol balanceIt 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.

Vitamin D supplements prevent acute respiratory infections

- that cause many sick days and even deaths

Vitamin D supplements prevent acute respiratory infectionsVitamin 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.

Make sure to get enough vitamin C to prevent and fight infections

Make sure to get enough vitamin C to prevent and fight infectionsNowadays, 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.

Pregnant women should take vitamin D supplements

Pregnant women should take vitamin D supplementsIt 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.

Chemicals lower levels of vitamin D in the body

Chemicals lower levels of vitamin D in the bodyAccording 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.

Vitamin D supplements help children with autism

Vitamin D supplements help children with autismThere 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.

Nine anti-ageing tips for 2017

Nine anti-ageing tips for 2017New 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.

Denmark sets the cancer record again

- and lacking certain nutrients may play a vital role

Denmark sets the cancer record againNew 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.

How does Q10 affect athletic performance?

How does Q10 affect athletic performance?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.

Essential nutrients may prevent impaired hearing and improve certain hearing problems

Essential nutrients may prevent impaired hearing and improve certain hearing problemsIt 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.

Shift work disrupts the body’s sleep-wake cycle and increases your risk of overweight and stroke

Shift work disrupts the body’s sleep-wake cycle and increases your risk of overweight and strokeLiving 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.

Vitamin D reduces virus and airway infections

- and may save the lives of many weak and older people

Vitamin D reduces virus and airway infectionsSupplementing 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.

Vitamin E deficiency is common - and supplements differ in quality

Vitamin E deficiency is common - and supplements differ in qualityLack 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.

Vitamin D inhibits inflammation

- which is involved in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and most chronic diseases

Vitamin D inhibits inflammationThis 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.

Lack of vitamin K increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, fragile bones, and other health problems

Lack of vitamin K increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, fragile bones, and other health problemsVitamin 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.

Q10 and cholesterol make an essential team

- but ageing processes and cholesterol-lowering drugs inhibit the body’s Q10 synthesis

Q10 and cholesterol make an essential teamNo 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.

Lack of vitamin B12 during pregnancy increases the risk of type-2 diabetes in the child

Lack of vitamin B12 during pregnancy increases the risk of type-2 diabetes in the childA 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.

Eggs in the salad increase the uptake of vitamin E which is important for the cardiovascular system

Eggs in the salad increase the uptake of vitamin E which is important for the cardiovascular systemA 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.

Is your multivitamin of good quality or are you just wasting money?

Is your multivitamin of good quality or are you just wasting money?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.

Melatonin counteracts breast cancer by limiting a gene in breast cancer cells

Melatonin counteracts breast cancer by limiting a gene in breast cancer cellsBreast 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.

Calcium supplements may cause atherosclerosis and heart trouble

Calcium supplements may cause atherosclerosis and heart troubleMany 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.

Melatonin helps cancer patients sleep better

Melatonin helps cancer patients sleep betterInsomnia 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.

Your muscle mass needs protein

- and older people should ideally consume more than the official recommendations

 Your muscle mass needs proteinUndernourishment 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.

Sleep hormone increases the effect of medication against breast cancer

Sleep hormone increases the effect of medication against breast cancerMelatonin 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 saves heart failure patients' lives and improve quality of life

Q10 saves heart failure patients' lives and improve quality of lifeMany 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.

How to prevent the virus infections of winter time

How to prevent the virus infections of winter timeLack 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.

Alcohol abuse impairs the uptake and utilization of vitamins

- increasing your risk of pancreatitis and other complications

Alcohol abuse impairs the uptake and utilization of vitaminsA 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.

Even minor zinc deficiencies may harm your digestion and health

Even minor zinc deficiencies may harm your digestion and healthAccording 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.

High levels of vitamin D can lower the risk of cancer by up to 67%

High levels of vitamin D can lower the risk of cancer by up to 67%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.

Magnesium deficiencies contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes

Magnesium deficiencies contribute to insulin resistance and diabetesMany 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?

Lack of vitamin D during pregnancy may increase the child's risk of sclerosis

Lack of vitamin D during pregnancy may increase the child's risk of sclerosisIt 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.

A comparison of EPA and DHA and their ability to fight inflammation

A comparison of EPA and DHA and their ability to fight inflammationInflammation 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.

Omega-3 lowers your risk of heart disease and cardiac death

Omega-3 lowers your risk of heart disease and cardiac deathIt 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.

Vitamin D has a positive influence on sports performance and the heart

Vitamin D has a positive influence on sports performance and the heartAccording 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.

Zinc fireworks reveal the quality of the egg and offer new hope for infertile couples

Zinc fireworks reveal the quality of the egg and offer new hope for infertile couplesOnce 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 for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The discovery also has relevance for all others who wish a successful pregnancy. It all boils down to having adequate zinc stores in the body.

Elevated blood sugar levels strain your heart and cardiovascular system

Elevated blood sugar levels strain your heart and cardiovascular systemA British study has shown that elevated blood sugar levels cause blood vessels to constrict. This strains the heart, raises blood pressure, and reduces the blood supply to other organs. It is therefore sugar and not saturated fat that is the cause of cardiovascular disease. We should be far more focused on how to control our blood sugar levels. Proper diet means a lot, and so does adequate intake of a particular essential trace element that appears to have a special role.

Sun lovers live longer and lack of sunshine is as dangerous as smoking!

Sun lovers live longer and lack of sunshine is as dangerous as smoking!Even though sun lovers have an increased risk of developing skin cancer, a recent Swedish study shows that those who sunbathe the most have a lower risk of dying of heart disease and other ailments. Therefore, be sure to get plenty of sun while you can so your body can produce generous amounts of vitamin D - but don't overdo it. Also, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement during the winter period when your body's levels of the nutrient have been depleted, as this may help you live longer.

The hormone balance requires essential nutrients but are you getting enough?

The hormone balance requires essential nutrients but are you getting enough?Hormonal imbalances have broad implications and increase the risk of chronic fatigue, overweight, impaired fertility, dry mucosa, hot flushes, slow metabolism, breast cancer, and many other problems. Lack of essential nutrients contributes to such disruptions of the sensitive hormone system. This is also the case with hormone-disrupting compounds.

Many migraine sufferers lack Q10 and vitamins

 Many migraine sufferers lack Q10 and vitaminsA study has shown that many children and young people suffering from migraines lack coenzyme Q10 and several vitamins. While more research is needed before conclusions can be made, earlier studies have actually shown that Q10 supplementation may have a positive effect on migraine. Because migraine is common among children and adults it is obvious to take a closer look at the underlying cause and compensate for any deficiencies.

Undernourishment is widespread and has serious consequences

Undernourishment is widespread and has serious consequencesUndernourishment typically affects the elderly, those with diseases, addicts, and people with eating disorders. The condition increases the risk of serious diseases and repeated hospitalizations and is an enormous economic burden to society. Many undernourished people suffer from loss of appetite, a problem that can often be stimulated with improved diets and supplements of B vitamins.

Optimize cellular energy metabolism and muscle-building with Q10 and magnesium

Optimize cellular energy metabolism and muscle-building with Q10 and magnesiumThe cellular energy turnover takes place inside some small powerhouses called mitochondria. The condition of these tiny structures is determining for our energy levels and health. That is why it is vital that the mitochondria are adequately supplied with all the necessary nutrients. Q10 and magnesium play a particularly important role.

Elite sport and hard training require extra vitamins and minerals

Elite sport and hard training require extra vitamins and mineralsIt is vital for sportspeople, especially those who engage in elite sports and arduous training, to be adequately supplied with dietary fuel, vitamins and minerals, as deficiencies may impair their performance and increase the risk of sports injuries, infections, anemia, osteoporosis, and hormonal imbalances.

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