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.
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