According to a pilot study from Los Angeles, patients with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood are 75 percent less likely to die from a COVID-19 infection. The scientists behind the study assume it is because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the omega-3 fatty acids and their ability to regulate the immune defense, which is often completely derailed in serious cases of COVID-19. The scientists also mention other nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties.
- plus large cuts in public healthcare
Lack of vitamin D is rather common. It increases the risk of infections and a host of serious diseases. German cancer researchers have estimated that if all Germans from 50 years and older took a daily vitamin D supplement it would prevent 30,000 cancer-related deaths annually and gain over 300,000 years of life. In addition to that, it would lead to huge reductions in public healthcare. The health-related and financial benefits of optimizing the population’s vitamin D status fits in nicely with previous research and calculations from Denmark.
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing and we are currently being threatened by B117 and other mutated versions of the virus. Some people are immune, some get mild infections, and some develop life-threatening complications. A team of international scientists has tried to find out why people react so differently. It appears vitamin D deficiency plays a major role. According to a new study that is published in the science journal Endocrine in January 2021, low blood levels of vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of being hospitalized. The scientists behind the new study point to vitamin D supplements as an inexpensive and fast way to improve patients’ health.
According to a new English study, increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids during the childhood years may lower your risk of developing asthma later in life but only if you have a specific gene variation. In addition, a previous Australian study reports that lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in adults is associated with poorer asthma control. Diet generally seems to play a major role in the development of the disease and overweight individuals appear to benefit more than others from increasing their omega-3 intake. The big question is how much do they need to take?
Vitamin D controls a host of different biochemical processes that are of importance to our health. Moderate vitamin D deficiency is rather common, and severe deficiency is one of the reasons why chronically ill cancer patients are put in intensive care and die within a year. Cancer patients who have been in intensive care can actually benefit from takin vitamin D supplements, according to an Austrian study that is published in Nutrients. The study supports earlier research that demonstrates different anti-cancer mechanisms in vitamin D.
Lack of vitamin C can cause bleeding from the gums, the eyes, and possibly even complicated internal bleeding, according to a study from the University of Washington. It is vital to get enough vitamin C from your diet because the nutrient is important for the collagen production, the immune defense, and numerous other functions. You may have an increased need for vitamin C if your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, if you bruise easily, or if you show other signs of lacking this essential nutrient.
It is well-known that omega-3 fatty acids counteract inflammation, which is the common thread in most chronic diseases. A team of scientists from Tufts University in the United States has now discovered that the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which we get from oily fish and fish oil supplements have different anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Their study is published in the science journal Atherosclerosis and supports earlier studies that have shown how important omega-3 is for preventing circulatory diseases, rheumatism, and other lifestyle diseases.
- especially among boys
Vitamin D controls a variety of processes in the brain and that is important for the child in a number of different ways. According to a new study from University of Queensland, Australia, there is an increased risk of autism – especially among boys – if the mother lacks vitamin D during her pregnancy. The explanation lies in the fact that the vitamin deficiency can affect levels of sex hormones in the brain. Several studies link vitamin D deficiency to autism and show that vitamin D supplements can improve hyperactivity and other signs of impaired functioning in children with autism.
- with four key nutrients
Your birth attest reveals your actual age but your biological age gives a more accurate picture of your health and life expectancy. Our biological age and cardiovascular health are closely connected, with atherosclerosis and arterial stiffness representing a progressive process that eventually leads to the majority of deaths. Nonetheless, you can do a lot yourself by making sure to get sufficient amounts the nutrients that are most vital for good cardiovascular health. In this article, we will look closer at some current studies of vitamin K2, Q10, selenium, and omega-3, all of which are essential nutrients that prevent, each in their own way, atherosclerosis, arterial stiffness, and premature death as a result of having high heart age.
The kidneys cleanse our blood. Well-functioning kidneys are vital for the circulatory system and good health in general. Normal functioning of cells, including kidney cells, hinges on a host of different selenium-containing proteins and coenzyme Q10. Studies show that older people in many parts of the world, Europe included, have deficiencies of both substances. Therefore, a team of Swedish scientists conducted a study where they looked at selenium status and kidney function in a group of seniors. They gave selenium yeast and coenzyme Q10 or placebo to the participants for a period of four years. The results showed that the supplemented group as compared with the placebo group had improved kidney function according to several parameters. The positive effect on cellular energy metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress was attributed to the two supplements. The study is published in the science journal Nutrients.
An estimated one billion people around the world lack vitamin D, which increases their risk of COVID-19 infections and new strains of the virus that become complicated and potentially life-threatening. In November 2020, the authorities of Andalusia, a Spanish province, started giving vulnerable groups of people supplements of a particularly active form of vitamin D. The result of this intervention showed quickly. The number of patients in intensive care plummeted and the death rate dropped by 82 percent. Meanwhile, the death rate in Great Britain and many other countries went up, most likely because vitamin D deficiencies are more common during the winter period. A British politician has therefore urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to follow the Andalusian method, which is both effective and inexpensive. Furthermore, a Spanish study shows that supplementing hospitalized COVID-19 patients with active vitamin D can save lives. How much vitamin D do we need and how does the body activate vitamin D from sun exposure or from supplements?
Vitamin B6 is important for our energy levels, immune defense, nervous system, and a host of other functions. Vitamin B6 may even be able to reduce the severity of COVID-19 infections, according to an article written by Japanese, Chinese, and Thai scientists and published in Frontiers in Nutrition. The researchers refer to several clinical studies that show how vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc are able to reduce serious symptoms in COVID-19 patients, and they call for more studies of vitamin B6, simply because patients that are severely affected by COVID-19 often suffer from traumatic diseases and lack of several essential nutrients.
The most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Lack of certain nutrients can contribute to the development of these conditions. On the other hand, the diseases and the therapies used to treat them may also impair the body’s ability to absorb or utilize certain nutrients, thereby starting a vicious cycle that can make the disease worse. This was demonstrated in a new Greek study that is published in Nutrients. Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases primarily occur in the Western countries and especially at northern latitudes, which suggests that sun exposure and typically Western diets pay a major role in the development of these diseases.
During pregnancy, the unborn child is totally dependent on the mother’s vitamin D status. Vitamin D is primarily known for its role in supporting bone development. However, the vitamin is also of vital importance to the child’s brain, cognitive skills, and intelligence. According to a new, American study that is published in The Journal of Nutrition, this is why it is so important for pregnant women to have optimal vitamin D levels in their blood. The researchers point to the fact that vitamin D deficiencies are rather common and mention that they observed significantly lower blood levels of the nutrient in pregnant women of color. They hope their study can contribute to increased focus on the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy.
Selenium is an essential trace element that supports a host of different proteins and antioxidants that are important for pregnancy. According to a new Norwegian population study that is published in the science journal Nutrients, lack of selenium during pregnancy may stunt the growth of the fetus and result in low birth weight. This may have consequences for the child’s growth, cognitive skills, and health. Selenium deficiencies are rather common in Norway and the rest of Europe and that is a problem.
- and an alarming need to establish responsibility
Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem, which increases the risk of complicated COVID-19 infections, muscle weakness, cancer, and a lot of other problems. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration now recommends that both children and adults take vitamin D supplements throughout the entire winter period and that particularly vulnerable groups take high-dosed vitamin D supplements all year round. However, the new recommendations have not yet been included in the Danish Health Authority’s awareness campaigns for fighting COVID-19 because vitamin D appears to have ended up in a legal gap between being a foodstuff on one side and medicine on the other. According to a British study that was published earlier, there is currently an alarming need to establish responsibility in order to make sure that nursing home residents and other exposed groups get their vitamin D supplements, just like they receive their prescription medicine.
If you lose your sense of smell all of a sudden, it is most likely a sign that you have been infected with the coronavirus, according two large, international studies published in the science journal Chemical Senses. Many COVID-19 patients also lose their sense of taste and even if there are no other complications, it can affect their quality of life. The big question is if there is a link between zinc deficiency, corona infection, and these symptoms. It is already an established fact that zinc is important for our immune defense, for our sense of taste and smell, and as an antioxidant that protects our cells. Also, it is known that zinc deficiencies are rather common and people with unhealthy eating habits, vegetarians, vegans, older people, and diabetics are at increased risk. Birth control pills and certain types of medicine also increase the risk of lacking zinc.
More and more people in the Western world shift to a plant-based diet but may find themselves challenged when it comes to getting enough of certain essential nutrients. A new German study shows that most vegetarians and vegans get enough vitamin B12, provided they take supplements. However, many lack iodine and iron. Also, plant-based diet fails to deliver enough vitamin D, and many lack selenium due to the nutrient-depleted farmland. A lot of deficiency diseases are insidious, which makes it difficult to link them to the diet. It is therefore a good idea for children and adults who are vegetarians or vegans to take relevant supplements.
Overweight people often suffer from prediabetes, also known as metabolic syndrome, which is a condition characterized by blood sugar disturbances and cravings that make it difficult to maintain stable body weight. In addition, many people with this condition have low levels of chromium in their blood, which can contribute to insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, and hypertension – all of which are emblematic of metabolic syndrome, according to a Chinese study published in Nutrition Journal. Earlier studies also suggest that supplementation with chromium yeast may help control blood sugar levels. Another thing that is useful when regulating blood sugar levels to obtain weight loss is to adjust your intake of carbohydrate, fat, and protein in order to optimize the energy utilization.
Vitamin B6 is important for energy levels, the nervous system, our mood, our immune system, our hormone balance, and a number of other functions. This vitamin is of vital importance to our physical and mental well-being but a variety of factors may lead to a deficiency. This article will provide you with information about vitamin B6 and the 11 different symptoms that a deficiency may cause.
It is already known that severely affected corona patients often lack vitamin D and selenium, both of which are nutrients that are important for the immune system. A team of Danish scientists has now confirmed a Dutch study showing that lack of vitamin K is also widespread among patients with severe cases of the coronavirus. Vitamin K is mainly found in dark, leafy greens. In the body, the nutrient occurs as vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 and they have different functions. Lack of vitamin K or poor utilization of the nutrient may be a result of a poor diet or using certain types of medicine. Although there is no evidence that vitamin K can prevent or mitigate corona infections, the scientists present several interesting hypotheses.
Heart failure affects millions of people worldwide and many die within the first year of being hospitalized with acute heart failure. However, eating a diet that is rich in the omega-3 fatty acid EPA from oily fish and ALA from plant foods such as walnuts is linked to a lower risk of blood clots and early death, according to a new study that is published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. You can also read more about another compound that improves cardiac function and survival after acute heart failure.
Loss of muscle mass may be a result of a number of factors such as lack of exercise, too little protein, and ageing. Insulin resistance and acid accumulation are also related to loss of muscle mass, and it looks as if increased intake of vegetables with potassium, a base-forming mineral, is linked to decreased loss of muscle mass in men – but not in women.
- an overlooked connection
When it comes to battling COVID-19, the main focus is on hygiene, face masks, lockdown, and delayed vaccines. For several months, scientists have urged people to take vitamin D supplements during the winter period as a way of preventing new waves of COVID-19. This is because vitamin D is of vital importance for a well-functioning immune system and it is known that deficiencies of this nutrient contribute to the spread of seasonal virus infections. We also see that groups of people that are most likely to be vitamin D-deficient – including seniors, nursing home residents, people with dark skin, overweight individuals, diabetics, and those with chronic diseases – are most vulnerable towards COVID-19. The British government is already handing out vitamin D supplements to exposed groups, according to an article in Daily Mail and a review article that is published in British Medical Journal. But why is vitamin D so important for the immune defense, why are some people more likely to become deficient, and how much vitamin D do we actually need? Also, will vaccines cut the mustard if COVID-19 mutates?
- together with two other nutrients
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder that can ruin your quality of life and cost you many sick days. Migraine medicine does not necessarily work for all patients and many people get side effects. Therefore, prevention is a better strategy. According to a new study published in Nutrition Journal, zinc supplements have the potential to significantly reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. You can also read about two other nutrients that reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks and what it is that triggers them. The most important thing is to find and address the different causes. Diet and lifestyle have a profound impact.
Vitamin D plays an overlooked role in the immune defense. Being deficient of the nutrient increases your risk of bacterial pneumonia by up to 60 percent, according to a large Danish study of 116,000 participants that was carried out by scientists from Herlev Hospital, Gentofte Hospital, and the University of Copenhagen.
Because many older people, cancer patients, and other chronically ill individuals are at increased risk of respiratory infections and because bacterial pneumonia can be potentially lethal, the scientists see a huge potential in using vitamin D supplements to prevent the disease.
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers even with improved therapies. Because many people are diagnosed too late and the prognoses are generally poor it is essential to focus a lot more on prevention for instance by striving to maintain normal weight and avoiding smoking. According to a new meta-analysis published in Nutrition Journal, it appears that large quantities of vitamin B6 from diet or supplements have the potential to lower the risk of pancreatic cancer. Earlier studies have also shown that vitamin B6 lowers the risk of bowel cancer.
- plus loss of smell and taste?
The rate of eating disturbances among children, teenagers, and adults has increased in the past year. Health authorities typically focus on cultural and psychosocial causes and therapies, but the treatments often drag out and are inadequate. What is equally important is to look at whether the patients lack essential nutrients that are important for the brain, the nervous system, the appetite, and the sense of smell and taste. Clinical research from the past decades has shown that anorexia and bulimia in particular can often be treated with zinc and various other nutrients, while chromium is important for maintaining stable blood sugar. The use of the right supplements combined with different therapy forms may therefore be the right way to obtain permanent results.
Kidney stones can be extremely painful, and there is a rather large risk that they reoccur at a later time. What you eat means a lot and your diet is therefore an important key to prevention. It is important to get plenty of magnesium and vitamin B6, whereas you should try to avoid oxalate-rich food sources like spinach, nuts, root vegetables, food with high soy content, rhubarb, berries, and dark chocolate. All of these items contain a lot of oxalate that may contribute to the formation of kidney stones. If you take magnesium in supplement form, make sure to choose a source that the body can absorb properly. Also, drink plenty of water, according to an article in the Norwegian health magazine Vitenskap og Fornuft.
Older people with a high intake of vitamin C appear to have healthier skeletal muscle than those with lower intakes, according to a new study from the University of East Anglia in England. This is an important discovery because our natural loss of muscle mass begins in our forties and starts to accelerate after we pass the age of 65 years. The phenomenon is known as sarcopenia and is one of the main reasons why older people become increasingly fragile and susceptible to disease. The authors behind the study believe that it is particularly important for middle-aged and older people to get plenty of vitamin C from their diets or by taking supplements. As a bonus effect, vitamin C also protects against infections and cardiovascular diseases, which also typically affect seniors.
- a typical problem that is seen with ageing, overweight, diabetes and other chronic diseases
Chronic low-grade inflammation has a negative effect on our health. It pummels the body with free radical damage to healthy cells and tissue. Chronic low-grade inflammation is linked to ageing, overweight, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health problems. In the case of infections, there is also a risk that the immune defense overreacts with hyperinflammation, which can turn out to be very problematic. Now, science has discovered that our gut flora also affects the immune system. Some gut bacteria have a pro-inflammatory effect, while others help fight inflammation. Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory effect involves other mechanisms. Supplements of beneficial gut bacteria, better known as probiotics, and fish oil supplements help increase gut flora diversity. This is good for fighting inflammation, according to a new study published in Nutrients. Another thing to make sure of is to get enough vitamin D.
A large Israeli population study of over 4.6 million people shows that lack of sunshine and vitamin D increases the risk of COVID-19 infections and new infection waves in the winter period. The study shows why seniors, those with chronic disease, overweight individuals, and certain ethnic groups such as orthodox male Jews and female Muslims are more vulnerable. The scientists recommend vitamin D supplementation throughout the winter period or even all year round for those who do not get enough sun exposure during the summer. You can also read about why face masks block the body’s vitamin D synthesis, why COVID-19 originates from bats, and other mysteries related to the spread of the infection.
Vitamin C is important for bone density. A deficiency of the nutrient actually increases the risk of osteoporosis. Patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases often lack vitamin C and that adds even more to their risk. It is also a problem when normal, healthy people eat a vitamin C-deficient diet, and it becomes even more critical when people with chronic bowel diseases eat a diet with too little vitamin C. Vitamin C has a number of other functions in the body that are of importance to the immune system and the gut flora. Also, our genes for utilizing vitamin C play a role, according to a new study from Poznan University and Human Genetics Polish Academy of Sciences in Poland.
The number of seniors in the world is growing steadily which means a surge in problems like cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, overweight, diabetes, rheumatism, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. These diseases that have a widespread impact on human lives and are a burden to society are often linked to chronic inflammation. A group of scientists therefore decided to look closer at studies that have found a positive effect of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA on cognitive functioning, maintenance of muscle mass, and prevention and treatment of a host of serious diseases that are related to ageing. It is vital to start supplementing early and to take the right doses, according to the new review article published in Nutrients.
Periodontal is the leading global cause of tooth loss. It is a problem to prevent and to treat this condition because large population groups are neither able to nor used to taking proper care of their teeth and because it is expensive to see a dentist. A group of Australian scientists have decided to take a closer look at vitamin C’s role in dental health and determine how important it is to get enough vitamin C from the diet and from supplements. Another substance is important for preventing periodontal disease. You can read more about that in the article.
Q10 is involved in the cellular energy turnover and it is also a powerful antioxidant that protects cells, tissues, and the cardiovascular system in several ways. Humans synthesize most of their own Q10 but the endogenous production of the compound decreases with age. Besides, certain diseases are associated with lowered endogenous coenzyme Q10 synthesis, and scientists have observed that Q10 supplementation has the potential to attenuate various symptoms linked to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Q10 can also improve the heart function in older, healthy people, thereby lowering their risk of dying of heart disease. It is difficult for the body to absorb Q10, which is why scientists emphasize the importance of using pharmaceutical-grade supplements. This topic was addressed in a review article published online by www.nutraingredients.com.
An abundance of international science links widespread vitamin D deficiency to impaired immune defense, a problem that has contributed to new COVID-19 waves and tends to make the infections life-threatening. The British government has therefore decided to give free vitamin D supplements to 2.2 million seniors, nursing home residents, chronically ill, and other vulnerable people to help combat COVID-19. The whole purpose of this is to slow down the epidemic and put an end to the numerous shutdowns of society, according to an article in the Daily Mail.
Vitamin D is vital for a well-functioning immune defense, yet a stunning 80 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 lack the nutrient, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Earlier research has shown that having too little vitamin D in your system increases the risk of life-threatening complications. It is also a well-known fact that vitamin D deficiency is a problem that is more widespread during the winter period, especially among exposed groups like seniors, nursing home residents, chronically ill, and dark-skinned people.
- and become increasingly dangerous
Around one billion people worldwide are believed to lack selenium, mainly due to nutrient-depleted farmland. Selenium deficiency makes us more vulnerable to infections and increases the risk of a virus mutating and becoming more dangerous. This was shown in previous studies of RNA virus that can cause influenza, hepatitis, HIV, and Keshan disease. Coronavirus that causes the common cold and COVID-19 infections also belongs to the group of RNA virus and has a unique ability to mutate. Three new mutated virus types have been found in mink and stand in the way of a future vaccine. Therefore, we are forced to bolster our immune defense, which is designed to attack virus from different angles. Still, even if we eat a healthy diet it can be challenging to get enough selenium, and that is why an increasing number of international researchers now recommend selenium supplements to help fight coronavirus.
- and lacking responsibility contributes to the complicated COVID-19 infections
Health authorities worldwide recommend supplements of vitamin D to older people, nursing home residents, and people who get too little sun. However, most old people are not familiar with these recommendations, and vitamin D supplements are not handed out routinely in old age homes. Because of the widespread problems with vitamin D deficiency in these vulnerable groups, their risk of disease is increased. Also, they risk that a COVID-19 infection becomes complicated and life-threatening. A new British study set out to investigate the current practical guidelines for administering vitamin D supplements to nursing home residents and the responsibility for making sure this happens. The investigators believe that we desperately need a solution to this serious problem right now, considering the scope of the pandemic.
Older people can easily become deficient of vitamins and minerals, which can weaken their immune system and make them more prone to infections and prolonged periods with disease. On the other hand, older people who take a multivitamin and mineral supplement with zinc and large quantities of vitamin C experience fewer days with disease and have less severe symptoms, according to a placebo-controlled study from Oregon State University. But many multivitamin supplements do not contain enough vitamin D and it is very important for older people to get enough of this nutrient.
A panel of physicians and professors collaborating with the Swiss Society for Nutrition (SSN) recently reviewed the scientific evidence on the role of micronutrients in supporting a well-functioning immune defense for optimal health with particular focus on viral infections related to COVID-19. They conclude that there is widespread lack of vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are crucial nutrients for the immune system. These deficiencies contribute to new waves of COVID-19 and can cause the infections to become life-threatening. The panel calls for immediate action with relevant focus on diet and supplements.
Magnesium deficiencies are rather common and can easily occur if you get too little magnesium from your daily diet. It has been known for a long time that lack of magnesium can cause tension headache and migraine. In fact, many randomized, double-blind studies show that high-dose magnesium supplements can relieve both migraine and headaches, provided the supplements have good bioavailability so the magnesium can enter the cells, where it controls a dozen of enzyme processes. A review article written by Italian scientists from Milan and published in the journal Nutrients takes a closer look at this.
- so make sure to get enough of the nutrient during the winter period
COVID-19 is highly unpredictable and be either totally harmless or life-threatening. Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee recently made a comprehensive genetic analysis that reveals a new hypothesis – the bradykinin hypothesis – which shows why COVID-19 attacks the way it does, why symptoms vary, and why some groups of people are more vulnerable than others. The hypothesis also underpins the importance of getting enough vitamin D to prevent or possibly treat the disease. Vitamin D deficiency in the winter period is quite common and that may pave the road for new rounds of COVID-19 and an increased risk of complications.
- and throughout life
Vitamin D is important for a strong immune defense, healthy bones and cardiovascular system, cancer prevention, and for the support of many other essential body functions. However, it is not enough to follow the official guidelines for intake levels or to rely on blood tests. According to Carsten Carlberg, a professor at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), the explanation lies in the fact that we humans respond widely different to vitamin D, so the optimal vitamin D dose varies from one individual to another. Based on years of research, Carsten Carlberg therefore advises all adults living at northern latitudes to take 100 micrograms of vitamin D daily throughout the winter period, just to be safe. Earlier studies indicate that the official recommendations for vitamin D are based on a miscalculation that has had fatal consequences for public health.
– including diabetic neuropathy
Neuropathic pain is caused by disease or damage in the somatosensory nervous system. According to a new review article that is published in the scientific journal Nutrients, it seems that therapy with vitamin B12 may have a positive effect on this type of pain. It also appears that vitamin B12 deficiency is rather common in people with diabetic neuropathy, which is a serious complication that may result in amputation in worst case. Therefore, it is vital that diabetics make sure to get enough vitamin B12. Patients with pain caused by peripheral neuropathy may also consider taking the other B vitamins and vitamin D.
Oily fish and fish oil contain the long-chained omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that are of vital importance to the brain, the nervous system, and our mental health throughout life. Today, most people on a global scale lack these omega-3 fatty acids because of altered dietary habits, including the use of unnatural animal fodder. Low intake of omega-3 increases the risk of various ailments such as ADHD, autism, depression, borderline personality disorder (BPD), and bipolar disorder. Fish oil supplementation may therefore offer promise as prevention and part of the therapy used to treat a number of these disorders. The problem with modern diets is their disproportionate content of omega-6 at the expense of omega-3, an imbalance that may derail a number of physiological functions of importance to our mental health, according to a review article published in the science journal, Nutrients.
Life cannot exist without coenzyme Q10. The compound is necessary for the energy turnover in all our cells. It also functions as a powerful antioxidant that protects the heart and cardiovascular system against oxidative stress. Humans are able to synthesize Q10 but our endogenous production decreases with age. Heart failure patients also have reduced levels of Q10 which can be fatal, but decades of research have shown that Q10 supplements can improve quality of life and reduce mortality by close to 50 percent, according to a review article in Journal of Clinical Medicine. Here, the authors refer to 90 published articles. It is also important to get enough selenium, which helps Q10 function optimally.
Having sufficient vitamin D in your blood protects you against several cancer forms, according to a new review article that is published in Seminars in Cancer Biology. The summer sun is our primary source of the vitamin, but we can only store a limited amount in the liver for the winter period. The problem is made worse by the fact that we spend too much time indoors, and ageing even increases the risk of chronic vitamin D deficiency. The question is how much vitamin D do we need to protect us against cancer?
Lack of vitamin D is rather common and is associated with a host of diseases that affect the teeth and gums. In children, a vitamin D deficiency may result in fragile teeth with weak enamel and an increased risk of cavities. Later in life, the vitamin deficiency may also increase the risk of periodontal disease and certain types of oral cancer, according to an article that is published in the scientific journal Nutrients. The authors refer to a number of clinical studies that point to vitamin D’s different functions with regard to dental health. Also, they mention that vitamin D deficiencies are widespread and write that it may be necessary to take a supplement for proper dental health.
COVID-19 represents a serious global threat against public health and the economy because we still lack a vaccine and effective therapies. When COVID-19 becomes life-threatening it is primarily because the immune defense overreacts with a cytokine storm and hyperinflammation that destroys healthy tissue in the lungs, the circulatory system, and other places. Older people and heart failure patients already suffer from chronic low-grade, uncontrolled inflammation, to which nutrient deficiencies contribute and make the patients increasingly vulnerable. This also applies to people with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, many of which are overweight. For that reason, scientists affiliated with universities and research centers in Norway, Sweden, and Russia have searched the scientific literature to find studies that focus on whether supplementation with vitamin D, selenium, and zinc can help prevent a COVID-19 infection from escalating and becoming life-threatening.
Menopause is characterized by a host of completely natural physiological changes in the hormonal balance. However, many women experience hormonal imbalances that may lead to weight gain, redistribution of their fat mass, increased abdominal obesity and an elevated risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. The hormonal changes may also affect the nutritional status including nutrients like vitamin D and magnesium, both of which are essential for prevention of the mentioned diseases. Now, scientists have discovered that lack of vitamin D and magnesium is widespread among menopausal women and that magnesium supplementation optimizes both levels of and the effect of vitamin D. This was demonstrated by a Spanish study that is published in Nutrients.
Millions of people take painkillers such as Panadol or Calpol that contain paracetamol, and an estimated one billion people or so lack selenium due to nutrient-depleted farmland. This is an unfortunate cocktail because being deficient of selenium increases the risk of using paracetamol, so even the recommended dosage burdens the liver to such an extent that it causes toxicity and increase the risk of side effects. This was demonstrated in a collaborative study carried out by Bath University in England and Southwest University in China.
Vitamin B12 is required for the production of red blood cells, and the importance of the nutrient for the nervous system is often overlooked. Factors like vegan diets, ageing processes, low stomach acid, and use of anti-diabetic medication increase the risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Pernicious anemia is a life-threatening autoimmune disease where people are unable to absorb vitamin B12 from their diet. Typical symptoms of the condition are fatigue, poor memory, nerve damage, impaired fertility etc. and because these problems are insidious, it may be difficult to link them to the root cause. Many people are misdiagnosed as being stressed or having dementia. However, according to an article published in MedicalNewsToday, it may have detrimental consequences for your health if the vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated in ample time.
According to Danish research, more than one in three women suspect that their birth control pills cause side effects. Other studies show that birth control pills affect the body’s ability to utilize several different B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. The lack of these essential nutrients contributes to a number of common side effects such as fluid retention, blood clots, cancer, and depression.
Vitamin C is important for the immune system, the nervous system, energy turnover, connective tissue, hormone production, and numerous biochemical processes. Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant that protects cells and tissues against oxidative stress and hyperinflammation that cause virus infections to become dangerous. According to a new review article that is published in Nutrients, lack of vitamin C is widespread in underdeveloped, low-income countries but also occurs in industrialized countries with higher income levels. Also, the majority of Danes fail to consume the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C, plus a number of factors can increase the need for the nutrient.
- and avoiding life-threatening complications
Hip fractures are particularly common among older people and are often associated with a number of serious complications. However, seniors that are not vitamin D-deficient may have better chances of walking again after their surgery, according to a new study that is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Earlier Danish research even shows that having sufficient amounts of vitamin D in your blood lowers the risk of dying of serious complications after sustaining a fractured hip. Therefore, the scientists recommend that all older people take a high-dosed vitamin D supplement daily and that they have their vitamin D levels measured when they are admitted in the hospital.
- and why are deficiencies so common?
Magnesium plays a vital role in the body’s calcium distribution and is involved in over 300 enzyme processes that are relevant for our bones, circulatory system, muscles, nervous system, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, immune system, and utilization of vitamin D. For that reason, too little magnesium increases your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, migraine headaches, infections, PMS, plus anxiety and other neurological disorders. This is highlighted in a review article published by Medical News Today. It is therefore important to be aware of all the overlooked factors that may cause a magnesium deficiency.
According to WHO, sepsis is the third-most common cause of death, following cardiovascular disease and death. Sepsis is a result of the immune defense overreacting to an infection in the bloodstream. According to a new Slovakian study published in Bratislava Medical Journal, if you start supplementing with Q10 early in the treatment phase, it may reduce the symptoms and improve the chances of survival. Read more about another nutrient that contributes to the prevention of sepsis.
The trace element selenium has a vital yet overlooked role in ensuring a well-functioning immune system, and the widespread problems with selenium deficiency increase the risk of dying of COVID-19, according to a large German study that is published in the science journal Nutrients. The scientists therefore conclude that determining the patients’ blood selenium levels may provide vital diagnostic information. Also, the researchers conclude that it may be necessary to include selenium supplements in the treatment of COVID-19, especially with older people, diabetics, and those with chronic diseases that are at particular risk of life-threatening complications. The agricultural soil in Europe and other parts of the world contains relatively little selenium, which is why it is imperative to focus more on getting adequate amounts of this essential nutrient for the sake of preventing COVID-19 and other viral infections. It appears that the official recommendations – the so-called reference intake levels or RI – are not sufficient to meet the body’s actual requirements.
Hashimoto’s disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) is an overlooked scourge that leads to hypothyroidism and is particularly widespread among women. Postpartum thyroiditis that also slows down your metabolism follows in the wake of pregnancy. Graves’ disease where the metabolism speeds up (hyperthyroidism) is less common. These three thyroid disorders belong to the group of autoimmune disorders where the immune defense attacks the body’s tissues, and it appears that lack of vitamin D increases the risk, as it controls the immune defense in a number of ways. According to a new review article that is published in Nutrients, taking larger quantities of vitamin D may have a positive impact on these thyroid disorders.
According to an article that is published in StatPearls, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects against atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and blood clots. Vitamin E is also important for fertility, cell functions, and immune defense. A low-fat diet may result in a vitamin E deficiency. You should also beware that diseases characterized by impaired lipid absorption may increase you need for vitamin E.
Many men suffer from erectile dysfunction, a problem that often foreshadows cardiovascular disorders. It appears that vitamin D plays a preventive role by way of several mechanisms that can even benefit diabetics, according to a new meta-analysis published in Clinical Nutrition. An earlier study that is published in Clinical Endocrinology shows that vitamin D is involved in the production of male testosterone, which is essential for the ability to obtain and maintain an erection. A man’s sexual performance is therefore highly dependent on his vitamin D levels throughout life.
- and being overweight poses a particular risk
Premature delivery increases the baby’s risk of being born with developmental disturbances or dying within its first months of life. It is commonly known that omega-3 fatty acids are important for normal pregnancy. According to a new and updated Cochrane review article, overweight people are at increased risk of lacking omega-3 fatty acids, and supplementing with omega-3 may lower their risk of giving birth too soon. Although the new study supports earlier research, there was something that surprised the scientists.
Folic acid is important for fetal growth and development, and that is why pregnant women have an increased need for the nutrient. It is commonly known that supplementation with folic acid during pregnancy lowers the risk of spina bifida. A new study shows that maternal intake of folic acid in the late part of pregnancy is of vital importance for the baby’s lingual development at the age of two years. This was shown in a study that is published in Epidemiology. Unfortunately, many pregnant women forget to take their folic acid supplements.
The summer sun is our most important source of vitamin D but people dark-skinned people living at northern latitudes have difficulty when it comes to producing enough of the nutrient. This makes them much more likely to become vitamin D-deficient and that can have serious health consequences, which may be life-threatening in worst case according to several studies.
Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire and even more people suffer from something called metabolic syndrome, a prediabetic stage characterized by insulin resistance, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and apple-shaped figure caused by a blood sugar imbalance. Chromium supplementation helps improve insulin sensitivity and lowers weight and blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a placebo-controlled study that is published in the journal Biological Trace Element Research. It is advisable to lower your carbohydrate intake and to choose a chromium supplement with good bioavailability.
Ageing is linked to uncontrolled, low-grade inflammation, also known as inflammaging, according to articles published in the journals Nature Medicine and Ageing and Disease. Although chronic inflammation is not felt directly it may set the stage for cardiovascular disease, rheumatism, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Chronic inflammation may also cause virus infections like influenza and COVID-19 to become life-threatening because the immune defense suddenly overreacts and attacks healthy tissue. It is therefore vital for ageing people to protect themselves against chronic inflammation, which means getting plenty of vitamin D, selenium, coenzyme Q10, zinc, omega-3, and melatonin. These are all things that many older people often lack.
Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy disorder with elevated blood pressure, proteinuria, and life-threatening complications in severe cases. It has already been reported that folic acid supplements help prevent preeclampsia in pregnancy. According to a new study that is published in Pregnancy Hypertension, taking even larger quantities of folic acid seem to offer additional protection. Unfortunately, many pregnant women forget to take folic acid supplements that are normally recommended as a way of avoiding spina bifida.
Chronic lack of sleep is a very common problem. Many people who suffer from this problem feel that it gets worse during the summer because it is difficult to fall asleep when it is still light outside. Being unable to sleep properly can be a substantial stress factor, especially if you have to get up early. Losing as little as one hour of sleep can affect your concentration, mood, immune defense, fertility, and your need for sugar and stimulants. Also, chronic lack of sleep increases your risk of overweight, accelerated ageing, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and a lot more. According to an article that is published in MedicalNewsToday, the natural hormone melatonin and a few practical guidelines can work wonders for your sleep and this is essential for your health.
- and these compounds increase the need for iodine
We humans are exposed to a host of toxic fluoride compounds from food packaging, cookie sheets, rain clothes, impregnation agents, tap water, toothpaste etc. Effective July 1., 2020, cardboard, parchment paper, and cookie sheets that contain fluoride compounds are banned in Denmark. Fluoride poisoning increases the risk of various thyroid disorders, breast cancer, kidney diseases, ADHD, and fetal damage. At the same time, it increases the need for iodine. In fact, the symptoms of fluoride poisoning are often the same as the those seen with iodine deficiency. Read more about how to avoid fluoride compounds in the environment and how to make sure to get enough iodine.
Vitamin B3 has a therapeutic effect in the treatment of progressive muscle diseases, including mitochondrial myopathy that is caused by a defective cellular energy metabolism and which has no cure, according to a study from Helsinki University.
Vitamin D-deficient patients are twice as likely to sustain life-threatening complications in the wake of a COVID-19 infection, according to a study from Northwestern University in the United States, where scientists collected data from 10 different countries. It is worth making a note of the fact that vitamin D deficiencies are particularly common among older people of color, nursing home residents, overweight people, and chronically ill individuals, all of which are well-known risk groups. In the future fight against COVID-19 and other epidemics, good hygiene, hand sanitizer, isolation, and delayed vaccines are not enough. We must take the right measures to regulate our immune system with vitamin D, which can determine whether we reject the virus, contract a mild infection, or die of the subsequent, life-threatening cytokine storm and organ failure.
The cells in our body are constantly renewed but they can only divide a limited number of times. It all depends on the length of their telomeres, which one can compare to the protective plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces. Every time a cell divides, its telomeres are reduced in length, bringing the cell closer to its terminal phase. Now, a Chinese study has revealed that higher selenium intake is linked to increased telomere length. Put differently, a higher selenium intake contributes to protecting the cells and allowing them to replicate more times. This may likely postpone the ageing process and extend our lifespan, and there are other studies that suggest the same. It is worth making a note of the fact that selenium deficiency is widespread in Europe and throughout the world.
Zinc supplements have been given to patients with acne for years because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the nutrient. Still, it remains unclear whether zinc also helps treat other inflammatory skin diseases. Therefore, a group of scientists wanted to look closer at this and they discovered that zinc supplementation may be useful in the treatment of atopic dermatitis and diaper rash. Local treatment with zinc salve may also help.
Although the course of disease for most people with COVID-19 is rather mild, the greatest concern is the life-threatening complications in the respiratory tract caused by oxidative stress and cytokine storm where the immune system attacks healthy tissue. Scientists are busy looking for new therapies such as intravenous vitamin C that is about to be tested in a new Chinese placebo-controlled study, according to an article that is published in Critical Care. Several researchers say that vitamin C from dietary sources and supplements has a preventive effect because it strengthens and regulates the immune defense in the respiratory tract. The same is the case with vitamin D and selenium.
– and the amount you consume matters
Fish oil contains the long-chained omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that have a number of essential functions. Although it has been known for decades that fish oil lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and early death, study results have been conflicting. Now, a large British population study of over 400,000 people confirms that regular consumption of fish oil supplements has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and contributes to improved quality of longevity. The scientists also address that the quantity of fish oil may be determining for your health.
The interplay between vitamin D, magnesium, and calcium is vital for bone health and a number of other things, including cancer prevention. According to a new study that is published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, high blood levels of vitamin D and magnesium may lower colon cancer patients’ risk of dying of their disease. However, the current recommendations for vitamin D are not enough to reach optimal blood levels of the nutrient. Moreover, it is of vital importance that magnesium is properly balanced with calcium.
Fish is good source of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are important for normal development of the fetus. Still, there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not pregnant women should eat fish, as this is also a source of mercury and other environmental toxins. A whole new study shows that pregnant women who eat moderate amounts of fish tend to give birth to children with a lower risk of diabetes and overweight later in life compared with women that eat very little fish or none at all. Beware that fish often contains mercury but it also contains selenium, which has a protective effect.
– and lack of vitamin D increases the risk
The minority of people think about the danger of sepsis, which is a serious blood poisoning. However, according to WHO, sepsis is rather common and it is the third leading cause of death, only surpassed by cardiovascular diseases and cancer. According to Ugeskrift for Læger (the journal of the Danish Medical Association), it is a paradox that Denmark has no official registry of the rate and high mortality of sepsis. Also, the risk of getting sepsis and dying of the condition is heavily increased if you lack vitamin D, according to an Iranian study that is published in Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine. We need to focus more on sepsis, including diagnosis, swift treatment, and prevention of this life-threatening disease.
Neurological diseases are on the rise and Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of dementia. Now, scientists from Boston University have discovered that slow-moving brain waves during our sleep initiate a cleansing process in the brain that protects against Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other neurological disorders. Also, a study of men conducted by scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden demonstrated that as little as a single night without sleep increases levels of proteins that serve as biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. It is therefore essential to sleep properly every single night so that we can remain mentally alert and vital. In cases where the normal guidelines for healthy sleep prove to be of little use, supplementing with the “sleep hormone” melatonin may turn out to offer relief.
Coronary occlusion is the leading cause of death worldwide. Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire and this disease is characterized by atherosclerosis and early death. Diet and lifestyle are of vital importance and the same goes for vitamin D. According to a new American study that is published in Nutrients, people whose blood levels of vitamin D are above the official threshold levels have fewer biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
A lot of sports and fitness disciplines are indoor activities. According to a new American study, this increases the risk of becoming vitamin D-deficient. Not only can a vitamin D deficiency hamper your performance, it can also increase your risk of acute infections, chronic inflammation, osteoporosis, cancer, and a number of other health problems. To make matters worse, people living at northern latitudes can only synthesize vitamin D in their skin during the summer period where the sun sits high in the sky, and the body’s vitamin D stores are limited during the winter period.
The blood supply to the retina of the eye is crucial for good vision. For that reason, experts recommend taking antioxidant supplements against eye diseases caused by an impaired blood supply to the retina. Although there is lacking evidence for the effectiveness of such supplements it appears now that Q10 and other antioxidants may improve vision when used in combination with conventional therapies, according to a Spanish study that is published in Nutrients. Because the body has difficulty with absorbing Q10 from supplements it is important to choose a supplement that has good bioavailability.
As you grow older your skeletal muscle slowly dwindles, you lose muscle strength, and your figure changes. This phenomenon is known as sarcopenia and is one of the main reasons why older people gradually become frail and perhaps even invalid. Both diet and exercise play an important role and according to a new study from Trinity College Dublin, lack of vitamin D also plays a major contribution to the development of poor muscle control in people from 60 years of age and older. It doesn’t make things easier that we are only able to synthesize vitamin D in our skin during the summer period and the ability to do so decreases with age. For that reason, older people should pay careful attention to getting plenty of vitamin D all year round to maintain as much muscle mass as possible and ensure that their muscles function properly.
- but fish oil helps as prevention
Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. The diet has huge importance and according to a new Polish study, eating more fish with omega-3 fatty acids may help lower the risk of developing the disease. The study supports earlier research by showing that in order to prevent breast cancer, it is vital to consume plenty of omega-3. The best sources of these essential fatty acids are oily fish and fish oil supplements. The preventive effect of omega-3 is increased additionally if you also get plenty of vitamin D and selenium.
The number of children and adolescents with ADHD has skyrocketed in the past decade, and the human and socioeconomic costs are enormous. A major cause may be the widespread problems with vitamin D deficiency, according to a study from Turku University in Finland. It does not make things any easier that sun awareness campaigns fail to give people an alternative way of getting enough vitamin D all year around, and it is also a problem that many pregnant women don’t take their supplements as recommended.
The mitochondria are the energy-producing powerplants in cells that have numerous essential functions. They need plenty of vitamin D, which we get from the sun, but they also require melatonin, a substance that we synthesize in response to nightfall. Around the clock, these two compounds complement each other in protecting the mitochondria and the cells. But ageing and our modern lifestyle may reduce the body’s ability to produce the two substances and this may lead to insomnia and a host of different diseases such as infections, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, dementia, and cancer. Of course, older people are more vulnerable. However, with supplements it is possible to compensate for the reduced endogenous synthesis of melatonin and vitamin D, according to an article that is published in The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
An international science team from the University of Surrey in England has found a link between low selenium levels in the soil and the risk od COVID-19 infections becoming lethal. Professor Margaret Rayman, who headed the study, has spent decades studying the global lack of selenium that is known to impair the ability of the immune system to tackle virus infections and new epidemics. The farmlands in large parts of the world, including Europe and China, are low in selenium, and it is vital to have more focus on this essential nutrient.
Australian scientists are about to initiate the first clinical trial of intravenous zinc therapy for COVID-19 patients. Zinc is important for our immune capacity but it also helps counteract organ damage caused by an impaired oxygen supply to the cells and hyperinflammation. Zinc deficiencies are common, especially among older people, chronically ill, and other exposed groups.
Lack of vitamin D is rather common and taking large quantities of the nutrient can not only protect against virus infections like COVID-19 but even counteract the life-threatening complications in those affected with the disease, according to a new, comprehensive, Irish report (TILDA) from Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin in Ireland). The TILDA report supports many other published studies showing that the immune system is unable to function without vitamin D. The main focus in the battle against COVID-19 is hygiene, isolation, and delayed immunization with vaccines. However, it is also essential to bolster the immune defense, as this determines the difference between being able to ward off the infection, suffer mild symptoms only, or succumb. The scientists recommend that all adults take a high-dosed vitamin D supplement, especially older people, nursing home residents, chronically ill people, hospital patients, health professionals and other exposed groups. That way, we are better protected against future epidemics.
Sleep removes toxic waste products from the brain and lack of deep sleep increases the risk of poor well-being, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and a host of other diseases. According to the American sleep researcher, Dr. Stasha Gominak, poor sleep quality is often linked to vitamin D deficiency. First of all, we need vitamin D to synthesize acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is necessary for reaching the deep sleep stage. Secondly, certain gut bacteria need vitamin D in order to produce vitamin B5 and other B vitamins that are necessary for proper sleep. On the other hand, taking high-dosed supplements with vitamin B5 and B12 may in some cases make it difficult to fall asleep. A healthy sleep pattern requires both vitamin D and B vitamins in the exact right amounts.
- that you can correct with diet changes and supplements
PCOS – or polycystic ovary syndrome – is a problem that occurs in 5-10 percent of women of childbearing age. It is the most common cause of involuntary infertility. Related symptoms include tiredness, hirsutism (male hair growth), acne, and irregular menstrual periods. PCOS is often linked to instable blood sugar, increased risk of insulin resistance, overweight, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that causes slow metabolism. Diet and exercise mean a lot in terms of prevention and treatment. The same is the case with different vitamins and minerals. We will be looking closer at B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10, plus magnesium, zinc, selenium, chromium, iodine, and fish oil. We will also be looking at how relevant supplements, according to science, can help control blood sugar levels and the hormone balance.
- intake that also reduces their need for medicine
An estimated 334 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, which is associated with chronic inflammation. Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent the disease and improve therapies by reducing inflammation in the upper respiratory tract. Also, omega-3 reduces the need for corticosteroids and other types of asthma medicine. In fact, the diet plays a vital role in the development of asthma, and overweight individuals seem to benefit particularly much from an increased omega-3 intake, according to a study that is published in Nutrients. But how much omega-3 does it take to inhibit inflammation, and why are oily fish and fish oil supplements better sources?
There is a clear link between magnesium intake and the risk of heart diseases and sudden cardiac death in postmenopausal women, according to a study that is published in Journal of Women’s Health. Unfortunately, many women are not diagnosed with heart disease at a sufficiently early stage. It is also a fact that many postmenopausal women take calcium supplements for bone health. However, if they also lack magnesium, which is responsible for the calcium distribution in the body, the calcium supplements may instead increase the risk of coronary atherosclerosis. According to new and earlier research, we must focus a lot more on telling women how important it is to get enough magnesium at all stages of life – not least after menopause.
Chronic heart failure is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects millions of people worldwide. A group of scientists recently looked at the relation between chronic heart failure and zinc deficiency and how zinc supplementation can improve heart health by various accounts. The scientists also investigated why zinc deficiencies are so common. Their study is published in the Journal of Cardiac Failure.
Many young men have poor sperm quality and the underlying cause is often unknown. The health of sperm cells depends a lot on omega-3 but a large number of men lack these essential fatty acids. Fish oil supplements have been shown to improve several sperm parameters, according to a large Danish study that is published in JAMA. The scientists behind the study suggest that men may benefit from taking fish oil supplements to improve their fertility and increase the odds of successful conception. However, they also point out that it typically takes one to two months for the optimal effect to show, and you must continue taking the fish oil supplement to maintain the results.
Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the electrical system of the heart. It is also one of the most common heart disorders and can be both harmless and potentially life-threatening. Lack of vitamin D increases the risk of normal atrial fibrillation and postoperative atrial fibrillation, according to a meta-analysis that is published in the scientific journal Nutrition. Vitamin D deficiencies are rather common so it is important to make sure to get enough of the nutrient for preventing and treating this disorder.
- which many people lack
It is not the actual COVID-19 virus that can become lethal. It is the immune system’s overreaction with hyperinflammation and a storm of cytokines that destroys healthy tissue in the lungs, the cardiovascular system, and other places in the body, according to a new article that is published in The Lancet. The capacity of the immune system determines if an infection like COVID-19 is either harmless or life-threatening. For that reason, hygienic measures, masks, isolation, and delayed vaccines are not sufficient. We also need to bolster our immune system against COVID-19 and other pandemics that may occur in the future. Let’s look closer at vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium and zinc, all of which are essential for preventing a well-functioning immune system from going off its rails. What is also worth mentioning is that many people lack these nutrients, especially older people and other exposed groups.
- for pregnant women and others
Folic acid supplements are typically recommended to people with anemia and to expecting mothers. However, folic acid supplements can also be important for the cardiovascular system, the brain and memory, and for preventing stroke. The widespread lack of this nutrient is a result of poor diets, pregnancy, ageing, alcohol abuse, and the consumption of birth control pills and various types of medicine.
- and why is the problem so common?
Lack of vitamin B12 can cause pernicious anemia, which WHO considers a global threat. Vitamin B12 is primarily known for its role in red blood cell formation, whereas its role in the brain and nervous system is often overlooked. A vitamin B12 deficiency can easily lead to disabling damage if it goes unnoticed. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that prevents people from absorbing vitamin B12 from food. The condition is potentially life-threatening but is difficult to diagnose and many people go untreated, according to Associate Professor Heidi Seage, who is affiliated with the Pernicious Anaemia Society. A worsening factor is the climate debate that has inspired an increasing number of people to turn to vegetarianism and veganism. Plant-based diets are known to cause vitamin B12 deficiency, and the problem is insidious and therefore not easy to detect. The use of diabetes medication (such as metformin) can also deplete the body’s levels of vitamin B12
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is quite common among women of childbearing age and can easily make their lives miserable for years, causing both physical and mental discomfort several days a month. A possible cause can be lack of vitamin D, and it looks as if high-dosed supplementation with the nutrient can relieve PMS by controlling inflammation markers and influencing the body’s antioxidant capacity. This was shown in an Iranian study that is published in Scientific Reports. It is worth noting that we need magnesium to activate vitamin D in order for the body to be able to use it optimally.
– and could even make them more dangerous
Selenium is of vital importance to a strong immune defense. Still, selenium deficiency is a common problem and it increases the risk of viral infections such as influenza and the coronavirus from China, which is feared to turn into a global pandemic. It is a problem that selenium deficiency in infected animals and humans causes the virus to mutate and become more aggressive. Because of selenium’s important role as a powerful antioxidant, being deficient of this micronutrient may leave the body vulnerable to oxidative stress, which can cause tissue damage and complicate the virus infection. It is therefore important to get enough selenium at all times, as it also increases our resistance towards other viral infections such as herpes, HIV, and hepatitis, according to an article published in Nutrients.
It is hardly a coincidence that sore throats, colds, flus, and related complications such as sinus infections and pneumonia typically circulate during the winter period. They are primarily a result of having low vitamin D levels. During the winter, the sun sits too low in the sky to enable vitamin D synthesis in our skin, and we only have a limited amount of the nutrient stored in the liver. Good hand hygiene, warm soup, garlic, echinacea and other immune-boosting herbs alone will not deal with the problem, as they can never compensate for our lack of essential vitamin D, which the white blood cells of our immune system need in order to silently kill of virus. But how much vitamin D do we need, is it possible to get too much, and which mineral is necessary for activating the vitamin?
The coronavirus has spread from Wuhan in China to a number of continents, where it has caused massive fear and affected daily life and the global economy. Although most people that get the infection experience a mild course of events, the greatest fear is the potentially life-threatening complications in the respiratory system caused by oxidative stress, which have already taken thousands of human lives. Chinese scientists now call for early intravenous therapy with large doses of vitamin C to prevent oxidative stress and the life-threatening complications that follow in the wake of a derailed immune system. Many researchers also claim that higher intake of vitamin C from dietary sources or supplements help prevent by boosting and regulating the immune system in the upper respiratory tract. The same goes for vitamin D and selenium.
- and supplements can often help
Depression is on the rise. The problem is often caused by inflammation in the brain. The British neuro-immunologist, Edvard Bullmore, has published the thought-provoking book called The Inflamed Mind, in which he describes the link between root canal treatment and depression, among other things. David Perlmutter, a neurologist, has written the book, Grain Brain, where he describes how gluten combined with carbohydrate overload also can cause inflammation in the brain. Depression, in other words, may occur when the blood-brain barrier is not as impermeable as assumed, and when the cytokines of the immune defense are able to cause undesirable brain inflammation. Numerous studies have shown that fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, and selenium can improve a person’s mood by counteracting inflammation in the brain and other sites, and there is often a connection. It requires therapeutic doses, however, and it is vital that the supplements have good bioavailability, so the active substances reach the cells.
High-dosed supplementation with coenzyme Q10 is able to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks, which is because the compound reduces levels of a brain peptide that causes pain and inflammation. This was shown in a groundbreaking study that is published in Nutritional Neuroscience. Pharmaceutical companies are now working around the clock to develop a patentable drug that is able to block this peptide, but migraine sufferers may just as well use Q10. It is already available without a prescription. Always choose a high-quality product with documented bioavailability to ensure that the Q10 molecules reach the energy-producing mitochondria of the cells. The reason why migraine sufferers may have an increased need for coenzyme Q10 is that they have mitochondrial defects.
People whose dietary consumption of vitamin B2 is more than twice the amount that is officially recommended have significantly fewer migraine attacks, according to a new study published in Neurology. Earlier studies also show that high-dosed vitamin B2 supplementation has a positive effect. It is important to pay attention to the factors that impair the body’s utilization of vitamin B2.
- and there are no side effects
Rheumatism is the most widespread chronic disease in Denmark, and many people experience a worsening of the symptoms during the winter period. The majority of people take anti-inflammatory drugs for years, but this increases their risk of bleeding stomach ulcers and other side effects, not to mention premature death. The underlying cause is chronic inflammation and it is a problem that is not properly addressed. For decades, Nobel Prize-winners and other scientists have revealed what causes chronic inflammation and how the problem in many cases can be helped with various supplements that help cure the pain. In the following, we have summarized a lot of the research that has been conducted with vitamin D, fish oil, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and glucosamine, and we have looked at why the anti-inflammatory lifestyle has become such a health trend. It is essential to use supplements that contain the different ingredients in therapeutic doses and with a quality that allows the body to absorb and utilize the active compounds.
Melanoma can be very dangerous if it is not treated in time, but a study from the University of Leeds in England shows that vitamin D affects melanoma cells and makes them less aggressive. According to the scientists behind the study, this revelation may lead to new therapies. It is a problem, however, that health authorities warn people against sun exposure without informing about alternative ways to optimize vitamin D levels. The sun during the summer period is our main source of vitamin D, so we just have to make sure not to get burned. At our latitudes, it is a good idea to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter period. According to other studies, the nutrient prevents cancer by way of several different mechanisms.
- and a melatonin deficiency plays a crucial role
Sleep deficiency is a common problem that is linked to lifestyle, and many people actually get used to it. Still, chronic lack of sleep is very bad for your health and is associated with accelerated ageing and a risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study that is published in the science journal, Communication Biology. Research from the last decades has demonstrated how the hormone, melatonin, optimizes sleep and serves as a powerful antioxidant that protects cells. One of the world’s leading melatonin researchers, Dr. Walter Pierpaoli, refers to melatonin as the “miracle hormone” that is able to delay ageing by way of several mechanisms. In the following, you can read more about the ageing process, how to optimize your melatonin levels, and why a melatonin supplement can be a perfect solution with a positive impact on your health and life expectancy.
Many women gain weight during pregnancy and have great difficulty with losing the excess pounds afterwards. According to a new study that was presented at an international endocrinology conference, a possible explanation may be lack of vitamin B12, which is a nutrient that helps the body metabolize fat. The researchers therefore suggest that it may be a good idea to take a vitamin B12 supplement during pregnancy, as overweight may eventually lead to health problems such as type 2 diabetes. There can also be emotional consequences of being overweight.
- and help prevent atherosclerosis
On a global scale, atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death due to heart failure or stroke. Atherosclerosis causes symptoms such as breathing difficulty, calf pain, impotence, and poor memory as a result of organs and tissues not getting enough blood and oxygen. Because the condition develops slowly and many people are not even aware of its presence before it is too late, early prevention is vital. According to a study that is published in the science journal Circulation, four grams of fish oil daily can lower levels of triglycerides, a blood lipid that is considered to be more harmful than cholesterol. It is also important to address the indirect causes of elevated triglyceride levels such as overweight, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Consuming too many carbohydrates may even cause fatty liver and result in excess triglyceride production. On the other hand, triglycerides also have health properties, which we will take a closer look at for clarity.
We all know that calcium is good for your bones, and many people actually supplement with calcium to prevent osteoporosis. But even without supplementation, we get plenty of calcium from dairy products, and too much calcium from supplements can lead to a tenfold increase in the risk of dying of cancer, according to a new study that is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Earlier studies reveal that too much calcium also increases your risk of atherosclerosis and inflammation, a common thread in most chronic illnesses. It is also important to know that your calcium ingestion should be properly balanced with magnesium. If the balance is right, most of the calcium ends up in the bones where it belongs instead of wreaking havoc in the blood vessels and in other soft tissues where calcium essentially does not belong.
- then read more about the best enzymes, vitamins, and minerals for your energy levels
We all need loads of energy to help us through the day feeling on top of the world. Needless to say, this requires stable blood sugar levels, daylight, exercise, and a good night’s sleep. But what are the energy-providing substances in our food? And why are Q10 and particular vitamins and minerals so essential for our energy metabolism and our physical and mental well-being? An article recently published in Medical News Today looks at this and explains that being deficient of a single nutrient can affect our metabolism, energy levels, and weight regulation. Luckily, this can be compensated for so we get the necessary energy boost.
- and deficiencies increase your risk of anxiety, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, schizophrenia, and other neurological diseases
Psychological disorders represent society’s single largest disease burden, and an increasing number of people are affected by it. There can be a variety of causes, and lack of vitamin D appears to be an alarming risk factor. This is because vitamin D is involved in a host of different functions that are relevant for brain neurons, including signaling substances and the brain’s reward system that affects our mood. Vitamin D also helps protect the brain against toxins, atherosclerosis, and inflammation, according to a review article that is published in the science journal Cureus. But there are questions that need to be answered. How much vitamin D do we need? Can we get enough from sun exposure? Is there enough vitamin D in a regular vitamin pill? Why do children, seniors, pregnant women, overweight individuals, and dark-skinned people have an increased need for vitamin D? And which mineral is extremely important for the body’s ability to utilize vitamin D?
– and that can save lives
Heart attack is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. A heart attack may cause permanent damage to the cardiac muscle and that can impair the patient’s quality of life. According to a new pre-clinical study that is published in Redox Biology, immediate treatment with vitamin E may counteract lasting cardiac damage, and the researchers believe this could represent a new and inexpensive treatment option. Earlier studies have shown that high-dosed supplementation with pharmaceutical-grade Q10 significantly improves both quality of life and survival in patients with chronic heart failure.
People with celiac disease are hyper-sensitive towards gluten, which we get from wheat and other grains. Gluten triggers inflammatory processes in the mucosa of the small intestine, impairing the uptake of nutrients. At the time of being diagnosed with the condition, people are often severely deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, zinc, and copper. That problem should be addressed, according to a large study from the Mayo Clinic, a large, non-profit medical center based in Minnesota, USA. A growing number of people are affected by celiac disease that is linked to digestive problems plus other symptoms that are often misdiagnosed because the patient lacks vital nutrients. In this article, you can read about the difference between celiac disease and other types of gluten intolerance and find out how to deal with the problem.
The number of seniors in the world is growing. It hardly comes as a surprise that old people wish to stay mentally and physically fit and enjoy every minute of the of life. Nonetheless, many middle-aged and older people feel tired and lethargic, or they suffer from chronic diseases that impair their quality of life and are associated with shorter life expectancy. In his book, Coenzyme Q10 – An Insider’s Guide, Dr. William V. Judy looks closer at how Q10 is able to delay the ageing process at a cellular level by increasing energy levels, supporting heart health, and preventing atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases that are linked to ageing. Combined supplementation with Q10 and selenium can even delay the risk of early death by over 50 percent. Dr. Judy makes a point of saying how important it is to choose pharmaceutical-grade Q10 that the body can absorb and utilize.
On a global scale, cardiovascular disease and coronary occlusion cause more deaths than any other factor. However, according to a large meta-analysis from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA, people who take fish oil have a lower risk of atherosclerosis and cardiac failure than those, who do not take the supplements. The study also revealed that high-dosed fish oil supplementation delivers more health benefits than the lower doses. Atherosclerosis develops gradually, and millions of people die every year because of this problem, which means that even minor changes such as taking supplements and eating a healthier diet, can improve quality of life and prevent many deaths. So, according to the new study, how much fish oil is needed in order to obtain the optimal cardiovascular effect?
It has been known for a long time that a lack of vitamin D increases your risk of overweight. Now, an Italian study gives a whole new view on low vitamin D and how it is linked to elevated levels of TMAO (Trimethylamine N-oxide), a metabolite that increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver and accompanying complications such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The scientists also looked at the gut flora’s and the liver’s roles in TMAO production and the fact that low vitamin D levels and overweight are a vicious cycle. It appears that overweight people need more vitamin D than the recommended level. In terms of non-alcoholic fatty liver, we will also be looking at the controversial delicacy, foie gras, and the fact that carbohydrate overconsumption burdens your liver.
Blood poisoning, also called sepsis, is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. A combination of high-dosed, intravenously administered vitamin C may, however, shorten the hospital stay and lower the risk of dying, according to a study that is published in Journal of the American Medical Association. The study supports earlier research where a combination of intravenous vitamin C and vitamin B1 delivered even better results. These are simple and inexpensive therapies that can save lives by supporting the immune system and limiting damage to the cardiovascular system, the lungs, and other tissues.
More and more people are affected by depression, and many do not benefit from medical therapy, which may even cause serious side effects. It is already known that magnesium supplementation can relieve symptoms of depression, but science does not fully understand the exact mechanisms, and it is uncertain magnesium levels in the blood can be used to predict the outcome of therapy. A team of scientists from University of Vermont, USA, wanted to study this closer and they managed to find a relation. It is important to remember not to consume too much calcium in relation to magnesium, as this may stress the cells and set the stage for depression and variety of diseases. The question is how much of these two essential nutrients do we need?
Pneumonia is a serious disease, from which more than one million people die each year. A team of scientists from Melbourne University in Australia has now discovered how the trace element zinc strengthens the immune system and helps it fight pneumococcus, which is the leading cause of pneumonia. Their research also shows that zinc deficiencies are rather common. Getting too little zinc can be a result of poor eating habits as well as vegetarian and vegan diets. There is also the fact that ageing processes, sugar, birth control pills and inorganic iron supplements can impair the body’s uptake and utilization of zinc. If the immune system lacks this vital nutrient, it may increase your risk of sick days and perhaps even be life-threatening in worst case.
The global differences in prostate cancer rates reveal that this type of cancer is associated with lifestyle. For example, Inuits have a very low rate of prostate cancer, which is attributed to their high intake of omega-3 fatty acids from seal, salmon, and other maritime sources. It turns out that the content of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA in prostate cells is a determining factor for how and if the disease develops, according to a new study that is published in Nutrients. Selenium also has anti-cancer properties, especially with relation to prostate cancer, and there are other dietary measures that can make a difference.
Elevated blood pressure is the main cause of stroke, cardiovascular disease and early death. For quite some time, there has been evidence that intake of fruit and vegetables affects the risk of developing elevated blood pressure. Science has not yet studied if this is due to the antioxidants in our diets, but a team of French scientists has looked closer at this. The researchers found that the total amount of antioxidants in our diet may lower by 15 percent the risk of elevated blood pressure. The potassium in fruit and vegetables also play a determining role in blood pressure management, and the same goes for Q10 – provided you take quality supplements with proper absorption.
Everyone knows that exercise and sports activities are good for you, but overtraining and high-performance sport may increase your risk of oxidative stress, which is associated with acute injuries, inflammation and later risk of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It is therefore a good idea to take antioxidant supplements, as this may help prevent both acute and chronic injuries. A comprehensive article published in the science journal Nutrients looks closer at the relation between free radicals and antioxidants, which have different functions in connection with various types of physical activity. This is especially the case with vitamins A, C, and E plus selenium and zinc. It is also important to make sure to get enough vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids for counteracting inflammation and oxidative stress.
Allergic diseases such as asthma, hay fever, food allergies and contact dermatitis are becoming increasingly common. It makes a big difference to breastfeed for at least six months because breast milk contains various compounds that strengthen the child’s gut flora and immune defense. Vitamin D supplements are also important, and Icelandic research suggests that is pays off to continue giving them to children until the age of six years. Unfortunately, many parents forget to give their children vitamin D until the age of two, as recommended. Also, many children get too little sunlight during the summer period and don’t get vitamin D supplements when it is winter, and that is something we all need at these latitudes.
Increased intake of magnesium from dietary sources or from supplements is associated with significantly healthier knees, including improvements like thicker cartilage. But many people lack magnesium and that most likely helps explain the widespread problems with knee osteoarthritis, according to a study that is published in the journal Nutrients. If you already have osteoarthritis, taking pharmaceutical-grade glucosamine may help.
A good night’s sleep with accompanying dream activity is essential. It helps us recharge our batteries and process the things that have happened during the day. Magnesium is important for our ability to relax, which helps us fall asleep faster. According to an Australian study, high-dosed supplementation with vitamin B6 just before bedtime helps us remember our dreams. Moreover, magnesium and vitamin B6 have a synergistic effect on stress, so it is vital to get enough of these nutrients, as stress is a frequent cause of poor sleep. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are also important for the body’s ability to produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
- and the nutrient also has anti-cancer properties
Cancer patients, who take high-dosed vitamin D supplements for at least three years may live longer, according to a study from Michigan State University, USA. It is not enough to treat cancer with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. You also have to optimize the body’s vitamin D status. It is a problem that vitamin D deficiency is so common because it helps long-term prevention if you have adequate levels of the nutrient in your blood. The question is how much do we need, and is the sun sufficiently powerful to enable us to synthesize vitamin D in our skin during the winter period?
A woman’s estrogen balance is of vital importance to her fertility, mucosa, mood, libido, bones, cancer preventions, and many other things. There are also many myths about estrogen, which is merely a common term for the three types of estrogen – estradiol, estrone, and estriol – that have widely different functions. Like progesterone, stress hormones, and testosterone, estrogen belongs to the group of steroid hormones, where one hormone is built from another with help from enzymes. These enzymes depend on various nutrients such as iodine, vitamin D, magnesium, and selenium. If we lack these nutrients it may increase our risk of hormone imbalances, hot flushes, dry mucosa, bladder problems, and breast cancer. You can also read more about hormone-disrupting substances, hormone therapy, and bioidentical hormones.
Intensive care units in hospitals offer treatment for critically ill patients, who are monitored and receive specialist care around the clock. It goes without saying that this type of medical attention is associated with both suffering and comes with a huge price tag. A whole new meta-analysis has shown that vitamin C supplementation is an inexpensive way to shorten the duration of intensive care hospitalization by eight percent. The reason is that vitamin C has a host of important functions in the body, including an ability to speed up the healing process.
The majority of supplements with vitamins and minerals fails to extend life or protect against cardiovascular disease, although fish oil does seem to have a good effect, according to a large review from John Hopkins University. On the other hand, a Danish study shows that blood levels of vitamin D are crucial for a person’s expected lifespan, and a groundbreaking Swedish study shows that patented supplements with Q10 and selenium benefit older people by improving their cardiac health and reducing cardiovascular mortality by 50%. What matters is to use supplements that contain nutrients in the right quantity, which have a proper quality and can be absorbed by the body. In the following, you can read more about the different studies and learn how you can improve your heart health and increase your chances of a longer life.
A growing number of children and teenagers suffer from anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems. Although there may be a number of underlying causes, it appears that vitamin D deficiency may be a contributing factor, according to a study that is published in the Journal of Nutrition. The problem is only made worse by the fact that many youngsters get too little sunlight during the summer period and that sun awareness campaigns warn against sun exposure without informing people about alternative ways of getting vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bones but also for the brain, the nervous system, the immune defense, and many other physiological processes.
- and there is focus on nutrient deficiencies
The whole climate debate has made it increasingly popular to become a vegetarian or a vegan. However, according to a new and comprehensive study from Oxford, this choice of lifestyle may have grave health consequences and can increase your risk of apoplexy, also known as stroke, cerebral hemorrhage or cerebral thrombosis. The study is published in British Medical Journal. Earlier studies also give rise to concern, as a plant-based diet often lacks protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, selenium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, and that can increase the risk of thyroid disorders, neurological disorders, infections, chronic inflammation, impaired fertility, growth disturbances in children etc. Some of these deficiencies are insidious and difficult to link to the diet.
Alcohol is one of the most compromising factors when it comes to public health, and alcohol abuse comes at an enormous cost, both to the individual and to society. A large alcohol consumption contributes as a factor to insidious dementia, but according to a new study from Taiwan, supplementing with vitamin B1 (thiamine) may prevent alcohol-induced dementia. The scientists that have conducted the study therefore point to vitamin B1 supplementation as having an important role in the treatment plan for people with alcohol abuse problems and to prevent dementia from developing or progressing.
Each Dane consumes 12.3 kilos of candy on average every single year, which makes Denmark the single largest candy eaters worldwide, according to Euromonitor that has studied candy consumption in 100 different countries. This rather unhealthy champion status has a number of grave health consequences, as it affects our blood sugar levels, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. In the long run, it may lead to dependence on these quick “energy fixes” and contribute to problems with the immune system, insulin resistance, overweight, diabetes, digestive disorders and other lifestyle diseases. To make things worse, there is all the concealed sugar that we get from our diet. A new science project aims at developing methods for helping families improve their daily health. In the following, you can read more about the dangers of consuming too much sugar and what you can do to stabilize your blood sugar by distributing your energy intake and taking a supplement of the trace element chromium.
- and why are certain exposed groups at risk of deficiency: new report
Vitamin C plays a key role in our energy turnover, immune defense, connective tissue, wound healing, antioxidant protection, cardiovascular health, brain, and a host of different enzyme processes. An English population study has shown that having low blood levels of vitamin C is associated with poor physical condition and that may spawn a number of different symptoms. The researchers behind the study also found that people from lower social classes, smokers, men, and older people in general are more likely to be deficient. Alcohol abuse, sugar abuse, stress, and poisoning may also increase the need for the nutrient, which means that many people may benefit from taking a supplement or improving their diet. The big question is how much vitamin C do we actually need for optimal health?
Involuntary childlessness has become increasingly common. Many women find themselves in a race against time, and their biological clock keeps ticking louder and louder. Fertility therapies, miscarriages, preeclampsia, and other complications during pregnancy contribute to the physical and emotional burden. In a new Australian study that is published in Nutrients, the authors write about selenium and zinc and how these nutrients play an important role in fertility and a healthy pregnancy. They also address the problems with widespread selenium deficiency and point out that environmental toxins like mercury deplete levels of vital selenium-containing proteins in the body. The scientists point to supplements for fighting deficiencies, just like folic acid and iron are routinely recommended to pregnant women. It pays off to choose selenium yeast with multiple organic selenium compounds and organic zinc to help improve the bioavailability and utilization of the nutrients.
A growing number of people suffer from overweight and type 2 diabetes, both of which are problems that come at a cost both to society and to the individual. The traditional dietary guidelines are not of much use, and many people find themselves in a hopeless battle because they also suffer from insulin resistance with impaired cellular glucose uptake. Countless epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the widespread lack of vitamin D contributes to the problem. In a review article that is published in Nutrients, the scientists address vitamin D’s many functions with relation to blood glucose regulation, satiety, body weight, and prevention of type 2 diabetes. It should be noted that overweight people and type 2 diabetics may have an increased need for vitamin D, and magnesium is also required for activating the vitamin.
Those with a higher dietary intake of vitamin A than what is officially recommended are 17 percent less likely to develop the second-most common skin cancer compared with those who get limited quantities of the nutrient, according to a study from Brown University in the USA. Beware that vitamin A is found in different forms in various foods and that one of these forms (retinol) can be overdosed.
Diabetes is spreading with epidemic proportions, and an alarmingly high number of people are affected by metabolic syndrome, an early stage of diabetes that causes insulin resistance, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, and enlarged waist circumference. Ever since the 1970s, diabetics have been advised to stick with a low-fat diet consisting of bread, potatoes, and other carbohydrate sources. However, a new Danish study reveals that it is best to cut back on your carbohydrate intake. The new message to diabetics supports research from other parts of the world. Diabetics and people with sensitive blood sugar should focus on eating a diet with fewer carbohydrates, more protein, and more healthy fats. They should also make sure to get enough chromium, vitamin D, and magnesium, all of which are nutrients that support the body’s blood sugar levels. Furthermore, vitamin B12 and Q10 are important for those, who take diabetes medication and cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins).
- that is the common thread in most chronic diseases
Lack of dietary zinc may disrupt the immune defense and increase your risk of inflammation, which is the common thread in most diseases such as eczema, rheumatism, diabetes, and cancer. Zinc’s underlying mechanisms used to be relatively unknown, but a new study published in the science journal Immunology shows that zinc regulates the white blood cells of the immune system plus the formation of various proteins that are important for controlling inflammatory processes. Unfortunately, zinc deficiencies are widespread for a number of reasons.
Diabetes is spreading like a bushfire across the globe, but even if governments, doctors, and health authorities have tried desperately to bend the curve, they have not succeeded so far. On the contrary. Today, diabetes is controlled with help from different medical drugs that do not address the underlying cause and actually affect or organ systems. Because of this, diabetics often have impaired quality of life and shorter lifespans than healthy individuals. What is more, diabetics have widespread vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiencies, which are associated with diabetic neuropathy, which is a serious complication. Cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) are also linked to reduced levels of Q10, a compound that is necessary for energy turnover, the heart, and the cardiovascular system.
Heart failure is when the heart loses power and is no longer able to deliver blood to the different parts of the body. Typical symptoms are shortness of breath and physical exhaustion. There may also be symptoms like fluid retention, persistent coughing, chest tightness, increased sweating, or cold sensitivity. Chronic heart failure may be caused by different things, and it is a life-threatening condition. However, according to a study that is published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, magnesium supplementation can improve a type of heart failure called diastolic dysfunction. Previous studies have demonstrated that supplements of Q10 can also improve cardiac function in patients with heart failure.
Selenium is a trace element that supports over 30 essential selenoproteins, which have numerous functions. For the first time ever, a study of Mexican children reveals that lack of selenium delays the growth of pubic hairs and the development of sex organs in boys. It is a known fact that the agricultural soil in Mexico is low in selenium and that affects the entire food chain. The same is the case in Europe, for which reason farmers for decades have supplemented livestock with selenium as a way of improving fertility and preventing a number of deficiency problems. The big question is to what extent can selenium deficiency problems explain the impaired sperm quality that has been observed among young men? An estimated 500 million to one billon people worldwide get too little selenium from their diet.
- that can often be remedied with simple diet changes and specific supplements
The number of Danes suffering from one or several chronic diseases is a lot higher than previously thought, according to a group of scientists behind a new study from Danish Center for Healthcare Improvement at Aalborg University. Diseases such as hypertension, elevated cholesterol, depression, bronchitis, asthma, type 2 diabetes, rheumatism, and osteoporosis are among the most widespread ailments. Although there may be a reason of underlying factors, diet and lack of essential nutrients often play a key role. This is something that we have written about over the years on this website, and we have tried to gather some facts from various articles. Simple diet changes and the use of relevant nutritional supplements may play a key role in the treatment of these chronic ailments that come at a huge price, both to the individual sufferer and to society.
Expecting mothers should pay careful attention to getting enough vitamin D all year round, especially because vitamin D deficiencies are so commonplace, to begin with. Lack of vitamin D at birth and the first years of life is associated with an increased risk of infant hypertension, and the problem can even continue to adulthood. This was shown in a study that is published in the science journal Hypertension. The researchers advise pregnant women to have their vitamin D levels measured, and they even recommend vitamin D supplements for pregnant women and children as a way of preventing elevated blood pressure later in life.
Vitamin K occurs in different forms and has a variety of biological functions. A growing number of older people want to be able to manage on their own for as long as possible, which is why a team of scientists from Tufts University, USA, has taken a closer look at the risk factors that are known to impair mobility. The researchers discovered that lack of vitamin K is a serious problem. Other studies suggest that vitamin K deficiencies are quite widespread because older people tend to change their diet habits and use cholesterol-lowering medicine.
Vitamin D is essential for muscle function and normal muscle size, according to a new study that is carried out by scientists at Westmead Institute for Medical Research in Sidney. Lack of vitamin D may result in impaired muscle function, including such problems as poor physical fitness level, muscle tension and loss of muscle mass.
- and increases the risk of degenerative disease and early death
It is commonly known that degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney ailments, and liver diseases are often linked to poor quality of life and shorter lifespan. Supplementing with Q10, possibly in combination with selenium yeast, may have a positive influence on the mentioned conditions and lower your risk of premature death by as much as 50 percent or more. In fact, Q10 can help delay the ageing processes by protecting the heart, cardiovascular system, and cells, according to a large review article published online by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). As mentioned in this article, it is essential to use supplements that are pharmaceutical-grade in order to ensure proper absorption in blood and tissue.
People in the Western part of the world consume far too much omega-6, primarily in the form of linoleic acid from vegetable oils and processed foods such as margarine, fries, chips, and ready meals. A new study that is published in The Journal of Physiology shows that this may be harmful during pregnancy and can increase the risk of complications and developmental disorders in the baby.
Earlier studies show that consuming too much omega-6 increases the risk of inflammation and cardiovascular disease. And it is essential to balance your intake of omega-3 and omega-6, whether you are pregnant or not.
Patients who take glucosamine for their osteoarthritis have a bonus effect: The preparation also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a large population study published in the science journal British Medical Journal. Always choose pharmaceutical-grade glucosamine so you are sure to obtain the desired effect.
- and do not have a clue
Global heating and the whole climate debate have greatly increased the number of vegans and vegetarians. Their intensions may be good, but what they do not know is that their lifestyle can lead to serious health problems. A Spanish study of vegetarians and vegans has shown that 11% of the study participants had subclinical or clinical vitamin B12 deficiency. Earlier studies supporting this finding. Because the problem is insidious, it is often difficult to see the link between the deficiency and the symptoms caused by anemia or disturbances in the nervous system. The lack of vitamin B12 may also increase the risk of impaired fertility and development disturbances in the fetus. It is therefore a good idea for vegans and vegetarians to take a vitamin B12 supplement.
Melatonin is primarily known as a sleep hormone and a powerful antioxidant. According to a new study, melatonin may even improve the condition of rats that have heart rhythm disturbances with an increased risk of heart attack. Melatonin’s ability to improve the heart function is not related to its antioxidant function, however, and that surprised the scientists behind the study. The new study was presented at an annual meeting for the American Physiological Society (APS) in Orlando. Melatonin has several vital functions, but as we age our endogenous production decreases. Not only does this affect our quality of sleep, it also has a negative impact on the heart and the body’s cells.
It is commonly known that fish oil with its high content of the two omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA helps prevent atherosclerosis. According to a new international study, it appears to be DHA that has the major effect. This new insight, which has surprised the scientists, is relevant to public health because cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death.
Get lots of sunlight. It is the richest source of vitamin D. Also make sure to take a vitamin D supplement if, for some reason or other, you are unable to get enough sun exposure – and most certainly during the winter period. Studies show that lack of vitamin D may lead to heart failure due to insulin resistance, which is an early stage of diabetes. In other words, having too little vitamin D in your blood may impair the heart’s ability to take up blood sugar and that can cause a morbid enlargement of the cardiac muscle. This was seen in an Indian study that is published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. The scientists see vitamin D as having huge potential in the prevention and treatment of cardiac failure plus insulin resistance and diabetes that is spreading like a bushfire.
Lack of dietary vitamin A increases the risk of skin infections and acne. Science has known for a long time that creams with synthetic vitamin A can be used against various skin problems, yet they do not know how vitamin A really works. Now, a study conducted by scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Texas, USA, reveals the underlying mechanisms by identifying a bactericidal skin protein that requires vitamin A in order to work. But what kind of vitamin is vitamin A really? When does it work optimally? And is there in fact vitamin A in carrots?
Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, certain gastrointestinal infections, and a host of other diseases are so-called autoimmune diseases that occur as a result of the immune defense overreacting and attacking the body’s own tissues. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have now mapped out exactly how vitamin D regulates the immune system. In fact, vitamin D may have a positive effect on autoimmune diseases such as sclerosis. But at our latitude, this provides that we get enough vitamin D from the sun in the summertime and take vitamin D supplements in the winter period. Besides, it is a problem that being overweight both increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency and sclerosis, while lack of magnesium makes it difficult for the body to activate vitamin D.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential, as they are needed to make cell membranes and support a host of biochemical functions. During pregnancy, there is a particular need for the two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA to support the growth and brain development of the child. Fish oil is a good source of these two fatty acids, and supplementing with them in the third trimester can prolong the pregnancy and increase birth weight, according to a Scandinavian study published in Journal of Nutrition. The study supports earlier studies of pregnant women, where it has been shown that fish oil lowers the risk of preterm delivery and complications such as development of disorders and death.
Scientists have discovered traces of antibiotic-resistant super bacteria (NDM-1) in the soil of Svalbard. This archipelago is located in the arctic ocean between the North Pole and Norway, several thousand kilometers from India where the bacteria was originally discovered. This is described in a study that is published in the science journal, Environment International. Bacteria with the resistance gene NDM-1 have now spread to a number of other countries and many people have lost their lives to them. Humans are also challenged by other antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the British health authorities consider this to be a larger threat to humans than climate change. But what causes these bacteria to develop resistance? And what vitamins and minerals are particularly important for bolstering the immune system? After all, our immune defense is our only way of protecting ourselves if antibiotics fail to work.
- and people are misguided
Unhealthy eating habits account for one in five deaths globally and are now considered the single most life-threatening risk factor. In most countries, people could reap a lot of health benefits and live longer by eating healthier diets, but it would be wrong to hold each individual responsible because there is an urgent need for international collaboration that involves politicians, agriculture, the food industry, and the health sector, according to a new study (The Global Burden of Disease) that is published in The Lancet. An earlier and larger Czech study published in the science journal Nutrients calls for a paradigm shift with regard to diet recommendations, claiming that the scaremongering about saturated fat and cholesterol should never have been introduced.
Parkinson’s disease, also known as shaking palsy, is one of the most common chronic disorders among older people. There is no effective cure at this point, and the only way to address the disease is to suppress the symptoms but that does not treat the underlying cause. Even though most cases of Parkinson’s disease are sporadic, it turns out that the hereditary variants of the disease are linked to mutations in a particular gene. A team of scientists from University of the Basque Country in Spain has discovered that vitamin B12 blocks the enzyme that is involved in these mutations. An earlier study has also shown that in newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients who have low levels of vitamin B12 the disease develops faster than in patients with higher levels of the nutrient.
The scientists therefore recommend supplementing with vitamin B12 to prevent or at least delay the disease. Earlier studies also show that vitamin B3 and Q10 may have a positive effect. So the reason that Parkinson’s disease is especially likely to affect old people is that they are at increased risk of lacking these essential nutrients.
Vitamin B1 is particularly important for carbohydrate metabolism, mental balance, and the production of gastric juice, which is essential for your digestion. Deficiencies and poor utilization of the nutrient typically occur as a result of unhealthy diets, lack of magnesium, overconsumption of sugar, alcohol, and other stimulants, and regular use of birth control pills and diuretics. The reason why alcoholics can binge drink is chronic vitamin B1 deficiency and life-threatening brain inflammation, both of which are problems that require immediate attention, according to a new review article in StatPearls. It is also believed that large quantities of vitamin B1 may prevent mosquito bites, but is this really true?
- with links to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders
The mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells that churn out energy in a process that involves oxygen, Q10, selenium, and other nutrients. Around 100 years ago, the German Nobel Prize winner, Professor Otto Warburg, demonstrated that even if cancer can be caused by a number of secondary factors, there is only one primary cause: alterations in the mitochondrial oxygen turnover. In his recent book, Tripping over the Truth, molecular biologist Travis Christoffersen describes how contemporary scientists confirm Warburg’s theories and says that we need to look at prevention and cancer treatment from an entirely different angle. Other studies show that Parkinson’s disease, migraine, senility, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders may be rooted in defects of the mitochondria that have many other functions besides delivering energy. It is therefore vital to take care of the mitochondria throughout life. You can read more about the ketogenic diet that optimizes mitochondrial energy turnover in different mitochondrial diseases.
Irritable bowel is the most common intestinal disorder and affects around 15 percent of the population. The symptoms are typically unstable digestion, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, and intestinal cramps. Several studies have shown that lack of vitamin D may cause the symptoms, and that taking a vitamin D supplement helps. This is because vitamin D is highly important for the intestinal immune defense and for controlling inflammation.
Peripheral circulatory disorders are primarily caused by clogged blood vessels in the extremities. Symptoms typically include walking-induced leg pain, cold hands and feet, or impotence caused by a poor blood supply. According to a new study that is published in the science journal Lipids, people with peripheral circulatory disorders have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood compared with people who do not suffer from these diseases. Omega-3 is believed to have several mechanisms that protect against atherosclerosis. It is also important to make sure to consume omega-3 in the right balance with omega-6.
Vitamin D is important for our bones, cardiovascular system, immune defense, and for preventing cancer. Still, vitamin D supplements are less effective if you are overweight and that may lead to a variety of problems, according to a new study that is published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. In other words, being overweight means that you have an increased need for vitamin D. Other studies even show that overweight individuals have an increased need for magnesium, which activates vitamin D in the liver and kidneys with help from different enzymes.
Swiss scientists have observed that if you take a type of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide riboside it increases the production of blood cells by improving their stem cells. This may help solve serious problems associated with anemia as a result of stem cell-based therapies that are used to treat leukemia and aggressive lymphomas.
Our ability to absorb zinc is reduced with age, and many older people lack zinc, even though there is plenty of zinc in the diet they eat. The trace element is involved in over 1,000 enzyme processes and is also an important antioxidant that protects our cells. Even minor zinc deficiencies can speed up ageing processes and contribute to skin and hair problems, infections such as bladder infections, chronic inflammation, elevated blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases. People with unhealthy diets, vegetarians, vegans, and older people are at particularly vulnerable. Certain types of medicine that many seniors take can also increase the risk of a zinc deficiency.
According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, vitamin D is able to protect overweight children against asthma caused by urban air pollution. Sunshine during the summer period is the main source of vitamin D, but due to our modern lifestyles, many people, including children, fail to get enough of the nutrient. This may have widespread consequences, as lack of vitamin D also increases the risk of overweight.
– and that may harm your fertility, metabolism, nervous system, and the growth of your child
Everyone is talking about the climate, and meat has lost popularity for a number of reasons. But let us keep our heads clear on the facts. There is a big difference between CO2 emissions, animal welfare, and the quality or quantity of meat on one hand and the nutritional aspects of meat on the other hand. Humans have been eating meat (including fish) for around two million years, and animal food sources have contributed to our large brains and development in general. Nonetheless, more and more people choose to become vegetarians, and the trend is especially popular among women. This gives rise for concern, as lack of protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, selenium, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids not only impairs fertility but even increases the risk of metabolic disorders, serious growth disturbances in children and a lot more. Some of these symptoms are insidious and therefore difficult to link to the diet.
- and cause serious physical and psychological disease
Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire, and taking the diabetes drug metformin increases the risk of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 deficiencies. Lacking these two important B vitamins is associated with fatigue and cognitive dysfunction that resembles dementia. This was shown in a study that is published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. An earlier study that was presented at an endocrinology conference in Glasgow suggested that type 2 diabetics that take metformin on a regular basis have their vitamin B12 status checked once a year to prevent irreparable damage to the nervous system. It is also important to focus on vitamin B6, which is also crucial for the brain and nervous system.
Bladder infection is one of the most widespread bacterial infections. It can lead to serious complications such as kidney infections and blood poisoning. A team of scientists from University of Queensland in Australia has discovered new details about zinc and its role in the immune defense, and how zinc helps the white blood cells fight coli bacteria that are the main cause of bladder infections. Women are more exposed than men, and there are some rather easy ways for them to prevent coli bacteria from spreading to the urinary tract.
- while omega-6 can aggravate the disease
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our diet have opposite effects on the severity of asthma in vulnerable children. Omega-3 appears to reduce the severity of asthma symptoms, while omega-6 seems to make the symptoms worse, according to an article published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine. The problem with modern diets is that they tend to contain far too little omega-3 and far too much omega-6. However, this is something one can correct with help from dietary changes and fish oil supplements.
Vitamin K occurs in various forms and has a number of different biological function. The most recent research focuses on vitamin K2, which is of vital importance to the body’s calcium distribution and therefore has a crucial role in bone building and in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Vitamin K2 is also important for various proteins that are involved in energy turnover, blood sugar regulation, and cancer prevention, according to a review article that is published in BioMed Research International. Actual vitamin K2 deficiencies are considered rare, yet there are studies to suggest that many people lack the nutrient due to altered diet habits and the use of cholesterol-lowering medicine. The question is how much vitamin K2 do we actually need?
Lack of selenium, an essential trace element, may cause thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, virus infections, AIDS, infertility, neurological disturbances, and cancer. An estimated one billion people worldwide are selenium-deficient. This is mainly a result of nutrient-depleted soil, which is a real problem in places like Europe. For decades, scientists have been warning about this problem, and a lot suggests that we need more than the officially recommended intake to protect ourselves effectively against disease, according to a review article published in StatPearls.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C are able to counteract chromium-6 poisoning, according to a new study that is published in Experimental Biology. Chromium-6 (hexavalent chromium) is used for many industrial purposes, and the different signs of poisoning such as cancer were described in the movie “Erin Brockovich” that is based on a true story. Now, Danish scientists even claim that the threshold level for chromium-6 is far too high and gives a false sense of security. It is vital to avoid exposure to chromium-6 and to get plenty of protective antioxidants. However, we depend on chromium-3 (trivalent chromium) for controlling our blood sugar levels.
Elevated blood pressure causes more premature deaths worldwide than any other factor. Blood pressure is regulated by a number of things such as diet and lifestyle. Science has also discovered that low blood levels of zinc contribute to high blood pressure because it impairs the ability of the kidneys to regulate sodium levels. This was demonstrated recently in a study that is published in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. Clinical zinc deficiencies are especially common among type 2 diabetics and people with kidney ailments. Subclinical zinc deficiency is also quite common. Even if you get plenty of zinc from your diet, the risk of poor zinc absorption increases with age. Vegetarian and vegan diets, overconsumption of calcium, drinking too much alcohol, using birth control pills and several types of medicine, plus certain other factors can also increase the risk of a zinc deficiency.
Tuberculosis (or TB) is one of most widespread diseases in the world. It claims millions of human lives every year, especially in underdeveloped countries. A team of scientists from Queen Mary University in London has discovered that vitamin D supplements can support therapies used in the treatment of multi-resistant TB, which can otherwise last quite a long time and comes at a considerable cost. Earlier studies have shown that vitamin D generally helps prevent the disease by supporting the immune system in different ways.
Stress is associated with a host of physical and psychological health problems such as headache, fatigue, tension, insomnia, sore throat, constipation, flu-like symptoms, depression, and anxiety. Stress is not all in your mind. It is a physiological condition that affects the whole body and increases your need for specific nutrients. Earlier studies carried out with humans and animals have shown that supplements of magnesium and vitamin B6 both have the potential to reduce stress symptoms. Now, a team of French scientists has carried out a randomized study showing for the first time ever that a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 administered to people with severe stress and magnesium deficiency works better than magnesium supplementation alone.
All cells in the body depend on vitamin D. Unfortunately, many people lack the nutrient, and the list of diseases caused by too little vitamin D is growing. A new study from Trinity College in Dublin shows that it is possible to measure vitamin D levels in hair, and this can reveal the large fluctuations that occur in the course of a year, and which an ordinary blood test fails to show. The scientists can see a huge potential with this new type of measurement, which can even be used on historical populations such as the ancient Egyptians or on prehistoric animals such as the mammoths.
Scientists from Queensland in Australia have discovered that vitamin D is of vital importance to the structure and health of the brain. Also, deficiencies of the nutrient may lead to dysfunctions and loss of cognitive skills plus depression and schizophrenia. More than one billion people worldwide are believed to lack vitamin D. This may have widespread consequences for their health and may even be linked to the huge increase in mental illnesses.
- and for the utilization of other nutrients
A healthy and regular digestion requires magnesium, a nutrient with several different mechanisms of action. Irritable bowel syndrome and constipation, both of which impair quality of life, are linked different conditions such as headache, bad mood, eczema, and aching joints. It is therefore essential to address such digestive disorders. In this article, we will take a closer look at magnesium and its role in a healthy digestive system as well as why magnesium deficiencies are so common.
An increased intake of B vitamins can help improve concentration and other cognitive skills in young patients that are about to develop schizophrenia and other psychoses, according to a study conducted by scientists from Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Australia. Here, it is important to consider all the different factors that may lead to a deficiency of the essential B vitamins, including unhealthy diets, too much sugar, energy beverages, alcohol, and other stimulants. It appears that the unhealthy lifestyle that many youngsters have increases their risk of psychoses. It is therefore not enough to treat them with anti-psychotic drugs and psychological therapy, if the brain and the nervous system lack essential nutrients.
According to a study from Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, there are certain compounds in fish oil that can prevent pregnancy complications that follow in the wake of a regular bacterial infection. These complications include miscarriage, preterm delivery, and infant death. There are an estimated 15 million premature deliveries per year on a global scale, and each year around one million babies die as a result of this. Preterm infants also have an increased risk of vision impairment, retarded physical development, and learning disabilities. The researchers therefore suggest new strategies for recommending nutritional supplements and fish oil supplements during pregnancy.
Most people think of vitamin C in connection with the immune defense, but as it turns out, the largest concentration of vitamin C is actually found in the brain. This is because vitamin C is enormously important for the energy turnover, the nervous system, and the cognitive skills, and this is described in a new review article. There is also evidence of widespread vitamin C deficiency, which may eventually impair cognitive skills and increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If a pregnant woman lacks vitamin C, it can disrupt the development of the baby’s brain. There is a number of factors that increase our need for the nutrient, so the big question is how much do we need to secure optimal brain function throughout life?
Alcohol has a greater negative impact on public health than most other things. It is commonly known that alcohol abuse burdens the liver and depletes the body of B vitamins. Now, scientists have also demonstrated that overconsumption of alcohol leaches vitamin C from the body, and they call for further studies to show that vitamin C supplements may help improve the health of alcoholics. It is also possible that vitamin C supplementation can limit the damage of short-term excessive drinking. Their new review article is published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.
This almost sounds too good to be true, but scientists from Germany and the United States have discovered that zinc combined with a compound found in cocoa beans, coffee beans, tea leaves, and grapes is able to activate a particular molecule that protects against oxidative stress. In ageing, oxidative stress holds a key role. It is caused by an imbalance between harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants. Although anti-ageing is normally conceived as something that can delay the exterior signs of ageing, it is really more important to slow down internal ageing such as atherosclerosis, fatigue, dementia, and early death in worst case. Many people lack zinc, and deficiencies of this nutrient are widespread and typically observed among vegetarians, vegans, older people, and pregnant and breastfeeding women. What the scientists are telling us now is that it is good for us to enjoy a little dark chocolate, coffee or tea in order to benefit even more from the zinc we get.
- and pre-diabetes and overweight caused by unstable blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is a global health problem, which is associated with cardiovascular disease, eye disorders, kidney disease, and amputations. Many people unwittingly have an early stage of diabetes called metabolic syndrome. This condition is characterized by insulin resistance, where the cellular uptake of glucose is impaired. This causes insatiety, and you risk eating too many sweets and other quick carbohydrates, which the body is unable to burn and therefore stores ad fat, instead. Many people who struggle with their weight also have insulin resistance and unstable blood sugar that affect their strength of will in terms of food choices and increase their risk of type 2 diabetes. A new meta-analysis has shown that chromium supplements may be useful as add-on therapy for type 2 diabetics. Chromium yeast has the best bioavailability, and specific dietary changes can positively influence your blood sugar levels, waist circumference, and weight.
– and many people are deficient of the nutrient
Overweight is a growing problem, bringing in its wake problems like type 2 diabetes that is spreading like a bushfire. Many people lead a hopeless battle against overweight, unaware that it is their insulin resistance that gets in the way. This is when cells have difficulty with absorbing sugar from the bloodstream. Now, a new Brazilian study has demonstrated that vitamin D increases insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering the risk of overweight and type 2 diabetes. Still, according to existing science, it is not possible to get enough vitamin D without sufficient exposure to sunlight. At our latitude, it is necessary to take a vitamin D supplement throughout the entire winter period.
There are countless reasons why an expecting mother must make sure to get plenty of vitamin D to support the health of her child. Neonates that lack vitamin D are 44% more likely to develop schizophrenia later in life compared with neonates that do not have a vitamin D deficiency. This was demonstrated by Danish and Australian researchers in a recent study. This vital knowledge may help prevent schizophrenia in the future, and the scientists therefore recommend more focus on the importance of having adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy.
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia. Science has observed changes in the brain that show decades before the disease surfaces. According to a study carried out by the Italian neurologist Lisa Mosconi, eating a Mediterranean diet helps lower the risk of some of these changes that signal the onset of the disease. The study results suggest that one can help prevent this common neurological disorder by eating Mediterranean-style food. What is also important is to focus on having stable blood sugar levels and getting the right nutrients that strengthen and protect the brain.
We need plenty of vitamin D for our bones and immune defense, for preventing cancer and so on, but if we lack magnesium, vitamin D does not work as expected. This is because magnesium is needed for activating vitamin D and enabling it to benefit the body’s cells and tissues. Magnesium also regulates blood levels of vitamin D, more specifically by increasing them if they are too low and lowering them if they are too high. This was demonstrated in a recent study from Vanderbilt University, the United States. The scientists call this highly important information, as there has been conflicting results from studies that compared blood levels of vitamin D in relation to colon cancer and various other diseases. Because magnesium deficiency is a widespread and overlooked problem, there is reason to believe that many people have difficulty with regulating levels of vitamin D in their blood. Also, they risk that their vitamin D does not have the desired effect in terms of preventing a host of different diseases.
A large Irish study has shown for the first time ever that people from 50 years of age and older, who are vitamin D-deficient, are more likely to develop depression.
The study also showed that vitamin D deficiencies are more widespread among seniors, and that taking a vitamin D supplement can make a significant difference. The study supports earlier studies that also link vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk of depression, including winter depression. It is essential to get enough vitamin D all year round, as the nutrient is important for many different processes in the brain and even helps protect against local inflammation that is associated with depression.
We all hope to remain mentally alert throughout life, to be able to manage on our own, and to avoid diseases such as dementia. The diet plays a major role, and blood levels of various B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and certain other nutrients are linked directly to brain activity and cognitive functions. This was demonstrated in a new study of elderly people, which is published in the science journal Neurolmage. At the same time, other studies show that there is widespread lack of these nutrients due to poor dietary habits, the use of pharmaceutical drugs, and lack of sunshine. This may have consequences for both public health and health care expenditure, unless one installs timely prevention by providing the brain with vitamins, essential fatty acids and all the other things on which it depends.
Premature infants have a higher risk of development disturbances. On a global scale, preterm delivery is the leading cause of death among children younger than five years of age. Pregnant women, who increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids by taking supplements of fish oil, are able to lower their risk of preterm delivery, according to a new Cochrane review article. Earlier studies show that increased intake of oily fish can also lower the risk of preterm delivery, but it is important that the expecting mother avoids eating predatory fish such as tuna and other types of fish that are likely to contain too much mercury.
Infertility affects around one in seven couples. WHO considers it a global health problem. One of the leading causes is impaired semen quality, and Danish, Norwegian, and German men have lower sperm quality than any other male populations. Impaired sperm quality may be a result of an unhealthy lifestyle with stress, tobacco, stimulants, and hormone-disrupting compounds. On the other hand, scientists from Mexico have found that supplements of zinc, selenium, Q10, and omega-3 have an effect on the number of sperm cells and their quality. Other studies show that zinc and selenium protect sperm cells and are important for testosterone levels.
Colon polyps are rather common, and there is a specific type of polyps that increases the risk of colon cancer, which is also a widespread problem. According to a new clinical study from the University of Leeds in England, a concentrated form of the omega-3 fatty acid, EPA, which is found in oily fish and fish oil supplements, helps reduce the number of colon polyps. The same is the case with aspirin. The two preparations work differently, however, depending on where in the colon the polyps are found, and aspirin may have long-term side effects. Earlier research has shown that supplements of selenium and antioxidants have a preventive effect, which appears to be even greater.
A higher intake of vitamin C is essential for people with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, both of which are early stages of type 2 diabetes. The reason for this, according to scientists from Oregon State University in the United States, is that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the damage that oxidative stress causes to our cells and cardiovascular system. The question is, how do we make sure to get enough vitamin C, and is eating loads of fruit and drinking a lot of juice a good or bad solution?
- and preventing cancer from spreading
Vitamin B6 is needed for over 150 enzyme processes and has an overlooked role in the prevention of inflammation, which is a common thread in most chronic diseases, including cancer. Severe vitamin B6 deficiencies are rare, but scientists believe that even moderate deficiencies of the nutrient can increase the risk of many diseases. Deficiencies and poor utilization are a result of unhealthy diets, ageing, stimulant abuse, hormone pills and certain medical drugs, which means that many people are at risk of lacking this important vitamin.
- here is a check list of typical signs and diseases
An estimated two billion people worldwide lack zinc. The essential trace element is involved in more than 1,000 different enzyme processes, besides being a powerful antioxidant that protects the body’s cells. Even minor zinc deficiencies can lead to impaired digestion, infections, skin problems, fatigue, impaired fertility, and DNA damage. Such deficiencies can eventually increase the risk of cancer and other diseases. People with unhealthy diets, vegetarians, vegans, older people, and pregnant and breastfeeding women are at particular risk of lacking zinc. Even if your diet provides sufficient amounts of zinc, different factors can affect the uptake and utilization of the nutrient, thereby increasing your body’s actual need.
Migraine is the most common neurological disorder. According to a large review article, which was published in the scientific journal, Nutrients, large doses of magnesium may be useful for treating migraine by several accounts. Many people lack magnesium and should therefore consider taking a supplement. Just make sure that it is a form of magnesium, which the body can absorb and utilize. Also make sure to consume magnesium in the right balance with calcium, and avoid other things that can trigger a migraine attack such as certain foods and chemicals.
Our skin is among the body’s organs that contains the most zinc, and the trace element is of vital importance to the formation and protection of skin cells. A zinc deficiency can therefore contribute to poor wound healing, sensitive skin, acne, eczema and other skin disorders, and hair loss, according to a new study that is published in the scientific journal Nutrients. Although clinical zinc deficiencies are rare in our part of the world, sub-clinical deficiencies are rather common. For instance, vegetarians, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and older people are particularly vulnerable. A large intake of sugar, calcium, and alcohol, the use of birth control pills and several types of medicine, plus certain diseases and other factors can also increase your risk of becoming zinc-deficient.
Phosphorous was discovered in the 1600s by an alchemist, who manage to make it from large quantities of urine. Ever since, phosphorous and similar compounds have been used to make matches, fireworks, nerve gas, bombs, manure, and pesticides. We hardly ever read or hear about phosphorous and its role in human health, but it is actually one of the most vital minerals, and it is important that we make sure to balance our levels of this mineral with calcium.
If you have a large waist circumference, you are more likely to have low blood levels of vitamin D, according to a study that was presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) in Barcelona in 2018. The researchers therefore suggest that overweight individuals with a large waist circumference have their vitamin D levels measured, as this may help prevent many of the health problems that are linked to low vitamin D levels, including such things as an increased risk of infections, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, winter depression, blood sugar irregularities, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
Everyone has the desire to stay as youthful as possible, to be healthy, and to be able to enjoy senior life with good cognitive functioning and the ability to remain physically active. Of course, this requires that we take good care of ourselves, and a healthy diet is extremely important. It turns out that having high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which we primarily get from oily fish, is linked to a better chance of healthy aging and a longer life. There is a big difference between omega-3 fatty acids from animal sources and plant sources, according to a large population study that is published in the British Medical Journal.
- plus thyroid disorders, poisoning, and a lot more
Iodine is the only mineral, which is compulsorily added to foods because it is can prevent goiter. Studies show that iodine also plays a role in the metabolism, the energy levels, estrogen balance and even helps prevent breast cancer. What is more, iodine can help the body get rid of environmental toxins such as fluoride compounds. Many experts believe that the official iodine recommendations are too low, and it is important to make a note of the fact that refined table salt often contains anti-caking agents like aluminum, and that sea salt is not enriched with iodine.
- and a regular blood test cannot reveal it
Although humans generally live longer now, an increasing number of people suffer from chronic diseases. Our medicine consumption is steadily increasing, yet the underlying causes are not addressed, and it is often down to a lack of essential nutrients. Just think of magnesium, a nutrient that is involved in more than 300 different enzyme processes that are important for our nervous system, digestion, muscle function, heart function, blood pressure, bone health, pregnancy, and utilization of vitamin D. This also means that lack of magnesium may be involved in the development of asthma, stress, insomnia, constipation, migraines, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, premature deliveries etc. A recent review article published in Scientifica looks at the importance of magnesium in clinical therapy, and it is vital that magnesium supplements are in a form that the body can absorb and utilize.
Epidemiological studies have led to different results when it comes to vitamin D and its ability to protect against cancer, infections, and various diseases. However, according to a new study published in Cancer Research, this is because magnesium is involved in the activation of vitamin D, on which all cells depend. It therefore does no good to take supplements of vitamin D, if you lack magnesium. And this is exactly the case with many people who eat unhealthy diets, are stressed, use medicine etc.
More and more people get autism. The disease is linked to, among other things, lack of zinc in the childhood. Although it has still not been proved, whether zinc deficiencies during pregnancy can cause autism, scientists have discovered a link between zinc, genes, and the abnormal neurological connections that are associated with autism. The scientists therefore see a whole new potential for treating the condition, but one must also take into account other factors in the environment.
One in nine Danish women gets breast cancer. Diet and lifestyle play a major role, and now an American study shows that omega-3 fatty acids, which are typically found in oily fish and fish oil supplements, may help prevent breast cancer cells from growing and spreading. According to lead investigator Saraswoti Khadge, who is affiliated with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, omega-3 fatty acids support the body’s immune defense and certain anti-inflammatory mechanisms. This study is in line with earlier research, so it may very well be prudent to make sure to get plenty of omega-3 for preventing and treating breast cancer.
Having healthy-looking hair means a lot to most people. Hair that splits at the ends, hair loss, and other hair problems may be caused by stress, hormone changes, and numerous other factors. In this article, we will take a closer look at the diet and its impact on hair health, and we will look at available studies of protein, iron, zinc, selenium, silica, B vitamins, vitamin D and vitamin A. The fact is, we need plenty of these nutrients in a form that the body can absorb and utilize. On the other hand, getting too much can do more harm than good, according to an article in Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, in which the author has analyzed the available research.
Scientists have discussed for quite some time to what extent vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil are able to lower the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and cancer. Although quite a lot of studies have been conducted in this area, there still is no large-scale clinical population study that includes different races. However, an American study has shown that fish oil supplements lower your risk of a heart attack, and large quantities of vitamin D have a long-term preventative effect on different cancer forms. The effect of these two different supplements is also affected by a person’s race.
It is commonly known that vitamin D plays a vital role for our bones and immune system, and there is even evidence that vitamin D also plays a role in the functioning of our lungs, heart, and muscles. According to a new study, blood levels of vitamin D are determining for how well we utilize our oxygen, and that affects our training capacity and lifespan. The study is published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
– but focus on sodium if you have high blood pressure
Salt is a flavor enhancer, and the good news is that salt is not as harmful as previously thought. In fact, salt is essential when consumed in the right quantities, and for most people, it poses no health risk to consume up to five grams – or two and half teaspoons – of salt daily, according to a study that is published in the Lancet. Many people on anti-hypertensive drugs are advised to cut back on their salt intake, but it takes more than that. In fact, it is potassium that controls how much salt the kidneys excrete.
During the winter period, many people catch a cold or are bed-ridden with a bout of the flu. They may consider this to be perfectly natural, but it is actually a sign of a weakened immune defense, and that makes them susceptible to contamination. What matters is to make sure to get plenty of vitamin D, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc, all of which are nutrients that have different functions in the immune system. Some nutrients are also needed in larger quantities to tackle a beginning infection, and it is important to act quickly in order to nip the infection in the bud.
In fact, it is vital for us to be nutritionally bolstered during the winter period, where otherwise harmless virus infections can lead to complications such as herpes, bronchitis, and pneumonia, if the immune system is unable to work full throttle.
Vitamin E is said to be a powerful antioxidant that counteracts wrinkles, reduces the degeneration of joints in rheumatoid arthritis, and even protects against atherosclerosis and cancer. However, studies have shown contradictory results, and the positive effects are most probably a result of luck. Now, a team of international scientists has demonstrated that the effect of vitamin E is not related to the vitamin itself but rather to the effect of a vitamin E-dependent metabolite that is produced in the liver. The researchers see a huge potential in vitamin E therapy that is tailored to fit each person’s individual utilization and metabolism of the nutrient. Vitamin E supplements should contain natural forms of the vitamin to provide the best effect.
Type 2 diabetes is spreading like a bushfire, and most people will be affected by periodontal disease at some point in their life. Now, science has discovered that lack of vitamin D, which is also increasingly common, enhances the risk of both diseases. Their observation is based on new study that sheds light, for the very first time, on vitamin D and its role in preventing and treating the two conditions.
- but specific nutrients protect you
People, who eat nutrient-depleted diets, have an increased risk of contracting cancer, according to a French study that is published in PLoS Medicine. The scientists therefore recommend labeling food to help consumers make healthier choices. In the Nordic countries, we already have the “Keyhole label” on certain healthy food items, but even if you follow the official dietary guidelines, it may be difficult to get enough vitamin D and selenium, both of which are nutrients with several anti-cancer mechanisms.
A pregnant woman can support the development of her baby’s brain and vision by consuming oily fish regularly, according to a new Finnish study. Meanwhile, a new Danish study shows that fish oil supplements given to pregnant women give their offspring a better start at life because of their content of omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the consumption of omega-3 has gone down, and pregnant women are discouraged from eating tuna and other good sources of omega-3, as these fish contain mercury. Health authorities should take this dilemma into account and possibly recommend high-quality supplements of purified fish oil to pregnant women and small children – just like they recommend extra folic acid, iron, and vitamin D. Pregnant vegetarians and vegans should pay careful attention and make sure that their child gets enough omega-3.
- and a common trait in most chronic diseases
Although chronic inflammation is not something that you feel as such, it sets the stage for a number of symptoms and a host of different diseases including fatigue, overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatism, metabolic disorders, asthma, periodontal disease, bowel infections, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, sclerosis, and cancer. Not surprisingly, people are more and more hooked on the anti-inflammatory lifestyle, and we will take a closer look at studies showing how fish oil, vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, and zinc contribute to preventing and fighting inflammation, related diseases and premature death. Any nutritional supplements must be of a proper quality that the body can absorb, and they should contain therapeutic dosages.
- but is heavily overrated in energy beverages and breakfast cereals
Vitamin B6 is essential for the energy turnover, nervous system, hormone balance, and a number of other important functions. Vitamin B6 has been added to many energy beverages and breakfast cereals as an “energy booster” or a way of telling consumers that the product is healthy. But don’t be fooled. The same products often contain loads of sugar and caffeine, which burdens the blood sugar balance and the nervous system. It is therefore far better to get vitamin B6 by eating a balanced and healthy diet, possibly topped off with a supplement if necessary. Those who are likely to benefit from a supplement are strict vegetarians and vegans, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and seniors.
Perhaps so. More and more studies reveal that it helps to take large quantities of Q10 and a vitamin B3 derivate. Q10 and vitamin B3 are both essential for the body’s energy turnover, which takes place inside the mitochondria of the cells. A more recent study shows that taking supplements of the mentioned nutrients can also have a positive effect on the heart, which is the body’s central motor.
– whereas the often scolded cholesterol is good for you
Cardiovascular diseases account for more deaths than anything else. Still, there is a lot of discussion about the diet and its impact on cardiovascular health, typically when it comes to the question of avoiding fat and choosing margarine instead of butter. A team of Czech scientists decided to study diet habits among different populations and compare these with the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. Their study shows that there is no need to be afraid of cholesterol. In fact, the official dietary guidelines could easily do with an adjustment. At the same time, it is important to reduce our intake of carbohydrates and omega-6 fatty acids that are the real culprits. Finally, it is essential to increase the intake of omega-3.
– but what about the mercury? – but what about the mercury?
Oily fish is a great source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are important for the development of the brain and nervous system of the unborn child. Pregnant women with low levels of these two omega-3 fatty acids have a statistically significant increased risk of preterm delivery compared with pregnant women who have high levels of EPA and DHA in their blood. This was shown in a study from SSI in Copenhagen, carried out in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, the United States. The problem is that many women are afraid to eat oily fish during their pregnancy because of the risk of mercury poisoning. So which fish are the safest for consumption – and what about fish oil supplements?
- and that may down to a lack of the sleep hormone melatonin
Sunlight is important for our mental health for various reasons. At northern latitudes, we are exposed to less sunlight. According to a new American study, that increases your risk of the OCD, a psychiatric disorder characterized by compulsive thoughts and behavior. The scientists point to the fact that people with OCD often have delayed 24-hour rhythm and get to bed late at night, and they theorize that these disturbances of the circadian rhythm and lack of melatonin may play a role. This presents new potential in the treatment of the disease, and morning light is part of it. Melatonin supplements may also be worth trying.
- and improve their cognition and motor skills
According to a large meta-analysis, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids has a positive effect on children by improving their vision, their cognition, and their motor skills. Unfortunately, modern diets provide far too little omega-3. For that reason, health authorities should consider recommending supplements of purified fish oil for pregnant women and children, just like they recommend folic acid, iron, and vitamin D.
Most people thrive on the idea of staying physically active throughout life, but as we grow older, our skeletal muscle slowly vanishes and our figure changes. This is known as sarcopenia and is one of the main reasons why older people become more fragile and perhaps even disabled. Exercise and diet play a major role, and it seems that the official dietary guidelines are not optimal and should focus more on increased intake of protein as well as lysine, vitamin D, and omega-3 according to a new Canadian study. Earlier research shows that magnesium, selenium, and Q10 are also important for muscle mass and strength.
The human brain needs omega-3 fatty acids, and according to a study from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the US, something as simple as a fish oil supplement can help reduce disruptive and violent behavior, a growing problem among children and teenagers. Pedagogical and psychological approaches are not the only solution to stressed and externalizing behavior. It is every bit as important to look at the children’s nutritional status.
- and lack of nutrients is an overlooked problem
According to the statistics, far too many patients contract an infection while being hospitalized in a Danish hospital. This has enormous human and economic costs that need to be addressed. Hospital infections are not only a consequence of poor hygiene, it actually turns out that 40 percent of the patients are malnourished to some degree, which impairs their immune system and makes them an easier target for infections. Lack of vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, and iron seem to be the big and overlooked problem.
One in nine Danish women gets breast cancer, and the situation is not improving, on the contrary. One of the reasons why breast cancer is so widespread is that so many women lack vitamin D, and it looks as if the official recommendations for this nutrient are too low. A new American study has shown that those with higher amounts of vitamin D in the blood have a lower risk of the dreaded disease. The question is how much vitamin D do we need for optimal disease prevention, and what role does the nutrient play for those who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer?
- and that increases the need for selenium
Selenium is necessary for ensuring proper functioning of around 25 different enzymes – also known as selenoproteins – that are essential for energy turnover, metabolism, immune defense, fertility, and for antioxidant protection to help prevent cells and DNA from being damaged by oxidative stress. Selenium is also a so-called mercury antagonist that works by attaching itself to mercury, thereby preventing mercury’s harmful impact on the brain and nervous system. Once selenium has attached to mercury, however, it is no longer available to carry out all of its essential functions in the body. Because we are all exposed to mercury in some degree, this may cause a relative selenium deficiency that leaves our brain and nervous system particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage. In a new review article based on published research, Professor Nicholas V.C. Ralston and Dr. Laura J. Raymond explain why the toxic damage to the brain and nervous system is primarily a result of mercury’s inhibiting impact on the selenium metabolism. Selenium deficiencies are rather common, and mercury poisoning is an insidious problem, so the combination of these two problems deserves a lot more attention.
- but are all those dairy products really necessary?
Eating breakfast has a positive effect on cognitive skills such as memory and learning in children and teenagers, according to an article about Danes and their breakfast habits that is published in Nutrients. However, many children are delivered in their institutions early in the morning, in some cases without even having had a chance to eat breakfast. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration therefore recommends offering these children the chance of eating breakfast in their institutions. It seems that symptoms such as poor concentration, hyperactivity, and apathy, which tend to be viewed as psychological problems, are often the result of not eating breakfast, having low blood sugar levels, and lacking essential vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. In the following, you can read more about the value of eating a healthy breakfast, while you can find out more about the low-fat dairy products that actually increase your risk of unstable blood sugar and overweight.
Girls with high blood levels of vitamin D are generally stronger, while the same relation is not seen in boys, according to a cohort study from Odense University Hospital in Denmark. The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Nonetheless, all humans need adequate levels of vitamin D, as the nutrient has a number of other important functions in the body.
- but the official recommendations are too low
According to an American study, individuals with higher blood levels of vitamin D are far less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, the early stage of the disease, which is characterized by insulin resistance, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol levels. Because it takes many years for type 2 diabetes to develop, it is essential to have sufficiently high vitamin D levels from the early years in life. Both the new American study and earlier research point to the fact that it is not possible to obtain high blood levels of the nutrient without getting plenty of sun during the summer period and taking a high-dosed vitamin D supplement in the winter.
An only six-month-old baby died of heart failure and the following complications. The tragedy was a result of severe vitamin D deficiency, which, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham, could have been avoided with better control. They now demand that the health authorities change their policy regarding vitamin D supplements, so that they take into account the special needs of babies, pregnant women, dark-skinned individuals, and population groups that are more likely to be vitamin D-deficient. With this tragic death, which does not stand alone, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Having too little vitamin D can also increase your risk of weak bones, infections, asthma, autism, and many other diseases.
Tuberculosis is one of the most common diseases in the world and costs millions of lives, especially in the underdeveloped countries. Tuberculosis typically goes hand in hand with malnutrition, and now a group of scientists from Dublin in Ireland has found that vitamin A helps the lungs’ immune defense fight the disease. Their research is published in the esteemed Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.
Magnesium is involved in over 350 different enzyme processes in the human body and is of vital importance to our complex hormone balance. Because women’s hormone system is particularly sensitive, and because magnesium deficiency is so common, all women should make sure to get enough of this essential mineral, especially if they suffer from stress, sleep problems, a sensitive blood sugar balance, PMS, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), metabolic disorders, or adrenal fatigue. Always make sure to balance your intake of magnesium and calcium.
Large population studies of adults and their diet habits often tend to overlook certain groups such as younger adults. A British study therefore took a closer look at eating habits of adults in their twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. It revealed a widespread lack of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Being deficient in these essential nutrients can harm your fertility and increase your risk of different diseases, while speeding up concealed ageing processes such as loss of cognition and bone mass.
- and routine screening is not enough
Cancer in the colon and rectum is rather common. One in 20 Danes gets colon cancer at some point in life. Since 2014, the Danish Health Authority has recommended a screening program, offering middle-aged and older people a screening for colon cancer every other year. If the disease is discovered in its early stage, the chances of successful treatment increase. Supplementation with organic selenium yeast has been shown to lower the risk of colorectal cancer in the first place, and selenium even has a protective effect against other cancer forms, so the nutrient is an essential part of the prevention. The problem is that selenium deficiencies are so common as a result of our nutrient-depleted soil.
Earlier studies have found a link between low selenium and overweight, but only few and limited studies have investigated this connection in children. Therefore, Chinese researchers wanted to take a closer look, and selenium levels in nail clippings give a rather accurate picture of the body’s general selenium status. Selenium deficiency is common in many parts of the world, including parts of China and Europe.
- and it increases their risk of fatigue, sleep problems, dementia, and neurological diseases
According to a big Irish study, a large part of the population from aged 50 and older lack vitamin B12 and folic acid. This increases their risk of a number of chronic diseases and lack of cognitive skills because the vitamin deficiencies are not discovered and treated. Because older people can lack vitamin B12 and folic acid for a number of reasons, scientists suggest enriching staples. Dietary guidance and supplements are also useful strategies to be on the safe side.
- and has a long-term effect on the maturation of a woman’s eggs
It is well established that zinc is important for the maturation of the eggs in the fallopian tube during a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, a new American study has shown that zinc is involved in even earlier stages of the maturation of the eggs. A zinc deficiency therefore reduces the chance of the eggs being fertilized and dividing later on, which they are supposed to during pregnancy. Lack of zinc is rather common and may harm your fertility for several months to come.
Lack of sleep is common among children and adults. It increases the risk of overweight, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, blood clots, depression, infections, and a number of other diseases. Lack of vitamin D is also common, but a team of Chinese scientists have revealed that there is a link between having too little vitamin D and not being able to sleep properly and waking up feeling refreshed.
Hypertension is a growing problem. Worldwide, it causes more premature deaths than any other risk factor. Chinese researchers have now found that supplementation with a combination of folic acid and anti-hypertensive medicine lowers the risk of stroke by nearly 75 percent. It is important to underline that many people have elevated blood pressure without knowing about it, and many things can cause a folic acid deficiency or poor utilization of the vitamin.
Supplementing with strong antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin E, selenium, and coenzyme Q10 may help patients with cystic fibrosis by reducing a number of the respiratory infections that come with the disease. This was seen in a study by researchers at the Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado, United States.
Women from the age of 50 years and older have an increased risk of blood sugar problems, weight problems, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome, if they lack vitamin D, according to a new study from Sao Paulo in Brazil. If you want to control your blood sugar levels and lose weight, it is not sufficient to eat less and work out at the gym. You also need sun exposure (without getting burned), because the summer sun is our richest source of vitamin D. You may even want to take a vitamin D supplement during the winter period.
- because of the many antioxidants
A new Chinese study that is published in the science journal, Heart, shows that eating an egg every day can lower your risk of stroke by 26 percent. The reason is that eggs contain selenium and other powerful antioxidants that protect against atherosclerosis, and we do not get all that much selenium from our diets. Therefore, forget all about the cholesterol scare and warnings against eating eggs. That dietary advice is outdated and has done more harm than good.
- which your brain, nervous system, and liver need
A cold beer with lunch or a glass of red wine to go with your steak may be tempting. In fact, alcohol in limited amounts can be relaxing and it provides beneficial antioxidants. However, Danes drink too much, and our excessive alcohol consumption is one of the worst threats to public health. Many alcoholics suffer from unstable blood sugar levels, which can have a rather bad impact on their willpower. In addition, the empty calories deplete the body’s levels of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, on which the nervous system, the brain, and the liver depend. This can easily turn into a vicious cycle. Therefore, having stable blood sugar and making sure to get plenty of vital nutrients is important for preventing and treating alcohol abuse.
- and worsens the odds for women who have the disease
Decades of research show that there is a link between lack of vitamin D and an increased risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D deficiencies are especially common at the northern latitudes because the sun sits too low in the sky for humans to be able to synthesize the vitamin during the winter. However, even in the southern hemisphere, many women have too little vitamin D because of spending too much time indoors, using too much suncream, or veiling themselves. Vitamin D has many anti-cancer properties, and postmenopausal women with too little vitamin D in their blood, who are diagnosed with breast cancer, have worse odds, according to a study of Brazilian women. In other words, it is not enough to treat breast cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. You also need to optimize your blood levels of vitamin D and other nutrients, which the body needs in order to function optimally.
Birth control pills are commonly used as a source of prevention. Most women seem to tolerate the pills rather well, but there are known side effects such as headaches, mood swings, and a slightly increased risk of blood clots and breast cancer. The different side effects are a result of the birth control pills and their disturbing impact on various enzyme processes, which depend on most B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Vitamin C, zinc, and selenium also serve as effective antioxidants that protect our cells and cardiovascular system against oxidative stress. It is therefore essential to get plenty of these nutrients in order to lower the risk of side effects.
A growing number of people are affected by depression and anxiety, and there are quite a few who do not benefit from their medicine, which in some cases may even cause side effects. Earlier studies show that lack of omega-3, the essential fatty acids found primarily in oily fish, play a major role in depression. The question is how important is omega-3 for those, who already receive therapy for their depression, and what about those in therapy for anxiety? A group of Dutch scientists set out to answer this question. A thing to make a note of is that it is the two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which have a direct influence on our mood, and when supplementing, it may take some time before the effect is optimal.
- this may improve vegetarian diets in the future
We need vitamin B12 for blood formation, for the nervous system, and for our cognitive skills. Vitamin B12 is almost primarily found in animal sources. However, researchers from the University of Kent in England have just made an important discovery. They have observed how some plants such as cress can absorb the nutrient when cultivated in a certain way. With this knowledge, we can make vegetarian and vegan diets healthier and more complete in the future. Many vegetarians and vegans appear to be doing just fine on their green diets, but many are unaware that a vitamin B12 deficiency can be insidious, and it may take years before they experience obvious symptoms such as anemia, tiredness, poor memory, and other signs of a nervous system that is out of balance. It is therefore a good idea under all circumstances to take a vitamin B12 supplement, until some of these vitamin B12-containing vegetable solutions are available on the market.
-and many chronically ill people do not get the proper diagnosis or treatment
The most harmful heavy metals are mercury, cadmium, lead, nickel, and cobber, but aluminum, fluoride, iron, and calcium can also be toxic. Poisoning with heavy metals and minerals blocks other minerals such as selenium, iodine, magnesium, and zinc, all of which support numerous essential enzyme processes. At the same time, if you lack these important minerals, heavy metals are able to cause unhindered damage and increase your risk of impaired immunity, impaired fertility, autoimmune diseases, thyroid diseases, brain damage, neurological diseases, depression, hypersensitivity, etc. Chronic heavy metal toxicity is an overlooked problem, but in this article, you can read more about the subject and find out how to deal with it.
- and selenium deficiencies are widespread
An estimated 500,000 Danes suffer from some kind of thyroid disorder, the most common of which is Hashimoto’s disease, which slows down your metabolism. The formation and activation of thyroid hormones depend on iodine and selenium, and it is essential that the two nutrients are properly balanced. Having too little or too much iodine increases your risk of Hashimoto’s disease, and the same is the case with selenium, a nutrient that many people lack.
Some of the problems that are seen in people with slow metabolism are extreme fatigue, weight gain, constipation, cold sensitivity, swollen neck, and dry skin. The symptoms can vary, however, and many people still have not been given the proper diagnosis. Medical therapy with thyroid hormones will not necessarily solve the problem. In fact, as many as 20 percent of patients actually feel worse, although their blood tests appear to be normal. It is therefore important to focus more in the role of iodine and selenium in the metabolism.
Pregnant women are advised not to smoke, as this may harm the unborn baby. However, not all pregnant smokers are able to quit their habit. A new American study shows that vitamin C supplementation can reduce the risk to the baby’s lungs and improve the baby’s breathing.
Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to malfunction and is therefore the leading cause of dementia. According to a new American study, a particular form of vitamin B3 may help prevent neurological damage and therefore has a positive impact on Alzheimer’s patients. As part of the prevention of this disease, it is also important to make sure to get plenty of all the other nutrients.
Patients who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and who have low levels of vitamin B12 develop their disease faster than those with higher levels of the vitamin, according to a new study. For that reason, the scientists recommend vitamin B12 supplements as a way of delaying the onset of the disease. Earlier studies even show that vitamin B3 and Q10 have a positive influence on the ailment.
– and many other things
Vitamin B2, also know as riboflavin, is found in different foods and in supplements containing multivitamins and strong B-vitamins. Most people are unaware that the vitamin has a host of important functions, which are especially relevant for energy levels, the nervous system, the psyche, the body’s iron metabolism, vision, skin, and lips. A study that is published in Neurology also shows that taking large amounts of vitamin B2 can help prevent migraine headaches. It appears that vitamin B2 deficiency is a common problem because of stress, ageing processes, unhealthy diets, the use of birth control pills, medicine, and certain other causes. In the following, you can read more about this exciting yet overlooked vitamin and find out how best to utilize vitamin B2 from your diet or from supplements.
- getting too little fluids may be fatal
Fluid depletion (or volume depletion) lowers your performance and may be life-threatening in worst case. However, it can be every bit as dangerous to drink too much water. In fact, there have been several deaths as a result of this among athletes. Another thing is that one should not just focus on water. When engaging in strenuous sport, there is a very delicate balance between fluids and minerals. Many sports beverages contain too much sugar and caffeine that often do more harm than good, so the question is how much liquid you need when engaging in the different types of sport. Read more about the subject in the following.
- then make sure to get enough of the essential nutrients so you can cope with more
Stress is a large problem for many people. It is believed that the majority of people who consult their physician do it because of stress-related problems. Many people try to relieve their stress with sweets, coffee, alcohol, painkillers, and sleeping medication just to get through the day. However, in the long run, this can turn into a vicious cycle that increases your risk of disease and faster ageing. There are dozens of books about stress that can be useful for solving problems and slowing down your pace, but don’t forget that stress is also physiological. It is a condition that deteriorates tissues, burdens the body with free radicals and increases your need for B-vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, selenium and coenzyme Q10. If you make sure to get the necessary essential nutrients before it is too late, you can cope with more.
- a condition that may cause a variety of different symptoms
It appears that an increasing number of people suffer from some kind of milk allergy. Science is primarily focused on lactose intolerance, a condition that is caused by a deficiency of a digestive enzyme. The allergic reactions normally show almost immediately after ingesting dairy products. Allergy as such occurs when the immune system overreacts to various milk proteins. The allergic reactions occur in many different places in the body, and several days may pass before the symptoms are noticed. Now, researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna have demonstrated how animal feed that is enriched with vitamin A may prevent allergic reactions caused by milk protein. It also seems that the quality of milk has changed, and that in itself may be a contributing factor to hypersensitivity.
- and an overlooked deficiency of nutrients for the nervous system
Far more children are diagnosed with psychiatric disorders today. In the past seven years alone, twice as many cases of ADHD, autism, depression, and fear are diagnosed in Denmark. Communities are under pressure to find teachers, educators, psychologists and other relevant people with the right skills. Another challenge is that most families with children do not follow the official dietary guidelines, and children generally don’t get enough sunshine. Studies reveal that lack of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins, and magnesium increases the risk of psychiatric disorders. These diseases may therefore simply be a consequence of not eating a sufficiently healthy diet.
- or are you wasting money on the wrong supplements?
It is only natural to expect a nutritional supplement to be absorbed and deliver an effect. However, for this to happen, you must look for products with documentation. Countless multivitamin products and supplements with Q10, selenium, chromium, magnesium, and iron have very poor quality and are not properly absorbed. Our ageing process alone impairs the uptake of vitamins and minerals, and the same is the case if we lack essential fats, have too high calcium levels, or use antacids and other types of medicine – so this also needs to be taken into account.
According to a large American study, a high dietary intake of vitamin D and calcium is associated with a lower risk of early-onset menopause, where the menstrual periods cease before a woman reaches 45 years of age. Premature menopause affects around 10 percent of women, and the condition increases the risk of impaired fertility, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and earlier cognitive impairment. The prevention of these diseases is also a matter of getting enough sunshine, magnesium, and omega-3.
It is widely established that women of childbearing age have high levels of estrogen that protect them against cardiovascular disease. However, if they have type 1 diabetes, having high estrogen levels actually increases their risk of these diseases. A group of scientists is therefore planning to investigate whether nutritional supplements with antioxidants can protect diabetics against cardiovascular disease and the premature death caused by these ailments.
The majority of chronic ailments, including autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer, involve inflammation. Science has known for a long time that omega-3 fatty acids counteract inflammation. A study from the University of Illinois, USA, shows that the process is controlled by cannabinoids, which the body itself can produce but are also found in cannabis oil. In other words, it is possible to activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors in the immune system and nervous system by means of large quantities of fish oil, which contains the most active forms of omega-3.
Children and youngsters who are exposed to lots of sunlight and have plenty of vitamin D in their blood are much less likely to develop sclerosis later in life, according to a new study. In fact, there is a reason why sclerosis is more prevalent at northern latitudes. During the winter, the sun sits too low in the sky for us humans to be able to synthesize vitamin D in the skin. However, one must also realize that the intensified use of sunscreen can block the skin’s production of vitamin D. It is therefore essential to get plenty of vitamin D from sun exposure or to take a vitamin D supplement, as this may help prevent diseases such as sclerosis that take years to develop.
People who suffer from dry eyes have reduced tear production. The condition has become increasingly common because of all the hours we spend staring at screens from devices like smartphones, computers, tablets etc. Dry eyes are irritated, and the problem may cause damage to both your eyes and eyesight. However, a team of scientists from the Hokkaido University in Japan has demonstrated that healthy fats such as omega-3 are able to protect the eyes and repair damage. You can also find other useful tips on natural ways to prevent and treat dry eyes.
Eat plenty of oily fish from clean oceans or take a fish oil supplement to make sure that you get enough of the essential omega-3 fatty acids. It lowers your risk of premature death by protecting you against atherosclerosis and a number of other diseases. In fact, blood levels of omega-3 tell a lot more than levels of cholesterol, according to a new study that is published in Journal of Clinical Lipidology.
Having high blood levels of vitamin D lowers the risk of several cancer forms, according to a new study of Japanese adults. The study is the first to take a closer look at how vitamin D affects an Asian population. Over the past decades, numerous studies have pointed to vitamin D’s role in cancer prevention. Meanwhile, other studies have demonstrated that there is widespread vitamin D deficiency. There is even evidence suggesting that our need for the nutrient exceeds the official recommendations, at least if we want to protect ourselves against cancer.
- find the right balance and make sure to get enough of the essential vitamin
It is a known fact that too much sun gives you wrinkles and increases your risk of skin cancer. However, fearmongering and new lifestyle habits have resulted in widespread vitamin D deficiency, especially because of getting too little sun exposure and using too much suncream. This could have grave consequences. Several studies show that people who stay out of the sun have an increased risk of neurological disorders, sclerosis, and premature death from heart disease and cancer. Make sure to expose yourself to sufficient amounts of sunlight during the summer period, so your skin can synthesize enough vitamin D – but be responsible. If this is a challenge, vitamin D supplements are a good alternative.
- and that is really bad for your health
Vitamin D comes in different forms that all need magnesium to be activated in order for the vitamin to be able to benefit all the cells and tissues in the body. Unfortunately, many people lack magnesium, and that makes vitamin D ineffective. Vitamin D also increases the uptake of calcium, but with too little magnesium in the organism, the risk of atherosclerosis increases, as does the risk of osteoporosis, impaired immune resistance, and metabolic syndrome (an early stage of type 2 diabetes.) All of this was observed in a study that is published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
Irritable bowel syndrome – also known as IBS – is one of the most common diseases in the Western world. According to a new study from the University of Sheffield, England, many IBS patients lack vitamin D, and vitamin D supplements can alleviate symptoms like abdominal bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. This is because vitamin D has a number of functions that are relevant for the digestion. Science generally knows very little about what triggers IBS, but it is accepted that disturbances in the intestinal microflora, food intolerance, and stress may contribute to the problem.
- which is important for your metabolism and estrogen balance
We humans are exposed to many toxic fluoride compounds from toothpaste, mouth rinses, tap water and mineral water, Teflon pans, cookie sheets, rain clothes, waterproofing agents etc. Fluoride poisoning may increase your risk of thyroid disorders, breast cancer, kidney diseases, ADHD, and birth defects. In addition, the need for iodine is increased, and it is also important to mention that the symptoms of a fluoride poisoning are often similar to the symptoms of an iodine deficiency.
After giving birth, the mother’s adaptability and resources are put to the test. Also, the mother’s “baby brain” tends to take over. Unfortunately, many new mothers get the baby blues, and around 10 percent develop an actual postpartum depression that requires immediate attention. It is important to focus on the underlying causes that include the course of the delivery plus hormonal, biological, social, and emotional changes.
An important element in skincare and natural anti-ageing is to protect our cells against free radicals, which are aggressive oxygen compounds that we humans are exposed to. The free radical burden increases tremendously as a result of stress, too little sleep, ageing processes, smoking, inflammation, poisoning, medical drugs, and sunburns. Our only source of protection against free radicals is the presence of different antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, zinc, and Q10, but we also need essential fatty acids. Optimal skincare requires that we get adequate quantities of the different nutrients, which are also an important element in our energy turnover. But what is skin ageing really? And why can we not simply stop it with anti-wrinkle creams, Botox, and plastic surgery? Also, which antioxidants and essential fatty acids are difficult to get in the right quantities?
In a matter of four months only, large doses of vitamin D were able to reduce arterial stiffness in young, overweight but otherwise healthy Afro-Americans, according to a study from Georgia, the United States. The study also showed that those participants, who only took the officially recommended quantities of vitamin D, had increased arterial stiffness. This suggests that the official vitamin D recommendations are too low to prevent stiff arteries and atherosclerosis. Another thing is that dark-skinned people living at northern latitudes, overweight individuals, older people diabetics, and those who overuse sun screen are at increased risk of synthesizing too little vitamin D.
Selenium is a constituent of at least 25 essential proteins (selenoproteins), including several antioxidants that protect cells against oxidative stress and disease. A team of researchers from Munich in Germany has mapped out the mechanisms, which the selenium-containing antioxidants use to protect neurons in the brain against cell death. The scientists see a whole new potential with selenium because of its ability to protect against neurological disorders and cancer. It is problematic, however, that we have widespread selenium deficiency in our part of the world. Even if you stick with the official dietary guidelines, it is very difficult to get enough selenium to saturate all the different selenoproteins.
Type 2 diabetes and early stages of the disease such as insulin resistance are spreading like a bushfire. The good news is that if you consume many antioxidants from fruit, vegetables, berries, tea, and dark chocolate and limit your intake of alcohol, you can lower your risk diabetes risk. This was shown in a new study that is published in the European journal Diabetologia, which focuses on diabetes research.
Early stages of psychotic diseases such as schizophrenia are associated with deficiencies of specific nutrients like vitamin D and folic acid, according to a new Australian study. The researchers also point to new ways of preventing and treating psychotic disease, which affect millions of people worldwide.
- and some good dietary advice
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is a common eye disease that impairs your reading vision in particular. High-dosed supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and other antioxidants has been shown to help. The recommendation of these nutrients is based on documentation from a large American research project and demonstrate that normal recommendations (DRI = Daily Reference Intake) are inadequate as treatment for various disorders. There are also different foods that are highly relevant for preventing AMD or as part of a treatment against the condition.
- which is why we need enough vitamin C, selenium, and other antioxidants
Modern man is exposed to a lot of free radicals because of factors like stress, environmental toxins, etc. Free radicals are like “internal terrorists” that contribute to atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and a host of other diseases. Our only protection against free radicals are antioxidants from vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. Antioxidants work in different ways. Being deficient in a single primary antioxidant such as selenium may leave the body vulnerable to oxidative stress and disease. What most people are unaware of is that free radicals are also essential, as they are a part of our energy turnover and immune defense. The question is how do we protect ourselves the best against infections, oxidative stress, and disease? What type of antioxidant do we get from dark chocolate, green tea, coffee and red wine? How does redox therapy with vitamin C in great quantities work on cancer patients? You can read more about these topics in the following.
Scientists from Alberta University in Canada have observed that lack of sunlight may contribute to the weight increase that many people experience during the winter period. This is because our fat cells are sensitive to sunlight. Lack of sunlight may also result in poor sleep and low levels of vitamin D, a nutrient that has other metabolic functions.
- and the upper safe limit makes no sense
There really is no need to have an upper safe intake limit for folic acid, and we ought to enrich flour with this nutrient to prevent children from being born with potentially disabling or life-threatening brain or spinal cord defects. This is part of the conclusion of a new study from Queen Mary University of London, and it supports an earlier study from Aarhus University in Denmark. Folic acid deficiencies, which are rather common, may lead to fatigue, poor memory, dementia, and a number of other health problems later in life. It is therefore important that we focus on this essential nutrient.
Magnesium takes part in over 300 different enzyme processes, some of which are relevant for the nervous system. Magnesium deficiencies are common, and there is a link to the increased prevalence of subjective anxiety and stress. Researchers from the University of Leeds in Great Britain have reviewed a number of studies that show how supplementation with magnesium may help in cases of mild anxiety, stress, and depression. Magnesium appears to be a precondition of a healthy and sturdy nervous system, and getting enough of this nutrient is therefore important for preventing these conditions.
More than 25 percent of people older than 65 years have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Deficiencies in vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron are also common. This is the conclusion of a large study that was conducted by scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, Germany. The widespread lack of vitamins and minerals among older people is critical, especially because this population group is increasing. The lack of essential nutrients affects the calcium uptake, immune defense, and nervous system among other things, leaving older people increasingly vulnerable to osteoporosis, influenza, dementia, and a host of other diseases that impair quality of life and burden the entire public health sector.
Atherosclerosis is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world, and the heart is particularly vulnerable. According to a study from the University of Birmingham, Alabama (USA), foods that are rich in potassium such as bananas, potatoes, avocado, and almonds protect against this disease, which takes years to develop. Beware that too much salt and the use of diuretics may deplete the body’s potassium stores.
Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are important for normal development of the baby’s brain and immune defense. Pregnant women who eat oily fish several times a week help their babies against developing asthma later in life. Oily fish and fish oil supplements have similar effects. This was shown in two studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa, USA. However, pregnant women should avoid predatory fish like tuna that contain mercury. For those who dislike the taste of fish or who simply do not eat enough, fish oil supplements are an option.
Earlier studies have shown that zinc plays an important role for our health and for preventing esophageal cancer. However, it has been a puzzle to science to understand how zinc protects against this widespread cancer form. Now, Professor Zui Pan and a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, USA, have identified the mechanisms through which zinc protects healthy cells and prevents cancer cells from spreading in the esophagus. The scientists behind the new study believe that zinc given in the right dosages has a great potential for helping to prevent the disease and serving as an adjuvant in therapy. Their study is published in The FASEB Journal.
Forget about keeping track of calories if you want to shape up. Weight loss is about eating the right kinds of food, and ensuring an optimal blend of carbohydrates, fat, and protein that guarantees satiety for four to six hours so you are not tempted by quick energy fixes. Continue reading and find out more about why it is so important to get plenty of Q10, iodine, selenium, and chromium for permanent results. The question is, why is it difficult to get enough from a normal diet? And why are so many people suffering from weight problems caused by metabolic disorders and insulin resistance?
- here are some delicious sources
Type 2 diabetes and early stages of the disease such as insulin resistance are spreading like a bushfire. The good news is that if you consume many antioxidants from fruit, vegetables, berries, tea, and dark chocolate and limit your intake of alcohol, you can lower your risk diabetes risk. This was shown in a new study that is published in the European journal Diabetologia, which focuses on diabetes research.
- and other inflammatory conditions
It is hardly a coincidence that many patients with arthritis feel worse during the winter period where the sun sits too low in the sky for us humans to be able to synthesize vitamin D. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, there is a direct link between vitamin D levels and neuropathic pain caused by irritated nerves. This was shown in a study that is published in International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
- here is a check list with 15 typical signs
All B vitamins work together as a close-knit team, and they are involved in most of the body’s enzymatic processes. For that reason, lacking one or several B vitamins may cause a long list of different symptoms. We humans depend on a regular supply of B vitamins. A wholesome smoothie or a multivitamin in the morning is no guarantee that the body has enough B vitamins for the rest of the day. Add to that the fact that some factors can impair our nutrient absorption and increase our need for B vitamins. But if you keep your body adequately supplied with B vitamins at all times throughout life, it can work wonders.
- and widespread deficiency has serious consequences
It is commonly known that vitamin C has an essential role in our connective tissue and immune defense. However, vitamin C is also vital for the brain. This was demonstrated in a new Australian study of the link between vitamin C and cognitive functions like memory, lingual skills, calculation, and orientation. The scientists also point to the fact that vitamin C deficiency is rather common in western countries, either due to dietary factors or because of conditions that increase the need for the nutrient.
It appears so. Iodine is an essential trace element that is vital for metabolism and estrogen balance. Iodine also helps the body get rid of environmental toxins. In fact, exposure to these toxins increases our need for iodine, and many experts believe that the official recommendations for iodine are too low.
Taking a supplement of vitamin D in combination with your prescription asthma medicine may halve your risk of an asthma attack that would require hospitalization, according to a new meta-analysis from Queen Mary University in London (QMUL). A vitamin D deficiency alone, which is rather common at northern latitudes, can increase the risk of asthma. Therefore, it is vital to make sure to have sufficiently high levels of this nutrient all year round to protect your respiratory tract.
Decades of intensive farming have depleted the soil. As a result, crops lack up to 40% of their essential nutrients, according to a previously published study from University of Texas and a more recent one from Switzerland. Even if you stick to the official dietary guidelines, you may have difficulty with getting enough calcium, selenium, zinc, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and other essential micronutrients that are required for good health.
- and help prevent dementia, depression, and impairment of your cognitive skills
People with elevated levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood have better circulation in those parts of the brain that handle learning, language, memory, and other cognitive functions, according to a recent report that is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The scientists also observed a link between blood levels of omega-3 and the rate of dementia and depression. They call their study an important discovery that supports earlier studies, which have shown how simple dietary adjustments such as increasing your intake of oily fish or fish oil supplements help preserve mental skills and a healthy mind.
British scientists have tested whether omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements have a pain-relieving effect on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. As it turns out, consuming fish oils with large quantities of EPA and DHA has the best effect, so make sure to read the label to see how much of the two omega-3 fatty acids your supplement contains. Rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases are a result of joint inflammation, so it may also pay off to look into the benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Three recent studies show that vitamin C may enable genes to kill uncontrolled stem cells that cause leukemia, thereby giving the nutrient a role in cancer prevention. However, it takes more than a few oranges or vitamin C in tablet form to obtain this therapeutic effect. It requires intravenously administered vitamin C in large quantities. These doses have been used for decades and are known as redox therapy. Here, vitamin C works by entirely different mechanisms and effectively kill off cancer cells.
Three American researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology for their discovery of the molecular mechanisms that control our 24-hour rhythm and the ticking of the cellular clocks. Lack of sleep can lead to overweight, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, which is why it is vital to get to bed at a proper time. If you have difficulty with falling asleep or cannot sleep through the night, supplements of melatonin serves as a natural sleeping pill that comes in handy.
There is absolutely no reason not to consume eggs, meat, butter and other cholesterol-filled foods with a good conscience. American dietary guidelines have finally exonerated cholesterol, which happens to be an essential compound. Many scientists actually claim that atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease are both a result of inflammation and lack of specific micronutrients. It is important to pay attention to factors that are known to promote inflammation in the body and take the necessary steps by looking after your circulatory system, making healthy lifestyle choices, and possibly even using supplements.
It is essential that your heart is able to pump optimally throughout life. A study from Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, the United States, has just shown that a diet with low levels of vitamin K1 from dark, leafy greens increases your risk of an unhealthy enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle that pumps the oxygenated blood to the aorta (the body’s largest artery). The scientists even observed this enlargement in teenagers. Vitamin K1 is primarily known for its role in the blood coagulation process, but it is also converted to vitamin K2 in our gut flora. In fact, it is vitamin K2 that is important for the heart and cardiovascular system.
More and more studies show how important our digestion and gut flora are for our health and mood. A new study published in Scientific Reports reveals that omega-3 fatty acids are able to influence positively the diversity of our gut flora.
There is a link between low blood levels of trace elements like zinc and early stages of diabetes, according to Russian research published in Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. A large number of people are believed to have diabetes without knowing it. One of these early stages of diabetes is insulin resistance, a condition where the cellular uptake of sugar is impaired. Another is metabolic syndrome that includes hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, and a characteristic apple-shaped figure with too much abdominal fat. The question is, how do we get enough zinc, and why do so many people appear to be deficient in this essential trace element?
If you consume too much red meat it may increase your risk of colon cancer, but is there meat with the opposite effect? According to a new and groundbreaking study, eating salmon or other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids appears to help prevent this rather common cancer form and possibly even other cancers, as well. Just make sure not to get too much omega-6, especially from margarine and other plant oils, as it is vital to have the correct balance between the two types of fatty acids.
The number of children diagnosed with autism has increased steadily over the past decades, and a number of factors can cause the disease. Now, scientists from the University of California and other institutions in the United States have discovered that pregnant women who get the recommended amount of folic acid or increase their intake right around the time of conception have a lower risk of giving birth to a child that develops autism caused by pesticide exposure.