The number of small children affected by asthma and allergy is a growing worldwide problem. Vitamin D deficiency is also an increasing problem among pregnant women and newborn babies. Vitamin D is important for a well-functioning immune defense and for that reason, a team of Dutch scientists have looked closer at the relation in a review article. They conclude that having sufficient vitamin D in the blood during pregnancy and the first years of life can lower the risk of developing asthma and allergies. The scientists also observed that vitamin D supplements can lessen the burden of these widespread diseases. Their study is published in Nutrients.
Plant-based vegan diets have become increasingly popular among young adults and they even introduce these diets to their children. It is common knowledge that vegan diets lack vitamin B12, which is why many vegans take a supplement. However, a sizeable number of vegans also lack iodine, iron, zinc, and selenium. Most studies have looked at adults but it appears that children on vegan diets also risk metabolic changes, and they have lower blood levels of vitamins A and D compared with children on normal diets. This was demonstrated in a new study that is published in the esteemed international science magazine, EMBO Molecular Medicine.
An increasing number of young women risk giving birth to babies with an insufficiently developed mental capacity due to iodine deficiency. The deficiency may be a result of nutrient-depleted soil and altered diets with fewer iodine-containing animal sources. Also, many people have a preference for sea salt and Himalayan salt rather than iodine-enriched salt. Iodine deficiency appears to be most prevalent among women who eat plant-based vegan diets, but it is also seen among women with normal diets that include meat. This was demonstrated in a study from the University of South Australia. The challenge for pregnant women is to get adequate amounts of iodine and to find iodine-enriched table salt that has proper quality and does not contain anti-caking agents such as aluminum.
The diet’s content of vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and other vitamins has a positive impact on our mental and physical health and well-being Lack of vitamins may even remedy depression and chronic pain, according to a Japanese study of seniors. The number of seniors worldwide is increasing with more and more people being affected by physical and mental disease. Therefore, scientists want to take a closer look at the diet and its influence on quality of life measured by different accounts.
- throughout life
Neurologists agree that the brain’s neurons constantly change in relation to stimuli from the inside and outside environment. That is how we learn new skills and develop our memory. The brain’s ability to adapt and change is called neuroplasticity and doctors have suspected for a long time that it takes place in the synapses. A team of scientists from the University of Freiburg in Germany has discovered that a vitamin A-like compound affects the neurons and their ability to adapt to structure and function. The scientists hope that their discovery can contribute to the development of new therapies for treating brain disorders. Earlier studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and lifestyle in general also affect the brain’s neuroplasticity and development.
Vitamin D is involved in the development of the brain structure and in brain functions. According to a review article that is published in Nutrients, vitamin D is of particularly great importance to the mental health of children and teenagers due to its long-term effect. This subject is highly topical as it is known that the widespread lack of vitamin D among children increases their risk of anxiety, depression, aggressive behavior, and other mental problems. It is vital for children and teenagers to get plenty of sun and supplements if necessary so they are sure to meet the new guidelines for vitamin D.