- 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.
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.
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.
Yes, according to a new study published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, lack of selenium lowers the kidneys’ sodium excretion via different mechanisms, and that leads to elevated blood pressure. The study results are highly relevant because hypertension and subsequent premature death is a growing global problem. Selenium deficiency is also a widespread problem. One billion people worldwide are believed to be lack this essential nutrient, primarily because of the selenium-depleted agricultural soil in large parts of China, Europe, and other places.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Potassium and sodium (which is found in regular table salt) work together in an elaborate and essential way in the body. Unfortunately, we get far too much concealed salt from industrially processed foods, and our intake of potassium from vegetables is often too low. This increases our risk of elevated blood pressure and stroke. Nonetheless, people on low-sodium diets have a lower risk of suffering a stroke and dying, according to a large Chinese study. The scientists assume that sodium may represent an inexpensive and simple way to improve public health. How important is it really to have the proper balance between sodium and potassium?
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.
Many older people sleep poorly and tend to have elevated blood pressure. Luckily, supplementation with melatonin seems to correct both problems. Melatonin can even improve sleep in people who take beta-blockers for high blood pressure. So what is melatonin, and why is this substance particularly useful for older people?
Elevated blood pressure, a problem many people have without knowing it, is the major cause of early death. Our lifestyle and what we eat play an enormous role and according to a new meta-analysis that is published in Journal of the American Heart Association, daily intake of three grams of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your blood pressure. It is possible to get this amount of omega-3 by consuming a serving of oily fish like herring or taking a high-quality fish oil supplement.
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?
Magnesium supports hundreds of different enzyme processes that are involved in energy turnover, sugar metabolism, nerves, and several other basic functions. Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is rather common and more and more studies suggest that this may be related to a host of metabolic disturbances such as overweight, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and chronic low-grade inflammation that is seen in connection with most chronic diseases. On the other and, it appears that high intake of magnesium from the diet or from supplements may help. In a new review article that is published in Nutrients, the authors look at magnesium deficiency and its role in the development of metabolic disorders. They also look at factors such as nutrient-depleted farmland, unhealthy diets, poor nutrient uptake, insulin resistance, the use of medicine, alcohol abuse, and stress that can potentially result in a magnesium deficiency.
- 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.
Vitamin D plays a major role in our health. The main focus, however, is on vitamin D’s importance for bones, while many health professionals are totally unaware of the nutrient’s other essential functions. According to a review article published in Nutrients, half the global population has low vitamin D levels in the blood, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory infections like COVID-19, and early death. The authors also mention that vitamin D science is often inadequate or misleading because studies focus on supplementation rather than looking at blood levels of 25(OH)D. Consequently, trials are often made with far too small vitamin D doses or with too a short a trial period. In either case, blood levels of vitamin D fail to reach their optimum. What is more, levels of 25(OH)D in the blood should ideally be above 75 nmol/L in order to protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and early death. Because this threshold level is higher than the official threshold levels, the scientists recommend high-dosed vitamin D levels as a way to reach an optimal nutrient status.
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.