Posts Tagged Muscles
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 29, 2012
A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to everything from osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease. A study out of England shows that it is also linked to a lack of muscle power, according to the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
In the study, adolescent inner city girls were tested for vitamin D levels. Seventy-five percent of them were found to have low levels of the vitamin, though none had visible, physical symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
The girls were tested in a serious of exercises called “jumping mechanography,” which measures the power and force behind jumping movements. Those test subjects without vitamin D deficiency performed much better on the analysis.
“These data highlight the importance of vitamin D status on muscle function in adolescent girls. Sub-optimal force might have implications for long-term bone development,” according to the researchers.
While the study focused specifically on young girls, the results could very likely be replicated in young men alike. Women, however, are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
Most people are able to get sufficient vitamin D from the sun, but most people are still deficient. This could be because they don’t spend enough time outdoors, don’t live in a climate where sunshine is frequent, or because they stay covered or out of the sun when outside.
Supplements are another option for increasing vitamin D in the body as well, with vitamin D3 being the most effective and safest form (also produced by direct sunlight.) Also, it occurs naturally in salmon, tuna, and fortified milk and cereals.
Another point of interest from this particular study is that they chose subjects who were more likely to come from poverty – showing that there is a chance that the study subjects were deficient in other nutrients because of this. This may have also played a role in the results of their strength and power measurements.
This fact highlights an important issue: that those of us without money for and access to healthy foods suffer in a multitude of ways, even from an early age.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
By: Andrew Kim
[NaturalNews] The pathology of asthma is complex. Asthmatics have increased susceptibility to environmental factors and inappropriate responses to them. The responses are bothersome and adaptive in the short term, but if left untreated, progresses to organic changes in the airways that are debilitating and life threatening. Therefore, avoidance of triggers and early, symptomatic treatment is important.
An overview of the events that occur in the airways of asthmatics
The airways of asthmatics are highly inflamed. The blood vessels are dilated and engorged with blood and their walls leak fluid and protein into the surrounding mucosa, causing edema and eventually fibrosis. The airways are infiltrated with inflammatory cells, which release various mediators that promote the growth of smooth muscle cells, tissue damage, and bronchial hyper-reactivity. The airways constrict and become congested with necrotized epithelial tissue, dead immune cells, mucous and plasma.
Rational targets in the treatment of asthma
Reducing the inflammation is paramount and the arachidonic acid-derived prostaglandins and leukotrienes are rational targets. Aspirin prevents the production of the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and nitric oxide, decreasing vasodilation and inappropriate spasms in the airways. Avoiding polyunsaturated fatty acids and replacing them with saturated fatty acids will curtail leukotriene synthesis, histamine release and vascular leakiness.
Stimulants have an important place in the treatment of asthma. The stimulants found in coffee and tea have a relaxant effect on the bronchial smooth muscles and can help to dilate the constricted airways. PDE-4 is an enzyme that is implicated in inflammatory cells and the methylxanthines (caffeine in coffee and theophylline in tea) inhibit this enzyme and is therefore anti-inflammatory. Methylxanthines also stimulate the respiratory centers in the brain (this may be beneficial in asthmatics that exhibit reduced respiration and a tendency to retain carbon dioxide), is protective against allergic reactions and dampens oxidative damage.
Vitamin E is a “structural anti-oxidant” that prevents oxidation and stabilizes membrane structures. Vitamin D regulates T-cells and antigen-presenting cells that are implicated in the early phase of asthma.
Asthma has many parallels to other inflammatory processes, such as atherosclerosis and inflammatory bowel diseases and can serve as a model for understanding the inflammatory process. Efforts to correct one condition will likely have positive effects on the others.