Archive for category Vitamins & Supplements
November 7, 2014
Did you know that walnuts have been classified as ‘drugs’ by the US Food & Drug Administration, and that some companies have been accused of misbranding them, only to be subject to government“seizure or injunction.” That’s a little harsh, but why?
Diamond Foods, who sells walnuts, was forced to remove certain statements about the healing properties of walnuts from their website because of the FDA’s interference. (You can see the warning letter Diamond Foods received from the FDA, here.) So – while the FDA promotes GMOs, vaccines, pharmaceutical meds that actually hurt people, chemotherapy, and radiation, they have a big problem with walnuts?
It is more likely that Big Pharma is intimidated by these small packages of healing power – that cost only about $3 a pound in some places. Is this why the FDA has censored information on walnuts?
There are over 57 different ways that walnuts promote overall health – but here are just a few concerning heart-health for your perusal:
Walnut Consumption Reduces Heart Disease Risks
Though walnuts are high in fat (they are healthful, beneficial fats) numerous studies have shown that eating nuts reduces the chance of having a heart attack by eliminating blood clots. Walnuts also provide a unique blend of polyunsaturated fatty acids (including omega-3s), along with nutrients like gamma-tocopherol which have demonstrated heart health benefits. The New England Journal of Medicine published the first clinical study showing significant reductions in LDL and improvement in the lipoprotein profile in response to moderate consumption of walnuts.
Additional studies have shown that walnuts improve endothelial function in ways that are independent of cholesterol reduction. Walnuts are so powerful that they help endothelial functioning by 64% when substituted for other fats in a person’s diet. Much of the underlying cause for heart disease is atherosclerosis, a progressive endothelial dysfunction in the body.
Walnuts Contain a Variety of Heart-Healing Nutrients
Aside from endothelial function support, walnuts also contain a host of healing nutrients, including arginine, polyphenols, copper, manganese, and again, omega-3s which support the inner arterial lining and guard against abnormal platelet aggregation in the body.
The US National Library of Medicine database contains more than 35 peer-reviewed published papers supporting a claim that ingesting walnuts improves vascular health and may reduce heart attack risk – and then some.
Vitamin D has been shown to improve a number of brain disorders, including dementia and its most severe form, Alzheimer’s disease,1 the latter of which now affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans.2
The latest mortality statistics places Alzheimer’s in the top three killer diseases in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.3 Vitamin D deficiency is also rampant. Researchers estimate that half of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.
Among seniors, that estimate reaches as high as 95 percent. While certainly not the sole cause of dementia, evidence suggests vitamin D may be a very important factor for successful prevention.
A wide variety of brain tissue contains vitamin D receptors, and when they’re activated by vitamin D, it facilitates nerve growth in your brain. Researchers also believe that optimal vitamin D levels boosts levels of important brain chemicals, and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.
Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on your brain through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which are well established.
‘Most Robust Study of Its Kind’ Confirms Link Between Low Vitamin D and Dementia
The link between low vitamin D and dementia has again been confirmed with the publication of a robust six-year long study4 conducted by an international team of researchers. As reported by Science Daily:5
“[S]tudy participants who were severely vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease…
[A]dults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 percent in those who were severely deficient.
Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 percent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 percent increased risk for those severely deficient.”
The authors concluded that: “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.”
The findings also suggest there’s a threshold level of circulating vitamin D, below which your risk for dementia increases. This threshold was found to be right around 50 nmol/L, or 20 ng/ml. Higher levels were associated with good brain health.
Based on previous research, I believe 20 ng/ml is still too low, and potentially dangerously so… When it comes to vitamin D, you really want to be in the optimal or clinically relevant range, and as the years have gone by, researchers have progressively moved that target range upward.
At present, based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml, or 125-175 nmol/L—a far cry from the threshold suggested in this study.
Sun Exposure Is the Ideal Way to Optimize Your Vitamin D Level
I believe sensible sun exposure is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels. As a general rule, you’ll want to expose large amounts of bare skin to the sun until it turns the lightest shade of pink, if you’re light-skinned.
This typically occurs in about half the time it would normally take you to burn. So if you know you tend to get sunburned after 30 minutes, you’d want to stay in the sun for about 15 minutes.
Those with darker skin may need to pay closer attention to notice when this slight reddening occurs. It’s really impossible to give any firm recommendations for how long you need to stay in the sun to optimize vitamin D production, as it varies greatly depending on a number of factors, such as:
Antioxidant levels and diet in general Age Skin color and/or current tan level Use of sunscreen Latitude and altitude (elevation) Cloud cover and pollution Ozone layer Surface reflection Season Time of day Weight Altitude
Other Alternatives: UVB emitting lights or Supplements
Your second-best option would be to use lights that emit UVB.
If your circumstances prevent either of these strategies, then you’re left with taking a vitamin D supplement. GrassrootsHealth has a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose.
Be sure to take vitamin D3—not synthetic D2—and take vitamin K2 in conjunction with it. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, and without sufficient amounts, calcium may build up in areas such as your arteries and soft tissues.
This can cause calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries—a side effect previously thought to be caused by vitamin D toxicity. We now know that inappropriate calcification is actually due more to lack of K2 than simply too much vitamin D.
Magnesium Is Also Important for Vitamin D Activity
Magnesium is another important player—both for the proper function of calcium, and for the activity of vitamin D, as it converts vitamin D into its active form. Magnesium also activates enzyme activity that helps your body use the vitamin D. In fact, all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium to work. Magnesium also appears to play a role in vitamin D’s immune-boosting effects. As noted by magnesium expert Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND:6
“The effectiveness and benefits of vitamin D are greatly undermined in the absence of adequate levels of magnesium in the body. Magnesium acts with and is essential to the activity of vitamin D, and yet most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.”
As with vitamin D and K2, magnesium deficiency is also common, and if you’re lacking in magnesium and take supplemental calcium, you may exacerbate the situation. Vitamin K2, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D all work in tandem with each other, which is why it’s important to pay attention to their ratios. Vitamin A, zinc, and boron are other important cofactors that interact with vitamin D, and indeed, zinc deficiency has also been identified as a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease.
When taking supplements, it can be easy to create lopsided ratios, so getting these nutrients from an organic whole food diet and sensible sun exposure is generally your best bet. Dietary sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, such as kelp, dulse, and nori. Vegetables can also be a good source. As for supplements, magnesium citrate and magnesium threonate are among the best.
November 5, 2014
Despite many folks hearing that ‘you are what you eat’, what many do not realize is that even if you do have foods and vegetables that might seem healthy [i.e. it’s a vegetable, thus it must be healthy], they might still be lacking proper nutrient content due to pesticides, herbicides, GMOs and the like.
This is why as concerned individuals we should do our best to put our health in a position not only to prevent disease efficiently with proper nutrients, but to actively flourish moving forward in our lives. This can only be accomplished by making sure our bodies have the requirements they need with proper nutrients.
Selenium is an extremely powerful yet oft underreported essential trace mineral.
This mineral has been known to have prevailing antioxidant properties in many instances. The lack of selenium in your nutrition can lead to grave consequences.
Deficiencies in selenium have been linked to an assortment of diseases. Some of these include miscarriage, thyroid disease, arthritis as well as viral infections.1 Other diseases that can take place when individuals lack selenium are a variety of cancers whilst also increasing heart disease.2
Worry not though, as nature always knows a way. When selenium is taken in conjunction with Vitamin E and Vitamin C, it has been shown to mitigate free-radicals known to cause cancer and heart disease.
Other health issues and diseases that Selenium may benefit are cataracts, macular degeneration, cognitive decline, HIV, cold sores, shingles and osteoarthritis.4
With the amount of people getting disease in the world growing by the day, it’s imperative individuals take their health into their own hands. Most do not know how nutrient deficient the Standard American Diet is.
Not only is the average diet laden with genetically modified organisms, which causes many health disturbances simply by itself, but by lacking nutrients as well, people are being exposed to an insidious one-two punch – never mind the fact that people are also exposed to nocuous aspartame, fluoride, fukushima radiation, chemtrails [containing barium, aluminum & strontium, etc.], and more.
This is why the importance of a nutrient-dense diet is vital. Besides selenium supplementation, a few ways people can get selenium in their diets is by eating eggs, sunflower seeds, mustards seeds, button mushrooms and shitake mushrooms, and brazil nuts.5
Although selenium is only one of the many vitamins and minerals the body needs, by only lacking one mineral – selenium in this instance – the body is subjected to unnecessary physical hardship.
A proper nutrient balance is key, but knowing where the holes in your body’s defenses are – lacking nutrients – and how to effectively seal them will help not only prevent the onset of disease, but aid in greater health.
October 24, 2014
Carcinogens in grilled and baked chicken may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, while curcumin, the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric, may sometimes help even in advanced stages of the disease.
October 22, 2014
October 21, 2014
Many years ago, soon after being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, one of the supplements that was recommended to me by my doctor at the time was B-12.
At the time, B-12 [nor many other vitamins] was not part of my supplementary repertoire. We as a family partook in the Standard American Diet [S.A.D.] which involved nothing nutritional, and everything that can be deleterious to one’s health. Yeah, tell me about it!
Although we continued taking B-12 for years after its initial recommendation, the real detriments of having insufficient B-12 would not become known to me until more than a decade after its first recommendation.
This is a vastly more important topic than people realize, because this affects countless [millions] more people than we know. Countless maladies can be caused by being vitamin B-12 deficient, and am speaking from experience [unfortunately] as it was found that I was highly B-12 deficient [even though supplementation was part of my daily health routine, although the amounts were inadequate obviously], which was causing a large series of issues with my health earlier this year.
Signs And Symptoms Of B12 Deficiency Include:
Tingling Or Numbness
Sore Mouth Or Tongue
Stomach & GI Problems
Limp Movement Disorders
Thoughts Of Suicide
For more information on this remarkable vitamin and some of the complications that can arise due to deficiencies, please watch the Documentary below.