Posts Tagged Magnesium
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.
by: Becca Wolford
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. Generally, the damage is due to increased pressure on the nerve (intraocular pressure). It is the second-most common cause of blindness in the U.S. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, there are over 60,000,000 people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.
There are 4 types of glaucoma: chronic, acute, congenital, and secondary glaucoma. The most common type of glaucoma is open-angle (chronic) glaucoma.
“The front part of the eye is filled with a clear fluid called aqueous humor. This fluid is always being made behind the colored part of the eye (the iris). It leaves the eye through channels in the front of the eye in an area called the anterior chamber angle, or simply the angle.
Anything that slows or blocks the flow of this fluid out of the eye will cause pressure to build up in the eye. This pressure is called intraocular pressure (IOP). In most cases of glaucoma, this pressure is high and causes damage to the optic nerve.
Open-angle (chronic) glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma.
- The cause is unknown. An increase in eye pressure occurs slowly over time. The pressure pushes on the optic nerve. (Genetics and ethnicity may be factors in the incidence of glaucoma.)
- Open-angle glaucoma tends to run in families. Your risk is higher if you have a parent or grandparent with open-angle glaucoma. People of African descent are at particularly high risk for this disease.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
As is often the case, with open-angle (chronic) glaucoma, most people have no symptoms. The damage is already severe when the vision starts to deteriorate. One of the signs that there may be glaucoma is when the person develops tunnel vision or problems with peripheral vision.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
By: PF Louis
[NaturalNews] Let’s go over some pH basic background before getting into how to maintain a neutral (7.0) or slightly alkaline (7.4) pH blood reading for optimum health.
The term pH literally means power Hydrogen. It’s a measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions. Each number of the pH scale represents a ten-fold difference in that concentration. Your alkaline buffer system has to work hard to neutralize overall acidity.
Food pH measurements can be deceptive. Just because a citrus fruit or apple cider vinegar measures a low or acidic pH doesn’t mean it is acid yielding.
The key word is yielding, and it points to the metabolic result after ingestion. Even squeezing lemon or lime into a glass of water creates an alkaline yielding liquid.
Testing your pH by saliva or urine will result in slightly lower (acid) readings than your blood pH. Urine, especially from your first urination, will tend to be even lower as your kidneys have worked on eliminating acidity.
Not to worry if you’re getting readings in the high sixes from either test. Different organs may have different pH readings than your blood reading as well.
Acidosis occurs when the blood reading goes below seven and stays there. This is usually what kills cancer patients, especially those who are poisoned with chemo or radiation.
Five simple approaches for an alkaline yielding diet
Your alkaline buffer system is designed to take care of the inevitable alkaline/acid yielding food mix. But overworking your buffer will deplete it. Here’s a list of acid and alkaline yielding foods to get an idea of what they are.
Read the “note” at the bottom of the list (http://www.naturalnews.com/Report_acid_alkaline_pH_5.html).
(1) Try to balance your diet with a 60/40 ratio of alkaline yielding foods to acid yielding, then up the ratio to 80/20. Typically, standard American diets (SAD) consist of mostly acid yielding foods. Fake fats, sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), bleached white breads and pastries and so on are extremely acid yielding.
Focus on organic green veggies, smoothies, and juicing as well as green super foods such as chlorella. Fruits of all types, even citrus fruits considered acid, are all alkaline yielding.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
By: Lloyd Burrell
[NaturalNews] Whether concern stems from the possible exposure to drifting radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan or from every day sources of non-ionizing radiation (i.e., cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi, smart meters, etc.), exposure to radiation is a reality.
The constant exposure to electromagnetic fields results in DNA fragmentation which can lead to cancers of the parotid salivary gland, the thyroid gland, and the head. Kids are even more susceptible, with evidence of brain and spinal tumors appearing in children exposed to radiation.
Powerwatch, a non-profit organization prominent in the United Kingdom Electromagnetic Field and Microwave Radiation health debate, shares further consequences resulting from exposure to radiation, including:
• Cognitive dysfunction
• Failed pregnancies
• Certain types of dementia
• Compromised immune system function
Protection from radiation and its impending consequences is imperative as well as feasible through safe, natural sources.
Potassium iodide, simply composed of the elements potassium and iodine, is the most familiar solution for protection from radiation exposure. Potassium iodide, taken in supplement form, is also used to treat overactive thyroid.
While natural, does it work? Is it safe?
Potassium iodide is effective, yet contraindicated for a multitude of medications, can damage the thyroid, and brings with it other side effects in the form of:
• Red, bumpy, itchy skin
• Painful joints
• Facial and body swelling
After using potassium iodide for a long period of time, a series of other serious health complications may also surface.
The natural approach
A strong, healthy thyroid is the best protection from radioactive iodine-131 (nuclear power plant steam), and EMF exposure. Steven Schacter, author of Fighting Radiation with Food, Herbs and Vitamins, explains, “If sufficient amounts of natural iodine are available, radioactive iodine will not be absorbed.” Schacter advises eating seaweed (kelp) to obtain natural iodine.
Eating foods naturally high in iodine will supply the thyroid with adequate amounts of iodine, discouraging the absorption of radioactive iodine, and protecting it from EMF damage.
These foods are high in iodine and part of a natural, safe approach.
• Other seaweeds and sea vegetables
• Cranberries or cranberry juice
• Potatoes with the skin
• Beans – especially navy beans
• Himalayan crystal salt
For protection from cancers induced from radiation eat a variety of:
Dark leafy greens and orange starchy foods – (sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots).
• Milk thistle – a proven detoxifier
• Siberian ginseng – facilitates overall cellular health, strengthens body against all types of stress, including cancer treatments
• Curcumin – antioxidant and scientifically proven anti-inflammatory, protects and helps tissue healing
• Ecklonia cava – antioxidant seaweed extract
• Drink plenty of pure water every day to eliminate toxins
• Visual imagery – the power of positive thinking through the visualization of wellness throughout the body
Loss of minerals
Radiation exposure sets the stage for the release of specific minerals from the body which are necessary for optimal protection from electromagnetic fields.
These minerals are:
• Selenium – especially important as a co-factor of iodine for cell regeneration and protection
Because the body works synergistically to heal and protect, consume a variety of organic, whole plant-based foods in a variety of colors to guarantee a good supply of antioxidants and the elimination of free radicals.
Multi-vitamin supplements are a poor substitute but may be used from time to time to cover any missing nutrients.
It’s not practical in today’s society to completely eradicate all sources of radiation; however, the best protection comes from minimizing exposure in the first place. This approach along with the others mentioned here offers the best scenario for minimizing the dangerous effects of radiation exposure.
Sources for this article include:
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
By: Craig Stellpflug
[NaturalNews] Would you board a train that had a 36 percent higher chance of a fatal crash than another train? How about climbing onto an airplane where a random 1 out of 16 wouldn’t even make the destination alive? Yet people ride these deadly odds when they take even one sleep medication per month.
Something to sleep on
Sleeping pills can put you to sleep all right… permanently! Researchers found that people taking even occasional sleep and/or anxiety drugs died at a 36 percent higher rate than those who didn’t take drugs. Another study found that people taking sleeping pills were 4.6 times more likely to die within 2.5 years than the non-drug people – irrespective of underlying health conditions or smoking and alcohol use.
Yet another study found that sleep drugs increased overall death risk by as much as a whopping 530 percent – along with producing a 35 percent elevated risk of developing cancer. Another study shows that taking benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepines, barbiturates and sedative antihistamines for insomnia killed 1 in 16 pill-poppers within two years.
Insomnia in our youth
Insomnia is a significant issue among one out of every three school-aged patients seen by a psychiatrist. 96 percent of these Big Pharma pushers prescribed at least one medication to these impressionable youngsters ranging from antihistamines to ADHD meds, antidepressants, antipsychotics and anticonvulsants.
Why can’t we sleep?
Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland in the brain, but its production is shut down by light striking the retina of the eye. Staying inside all day long or staying up late at night totally confuses the body’s production of melatonin.
Cortisol and melatonin have an antagonistic relationship with each other. People with sleep problems usually have the highest amount of cortisol in their bloodstream in the evening. This is where regular exercise and stress-reducing activities like yoga or meditation helps.
Diet, exercise and allergies/sensitivities, caffeine, alcohol and drugs all play rolls in affecting sleep cycles. If you are not willing to give up your sugary, flavored drinks, change your diet and lifestyle, or change your work-shift then you will eventually have to rely on toxic drugs to sedate you.
Some natural sleep products
Valerian is one of the most common natural sleep remedies for insomnia, improving deep sleep, speed of falling asleep, and quality of sleep. Take 200 to 800 milligrams before bed. One caveat: About 10 percent of the people who use it actually feel energized rather than sleepy.
Supplemental melatonin helps sleep cycles and lowers cortisol. Take one mg two hours before bed and another one or two mg at bedtime.
Ornithine is a great amino acid that helps you use natural melatonin while cleaning out the brain sleep centers. Try 2,000 mg at bedtime for an adult.
Tryptophan helps with serotonin related sleep disorders. Start with 500 mg and work up to 500 mg per 50-pounds of body weight. It takes two months to maximize tryptophan’s full benefit.
Magnesium and calcium are both sleep boosters that become even more effective when taken together. Take 200 milligrams of magnesium and 600 milligrams of calcium each night.
Niacinamide helps increase the amount of rapid eye movement sleep. Niacinamide directly affects the “benzodiazepine” receptors in your brain.
Lavender is a cheap, nontoxic way to slip into a peaceful slumber. Find a spray with real lavender and spritz it on your pillow before bedtime.
GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is your body’s most abundant “inhibitory” neurotransmitter. GABA puts on the brakes for adrenaline while it relaxes, sedates, and reduces over-stimulation.
Avoid the train wreck
Visit your naturopath and explore your other natural options of peppermint, chamomile, and passionflower teas, diet changes, kava, inositol, acupuncture and aromatherapy before risking any deadly Big Pharma drugs.
Sources for this article
by: Margie King
July 10, 2012
Pumpkin seeds come from pumpkins, sunflower seeds come from sunflowers and sesame seeds come from… sesames?
Actually, sesame seeds come from a tropical plant called Sesamum indicum which is believed to have originated in Africa and today is commercially cultivated mostly in India, China and Mexico. In the Caribbean and southern U.S., sesame seeds are often known by their African name, benne.
Archeological evidence suggests that the sesame plant was grown at least 2,500 years ago and it has a rich mythological heritage. An Assyrian legend tells of the gods drinking a wine made from sesame seeds on the day before they created the world.
The seeds, which vary in color and can be black, white, yellow or red, grow in pods which burst open when ripe. This is said to be the basis of the magic phrase of “open sesame” in the Arabian Nights.
In cooking, sesame seeds are not just important as a decoration on Big Macs and bagels. For their diminutive size, sesame seeds pack a wide array of nutrients and health benefits. They are a good source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and zinc.
Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, with a quarter cup of the seeds providing more than 83% of your daily requirements. Copper is an important mineral element in the body’s anti-inflammatory systems and is known to help reduce the pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, sesame seeds have been found to have the highest levels of phytosterols among the most common seeds and nuts in America. Phytosterols are plant compounds believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol.
One 2006 study conducted in Taiwan and published in the Journal of Nutrition suggested that eating sesame seeds may benefit postmenopausal women by improving their blood lipids levels, antioxidant status, and possibly even their sex hormone status.
The seeds can be eaten whole, ground into a paste known as tahini or processed into oil. They have a mild, nutty flavor and a slight crunch.
Try them in this refreshing summer salad.
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 9, 2012
It’s green, grows in the fresh waters of Australia and Southeast Asia, and it may be one of the most nutritionally valuable food sources out there. What I’m talking about is chlorella; and due to the many health benefits of chlorella, it has gained incredible popularity over the past few years.
Health Benefits of Chlorella
Usually taken in a capsule or put in smoothies and other recipes as a powder, this green algae is being credited with all sorts of health benefits. From reducing body fat to helping ward off metabolic syndrome, this little green algae is powerful far beyond its unassuming appearance.
It’s tiny—about three to eight micrometers in diameter. After being harvested from fresh water ponds it has to be dried and crushed, and right now there are many supplement and natural foods companies getting in on the chlorella action.
So, what’s so great about it? It’s hard to know where to start since there are so many health benefits of chlorella, but this healthful algae is said to have twice as much protein as spinach and nine essential amino acids. It has 38 times more protein than soybeans and 55 times more than rice. In addition to this—it’s packed with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin K1 and Magnesium.
In people with cancer, there has been promising research to show that chlorella fights infections. In a study of brain tumors and chlorella, Prof. Randall Merchant of the Neurosurgery and Anatomy at Virginia Commonwealth University said, “It didn’t make brain tumors go away or shrink, so it didn’t cure the cancer, but it did help the patients by boosting their immune system so that they resisted opportunistic infections.”
The health benefits of chlorella also include the boosting of the digestive system – improving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome – among other things. It increases the body’s production of good bacteria in the gut, and that it works to absorb toxins in the intestines. It also encourages more regular bowel movements, moving food through the digestive system and clearing out the intestines to prevent the re-absorption of toxins.
As for hypertension—chlorella lowered blood pressure in about 50% of cases and also lowered serum cholesterol – making a great addition to the many home remedies for high blood pressure.
Chlorella also reduces the symptoms of diseases like fibromyalgia, colitis, and metabolic syndrome.
In other words—it definitely earns the designation as a “super food”.
So what can you do with it?
You can take it as a supplement or eat it whole. Different brand names of chlorella capsules and tablets can be found online through numerous health stores and through your local health food grocers. You can also buy it in a powder form to add to smoothies and other recipes for quick digestion.