Welcome to our blog!
Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.
Welcome to our blog!
Did you know, in this region, the norovirus has ran rampant at several schools and recently caused the closing of a local high school? The controversy around flu vaccines will always be prevalent however in an article in our local paper, a physician said “truth be told”, the flu shot rarely prevents the flu. However, there are some herbs and foods that can help combat the risk of catching the flu. For instance glycyrrhiza lepidota (licorice plant), helps the body stimulate anti-virus compounds and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can raise blood pressure, so if you take BP meds, consult your doc. Red Korean ginseng helps reduce the symptoms and duration of upper respiratory infections however it too can increase blood pressure. Cranberries and elderberries are directly toxic to the influenza virus and can be used without contraindication. Echinacea tea is often used to fight flu symptoms, as it can enhance the immune system with its anti-viral properties. If you are allergic to ragweed you may want to avoid this. Just a couple things you can do to fight back during the cold and flu season and don’t forget the usual Vitamins C, D and zinc!!
You can always count on one study to contradict another. If you enjoy sunshine, this might be of interest. A recent study of 30,000 Swedish women found that those who spent more time in the sun, actually lived longer, had less heart disease and fewer non-cancer deaths than those who reported less sun exposure. The down side was that those who spent more time in the sun had a higher percentage of cancer related deaths. The additional life effect on longevity was small, with a benefit of anywhere from 7 months to 2 years of extended life. The theory is that exposure to the sun increases the production of vitamin D which in turn improves health benefits. A little sunshine can go a long way to improving your health! Everything in moderation!
The RDA for vitamin D has been increased to 600 IU for anyone 1-70 years of age and 800 IU for those over 70. Even these numbers are probably too low. Vitamin D deficiency in the US tripled between 2007 and 2010. Many studies are now showing that we are terribly lacking in vitamin D as a society and unfortunately it is associated with osteoporosis as well as a variety of other disorders including cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer disease. Sunlight is a good way to boost your levels as well as supplementation. There are lab tests for vitamin D levels however it is a fat soluble, so too much can be an issue in and of itself. Most people can tolerate up to 5000 IU without much of a problem but consult your doc if you think you may be deficient.
Studies about Vitamin D are numerous and sometimes contradictory. Two new large studies recently discovered a link between low levels of Vitamin D and death from cancer and heart disease, and suffering from other illnesses. This large study found suggestive evidence, enough to determine that high Vitamin D levels could protect against diabetes, stroke, hypertension, and a host of other diseases. Good sources include, sunshine, fish, eggs, fortified dairy products, organ meats and of course supplementation with Vitamin D3, better than Vitamin D2.
Speaking of joint pain, did you know that stress activates a biochemical pathway that signals a chronic inflammatory response that can interfere with joint function. Some good joint anti-inflammatory agents include omega 3 EFA’s, EPA and DHA from fish oil. Also, vitamin D and E offer benefits that are good for joint pain but also joint stiffness. Finally, glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are great for supporting the joint cartilage and are known as natural “joint builders.” Adding these basic components to your diet can help tremendously, if used properly and consistently. More about this next time!
A very recent study showed the benefits of vitamin D for females with type ll Diabetes. In this small study, vitamin D supplementation improved women’s health in three very important ways, reduction of blood pressure, elevation in mood and a modest loss of weight. Many studies have shown the importance of increasing vitamin D in our diets as many Americans are deficient because of a reduction in the consumption of foods rich in the vitamin, lack of sunshine exposure, genetic issues and/or being obese. The bottom line, get more vitamin D in your life.