Vitamin D is the “sunshine vitamin” your body produces after sufficient exposure to sunlight. Every day we learn more about its role in disease prevention among old and young alike. Now, a new study has found yet another reason why ensuring you’re getting enough of this crucial vitamin should be at the top of your to-do list, especially if you’re in your 60s and beyond.
Specifically, older adults with insufficient levels of vitamin D are more likely to die from heart disease and other causes than those without. Those with low vitamin D levels were three times more likely to die from heart disease — and 2.5 times more likely to die from any cause — than those with plenty of vitamin D.
Why is Vitamin D Essential for Your Good Health?
Vitamin D, which is actually not a vitamin but a secosteroid hormone, targets over 2,000 genes in your body; this is about 10 percent of the entire human genome. Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.
When you go out in the sun in your bathing suit, your body produces between 10,000 and 50,000 units of cholecalciferol in your skin by the time it begins to turn a light pink. However, because many people no longer spend much time in the sun without sunblock, vitamin D deficiency is thought to be very widespread. The elderly are especially at risk of deficiency because of limited time spent in the sun, and their reduced ability to make vitamin D as they age.
Have You Heard of Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome?
The Vitamin D Council has proposed that Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome (VDDS) exists when 25(OH)D [vitamin D] levels of less than 25 ng/mL are found in people with two or more of the following conditions: osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, depression, chronic fatigue, or chronic pain. These are all illnesses that are associated with vitamin D deficiency.
VDDS is more common among dark skinned races, the elderly, and those who avoid the sun.
How Much Vitamin D is Optimal?
The Recommended Daily Allowance for vitamin D is 200 IU a day for adults up to 50, 400 IU for those 51-70, and 600 IU for those 71 and over.
However, many health experts say that amount is far too low. “The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure — 50 times more than the US government’s recommendation of 200 IU per day [for adults]!” states the Vitamin D Council. A blood test from your doctor, called the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, can determine whether your vitamin D levels are high enough.
If You Take a Vitamin D Supplement, Make Sure It’s Being Absorbed
Sun exposure is the best form of vitamin D, but if you cannot get out in the sun regularly, experts recommend supplementing with a vitamin D3 supplement, which is the same natural vitamin D your body makes when exposed to the sun. Avoid vitamin D2, which is synthetic and may be less safe and less effective.
Along with regularly testing your blood levels for vitamin D to make sure you’re in the optimal range, you should make sure your body has the best chances of absorbing the vitamin D. Sometimes supplementing therapeutic amounts of vitamin D can create a greater need for the fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K.
As fall and winter approach in the United States, now is an important time to look into the status of your vitamin D levels, whether you’re 25, 55, or 85.
Do you love your cup of joe? Then love it even more this morning!
New research shows that a cup a day may keep the skin cancer away!
Drugs that are famous for fighting pain may also protect against skin cancer, a new study found. The Danish study of nearly 200,000 men and women found that those who took nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen were less likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
“Given the high skin cancer incidence and the widespread and frequent use of NSAIDs, a preventive effect of these agents may have important public health implications,” the authors wrote in their study, which was published today in the journal Cancer.
Turmeric has been used for centuries as part of traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine, and many laboratory studies suggest one of its components, curcumin, might have many beneficial properties.
The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti- inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:
1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
6. It is a natural liver detoxifier.
7. It may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque buildup in the brain.
8. It may prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
10. It has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
11. It is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
12. It may aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
13. It has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
15. It boosts the effects of some chemo-therapy drugs and reduces side effects.
16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
17. Studies are ongoing on the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
18. It has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
19. It speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.
20. It may help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.
It has also been found useful in post-stroke treatments, with some clot busting qualities. However, curcumin cannot naturally pass through the “blood brain barrier” which protects the brain from potentially toxic molecules. U.S. researchers have now found a way to modified curcumin and came up with a new version, CNB-001, which can pass through the blood brain barrier. Laboratory tests on rabbits suggest it might be effective up to three hours after a stroke in humans – about the same time window available for current “clot-busting” drugs.
From my own experiences in the past few years and what I have learned after suffering from a terrible case of Candida Albicans back in 2008, sugar is one of the worst toxins we consume everyday.
A handful of scientists have recently suggested that sugar is actually the worst thing in the American diet, on some levels even worse than trans fats. Sugar can be blamed for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even some form of cancers. According to research led by Robert Lustig of the University of California, sugar is toxic. He will appear on CBS 60 Minutes this evening to explain his findings.
According to research, the average American person consumes roughly 130 pounds of added sugars, which includes sugar as well as high fructose corn syrup, every year. While high fructose corn syrup is often vilified more often than sugar, Lustig says that, metabolically, there is no difference.
Taking the idea of the toxicity of sugar even further, Lustig, in an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CBS 60 Minutes tonight, goes so far as to say that sugar should be treated no differently than alcohol or tobacco.
Ironic isn’t it, we try to limit alcohol and tobacco consumption to adults, but push sugar at our children every chance we get. EASTER candy anyone?
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Thousands of people in the UK are dying unnecessarily because they are too scared to mention early symptoms of cancer to their doctor, say experts.
I just read the BEST article I have ever read about our apparent inability to accept the reality of death in the U.S.
I wish everyone would read this excellent analysis of how our medical system can work against us when it’s time to die.
Nearly half of cancers diagnosed in the UK each year – over 130,000 in total – are caused by avoidable life choices including smoking, drinking and eating the wrong things.
Tobacco is the biggest culprit, causing 23% of cases in men and 15.6% in women, says the Cancer Research UK report.
Next comes a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in men’s diets, while for women it is being overweight.
“Looking at all the evidence, it’s clear that around 40% of all cancers are caused by things we have the power to change.”
The report is published in the British Journal of Cancer.
The first apple is said to have been developed and grown in Kazakhstan in 382 B.C. It was a dwarf variety compared to the more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples today.
Apples are one of our healthiest fruits. Rich in antioxidants and nutrition, apples can help prevent certain diseases, including certain cancers such as those of the colon, prostate, and the lungs. One advantage to apples compared to other fruit is the large amount of fiber, which causes them to not severely raise your glucose level even though they can be quite sweet. Of course that depends on whether you eat the skins or not.
While the pulp of the apple is certainly the most delicious and juicy part of the fruit, it’s the skin that contains more nutrition. The skin has 4 times more antioxidants. The average apple skin has 4mg quercetin, a renowned anti-oxidant that prevents oxygen molecules from causing free radical damage to our body cells. According to research, your intake of quercetin can help decrease your risk of heart disease by a surprising 20% while reducing cholesterol and your risk of diabetes.
So go ahead and eat an apple a day!
Dr. Oz: Arsenic Poisoning Dangers
- Bladder Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Skin Cancer
- Heart Disease
- Learning Disabilities