Vitamin D Deficiency: A Mental Sign Of Dangerously Low Levels Of Vital Nutrient

In the winter months, when less sunlight hours are available, it can be difficult to get the requisite amount of vitamin D.

In the winter months, when less sunlight hours are available, it can be difficult to get the requisite amount of vitamin D.

Sadness can be one of the consequences of a vitamin D deficiency.

When people are low in this vitamin they sometimes feel a loss of interest in activities that they used to be motivated to perform, such as work and exercise.

Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to anxiety disorders.

Indeed, people diagnosed with anxiety disorders often have low levels of the vitamin in their bloodstream.

A vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to severe fatigue and poor sleep quality — both of which are clearly associated.

Most people get enough vitamin D during the summer months from their exposure to sunlight.

The body produces vitamin D when sunlight hits the skin.

However, in the winter months, when less sunlight hours are available, it can be difficult to get the requisite amount.

Around one-in-five people are thought to have a vitamin D deficiency.

A deficiency in this vitamin is particularly prevalent among people with darker skin, who do not leave the house or who are pregnant or have problems with absorption.

Vitamin D supplementation is one option for correcting the problem.

Around 10 mcg per day is the dose often recommended.

A change of diet can also help the problem.

Vitamin D is particularly abundant in foods like milk, liver, fatty fish, and egg yolks.

Avoid too much vitamin D

At the other end of the scale, some people take too much vitamin D supplementation.

Signs of very high levels of vitamin D include excessive urination, vomiting, muscle weakness and dehydration.

Too much vitamin D can even lead to kidney stones, loss of appetite, pain and confusion.

It is not possible to get too much vitamin D from sun exposure, so it is almost always taking too many supplements that is to blame.


An Anti-Inflammatory Fruit That Reduces Cancer Risk By 23%

Eating this anti-inflammatory fruit commonly used in traditional medicine and food may give you a longer life.

Eating this anti-inflammatory fruit commonly used in traditional medicine and food may give you a longer life.

Eating chili peppers may increase lifespan and lower the odds of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease, a study suggests.

Researchers in past have shown that the capsaicin in chili pepper acts as an antioxidant, helps regulating blood glucose, reduces inflammation, and has anticancer powers.

Capsaicin is the active compound of chili pepper that gives this plant a spicy taste.

The research team looked at 4,729 studies to see if there is any link between eating chili pepper and a reduced risk of death caused by cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

The data analysis showed that four of studies involving 570,762 subjects met their criteria.

The results showed that those who ate chili pepper regularly were 26 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than non-consumers or those who hardly ate chili pepper.

The chili pepper eaters also had a 23 percent lower risk of dying from cancer and a 25 percent reduced risk of dying from any disease.

Dr Bo Xu, the study’s senior author, said:

“We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chili pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all cause, CVD and cancer mortality.

It highlights that dietary factors may play an important role in overall health.

The exact reasons and mechanisms that might explain our findings, though, are currently unknown.

Therefore, it is impossible to conclusively say that eating more chili pepper can prolong life and reduce deaths, especially from cardiovascular factors or cancer.

More research, especially evidence from randomized controlled studies, is needed to confirm these preliminary findings.”

Dr XU pointed out that those four studies had some limitations including lack of specific information on participants heath and some missing factors that might affected the results.

Moreover, the type and amount of chili pepper consumed by individuals were all different in each study.

Therefore, it is not easy to conclude how often, what type, and how much chili pepper needs to be consumed in order to get the related health benefits.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020 (Kaur et al., 2020).

Vitamin D: The Signs You Are Taking Too Many Supplements

What is the right dose of vitamin D and could higher amounts do harm to our bodies?

What is the right dose of vitamin D and could higher amounts do harm to our bodies?

What dose of vitamin D is the right amount; 400 international units (IU) per day or 4,000 IU per day or 10, 000 IU per day?

A clinical trial in Canada has found that taking vitamin D at high dosages is worthless and could even reduce bone density.

Some signs of taking too much vitamin D include:

  • dehydration,
  • fatigue,
  • nausea,
  • muscle weakness,
  • thirst,
  • and constipation.

Our skin makes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and during the summer it only takes 15 minutes to get enough vitamin D for the day.

During winter time people in many countries such as Canada can’t get enough sunlight so the advice is to take a vitamin D supplement.

Our body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium for healthy bones, immune function, and mental health.

The Canadian study focuses on the necessity for vitamin D supplementation regarding bone density and bone strength.

They conducted a 3-year study on 311 healthy adult aged 55 to 70.

One group received 400 IU of vitamin D3 daily, the other 4,000 IU per day, and the third 10,000 IU per day.

Calcium and vitamin D together are important for bone health, therefore, the research team also provided participants a calcium  supplement of 1,200 mg daily.

Health Canada recommends a dosage of 600 IU to 800 IU of vitamin D per day for a healthy adult aged 70+.

Osteoporosis Canada’s recommendation for vitamin D daily intake is 400 to 2,000 IU to avoid the bone loss disease.

Moreover, some individuals taking even a higher amount due to a vitamin D deficiency or a medical condition.

Therefore, it brings us back to this question of what is the right amount and what dosage of vitamin D can be harmful.

The study examined participants’ bone mineral density (BMD) by measuring levels of calcium and other minerals in the bone.

The risk of breaking a bone increases when the bone density is lower.

The BMD examinations showed that bone loss was significantly different between the three dosage of vitamin D groups.

Over the 3-year study, people on 10,000 IU of vitamin D saw a 3.6 percent reduction in their BMD while for the 4,000 IU group the reduction was 2.6 percent, and for the 400 IU group a 1.4 percent drop.

In short, the findings contradicted the hype about higher doses of vitamin D helping to increase bone density and build strong bones.

In this study, those who were on 10,000 IU vitamin D per day had the biggest decrease in bone density, suggesting a higher dosage can cause damage to the bones.

Professor Steven Boyd, the study’s co-author, said:

“with XtremeCT, the latest in bone imaging technology, we were able to find dose-dependent changes over the three years.

However, we were surprised to find that instead of bone gain with higher doses, the group with the highest dose lost bone the fastest.

That amount of bone loss with 10,000 IU daily is not enough to risk a fracture over a three-year period, but our findings suggest that for healthy adults, vitamin D doses at levels recommended by Osteoporosis Canada (400-2000 IU daily) are adequate for bone health.”

In addition, the study found that vitamin D supplements at higher doses, when taken for a long period, could increase risk of developing hypercalciuria, high amounts of calcium in the urine which can cause kidney stones.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Burt et al., 2019).

The Common Drink That Halves Liver Cancer Risk

People who like this drink can lower their odds of having liver cancer by 50 percent.

People who like this drink can lower their odds of having liver cancer by 50 percent.

Coffee is not just a wake-up call in the morning, now it has been found to cut the risk of liver cancer by half.

A study reveals that coffee drinkers are 50 percent less likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common type of liver cancer) than those who don’t drink coffee.

One important factor is that coffee shows antioxidant activity, preventing cancer cells from dividing and reproducing themselves.

Coffee is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, diterpenes like cafestol, kahweol and tocopherols.

Phenolic acids and caffeine have been shown to have anti-cancer properties, helping to decreasing the size and number of tumours.

Coffee is one the most popular beverages in the world: half of American adults drink coffee every day.

Drinking coffee has been associated with several health benefits, such as lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes.

This study focused on the effect of different types of coffee on liver cancer in 471,779 middle-aged UK participants.

In the UK over the past decade, liver cancer rates have increased by 60 percent.

Dr Úna McMenamin, study co-author, said:

“This is one of the first studies to investigate the risk of digestive cancers according to different types of coffee and we found that the risk of HCC was just as low in people who drank mostly instant coffee, the type most commonly drank in the UK.

We need much more research to determine the possible biological reasons behind this association.”

Ms Kim Tu Tran, the study’s first author, said:

“People with a coffee-drinking habit could find keeping that habit going is good for their health.

That is because coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine, which may protect against cancer.

However, drinking coffee is not as protective against liver cancer as stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol or losing weight.”

The study was published in British Journal of Cancer (Tran et al., 2019).

One Cup Of This Popular Drink Linked To Living Longer

Drinking even one cup a day of this beverage may help you to live longer.

Drinking even one cup a day of this beverage may help you to live longer.

Drinking either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee can reduce the risk of death by nearly 20 percent, experts say.

People who drink at least one cup of coffee a day live longer and have a lower death rate from kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

A study found that people who drank at least one cup of coffee daily compared to none were 12 percent less likely to die early.

Moreover, participants in this study who had two to three cups of coffee per day were 18 percent less likely to die early.

Dr Veronica Setiawan, the study’s lead author, said:

“We cannot say drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association.

If you like to drink coffee, drink up!

If you’re not a coffee drinker, then you need to consider if you should start.”

More than 185,000 adults aged 45- to 75-years-old were enrolled in the study and they were followed-up over 16 years.

Dr Setiawan said:

“This study is the largest of its kind and includes minorities who have very different lifestyles.

Seeing a similar pattern across different populations gives stronger biological backing to the argument that coffee is good for you whether you are white, African-American, Latino or Asian.”

Previous studies have shown that drinking coffee is linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, cancer, liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.

But don’t forget to drink it when it has cooled as, according to the World Health Organization, drinking very hot beverages can cause esophageal cancer.

Coffee is a good source of phenolic compounds that have antioxidant activity and so is important in lowering the risk of cancer.

This study doesn’t show what makes coffee so special or what components in coffee could be responsible for its effect.

But it clearly shows that drinking coffee provides health benefits and so it can be used along with a healthy diet.

Dr Setiawan said:

“Some people worry drinking coffee can be bad for you because it might increase the risk of heart disease, stunt growth or lead to stomach ulcers and heartburn.

But research on coffee have mostly shown no harm to people’s health.”

The study was published in Annals of Internal Medicine (Park et al., 2017).

The Vitamin Deficiency Linked To Autoimmune Disorders

A vitamin that reduces autoimmune disease risk by almost one-quarter.

A vitamin that reduces autoimmune disease risk by almost one-quarter.

Vitamin D supplementation over five years is linked to lower autoimmune disease risk of 22 percent, a study reveals.

Inflammatory disorders such as thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and polymyalgia rheumatica are examples of autoimmune diseases (AD).

AD can lead to life-threatening complications and death as currently there are no cures for AD and only a few treatments seem to be effective.

However, past research has highlighted that vitamin D and omega-3 (or n-3) fatty acid supplements may benefit many patients with these conditions.

A study called ‘VITAL’ assessed 25,871 participants to see whether supplementation of vitamin D or omega-3 or a combination of these two have any impact on reducing AD rates.

Participants were divided into different groups; receiving either 2,000 IU vitamin D3 or 1,000 mg of fish oil a day or a combination of both.

The fish oil capsule contained 460 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 380 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The research team found that those who received vitamin D with fish oil or vitamin D alone were less likely to develop AD.

Dr Karen Costenbader, the study’s senior author, said:

“This is the first direct evidence we have that daily supplementation may reduce AD incidence, and what looks like more pronounced effect after two years of supplementation for vitamin D.

Now, when my patients, colleagues, or friends ask me which vitamins or supplements I’d recommend they take to reduce risk of autoimmune disease, I have new evidence-based recommendations for women age 55 years and older and men 50 years and older.

I suggest vitamin D 2000 IU a day and marine omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), 1000 mg a day—the doses used in VITAL.”

The results show that 5 years vitamin D supplementation reduced autoimmune disease by 22 percent in patients with AD.

Whereas supplementation of fish oil with or without vitamin D reduced the AD rate by only 15 percent.

Dr Jill Hahn, the study’s first author, said:

“Autoimmune diseases are common in older adults and negatively affect health and life expectancy.

Until now, we have had no proven way of preventing them, and now, for the first time, we do.

It would be exciting if we could go on to verify the same preventive effects in younger individuals.”

The study was published in BMJ (Hahn et al., 2021).

A Mental Sign Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

People with vitamin B12 deficiency were three times more likely to be suffering this problem.

People with vitamin B12 deficiency were three times more likely to be suffering this problem.

Feeling depressed can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency, a study finds.

People with a vitamin B12 deficiency are three times more likely to be experiencing ‘melancholic’ depression.

Melancholic depression mostly involves depressed mood.

Some of the other most common symptoms of depression are decreased interest in life or pleasure, energy loss and concentration problems.

The study also found a link between low folate intake and depression.

Folates include vitamin B9, folacin and folic acid.

People with a low intake of folates were 50 percent more likely to be experiencing melancholic depression.

The research included 2,806 Finnish people whose nutritional status and depression symptoms were assessed.

Although vitamin B12 and folates were linked to melancholic depression, the same link was not seen with non-melancholic depression.

Symptoms of non-melancholic depression cluster around anxiety and low self-esteem, with less emphasis on depressed mood.

Dr Jussi Seppälä, the study’s first author, said:

“The findings have practical implications in the care of patients with depressive symptoms.

For example, it may be wise to avoid medication causing weight gain among patients with non-melancholic depression, whereas melancholic depressive symptoms may call for a closer look at the quality of the patient’s diet.”

Boosting B12 and folate intake

Vitamin B12 deficiency is easy to rectify with supplements or by dietary changes.

The body uses vitamin B12 to make red blood cells and to keep the nervous system healthy.

Other common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include experiencing muscle weakness and being constipated.

Meanwhile, some of the best dietary sources of folates include:

  • vegetables,
  • fruits,
  • liver,
  • and whole-grains.

Folate levels are particularly high in chickpeas, yeast extract, lentils and broad beans.

The study was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (Seppälä et al., 2012).

Fatty Liver Disease: Four Signs Of The Illness Explained

The warning signs that suggest you are at risk of developing fatty liver disease.

The warning signs that suggest you are at risk of developing fatty liver disease.

Accumulation of fat in the liver can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition seen in overweight or obese people.

NAFLD is not caused by alcohol, but if untreated could lead to cirrhosis resembling the liver damage from too much drinking.

However, foods and beverages containing alcohol or sugar can aggravate the condition, so the advice is to limit intake.

NAFLD is the most common liver disorder globally.

About 70 percent of people with obesity, 60 percent with diabetes, and 20 percent with a healthy weight have this condition.

The human liver normally contains some fat, but when fat is above 5 percent of the liver’s weight, then fatty liver disease may develop.

In the early stages, NAFLD usually does not show any symptoms but it can be detected by a liver function test from the blood sample.

The warning signs appear when it progresses to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or fibrosis in which the liver has become inflamed.

A person with NASH may feel:

  • extremely tired,
  • fatigued,
  • a pain in the top-right of the belly over the lower-right side of the ribs,
  • and losing weight for no reason.

Prolonged fibrosis and persistent inflammation will cause cirrhosis where the liver is severely scarred and damaged.

The permeant damage can lead to liver cancer, liver failure, and in the end death.

The symptoms for cirrhosis may include:

  • itchy skin,
  • oedema (swelling in the legs or tummy),
  • and jaundice (the skin and whites of the eyes turn yellow).

We don’t know how a benign fatty liver develops into a serious conditions such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis.

To understand the process, researchers carried out a genetic analysis of the hepatocyte, the main functional cells in the liver.

Professor Stephan Herzig, the study’s co-author, said:

“Understanding the mechanism by which this condition becomes life threatening is key in our quest for the discovery of therapeutic solutions and preventative measures.”

The research team developed a method targeting particular nodes in the protein network to stop the disease progressing or even avoid fibrosis.

A network of proteins called ‘transcription factors’ are involved in the process of the hepatocyte reprogramming.

Failure in the process could result in hepatocyte cell dysfunction.

For example, during NASH development the hepatocyte cells lose their identity.

Dr Ana Alfaro, the study’s first author, said:

“These findings are important because they unravel the cellular mechanisms underlying non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

Knowing about the role of the protein networks and the identity loss of hepatocytes gives us potential intervention targets for the development of effective therapies.”

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism (Loft et al., 2021).

A Healthy Diet Is More Effective Than Anti-Aging Drugs, Research Finds

Diet versus popular drugs, found out which one is more powerful on metabolic health and effective anti-aging.

Diet versus popular drugs, found out which one is more powerful on metabolic health and effective anti-aging.

According to a study, what you eat has a bigger impact on your health than any powerful drug when it comes to anti-aging.

Nutrients contained in food are the best medicine to prevent or treat a  number of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The research found that diet composition including caloric intake and macronutrients can slow down aging and metabolic disorders more effectively than popular anti-aging drugs such as metformin, rapamycin, and resveratrol.

The study conducted in mice demonstrates the protective effect of diet and its components fat, carbohydrate, and protein against immune dysfunction, aging, heart disease, metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes).

Professor Stephen Simpson, study co-author, said:

“Drugs can also target the same biochemical pathways as nutrients.

There has been a huge effort to discover drugs aimed at improving metabolic health and aging without requiring a change in diet.

Diet is a powerful medicine.

However, presently drugs are administered without consideration of whether and how they might interact with our diet composition—even when these drugs are designed to act in the same way, and on the same nutrient-signaling pathways as diet.”

To compare and to see the interaction between diet and drugs, researchers used 40 dietary treatments.

Each treatment contained different amounts of calories, fat, carbohydrate, protein, and drug content (metformin, rapamycin, resveratrol).

Professor Simpson said:

“We discovered dietary composition had a far more powerful effect than drugs, which largely dampened responses to diet rather than reshaped them.

Given humans share essentially the same nutrient-signaling pathways as mice, the research suggests people would get better value from changing their diet to improve metabolic health rather than taking the drugs we studied.”

They also found that calorie intake and macronutrients, especially protein, can strongly affect liver and cell function.

Food causes cells to work properly and to produce new cells but drugs will reduce the cell’s response to diet.

For example, rapamycin and metformin lowered cell response to protein while resveratrol supressed the effects of fat and carbohydrates.

Professor David Le Couteur, the study’s first author, said:

“This approach is the only way we can get an overview of the interaction between diet, our health and physiology.

We all know what we eat influences our health, but this study showed how food can dramatically influence many of the processes operating in our cells.

This gives us insights into how diet impacts on health and aging.”

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism (Le Couteur et al., 2021).

The Vitamin Deficiency Linked To Chronic Headaches (M)

Largest study to date builds evidence that vitamin deficiency is linked to chronic headaches.

Largest study to date builds evidence that vitamin deficiency is linked to chronic headaches.

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