5 Foods Science Says Will Help You Live Longer

The foods that help you live longer and protect you from cancer and heart disease.

The foods that help you live longer and protect you from cancer and heart disease.

Drinking tea and eating apples, or any flavonoid-rich foods, can shield people from cancer and heart disease, research finds.

People who have a daily consumption of 500 mg of flavonoids are more likely to live longer and more healthily.

If you eat one orange, one apple, 100 g of broccoli and 100 g of blueberries and have a cup of tea per day, you are guaranteed to obtain 500 mg of flavonoids.

Flavonoids are antioxidants and part of the polyphenol class found in plants and known to have several health benefits and help prevent various diseases.

Apples, cherries, dark chocolate, pears, tea, red wine (due to grapes), cabbage, and berries, including blueberries and strawberries, are good sources of flavonoids.

The discovery of flavonoids’ protective effect on lowering risk of some diseases comes from a new study that looked into the diets of 53,048 Danes over 23 years.

Dr Nicola Bondonno, the study’s lead author, said:

“It’s important to consume a variety of different flavonoid compounds found in different plant based food and drink.

This is easily achievable through the diet: one cup of tea, one apple, one orange, 100g of blueberries, and 100g of broccoli would provide a wide range of flavonoid compounds and over 500mg of total flavonoids”.

They found that those who ate flavonoid-rich foods were protected against cardiovascular and cancer-related diseases.

They also found that daily intake of flavonoid-rich foods had the most protective effect for heavy drinkers and smokers.

These smokers or those who had two standard alcoholic drinks per day were at higher risk of chronic diseases.

The reason is that smoking and alcohol intake can harm blood vessels and cause inflammation to the cells, leading to greater risk of serious diseases.

The potential health benefits of flavonoids are related to their antioxidants having anti-inflammatory effects and their ability to improve blood vessel function.

This may explain why the smokers and drinkers benefited strongly from foods rich in flavonoids.

Dr Bondonno said:

“It’s also important to note that flavonoid consumption does not counteract all of the increased risk of death caused by smoking and high alcohol consumption.

By far the best thing to do for your health is to quit smoking and cut down on alcohol.

We know these kind of lifestyle changes can be very challenging, so encouraging flavonoid consumption might be a novel way to alleviate the increased risk, while also encouraging people to quit smoking and reduce their alcohol intake.”

The study was published in Nature Communications (Bondonnoet al., 2019).

A Strange Sensation That Could Be A Sign Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Many people experience this unusual sensation even with both feet firmly on the ground.

Many people experience this unusual sensation even with both feet firmly on the ground.

A sudden sensation of dizziness, or that your head is spinning could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

It is a symptom of a common type of vertigo called paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, as well as a loss of balance.

However, taking vitamin D and calcium supplements twice a day can reduce the chance of experiencing vertigo, research finds.

The people who are most deficient in vitamin D get the most benefit from it.

Technically, vertigo is the symptom of dizziness and the feeling of the world spinning — it does not have to be in response to heights.

Many people experience vertigo with both feet firmly on the ground.

The condition is rarely serious, but can be very irritating, with 86 percent of sufferers reporting that it interrupts their daily life and leads to some days off work.

Now, research finds that taking vitamin D and calcium supplements can prevent it recurring.

Dr Ji-Soo Kim, study co-author, said:

“Our study suggests that for people with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, taking a supplement of vitamin D and calcium is a simple, low-risk way to prevent vertigo from recurring.

It is especially effective if you have low vitamin D levels to begin with.”

The study included almost one thousand people, around half of whom were given vitamin D supplements and calcium.

People with low vitamin D levels took 400 IU of vitamin D and 500 mg of calcium twice a day.

The results showed that the supplements reduced the recurrence of vertigo by 24 percent.

People who were more deficient in vitamin D got greater benefit from taking the supplements, seeing a 45 percent reduction in symptoms.

Dr Kim said:

“Our results are exciting because so far, going to the doctor to have them perform head movements has been the main way we treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

Our study suggests an inexpensive, low-risk treatment like vitamin D and calcium tablets may be effective at preventing this common, and commonly recurring, disorder.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Jeong et al., 2020).

The Common Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in winter.

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in winter.

Tiredness, depression and weak muscles can all be signs of vitamin D deficiency.

Depression risk is raised by vitamin D deficiency, according to one study.

This may be because of the role that vitamin D plays in regulating serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter important for mood.

Similarly, poor sleep and headaches can also be signs of the deficiency.

The current recommendations for vitamin D intake by the National Academy of Medicine are 600 IU per day for adults.

Foods that are rich in vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

Sufficient levels of vitamin D3 can help to restore the cardiovascular system, repairing damage done by diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

The conclusions come from a study that examined the impact of vitamin D3 on a vital component of the cardiovascular system, endothelial cells.

Professor Tadeusz Malinski, study co-author, said:

“Generally, Vitamin D3 is associated with the bones. However, in recent years, in clinical settings people recognize that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3.

It doesn’t mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack.

We use nanosensors to see why Vitamin D3 can be beneficial, especially for the function and restoration of the cardiovascular system.”

The results showed that vitamin D3 can help to prevent blood clots and reduce oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system.

Getting sufficient levels of vitamin D could help to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Professor Malinski said:

“There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and Vitamin D3 can do it.

This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system.

We don’t have to develop a new drug.

We already have it.”

The study was published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine (Khan et al., 2018).

The Vitamin Deficiency Linked To Brain Damage

Brain shrinkage was six times more likely in those with low levels of this vitamin.

Brain shrinkage was six times more likely in those with low levels of this vitamin.

Vitamin B12 may protect against brain shrinkage with age, research finds.

People with higher vitamin B12 levels were six times less likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted through supplementation or by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Fortified breakfast cereals also contain vitamin B12.

Around one-in-four people may have a vitamin B12 deficiency — however none of the people in the study were deficient.

People who may have difficult getting enough vitamin B12 include vegetarians, older people and those with some digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease.

The study included 107 older people who had brain scans, memory testing and their blood levels were checked for vitamin B12 levels.

Dr Anna Vogiatzoglou, the study’s first author, said:

“Many factors that affect brain health are thought to be out of our control, but this study suggests that simply adjusting our diets to consume more vitamin B12 through eating meat, fish, fortified cereals or milk may be something we can easily adjust to prevent brain shrinkage and so perhaps save our memory.

Research shows that vitamin B12 deficiency is a public health problem, especially among the elderly, so more vitamin B12 intake could help reverse this problem.

Without carrying out a clinical trial, we acknowledge that it is still not known whether B12 supplementation would actually make a difference in elderly persons at risk for brain shrinkage.”

Vitamin B12 is involved in the production of red blood cells.

A deficiency — which is more frequent in those over 60 — can cause anemia, which is a lack of red blood cells.

Dr Vogiatzoglou continued:

“Previous research on the vitamin has had mixed results and few studies have been done specifically with brain scans in elderly populations.

We tested for vitamin B12 levels in a unique, more accurate way by looking at two certain markers for it in the blood.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Vogiatzoglou, et al., 2008).

The Common Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D supplementation could lower the risk of dying from cancer-related diseases and increase life expectancy by years.

Vitamin D supplementation could lower the risk of dying from cancer-related diseases and increase life expectancy by years.

Tiredness and weak muscles can be signs of vitamin D deficiency, as can headaches and poor sleep.

Taking vitamin D can reduce cancer mortality rates by 13 percent with 30,000 fewer cancer-related deaths each year, according to a German study.

Based on their national data on cancer mortality in 2016, vitamin D supplementation could significantly lower cancer deaths in adults over age 50.

They say if all these middle-aged Germans took vitamin D, nearly 30,000 premature deaths from cancer could be prevented and 300,000 years of life could be saved.

In recent years scientists have been looking into the effect of vitamin D on several conditions such as diabetes, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and respiratory illnesses.

Reviews of large clinical trials show that vitamin D supplementation is linked to a 13 percent reduction in the cancer death rate.

Dr Hermann Brenner, the study’s co-author, said:

“In many countries around the world, the age-adjusted rate of cancer mortality has fortunately declined over the past decade.

However, given the often considerable costs of many new cancer drugs, this success has often come at a high price.

Vitamin D, on the other hand, is comparatively inexpensive in the usual daily doses.”

Older people are commonly found to have vitamin D deficiency, particularly those with cancer.

In 2016, the number of people over-50 in Germany was about 36 million.

The research team calculated that the treatment cost of vitamin D supplementation at a 1,000 international units daily dose would cost 25 euros per person a year.

Considering its health benefits, the cost for the health care system would be practically nothing after all.

Dr Brenner, said:

“In view of the potentially significant positive effects on cancer mortality — additionally combined with a possible cost saving — we should look for new ways to reduce the widespread vitamin D deficiency in the elderly population in Germany.

In some countries, foods have even been enriched with vitamin D for many years — for example, in Finland, where cancer mortality rates are about 20 percent lower than in Germany.

Not to mention that there is mounting evidence of other positive health effects of adequate vitamin D supply, such as in lung disease mortality rates.

Finally, we consider vitamin D supplementation so safe that we even recommend it for newborn babies to develop healthy bones.”

We can all improve our vitamin D levels at no cost by exposure to sunlight everyday.

The German Cancer Research Centre recommends three times a week for at least 12 minutes outside in the sun.

During this period of time the face, hands, arms and legs should be left uncovered without wearing sunscreen.

The study was published in the journal Molecular Oncology (Niedermaier et al., 2021).

The Vitamin Deficiency That May Double Cognitive Decline Risk

Those in the study with lower vitamin levels at the start were at double the risk of significant cognitive decline.

Those in the study with lower vitamin levels at the start were at double the risk of significant cognitive decline.

Low vitamin D levels increase the risk of cognitive decline and impairment among the elderly, research suggests.

Those in the study with lower vitamin D levels at the start were at double the risk of significant cognitive decline.

Older people with low vitamin D levels were also at two to three times the risk of going on to develop cognitive impairment later on.

Vitamin D is primarily produced in the body by the action of sunlight on the skin.

Vitamin D is important in maintaining healthy bones and muscles, as well as brain function.

It may be that vitamin D protects against neuron damage and loss.

Other studies have also linked low vitamin D levels to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative problems, such as dementia.

The conclusions come from a study of over 1,000 people in China over the age of 60.

Their vitamin D levels and cognitive abilities were assessed over two years.

The study’s authors write:

“In conclusion, our longitudinal study indicates that low 25(OH)D3 [vitamin D] levels are associated with subsequent cognitive decline and cognitive impairment.

Despite the lack of conclusive results from intervention studies, the weight of this and other epidemiological studies reinforce the importance of more intensive investigation on the effects of vitamin D supplements on cognitive decline.”

The study found the same link between low vitamin D levels and cognitive impairment regardless of age and gender.

Professor David Matchar, the study’s first author, said:

“Although this study was conducted on subjects from China, the results are applicable to regions in Asia where a large proportion of the elderly are ethnically Chinese, like Singapore.”

Getting enough vitamin D

During the darker months, taking 10 mcg of a vitamin D supplement is often recommended.

Another option is to ensure that your diet has enough vitamin D in it.

Foods that contain relatively high amounts of vitamin D include sardines, salmon, mackerel and herring.

Other foods high in vitamin D include egg yolks, liver, mushrooms and red meat.

Cereals and spreads are also typically fortified with vitamin D.

The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Matchar et al., 2022).

One Daily Serving Of This Food Slows Brain Aging By 11 Years

Eat up! They preserve your memory and thinking skills.

Eat up! They preserve your memory and thinking skills.

One daily serving of leafy green vegetables could preserve memory and thinking skills, research shows.

Older adults who ate at least one serving of these veggies were the equivalent of 11 years younger cognitively.

This was compared to those that ate few leafy green vegetables.

Dr Martha Clare Morris, the nutritional epidemiologist who led the study, said:

“Adding a daily serving of green leafy vegetables to your diet may be a simple way to help promote brain health.

There continues to be sharp increases in the percentage of people with dementia as the oldest age groups continue to grow in number.

Effective strategies to prevent dementia are critically needed.”

The study followed 960 people with an average age of 81, none of whom had dementia.

Their memory and thinking skills were tested once a year for around 5 years.

Each person reported how often they ate greens, including salad and lettuce.

When they were followed up, the results showed that the more leafy greens they ate, the better their cognitive health.

Dr Morris said:

“The study results do not prove that eating green, leafy vegetables slows brain aging, but it does show an association

The study cannot rule out other possible reasons for the link.

Because the study focused on older adults with the majority of participants being white, the results may not apply to younger adults and to people of color.

The results need to be confirmed by other investigators in different populations and through randomized trials to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the eating leafy greens and reductions in the incidence of cognitive decline.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Morris et al., 2017).

A Worrying Mental Sign Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D may be linked to critical neurotransmitters and inflammatory markers.

Vitamin D may be linked to critical neurotransmitters and inflammatory markers.

Feeling low can be a sign of vitamin D deficiency, research suggests.

Vitamin D may be linked to critical neurotransmitters and inflammatory markers that can cause depression.

Along with low mood, the most important symptoms of depression are:

  1. Decreased interest in life or pleasure.
  2. Energy loss.
  3. Concentration problems.

The conclusions come from a study of 12,600 people whose symptoms of depression and vitamin D levels were examined.

It emerged that people with low vitamin D levels were more likely to be depressed.

The study cannot tell us if low vitamin D is a cause of depression or the result.

The study’s authors explain:

“We found that low vitamin D levels are associated with depressive symptoms, especially in persons with a history of depression.

These findings suggest that primary care patients with a history of depression may be an important target for assessment of vitamin D levels.”

Foods that are rich in vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

That is why levels are typically lower in the body through the winter months in more Northern climes.

Up to 50% of young women may be deficient in this vitamin, other research has shown.

Professor E. Sherwood Brown, study co-author, said:

“Our findings suggest that screening for vitamin D levels in depressed patients — and perhaps screening for depression in people with low vitamin D levels — might be useful.

But we don’t have enough information yet to recommend going out and taking supplements.”

Vitamin D levels are now routinely tested during physical exams as deficiencies are linked to other health problems, such as obesity, diabetes and general cognitive decline.

The study was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Hoang et al., 2011).

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Facial Sign That May Be A Symptom

Around one-in-four people may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Around one-in-four people may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Pale skin or skin with a slight yellow tinge can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency.

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

Without enough B12 the blood cells produced are too large and cannot move into the bloodstream, leading to pale skin.

Around one-quarter of people may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Other, more common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include feeling tired, experiencing muscle weakness and being constipated.

People experiencing a mood disorder, like depression, can also be deficient in vitamin B12.

People who may have difficulty getting enough vitamin B12 include vegetarians, older people and those with some digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease.

Some medications, such as those to treat ulcers and excessive stomach acid, are also linked to vitamin B12 deficiency.

One study of 25,956 patients diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency found that the condition was linked to taking anti-acid medications.

The study’s authors write:

“Vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older adults; it has potentially serious medical complications if undiagnosed.

Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to dementia, neurologic damage, anemia, and other complications, which may be irreversible.”

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

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted through supplementation or by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Other good sources of vitamin B12 include poultry and low-fat milk.

Fortified breakfast cereals also contain vitamin B12.

The study was published in JAMA (Lam et al., 2013).

A Mental Sign of Vitamin D Deficiency

Over 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency.

Over 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency.

Difficulties with memory and learning are signs of vitamin D deficiency, research finds.

Vitamin D deficiency is even linked to disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.

Deficiency in the vitamin affects critical structures in the hippocampus, an area of the brain important in memory and learning.

Dr Thomas Burne, study co-author, said:

“Over a billion people worldwide are affected by vitamin D deficiency, and there is a well-established link between vitamin D deficiency and impaired cognition.

Unfortunately, exactly how vitamin D influences brain structure and function is not well understood, so it has remained unclear why deficiency causes problems.”

For the study, researchers removed vitamin D from the diets of mice for 20 weeks.

The mice clearly showed problems with learning and memory compared to a control group, who were fed sufficient levels of vitamin D.

The researchers found that vitamin D is important in keeping perineuronal nets in the hippocampus stable.

Dr Burne explained:

“These nets form a strong, supportive mesh around certain neurons, and in doing so they stabilise the contacts these cells make with other neurons.

As neurons in the hippocampus lose their supportive perineuronal nets, they have trouble maintaining connections, and this ultimately leads to a loss of cognitive function.”

The hippocampus is a particularly active part of the brain, which may be why it is affected by vitamin D deficiency early on, said Dr Burne:

“It’s like the canary in the coalmine—it might fail first because its high energy requirement makes it more sensitive to the depletion of essential nutrients like vitamin D.

Intriguingly, the right side of the hippocampus was more affected by vitamin D deficiency than the left side.”

The damage to these perineuronal nets may help to explain the memory problems that are a symptom of schizophrenia.

Dr Burne said:

“The next step is to test this new hypothesis on the link between vitamin D deficiency, perineuronal nets and cognition.

We are also particularly excited to have discovered these nets can change in adult mice.

I’m hoping that because they’re dynamic there is a chance that we can rebuild them, and that could set the stage for new treatments.”

The study was published in the journal Brain Structure and Function (Al-Amin et al., 2019).

Get free email updates

Join the free PsyBlog mailing list. No spam, ever.