Saturday, March 25, 2017

Vitamin D Supplementation Slows Age-Related Bone Loss in Older Women



Until recently, it was unknown whether improving vitamin D status (without changing calcium intake) could have a positive effect on bone turnover. To that end, a group of researchers recently measured the effect of vitamin D supplementation on markers associated with bone turnover in women known to be vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/mL).

Participants were South Asian women at least 20 years of age. The women were categorized by age and menopausal status, then randomized to receive either 4,000 IU of vitamin D or a placebo every day for 6 months.

In the women who received vitamin D supplements, average vitamin D blood levels increased from 8.4 ng/mL (21 nmol/L) to 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L). Additionally, measured chemical markers indicating bone loss either remained the same or decreased in postmenopausal women who received vitamin D supplements, indicating a reduction in bone turnover.

This research confirms that correcting vitamin D deficiencies in older women can suppress age-related increases in bone turnover, which also helps reduce bone resorption (the process by which bone breaks down and releases its minerals, resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone into the blood).

Von hurst PR, Stonehouse W, Kruger MC, Coad J. Vitamin D supplementation suppresses age-induced bone turnover in older women who are vitamin D deficient. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010;121(1-2):293-6.

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Article courtesy of www.askthescientists.com

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Are You Getting Enough Omega 3's?



Omega-3 fatty acids support cardiovascular health, proper brain, neural, and visual development, as well as maintenance of bone, joint, immune, and cellular health. 

However, the majority of the population fails to consume adequate amounts of omega-3s.  

So, how does a person top up their consumption of Omega 3's.  I know that I don't eat copious amounts of fish everyday.  Read this article from www.askthescientists.com 

Note that combining fish oil intake with regular exercise is more supportive than exercise alone for helping to maintain a healthy weight and supporting metabolic health.*

USANA’s BiOmega is produced from cold water, deep-sea fish oil that comes from a fishery that uses sustainable practices and renewable resources. BiOmega is purified to be virtually free of contaminants and flavored with lemon oil to minimize the fishy aftertaste.

One serving of BiOmega provides a total of 2000 mg fish oil concentrate, 1200mg of total omega-3s including 1050 mg of EPA and DHA, 200 IU of vitamin D, 4 mg of mixed natural tocopherols, and is free of trans-fatty acids.

You can order USANA's BiOmega here:  bit.ly/2mNHvBJ

Please let me know if you have further questions about Omega 3's.
Thanks to USANA Health and Science Education Department for this helpful information.  See more researched articles at:  http://www.askthescientists.com  


 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Learn Why Optimal Levels of Vitamin D are Crucial for Your Health

Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

By: http://askthescientists.com/vitamin-d/

Vitamin D is necessary for normal bone mineralization and growth, maintenance of muscle strength and coordination, cardiovascular health, and robust and balanced immune function.  Vitamin D is unique among vitamins working more like a hormone at the level of our DNA.   

Vitamin D has been estimated to regulate somewhere between 200-300 genes and likely why vitamin D has been linked to so many health outcomes.

Summary

  • Vitamin D promotes a healthy, balanced immune system through regulation and differentiation of immune system cells.
  • Vitamin D supports the development and maintenance of bones and teeth by helping with the absorption and use of calcium.*
  • Healthy Vitamin D levels play a key part of minimizing age-associated bone loss.
  • You can absorb Vitamin D naturally through foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified cereals.  Your body can also naturally absorb Vitamin D through skin exposure to sunlight.  The more skin you expose, the more Vitamin D will be produced.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is most directly related to poor bone health, including rickets and osteomalacia. However, vitamin D deficiency is also associated with an increased risk of other disorders, including certain cancers, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle weakness and pain, depression, hypertension, and pregnancy complications.
  • In the U.S., only one-third are getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D daily.  USANA’s Vitamin D supplement is formulated with a high level of vitamin D to help prevent deficiency by ensuring you get adequate amounts throughout the entire year.

The Science of Vitamin D

Vitamin D promotes a healthy, balanced immune system through its key role in regulation and differentiation of immune system cells. It also has been linked to healthy endothelial function, which is important for cardiovascular health. And, it also helps maintain normal functioning of the nervous system.*

In addition, recent research has shown the following:
• Vitamin D may play a role in keeping our lungs healthy, with higher concentrations of vitamin D resulting in positive effects on lung function and health.*
• Vitamin D may play a role in helping elderly people maintain lean muscle mass.*
• Healthy vitamin D levels are a key part of minimizing age-associated bone loss.

Vitamin D supports the development and maintenance of bones and teeth by helping in the absorption and use of calcium.*

Calcium is the major structural element of bones and teeth. Your body needs several nutrients in order for calcium to be absorbed and used properly. Two of these nutrients are vitamin D and vitamin K. Vitamin D increases absorption of calcium from the small intestine so the body receives maximum benefit, while vitamin K helps make sure calcium builds up in the bones and not in soft tissues. Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Natural Sources of Vitamin D

Food

There is a very small amount of vitamin D in a few foods, which makes it almost impossible to get the levels you need from food alone.  However, some foods that include vitamin D are fatty fish, egg yolks, orange juice, and some cereals.

Sun exposure

Every time we expose our bare skin to direct sunlight, we use ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to produce vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Sunlight can be a tricky thing, though, because too much can be a bad thing. You need to monitor how much sun exposure is needed for healthy vitamin D levels. The amount of vitamin D you actually absorb from sunlight differs depending on the time of day and year, where you live, and the color of your skin.  The more skin you expose to the sun, the more vitamin D is produced. So those winter rays don’t necessarily produce the same amount of vitamin D that summer rays do.

There are two main factors that determine how much Vitamin D your body will produce when exposed to sunlight:

Time of Day and Year

During the fall and winter months, the sun is at an angle that causes the atmosphere to lessen the amount of UVB rays that pass through. The same process occurs during the early and later parts of each day.

You can test this simply by looking at the length of your shadow when standing outside. If your shadow is longer than you are tall, not as many UVB rays are reaching your body, so you’re not producing as much vitamin D. This means that the closer to midday you are, the more UVB rays your body is getting. Have you ever noticed that in the winter months, your shadow is longer than you are for most of the day, but in summer, it is much shorter during the midday hours?

Where You Live

Take a look at a globe and find the equator. The further away you are from it means you are living in a location that makes it harder for your body to use sunlight to make vitamin D. Once again, this is because sunlight is hitting the atmosphere at more of an angle, blocking out more UVB rays, especially during the winter season.

The Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D status is a factor in the maintenance of good health. However, reports continue to show that populations around the world are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. In the U.S. alone, only one-third are getting adequate amounts of vitamin D daily. The problem is widespread and increasing, with potentially severe repercussions for overall health.

Many cells in your body have vitamin D receptors and need vitamin D to function properly, including those in your skin and brain. USANA’s Vitamin D supplement is formulated with a high level of vitamin D to help prevent deficiency by ensuring you get adequate amounts throughout the entire year.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Deficiencies of vitamin D are common. It is currently estimated that more than 1 billion people worldwide and 30-to-40% of the population between 15 and 49 years of age in the United States suffer from vitamin D deficiency.  Because relatively small amounts of vitamin D are obtained through the diet and so many lifestyle factors reduce endogenous vitamin D synthesis, supplementation becomes an important avenue for achieving and maintaining optimal vitamin D status.

Vitamin D deficiency is most directly related to poor bone health, including rickets and osteomalacia. However, vitamin D deficiency is also associated with an increased risk of other disorders, including certain cancers, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle weakness and pain, depression, hypertension, and pregnancy complications.

While many of these associations are actively being researched to determine the extent of their connection with vitamin D deficiency, we currently know that vitamin D unquestionably exerts a significant influence on many body systems.

Signs and Risk Factors of Vitamin D Deficiency

Feeling Down and Out

Turns out, when you run low on vitamin D, it takes a pretty serious toll on your mood. This is because our brains produce serotonin—a hormone that affects our moods—at a higher rate when we’re exposed to sunshine or bright light. And as I mentioned, more exposure to sunlight means more vitamin D.

Skin Color

Those with darker skin are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency because skin pigment has a direct correlation with how much vitamin D is absorbed. Some research suggests that those with darker skin may need up to 10 times more sun exposure than those with lighter skin to produce a comparable amount of vitamin D.

Age

Besides the fact that older people usually spend more time indoors, aging correlates to vitamin D deficiency in a couple of ways. First, the skin loses its ability to absorb as much vitamin D as we get older. And second, our kidneys slowly become less effective at converting vitamin D into the form used by our bodies.

Sweat

Excessive sweating (specifically, on your forehead) is a very common symptom of those facing vitamin D deficiency. So if you’re constantly wiping the sweat off your brow (outside of the gym), you might want to look into getting a blood test done to check your levels.

Achy Bones

Many people who are unknowingly deficient in vitamin D will complain of bones and joints that are achy or painful. This is because vitamin D is very important for maintaining strong bones. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for developing a healthy structure and strength of your bones, and you need vitamin D to absorb these minerals.

Excessive Weight

Vitamin D is fat-soluble—meaning that the fat in our bodies is how we collect and store it. So if you’re overweight, the excessive amount of fat in your body needs a comparable amount of vitamin D to absorb. So you’ll need a lot more vitamin D than someone with a lower percentage of body fat.

Gut Problems

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. So certain gut conditions that cause a lower absorption of fat can also lower your absorption of vitamin D.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

It varies depending on where you look, but here is a chart of the recommended daily intakes from various organizations, brought to you by the Vitamin D Council.

VITAMIN D – IU TO MICROGRAM CONVERSION

1 microgram vitamin D = 40 IU vitamin D
e.g. 400 IU vitamin D = 10 mcg vitamin D

How Safe is Vitamin D?

Although vitamin D can be toxic in very large doses, toxicity is rarely the biggest cause for anxiety. Instead, deficiency has become relatively common. Vitamin D deficiency has been correlated to a number of health concerns.

Because of the prevalence of deficiency, in the most recent revision of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), the recommended dietary intake for certain age groups was increased as much as 50 percent.  The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for vitamin D in adults is 100 mcg (4000 IU) per day.

There are no published accounts of vitamin D toxicity occurring as a result of sun exposure. Research also suggests that vitamin D toxicity is very unlikely at dietary intake levels below 1,000 mcg (40,000 IU) per day in healthy adults.

Vitamin D supplements do have the potential to interact with certain types of medications (including steroids and cholesterol-lowering drugs). Those taking medications should discuss vitamin D supplementation with their healthcare providers prior to use.

Talk to your doctor about healthy vitamin D levels, and ask for a test to find out if you are deficient.

The USANA Difference

Vitamin D USANA Supplement Facts

USANA’s Vitamin D supplement is made with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), which research suggests is better than competing forms at raising levels of vitamin D in the blood. A clinical study conducted by USANA scientists showed individuals taking USANA products are six times more likely to have vitamin D levels in the optimal range.*
Even when the winter months are behind us, it doesn’t mean your body needs less of a good thing. USANA’s Vitamin D supplement is a safe and easy way to get 2,000 IU of maximum-strength vitamin D enhanced with 30 μg of vitamin K.*

Frequently Asked Questions








Additional Resources

Vitamin D Deficiency: The Truth Revealed
The ABCs of Vitamin D
Scientifically Speaking: Got Vitamin D?
Uncovering the Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a Supplement for All Seasons



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

References

  • Vitamin D Council. https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/
  • Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Willett WC, Wong JB, Giovannucci E, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Fracture prevention with vitamin D supplementation: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. 2005. JAMA 293(18):2257-2264.
  • Bodnar LM, Simhan HN, Powers RW, Frank MP, Cooperstein E, Roberts JM. High Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency in Black and White Pregnant Women Residing in the Northern United States and Their Neonates. 2007. J Nutr 137:447-452.
  • DeLuca HF. Overview of general physiologic features and functions of vitamin D. 2004. Am J Clin Nutr 80(6 Suppl):1689S-1696S.
  • Feskanich D, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Calcium, vitamin D, milk consumption, and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women. 2003. Am J Clin Nutr 77(2):504-511.
  • Holick MF. Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. 2004. Am J Clin Nutr 79(3):362-371.
  • Jackson RD, LaCroix AZ, Gass M, et al. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of fractures. 2006. N Engl J Med 354(7):669- 683.
  • Jumar J, Muntner P, Kaskel FJ, Hailpern SM, Melamed ML. Prevalence and Associations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Deficiency in US Children: NHANES 2001-2004. 2009. Pediatrics 124:e362-e370.
  • Looker AC, Pfeiffer CM, Lacher DA, Schleicher RL, Picciano MF, Yetley EA. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status of the US population: 1988- 1994 compared with 2000-2004. 2008. AJCN 88(6):1519-1527.
  • Papadimitropoulos E, Wells G, Shea B, Gillespie W, Weaver B, Zytaruk N, Cranney A, Adachi J, Tugwell P, Josse R, Greenwood C, Guyatt G. Meta-analyses of therapies for postmenopausal osteoporosis. VIII: Meta-analysis of the efficacy of vitamin D treatment in preventing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. 2002. Endocr Rev 23(4):560-9.
  • Saintonge S, Bang H, Gerber LM. Implications of a New Definition of Vitamin D Deficiency in a Multiracial US Adolescent Population: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. 2009. Pediatrics 123(3):797-803.

 

 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Research Shows How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Keep Your Heart Healthy



Omega-3 Fatty Acids Support Heart Health

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women. There are many risk factors that can contribute to developing heart disease. Some risk factors cannot be modified like age and family history. But others such as smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, and high blood pressure are all modifiable by making healthier lifestyle choices.

Research presented at the 2016 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions showed a positive correlation between circulating omega-3 fatty acids and a major risk factor for heart disease. In this study, 2036 young healthy adults volunteered. Researchers measured blood pressure and blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Individuals were then divided into four groups, from those with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood to those with the lowest levels. 

The results showed that healthy young adults who had the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures than healthy young adults with the lowest levels.

These important healthy fats are found mostly in fish and some plant sources. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are largely found in fish, especially cold water fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines (sometimes called “marine omega-3’s”). Vegetarian sources include some vegetable oils, walnuts, and flax seeds. However, the primary omega-3 fatty acid found in plant sources is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is limited in humans and generally used for energy.

This is not the first study to associate higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease but adds further evidence that promoting diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help support heart health.

American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. http://news.heart.org/diet-rich-in-omega-3s-lowers-blood-pressure-in-young-healthy-adults/
Clark CM, Monahan KD, Drew RC. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation attenuates blood pressure increase at onset of isometric handgrip exercise in healthy young and older humans. Physiol Rep. 2016;4(14).
Walser B, Giordano RM, Stebbins CL. Supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids augments brachial artery dilation and blood flow during forearm contraction. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006;97(3):347-54.

For further information on heart health and the USANA BiOmega 3 fatty acids,
please contact me at:  watersdd2@gmail.com

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Are you aware of the important role that your thyroid plays in your overall health?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the base of your neck just below the Adam’s apple. Although small in size, it is responsible for producing hormones that help regulate metabolism; and it affects the function of many other important organs including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin. Thyroid disease affects approximately 200 million people worldwide, and it remains undiagnosed in far too many. 

Be Aware:
• Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid and hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid.
• Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism include heart palpitations, heat intolerance, weight loss, anxiety and insomnia.
• Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, hair loss, sensitivity to cold, constipation, poor memory, muscle weakness, and persistent fatigue. 


• Goiter is an additional thyroid condition that causes a visibly enlarged thyroid gland that may impact swallowing or breathing.
Many symptoms of a thyroid imbalance may be difficult to recognize and can often mimic other conditions. 


Making sure that your thyroid gland is healthy is important to your body’s overall health and well-being. If you’re having symptoms that you think may be related to a thyroid condition call your doctor get it checked!!

Checkout the following articles on https://askthescientists.com/ : https://askthescientists.com/iodine-deficiency-pregnancy-r…/ https://askthescientists.com/iodine-content-quality-prenat…/
Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/usanahealthandscience/
Article provided by USANA Education and Science Department

Monday, January 2, 2017

Multivitamin/Mineral Supplementation May improve Aspects of Brain Function in Healthy Children




It is well known that adequate levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential for optimal neural functioning. A significant percentage of individuals, including children, suffer from deficiencies in one or more vitamins or minerals.  

This study investigated whether daily supplementation with multivitamins could alter cognitive performance and mood in healthy children.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 81 healthy children aged 8-14. The children were reportedly all healthy and free from food allergies. None of the children used other dietary supplements during the three months prior to the study. Participants were randomly assigned to daily multivitamin and mineral supplements or placebo for 12 weeks.

The children underwent laboratory assessments of their cognitive performance and mood pre-dose and at 1 and 3 h post-dose on the first and last days of the trial. Assessments were also completed at home after 4 and 8 weeks at 3 hours post-dose. Cognitive performance was measured using a battery of laboratory assessments, which included tasks assessing mood and the speed and accuracy of attention and aspects of memory. 

The children in the vitamin/mineral group performed more accurately on two tests of attention. No effects were observed on measures of the children’s mood.

Although the results of this study require further investigation, it suggests that vitamin/mineral supplementation has the potential to improve brain function in healthy children.

Haskell CF et al. Cognitive and mood effects in healthy children during 12 weeks’ supplementation with multi-vitamin/minerals.  Br J Nutr 2008 Nov;100(5):1086-96.

Article provided by www.askthescientists.info  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Low Vitamin D Levels and Cognitive Decline in the Aging Process

Extra Vitamin D Pays Off Big Time During the Aging Process

It is well known that vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy muscles and bone, and plays significant roles in the immune system and cardiovascular function. More and more research is showing that it plays a significant role in supporting healthy brain function.



A study published in The Journal of Gerontology included 1,202 Chinese adults over the age of 60. Baseline levels of vitamin D were measured at the beginning of the study, and cognitive tests were administered over 2 years.

Regardless of the age or gender of the subjects, individuals with lower vitamin D levels at the start of the study were approximately twice as likely to have significant cognitive decline over time. In addition, low vitamin D levels at baseline also increased the risk of future cognitive impairment by 2-3 times.

This was the first large-scale prospective study in Asia to study the association between vitamin D status and risk of cognitive decline and impairment in the Chinese elderly.

The results of this study give support to the idea that vitamin D is neuroprotective by supporting healthy brain aging, and improved vitamin D status may be beneficial in supporting healthy cognitive function in aging populations.

Matchar DB, Chei CL, Yin ZX, et al. Vitamin D Levels and the Risk of Cognitive Decline in Chinese Elderly People: the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016;71(10):1363-8.

Note:  Article produced by USANA: www.askthescientists.info