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: 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Five Tips for Healthy Hair and Nails


This is by no means a comprehensive overview of nails and health. And, there are numerous factors that affect hair and nails, including environment, genetics, medications, trauma, and diet. But, I hope you find this interesting and informative.

The average human with a full head of hair contains between 85,000 to 150,000 hairs.
It's normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs a day but anyone who notices thinning hair should see a dermatologist.

Hairstyles that pull the hair, like ponytails and braids, can cause hair loss.
Fingernails grow 0.1 millimeters each day and toenails grow 1 millimeter a month. Fingernails grow faster than toenails, and nails grow faster in a warmer climate than in a colder climate.

Omega-3s from salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines are beneficial for your overall health, but your body also needs them to grow hair and keep it shiny and full.

Protein, containing all the essential amino acids, provides the building block of your hair and nails. By the way, it is not true that gelatin (either eating it or soaking nails in it) are great for your nails. Gelatin is a protein, but is not of very good quality and is considered incomplete (missing one or more essential amino acids). Any other complete protein source would provide better nutrient support for your nails and hair than gelatin (despite the marketing on gelatin packaging).

Along with very low protein, a severely calorie-restricted diet can also cause temporary hair loss.
Cells that build hair rely on zinc to help them work their hardest.

Foods and activities that increase blood flow, or circulation, help bring oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles.

Your body turns beta carotene into vitamin A. That helps protect against dry, dull hair. It also encourages the glands in your scalp to make an oily fluid called sebum.

When you don't get enough protein, hair growth "rests" and older hairs fall out, which can result in excessive hair loss.

Getting too little iron can lead to hair loss. You can find this important nutrient in fortified cereal, grains, and pastas, and in soybeans and lentils, and dark green leafy vegetables (note: spinach is not a good source of iron. Only about 1% of the iron in spinach is bioavailable because it is tied up by the high level of oxalates contained in spinach. It also binds most of the calcium).

Vitamin A (or beta-carotene), iron, folate, and vitamin C work together for a healthy scalp and hair. They help keep the scalp and hair moisturized so it doesn't break.

Two other B vitamins, pantothenic acid (B5) and biotin, play important roles in hair health, and deficiencies of either can affect hair health or cause hair loss.

Most vitamin deficiencies can lead to hair loss. All the vitamins and minerals are important, but that doesn't mean that you necessarily need to buy special supplements for your hair or nails. Of course there are exceptions, but eating a healthy mixed diet, taking a quality multivitamin/mineral supplement, getting adequate hydration, protein and calories will generally provide all the nutrients you need to support healthy nails and hair.

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From Deanna:  Personally, I am thankful for USANA's CellSentials and Health Pak, since both provide a wide variety of essential nutrients for healthy hair and nails.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation and Male Fertility

Previous research has shown that Coenzyme Q10 is present in measurable levels in human seminal fluid, where it most likely exerts important metabolic and antioxidant functions.

In a paper published in Fertility and Sterility, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of CoQ10 treatment in improving semen quality in men with idiopathic infertility. Idiopathic infertility is defined as infertility without a defined or known cause.

The placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized trial included 60 male infertility patients aged 27-39 years. The participants took either 200 mg/day of CoQ10 (ubiquinone) or a placebo for 6 months, with 3 months of follow-up.

Coenzyme Q10 and ubiquinol increased significantly in both seminal plasma and sperm cells after treatment, as well as increasing sperm motility. Patients with lower baseline values of sperm motility and CoQ10 levels had a greater likelihood of responding positively to the treatment.

Coenzyme Q10 supplementation increases the level of ubiquinone and ubiquinol in semen and is effective in improving sperm motility in patients affected by unexplained infertility.

Balercia G, Buldreghini E, Vignini A, et al. Coenzyme Q10 treatment in infertile men with idiopathic asthenozoospermia: a placebo-controlled, double-blind randomized trial. Fertil Steril. 2009;91(5):1785-92.

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