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Can a Lack of Vitamin D Lead to Heart Disease? Heart Problems Associated With Deficiency of Sunshine Vitamin

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Vitamin D"The disturbing reality is that up to three-quarters of Americans suffer from a vitamin D deficiency and most aren’t even aware of it. This is particularly true of older people who don’t get enough exposure to sunlight and who are unable to absorb it as easily as their younger counterparts.

The health consequences of vitamin D deficiency are just starting to be recognized, as the importance of “D” for good health continues to grow. A lack of vitamin D may contribute to a number of medical conditions including osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, depression, muscle aches, and can even increase the risk of catching viruses and upper respiratory infections.

Lack of Vitamin D and the Heart

Now, a new study shows that a lack of vitamin D in older people can increase their risk of heart disease, as well as their overall mortality rate. This study looked at 3,488 people over the age of 65 and followed them for a period of seven years. The results? Those with a vitamin D deficiency were three times more likely to die of heart disease than older people with normal levels. They were also 2.5 times more likely die prematurely from all causes. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause estrogen levels to go up, and more vitamin d helps to block estrogen.

Vitamin D Deficiency is Common

Disturbingly, this study suggests that up to a third of older people have a vitamin D deficiency severe enough to increase their risk of health problems such as heart disease. One Chinese study showed that 94 percent of people over the age of fifty had a documented vitamin D deficiency – a disturbing fact when the health consequences are becoming more apparent each day.

Why Is Lack of Vitamin D so Common?

The primary source of vitamin D for most people is sunlight. Older people, especially those confined to nursing homes, get less exposure to the sun. To get sufficient vitamin D, it’s recommended that people get at least ten to fifteen minutes of direct sunlight several times a week. Even when older people are exposed to sunlight, they aren’t as readily able to convert vitamin D precursors present on the skin into a form the body can use. To make matters worse, there are few good food sources of vitamin D, although more food manufacturers are now fortifying food products with D. Vitamin D is found naturally in fatty fish such as salmon, whole eggs, and beef liver.

Vitamin D Deficiency in Older People: What’s the Solution?

With a lack of vitamin D being so common among older people, those who aren’t getting enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure may need to take a vitamin D supplement. There’s a full dose of vitamin D found in Androsurge Estrogen Blocker, but It’s currently recommended that people over the age of fifty get 400 I.U. per day, while those over seventy need at least 600 I.U. Many experts believe this amount is too low and are recommending 1,000 I.U. or even more. The established upper limit that’s deemed to be safe is 2,000 I.U. per day.

The Bottom Line?

A lack of vitamin D is quite common in older people and may increase their risk of a variety of health problems including heart disease. The best approach? Get vitamin D levels checked and take a regular supplement if they’re too low and make sure anyone over the age of fifty gets their level checked too.



How to Get More Exercise: Easy Ways to Walk More Each Day

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Exercise"Exercising just 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can greatly improve your health. In fact, more and more studies are being published that prove you can break up those 30 minutes into three 10-minute periods of exercise and still enjoy many of the benefits.

And what are those benefits? How about reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers? Lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Reducing stress, easing depression and helping you sleep better at night? All of these health benefits can be linked to increasing the amount of physical activity you do each day.

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports recommends that adults try to walk 10,000 steps five days a week in order to achieve many of the benefits above. That number is roughly equal to two miles or 30 minutes – give or take a few depending on your height and stride length. Walking is safe and easy, and almost everyone can do it. Yet most Americans admit they don’t get nearly that much exercise. One reason for this lack may be the overwhelming notion of trying to fit a workout into their already-busy daily routine.

But — as researchers have shown — exercise doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, all-or-nothing activity. In fact, don’t think of it in terms of one activity at all. There are so many ways you can fit a few steps to your daily routine that adding up those 10,000 steps a day may be easier than you think.

So start small and think creatively about ways you might add steps to your day. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Take the stairs as often as possible.
  • Park several blocks from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
  • Park at the rear of the mall or shopping center parking lot.
  • Use the stairs at work or at a department store instead of the elevators.
  • Park at the opposite end of the mall from where you need to shop.
  • Walk to do shopping or other errands.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Walk with your child to the park.

If these ideas seem elementary … they are! That’s the point – you may already walk more in a day than you think, and by making a little extra effort, you can add a lot more physical activity. Pick up an inexpensive pedometer at a local sporting-goods store or Wal-Mart to track your steps, mileage and time spent walking.

Consider joining or organizing a lunchtime walking group at work, or a before- or after-work group with friends or neighbors. Instead of watching television after dinner, get the whole family outside for a game of tag or Frisbee or a walk around the block. Again, try not to get stuck in the “all-or-nothing” rut – if you don’t have time for a long walk, don’t skip it altogether. Squeeze in a short 10-minute walk now, and take the stairs instead of the elevator when you go back to work later. if you lack motivation to workout, including Nitrosurge Shred Pre Workout Fat Burner to your routine could have some benefits to help get you moving.

All of these small changes can be parts of a daily exercise routine that together add up to those 10,000 healthy steps. For more information on easy ways to get active, visit the President’s Council website or Small Steps from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Folic Acid Deficiency: The Causes Symptoms and Stages of Folate Deficiency and Anemia

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Folic Acid"Humans cannot produce folate and therefore rely on adequate dietary intake. Since the introduction of folic acid food fortification throughout the world, the prevalence of folic acid deficiency has decreased. However, certain population groups and health conditions may warrant increased folate intake from foods or folic acid supplements.

Folic Acid Deficiency Causes

The most common folic acid deficiency cause is a low daily intake from foods. This may be from a lack of fresh green vegetables, legumes, and enriched grains or from food processing or preparation. Prolonged storage and cooking can cause a 50% to 95% loss of folate.

Other factors that may cause folic acid deficiency are:

  • Alcoholism: alcohol interferes with folate metabolism and increases folate breakdown
  • Malabsorption diseases: such as celiac disease and gastric diseases that cause low stomach acid
  • Pharmaceuticals: some drugs may impair folate absorption and inhibit folate metabolism
  • Acquired folate malabsorption: a rare hereditary folate malabsorption
  • Pregnancy, lactation and infancy: all have an increased folate requirement
  • Kidney dialysis: increases folate excretion
  • Other nutrient deficiencies: zinc, riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3) and vitamin B12. These may affect folate absorption and metabolism
  • Age: the elderly are more susceptible due to low intake, malnutrition and existing medical conditions.

Folic acid deficiency poses a number of clinical and diagnostic challenges because in the early stages there may be no obvious signs of deficiency. It may take four months before any signs or symptoms.

Folic Acid Deficiency Symptoms

Folic acid deficiency causes very general symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Headaches and difficulty concentrating
  • Palpitations
  • Diarrhoea
  • In the early stages, the tongue may be red and painful leading to a smooth shiny surface in the chronic stages of deficiency.

The Three Stages of Folic Acid Deficiency

At the first stage of deficiency the plasma folate levels fall. If the diet does not contain adequate folate, the red blood cell (RBC) folate levels drop after three to four months. With continuing deficiency, the bone marrow cells and other cells become affected. This is stage three, the clinical stage of folic acid anemia. It occurs after approximately four to five months of deficiency. Folic acid anemia is called megaloblastic anemia.

Folic acid functions in DNA synthesis and therefore cell division. Without this important vitamin, cells such as red blood cells produced in the bone marrow, fail to divide properly. RNA continues to form and build up producing excess haemoglobin. The RBC becomes an immature enlarged non-functioning cell often containing excess haemoglobin. This is megaloblastic anemia.

Certain factors confuse the diagnosis of folic acid deficiency anemia. The folic acid anemia is identical to the anemia of vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, it is very important to rule out vitamin B12 deficiency before taking folic acid supplements for anemia; otherwise, the megaloblastic anemia of vitamin B12 may go on unnoticed. In addition, the factors that lead to folate deficiency, such as poor diet, malabsorption and alcoholism, affect other nutrients as well, so singling out folic acid as the cause is often difficult.

Testing for Folic Acid Deficiency

Serum folate levels reflect recent changes in folate intake whereas RBC folate measures the folate stored in the body. RBC folate is a more reliable test. These tests are available through a standard blood test from the doctor.

High homocysteine levels may also reflect low folate status but it may also be indicative of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 deficiency.

Why the Body Needs Water-Soluble Vitamins: Symptoms of Inadequate Intake of B-Vitamins and Vitamin C

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Water-Soluble Vitamins"Water-soluble vitamins are those vitamins which dissolve in the body’s watery fluids. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and any excess is passed out of the body through urine. As a result, it’s easy for a deficiency of these types of vitamins to occur.

Water-Soluble Vitamins and Symptoms of Deficiency

Thiamin (B1): The body needs thiamin to help convert carbohydrates into energy and to keep brain, nerves and heart cells healthy. Although rare, a severe thiamin deficiency can lead to a disease called beriberi which causes muscle wasting and paralysis.

Riboflavin (B2): Riboflavin also plays a role in converting food to energy and is needed for the formation of red blood cells. Riboflavin helps promote healthy skin and normal vision as well. A deficiency in riboflavin can cause dry, scaly skin, and can make the eyes sensitive to light.

Niacin (B3): Niacin is another B vitamin that helps convert food to energy. In addition, niacin helps maintain healthy skin, nerves, and digestive system. A niacin deficiency is rare, but if it does occur the symptoms include: diarrhea, mouth sores, skin changes, nervous disorder, dermatitis, mental confusion, and can even cause death.

Pyridoxine (B6): The body needs pyridoxine to form red blood cells, antibodies, and insulin. Pyridoxine also helps to maintain normal brain functioning. Symptoms of a pyridoxine deficiency are: changes in skin, mental confusion, nervous disorder, anemia, and can also cause convulsions in infants.

Cobalamin (B12): Vitamin B12 helps the body form red blood cells, is needed for normal nervous system functioning, and is required for DNA synthesis. A B12 deficiency may cause nervous disorders and pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 needs “intrinsic factor” to be absorbed. Since intrinsic factor is made by the stomach lining, those with gastrointestinal problems may need to have injections so B12 gets directly into the bloodstream.

Folic Acid (Folacin, Folate): Folic acid plays a role in cell division and forming red blood cells. Folic acid is also needed to make DNA and has been found to reduce neural-tube birth defects in newborns. A folic acid deficiency may result in anemia and abnormalities in the digestive system.

Biotin: Also needed for conversion of food to energy, biotin plays a role in turning both fats and carbohydrates into energy. Biotin may also help prevent buildup of fat deposits.

Pantothenic Acid: Another B-vitamin that helps convert food to energy, pantothenic acid also helps stabilize blood sugar levels, helps the body defend against infection, and protects hemoglobin as well as nerve, brain, and muscle tissue.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid): Vitamin C is needed for the development and maintenance of fat, muscle, and bone. It also helps in wound healing, and plays a role in the syntheses of hormones. Vitamin C also increases the absorption of iron. Deficiencies of vitamin C are rare, but if it does occur, symptoms include: lowered resistance to infection, sore gums, and in severe cases, scurvy.

Food Sources of B-Vitamins and Vitamin C

In general, eating a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats will provide the body with enough water-soluble vitamins to prevent a deficiency from occurring. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes, broccoli, kiwi, mangos, and yellow peppers. Good food sources of the B-vitamins are pork, beef, legumes, whole-grain products, oatmeal, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, eggs, and nuts.

Fibromyalgia and Exercise: Gentle Movement to Ease Chronic Pain

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Fibromyalgia"For fibromyalgia sufferers, exercise can be daunting. However, doctors agree that exercise is crucial in reducing pain and stress, keeping weight in check and strengthening your muscles. Gentle movements can ease chronic pain and strengthen muscles without causing as much fatigue as traditional exercise.

Fibromyalgia and Exercise

Fibromyalgia sufferers may believe exercise is impossible. Tired, always aching muscles, morning stiffness and relentless fatigue can all occur without exercise. Yet, doctors agree that for most fibromyalgia suffers, exercise can be the key to reducing pain. Web MD’s Fibromyalgia Health Center experts discuss the importance of exercise for:

  1. Controlling Weight – which can lessen symptoms.
  2. Improving Sleep – a major issue for those with fibromyalgia.
  3. Increasing Energy – and improving muscle strength.
  4. Reducing Anxiety – and feeling a better sense of well being.

And these are only a few of the many benefits.

Still, exercise for those with fibromyalgia may be a bit different than it is for those without. In fact, gentle movements and exercises are often recommended to start out with.

Gentle Movements

Patients often complain about fibromyalgia’s nasty cycle. Sufferers already feel fatigue and muscle pain, which limits exercise, which increases pain and on and on. However, adding even just 20 minutes of gentle movements as part of a general health wellness plan can reduce the pain of chronic pain, which can in turn give energy to sufferers, which can in turn reduce anxiety and on and on.

But where to start? First, always consult with your physician before attempting a new exercise regimen. Then, check out the following techniques to fit gentle movements into your day:

Wheelchair Exercises:

Chronic pain is often a deterrent to regular exercise. With fibromyalgia, movement is often limited. Luckily, exercises designed for people limited to a wheelchair offer just the right amount of strength training and gentle movements for those with fibromyalgia.


Many wheelchair exercises and gentle movements rely on an exercise technique called isometrics. This exercise technique is all about gentle presses and holds to increase muscle strength. A great book for gentle movements is 8 Minutes in the Morning: Real Shapes Real Sizes by expert guru Jorge Cruise (Jorge Cruise Inc.).

Cruise designed these simple exercises, such as pressing the palm of your hands gently down on a flat table surface while seated and holding, for those with very limited movement. Additionally, this helpful manual is full of illustrations, a suggested eating plan and is intended for those looking to lose more than 30 pounds.


Gentle yoga can be a fantastic way to warm up. Try a beginning yoga class or a gentle yoga DVD. Other stretching exercises could include Nia, a gentle body movement technique and Tai Chi. Each technique pays special attention to breathing, gentle stretching, relaxation and reflection.

Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Pain

Fibromyalgia sufferers can improve their pain, fatigue, strength and energy with just a few minutes of exercise per day. For those just starting out, the key is to choose gentle exercises and movements, such as those found in isometric exercises and yoga. A pre-exercise warm up to loosen the muscles is always recommended.

Fitting in exercise can be as simple as parking the car farther away at the shops, riding a recumbent bike while watching a favorite twenty-minute long television program, or even getting your kids involved in a simple yoga routine.