Thursday, July 20, 2017

Vitamin D a Potential Remedy for Sunburns: Implications for Skin Cancer Treatment

According to scientists at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, large amounts of Vitamin D could be the solution to the bane of fair-skinned people - red, painful sunburns. People who ingested large quantities of Vitamin D one hour after getting a sunburn felt long-term benefits, which included a substantial reduction in redness, swelling and inflammation. The research was the first-ever study to explore the anti-inflammatory properties of Vitamin D. The study was published in the May edition of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology

This research raises the question: Could quickly healing skin result in better protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun and, potentially, from getting skin cancer? Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer occuring in the U.S., according to data tracked by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the study, twenty people received a sunburn utilizing a lamp, then were given a placebo, or varying amounts of Vitamin D. The Vitamin D doses were given in massive amounts ranging anywhere from 12,500% to 50,000% of the recommended daily amount. The people who received the largest amounts of the vitamin experienced the best results.  They had reduced skin irritation within two day and suffered from less redness.

The scientists theorized that the mechanism behind the fast healing is that Vitamin D increases anti-inflammatory enzymes in the epidermis. This enzyme acts to trigger the production of other anti-inflammatory proteins and stimulates repair of tissues.

The health benefits of Vitamin D have been controversial over time. A decade ago, research had linked a deficiency of Vitamin D to both osteoporosis and heart disease. However, more recently, an analysis of forty research studies indicated that healthy individuals were not likely to receive any benefits from taking Vitamin D.

The research is promising, but more, larger studies need to be conducted in order to further explore these early results.

Source: USA Today.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Study: A Deficiency of Vitamin A Could Negatively Impact Stem Cells

A study done at the German Cancer Research Center has found that a vitamin A deficiency can negatively impact blood stem cells. Specialized cells located in the blood, digestive system, and skin have a relatively brief lifespan and require regular replenishment. They come from stem cells which constantly divide in order to survive.

In 2008, scientists found a group of specialized stem cells which are located in the bone marrow that are dormant the majority of the time, and only become active in order to combact viral or bacterial infections, loss of blood, or in reaction to chemotherapy treatments. When their task is completed, these powerful stem cells return to a dormant state.

The mechanisms that case the stem cells to activate and deactivate have now been identified. It was discovered that retinoic acid, which is a vitamin A metabolite, is critical for these processes. When retinoic acid isn't present, active stem cells aren't able to go back into dormancy and they develop into specialized blood cells, instead.

Using specially-bred mice, researchers learned that the stem cells are lost as a reservoir if there is a shortage of retinoic acid. "If we feed these mice on a vitamin A deficient diet for some time, this leads to a loss of stem cells," Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid, lead author of this study, stated. "We can prove for the first time that vitamin A has a direct impact on blood stem cells."

This research serves to help provide new insight into previous studies which indicated that vitamin A deficiency impairs the immune system. "This shows how vitally important it is to have a sufficient intake of vitamin A from a balanced diet," Cabezas-Wallscheid said.

Researchers speculate that these findings may play a role in future cancer treatments because cancer cells, like stem cells, rest in a dormant state and their metabolism is stopped, resulting in resistance to chemotherapy.

Study pulished in Cell.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Relieving PMS with Vitamins and Minerals

Women suffering from PMS are always on the lookout for ways to find relief from the discomforts of PMS, however over-the-counter pain medications often don't do the job, and any prescription medications may have unwanted side-effects. Something else to consider, is trying some of the more natural remedies that have been used to relieve the symptoms of PMS.

Alternative treatments including vitamins, herbs, and other supplements may be able to help ease some of the common symptoms of menstruation like cramps and bloating, particularly when combined with a healthful diet.

Having a healthy diet that which includes foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals may be able to help relieve menstrual symptoms.

Following is a list of some of the vitamins and minerals that have been reported to be specifically helpful in relieving PMS symptoms and discomfort:

Vitamin A has been reported to help relieve menstrual symptoms associated with PMS.

Vitamin B6 can help decrease bloating, as it is a natural diuretic. It may also help to regulate estrogen levels which may not be balanced during your period.

Vitamin E is know to help alleviate the discomfort of sore and tender breasts. It also plays a role in helping to regulate hormone levels, and may help with irritability and depression.

Pantothenic acid is a nutrient that is widely used to help lower stress.

Calcium and magnesium are strong natural minerals that can aid in reducing both cramps and tense muscles. They can also contribute to lowering of stress.

PMS Vitamin Supplements

If you want to take a mult-vitamin supplement specifically aimed at helping to reduce PMS symptoms, ensure that it includes vitamins A, C, D, and E, in addition to B vitamins, and the minerals phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, pantothenic acid, iron, and zinc.

If you currently take a vitamin supplement each day, ensure that the addition of a supplement for PMS doesn't result in exceeding the recommended daily dosage of the vitamins and minerals in each supplement. Also do not take a separate vitamin B6 supplement together with a B-complex supplement in order to avoid exceeding the daily limit.

Meeting with a certified nutritionist can be helpful in managing your vitamin and minderal dosages as they will be able to recommend the ideal nutrient combinations for your particular situation. It is possible that a certain standard daily multi-vitamin will contain all the supplements you need to help treat your PMS symptoms.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Vitamins and Minerals to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

An important component of keeping your eyes healthy is getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals that support eye health. There are a wide range of eye conditions and disorders, and getting the right nutrients can help reduce your risk of these diseases.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a strong antioxidant generally found in foods that come from animals including liver and eggs, and in fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and spinach. Milk is also usually fortified with vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for correct functioning of the retina. It also aids in preventing night blindness by aiding in adaptation between light and dark. It is also linked to a lowered risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the formation of cataracts. As AMD and cataracts are two of the primary causes of visual impairment and with their prevalence steadily increasing, getting sufficient quantities of vitamin A is crucial to maintaining the health of your eyes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C performs a number of necessary functions in our bodies. It helps to strengthen bones and muscles, it bolsters the immune system, it helps in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, and it lowers the risk of a myriad of diseases and conditions. It is not surprising that it is also vital for maintaining healthy eyes. Vitamin C is another powerfulantioxidant that can lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as well as the formation of cataracts. Vitamin C is not only found in citrus fruits, but can also be found strawberries, green peppers, and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant vitamin that performs many functions. Eating a diet rich in vitamin E is linked to a lowerded risk of Alzheimer's Disease, heart disease, and it is also though to guard against various types of cancers. In relation to eye health, vitamin E has been linked with a lowered incidence of cataracts and slowed growth of cataracts. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fortified foods like cereal.

Selenium and Zinc

Selenium and Zinc are the two primary minerals that act on the oxidation process. They aid the body in the absorption of antioxidants and making sure you get the daily recommended values of these minerals can ensure that you are getting the antioxidants you need to prevent eye diseases. Just like with antioxidants, absorbing too large of amounts of these minerals could lead to problems.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Skin

Your skin is one of the best, and most visible, signs of health. Dry skin, oily skin, papery skin, acne, and redness can all be signs of poor health inside your body - usually caused by consuming an unhealthy diet devoid of skin-healthy vitamins and minerals. To attempt to treat skin issues, most people count on topical cosmetics, including soaps, creams, scrubs, exfoliants, and toners. However, trying to treat skin blemishes with chemical-laden products does not address the actual cause of the problem, which is generally poor nutrition and overexposure to poisons and toxins found in food and beauty products.

Research has found that skin reacts especially well to particular vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants that help to strengthen and nourish skin, making it look more young and healthy. Following are some of the best vitamins and minerals for healthy skin:

Silica is a mineral that helps to make the body's connective tissues stronger and is necessary to keep skin healthy. A deficiency of silica can cause skin to lose its elasticity and can disrupt healing.

Zinc is a vital component for maintaining healthy skin, particularly for those with acne. Acne can actually be a sign of a zinc deficiency. Zinc works by regulating the production of skin oil and hormones that contribute to acne. It is also necessary for healthy functioning of the immune system function.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are excellent for helping to treat dry, inflamed skin and whiteheads and blackheads. Essential Fatty Acids, such as Omega-3s play a vital component in skin repair, moisture content of skin, and elasticity. The body does not make its own essential fatty acids so they have to be obtained via diet.

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral which is responsible for maintaining the elasticity and flexibility of tissues. It also works to guard against cell damage caused by free radicals and has a strong correlation with a lowered risk of breast cancer. It is thought that it might have an important role in the prevention of skin cancer, as it acts to guard the skin from UV damage.

Vitamin C is particularly good for lowering damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals damage and destroy both collagen and elastin - the tissue fibers that form underlying skin structure - and can significantly contribute to the premature formation of wrinkles. It is also a nutrient that is very effective for guarding the skin from sun damage, particularly in conjunction with vitamin E.

Vitamin E is another very strong antioxidant that minimizes the damaging effects of sun to the skin. In conjunction with vitamin A, vitamin E is excellent at acting to guard against particular types of skin cancers. Vitamin E is also widely used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and, is good for soothing rough, dry skin.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Vitmains and Minerals for Increased Energy

Everyone needs adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals to maintain good health and energy. However, specific nutrient deficiencies are connected with lowered energy levels and chronic fatigue. These nutrients are iron, magnesium, B12 and folic acid.


Iron is a vital mineral required for the production of hemoglobin, the component of red blood cells which carries oxygen and is necessary for creating energy. When the level of iron is too low, red blood cells are not carrying sufficient oxygen to the body, resulting in tiredness. When hemoglobin levels are too low, it results in anemia.

There are two different forms of iron: heme iron (found in animal sources) and non-heme iron (which is found in plant sources). Heme iron is absorbed more easily than non-heme iron, which explains why vegetarians generally have a higher risk for iron-deficiency anemia.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for the production of red blood cells (in conjunction with folic acid). Vitamin B12 aids the body in utilizing iron and is also needed for digestion, absorbing food, synthesizing protein, for metabolizing carbs and fats. It has often been observed that taking vitamin B12 (particularly injections) eliminates tiredness, even when there isn't a notable deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are becoming more common because of declining B12 levels in food, more widespread use of antibiotics, and digestive issues. This is due to the fact that B12 is manufactured in the digestive tract in addition to being absorbed from foods. The people with the greatest risk of having a B12 deficiency are vegetarians and people who suffer from digestive problems.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins (also known as vitamin B9 or folate) and is required for the production of red blood cells. Folate deficiency can ultimately result in a condition known as megaloblastic anemia.

Tiredness is generally associated with both a folate deficiency and megaloblastic anaemia. Since folate is often destroyed through the cooking process, it is one of the more widespread vitamin deficiencies.

Warning: if folate is given to a person who is deficient in vitamin B12 and they don't take vitamin B12 at the same time, the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency (particularly neurological symptoms) may be masked. Only take a folate supplement once the possibility of a vitamin B12 deficiency has been eliminated.


Magnesium is required for the manufacture of ATP, the primary energy-producing molecule of the human body. Therefore, when we suffer from a magnesium deficiency, our body cells are less capable of creating energy which can result in chronic fatigue. It has been discovered that almost all people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome also have a magnesium deficiency, and approximately eighty percent of people get increased energy from taking a magnesium supplement. Magnesium is the most common mineral deficiency. Most people would likely benefit from a magnesium supplement, even if they haven't had their magnesium levels checked out.

Warning: if taking a magnesium supplement makes your symptoms worse (particularly cramping, muscle twitches and spasms), a calcium deficiency is more likely than a magnesium deficiency.