We’ve certainly learned a lot more about the health benefits of vitamin D over the past decade. While it’s long been recognized that vitamin D is important for strong and healthy bones, it’s role in health and longevity is now recognized as casting a very wide net.
Over the past several years, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk for such brain-related disorders as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, autism, and even dementia. With reference to the latter, a new study published in the journal Neurology, correlated low levels of vitamin D to increased risk of developing dementia to a far greater degree then anyone had predicted.
The study represents a collaboration of multiple highly respected institutions around the world and evaluated a group of 658 elderly individuals who did not have dementia, and measured their vitamin D levels. The average follow-up was about 5 ½ years. Of this group, 171 participants developed dementia, and of those, 102 had full-blown Alzheimer’s disease. When the data was evaluated, the correlation of low vitamin D level to risk of developing dementia was profound. Even having a moderate deficiency of vitamin D was associated with a 53% increased risk of developing dementia of any kind. Those who were “severely deficient” were found to have an increased risk of dementia by 122%. Continue reading
Here’s my take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
To learn more about ALS, view one of my previous blog posts on the subject.
We’re certainly hearing a lot about the nutritional supplement, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), as of late, and with good reason. The clinical application of CoQ10 has now been validated in many conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, chemotherapy, and periodontal disease. It’s now being explored for therapeutic efficacy in such diverse entities as immune function, migraine prevention, high blood pressure and even sperm motility.
CoQ10 is found in virtually every cell in the body, where it plays a pivotal role in the process whereby the cell is able to convert fuel into energy. Beyond this obviously critical function, CoQ10 also serves as one of the body’s most crucial antioxidants, protecting every cell against the damaging effects of chemicals called free radicals. So it’s no wonder CoQ10 is receiving so much attention.
CoQ10 is manufactured in the body, and levels of this life-supportive chemical are enhanced when CoQ10 is consumed. Lower levels may be associated with the use of various medications including:
- Statin drugs used for lowering cholesterol. These include Lipitor, Pravachol, Zocor, and Mevacor. Continue reading
I frequently hear from patients and friends that they are surprised they aren’t losing weight even though they’ve “gone gluten-free.” It’s at that point that I ask for a little bit of clarification in terms of what they think being gluten-free really means. I often learn, surprisingly, that people often say that they only shop from the gluten-free aisle in the grocery store as if that’s some kind of feather in their cap.
Many grocery stores do in fact have gluten-free sections. And what is so disenchanting is the realization that what they are selling includes gluten-free pastas, cakes, cookies, breads, etc. that, while they maybe gluten-free, are nonetheless huge sources of carbohydrates and simple sugars. Continue reading
When it comes to healthy vegetables, kale may be among the best. Packing a powerful punch of antioxidants, nutrients and excellent digestive support, its role in optimal wellness is tough to dispute. For anyone still undecided, here are the top 4 reasons to make kale a part of your life.
- Kale is jam-packed with vitamins. Eating one cup of chopped kale gets you over 200% of your daily value of vitamin A, 134% of your daily value for vitamin C, and almost 700% of your daily value for vitamin K! In addition, kale contains important minerals like manganese, potassium and copper. Continue reading
As we age, it’s almost expected that we will experience greater levels of physical fatigue, mental fatigue, muscular wasting, and even cognitive impairment. So what can be done? No doubt there is clear merit to the recommendations to stay both mentally engaged and physically active, and there is excellent scientific research to support these recommendations.
Much research is carried out in the area of the nutritional supplementation as it relates to these factors of aging. Certainly one of the most attractive nutritional supplements is carnitine as it is fundamentally important in the transport of fatty acid fuels to the energy producing parts of the cell called the mitochondria. So for energy production in, for example, muscles and in the brain, carnitine is a fundamental player. The bottom line is, whatever can be done to enhance mitochondrial function may very well enhance various performance parameters as we age.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers needed to identify individuals who were likely to be suffering from the effects of aging, including those issues described above. So they decided to look at a group of 66 individuals who were at least 100 years of age. The study, which was placebo-controlled and double blinded, had a control group receiving a placebo pill while the treatment group received carnitine, a nutritional supplement, 2 g daily. Continue reading