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Sunshine: A Natural Mood Enhancer

Are you feeling down or blue? If you are then one thing’s for sure: you’ve likely encountered any number of natural products being promoted for their potential ability to benefit and improve your mood. Everything from B vitamins to fish oil to 5-HTP have been studied and written about in terms of their potential role in not only combating depression, but actually making us feel generally happier. Continue reading

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Vitamin D and Alzheimer’s Disease: Could Deficiency Increase Your Risk?

You know, we’ve explored, several times now, the relationship between vitamin D levels and risks for severe health complications, including dementia. Notably, my colleague Dr. Dale Bredesen has written and researched much on this topic, particularly with regard to the relationship between vitamin D levels and Alzheimer’s risk. In fact, Dr. Bredesen even includes vitamin D supplementation in his protocol for treating Alzheimer’s and dementia. Continue reading

Sun Exposure and Your Health

We’ve all been told that it’s a good idea to get a little sunshine each day. Reasons include the fact that this helps generate a bit of vitamin D, and that we basically just feel better when we’re exposed to this component of nature!

But new research may strengthen the sunshine recommendation. A new study, Moderate UV Exposure Enhances Learning and Memory by Promoting a Novel Glutamate Biosynthetic Pathway in the Brain, appeared in the journal Cell demonstrates how UV light exposure actually enhances memory function in laboratory animals. These researchers showed that when laboratory rats were exposed to moderate amounts of UV light, a biosynthetic pathway was activated that caused increased production of the neurotransmitter glutamate in various brain regions. Further, these animals were then shown to have improvement in specific forms of memory that involve both motor activity as well as object recognition.

The researchers stated:

Although overexposure to UV radiation may cause several adverse health effects, moderate UV exposure greatly benefits physical and mental health at multiple levels. Moderate UV-light exposure affects behaviors related to the CNS, such as emotion, learning, and memory.

Our ancestors spent a lot of time exposed to UV light, and we are just beginning to unravel more of the story as to why this was, and is, healthful.

Skin cancers, including melanoma, and enhanced skin aging do seem to be related to UV light exposure, and that’s clearly the other side of the coin. So, like so many other considerations, this is a recommendation grounded in balance. So I would consider avoiding sun exposure from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., and then limit it to around 15 minutes in total each day.

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Prevention of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune condition, and this is a disease that actually has its origin in the gut! The gut, as you know, regulates inflammation in the body and plays a huge role in regulating immunity. As it relates to MS, we want to implement a diet that improves gut health and preserves the gut lining. The tenets of that diet include being low in carbohydrates, rich in healthy fats, and stocked with plenty of prebiotic fiber. It’s also possible, as recent science is discovering, that vitamin D could have a role to play too.

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Healthy Microbiome – Healthy Bones

Osteoporosis and osteopenia (meaning low bone mass) are extremely common problems here in America. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recently released data indicating that approximately 54 million American adults, age 50 or older, are affected by these issues. Shockingly, this figure is expected to increase to approximately 71 million by the year 2030. Bone fractures, including those involving the hip or spine, will increase in lockstep as the bone health of Americans continues to decline.

By and large, the emphasis in mainstream medicine seems to be focused upon the development of new treatments for bone thinning. Just watching the evening news often provides information about one or more osteoporosis products that may enhance bone density. Continue reading