Apr 30, 2010
Vitamin D Linked to Diabetes, Cancer, Depression, and More
Care2 article, posted by Michelle Schoffro Cook Apr 29, 2010
New evidence shows that people with higher levels of vitamin D experienced a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University just released its study linking low levels of vitamin D to diabetes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of the study concluded that maintaining optimal vitamin D levels in the blood may be a type 2 diabetes prevention strategy.
Other recent research found that vitamin D plays a critical role in activating the body’s immune system against infectious diseases like the flu. Researchers noted that a deficiency in this important vitamin, which actually acts more like a hormone in your body, may result in a greater risk of contracting flu viruses. Additional research has linked low amounts of vitamin D to autoimmune disorders, cancer, depression, diabetes, and heart disease.
Vitamin D also plays essential roles in supporting our energy and balancing our moods. It also helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, and it supports the health of the thyroid gland-a butterfly gland in the throat that helps maintain a healthy weight, balanced metabolism, and energy levels.
While moderate sunlight exposure is the best source of vitamin D, many people incorrectly think that a small amount of sunshine exposure daily is sufficient to meet their vitamin D requirements.
However, after your skin is exposed to sunlight, it takes about 48 hours to convert it into vitamin D. During that time, the sunlight-initiated precursors to vitamin D can be washed off with soap and water. So, if you scrub your skin with soap in the shower, your body will not convert most of your skin’s sun exposure to vitamin D. I’m not suggesting that you avoid showering after sun exposure rather that you primarily soap the areas that don’t usually see the light of day and wash the newly tanned ones exclusively with water. Avoid excessive sun exposure since there are no health benefits of sunburn.
Some vitamin D deficiency symptoms include: bow legs or “knock knees,” burning in mouth or throat, constipation, dental cavities or cracked teeth, insomnia, joint pains or bone pains, muscle cramps, nearsightedness (myopia-can’t see distances), nervousness, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, frequent colds or flu, and poor bone development.
Vitamin D is also found in fish and fish oils, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and many types of sprouts. People with low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) tend to have difficulty with vitamin D absorption and as a result, may have higher needs for this nutrient.
Many health experts recommend supplementation of 2000 to 4000 IU daily. However, you should always consult a qualified health professional before supplementing with vitamin D since excessive amounts can build up in the body creating a potential risk for toxicity and is contraindicated for some health conditions.
A complete list of references is published in The Phytozyme Cure.
Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.
Apr 30, 2010 1:48am
Jan 30, 2010
From 10 Ways Your Food Can Bring Out the Best in Your Genes | Care2 Healthy & Green Living:
There are multiple factors in your diet, environment and lifestyle that affect your genes and how you age. Many of these are within your control. Of all the factors, diet is the easiest to control and probably the most important determinant of how our genes are expressed
1. Eat real food, not junk.
2. Try to eat as close to natural as possible.
3. Select fruits/vegetables in a wide variety of colours.
4. Buy fresh, organic, local foods when possible.
5. Stop eating when 80% full.
6. Be skeptical of foods with individual
labels bearing a health claim.
7. Be wary of advertised foods.
8. Be careful of obsessive calorie counting.
9. Enjoy your food.
10. Don’t waste your time feeling guilty
if you ate the “wrong” thing.
A revolutionary new science, NUTRIGENOMICS, is showing how different foods may interact with specific genes, how food “talks” to our genes and how our genes express themselves after the conversation. It is confirming that food provides potent dietary signals that directly influence the metabolic programming of our cells and modify the risk of common chronic diseases. It is telling us that food is information, that it contains “instructions” which are communicated directly to our genes.
Armed with this information, your genes commandeer various metabolic actions and affect millions of critical biological processes, including cholesterol levels, aging, hormone regulation, weight gain and loss, and much more.
Eat the right foods and they will send
instructions to your genes for good health.
Eating the wrong foods however,
sends messages for disease.
What we are finding out is that there is so much more to food than just the nutrients we have discovered thus far. Real food is packed with thousands of compounds which have a complex and dynamic relationship with one another and your genes. With processed foods however, these micronutrients have either been altered or are missing, and therefore they can never deliver the same beneficial messages to your genes. Just as a computer program won’t function well when it gets fed bad data, neither will your body. Once you understand that food is “data” or complex information that the body uses to direct the multifaceted actions that keep us vibrantly alive, it’s easy to understand that loading up on junk food is like taking the fast lane to a giant system failure.
Foods containing SUGAR, TRANS FATS and
CHEMICALS, and heavily PROCESSED foods,
are simply “bad data” for human consumption.
Lipman call these food-like substances because they are not real food. If you eat these regularly, your body stops working properly. It makes perfect sense...
When you bathe your genes in an unhealthy
environment, like the one created when you eat
junk food, your genes “miscue” metabolic
actions that can trigger disease.
e.g. your body responds to food-like substances
as if they are foreign bodies. This prompts an
inflammatory response as your body tries to
Over time, continued consumption can lead to the development of a low grade chronic inflammatory condition which is now becoming recognized as an important precursor to a variety of more serious forms of illness.
Bottom line: the food you eat affects
the functioning of your genes.
10 ways to bring out the best in your genes
1. Eat real food i.e. fresh, whole, unrefined and unprocessed food. Food is more than a delivery system for nutrients containing protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Real food is more than the sum of its parts, it’s about how it all works together, about the integrity of the information or the total message. Although you should know how to read food labels, most real food does not come with a label — vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grass fed meats, wild fish, organic chicken and eggs etc.
2. Although there is no one right diet for everyone (as we are all different), try to eat as close to nature as possible. The further removed food is from its source the less good data it will contain, and the more likely it is of being a “food-like substance” and not real food.
3. Select fruits and vegetables in a wide variety of colors. For a list of fruits and vegetables with the most and least pesticides, check out www.foodnews.org.
4. Buy fresh foods whenever you can, preferably organic and locally grown if possible. Fresh foods are better than frozen foods, which are better than canned foods.
5. Stop eating when you are 80 percent full.
6. Be skeptical of foods that come individually labeled with a health claim. Most healthy foods don’t need a health claim. Have you ever seen a health claim on a bunch of broccoli or on a box of blueberries?
7. Be wary of foods you’ve seen advertised as the vast majority of these are processed foods.
8. Be careful of obsessive calorie counting. Figuring your diet simply in terms of calories or even percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrate, can inadvertently deprive your body of the “complete” messages that real, whole foods provide.
9. Enjoy your food, preferably in the company of people you love.
10. Don’t waste your time feeling guilty if you ate the “wrong” thing. I think Michael Pollan summarizes it really well in his brilliant book, In Defense of Food: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” He too is talking about real food.
Dr Lipman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lipmo
Michael Pollan: http://www.michaelpollan.com/
In Defense of Food: http://www.amazon.com/Defense-Food-Eaters-Manifesto/dp/0143114964/ref=sr_11_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1242508699&sr=11-1
Frank Lipman MD, is the founder/director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center-emphasis on preventive health care and patient education. He blends Western and Eastern Medicine combined with other complimentary modalities. His books: SPENT: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again (2009) and Total Renewal; 7 key steps to Resilience, Vitality and Long-Term Health (2003)..
Jan 30, 2010 9:49pm
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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