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Posts Tagged "vitamin d"

How to keep your bones healthy

How to keep your bones healthy

Osteoporosis is a degenerative illness of the bones that is becoming more common than before, affecting more than 2 million people in the U.K. This condition causes the bones to become weaker and increases the risk of fracture, especially in old age. But how should we keep our bones healthy? There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from poor diet, lack of regular exercise, family history through to side effects of medication. Women generally have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men. One in three women and one in twenty men are affected by this condition. This is partly due to the fact that women generally have smaller bones than men and during menopause, the ovaries stop producing oestrogen, which helps to protect the bones. Several medications can cause osteoporosis or weaker bones. The long term use of steroids, such as prednisolone and beclomethasone can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Medications such as omeprazole and lansoprazole, which are used to lower stomach acid, have been reported to decrease levels of calcium. There is some good news! Osteoporosis is a condition that can be easily prevented and managed. Although this does require you to do some work! Your diet is very important in keeping your bones and joints healthy. Eating the correct foods (and avoiding the bad foods) can really make a big difference. Excess alcohol, salt, sugar and caffeine consumption can all lead to lower calcium levels.  Taking the correct supplements and regular exercise also helps to strengthen your bones and joints. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the bones and joints and can help to prevent osteoporosis in later life. While cardiovascular exercise such as running or jogging is important, weight bearing exercises like weight training are essential for keeping your joints and bones strong and healthy. High doses of calcium supplements are not the answer to treating osteoporosis. Calcium supplements that are prescribed by G.P’s have been linked with an increased risk of heart attacks in a study published in the British Medical Journal. While calcium is important, other minerals such as magnesium, boron, and zinc also play an important role in bone health. Homeopathic remedies can also help your body to absorb calcium...

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Is walking good for you?

We all know by now that we should be walking more; getting off the bus/tube a stop or two early, walking the kids to school, getting up from our desk every 30 minutes and probably spending less time in front of  the TV, laptop or playing video games.  All in all we spend too much time sitting down and being inactive. So is walking good for you?  We all know that walking is a form of exercise and as part of a plan that includes a healthy diet can help lose weight and is a good but gentle form of cardiovascular exercise BUT there also a number of other benefits that are just as, if not more important.  These include: Type 2 Diabetes A recent study by the School of Public Health at Imperial College London suggested that people who walk to work were about 40% less likely to have diabetes than people who drove to work. Increases Vitamin D Levels Vitamin D is very important in that the body needs it to absorb calcium which in turn is vital to help maintain strong bones (calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones and even osteoporosis. We also need Vitamin D to help the body fight infections and help maintain healthy organs.  A daily 15 minute walk is all that is needed to make sure you get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Reduces the risk of Heart Disease Research has shown that a daily brisk walk can help reduce the risk of  heart disease by up to 50%.  Even walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease in women by 40% according to a 1999 Harvard Study. I have highlighted just a few of the less obvious benefits of walking, the more widely known ones include increased heart lung fitness, reduction of body fat, increased muscle strength and stamina. A few more statistics that will hopefully motivate you to walk more….. “Walking for 20 minutes a day could save 37,000  people a year from dying prematurely of cancer, heart disease and stroke” according to a report by The Ramblers & Macmillan Cancer Support In fact, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high...

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A Healthy Start to School

A Healthy Start to School

With the school year about to start, this is a time of adjustment for many families. It’s time to get back into the daily routine of early starts, homework and early nights (hopefully). The re-opening of school again is also the sign that summer is coming to an end, with autumn fast approaching. So having a healthy start to school makes a great difference to children. Whilst many kids have enjoyed their summer and generally been fit and healthy, the autumn term is usually when colds, coughs and tummy bugs hit their peak. Children tend to pick up all sorts of bugs from classmates and sick days can cause disruption for working parents. There are certain measures that you can take to help minimise this risk. A good diet, regular exercise and certain immune boosting supplements can help to keep your child fit and healthy, and maintain good concentration in class. It goes with question that a nutritious breakfast is the ideal way to start the day. A breakfast containing protein and complex carbohydrates can help to improve concentration, by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout the morning. Several studies have found that high protein breakfasts resulted in improved IQ scores in children. You should avoid sugary cereals which are also full of salt and processed carbohydrates which can cause drowsiness. Healthy cereals such as muesli which contain nuts and seeds increase protein intake and help to keep your child alert. These healthy cereals and complex carbohydrates such as porridge help to release sugar slowly throughout the morning, without causing sugar highs and lows. Nuts and seeds provide protein and omega 3 essential oils, which also help with concentration. An alternative for kids who don’t like eating breakfast is a fruit smoothie, with the addition of blended nuts and seeds and yoghurt. You can make these at home using any fruits in virtually any combination of your choice. Yoghurt also provides probiotics which help to maintain and support a healthy immune system, so your child can ward off colds and coughs. Colourful vegetables such as peppers, courgettes, red cabbage, tomatoes and avocados have been found to improve children’s IQ scores. These foods also provide good levels of vitamin C...

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Vitamin D & it’s benefits

Vitamin D has been in the press over the past few months. Doctors and researchers have found that many children and toddlers are deficient in vitamin D. Deficiency can cause weak bones and problems with growth in young children. The main reason for the lack of vitamin D is the lack of sunshine that we are exposed to. We just about get enough during a good” summer. During the winter, with shorter days and overcast weather, we are left with miminal levels of this “sunshine vitamin”. Many vitamin and health companies produce vitamin D supplements. These supplements are valuable during autumn and winter time. We hope you found this short health article on vitamin supplements useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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One in Four Toddlers Have a Vitamin D Deficiency

Latest research has found that one in four toddlers in the UK are lacking in vitamin D. This vitamin D deficiency can lead to various illnesses and health conditions such as weak bones and in severe cases rickets disease. A more concerning statistic was that more than half of healthcare professionals are also unaware of these guidelines. This indicates that the health authorities may not be getting the message across. These guidelines would suggest that the NHS (National Health Service) would provide vitamin D supplements to all toddlers. These findings were described as a major health issue by Dr Benjamin Jacobs, consultant pediatrician at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. The research revealed that 74 per cent of parents knew nothing about vitamin D guidelines. These guidelines recommend that all children under the age of five should be given vitamin D supplements. Dr Jacobs told BBC Breakfast, “We see about one case of rickets a month in our hospital, but that’s the very severe end of the disease. “There are many other children who have less severe problems – muscle weakness, delay in walking, bone pains – and research indicates that in many parts of the country the majority of children have a low level of Vitamin D.” Rickets disease is a rare disease that affects bone development in children. This disease can soften bones and lead to bone deformities. Rickets is believed to be a disease of another age, although doctors are now seeing more and more cases. The disease was all but eradicatedby the 1940’s with the use of vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is naturally formed in our bodies in response to sunlight. It is also found in oily fish such as salmon,sardines, herring and mackerel. Vitamin D is also found in milk, eggs, porridge, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and vegetable oils. By the 1950’s, there was a concern that children were getting too much vitamin D in their food and with supplements. Due to this fear, unlike other countries, vitamin D supplements were stopped in the UK. “It’s really only over the past 10 years orso that I’ve noticed children with Vitamin D deficiency. And still I would say today, the majority of doctors, health visitors, midwives,...

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Vitamin D can reduce the risk of mental illness in children

Vitamin D can reduce the risk of mental illness in children

Are your children getting enough sunshine? A new study has found that children with low levels of the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D, are more likely to suffer with depression in later life. Children who had the highest levels of this vitamin were found to have a 10 per cent lower risk of developing mental illness. The Daily Mail has reported the Children of the 90’s research project, which was carried out at the University of Bristol. The researchers analysed vitamin D levels in more than 2,700 children at the age of nine, and they were followed up at the age of 13. The results found that those children with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to demonstrate signs of depression. Children who had higher levels of vitamin Dwere less likely to show signs of depression throughout their teenage years. This study also found that the specific type of vitamin D that you take is very important. The two types of vitamin Dthat were investigated were, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3(colecaliciferol). The study found that the D3 form had the strongestanti-depressant link. Vitamin D is naturally formed in our bodies in response to sunlight. It is also found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Vitamin D is also found in milk, eggs, porridge, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and vegetable...

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Vitamin D Supplements for the Immune System

The benefits of regularly taking vitamin D supplements have been known for many years.  It  plays an important role in the health of bones and in the prevention of rickets disease, but research has shown that it also plays a vital role in boosting the function of the immune system. Vitamin D is naturally formed in our bodies in response to sunlight. It is also found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Vitamin D is also found in milk, eggs, porridge, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and vegetable oils, and plenty of other every day foods. Vitamin D supplements are also available, but it is important not to take more than 10 micrograms a day, as taking too much of it can actually weaken the bones.   We hope you found our article on how vitamin D supplements can help the immune system useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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