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Revitacell Capsules - Clean Supplements Selected & Manufactured with Care

Revitacell Capsules - Clean Supplements Selected & Manufactured with Care

Over the last year we have introduced a number of products under our Revitacell brand. We wanted to provide products that have the minimum number of excipients in them. Our goal is to give our clients products that are as clean as possible.

 

These capsule products are manufactured in a facility in the UK that cares about what they do. They are able to encapsulate products without using ingredients such as magnesium stearate because they have  experienced operators on their encapsulation machinery. They have to fill the capsules more slowly. We think this extra effort is worthwhile to give you a product where you know that all you have in it is the active ingredient. All the products are made with ingredients that are non GMO.

 

Although many of these types of products are readily available, most have added excipients. We hope that you will see the care and consideration that went into our Revitacell range. It is our intention to further increase the range, with a number of other products under consideration.

 

The Best Nutrition is Plant Nutrition

 Of course we do want as far as possible to persuade clients to get their nutrition from foods, particularly plant foods. We very much subscribe to the health value of properly formulated green powders and strongly recommend Green Vibrance Powder, Maximum Vibrance and pHresh Greens.  However there are times we need some additional support and these capsules can often fulfil an important need.

 

When Your Body and Mind Need a Little Extra Help

The current Revitacell capsule range consists of:

1. Mega Multi

This is a comprehensive formulation with the added ingredient of fulvic and humic acid powder. Fulvic Acid powder and liquids are very much coming into their own. They are helpful for the absorption of nutrients, for detoxification and are a great source of trace minerals which are often lacking in our everyday diets.

 

Mega Multi is the only one of the product range that has any excipient. They are solely present because they are needed to convert the Vitamin D3 from a liquid to a solid so that it can be used in powder capsules. We have been told that because of the minute amount used they are frequently not mentioned on labels. We want to be transparent.

 

If you are against using a greens powder then Mega Multi is a good choice to help to fortify your diet. Just take 2 capsules per day with a meal. We would have liked to have had a daily serving in one capsule. However we could not get everything we wanted into one capsule. Each bottle is a 2 month supply.

 

2. Vitamin B Complex

 

Many of us struggle to get sufficient B vitamins in our diets. They are vital for many roles in the body. They are important for our energy levels, brain function and for our metabolism. They also have important roles in our immune function. 

 

3. Magnesium Citrate

 

Magnesium is understood to be important as part of over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. It is frequently low in the body. It is necessary for our nervous system, for our muscles and for our energy production. According to Mayo clinic low magnesium levels don’t cause symptoms. However chronically low levels can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type2 diabetes and osteoporosis.

 

Magnesium is available in many forms. We supply magnesium citrate which is probably the most popular. It is understood to be helpful for bowel function and to help soften stools. Anyone suffering with low mood would often benefit taking magnesium and B vitamins.

 

4. Zinc Picolinate

 

Zinc is best known as being helpful for our immune function. That is why we recommend it in our immune pack along with Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C. It is also regarded as being helpful for wound healing and for our eyesight.

 

5. Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids

 

Vitamin C has very many functions in the body and we have to get it from our diets. We are one of the only mammals that does not produce it. It is best known for boosting the immune system, however it has other very important functions including helping the body produce collagen and neurotransmitters. It helps the body absorb iron and as an antioxidant helps neutralise harmful reactive oxidative species in the body.

 

As we go into the winter months adding Vitamin C to our diets is a positive step to help our immune function. The vitamin C in our product is calcium ascorbate which is known to be gentler on the stomach. It is combined with citrus bioflavonoids, these improve the effectiveness of the vitamin C as well as being important antioxidants.

 

6. Quercetin

 

This is a very interesting plant based antioxidant. Quercetin is derived from the flower bud of Sophora japonica, the Japanese Pagoda tree. Quercetin has become popular in recent years because off its role in fighting harmful free radicals. It is helpful for reducing inflammation. It is taken to help reduce the risk of infections and is often helpful for relieving allergies. Dr David Perlmutter recommended it in his book Drop Acid because of its role in reducing uric acid levels, where elevated levels are a marker for heart disease.

 

7. Mushroom Blend

 

Mushrooms are becoming appreciated for their role in health. There are many known mushrooms that have got medicinal properties. In Mushroom Blend we combine 5 types of mushroom powders (all organically grown) that have been shown to have health benefits. In particular mushrooms have benefits for brain health and gut health. They are known as offering prebiotic benefits in the digestive tract.

 

Although a lot of mushroom research is at an early stage results in a number of areas are encouraging particularly to help depression, sleep problems and boost our immune function.

 

Conclusion

 

If you are looking for supplements with no unneccessary additives, selected and manufactured by companies who care, then check out our Revitacell capsules. Your body will thank you for it.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

 

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B - Vitamins: Why We Need Them For Optimum Physical And Mental Health!

B - Vitamins: Why We Need Them For Optimum Physical And Mental Health!

B vitamins are a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that play a crucial role in maintaining physical and mental health.

B vitamins are essential for a variety of bodily processes, including energy production, hormone balance, brain function, and cell growth and division.

In this blog post, we will explore the different types of B vitamins, their benefits, and why they are important for both physical and mental health.

Different types of B vitamins

B1

Thiamine, also known as B1, is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the metabolism of carbohydrates. It is also involved in the production of ATP, the main source of energy in the body.

B2

This B vitamin is important for the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It also plays a role in maintaining healthy skin and eyes and can help prevent migraines.

B3

Vitamin B3, or Niacin as it's commonly known, is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also helps lower cholesterol levels and improves circulation.

B5

B5 is involved in the production of hormones and neurotransmitters and is essential for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. It is also important for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

B6

Pyridoxine, also known as B6, is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones, as well as the metabolism of proteins and fats. It is also important for the maintenance of healthy skin and red blood cells.

B7

This popular B vitamin, also called Biotin, is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is also involved in the maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails.

B9

Folic acid (B9), is important for the production of DNA and RNA, and for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is also essential for the formation of red blood cells and the prevention of birth defects.

B12

Cobalamin, also known as B12, is essential for the production of red blood cells, the maintenance of the nervous system, and the metabolism of proteins and fats. It is also important for maintaining healthy skin and preventing anaemia. 

B vitamins are found in a variety of foods, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, and leafy green vegetables.

However, some people may be at risk of deficiency, including vegetarians and vegans, elderly individuals, and individuals with certain medical conditions.

Potential risks of vitamin B deficiency

Vitamin B deficiency can lead to a range of health problems including:

  1. Anemia: B vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B12, play a key role in red blood cell formation.
  2. Neuropathy: B1, B6, and B12 deficiencies can cause nerve damage leading to numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.
  3. Weak immune system: Vitamin B6 is essential for a healthy immune system.
  4. Mental health problems: Vitamin B deficiencies have been linked to depression, anxiety, and memory loss.
  5. Skin problems: B2 and B3 deficiencies can cause skin problems such as rashes and sores.
  6. Digestive problems: B1, B6, and B12 are important for digestive health, and deficiencies can cause constipation and indigestion.
  7. Birth defects: Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects in the baby.

It is important to have a balanced diet and, if needed, supplement to ensure adequate B vitamin intake and prevent deficiency-related health problems.

Vitamin B for better physical health

In terms of physical health, B vitamins play a crucial role in energy production and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 

B vitamins, especially B1, B2, B3, B5, and B9, help the body convert food into energy. (1

They are also important for the maintenance of healthy skin, eyes, and the nervous system.

Additionally, some B vitamins such as B12 and folic acid (B9) are important for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. (2)

What's more, vitamins B1, B6, and B12, help maintain healthy nerve function and prevent neuropathies. (3)

A healthy heart has a massive carryover to your physical fitness. Vitamin B6, B9, and B12 have been linked to reducing levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. (4)

Skin health: B2, B3, and B7 play a role in maintaining healthy skin. (5)

Research shows that B vitamins, particularly B5 and B6, are involved in the production of stress hormones and can help the body cope with stress. (6)

B vitamins play a major role in mental health

In terms of mental health, B vitamins play a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters and hormones, which are essential for maintaining mood. (7)

B vitamins, especially B6, B9, and B12, are important for brain function. B6 helps produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine, B9 is involved in brain development and mood regulation, and B12 is essential for nerve function and brain health. 

Studies show deficiencies in these vitamins are linked to depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline. (8)

To Summarise

B vitamins are a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that play a crucial role in physical and mental health.

They are important for many processes in the body including energy production and cell growth. B vitamins are crucial for maintaining healthy skin and eyes and help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Mental health benefits include improved brain function and the production of neurotransmitters.

B vitamins are found in a variety of foods, but some people may be at risk of deficiency and may require supplements. 

It is important to have a balanced diet and supplement if necessary to prevent deficiency-related health problems.

Written by Kieran Higgins, Health Writer.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.


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Trace mineral chart

Load up on trace minerals — They’re essential to avoid weak bones, a decreased immune system and many other health problems!

The Benefits of Trace Minerals

The human body needs trace minerals to thrive. We might only need them in small quantities but this doesn't make their significance to our health and wellbeing any less.

Today most people's diets are lacking in trace minerals for a few different reasons such as processed foods becoming increasingly popular and modern agricultural practices removing the highly nutritious fulvic acid from our soil's top layer. Over time this can have devastating effects on our health; therefore, we must find other ways and means of including more trace minerals in our diet.

Read on and you’ll discover the importance of these tiny little ‘micro minerals’, why you should aim to get sufficient quantities every day and the best supplements on the market today.

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Nascent Iodine UK

9 Proven Benefits of Nascent Iodine

9 Proven Benefits of Nascent Iodine

Many people are suffering from chronic diet-related diseases of modern life. Even if you aren't one of those people, it's evident that the present state of public health is not favourable. Yet how does this tie into iodine and why is it so important to our diet?

As usual, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Iodine is an essential trace mineral that’s necessary for human growth, health and well-being. The name of the mineral is derived from the Greek word for violet (violéta), as iodine itself has a dark purple colour.

Many people have a big misconception about iodine. It’s only recently that its benefits have been rediscovered by alternative medicine proponents.

This article will provide you with information on how iodine can benefit your overall health, particularly hormone health, assisting you in making a decision on whether or not this mineral is right for you!

The Best Form of Iodine

If you’re looking to consume more iodine via your diet, then you could consume more seaweed or fish. But if you’re not a fan of seafood you might want to opt for an iodine supplement. Nascent iodine is a consumable form of iodine. It contains an electromagnetic charge, which means it converts into thyroid hormones (THs) once ingested. The human body recognizes and assimilates nascent iodine easily because of this charge.

Learn more: Why Iodine Supplements Could Be a Godsend for Brits

The 9 Proven Benefits of Nascent Iodine

1.  Iodine Promotes Thyroid Health

The thyroid gland needs iodine to produce hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. Iodine cannot be created in the body, and must be consumed via the diet. Without enough iodine, the thyroid gland can become underactive (hypothyroidism). Taking nascent iodine helps stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more hormones so you have better metabolism control and less weight gain.

Related: Vitamin D Deficiency and Thyroid Health: What’s the Link?

2.  Improved Mood

A deficiency in iodine can lead to depression, anxiety, irritability and other mental health problems like bipolar disorder. Taking supplemental iodine reduces these symptoms because it helps restore normal hormone levels in the body. A combination of iodine supplementation and selenium have been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression in some people.

Related: Depressed, Low Immunity, Acne or Cold Sores? You Might Need Zinc

3.  Protection From Nuclear Fallout & Radiation-Induced Disease

Iodine also protects against radiation-induced disease by blocking absorption of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland. If your body doesn’t absorb enough non-toxic iodine, like nascent iodine, then it will absorb the radioactive iodine instead. Radioactive iodine is one of the most dangerous components of nuclear fallout. It can cause thyroid cancer, as well as other health problems.

Related: Supplements for protection from 5G and EMF radiation

4.  Supporting Your Immune System

Iodine deficiency can lead to immune system dysfunction and an increased risk of certain diseases — like autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves disease — because it affects how your body responds to infections. However, getting enough iodine has been shown to improve immune response and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Learn more: What Vitamins Should You Take to Boost Your Immune System?

5.  Neurodevelopment during pregnancy

Iodine is an essential mineral that’s necessary for normal brain development in babies and children. During pregnancy, it’s important for expectant mothers to consume enough iodine so their babies can grow and develop properly. This ensures that the child will be healthy and less likely to develop disorders like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Related: Probiotics During Pregnancy: The Benefits to Mother and Child

6.  Reducing Cholesterol Levels

Nascent iodine can help lower your cholesterol levels by increasing your body’s excretion rate of bile acids in the liver. This reduces your risk of developing high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis and heart attack.

Related: 7 Effective Supplements to Naturally Lower Your Cholesterol

7.  Improving Cognitive Function

Nascent iodine is a powerful tool in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It is also great for improving cognitive function in general. The brain depends on iodine to produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is essential for proper brain function. Iodine has also been shown to be required for the production of thyroid hormones T3 and T4, which regulate energy balance, growth, development and body temperature.

Related: Exploring the Heart–Brain Axis and How Stress Kills

8.  Essential for Skin Health

Nascent iodine can help prevent acne breakouts. Acne is a common problem for many people due to hormonal imbalances and imbalanced gut flora. If you have acne breakouts and want to try something new to treat them, consider using nascent iodine topically on your skin as an alternative to harsh chemicals like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulphates. You can use it diluted as a cleanser or leave-on treatment for best results.

Related: 7 Valuable Nutrients That Help Skin Health from the Inside Out

9.  Helps Prevent Infections

Nascent iodine, which is a liquid form of iodine that contains all three of the essential iodine molecules (iodide, iodate and molecular iodine) has been shown to be effective at killing bacteria and viruses.  Iodine is a popular topical antimicrobial that has been used in clinical practice since the 1840s.

Dosage & Time of Day To Take Iodine

The World Health Organisation recommends a daily intake of 150 micrograms per day for adults and 300 micrograms per day during pregnancy. However, this isn’t always enough to ensure optimal iodine levels. In saying that, it’s important not to underestimate the power of iodine. So don’t exceed recommended daily doses.

Nascent iodine is not just any iodine supplement — it’s arguably the best form of supplemental iodine available today. Nascent iodine has a very high absorption rate and goes directly into your cells without being converted into iodide first like most other forms of supplemental iodine do. The iodine content of nascent iodine is approximately 90% more bioavailable than the iodine found in table salt. This means that you need less nascent iodine to get the same amount of iodine into your body when compared to table salt.

Is Nascent Iodine Safe for Children?

Nascent iodine is safe for children, as long as they are above one year of age. It’s not recommended for babies because their thyroids are still developing. The iodine in nascent iodine supplements is absorbed by the thyroid gland, which helps regulate hormones in the body.

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Critical Review on Zeolite Clinoptilolite Safety and Medical Applications in vivo

Critical Review on Zeolite Clinoptilolite Safety and Medical Applications in vivo

Critical Review on Zeolite Clinoptilolite Safety and Medical Applications in vivo

Unique and outstanding physical and chemical properties of zeolite materials make them extremely useful in a variety of applications including agronomy, ecology, manufacturing, and industrial processes.

Recently, a more specific application of one naturally occurring zeolite material, clinoptilolite, has been widely studied in veterinary and human medicine. Due to a number of positive effects on health, including detoxification properties, the usage of clinoptilolite-based products in vivo has increased enormously.

However, concerns have been raised in the public about the safety of clinoptilolite materials for in vivo applications.

Here, we review the scientific literature on the health effects and safety in medical applications of different clinoptilolite-based materials and propose some comprehensive, scientifically-based hypotheses on possible biological mechanisms underlying the observed effects on the health and body homeostasis.

We focus on the safety of the clinoptilolite material and the positive medical effects related to detoxification, immune response, and the general health status. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6277462/

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Fulvid acid in soil

The Amazing Benefits Of Fulvic Acid And Why You Need To Get More!

The Amazing Benefits Of Fulvic Acid And Why You Need To Get More!

It's no secret that nourishing our bodies with all the essential nutrients it needs is key to living a long and healthy life. But obtaining these vital nutrients is becoming increasingly more difficult due to a combination of two things— major processing of foods coupled with the depletion of nutrients in our soils!

 Sound worrying? A little right? Or maybe it doesn’t seem such a big deal to you at the moment. At the end of the day, is getting all these nutrients right now going to be a matter of life or death? Probably not, but over time continuing to neglect this important aspect of your diet may force an unexpected health concern to spring up like a mushroom on a wet morning.

 However, as always nature has an answer. In fact, a lot of people are supplementing with it today. Yes, it's good old fulvic acid or ‘natures miracle molecule,’ as it’s sometimes referred to. And in this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know, including what it is, the health benefits, and why supplementing is so important. (1) Let’s dive in!

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Which Vitamin Supplements Should I Take from Day to Day?

Which Vitamin Supplements Should I Take from Day to Day?

Which Vitamin Supplements Should I Take from Day to Day?

With so many supplements on the market, it can be hard to decide which you should be taking.

In a perfect world, you'd get all of your nutrition via a balanced diet. But, sadly... we don’t live in a perfect world. So in some cases, supplementation can be vital, especially for groups at risk of deficiency.

Vitamins and minerals are required for the body to function, and some are considered “essential.” This basically means that you need to consume them in small quantities each day.

Vitamins and minerals have specific functions that help the body work properly. If you know that you’re deficient in a particular nutrient, then ensure that you purchase high-quality supplements.

A lot of the products on the market contain unnecessary additives and fillers. Additionally, there are some supplements that contain excessive amounts of vitamins or minerals, which can be dangerous since high-dose supplementation can overload the body.

If you’re looking for the best supplements for you, then take some time to do your homework. In this article, we’ll explore 13 plus essential vitamins and minerals; how they impact you and the planet at large; what vitamins and minerals to consume daily; and how taking a bunch of vitamins and minerals haphazardly can be detrimental to health.

People often ask...

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Should I Take Iron Supplements? Assessing Benefits & Side Effects

Should I Take Iron Supplements? Assessing Benefits & Side Effects

Should I Take Iron Supplements? Assessing Benefits & Side Effects

If you’re feeling drained, there’s a good chance you’re deficient in iron.

Iron deficiency is extremely common. Yet half of the people suffering from anaemia are undiagnosed. Symptoms include brain fog, fatigue, irritability and poor performance overall.

There are two types of iron: Heme and non-heme. Heme iron comes from eating animal products while non-heme iron comes from eating plants. Most supplements are made from heme iron.

There are several factors that can lead to iron deficiency, such as vitamin C deficiency, drinking excessive alcohol or tea, medication, frequent blood donation and excess calcium.

In developing countries, gut parasites can lead to blood loss and anaemia.

There’s a wide range of factors to consider when deciding whether you should take iron supplements. This article will explore different situations where iron supplements might be necessary.

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What Vitamins Should You Take to Boost Your Immune System?

What Vitamins Should You Take to Boost Your Immune System?

As the days get shorter, it’s a good time to think about health.

Why? Because as winter hits, your body naturally goes into detox mode which can manifest as a cold or flu.

Instead of stumbling toward the colder winter months, planning to detox and boost your immune system ahead of time is wise. 

Although there are many supplements that can help boost your immune system, you also need to crowd out any unhealthy lifestyle habits

People are obsessed with the idea of fighting off illness, but I see things a different way. If you provide your body with the nutrients and enzymes it needs, it will naturally be protected from infection. This means going through your habits and deciding which ones support you and which don’t.

Additionally, making sure you consume enough antioxidants like vitamin C can help your body detox free radicals, toxins and pathogens. 

If you’d like to learn how to boost your immune system naturally, you’ve come to the right place. 

A New Take on Regular Exercise

A lack of exercise can stagnate your immune system and body overall.

Movement helps your lymphatic system (responsible for removing all of the waste from your body) function properly. This is also known by many as white blood cells.

Modern sedentary lifestyles or simply the fact that we no longer travel about to different places can begin to impact your health. We need to learn to move more and sit down less. 

If you haven’t managed yet, now is the perfect time to find ways to move in the new normal. This might be going for regular walks, starting a yoga practice, or going cycling. Whatever suits you.

Interestingly, recent research is challenging the 150 minutes of exercise per week rule. They found that it’s better to move around for 12 minutes every hour if you’re sitting still for work to keep the blood and lymph flowing. 

RelatedHow Vitamin D Cuts Flu Risk, Protects Lungs & Boosts Immunity

Green Vegetables for the Win

Scientific research has discovered that green vegetables, in all forms, help your immune system function better.

In one 2011 study published in the journal Cell, mice were fed a vegetable-deficient diet for two to three weeks. The result? 70-80% of the immune cells known as intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) vanished. Seriously depleting the immune system.

In another study published in 2013, leafy greens were found to boost immune function by enhancing the quality and production of cells in the gut lining.

These cells (known as ILCs) have been found to protect the body from so-called “bad” bacteria. Helping maintain a healthy environment in the intestinal tract.

This is done by genes that generate immune cells when exposed to the compounds in leafy green vegetables. 

RelatedImmune System Boosters: How to Nurture Better Immunity

5 Powerful Vitamins to Boost Your Immune System

We are complex beings, and no vitamins work in isolation. However, some supplements help boost the immune system to fight infection.

Here are 5 of the top vitamins to boost your immune system (best taken as part of a healthy lifestyle routine):

Vitamin C

If there were just one vitamin that you could take to cleanse your body and boost your immune system, it would be vitamin C.

A lack of vitamin C can result in the development of illness. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin to consume daily because your body cannot produce it.

Although you can get vitamin C from your diet, many modern farming practices deplete the soil of nutrients. Therefore the plants don’t produce enough vitamin C or other nutrients, for that matter. 

Foods rich in vitamin C include organic bell pepper, spinach, kale, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwi.

Zinc

Another powerful vitamin that you should be consuming daily is zinc.

Zinc is required for growth in larger quantities during pregnancy, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.

Zinc is necessary to make proteins and DNA, as well as helping the immune system fight off pathogens. 

Foods rich in zinc include organic nuts, (sprouted) seeds and grains, oats, and tofu.

Glutathione/glutamine

An often overlooked nutrient for detoxification and immunity is glutathione, despite it being one of the most critical antioxidant molecules.

Glutamine is a precursor for glutathione. In many cases, people choose to take glutamine so that their bodies can generate adequate amounts of glutathione.

Cell damage can occur when there are inadequate levels of glutathione in the body. This can be exacerbated by liver damage, as glutathione is produced in the liver.

Both glutathione and glutamine can reduce oxidative stress damage. 

Foods rich in glutamine include organic lentils, cabbage, spinach, tofu, beans, peas, and beets.

Vitamin B6

A deficiency of vitamin B6 can impair immune responses. Vitamin B6 deficiency is common in women of childbrearing age and also the elderly.

Vitamin B6 is a micronutrient that’s required for a wide range of body functions, such as the nervous system and metabolism.

Vitamin B6 influences the immune system, and supplementation has been shown to recover an impaired immune system in mouse models. 

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include organic peanuts, wheat germ, soya beans, bananas, and oats. 

Vitamin E

Omega 3 fatty acids form much of the protective membrane of our cells, and vitamin E can protect these membranes.

Vitamin E has been shown to boost immune responses in both humans and animals. It’s important to note that there are different forms of vitamin E, and they all have different effects on immune cells. 

Foods rich in vitamin E include organic wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, beet greens, red bell peppers, and pumpkin.

RelatedDoes Drinking Water Help Boost Your Immune System?

Conclusion

While some specific vitamins and minerals can help boost your immune system, there’s no shortcut to health.

Which is to say that a wide range of nutrients must be consumed via your diet to create a healthy immune system. At the same time, there are some key nutrients like vitamin C that work to cleanse your body of toxins and boost immune health.

Instead of focusing solely on fighting off infection, it’s better to focus on creating a healthy internal environment. 

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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When to Take Antioxidant Supplements – And Are They Safe?

When to Take Antioxidant Supplements – And Are They Safe?

When to Take Antioxidant Supplements – And Are They Safe?

Antioxidants are an invaluable addition to our diets, with far-reaching health benefits.

But what's the best way to ensure you're getting enough? Which antioxidant supplements are safe and what antioxidant benefits you should be looking for?

In this blog, we aim to demystify the topic and help ensure you're hitting your daily intake.

  • Antioxidants

    What are antioxidants?

    There are several different types of antioxidants, including vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. 

    The most commonly known antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, and minerals zinc and selenium.

    Other antioxidants come in the form of carotenes, e.g. beta carotene and lycopene, and phenolic compounds, e.g. quercetin, catechins and resveratrol.

    You may have also heard of glutathione, molecular hydrogen, alpha-lipoic acid, berberine and Coenzyme Q10.

    We naturally produce some antioxidants like glutathione, COQ10 and alpha-lipoic acid, and the rest we get from food.

    Antioxidants defend against excessive free radicals, which lead to oxidative stress, DNA and cell damage and an increased risk of premature ageing, inflammation and chronic disease, including heart disease and cancer.

    We generate free radicals in response to stress, environmental toxins and pollutants, poor diet and processed foods, medication, ultraviolet rays, tobacco smoke, X-rays, industrial chemicals and more.

    Our bodies also naturally produce them as a by-product of normal metabolic processes, e.g. part of an immune response. In this respect, they're not entirely harmful, and we need a certain amount to survive.

    But free radicals are unstable, highly reactive and persistent. In excess, they become harmful. So we need a constant supply of antioxidants to scavenge and control them.

    If your antioxidant status is low due to a poor diet, ageing, illness, smoking, or exposure to toxins, it can lead to oxidative damage and all the health risks that come with it.

    7 health benefits of antioxidants

    So, just what can antioxidants do for you? Here, we list 7 notable health benefits of antioxidants.

    1. Protect eye function

    Some antioxidants have a particular affinity with our eyes, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. They are found in high concentrations in the macula and help to prevent macular degeneration. Vitamins C, E and beta carotene and the mineral zinc can also help protect against this eye disorder. 

    2. Bolster heart health

    Antioxidants in food may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and atherosclerosis. Lycopene, an antioxidant carotenoid, can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

    3. Anti-ageing

    Oxidative stress plays a role in the ageing of hair follicles, directly impacting hair colour and quality as we age. One small study successfully treated alopecia patients by supplementing vitamin E. Vitamin C aids collagen production, which protects hair follicles and improves hair quality and strength.

    4. Increase collagen production

    Because vitamin C encourages collagen production, it helps to promote promoting smoother, more youthful skin. Lycopene may also help towards skin cancer prevention while vitamin A is essential for skin health. Beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A which converts to retinol in the liver, can protect against skin damage and premature ageing.

    5. Cognitive protection

    Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and E may modestly reduce the long term risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. And some research shows a correlation between the Mediterranean diet (high in fruits and vegetables) and dementia prevention.

    6. Blood glucose management

    Preliminary research through clinical trials shows that antioxidants may help prevent diabetes, and vitamin E may help reduce blood glucose. 

    7. Immune health

    Antioxidants help protect immune cells from damage, and they may also play a role in cell-mediated immunity. Vitamins A, C, and E help prevent infection and increased selenium levels are linked to improved immune response.

    The potential dangers of taking antioxidants as supplements

    Research is conflicted, but on balance, evidence suggests taking antioxidants in higher doses doesn't necessarily increase the benefits – and in some cases could be harmful. 

    Antioxidants from food work in synchronicity with other antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients also provided with that food.

    You can consume plenty of healthy food without overdosing on the nutrients they provide. One important fact to note is that antioxidants are substances, which in concentrated supplement form can be too much of a good thing. 

    Often, supplements focus on one isolated antioxidant, e.g. a vitamin C or vitamin A supplement. These don't benefit from the synergistic relationship with other nutrients you'll naturally find in food. 

    Supplements can provide just one particular form of an antioxidant, where more are found in food.

    For example, eight natural forms of vitamin E and three forms of vitamin A exist (plus provitamin A as carotenoids). Often, a vitamin E supplement will only contain the most active form of vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol. 

    Like all supplements, it's possible to overdose. You need to be aware of each antioxidant's 'safe upper level' and be careful not to go over the recommended amounts.

    For example, taken in excess, zinc can inhibit the absorption of copper, which is vital for immunity, cardiovascular health and many other functions.

    That said, opinions differ, and amounts can depend on your circumstances. There may be instances where taking a particular antioxidant in high doses is beneficial, but you should only do this with the help of a health professional. 

    Some research shows that high antioxidant doses, particularly vitamins C and E, may interfere with exercise recovery. 

    Research is mixed regarding antioxidant supplements and heart disease. Some studies have found moderately positive effects from vitamin E.

    Much data support the anti-inflammatory effect of carotenoids and cardiovascular protection, and some researchers hypothesise that negative findings may be due to supplementing with synthetic supplements. 

    Research is also conflicted for cancer. Meta-analyses of several scientific studies conclude taking antioxidants doesn't protect against the disease or decrease the risk of cancer death.

    Some suggest it may even have the potential to increase cancer risk.

    However, only nine randomised, controlled trials have been conducted worldwide, so more research is needed.

    High doses of vitamin A may also cause congenital anomalies and are not advised during pregnancy.

  • When should you consider taking antioxidant supplements?

    A recent dietary survey found that up to 30% of adults in the UK have a zinc deficiency. Zinc is a vital mineral with antioxidant power, essential for many functions, including immunity and the prevention of age-related macular degeneration and chronic disease. It can also shorten the duration of a cold.

    We don't store zinc and need a constant supply from food. If your levels are low, you may benefit from taking a zinc supplement. The daily reference nutrient intake for adult men is 9.5mg and 7mg for adult women.

    Be careful not to overdose as it can inhibit copper absorption and depress your immune system. Alongside eating zinc-rich foods, the daily safe upper level for zinc supplements in the UK is 25mg for 60kg adults, going up depending on your weight. It can be beneficial to take vitamin C supplements to speed recovery from a cold. It may also be advisable if you're a smoker, which increases free radical damage, usurping valuable vitamin C stores.

    Research suggests that smokers need an extra 35mg of vitamin C a day. 1000mg a day should be safe for adults. If you wish to take higher doses, seek the advice of a health professional.

    Various supplement combinations of vitamins E and C, beta carotene, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, have helped prevent age-related macular degeneration progression. When taken alone, there were no benefits for vitamin E or lutein/zeaxanthin. Glutathione is an especially powerful antioxidant. We produce it in every cell of our body, and it's arguably one of the most crucial molecules when it comes to long-term good health and disease prevention. Ageing, stress, chronic disease, infection and toxicity can seriously affect glutathione levels. It's hard to get from food, so in this case, you may wish to supplement. There are cardiovascular benefits to supplementing with coenzyme Q10, particularly if you have low levels. After a Swedish study lasting 12 years, researchers saw a 40% reduction in cardiovascular mortality in those taking a daily supplement of coenzyme Q10 (200mg) and selenium (200mg).

    According to leading cardiologist Dr Stephen Sinatra, over 40s should aim for 50-100mg per day; over 60s and statin users, 100-200mg; and people who have suffered a heart attack, 200-300mg. Those aged 20-40 might aim for 50mg daily or 100mg every other day. If you favour a higher dose (200-300mg), divide your intake throughout the day.

  • Antioxidants from food are best

    A higher intake of antioxidant-rich fruits, plant-based foods, vegetables and legumes correlates with reduced oxidative stress and chronic disease risk, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

    People who eat more fruits and vegetables are healthier with a lower risk of disease as plant foods are packed with nutrients, including antioxidants, which protect our health.

    Antioxidants work in synergy with these vitamins and minerals to keep you fit, healthy and robust. 

    Take the humble kiwi. It's antioxidant-rich, being exceptionally high in vitamin C. It's high in fibre and supplies other nutrients, including vitamin K, potassium and folate.

    All these nutrients work together, helping to strengthen immunity, aid digestion and reduce the risk of numerous diseases.

    You don't need fancy superfoods. Just stick to a natural diet focused on eating a wide range of nutrient-dense whole foods, including brightly coloured fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and other plant foods like nuts, seeds, and oils.

    Fish, seafood, poultry and other meats also contain antioxidants. 

  • Conclusion

    Free radicals are unstable, highly reactive and persistent. So we need a constant supply of antioxidants to scavenge and control them.

    Natural, nutrient-dense foods provide the most comprehensive range of antioxidants, combined with all the other minerals, vitamins and health-giving properties that come with them. 

    Research is conflicted as to the benefits and harms of taking high dose antioxidants. However, there are instances where they may be effective.

    If you would like to supplement, try a whole food version that retains all the nutritional aspects of each food it contains rather than isolating one specific antioxidant.

    If you decide you'd like to take a supplement in isolated form, go for natural versions which your body can assimilate more effectively than synthetic ones.

    Regardless, eating a natural diet with a diverse, brightly coloured range of plant foods that provide an array of antioxidants alongside a host of other nutrients is the most beneficial. If you do choose to supplement, take them alongside a healthy diet and antioxidant-rich foods. 

    Written by Rebecca Rychlik, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

    Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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    Antioxidants defend against excessive free radicals, which lead to oxidative stress, DNA and cell damage.
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image of various magnesium-rich foods

What Are Magnesium Supplements Good For?

What Are Magnesium Supplements Good For?

Many people think they can get all the nutrients they need from food. Sadly, this is often not the case, as the food that’s commonly found in shops and restaurants is often industrially farmed.

Wheat is one of the foods that have significantly dropped in nutritional value. Protein concentrations and minerals in wheat have seen a 50% decline.

For example, you might think that broccoli is good for you, as it’s filled with vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as minerals like calcium.

But the truth is broccoli used to contain around 12.9 mg of calcium in the 1950s. Fast forward to 2003, and broccoli only contains 4.4 mg of calcium.

Similarly, carrots used to contain 32mg of magnesium (Mg) per 100g in 1963, compared to 25 Mg in 1999.

The main reason for the decline is twofold. Firstly, many botanists and agriculturists didn’t regard Mg deficiency in plants as severe health problems. Secondly, the quality of the soil has significantly declined since humans began industrialisation.

This article will explore what magnesium supplements or medications, such as tablets, are good for and what magnesium is used for in the human body.

Plus seven health benefits of taking supplementation magnesium, and 6 magnesium deficiency symptoms!


  • Magnesium Benefits

    What Does Magnesium Do in the Body?

    Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. It’s required for hundreds of processes, such as muscle and nerve function, blood sugar and blood pressure regulation. 

    Magnesium plays an important role in a wide range of enzyme reactions and also in the creation of healthy protein, bone and DNA.

    However, it’s an often overlooked mineral, and magnesium deficiencies frequently go undiagnosed. 

    Magnesium From Foods

    Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, dark chocolate, nuts and avocados.

    Increased levels of Mg will be found in organic or biodynamically grown produce such as fortified foods.

    As mentioned in the introduction, industrial farming methods have depleted the soil of essential nutrients particularly over the past 50 years.

    7 Magnesium Supplement Benefits (Why Take Magnesium?)

    1. Regulates Vitamin D Levels

    Many people are advised to take vitamin D supplements in the UK, especially in winter when it’s hard to get enough sunlight.

    The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) estimated that 20% of UK adults are deficient in vitamin D.

    Taking vitamin D supplementation alone is not enough. One 2018 study found that magnesium intake via supplements can optimise vitamin D levels

    Learn more: Why You Should Combine Vitamin D with B12 and Magnesium

    2. Get Good Quality Zzzzzzz’s

    Magnesium has been found to increase sleep quality.

    Additionally, Mg can help boost the sleep hormones melatonin and renin.

    The best type of magnesium for sleep and anxiety is magnesium glycinate.

    3. Natural Laxative (Magnesium Citrate Benefits)

    Magnesium citrate is one of the forms of Mg used for constipation and is commonly used as a saline laxative before surgery.

    Taking too much Mg from supplements has a laxative effect, causing diarrhoea, but when consumed via foods, there are no known adverse side effects. 

    4. Improves Brain Health (Including Headache Relief)

    Magnesium malate (Mg and C4H4O5-2) is a highly absorbable form of Mg that’s great for headaches and depression.

    Magnesium helps your brain calm down by reducing nerve stimulation.

    In turn, this can naturally reduce symptoms of depression.

    5. Heartburn Damper

    Magnesium can be used to provide relief from heartburn (acid reflux).

    In particular, Magnesium malate is the best form of Mg for heartburn.

    It’s important to note that antacids aren’t recommended for children or those suffering from kidney disease.

    6. Increases Bone Mineral Density

    Foods containing Mg and Zinc (especially when combined) promote calcium absorption.

    When you get enough vitamin D from sunlight or supplements, Mg plays an important role in converting vitamin D into its active form to enhance calcium absorption and promote good bone health.

    7. Reduces Risk For Developing Hypertension

    Consuming Mg helps your blood vessels relax; in turn, this can reduce blood pressure.

    Magnesium also plays an important role in keeping your blood pressure steady, which can in turn reduce the risk of stroke. 

    6 Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

    Zinc and magnesium deficiency are the two most frequent mineral deficiencies in the UK.

    7 out of 10 women are said to have inadequate intake of Mg. One American study estimates that up to 75% of the population aren’t consuming enough magnesium.

    As such, it’s important to know the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency so that you can take steps to boost your intake.

    Here are six of the main magnesium deficiency symptoms:

    1. Heart Arrhythmia, or Irregular Heartbeat

    An Mg deficiency can throw other systems of the body out of balance.

    Mg deficiency can cause an imbalance of potassium, in turn inducing an irregular heartbeat (also known as arrhythmia).

    2. Asthma

    When tested, people who are suffering from asthma are often deficient in Mg.

    In particular, severe asthma has been linked to a deficiency of magnesium. The reason asthma is worse when Mg levels are low is thought to be connected to a buildup of calcium in the lungs, making it hard to breathe. 

    3. High Blood Pressure & Heart Disease

    A lack of Mg from the diet has been found to increase blood pressure.

    Taking Mg supplements may lower the blood pressure of those suffering from high blood pressure.

    Having high blood pressure puts you at risk for developing heart disease. Magnesium helps relax blood vessels, reducing blood pressure. 

    4. Muscle Health, Cramps, Twitches & Tremors

    It is believed that muscle cramps, twitches and tremors are caused by excess calcium in nerve cells, resulting in an over-excited tissue.

    This can be caused by a deficiency of Mg.

    Stress is another factor for twitches; however, magnesium is depleted when we’re stressed, so again it’s most likely an Mg deficiency.

    5. Mental Health Disorders

    Anxiety, depression, and even going into a coma have been attributed to a magnesium deficiency.

    The medical name for severe Mg deficiency is hypomagnesemia.

    Mg helps relay information between your body and brain.

    Depleted stores of Mg can lead to nerve or brain damage due to the fact that Mg acts as a buffer against nerve stimulation.

    Mg is required for memory, brain development and learning.

    6. Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis is a bone disorder that’s normally attributed to ageing or a lack of vitamin D.

    Magnesium deficiency is a risk factor as it lowers calcium levels in the blood, increasing the risk for developing osteoporosis.

    Animal studies have found that a lack of Mg results in reduced bone mass

    Learn more: Magnesium Oil for Arthritis: Can It Soothe Joint Pain, Rheumatism?

  • Conclusion

    Magnesium deficiency is a risk factor as it lowers calcium levels in the blood, increasing the risk for developing osteoporosis.

    Magnesium is an often overlooked yet vital mineral, responsible for hundreds of reactions in the body.

    It is also known to enhance the activity of other valuable nutrients, not least calcium and vitamin D.

    Getting enough magnesium through your diet is difficult in the 21st century due to nutrient deficiencies in the soil and plants, and as such, a supplement may be a worthy consideration for many people.

    Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.

    Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.


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Trace mineral chart

Trace Minerals 101: Benefits, Functions and Examples

Trace Minerals 101: Benefits, Functions and Examples

When was the last time you thought about your trace mineral intake?

Let’s face it, most of us have bigger things to worry about. Even the most dietary-conscious among us tend only to prioritise their 5-a-day (or should that be 10-a-day?).

Trace minerals are all too often overlooked, which is a great shame given the valuable contribution they make to our physical health. Inorganic substances required by the body for a slew of biological functions, trace minerals – also known as trace elements – are needed in much smaller amounts than vitamins and minerals, which is probably why they get less attention.

Another reason is because they’re found in countless food groups, from meat and milk to cereals, vegetables and nuts. Generally speaking, we don’t have to go looking for trace minerals.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at dietary trace minerals. What are their functions and benefits and how can we ensure we’re getting enough?

The Difference Between Macrominerals and Trace Minerals

There are several minerals you are bound to be aware of.

For the most part, these are the macrominerals – those which are required in adults in amounts greater than 100 mg/day.

Trace minerals, on the other hand, are required in amounts that vary between 1-100mg per day.

Macrominerals include:

• calcium (the most abundant mineral in the human body)

• phosphorus

• magnesium

• sodium

• potassium

• chloride

• sulfur

While trace minerals comprise:

• iron

• manganese

• copper

• iodine

• zinc

• cobalt

• fluoride

• selenium

Although macrominerals are perceived as being more important, the fact is that deficiencies of trace minerals – particularly iron, copper, iodine and zinc – can have a detrimental effect on health.

Clinical manifestations of copper deficiency, for example, can include anemia and myeloneuropathy (a disorder affecting the spinal cord and peripheral nerves).

Iodine deficiency, meanwhile, can cause brain damage, hypothyroidism and goiter.

Trace minerals have countless benefits, variously helping to manufacture hormones, regulate your metabolism, fortify the immune system, strengthen bones and teeth, improve neurological function, and even create blood cells.

For the most part, eating a wholesome and varied diet will ensure a steady stream of both macrominerals and trace elements.

However, it should be noted that intensive modern farming methods deplete nutrients and minerals in soil.

Moreover, in a 2019 research paper published in the journal Nutrients, the authors noted that “Trace mineral deficiencies (except for iodine, iron, and zinc) do not often develop spontaneously in adults on ordinary diets; infants are more vulnerable because their growth is rapid and intake varies.”

Common Trace Mineral Deficiencies

So, why did the researchers single out iodine, iron and zinc as being the nutrients most associated with deficiency?

Simply put, these require a more proactive dietary approach.

Iodine, for example, is found mainly in seafood and cow’s milk. If you don’t eat fish or drink milk, it’s very likely that you’re iodine-deficient. This should be a concern, because the thyroid gland depends on iodine to manufacture thyroid hormones, which help regulate growth, fix damaged cells and engender a healthy metabolism.

Iodine is also vital for heavy metal excretion, healthy skin, the metabolism, and nervous system functioning. Interestingly, studies also highlight a correlation between iodine intake and IQ level. Sadly, Britain is one of the top ten most iodine-deficient countries in the world.

Iron is derived mostly from meat, fish and beans, meaning vegans are once again at the highest risk of a deficiency. A high intake of caffeine can also negatively influence iron absorption. Without sufficient iron, the body manufactures fewer red blood cells leading to an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia.

According to the WHO, iron deficiency is the single most common nutritional disorder in the world, with approximately 20% of females, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of adult men suffering from a dietary shortfall.

The final trace element at which people might be at a higher risk of deficiency is zinc. Can you guess which foods contain zinc? You got it: meat and seafood.

In this case though, vegans have more opportunities to raise their levels, since zinc is also found in wild rice, seeds, cashews, peas and almonds. 

Zinc is the most abundant trace element in our cells and possesses appreciable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, playing a role in the activity of over 300 biological enzymes. It’s needed for immune health, bone formation, and even our sense of taste and smell.

Conclusion

Minerals only constitute around five percent of the average human diet, but they are absolutely essential for human health.

The body utilizes both macro- and trace minerals for countless jobs, most particularly related to the cardiovascular, skeletal and nervous systems. Although we only need small amounts of trace minerals, deficiencies can set the stage for illness.

It’s not just vegans who may experience a shortfall, either: those who suffer from gastrointestinal problems may struggle to absorb minerals and other nutrients. Trace mineral deficits are also common during pregnancy, and some medications can cause malabsorption.

Questions, comments? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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The Health Benefits of Combining Vitamin D and Omega-3

The Health Benefits of Combining Vitamin D and Omega-3

The Health Benefits of Combining Vitamin D and Omega-3

Have you ever driven all the way home, deep in thought, then wondered how on earth you got home? Well, that was your subconscious mind, programmed to carry out the actions of driving through rigorous training and habit.

Why, then, don’t we treat other aspects of our lives in the same manner? For example, taking supplements or going for a run?

We’ve all done it. Started a new healthy routine, then fallen back into old habits. It’s easy to kick yourself for doing so. But the truth is, it’s not your fault!

The main reason that we default to previous habits is our subconscious mind. This part of our mind is functioning 95% of the time, and unlike the conscious mind, it functions without consent. Your subconscious mind is designed to conserve energy by making you carry out habits without any input.

What I’m suggesting is that you get into some daily habits or routines that include taking your supplements at certain times. Of course, you’d need to ensure that you took the right vitamins at the correct time. What is the right time to take your vitamins, I hear you ask...

Is it better to take vitamin D every day or once a week? Can I take all my vitamins at once? Is it good to take omega-3 every day? These are some of the questions I’ll be answering in this article. Firstly, let’s address a common and interesting question…

Does Omega-3 Contain Vitamin D?


Let’s first address what omega-3 and vitamin D are. Omega-3 is normally derived from fish oil. However, there are plant-based sources such as algae, nut, and seed oils.

But it’s important to note that algal omega 3 is the best source for vegetarians and vegans. The nut and seed oils don’t contain DHA, nor does the body convert the ALA to DHA.

Interestingly, algal oil can be used to extract vitamin D3, via algal fermentation. This process is fairly new to human food consumption, plus often manufacturers only refine the oil for omega-3s. 

Similarly, fish oil contains some vitamin D. For example, 100g of sardine oil contains 8.3 µg. Meaning you’d only get a fraction of your daily vitamin D dose by consuming a significant portion – 100g of fish oil.

I’m sure you don’t want to be sipping a sardine oil beverage to get your vitamin D! Am I right or right?

To get the right amount of both vitamin D and omega-3s, it’s a good idea to take a supplement of both. Unless you’re eating more than three portions of oily fish per week. 

Learn moreHow to Support the Body’s Immune Response with Omega-3

What Omega 3 and Vitamin D are Good For


Good question. Both omega-3 and vitamin D, when taken together, have heart-protective effects.

In a paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine scientists explored omega-3 and vitamin D supplementation and heart health. They recruited almost 26,000 people over the age of 50, with no history of heart disease. They were then divided into 4 groups; one was given 50 µg and 840 mg of Lovaza (an omega-3 rich drug) while Group 2 took vitamin D and a placebo; the third group took the omega-3s and a placebo, and the final group took two placebos. 

Five years later, researchers found that the participants who were given omega-3s were 28% less likely to suffer a heart attack compared with those given a placebo.

However, if the benefits from the omega-3 supplement only happened when the participants ate less fish eg. less than 1.5 servings of fish per week. The study concluded that combining omega 3 and vitamin D could reduce heart related conditions by 25%.

RelatedWhy You Should Combine Vitamin D with B12 and Magnesium

Best Time to Take Vitamins; Water Soluble vs Fat Soluble

Both vitamin D and omega-3 are fat-soluble, and best taken with a meal that contains healthy fats. Can you take omega-3 at night? Sure. But you must consume them with a meal, and it’s advisable to finish eating at 7 pm to allow your system to relax and absorb the nutrients.

Conversely, water-soluble vitamins are best taken on an empty stomach. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and all of your B vitamins

This takes me nicely onto my point at the beginning of this article…

To get the most out of supplements, and the bioavailability of the nutrients in food for that matter, it’s a good idea to create a schedule. To get into a habit of taking your supplements at a specific time each day. That might look like:

Vitamin D and omega-3 – taken at mealtime in the late afternoon.

Vitamin C, probiotics, and vitamin B – taken first thing in the morning

Possible Side Effects of Omega-3 and Vitamin D

It’s very unlikely that you’d experience side effects by taking a high-quality omega-3 and vitamin D supplement. Especially if you keep the supplement within the daily guidelines advised by the World Health Organisation or the NHS.

Very rarely people can experience a skin rash, burping, indigestion, or taste impairment. If you’re concerned about the health effects of supplements, for example how they might react with medication, and other aspects of your health then it’s a good idea to speak to a trusted healthcare professional. 

RelatedAre Vitamin D Supplement Side Effects Grossly Overstated?

Take-Home Message

Once you’ve decided the daily dose of vitamins that fits your current circumstances, make taking your supplements a habit.

Creating a ritual that you follow every day at set times is one of the key ways to form a new habit.

Some vitamins are best taken at specific times of the day, ie. water-soluble vitamins in the morning and fat-based supplements with a meal. Plus some supplements are best taken together for optimal effect.

Ensuring that you take the correct vitamins on a daily basis can form an essential part of a healthy lifestyle routine.

Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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Why You Should Combine Vitamin D with B12 and Magnesium

Why You Should Combine Vitamin D with B12 and Magnesium

Why You Should Combine Vitamin D with B12 and Magnesium

In an ideal world, supplements would be superfluous. We would get all the nutrients we need from the food we eat day after day, our water would be completely free of contaminants, we would get the requisite amount of sleep every night and, when our bodies were well rested, we would shun a sedentary life in favour of the regular exercise our bodies intuitively crave.

What a world that would be, right?

The fact is, quality health supplements continue to have a place for many of us. A more pertinent question to ask would be, which health supplements fulfil a need, i.e. a cover natural shortfall in modern diets. Solid arguments can be made for half a dozen or so. But three nutrients are especially useful for several reasons, which we intend to outline in this article. Namely, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and magnesium. And getting enough of them, in combination, couldn’t be more timely.

Let’s look at why you should take Vitamin D, B12 and magnesium in tandem.

The Many Functions of Magnesium

Magnesium’s role in boosting Vitamin D is somewhat unheralded. Most people associate the mineral with other benefits. For example, did you know that calcium cannot be absorbed without sufficient magnesium?

Our muscles contain roughly 27% magnesium, and our bones 60%, with the mineral heavily involved in well over 300 biochemical reactions.

Magnesium helps to keep bones and teeth strong and plays a key role in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Actually, a 2016 meta-analysis of 40 cohort studies totalling over a million participants showed that higher magnesium intake reduced the risk of heart failure by 22%, and the risk of stroke by 7%.

Magnesium is also intimately associated with energy production, electrolyte balance (read: hydration) and oxygen uptake, which is why it’s viewed as one of the best nutrients for athletic performance.

According to magnesium expert Dr. Carolyn Dean, as much as 70-80% of the world’s population may be deficient in magnesium. Sadly, the message about widespread magnesium deficiency has never truly translated into clinical application.

Symptoms of deficiency can include fatigue, mood swings, depression and insomnia.

Conclusion

As noted in a review published by The Royal Society in June, 2020, “Vitamin D diminishes the production of inflammatory cytokines, which appear to play a central part in the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19.”

Ask any nutritionally aware doctor (it’s a great shame that prefix needs to be used), naturopath or nutritionist which nutrients they consider most important and vitamin D, vitamin B12 and magnesium are likely to come up time and time again.

While it’s possible you get enough of the latter two (if you are a meat-eater, and follow a very nutritious diet), you’re unlikely to get vitamin D unless you supplement.

The study from Singapore certainly makes for interesting reading, and we will keep our eyes peeled for others which highlight the preventive measures we can all take as far as nutrition and lifestyle is concerned.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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blonde woman drinks glass of water

Minerals for Dehydration: The Vital Role of Mineral Electrolytes

Minerals for Dehydration: The Vital Role of Mineral Electrolytes

If you often feel thirsty but don’t particularly like to drink water, forget to rehydrate, or tend to be quite a thirstless person, then you could be suffering from dehydration.

Other people at risk include older adults, athletes and people at higher altitudes. Why should this be of any concern to you?

Because even mild dehydration can cause your brain to feel addled as your cognitive ability begins to decline.

For example, feeling dehydrated by as little as 2% can cause you to make errors while driving as your anticipatory perception, judgement and reflexes become sluggish.

Low-level dehydration can also cause headaches, tiredness, dizziness, weakness and thirst.

We cannot survive past three days without water, and we all need ample hydration to keep our bodies running optimally.

Without proper hydration, you can quickly deteriorate as your body needs water to do every single job from cellular and organ function to digestion, maintaining healthy skin and joint and eye lubrication.

Electrolytes – essential minerals with an important job


Dehydration can cause electrolyte depletion and imbalance.

Electrolytes are essential minerals that we get from food and drink. They live in your body fluids and have a slight electrical charge that powers your cells.

These minerals (sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium) play a vital role in:

  • Body fluid balance and hydration
  • Body pH balance (or acid/alkaline balance) – crucial for optimum health, energy and immunity
  • Maintaining heart health
  • Nerve and muscle function
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Gut health
  • Moving nutrients into, and toxins out of, your cells

If you are regularly dehydrated, you could be lacking in these vital minerals, and it may be affecting your health. It’s so important to stay hydrated if you want to keep your mineral levels balanced.

Electrolytes help you to hydrate more effectively


As mentioned above, electrolytes aid fluid balance and hydration.

Replenishing electrolytes can help you to retain water more effectively, encouraging ideal hydration levels. Your body will run much more smoothly, enabling optimal performance

A diet high in vegetables and fruits should help to supply you with enough of these valuable minerals. If you are an athlete or regularly do intense workouts, you may need to bolster your electrolytes while exercising by staying hydrated.

Aside from water, drinking fluids rich in electrolytes that increase hydration value and keep mineral levels balanced can be beneficial.

Steer clear of sugar-laden sports drinks and try natural coconut water or tart cherry juice instead.

What causes dehydration?


Dehydration occurs when your body is losing more fluids than are being replaced. Our bodies are roughly two-thirds water and basic bodily functions including breathing, sweating and going to the toilet all lead to water loss.

If you don’t keep your fluid levels up, it can severely impact both your physical and mental health. 

By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, and it’s a loud signal to drink some fluids. In the short-term, your body can shift water stores to areas where it is most needed, but this is a very temporary solution.

You’ll also find that you urinate less when you are dehydrated as your body tries to hold on to vital fluids. 

Of course, dehydration leads to a loss of valuable electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium, which impairs body functions and compounds any symptoms.

Dehydration symptoms

These go from mild to severe, with serious symptoms needing emergency medical attention.

Mild symptoms include:

  • Reduced urine
  • Dark coloured urine (when you are properly hydrated, your urine is a pale yellow – too much hydration makes it clear)
  • Thirst (however some people, including the elderly, don’t always express thirst)
  • Tiredness

More moderate symptoms include all of the above, plus:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth

If left untreated, more severe symptoms develop, including:

  • Unusual lethargy and confusion
  • Severe dizziness
  • A weak or rapid pulse
  • Not passing urine for eight hours
  • Seizures
  • Low-level consciousness
  • Fever
  • Sunken eyes
  • Delirium
  • Low blood pressure

If a baby is dehydrated, they could:

  • Be drowsy
  • Have fewer wet nappies
  • Have less to no tears when they cry
  • Have a sunken soft spot on their head
  • Have sunken cheeks or eyes
  • Be irritable
  • Have a dry tongue and mouth

Dehydration causes and solutions


Those most at risk from dehydration are athletes, older adults or the elderly, people with chronic health conditions including diabetes, babies and infants.

Causes include:

  • Life circumstances such as not having access to water or being busy and distracted.
  • Drinking alcohol causes thirst and dehydration as it is a diuretic which increases the passing of urine. 
  • Illness such as gastroenteritis, causing persistent vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Sweating from working out, heavy manual work, hot weather or fever.
  • Diabetes causes increased urination and fluid loss.
  • Frequent urination caused by undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes, and medication such as for blood pressure and alcohol consumption.

How to treat dehydration

More severe symptoms need urgent medical attention, but if you have mild to moderate symptoms, you need to hydrate – pronto.

It’s essential to do it the right way for optimum hydration and also not to over-hydrate, as this can also cause problems. Here are some helpful tips.

It’s a good idea to replenish your electrolytes which will be depleted. This will also enable you to hydrate more effectively and improve your symptoms.

Here are some excellent electrolyte sources.

Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance 


Electrolyte balance can be affected by several factors, including the amount of water in your body. Chronic symptoms can manifest when there has been an imbalance for a prolonged period, and the issue has become more severe with your body no longer able to handle the irregularities.

Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance are listed below, some of them mirror those of dehydration:

  • Headache
  • Extreme thirst
  • Numbness
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness, twitching, cramps or spasms
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat

How to effectively maintain balanced electrolyte levels

 

As previously mentioned, eating a diet rich in brightly coloured vegetables and fruit should provide you with enough electrolytes. Aim for 7-10 portions per day, every day.

If you want to focus on some super effective electrolyte sources, this article will help. 

Conclusion

Don’t underestimate the power of electrolytes. These astonishing essential minerals do so much for you, from balancing your fluid levels and blood pressure to maintaining gut and heart health and improving nerve and muscle function. 

Electrolytes include sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, and magnesium. Other factors can lead to their imbalance, but dehydration will cause a depletion in these vital minerals. If you regularly suffer from or are at increased risk of dehydration, you could find that you have consistently low-level electrolyte depletion.

In this case, it would be hugely beneficial to focus on drinking enough water daily and replenishing all those lovely minerals via rich electrolyte sources such as vegetables and fruit. You can also drink coconut water and tart cherry juice.

When it comes to drinking the right amount for adequate hydration, you may find this blog helpful. Aside from discussing how much the average person should be drinking (it varies from person to person, but aiming for at least two litres per day is a good start), it’s full of tips on how to hydrate most effectively and how to ensure you don’t forget to drink enough water! It also has suggestions if you’re not a fan of water.

Recommended and relevant supplements include Revitacell Fulvic Restore and Progurt Chloride.

This article is written by Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

 

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Doctor writing word Vitamin B with marker, Medical concept

Why Gut Health is Key to Having Healthy Vitamin B12 Levels

Why Gut Health is Key to Having Healthy Vitamin B12 Levels

Not getting enough vitamin B12?

Look after your gut. If you’re feeling fatigued, have weak muscles, aching joints, numbness or tingling in your hands and feet, insomnia, depression, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness or inflammatory gut disorders, you could be lacking in vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a precious B vitamin, essential for healthy red blood cell production and a host of functions from supporting immunity and promoting healthy digestion to maintaining normal energy levels.

Sadly, vitamin B12 insufficiency or deficiency is not uncommon. As it is found in animal foods, if you are vegetarian and particularly vegan, you are more at risk of B12 deficiency. Poor gut health can also radically impair your vitamin B12 absorption, so regardless

of whether you’re vegan or not, if you have digestive issues of any kind, this could also increase your chances of having subpar vitamin B12 levels.

10 health benefits of vitamin B12

1) Digestive health

Cobalamin contributes to the shaping, structure and function of human gut microbial communities, helping to maintain your gut mucosa and encouraging a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

It promotes healthy digestion and reduced inflammation in the gut, helping to prevent conditions like leaky gut and other inflammatory digestive disorders.

2) Child development

It is vital for the healthy growth of the peripheral and central nervous systems, bone marrow, skin, mucous membranes, bones and vessels in children.

3) Maintenance of healthy cells

Vitamin B12 is needed to regulate the growth and repair of cells. These processes ensure your cells work efficiently, keeping you less vulnerable to illness and disease.

4) Supporting brain function

Adequate B12 levels help to maintain mental alertness, concentration and cognitive function. It protects against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Studies also suggest an association between low vitamin B12 and cognitive decline, and some researchers think that vitamin B12 deficiency might even be responsible for a reversible form of dementia. Moreover, there could also be a link between vitamin B12 deficiency and brain shrinkage. 

5) Numbness, tingling and back pain

Because it promotes healthy neurological activity, vitamin B12 deficiency has the potential to cause nerve conduction issues or damage. One of the symptoms is numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.

Researchers in Palermo, Sicily ran a trial on 60 patients with lower back pain and sciatica where they injected vitamin B12 intramuscularly. The results were favourable, with a sharp decrease in pain and disability more significant than those in the placebo group. No side effects were experienced, and even patients who didn’t have low vitamin B12 levels benefitted from the treatment.

According to the research team, various studies on the clinical effects of vitamin B12 on painful vertebral syndromes have indicated that it can contribute to shortening the treatment time and reducing daily NSAID dosage (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

Related: How Eggshell Membrane Benefits Arthritis and Joint Pain

6) Depression and anxiety

Along with folate, B12 aids in the functioning of your nervous system. Low B12 is linked to mood disorders, including depression. One longitudinal study lasting three years showed that depressed men with a higher intake of vitamin B12 from food had a reduced risk of depression.

Research shows that depressed patients can commonly have decreased blood serum levels of B6 and B12. It may also help to ease stress.

7) Sleep

A healthy balance of vitamin B12 can help to regulate your circadian rhythms and sleep/wake cycle, improving sleep quality.

8) Heart health

B12 helps regulate homocysteine levels, improving cardiac function.

9) Energy levels

A healthy balance of all minerals and vitamins helps to maintain energy levels. B12 is essential for cellular energy production and also plays a significant part in the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose, your body’s go-to energy source. It also helps to convert fatty acids into energy. 

10) Encourages healthy skin, hair and nails

Cobalamin has an affinity for the skin. If there are insufficient levels (or excessive ones), it can lead to dermatological changes. If you have a deficiency of B12, you might experience changes to your nails and hair, skin hyperpigmentation, and oral symptoms and conditions such as glossitis, recurring mouth ulcers and canker sores.

Other skin conditions associated with vitamin B12 irregularity include vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and acne rosacea.

Causes of vitamin B12 insufficiency and deficiency

• Poor gut health and conditions such as celiac, Crohn’s disease or IBS. Conditions that slow the movement of food through the digestive tract (e.g. diabetes, scleroderma or diverticulitis) can cause an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria to overgrow in the upper part of the small intestine. Vitamin B12 is very valuable to these bacteria which keep it for themselves, while you become depleted. Other conditions with malabsorption such as MS or HIV can also be a cause.

• If you are vegetarian or vegan, you are at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency because only animal-based foods naturally contain it. You can get B12 into your diet by taking a supplement. You can also eat nutritional yeast and other foods fortified with vitamin B12. If you are vegetarian, eggs and dairy products also contain it.

• If you have had bariatric surgery, this interferes with your absorption of B12.

• If you are elderly, you have a higher risk as your stomach acid depletes with age, which affects digestion and absorption of nutrients, including vitamin B12.

• The use of drugs for heartburn and stomach ulcers as well as metformin, antibiotics and anti-seizure medications.

• If you are a smoker, suffer from pernicious anaemia or excessively drink alcohol, it will affect B12 absorption.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency 


These can be hard to spot as some of them are very common and can be associated with other ailments. They can include:


  • Fatigue 
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands, legs or feet.
  • Memory loss or difficulty thinking and concentrating.
  • Pernicious anaemia
  • Weakness, muscle aches, joint and back pain.
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Moodiness, depression, anxiety.
  • Digestive problems
  • Poor oral health, including a swollen inflamed tongue, recurring ulcers, and bleeding gums.
  • Palpitations
  • Poor appetite

Gut health is essential for adequate B12 levels


According to current research, particular microbial strains in the gut produce cobalamin along with other B vitamins. You can find a list of the predicted specific gut bacteria here.

Some animals, e.g. cows and fish, are capable of producing and absorbing enough B12 via gut bacteria production that they need little or none added to their diet. But, while more studies are required in order to determine this fully, some researchers currently feel that homegrown human cobalamin is produced in such small amounts and is so valuable to the gut microbes that it is unlikely to impact our vitamin B12 levels significantly.

Added to which, most of the cobalamin is produced in the colon where no receptors absorb it (these are found in the small intestine).

As previously mentioned, vitamin B12 helps to maintain your gut mucosa and nourishes gut microbiota, aiding digestion. It looks like any produced in the gut is used to enhance microbial activity. 

By getting enough vitamin B12, either through food or supplementing, a healthy person can maintain adequate levels which improve gut bacteria and overall digestive function. In response, good gut health will increase your ability to absorb B12, allowing you to reap all the other health benefits. 

Without a healthy digestive system, malabsorption of vitamin B12 occurs, which negatively affects your gut, further impeding your B12 absorption – a vicious cycle. Even minor gut inflammation can cause problems, so you can see why you must get your gut health in order

By enhancing gut health, vitamin B12 aids overall immunity. It also helps to improve inflammation not just in your gut but also your body, helping to ward off chronic illness and disease. 

Aside from eating a diverse, natural, whole-food diet rich in nutrients and regularly including pre and probiotic foods in your diet, you might want to consider taking some probiotics.

Progurt supply an entire range of supplements aimed at providing the right environment for optimal gut health.

Supplementation of vitamin B12


If you suspect your vitamin B12 levels are low, speak to your GP or therapist of choice about getting them tested. 

If you are vegan/vegetarian, an older adult or are vulnerable to B12 insufficiency or deficiency for any other reason, you can take a supplement. If you have a chronic condition that requires medication, speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.

The natural form of vitamin B12, known as methylcobalamin, is the best one to choose as research shows that it stays in your system for longer. When taking a supplement as opposed to injections (customarily administered to treat deficiency), sublingual (under the tongue) drops, sprays or tablets are the most effective as they are absorbed rapidly and directly into the bloodstream. 

B12 food sources

Good sources include seafood and fish, especially clams, oysters, muscles, crab, crayfish, shrimps, lobster, tuna, herring, mackerel and sardines.

Animal liver, kidneys and meat – particularly beef and chicken breast – are also adequate sources, and so too are eggs, dairy products, and fortified foods, including plant milks and nutritional yeast.

Pulling it all together

Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is essential for a multitude of physiological functions, including the formation of red blood cells. It helps to produce the myelin sheath, which forms around the nerves of the brain and spinal cord, allowing electrical impulses to transmit quickly and effectively along the nerve cells. Vitamin B12 also helps with hormonal, DNA and RNA synthesis. 

We have listed ten significant health benefits in this article, but there are many more. 

Gut health plays a principal role when it comes to your ability to absorb B12, added to which, vitamin B12 helps to maintain your gut mucosa and nourishes gut microbiota, aiding digestion. Inadequate levels of the vitamin can lead to gut inflammation and conditions like leaky gut or irritable bowel disease.

Even minor inflammation can cause malabsorption of not just vitamin B12 but other vital nutrients as well. So, it’s crucial to keep your digestive system healthy.

If you want to enhance your B12 absorption, focus on maintaining a healthy gut! Eating a varied, natural, whole-food diet encourages a diverse range of gut bacteria. Consume plenty of vegetables and fruits, beans, legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats to provide gut feeding nutrients and plenty of fibre.

Include pre and probiotic foods in your diet daily. If you want to take probiotics or any other gut supplements, Progurt has an entire range aimed at providing the right environment for optimal gut health, including prebiotics.

Aside from eating a balanced diet, you can include foods rich in vitamin B12, or even take a supplement – particularly if you are vegan, vegetarian, an older or elderly adult or anyone with an increased risk of deficiency.

If you are displaying any deficiency symptoms or are worried your levels are low, ask your doctor to test your blood levels of vitamin B12. If you have a chronic condition requiring medication, speak to your GP before taking any supplements.

Written by Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

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How Vitamin D Cuts Flu Risk, Protects Lungs & Boosts Immunity

How Vitamin D Cuts Flu Risk, Protects Lungs & Boosts Immunity

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone which you naturally generate through sun exposure. So it’s a good idea to get out in the summer sunshine as much as you can, showing as much skin as possible (around 80%). If enough of you is exposed, you can produce between 10,000 to 25,000 IU from the time you bare your skin until just before it turns pink! Just make sure you do it without using sunscreen which inhibits the process.

There are two types of vitamin D – D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is found to be less effective at increasing vitamin D levels than D3. So D3 is the type to go for when it comes to optimising the vitamin D levels in your blood.

Why do I need Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential for:

  • Improving immune function
  • Maintaining healthy teeth and bones
  • Supporting brain and nervous system health
  • Regulating insulin levels and preventing type 2 diabetes
  • Sustaining lung function and cardiovascular health
  • Influencing the expression of genes involved in cancer development 
  • Improving mental health and protecting against cognitive decline
  • Weight management

What are the causes of vitamin D inadequacy or deficiency?

1) Inadequate exposure to sunlight

Most of us don’t expose enough of our skin to sunlight often enough, or for long enough to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D. Even when it’s sunny, most of us will wear long sleeves when going out for a walk or run.

2) Your skin type may increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency

People with darker skin have a higher melanin content which slows vitamin D synthesis compared to light-skinned individuals. As absorbing and synthesising vitamin D from sun exposure is essential, the darker your skin, the longer you need to bare yourself to sunlight.

Research shows that people with a naturally darker skin tone need three to five times longer exposure to make the same amount of vitamin D as those with lighter skin.

3) Wearing sunscreen inhibits your absorption of vitamin D

As previously described, suncream inhibits your intake of vitamin D. Get as much of your body directly into the sun (minus suncream) for a few minutes until just before your skin goes pink. Then cover up or apply a natural, organic sunscreen that is free from chemicals, hormone disruptors and carcinogens.

Adults should try to get into the sun daily from late March through to the end of September, preferably between 11 a.m and 3 p.m. to encourage adequate vitamin D levels.

Cancer Research has some tips on how to protect yourself in the sun. Guidance for babies and children is provided on the NHS website.

4) Obesity and patients with fat malabsorption syndromes are less able to absorb vitamin D.

5) A wide variety of medications including anticonvulsants and medicine to treat AIDS and HIV increase the risk of deficiency.

6) Your kidneys cannot convert vitamin D to its active form

Whether it’s due to ageing or you suffer from chronic kidney disease, impaired kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form, increasing the risk of deficiency.

7) Digestive issues, including Crohn’s and celiac disease, can affect your ability to absorb vitamin D from food or supplements.

8) Older adults are also at a higher risk of vitamin D inadequacy or deficiency as their skin can’t synthesise vitamin D as efficiently. They are also more likely to spend time indoors, and their dietary intake is most likely lacking.

9) Breastfed infants

Breast milk is naturally not high enough in vitamin D unless the mother is supplementing and has high levels which can be passed onto the baby.

UK guidelines recommend that breastfed babies from birth to one year of age should be given a daily supplement containing 8.5 to 10 micrograms (µg) of vitamin D even if the mother is also taking a vitamin D supplement.

Related: How to Get Vitamin D Levels Up Fast

What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to reduced immunity and regular bouts of infection or illness. It can also cause tiredness and fatigue, impaired wound healing, muscle, bone and back pain, low mood and hair loss. 

Chronic deficiency can cause high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, skin problems, infections, neurological and cardiovascular conditions, pregnancy complications and an increased risk of cancer including those of the breast, prostate, and colon.

It’s hard to get enough vitamin D through foods alone, but some do contain small amounts. Mushrooms and most fortified foods contain vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is found in salmon, sardines and other fish, cod liver oil, red meat, liver, full-fat butter and eggs.

Why, when & how should I take a vitamin D supplement?

For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, it can be hard to maintain adequate vitamin D levels through sun exposure. There are many other contributory factors too, like your skin tone, the time of day you go out, how much of your skin gets bared to the sun, and the time of year.

For this reason, it’s hard to determine precisely how much time someone should spend in the sun: it varies from person to person.

One way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D is to take a daily supplement, particularly from the beginning of autumn right the way through to the spring. At this time of year, there is less sunshine, and the angles of the sun’s rays are steep, which blocks UVB rays. 

The NHS recommends that during the autumn and winter months, babies up to the age of one year need 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day (between 300 to 400 IU per day). Children from the age of one year and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day (400 IU per day).

This includes pregnant and breastfeeding women and people at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the safe upper limit for daily vitamin D supplementation in adults is 4,000 IU. That said, some studies have found that daily doses of 10,000 IU are well tolerated in adults – this is also the No Observable Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL) according to the Institute of Medicine.

Vitamin D toxicity can occur when extremely high doses are taken. But it’s best to err on the side of caution, and while an adult have no trouble handling 4,000 IU a day, taking a maintenance dose of 1,000 IU is a good start. 

If you’re worried your levels are low, it’s best to get them checked by your GP, or you can buy a testing kit. You can tailor your vitamin D intake from this point.

FYI – Without vitamins D3 and K2, calcium can’t do its job effectively. So, it’s best to take your vitamin D along with a vitamin K2 supplement as this helps to balance the calcium in your body, encouraging stronger bones.

Vitamin D aids calcium absorption, while vitamin K2 amalgamates the calcium into your bones.

3 reasons to take a regular dose of vitamin D

As mentioned above, vitamin D is essential for many reasons. But the following three reasons are very topical in light of the current climate and Covid-19.

1) Boosts immunity

Frequent infections and autoimmunity are associated with vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D modulates both your innate and adaptive immune responses and your immune cells have vitamin D receptors that synthesise and respond to vitamin D. It may contribute to healthy cell replication and can help to balance the inflammatory response (excessive and prolonged inflammation is often at the root of chronic diseases).

2) Helps protect against flu and respiratory infections

Some studies show that vitamin D supplementation can protect against acute colds and flu and other respiratory infections. The most substantial effects appear to be in those who have the lowest levels, and it is most effective when supplements are taken on a daily or weekly basis. It’s thought to work by boosting levels of antimicrobial peptides (natural antibiotic-like substances) in the lungs. And, of course, colds and flu are most prevalent during the winter months when our exposure to sunshine is less, and vitamin D levels are at their lowest.

3) Protects your lungs

As previously mentioned, vitamin D is thought to boost antimicrobial peptides in the lungs. Researchers have also linked vitamin D supplementation to a reduced risk of COPD flare-ups (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The most marked effects were observed in patients who had lower levels. It appears that vitamin D works by increasing protection against respiratory viruses as well as reducing excess inflammation. This may also help to explain vitamin D’s protective effect on asthma attacks.

Low vitamin D levels are linked to asthma attacks in children and adults. In a Cochrane review of seven studies involving 435 children, and two studies including 658 adults, researchers found that giving a vitamin D supplement (alongside asthma medication) reduced the risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospital admission by half. Supplementation also reduced the rate of asthma attacks needing steroid medication.

Conclusion

Maintaining healthy vitamin D levels is essential for a well-functioning immune system, strong teeth and bones, heart and lung function, cognitive health, the nervous system, and cold and flu prevention during winter.

It is also needed to help protect against certain cancers, including colon, prostate and breast cancer, and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes

It’s best to take a daily vitamin D3 supplement from the beginning of autumn through to the spring and get adequate exposure during the summer months.

To ensure healthy levels, you can take a daily supplement, continuing all year round if you are an older adult, tend to cover up or not go out in the sun, have darker skin and not enough sun exposure or are overweight. If you’re breastfeeding, your baby should be taking a supplement even if you are.

Also, if you have compromised kidney function or are taking regular medication, you may need to take daily vitamin D. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

For healthy bones, it’s best to take vitamins D3 and K2 together.

Written by Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning, Nutritional Therapist and Homeopath. Follow Rebecca on Instagram, Facebook and Medium, @rebeccabitesback.

Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.

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A Guide to Vitamins and Minerals That Impact Your Mood

A Guide to Vitamins and Minerals that Impact Your Mood

Do you know the #1 cause of acquired insanity? It’s nutrient deficiency! People tend to separate emotions from the physical world. When in effect, they’re intricately linked. There’s a chemical basis for every emotion.

Commonly, B vitamins are cited as affecting mood. This is widely accepted. But there are 12 nutrients that have been scientifically proven to impact our mood.

Sadly, we’ve forgotten about the fact that nutrition can impact the lens through which we experience the world. In part, thanks to the discovery of pharmaceuticals in the 1950s. Relegating previously held nutritional knowledge to folklore.

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind these 12 main nutrients that have been exposed (so far) that affect our mood. Thus altering how we experience life. It’s my hope that people will take this information seriously and begin to use nutrition to live a happier and healthier life.

Although there is substantial evidence of the effects of essential fatty acids, inositol and botanicals (eg. St. John’s Wort) on mood, today we’ll be focusing solely on micronutrients, vitamins and minerals and their impact on mood.

Connecting Nutrients and Mood (The 4 Scientific Models)

In 400 BCE, Hippocrates famously stated:

“Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”

Thanks to scientific advancements, we’re now beginning to piece together the mechanisms behind this lost art.

There are currently four scientifically accepted mechanisms (or models) that explain how our mood is intricately linked to our vitamin and mineral status. These are:

  1. Errors of metabolism (damaged body systems)
  2. Deficient methylation reactions (lack of detoxification)
  3. Alterations of gene expression (by nutrient deficiency)
  4. Long-latency deficiency diseases (chronic illness)

Errors of Metabolism (Damaged Body Systems)

Our metabolism is a broad term for the myriad of systems that must all function in harmony for us to live a healthy life.

These twelve systems of the body require sufficient detoxification to function effectively.

Psychiatric disorders, even in children, often occur in conjunction with a co-occuring metabolic disorder. Metabolic disorders arise from the build up of toxins, enzymatic defects and protein dysfunction.

Again, primary research begins to point toward detoxification as a method to correct errors of metabolism.

Learn more: Do You or Someone You Know Suffer From An Autoimmune Disease?

Deficient Methylation Reactions (Lack of Detoxification)

Toxins build up in the body in part due to exposure, vitamin and mineral deficiencies,  and also because of insufficient methylation. Methylation is a process that helps the body detoxify toxins.

A good example of methylation detoxifying toxins is when the toxic amino acid (homocysteine) is converted into a beneficial amino acid (methionine). Interestingly, a 2000 research study found that 52% of depressed patients had high levels of homocysteine in their blood. Suggesting that they had insufficient methylation processes. Put simply, they couldn’t detox toxins.

The methylation process can be altered via lifestyle factors such as obesity. Even in pregnancy, if the mother is obese, this can alter the gene expression of their offspring, resulting in altered dopamine and opioid related genes.

This means that healthy lifestyle choices can alter how well our bodies can detoxify and thrive, even in a toxic world.

Learn more: How An Alkaline Diet Incorporates Gentle Detoxing Methods To Promote Lasting Health

Alterations of Gene Expression (By Nutrient Deficiency)

Various vitamin deficiencies alter gene expression. Especially vitamin D deficiency which downregulates a liver gene called Cyp7a1. This is the gene that’s responsible for the metabolism of cholesterol. Making it clear that nutrient deficiencies impact overall health and wellbeing.

Zinc deficiency can alter gene expression, especially in the brain. The main reason is because zinc is involved in DNA repair.

Related: Depressed, Low Immunity, Acne or Cold Sores? You Might Need Zinc

Magnesium is another essential nutrient that is responsible for over 600 reactions in the body. A deficiency in magnesium can be due to your genetics. There’s a bidirectional relationship between gene expression and nutrients. Whereby you must fill up your nutrient reserves to ensure that healthy genes are switched on.

Long-Latency Deficiency Diseases (Chronic Illness)

Nutrient deficiencies don’t just affect short-latency diseases, with a short incubation period. They also affect long latency disease. Which are illnesses that take a longer time to manifest.

The recommended daily intake of nutrition, if depleted over a long period of time, can result in severe deficiencies, which require higher doses if and when a deficiency is established.

It’s important to ensure that you are getting sufficient nourishment from your diet so as to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Over time, these deficiencies can lead to chronic illness, that could have been prevented with adequate nutrition, and clear detoxification pathways.

Folate, folic acid (vitamin B9)

Folate protects brain tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the brain. Altering eating behaviours, passivity, violence, addiction, and depression.

Folate also plays a role in the methionine cycle (Met). Which in turn helps the body detoxify and build healthy tissue.

Foods high in folate include: legumes, asparagus, leafy greens, beets, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, nuts and seeds, papaya and bananas.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Severe niacin deficiencies can lead to dementia, pellagra and nervous system damage.

Foods high in niacin include: peanuts, avocado, rice, mushrooms, peas, sweet potatoes and white potatoes.

Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)

Vitamin B12 is one of the more commonly known brain nutrients. A deficiency in B12 can result in folate deficiency, making matters worse. B12 also helps to create neurotransmitters in the brain.

Foods high in cobalamin include: Fermented beans and vegetables, wild mushrooms, edible algae and nutritional yeast.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Vitamin B1 and B6  helps produce GABA – the brainwave most associated with peace and calm.

Foods high in thiamine include: flax seeds, navy beans, green peas, firm tofu, brown rice, acorn squash, and asparagus

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)

Vitamin B6 is another widely known and researched micronutrient that helps in the creation of brain healthy hormones dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. B6 is essential in the production of serotonin.

Foods high in Pyridoxine include: peas, fresh and dried fruit, nutritional yeast, pistachio nuts, quinoa, and avocado.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E protects cells from damage from free radicals. Free radicals are damaged cells that cause accelerated aging and illness. Vitamin E offers protection for the cells throughout your body – especially your brain.

Foods high in vitamin E include: sunflower seeds, almonds, avocado, spinach, butternut squash, kiwi fruit, and broccoli.

Choline

Choline plays a role in methylation reactions and cell signalling.

Foods high in choline  include: peanuts, shiitake mushrooms, soy, kidney beans, quinoa, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Calcium

Calcium is required for enzymes to work properly in the body. Calcium is essential for the brain to function effectively. It plays a role in long-term memory, excitability and many other brain functions.

Foods high in calcium include: firm tofu, spinach, kale, collard greens, black-eyed peas, okra and acorn squash.

Chromium

Chromium is required for learning, recall, and recognition memory tasks. It plays an important role in fat glucose metabolism.

Foods high in chromium include: broccoli, brewers yeast, grape juice, apples, green beans and whole grains.

Iron

Iron helps in the production of ATP energy in the brain. ATP is the energy currency of our body.  As well as ensuring that there is enough oxygen in the blood. Iron is also involved in the production of the hormones serotonin, norepinephrine and epinephrine.

Foods high in iron include: legumes, quinoa, brown rice, nuts and seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 reactions in the body. When it comes to the brain, magnesium is required for memory, brain development and learning.

Foods high in magnesium include: spinach, pumpkin seeds, lima beans, brown rice, almonds, avocados, and bananas 

Learn more: Best Form of Magnesium for Sleep, Arthritis, Cramps & Anxiety

Zinc

Zinc plays an important role in brain development in children and the maintenance of the brain in adults. It’s essential for over 200 enzyme reactions in the body.

A deficiency of zinc can lead to oxidative stress. Interestingly, zinc plays a role in the sense of smell, learning and also protein synthesis.

Foods high in zinc include: tofu, chlorella, hemp seeds, lentils, oatmeal, and shiitake mushrooms.

Selenium

Selenium is essential for the brain, and is used for many brain functions. Such as motor performance, coordination, memory and cognition.

Foods high in selenium include: brazil nuts, tofu, oatmeal, brown rice, button mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is required for a healthy brain due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. 

The main source of vitamin D is sunlight. During autumn and winter, it is advisable to take a vitamin D supplement.

Final Thoughts

There is considerable scientific evidence supporting the view that nutrients play a huge role in brain development and function.

Nutrients such as folic acid are widely prescribed, especially by doctors, due to the role it plays in the development of a healthy brain and central nervous system.

To ward off disease and stabilise mood, a wide range of nutritious foods should be consumed.

Written by best-selling author and integrative nutrition health coach Rowanna Watson, who has a passion for natural health. Rowanna is an expert in all areas of holistic health, plant-based nutrition, detoxification and personal development.


Water for Health Ltd began trading in 2007 with the goal of positively affecting the lives of many. We still retain that mission because we believe that proper hydration and nutrition can make a massive difference to people’s health and quality of life. Click here to find out more.


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