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iHerb Blog

Vitamin D Levels Drop Despite Massive Education Effort
Vitamin D Levels Drop Despite Massive Education Effort

A huge and growing amount of research has now shown that vitamin D deficiency is very common with some studies showing at least 50% of the North American general population having low blood levels of vitamin D – a finding thought to play a major role in the development in many of the chronic degenerative diseases. In fact, vitamin D deficiency may be the most common medical condition in the world and vitamin D supplementation may be the most cost effective strategy in improving health, reducing disease, and living longer. Those deficient in vitamin D have twice the rate of death and a doubling of risk for many diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. The human genome contains more than 2,700 binding sites for active D3; those binding sites are near genes involved in virtually every known major disease of humans.

Background Information

Vitamin D is actually more of a “prohormone” than a vitamin. We produce vitamin D3 in our body by the reaction of a chemical in our skin in response to sunlight. This vitamin D3 is converted by the liver and then the kidneys to its active hormonal form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3.

The ideal method for determining the optimal dosage requires a readily available blood test for 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 or 25(OH)D3. For optimum health, blood levels should be between 50-80 ng/mL. While some people can achieve an optimal level with just 600 IU per day (or 20 minutes of daily sunlight exposure) others may require as much 10,000 IU per day. The only way to determine where a person may fall is by testing. Many doctors are now routinely checking vitamin D status in their patients.

Risk Factors in a Vitamin D Deficiency 

Insufficient exposure to sunlight – working and playing indoors, covering up with clothes or sunscreen when outside, residing at a high latitude.


Aging – seniors are at greater risk due to lack of mobility and skin that is less...

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How To Get Rid Of Acne Naturally
How To Get Rid Of Acne Naturally

Check out these skincare tips by beauty blogger Liah Yoo on how to get rid of acne naturally. 

Although creams and serums seem like an obvious way to clear up blemishes, there is much more to maintaining a healthy and glowing complexion. Deep beauty works from inside to out.

 

Mentioned Products and Recipes:

1. KALE : Anti-oxidant, Vitamin A, C,  & K
Eclectic Institute, Raw Kale POW-der

Alive & Radiant, Organic Kale Krunch Chips, Superfood

Alive & Radiant, Organic Kale Krunch, Spicy Superfood

2. CHIA SEEDS: Omega-3 fatty acid
Nutiva, Organic Chia Seed, Black

Bob's Red Mill, Flaked Coconut, Unsweetened

Simply Organic, Cinnamon

2 INGREDIENT CHIA SEEDS PUDDING RECIPE
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 1/2 cup of nut milk 

1) mix together and store in the refrigerator for 2+ hours
2) serve with your favorite toppings!

3. OATS : Regulates blood sugar level
Bob's Red Mill, Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, Whole Grain

Chocolove, Extreme Dark Chocolate

3 INGREDIENT OATMEAL COOKIES
- 1 cup of oats (you don't need to ground it!)
- 1 banana
- tiny piece of dark chocolate or nuts

1) Stir every ingredients together
2) Lay out on the baking paper
3) Bake for 10 to 15 minutes OR microwave for 1 to 2 minutes

4. SUPPLEMENTS FOR SKIN
Now Foods, Biotin : Biotin(Vitamin B7) maintains your skin & hair bouncy and healthy

Now Foods, Zinc Glycinate : Zinc controls inflammatory responses in your body potentially helping warding off acne

Reference: 

Liah Yoo is a Seoul based beauty vlogger. Check out her YouTube channel here

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Multivitamin And Mineral Formulas
Multivitamin And Mineral Formulas

What to Look for in a Multiple Vitamin and Mineral Supplement

In the last few years more Americans than ever have discovered the benefits of nutritional and herbal supplements. Unfortunately, while the myth that diet alone can provide all the essential nutrition necessary for optimal health, most popular one a day multiple vitamin and mineral formulas provide less than ideal amounts of most key nutrients. It would be great to get all the essential daily nutrients in one tablet, but it just isn’t possible.

Why should I take a high potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula?

While a health-promoting diet is an essential component of good health, so too is proper nutritional supplementation. While some experts say that you can theoretically meet all of your nutritional needs through diet alone, the reality is that most Americans do not. During recent years the U.S. government has sponsored a number of comprehensive studies (HANES I, II, and III, Ten State Nutrition Survey, USDA nationwide food consumption studies, etc.) to determine the nutritional status of the population. These studies have revealed marginal nutrient deficiencies exist in a substantial portion of the U.S. population (approximately 50 percent) and that for some selected nutrients in certain age groups more than 80 percent of the group consumed less than the RDA. 1

These studies indicate the chances of consuming a diet meeting the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for all nutrients is extremely unlikely for most Americans. In other words, while it is theoretically possible that a healthy individual can get all the nutrition they need from foods, the fact is that most Americans do not even come close to meeting all their nutritional needs through diet alone. In an effort to increase their intake of essential nutrients, many Americans look to vitamin and mineral supplements. Current estimates are that more than 70 percent of Americans now regularly take vitamin or mineral supplements. 2,3

It seems...

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Brain Power
Brain Power

How to protect the brain against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease

Is memory loss and decreased brain power inevitable as we age? Many people in their 40s, 50s, and beyond are told that it is, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Not true. Steps can be taken not only to stop memory loss, but also to reverse it. Of course, many things other than aging alone cause memory problems. These include depression, certain drugs, strokes, head injury, alcoholism, and dementia (severe problems with memory and thinking, such as Alzheimer’s disease, or AD for short).

Feed Your Brain, Sharpen Your Mind

There is considerable evidence that diets high in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E prevent age-related memory loss and other degenerative brain disorders. It is very important to eat a diet rich with green leafy vegetables; highly-colored vegetables such as carrots, yams, and squash; and flavonoid-rich fruits such as citrus, berries, and cherries, while avoiding consumption of trans fatty acids, fried foods, smoked and cured meats, and junk foods. Numerous studies have shown that brain function is directly related to nutritional status. Given the frequency of nutrient deficiency in the elderly population, it is likely that many cases of impaired mental function may have a nutritional cause.

Nutritional Supplements to Protect Your Brain

In addition to a healthful diet, a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula, and 1,000 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (combined) from a quality fish oil, I would recommend taking coenzyme Q10 with pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), phosphatidylserine, and curcumin (if some symptoms of mental deterioration are present in a person 50 years or older). A brief discussion of each of these important supplements for brain protection follows:

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Although the body makes some of its own CoQ10, considerable research shows significant benefits with supplementation, particularly in people with heart disease, including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, or those taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. Recent studies indicate that CoQ10 levels are significantly lower in the mitochondria in people with degenerative brain disorders. For general supplementation levels, take 100 to 200 mg daily of CoQ10 in a base of rice bran oil in a softgel capsule.For improving memory, even better results are seen with CoQ10 if it is taken with PQQ. It exerts a synergistic effect with CoQ10, and it is vital for the function of mitochondria. Like CoQ10, PQQ protects brain cells from damage. It has been shown to be memory-restorative in animal and human studies, and its antioxidant activity is about 5,000 times the effect of vitamin C. The dosage for PQQ is 20 mg daily.
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a critical nutrient for anyone with AD, PD, or impaired mental function. Low levels of phosphatidylserine in the brain are associated with impaired mental function and depression in the elderly. Over a dozen double-blind studies have shown phosphatidylserine to improve mental function, mood, and behavior in patients with degenerative brain disorders. The recommended dosage is 100 mg three times daily.
  • Curcumin, the yellow pigment of turmeric, is showing incredible promise as a brain protector, including an ability to prevent and possibly reverse Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Residents of rural India, who eat large amounts of turmeric, have the lowest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the world: 4.4 times lower than that of Americans. Researchers have demonstrated that curcumin is able to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s brain lesions in mice specifically bred to develop AD, and may actually reverse damage to brain cells. Turmeric can be liberally consumed in the diet, but taking a curcumin extract may prove to be important in preventing age-related memory loss, as well as more serious conditions such as AD.
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Nutrient Highlight - Astaxanthin
Nutrient Highlight - Astaxanthin

Introduction 

There are over 400 different members of the carotene family of pigments in nature. Historically, the potency of a carotene in improving human health was based on its ability to be converted to vitamin A. For example, beta-carotene, the pigment that makes carrots orange has the highest vitamin A value and was long thought of as being the most important carotene. However, it is now known that some of the most important carotenes to human health are not converted to vitamin A at all. The crowned “king” of all of the non-vitamin A carotenes is astaxanthin. It is given this title because of its unique benefits and actions in promoting health and protecting against cellular damage, especially in the brain and vascular system.

Where is Astaxanthin Found in Nature?

Astaxanthin is a vibrantly deep red carotene pigment found predominantly in marine life. A form of microalgae known as Haematococcus pluvialis is the richest source. When it is consumed by salmon, lobster, shrimp, krill, and other sea life the intense red pigmentation results in these animals having red or pink flesh, or outer shells.

Astaxanthin is absolutely essential to the survival of these organisms. For example, astaxanthin is required by microalgae to protect itself from damage produced during photosynthesis. It is also known that young salmon die or do not develop properly without sufficient intake of astaxanthin in their diet. The astaxanthin also provides some protection for some animals by making them less visible in deep water, where the red segment of the wavelength spectrum of visible light does not penetrate. The red pigment also plays a role in mating and spawning behavior.

How is Astaxanthin Produced?

Although astaxanthin is found in salmon, herring roe, or krill oil supplements, the amounts in these sources are much lower than those provided from extracts of H. pluvialis. For example, the level of astaxanthin naturally occurring in a capsule of fish or...

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