H1N1 flu linked to Vitamin D deficiency

A recent University of Colorado study, of 18,000 people, shows those with higher levels of vitamin D appear to be better protected against the (Swine Flu) and seasonal flu.

Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread and common problem that causes chronic conditions, debilitating diseases and, in some cases, death. Over one million people die each year from vitamin D deficiency most likely due to not getting enough sun exposure because of skin cancer fears. The irony is that Vitamin D actually prevents cancer and other diseases including the swine flu.

The groups most affected by the H1N1 swine flu virus have been those most likely to be vitamin D deficient: pregnant women, obese people, those with Type II diabetes and children with neurological disorders.

Research on the Vitamin’s flu-prevention benefits have been around for the past 30 years. It was back in 1981 that R Edgar Hope Simpson first proposed that a principal cause of seasonal influenza is linked with the deficiency of solar radiation which triggers the production of vitamin D in the skin. Much of this hypothesis is based on the notion that Vitamin D deficiency is most commonly seen during the winter months when sunlight is at a premium.

Doctors recommend taking Vitamin D regularly to boost your immune system during winter season. Vitamin D is produced in the body during exposure to sunlight. During the winter we tend to get less exposure to sunlight.

People who take vitamin D supplements have better luck avoiding the seasonal flu; there is no reason to think that it won’t do the same for H1N1 virus. Flu outbreaks tend to occur in places where solar radiation is low.

Many doctors are beginning to recommend a daily supplement of vitamin D of anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, especially in the winter.


Vitamin B1(Thiamin) deficiency

Why we need Thiamin

Thiamin helps regulate nerve growth, stimulates brain action, and memory. Helps convert food to energy. It required for nerve and muscle function, enzyme reactions, and fatty acid production.

Thiamin also keeps our brain and nervous system fueled up. Human brain runs on glucose, a type of sugar that’s made from the carbohydrates you eat. Thiamin helps our brain and nervous system absorb enough glucose. Without it, they take in only half of what they really need.

And when your brain doesn’t get enough fuel, you start to get forgetful, depressed, tired, and apathetic.
Thiamin also helps keep heart muscles elastic and working smoothly, which help heart pumping strongly and evenly, with just the right number of beats.

Vitamin B1 is indispensable for the health of the entire nervous system; prevents fatigue and increases stamina; prevents edema and fluid retention, also aids in digestion and metabolism.

Causes of Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) deficiency and symptoms

Vitamin B1 deficiency can result from inadequate food intake.
Deficiency causes beriberi, a disease that affects cardiovascular, nervous, muscular, and gastrointestinal systems.

Thiamin deficiency is common among alcoholics, who often have inadequate food intakes. Alcohol provides energy without providing many of the necessary nutrients. Alcohol also impairs the absorption of thiamin, while increasing excretion of thiamin.
Extreme thiamin deficiency can lead to an enlarged heart, weight loss, muscular weakness, poor short-term memory, and cardiac failure.

Some people are at high risk of Vitamin B1 deficiency: elderly who don’t eat well and don’t get enough thiamin in their diets; pregnant or breastfeeding women; diabetics.

How to avoid Vitamin B2 deficiency

But in fact most people, even the ones with the health issues listed here, do get enough thiamin. A real deficiency is pretty rate.

Wheat germ, liver, pork, whole & enriched grains, dried beans
Good sources of thiamin are pork, liver, fish, oranges, peas, peanut butter, wheat germ, beans, and whole grains.

Enzymes present in raw fish and shellfish destroy thiamin. Also, tannins in tea and coffee can oxidize thiamin, reducing the availability of thiamin in the diet.


What is Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid. The astaxanthin molecule is similar to beta-carotene, but all evidence indicates that it is a far more powerful biological antioxidant.

Astaxanthin, unlike some carotenoids, does not convert to Vitamin A (retinol) in the human body.

Like many carotenoids, it is a colorful, fat/oil-soluble pigment. Too much Vitamin A is toxic for a human, but astaxanthin is not.

However, it is a powerful antioxidant. It is 10 times more capable than other carotenoids.
Astaxanthin contains in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, crustaceans, and the feathers of some birds.
Here some benefits of astaxanthin:

  • Astaxanthin increases strength and endurance. 2 – 8 times greater increase over baseline verses placebo in human clinical study.
  • Astaxanthin combined with Flavangenol is powerful against diabetes complications
  • Astaxanthin protects cells and mitochondrial membranes from oxidative damage, thus protecting the cell from oxidative damage and have incredible cancer fighting properties
  • Astaxanthin will boost the immune system by increasing the number of antibody-producing cells.
  • Astaxanthin prevents the initiation of cancer cells in the tongue, oral cavity, large bowel, bladder, uterus, and breast.
  • Astaxanthin inhibits lipid peroxidation that causes plaque formation, thus reducing risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • It alleviates stress and may assist in neurodegenerative conditions such as AMD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS.Astaxanthin protects the eyes and skin from UV A and B damage by quenching singlet and triplet oxygen.
  • Astaxanthin reduces the number of new and abnormal cells in the liver.Some studies show that astaxanthin keeps cataracts away.
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Main causes of osteoporosis development

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Osteoporosis is disease when bones become that brittle and break easily. There are no symptoms unless a bone is broken. Osteoporosis is a very serious health problem which affects some 25 million Americans and costs nearly $14 billion a year. Four out of five of them are older women.

Postmenopausal bone loss is mostly due to increases in bone loss, which are more important than decreases in bone formation.
Osteoporosis is a long-term chronic disease that normally takes decades to develop. Proper nutrition is one of the important factors in preventing osteoporosis.

Calcium and Osteoporosis

Low level of calcium is main cause of osteoporosis development.
Loss of calcium from the bones, as can occur on a day with lower calcium intake coupled with high sodium and protein intake, is hard to replace. Calcium can be removed quickly from bones, but it is a slower process to rebuild bones.
Weight-bearing exercise is important in early life, as it increases bone density. Exercise and movement in later life also stimulate bone formation. Some people have genetically denser bones than others, which lowers risk.
Although osteoporosis is caused mostly by a shortage of calcium but other vitamins and minerals deficiency induces or increase of risk this dangerous disease

Vitamin A

In older men and women, long-term intakes of preformed vitamin A can be associated with increased risk of osteoporotic fracture and decreased bone mineral density.
Levels of only 5000 IU (1,500 mcg) are enough to increase risk. This is well below the upper limit set at 10,000 IU (3000 mcg) per day. Only high intakes of preformed vitamin A, not beta-carotene, are associated with any increased adverse effects on bone health.
Too little vitamin A can also be a problem because adequate vitamin A is needed to prevent osteoporosis.
The best way to assure safe levels of vitamin A is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and, if supplements are needed, to use the beta-carotene form.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency can another cause of osteoporosis. Without enough vitamin D, the bones cannot properly mineralize.

Vitamin K
Vitamin K is needed to bind minerals to bones. Vitamin K is used as a coenzyme to enable bone mineralization. Several studies have found a correlation between higher vitamin K levels and lowered risk of hip fracture.

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Glucosamine Complex, Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM all work together, to supply your body vital strengthening nutrition. Vitamin C, Ginger, and White Willow Bark support your general good health.


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Beta-carotene is one of the most powerful antioxidants

Vitamin A has several forms that are used for vital functions.
Provitamin A, betacarotene, performs antioxidant functions that none of the other forms of vitamin A can achieve. In addition to its vital antioxidant functions, beta-carotene can be split apart into retinal and converted to all other forms of preformed vitamin A.
vegetables-fruitsBeta-carotene is one of the most powerful antioxidants in food. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Some of the beta-carotene in foods and supplements can be converted into the retinal form of vitamin A.

About 10 percent of the carotenoids (beta-carotene is one of the carotenoids) in plant foods can be converted into retinal. The remaining carotenoids may be used as antioxidants.
The other forms of vitamin A do not exhibit antioxidant activity. The forms of vitamin A found in meat (retinyl esters), dairy products, and eggs do not possess antioxidant activity.

Vitamin A supplements made without beta-carotene or other sources of antioxidants also do not possess antioxidant activity. Many supplements are made with retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate; these forms of vitamin A are not antioxidants.
Beta-carotene is plentiful in yellow and orange vegetables and fruit. Green vegetables also are rich in beta-carotene; the colorful pigments are masked by the green chlorophyll. Some of the other carotenoids that can be converted into retinal include alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Some carotenoids that cannot be converted into retinal are lycopene (from tomatoes) and lutein. All carotenoids have antioxidant activity.

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Osteoporosis and Vitamin A

osteoporosisIn older men and women, long-term intakes of preformed vitamin A can be associated with increased risk of osteoporotic fracture and decreased bone mineral density.
Levels of only 5000 IU (1,500 mcg) are enough to increase risk. This is well below the upper limit set at 10,000 IU (3000 mcg) per day. Only high intakes of preformed vitamin A, not beta-carotene, are associated with any increased adverse effects on bone health.

Older men and women may want to limit their supplemental vitamin A intake or take only the beta-carotene form of vitamin A. Many fortified foods such as cereal contain significant levels of preformed vitamin A. The vitamin A in fortified foods should be added to the vitamin A in any supplements to find the total intake.

On the other hand, low levels of vitamin A can adversely affect bone mineral density.
In older people, an intake of preformed vitamin A close to the recommended dose is safest.
The best way to assure safe levels of vitamin A is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and, if supplements are needed, to use the beta-carotene form.


Vitamin A and carotene are good for your eyesight

Preventing Night Blindness

Vitamin A helps you see well in the dark. Your retina (the layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of your eye) contains large amounts of Vitamin A, especially in the tiny structures called rods that are used for night vision.

If you don’t get enough Vitamin A, you develop night blindness—you can’t see well in the dark or in dim light.

We all lose a little of our night vision as we grow older, but Vitamin A can help slow or even prevent the loss. If you’ve noticed that you don’t see as well at night as you used to, see your eye doctor to rule out other eye problems.

If your eyes are OK otherwise, extra Vitamin A or beta carotene might help. Discuss the right amount with your doctor before you try it.

Preventing Cataracts

A cataract forms when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy, reducing or even blocking completely the amount of light that enters your eye. At one time cataracts were a leading cause of blindness, but today simple outpatient surgery can fix the problem.

But wouldn’t it be better if a cataract never developed in the first place? There’s solid evidence that a diet rich in carotenoids, especially beta carotene, helps prevent cataracts by mopping up free radicals before they can damage the lens.

Preserving Eyesight

Vitamin A helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Your macula is a tiny cluster of very sensitive cells in the center of your retina. It’s essential for sharp vision.

As you grow older, your macula may start to degenerate, causing vision loss and eventual blindness. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65, and about 30 percent of Americans over 75 suffer from it.
What about the other 70 percent? It’s likely they eat more foods that are high in beta carotene.
According to one study, eating just one serving a day of a food high in beta carotene could reduce your chances of AMD by 40 percent.

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How to get the most benefit from Vitamin A and Carotenes

Vitamin A and beta carotene are fat-soluble, which means you store them in your liver and in the fatty tissues of your body. To avoid any chance of a toxic buildup, we suggest you stick to the Vitamin A in your daily multivitamin supplement and skip any additional A supplements.
But if you’re having one of those frantic days where eating right is way down on your priority list, taking a mixed carotenoid supplement can help make up for that skipped breakfast, fast-food lunch, and takeout dinner.Olympian Labs Vita-Vitamin  Multi-Vitamin/Mineral 120Tabs

These supplements contain beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, and other
carotenoids.

To get the most benefit for Vitamin A and beta carotene, be sure to also get at least the recommended dose for Vitamin E, zinc, and selenium. You need Vitamin E to help Vitamin A work more effectively; you also need extra Vitamin E if you take large doses (more than 15 g daily) of beta carotene supplements .You need zinc to help transport Vitamin A around your body and you need selenium to help beta carotene work more effectively.
Vitamin A and beta carotene work better if you also take all other vitamins and minerals, Selenium, Zinc. Vitamin E birth control pills, bile-sequestering cholesterol drugs, cigarette smoke, methotrexate, a drug used to treat arthritis, psoriasis, or cancer decrease benefit of vitamin A and beta carotene.
Vitamin A supplements usually come in soft gel caps in retinol or retinyl palmitate form—either is fine, but retinyl palmitate is best for people with intestinal problems. An old-fashioned way to get your A’s is by taking cod liver oil.  Aside from the fact that it’s truly horrible tasting—even the cherry-flavored kind is awful—cod liver oil isn’t a good choice. It’s high in calories and often causes digestive upsets.

Don’t overdo on the Vitamin A supplements—more than 5,000 IU (1,000 RE) a day can be harmful. To avoid possible problems, we suggest taking mixed carotenes instead—you’ll get your A’s along with extra antioxidant protection.
For many years, the only beta carotene supplements you could buy were made synthetically and were oil-based. Today you have the option of buying water-based supplements made either from a type of algae called Dunaliella or from palm oil.

Water-based carotenes do seem to be absorbed better. In general, oil-based supplements come in gel caps while the water-based ones come in solid form. No matter which form you buy, look for a product that is bright orange-red in color and store it away from light.
Most nutritionists today recommend mixed carotenoid supplements instead of just beta carotene.

For most benefit be sure you’re getting a good product, choose mixed carotenoids that contain beta carotene along with at least 20 percent alpha carotene and also xanthophylls and lycopene.


Who are at risk of Vitamin A deficiency

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Generally speaking, a real Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the Western world, because so many common foods, including milk and breakfast cereals, are fortified with it.
Almost everyone gets the recommended dose or pretty close to it, but some people are at high risk of a Vitamin A deficiency. If you fall into any of these categories, you may need more Vitamin A than you’re actually getting:

  • You have liver disease, cystic fibrosis, or chronic diarrhea. These problems can reduce the amount of Vitamin A you absorb or store.
  • You abuse alcohol. Alcohol reduces the Vitamin A and beta carotene stored in your liver. On the other hand, animal studies suggest that beta carotene combined with alcohol is a one-two punch that could do a lot of damage to your liver.
  • You smoke. People who smoke cigarettes have low beta carotene levels and often feel Vitamin A deficiency..
  • You take birth control pills. The Pill raises the amount of Vitamin A in your blood but reduces the amount you store in your liver. (This doesn’t happen with beta carotene.)
  • You’re sick or have a chronic infection. Being sick makes you produce extra free radicals which lower your Vitamin A level.
  • You’re under a great deal of stress—physical or psychological. Overwork, fatigue, and exercising too much all create free radicals, which lower your Vitamin A level. Also, when you’re too busy or tired to eat right you don’t get enough beta carotene.
  • You’re pregnant or breastfeeding. You’re passing a lot of your Vitamin A on to your baby. You need some extra for yourself—but talk to your doctor first. Too much Vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects.
  • You take a bile-sequestering drug such as Cholybar®, Colestid®, or Questran® to lower your cholesterol. These drugs can keep you from absorbing fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A correctly. If you take these drugs, your doctor will probably recommend vitamin supplements and tell you to take them at a different time than the medicine. Discuss any other supplements with your doctor before you try them.
  • You take the drug methotrexate (Folex®, Methotrate®, Mexate®, Rheumatrex®) to treat arthritis, psoriasis, or cancer. This drug affects your intestines, making it harder to absorb Vitamin A and beta carotene. Discuss supplements with your doctor before you try them.

After several weeks without much Vitamin A in your diet, you’d start to have some signs of deficiency. One of the earliest is night blindness and other eye problems (we’ll talk about these later on). Another sign of Vitamin A deficiency is a condition called follicular hyperkeratosis.

When this happens, your epithelial tissues, especially your skin, start to make too much of a hard protein called keratin.

You start to get little deposits of keratin that look like goose bumps around your hair follicles and make your skin feel rough and dry. Vitamin A deficiency can also cause reproductive problems for both men and women. A deficiency of Vitamin A can also make you more likely to get respiratory infections, sore throats, sinus infections, and ear infections.


Why we need Carotene

After Vitamin A was first discovered, researchers believed that the only way to get your A’s was by eating animal foods such as eggs or liver that naturally contain retinoids, or preformed Vitamin A. Your body can use this Vitamin A as is just as soon as you eat it.
In 1928, researchers discovered the other way to get your A’s: by eating plant foods that contain carotenes—the orange, red, and yellow substances that give plant foods their colors. The most abundant of the carotenes in plant foods is beta carotene. Your body easily converts beta carotene to Vitamin A in your small intestine, where special enzymes split one molecule of beta carotene in half to make two molecules of Vitamin A.
carotineIf you don’t happen to need any Vitamin A just then, you don’t convert the beta carotene. Instead, a lot of it circulates in your blood and enters into your cells; the rest gets stored in your fatty tissues. Whenever you need some extra A’s, your liver quickly converts the stored beta carotene.
Carotenes are just one small group of plant substances in the much larger carotenoid family.
Why is it better to convert your Vitamin A from the carotenes in plant foods rather than getting them straight from animal foods or supplements? There are some very good reasons.
About 40 percent of the carotenes you eat are converted to Vitamin A in your liver and small intestine as you need it. The rest act as powerful antioxidants. Beta carotene is especially good at quenching singlet oxygen.
Large doses of supplemental Vitamin A can be toxic—and some people show overdose symptoms even at lower doses. Your body converts carotenes to Vitamin A only as needed, however, so it’s almost impossible to overdose.
Also, beta carotene is nontoxic—even if you store so much in your fatty tissues that you turn yellow, it’s harmless.
The health benefits of fruits and vegetables are well-known. Carotenes are found in almost every fruit and vegetable. Five servings a day will give you all the Vitamin A you need, along with plenty of other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
What you won’t get are calories and the cholesterol found in animal sources of preformed Vitamin A such as beef.
And al last carotene is even better antioxidant—it may be ten times as effective for mopping up free radicals.

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