Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Aug 28

    Lizards lie in it, cats nap in it, plants need it to grow. But over 60% of North Americans are not getting enough of it. Vitamin D from the sun is critical to our health. The “cover-up and slap on the sunscreen” messages have worked too well along with young people spending time indoors instead of being outside in the sunshine.

    We are near the end of our 2010 winter season here in New Zealand. My husband is a dentist and we both do not believe in flu vaccines. At the start of  winter I began taking an extra 1000iu Vitamin D3 – total 3000iu daily. My husband just took his normal dose that is contained in the nutritional supplements we both take. My husband got the flu – possibly the H1N1 because I have never seen him so unwell. He is a man who normally shrugs off colds and flus, but not this one. He had to take time off work, pulled a muscle from his violent coughing and even stayed in bed. Meanwhile, as soon as he came down with the flu, I increased my D3 dose from 3000iu to 4000iu daily and I have stayed well.

    Anyone keeping up-to-date with health news over the last few years will be aware that more and more research is uncovering the significance of Vitamin D and its effect on our health. The “cover-up and slap on the sunblock” campaign has helped to reduce skin cancer risk but in doing so, Vitamin D deficiency has affected the health of millions of people worldwide (you will not be surprised to find out that more than 1 billion people worldwide and 30-40% of the U.S. population between the ages of 15-49 are vitamin D deficient). Vitamin D affects over 200 genes in our bodies and about 6% of the human genome.

    There is a variety of factors that limit the amount of vitamin D we are exposed to: where we live (geographic latitude), season, age, melanin content of skin, the use of sunscreen or sun-obscuring clothing, and a lack of outdoor activity. It is healthy to have bright sun exposure to our bodies for 15-20 minutes per day. People who live in temperate zones (latitude 37 degrees north and south of the equator) will not get the sun exposure required for our bodies to make the 15,000 to 20,000iu of Vitamin D it needs each day. However, overexposure to sunlight does cause skin cancer and wrinkles.

    Can we overdose on Vitamin D? It’s not possible to overdose from the sun source because the body can inactivate excess Vitamin D. The body can also store excess Vitamin D in our tissues and use it as required.

    So what about food? Vitamin D is unique because very little can be obtained through a normal diet.The Vitamin D that is available in food is insignificant compared to what the synthesis of the sun can provide. The principal source of Vitamin D is through sun exposure on our skin.

    For instance, the following is a list of foods that we would have to consume on a daily basis to get the equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000iu Vitamin D from the sun:
    Sardines – 30 cans per day or
    Milk – 100-200 glasses per day or
    Fortified cereal – 100-200 bowls per day or
    Egg yolks – 500-1000 per day or
    Wild salmon – 2 kilos or 4.5 lbs per day
    I would not recommend any of the above to be consumed in such quantities on a daily basis.

    Vitamin D has been shown to prevent the following diseases:
    Heart Disease
    Cancer – Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Prostate, Bladder, Uterus, Esophagus, Rectum, Stomach
    Diabetes
    Obesity
    Dementia
    Influenza – upper respiratory infections have shown to be reduced by 90% by supplementing with 2000iu of Vitamin D3. By boosting our Vitamin D3 to 5000iu in the flu season, we do not need to have the flu vaccine.
    Bacterial Infection
    Depression
    Insomnia
    Muscle Weakness
    Fibromyalgia
    Osteomalacia –soft and weak bones, makes you more prone to fractures.
    Osteoarthritus
    Rheumatoid Arthritus
    Osteoporosis
    Psoriasis
    Hypertension
    Multiple Sclerosis – if we do not have enough exposure to sunlight in the first 10 years of our life, we are more pre-disposed to getting MS. So if you grow up in a temperate zone you have a 100% increase in the risk of getting MS.

    From Doctor Ray Strand’s desk:
    a) “A recent study reported in the Archives of Neurology showed a correlation of a low vitamin D level and the increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This study included over 3,000 pariticipants. They followed these subjects for a period of nearly 30 years. Those subjects whose vitamin D levels were in the top 25% had over a 30% decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, when compared to those who had the lowest levels of vitamin D. This is just another study that shows the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. I have shared in past Health Nuggest, I like to see vitamin D levels above 60 ng/ml.”

    b) “A four year clinical was done that involved nearly 1200 women. This is the kind of study physicians love and always talk about when it comes to pharmaceutical trials. However, very few of them realize that there are these kinds of studies regarding the health benefits of taking supplements. Subjects were assigned to take 1400 mg of calcium alone, or 1400 mg of calcium plus 1100 IU of vitamin D, or a placebo. After only 4 years, the risk of developing any type of cancer was 60% lower in the vitamin D group. If you excluded the cancers diagnosed in the first year because these cancers were most likely already present before the study, there was a 77% reduction in all types of cancer in the vitamin D group.

    The researchers pointed out that vitamin D has an effect on at least 200 human genes and is critical in the normal functioning of our immune system and cell division. When there is less than an optimal level of vitamin D, the regulatory process involving cell proliferation and differentiation becomes defective. This can lead to abnormal cell division and thus cancer growth. However, if individuals simply supplement their diet with 1100 IU of vitamin D, they can significantly decrease their risk of all cancers.”

    In summary: The research shows that nearly 70% of adults taking 600 IU or less of supplemental vitamin D have circulating levels below the minimum recommended threshold of 30 ng/mL. In fact, some people require up to 12 times that amount to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D. A suggested recommended daily intake of vitamin D3 is at least 4,000 IU per day. Of course every person’s individual needs are different, so it is best to work with your physician to determine what is right for you. If you live in temperate zones it is advisable to take a Vitamin D3 supplement every day and boost it to 5000iu in the flu season.

    Expose yourself to bright sun 15 to 30 minutes daily as much as possible, before applying sunblock to your body. I recommend that you do not expose your face and neck though. Avoid over-exposure to sunlight. If possible, get your Vitamin D levels tested by your doctor to ensure that you are not deficient (“25 OH Vitamin D” blood test (also known as “25 hydroxy vitamin D”) and you want to be in the 50-80 ng/ml range).

    Further Reading
    The Vitamin D Council is a respected source of up-to-date information about Vitamin D.

    (NaturalNews) Mike Adams recently interviewed the Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council, Dr. John Cannell, MD, in order to obtain more information about the nutrient which has been gaining ground as a proven necessity for cancer protection, good…listen to this hour long audio   Interview with Dr. John Cannell on benefits of vitamin D

    Dr. Michael Holick is the world’s foremost authority on vitamin D and the healing power of natural sunlight. He’s the author of The UV Advantage, and in this interview, Dr. Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. This is one of the most eye-opening interviews you’ll ever read on health.

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

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  • May 18

    Our skin’s appearance can make us look younger or older than our real age. How do we prevent our skin from aging? And do we need natural ingredients in skincare to stay looking young?

    A baby’s skin takes 14 days to turnover or replace skin cells.
    20-30 year olds take up to 28 days to replace cells.
    Those of us over 40 can take up to 90 days to experience cell turnover.

    The struggling dermis needs more nutrition to help skin turnover, especially dry skin and all the problems of aging skin.  Over doing exfoliating will cause more harm than good, therefore, only exfoliate when required and dry skin requires it less since it is already in distress. Oily skin might require it more often. Knowing your skin is really key here, but over exfoliating is never the answer.  Nutrition from skincare and supplement products is really important for all skin but especially dry skin and aging skin.

    There are 6 causes of skin aging according to Bea Kinnear (Your Skin and You).

    1. Moisture – hydrated skin fights off toxic products and a toxic environment.
    2. Caffeine – as caffeine is a diuretic, it dehydrates our skin. To balance the drying effect, drink three glasses of pure water to one cup of coffee, tea or soft drink.
    3. Smoking – this also is a dehydrator but also reduces the necessary oxygen flow to the skin. Smoking reduces the body’s supply of Vitamin A and the absorption of Vitamin C, which are both vital to protect our skin.
    4. Sun exposure – ultraviolet radiation damages the many layers of our skin and promotes skin cancer and wrinkles. However we do need to either expose our skin very carefully to the sun so that it does not burn and/or take a vitamin D3 supplement, as vitamin D3 is an important factor in our body’s health.
    5. Soap – it can dehydrate the skin, affecting the PH factor.
    6. Skin care products – one of the major contributors to premature aging are products made with inferior and questionable ingredients. Barrier type products suffocate the skin and inhibit its ability to function properly.

    Natural ingredients in skincareThere is a big push in marketing skincare to make it ‘natural’ and ‘organic’. It up to us consumers to be aware that there are some ‘natural’ ingredients that are irritants to our skin and we do need to avoid them.

    Natural ingredients can be made up of known and unknown ingredients. The two types of natural ingredients are a) essential oils and b) botanical.

    Essential oils are also known as volatile oils and are from the plants that produce fragrances which may cause skin irritations. Some of the many essential oils to avoid are witch hazel, peppermint, jasmine, lavender extract and menthol.

    Botanical ingredients are from the part of the plant that offer a vitamin source. They provide good antioxidants to the skin.

    We also need to be aware of the types of preserving agents used in skincare. Many preservatives have the potential to cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin, and some preservatives do not support the product. Products that come in jars that require finger-dipping may become prone to bacteria.

    Two preservatives to avoid are formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and parabens. The most common names are: Diazolidinyl Urea, Quaternium-15, Imidazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Methyldibromo glutaronitrile, butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

    All that might sound like a science lesson to you and you may be thinking that this is just too hard. It is reassuring that there are now products on the market that are self-preserving without any nasty chemicals and irritating essential oils. We just have to be on the look out for them.

    If you would like to find about the anti-aging skin care products that I use and recommend, please use the contact form on this site.

    And if you would like to learn more, you can download this document that helps you to understand why the technology of cosmetic scientists and nutrition experts need to have the same goals when developing a state-of-the-art skin care products.

    I also recommend Bea Kinnear’s book Your Skin and You

    Find out which self-preserving skincare products I use and recommend.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!

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