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.

    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!

  • Jul 14

    Advanced Doses of Vitamin D Are Required To Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Status

    It is currently estimated that more than 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency. Relatively small amounts of vitamin D are obtained through the diet and many lifestyle factors reduce endogenous vitamin D synthesis, therefore supplementation offers an important avenue for achieving and maintaining optimal vitamin D status.

    Scientists at USANA Health Sciences and Linus Pauling Institute recently conducted a clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of moderately high daily doses of vitamin D3 on increasing circulating levels of vitamin D during winter, spring, and summer seasons.

    19 healthy volunteers, most using USANA’s HealthPakTM daily dietary supplement packs, BiOmegaTM and/or Active CalciumTM supplements, were randomly divided into the treatment or control (placebo) groups. The treatment group was given a daily supplement providing 4000 IU of vitamin D3 for three months from December 2008 to March 2009. The control group received a matching placebo tablet. Both the Vitamin D3 and matching placebo tablets were manufactured at USANA Health Sciences, Inc. (Salt Lake City, USA). Blood samples were drawn at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of supplementation, to analyze circulating vitamin D levels (25-hydroxy vitamin D3).

    The study found that:

    * Treatment with 4000 IU/day significantly increased circulating vitamin D levels during the winter and maintained them in the optimal range above 50 mg/mL.
    * Circulating vitamin D levels reached maximal levels after 4 weeks of supplementation and plateaued thereafter.
    * Upon cessation of supplementation between weeks 12-16, vitamin D levels declined appreciably underscoring the need for continuous supplementation to maintain optimal levels throughout the winter and early spring.
    * Supplementation of 2000 IU/day through the late spring and summer maintained vitamin D levels in the optimal range.
    * At the conclusion of the study, vitamin D levels in all subjects that did NOT continue supplementation through the summer returned to the baseline values originally measured in December.

    This study shows that continuous intakes of vitamin D are needed to obtain optimal circulating levels of vitamin D above 50 mg/mL throughout the entire year.

    Source: Dixon B et al; 2009; USANA Clinical Research Poster; Accessed 21 Jun 2010.
    http://www.usana.com/media/File/dotCom/company/science/crb/CR_Vitamin_D_Poster.pdf

  • Jul 8

    News.com.au has reported that Gwyneth Paltrow : “has been diagnosed with osteopenia, an illness that can lead to the serious bone disease osteoporosis”. Osteoporosis is ”brittle bone disease” – where the bones begin to look like Swiss cheese. Gwyneth Paltrow is reportedly Vitamin D deficient. What happens is that the bones become so weak, that they break easily and then people fall, many times resulting with a broken hip. How do we prevent and care for osteoporosis?

    Doctor Ray Strand says “Osteoporosis is an epidemic nutritional deficiency in the United States. More than 25 million Americans suffer with this disease at the cost to the economy of the U.S. of approximately 14 billion dollars each year. At least 1.2 million fractures occur each year in the United States as a direct result of osteoporosis. Spontaneous compression fractures of the vertebrae of the back cause tremendous pain and suffering for those with osteoporosis.
    The American diet, with its high intake of white breads, white flour, refined sugars, and fat, has been shown to be deficient in many of the essential nutrients needed for healthy bones”.

    I remember as a young child, being fascinated by hunched-over old people “looking for coins on the ground” – I later understood that their spines had deteriorated due to osteoporosis.

    We can prevent osteoporosis, but we need to start in our teenage years by getting optimal amounts of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D. Our bones are growing fast at that time and need the nutritional support to grow strong.

    At post-menopause we need to continue with adequate calcium in our diet, bearing in mind that we need sufficient magnesium and Vitamin D for the calcium to be utilised by our bodies, along with advanced-quality broad spectrum supplements (nutriceuticals) – antioxidants, multi-vitamins and multi-minerals. We also need to have adequate amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables. Exercise is crucial to the health of our bones – weight bearing exercises such as walking helps the lower legs but does little for the back and hips; upper body weight resistance exercises such as lifting weights over your head are critical. By taking care of ourselves we can prevent osteoporosis.

    Can osteoporosis be reversed without medications? Listen to this 74-year old woman’s experience.

    What can you do to reverse osteoporosis?

    Click here for a List of Alkaline Foods – The pH Balanced Diet.

    For comprehensive advice visit Better Bones.

    My nutritional doctor’s advice is:
    LIFESTYLE Walking, Vibration training, working with weights, and sunlight
    SUPPLEMENTS good multivitamin/mineral, calcium/magnesium combined with boron, silicon and manganese, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 fish oils

    I would suggest that if you have a blender/juicer that you make the Green Smoothie’s in the recipes you can download here, and drink one daily.

    Doing all that would provide you with the building blocks to getting healthy strong bones (and the other side-effects of a healthy body!!!)

    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 bone health, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    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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