What Does Vitamin D Actually Do?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble that is naturally present in certain foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight land on the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. The body producing vitamin D in response to sun exposure is why vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth through calcium absorption, promoting bone growth, protecting against diseases and conditions, and reducing inflammation.
Vitamin D and Depression
Research has connected a link between people with depression and vitamin D deficiency. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and spikes in colder months, known as seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not considered a separate condition, but a type of depression with a seasonal pattern. Weather affects people’s moods. Dull, cold, rainy days make us feel gloomy and unmotivated, while sunlight breaking through the clouds can lift our spirits and give us a little feeling of hope. In fact, the vitamin D receptors in our brain are in the same locations in the brain associated with depression (i.e. the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra)
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
Sunlight can be an individual’s primary source of vitamin D. During colder, darker months there is less access to the sun’s ultraviolet rays to trigger the vitamin d synthesis in the body.
There are actually very few foods that have high amounts of vitamin D. Without adding any of these foods into your diet there is a high chance that you are not getting proper amounts of vitamin D in your meals.
Older adults have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency because the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D declines with age.
Greater Amounts of Melanin
Greater amounts of the pigment melanin in the skin reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.
Obesity does not actually affect the body’s ability to produce vitamin D, but the higher levels of body mass and fat sequestered requires higher levels of vitamin D for the vitamin to work properly.
Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, conditions that affect fat absorption also affect the production of vitamin D. For example, conditions such as liver disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease all have a negative effect on vitamin D.
Signs of Deficiency:
Signs of Depression:
Reach out to a doctor if you are having signs of depression. If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide here are some support resources:
Solving Vitamin D DeficiencyTo treat your vitamin D deficiency the obvious answer is to increase your intake of vitamin D, but how? Ways to increase your intake are:
Helpful Tips for Combating Winter Blues
If the lack of sunlight and lack of vitamin D is affecting your mental health and causing symptoms of depression, the first (and best) thing to do is always talk to a doctor and seek professional help. Outside of that, here are some self-care tips during the colder months especially that can help combat the winter blues:
All in All:Vitamin D and depression have been linked through various studies, making vitamin D essential for not only your physical health but mental health as well. Getting the proper amounts of vitamin D can be hard, especially in the colder, darker months, but making efforts to include vitamin D in your diet or through supplements will help prevent a vitamin D deficiency. The winter blues can get the best of us, but if we take care of our bodies and our minds we can make it through the gloomy days and get back to the sunshine!
Remember to please seek professional advice or help if you are experiencing any symptoms of depression.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
We all know the feeling: waking up in the middle of the night with our sinuses congested, head pounding, and throat throbbing. Coming down with a nasty cold is definitely not an enjoyable experience, but it is something that we routinely have to deal with. Thankfully there are a plethora of over-the-counter remedies, as well as home remedies, that can help us beat a cold fast while keeping our immune system healthy along the way.
1. Hydrate or Die-drate
Besides rest, staying hydrated before and during a cold is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies. A fever draws moisture from our bodies, plus the over the counter medicine we take to combat our symptoms can easily dry us out as well. Although the exact amount varies for everyone. the recommendation is to drink roughly eight 250mL cups of water per day. This will help ensure that your body is receiving the amount of water it needs. Other drinks such as decaffeinated tea or juice can help with draining the mucus from your sinuses as well.
2. Rest Up
Often, the onset of a cold can be tied back to insufficient or improper sleep. Getting less than six hours of sleep on a nightly basis can have a severe impact on your immune system. Ignoring your body’s cries for sleep is something that we should avoid doing at all costs. That being said, “proper rest can boost your immune system to get you feeling better sooner. Sleep helps your body better fight infections that cause you to get sick, along with staying hydrated and taking medicine that helps with common cold symptoms.” Having a good sleep schedule gives your body more energy, control over your mood, and a profound boost to your productivity.
3. Take your vitamins and minerals
Essential vitamins and minerals can have a profound effect on how your body combats being sick. Immuno-beneficial vitamins such as vitamin C and B12 can work with your immune system in expelling toxins from the body. These can be taken in either oral supplements or through IV treatment, which has quickly become a reliable method to help treat the symptoms of oncoming illness.
4. Probiotic drinks
Though studies are limited, this method is thought to “modulate the immune system in healthy individuals and may help reduce symptoms related to respiratory infections.” The main ingredient in most probiotics --Lactobacillus—has been proven to lower the risk of developing cold symptoms by 12 percent and minimize sickness length from 8.6 to 6.2 days in adults. It is most beneficial for upper respiratory symptoms. You can find these drinks at any local grocery store, pharmacy, or superstore like Walmart or Target.
5. Try over the counter cold and flu medicine
Over the counter (OTC) medicine can be a very beneficial way to fight off cold symptoms. But like any pharmaceutical, there are also various side effects such as drowsiness and nausea that can accompany it. It is best to stay hydrated while taking these medications as they tend to dry out your body, much like a fever would do. This could leave you feeling worse than before, but as long as you stay hydrated, this feeling shouldn’t occur. Notable cold and flu medicines include Mucinex, Tylenol, and the Nyquil/Dayquil combo.
Beating a cold can be a painstaking ordeal, but it doesn’t have to. Getting over a cold starts before you even start showing symptoms. Staying hydrated and well-rested are easy, cost-effective ways to strengthen your body and immune system. Additionally, daily vitamin supplements and probiotic drinks have been shown to strengthen your immune system and limit the severity of cold symptoms. If worse comes to worst, try over the counter (OTC) cold and flu medicine to give that cold the final blow.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
While aging may not be the most pleasant experience, the memories, experiences, and life lessons we learn along the way are invaluable. But what if someone told you there are ways to stop, or at least limit, the symptoms of aging. With help from specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, we can help rewind our body’s biological clock by replenishing valuable nutrients that we lose with age. That being said, aging is inevitable, and symptoms are almost impossible to avoid altogether. If anything, utilizing this collection of nutrients can help improve quality of life and raise bodily optimization.
What happens when we age?
As we age, our body stops producing certain chemical compounds previously in excess when we were younger. Additionally, our telomeres shorten with age. Telomeres help protect the ends of our chromosomes from deteriorating. When our telomeres shorten, our body’s cells go through a negative transformation that drastically affects an individual’s health and lifespan.
Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased risk of disease and lower survival rates. Most of the symptoms related to aging are cognitive. Yes, our hair turns grey, and we start to get wrinkles, but the slow cognitive decline is the most reported and impactful result of aging. So let’s take a look at some supplements that can help reduce these effects.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric root and is used mostly in Asian dishes. Curcumin is rated highly for its powerful anti-aging effects due to its antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants are substances that help protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Additionally, this antioxidant protects our cells from cellular senescence. Cellular senescence occurs when cells stop dividing, and as we age, these cells accumulate, accelerating aging and the progression of age-related diseases.
You can easily increase your curcumin intake by incorporating turmeric in dishes or by taking curcumin supplements!
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is another antioxidant that is self-produced by your body. It is responsible for energy production and protecting cells from damage. As we age, our levels of CoQ10 begin to decline, and symptoms such as fatigue and brain fog become more and more apparent.
In 2015, researchers ran an experiment to test the effects of supplemented CoQ10 in 443 older adults. The study found that supplementing CoQ10 and selenium (an element that aids metabolism) over four years improved their overall quality of life, reduced hospital visits, and slowed the deterioration of mental performance.
Though CoQ10 shows the potential to be a powerful anti-aging supplement, there still needs to be more research and definitive evidence before it can be recommended as a natural way to prevent aging. Make sure to talk to a health care professional before trying it out.
3. Vitamin B12
Ah, yes, trusty vitamin B12. This keystone vitamin aids our body in numerous ways, like keeping our nerve and blood cells healthy. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.
Aside from its “inner body benefits,” such as added energy and cognitive clarity, B12 can also aid our bodies cosmetically. It can help improve our appearance by reducing skin redness, inflammation, and dryness. It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails become stronger.
Our bodies don’t produce B12 naturally, but we can obtain it through various foods like fish, eggs, and chicken. Different types of vegetables, such as mushrooms, are high in B12 as well. B12 is also available as a daily supplement and can be found at your local pharmacy or natural food store.
4. Vitamin D
Weakening immune systems are a sure sign of aging. At some point, catching a common cold will have a much more significant impact than it did when we were younger. Thankfully, a new UK research study has found that Vitamin D can have a positive effect on the immune system and help offset some age-related health issues.
It is also widely accepted throughout the scientific community that vitamin D compounds protect the skin against the hazardous effects of many skin aging-inducing agents, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
You absorb vitamin D naturally through the sun’s rays, but vitamin D supplements are widely accessible at any pharmacy or vitamin shop if you want an extra boost.
5. NAD+ Treatment
And last, but certainly not least, NAD+ treatment. Yes, we know this isn’t a vitamin or antioxidant, but its potential is something we cannot overlook. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD+, is one of the most potent anti-aging molecules you can put into your body. In short, NAD+ keeps your cells “young” and helps to rewind your biological clock.
NAD+ treatment is relatively new on the scene. As of right now, the FDA has only given the green light for oral NAD+ supplements. However, injecting NAD+ intravenously is a very efficient way to receive the nutrient, as it allows for almost 100% bioavailability.
NAD+ treatment can last anywhere from two to six hours and has been reported by some as being quite uncomfortable. Some patients have reported nausea, chest tightness, and lightheadedness. Fortunately, these symptoms are short-lived and pretty much counteracted by the treatment’s lasting impact on energy levels, mental clarity, and overall sense of rekindled youth.
Aging is inevitable, we all know that. As we age our body slowly stops performing at maximum efficiency and there is no way around that. These supplements and treatments are in no way the “end all be all” for aging symptoms, but what they do provide is a higher quality of life and, at the very least, help to manage current and future symptoms of aging.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
Binge-watching the news lately? If so, you probably have heard the coronavirus attacks the immune system. The people who are most at risk are immunocompromised. The immune system is an essential bodily function that needs to be taken care of. It is the body's primary defense mechanism against foreign organisms such as viruses and bacteria. If you're looking for other ways to boost your immune system besides getting enough sleep and staying hydrated, maybe it's time to try some vitamins! Take a look below for the best vitamins to help enhance your immune system:
Vitamin A is integral to the development of the immune system, as well as boosting it. It also regulates cellular immune responses. This vitamin also has an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system.
Specifically, Vitamin B6, as it is vital to support your immune system by producing antibodies to help fight viruses and infections. Not only that, but this vitamin can support brain health by improving cognitive function. So yeah, treat yourself to ordering that salmon tonight, cause it's packed with this vitamin!
You knew this was coming, right? Obviously, we had to include this vitamin C, as it is a powerhouse when it comes to boosting your immune system! Out of all of the vitamins listed here, this is the one that you should've started taking, like yesterday. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the production of white blood cells, which can help you fight off bacteria and viruses. It can also help produce antibodies, which can help fight against invading pathogens by binding themselves to foreign microbes, which helps neutralize them.
A deficiency in vitamin D can increase your susceptibility to infection and is linked to causing autoimmune diseases. Since we know you don't want that (especially in this pandemic), it's recommended to drink milk and get some sunshine. But when you go outside, make sure you use a facemask and stay 6 feet away from everyone else! #socialdistancing
What a surprise, another antioxidant! Immune cells have higher concentrations of vitamin E, all the more reason to use it to boost your immune system! A deficiency in this vitamin will cause a decrease in cellular immunity. It helps the formation of red blood cells, which can improve blood circulation as well. Think about buying foods rich in vitamin E like spinach, sunflower seeds, broccoli, and kiwi.
Iron, which is found in hemoglobin, is a vital substance, and about 70% of it can be found in red blood cells. Red blood cells help transfer oxygen from your lungs throughout your body, including your immune system. Without this essential function, you're going to start to feel tired and fatigued. This exhaustion will affect your immune system's ability to fight off infections.
Selenium helps you lower the oxidative stress in your body, which can boost your immune system. A deficiency in this vitamin can harm your immune cell function and weaken the immune system's response to potential threats such as bacteria and viruses.
Zinc is vital when it comes to your immune system because it keeps everything in balance. It can decrease the rate of infection by slowing down your immune system's response. This helps control inflammation that can be deadly in your immune system. You can find Zinc in a bunch of foods such as oysters, yogurt, and chickpeas.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live