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Archive for February, 2015

I’m so pleased to see that GPs are now advising their patients to have Vitamin D tests – it’s about time! If there is one vitamin of vital need, this is it.

Vitamin D regulates gene expression, has a positive fundamental effect on cell differentiation and growth, with anti-oxidative and autoimmune anti-inflammatory mechanisms. It positively affects the nervous system by stimulating neurotrophic factors, quenching oxidative hyperactivity and regulating autoimmune responses.

It’s made by the action of UVB sunlight as it strikes the cholesterol covering our bare skin. Unfortunately with our habit of washing with soap, all the cholesterol is washed off, leaving none with which to make vitamin D. So no amount of sunshine will help when skin is washed with soap.

For some of the best information on vitamin D have a look at: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
Here is what Dr Cannell, of the Vitamin D Council said:

“During the last decade… ground-breaking laboratory studies have shown that the active hormone form of vitamin D interacts with receptors in more than 30 tissues and organs of the body and influences the action of some 1000 or more genes. By these means Vitamin D controls not only calcium homeostasis but another five physiological systems: the immune system, pancreas beta cells, heart and blood vessels, muscle development and strength, and brain development. In addition vitamin D has direct effects on cell activity. It facilitates cell differentiation and apoptosis, that is, it regulates cell death. Together with calcium it has a profound effect on cellular adhesion and initiation of cancer.”

30-50% of people have a Vitamin D deficiency, particularly those living in climates with little sun, living above 34 degrees north or south of the equator, work indoors, spend little time in the sun and have dark skin. The darker the skin the more sun exposure is required to obtain sufficient. The following list gives an indication of levels of vitamin D found in the blood. The test should be done for 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also called calcidiol:

Sufficient: 50-100ng/ml or 125-250 nmol/L
Hypovitaminosis: <30ng/ml or 75 nmol/L
Deficiency: <25ng/ml or 62 nmol/L

Vitamin D comes in three forms:

* Cholecalciferol or D3 which is formed in the skin, this also comes as a supplement to take.
* Calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is a prehormone made from cholecalciferol by the liver. When testing for vitamin D this, and only this, is what should be tested for.
* Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) is made from calcidiol principally by the kidneys, and is a most potent steroid hormone.

Finally a lack of vitamin D reduces the benefits of progesterone, of which, you may know, I’m a supporter.

If you have concerns, please consider having a test done. There is mounting evidence that many (74 at last count), if not all, of our modern diseases, syndromes, symptoms are possibly due to a lack of vitamin D.

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Having researched adrenal fatigue for some time now, there is some evidence that this vitamin plays an important part in restoring adrenal health.  Vitamin E absorbs and neutralizes the damaging free radical molecules inside the adrenal glands and elswhere in the body. Vitamin C enhances Vitamin E’s activity inside the cell by regenerating the capacity of vitamin E to isolate the free radicals. So these two vitamins can work hand-in-hand to keep the adrenal healthy.

It does seem, however, that choosing the right Vitamin E supplement is very important. Vitamin E is a ‘tocopherol’. Most Vitamin E supplements sold in health food shops are in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol. This is only a fraction of the complete Vitamin E complex and the majority of companies promote this type of Vitamin E, making it the most available type of Vitamin E being sold.

The Vitamin E necessary for adrenal regeneration is a mixed tocopherols supplement, specifically one high in beta-tocopherols. Studies have shown that too much d-alpha-tocopherol can actually suppress the beta and other tocopherols necessary for adrenal rejuvenation. So taking a mixed tocopherols Vitamin E supplement is crucial to restoring adrenal health.

For more information on Adrenal Fatigue, I recommend: a wonderfully comprehensive book by Dr James L Wilson – ‘Adrenal Fatigue – The 21st Century Stress Syndrome’.

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For centuries, the communities in the tropical regions have used virgin coconut oil as a source of food, health and general well being. New research is verifying these traditional beliefs that the coconut palm has many health benefits and that organic virgin coconut oil has the potential to cure many of the ailments which have manifested in our bodies through the highly refined diet of modern society (ie cholesterol levels). In the past coconut oil has received bad press due to its saturated fat content, but research shows that not all saturated fats are the same and that coconut oil is unique in its structural makeup. Coconut oil is not the highest source of saturated medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) of any naturally occurring vegan food source. Further, around 50% of these MCTs are made up of lauric acid – the most important essential fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system.

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