(NaturalNews) The array of undiscovered health benefits afforded by high vitamin D intake is vast thanks to several new studies linking deficiency in this important hormone to diabetes.
One study published in the journal Diabetes Care explains that a simple 25 nanomole per liter (nmol/L), or 10 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), increase in blood levels of vitamin D results in a roughly 24 percent reduction in diabetes risk, while another study similarly reveals a correlation between high blood levels of vitamin D and reduced risk of diabetes.
Dr. Ken Sikaris and his colleague Zhong Lu, both of which are pathologists at Melbourne Pathology in Australia, tested the blood levels of 5,200 participants as part of their research. After accounting for more than ten outside risk factors that may affect outcomes, the duo found that participants with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had a significantly reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes compared to those with the lowest levels.
“It’s hard to underestimate how important this could be,” said Dr. Sikaris concerning the findings, inferring that vitamin D is an essential weapon in the fight against diabetes.
In a related study, physician Anastassios Pittas from Tufts University evaluated 2,039 people with high blood sugar levels as part of her three year study, and found that every 12.5 nmol/L (5 ng/mL) increase in vitamin D levels resulted in an eight percent decreased risk of developing diabetes.
Participants with the highest third of vitamin D levels, above 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL), were also 38 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those in the lowest third, which averaged 32 nmol/L (13 ng/mL).
“There are indications that vitamin D is of importance in glucose metabolism, and that supplementation with vitamin D may increase both insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity,” writes a report at ClinicalTrials.gov in response to this and other vitamin D research.
The Vitamin D Council maintains that healthy blood levels of vitamin D fall between 125 – 200 nmol/L (50 – 80 ng/mL), which can be achieved through regular sunlight exposure and supplementation with vitamin D3. To learn more, visit:
(NaturalNews) If you spend a lot of time in the sun, and are looking for a way to help naturally protect your skin from potential damage caused by sun exposure, new research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry just might have your answer. Scientists from the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Spanish National Research Council have found that flavonoids in grapes help to protect against skin cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, the sun is not evil, and the ultraviolet (UV) rays it emits are actually beneficial because they induce the natural production of vitamin D in the body. But too much sun exposure can obviously lead to damaging sunburn in some people, which may eventually cause melanoma and other forms of skin cancers.
But according to the study, antioxidants found in grapes apparently help prevent skin cells from being damaged or killed by excess sun exposure, effectively limiting its potentially harmful effects. Skin creams made with grape flavonoids, in effect, just might be the natural alternative to conventional sunscreens, as they could protect the skin against harm while also allowing the sun’s UV rays to penetrate skin and produce vitamin D.
“This study supports the idea of using these products to protect the skin from cell damage and death caused by solar radiation, as well as increasing our understanding of the mechanism by which they act,” said Marta Cascante, a biochemist from UB and lead author of the study.
The team did not indicate whether consuming grapes, wine, or other grape products provides the same benefits as topical applications appear to do. Many Mediterranean countries, however, where people spend a lot of time in the sun — but that consume lots of grape products and also have low rates of skin cancer — may itself be a testament to the power of grapes, among other things, in protecting the body against skin damage.
(NaturalNews) To hear many people in the mainstream media as well as mainstream medicine describe it, dementia is something similar to a curse: you will get it or you won’t, so all you can do as you get older is just wait and see. Fortunately, evidence is mounting that shows this simply isn’t so, and healthy and natural lifestyle choices can protect the brain and may prevent various forms of memory and identity robbing dementia.
For example, as NaturalNews previously reported, scientist William B. Grant, PhD, of the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center (SUNARC), is researching a link between a lack of vitamin D and Alzheimer’s disease and other vascular dementias (http://www.naturalnews.com/026392_V…). And now comes word from two new studies that restful sleep and exercise may also play a huge role in preventing cognitive decline.
In a study just published in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association), Kristine Yaffe, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and her research team investigated the association between the very common problem of sleep-disordered breathing and the development of mild cognitive impairment as well as dementia. Their study included 298 elderly women without dementia at the beginning of the study who had overnight sleep studies between January 2002 and April 2004. Those who had sleep-disordered breathing know as apnea (abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing) of 15 or more events per hour of sleep were far more likely to develop memory problems and/or dementia than women without this disorder.
“Given the high prevalence and significant morbidity associated with both sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive impairment in older populations, establishing whether a prospective association exists between sleep-disordered breathing and cognition is important. This is especially important because effective treatments for sleep-disordered breathing exist,” the researchers said in a media statement. Treatments for apnea include losing weight — obesity greatly increases the odds a person will have sleep-related breathing pauses — and the use of oxygen during sleep.
Another natural way to protect the brain could be as simple as regular exercise. According to a study recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience, moderate exercise may lead to a variety of changes in the brain that boost its ability to protect itself during aging — including protection from memory loss.
For their new research, scientists led by Ruth Barrientos, PhD, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, found running on an exercise wheel protected older rats from memory loss following an Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection. The exercise especially protected the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in learning and memory that typically is impacted by bacterial infection in aging animals.
“This is the first study to show that exercise reduces susceptibility to the cognitive impairments that follow infection in aging animals, and the changes taking place in the brain thought to underlie these impairments,” Barrientos said in a press statement.
Although this was an animal study, there’s certainly reason to think the results could apply to humans. In people, older adults are more likely than the young to suffer memory problems, including dementia, after severe bacterial infection or injury. Jonathan Godbout, PhD, an expert on aging at Ohio State University, who was unaffiliated with the study, said in the media statement: “This study provides exciting evidence that a little moderate exercise is protective against age-related problems with health and immunity.”
Big Pharma looks to capitalize on success of vitamin D by turning it into a ‘drug’ for kidney disease
(NaturalNews) With an incredible success rate for vitamin D in treating a myriad of health conditions, it is no wonder that some drug companies are looking for new ways to capitalize on this natural, inexpensive nutrient.
Biopharmaceutical giant Rockwell Medical recently announced that it has acquired a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for a generic, injectable form of vitamin D called Calcitriol, that it openly refers to as a “drug.”
Marketed under several brand names including Rocaltrol (Roche), Calcijex (Abbott), and Decostriol (Mibe, Jesalis), Calcitriol is really nothing more than vitamin D3, or 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, that has been placed in a syringe with sterile fluids and other additives. And yet Rockwell Medical, as well as various medical information sources, refer to Calicitriol as a “drug,” which is why Rockwell Medical obtained an ANDA in the first place.
Calcitriol is marketed as a treatment for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and is said to be a highly active, if not the most active, form of vitamin D in the body. Its high potency makes it very beneficial not only in the treatment of kidney disease, but also in the treatment and prevention of numerous other conditions including bone disease and cancer (http://naturalnews.com/vitamin_d.html).
And while it is great that vitamin D is being promoted as useful in the treatment of disease, the terms under which it is being promoted within the drug industry are disconcerting. Vitamin D is not a drug, and yet drug companies are treating it as such, and putting it through the same drug application process that they would any of their other synthetic drug offerings.
Based on current trends, it will likely not be long before Big Pharma attempts to patent and control numerous other forms of vitamin D as well as Calcitriol, which is why it is important to use and support only the supplement varieties of vitamin D, rather than “drug” varieties.
(NaturalNews) Another study has verified the outstanding health benefits of taking vitamin D and calcium, this one showing that the supplements can reduce a womans risk of developing skin cancer by as much as 50 percent.
“It looks like there is some promising evidence for vitamin D and calcium for prevention of melanoma in a high-risk group,” lead researcher Dr. Jean Tang, an assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine told USA Today.
The researchers said women most at risk for developing the cancer are those who have prior non-melanoma forms of skin cancer. That would include basal cell or squamous cell cancer, they said.
And while calcium and vitamin D have long been known to aid in the growth of bones, researchers increasingly are finding that they also affect other cells. For instance, prior studies have found that calcium and vitamin D can help lower incidences of prostate, colon, breast and other cancers.
Dr. Tang speculated that cancer cells may have been present in the skin of women who have had prior non-melanoma cancer but that taking “calcium and vitamin D… reduces the risk of developing and actual tumor.
She said taking as little as 400 IU (international units) of vitamin D every day could be preventative, though the U.S. Institute of Medicine currently recommends 600 IU daily.
And while she said she wasn’t sure which – the calcium or vitamin D – was most effective, the two seemed to work well in combination. It could be that calcium plays a role because it’s been shown to reduce the growth of tumors in patients with colon cancer.
This latest study is just more proof of vitamin D’s positive effects on overall health.
One recent study found that low vitamin D levels tend to be linked to more aggressive breast cancers, as well as a higher risk of recurrence.
“Many oncologists are already following vitamin D levels in their breast cancer patients and recommending supplements for low levels,” said Dr. Laurie Kirstein, a breast surgeon at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. “To link vitamin D levels to the aggressiveness of a particular type of breast cancer is an interesting finding.”
Besides cancers, vitamin D has also been found to help control and prevent depression, osteoporosis and can even have positive effects on obesity and diabetes.
As for vitamin D deficiency, that, too, has been an ongoing subject of study. A growing body of research has shown that deficiencies of this valuable supplement can lead to a variety of problems.
Low vitamin D levels, for instance, can affect newborns as well. A Dutch study has found that low vitamin D levels in newborns makes them six times more likely to develop RSV, or Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which is the primary cause of serious lung infections during a baby’s first months of life.
Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to childhood obesity, according to a University of Pittsburgh study that tracked 200 white, black, obese and non-obese patients from age eight through 18.
“The results showed strong associations between D vitamin deficiency and higher body mass index, higher fat levels, and lower levels of ‘good’ cholesterol,” a report on the study’s results said.
Convinced that adding vitamin D to your daily diet will help you stay healthier? You should be; a growing body of evidence substantiates it.