At some point or another, you’ve probably heard about the importance of getting enough vitamin D. This nutrient helps us stay healthy at every age, supporting the body’s ability to absorb calcium and block parathyroid hormone release to support strong bones. Yet, outside of promoting bone strength, vitamin D could also help us combat potentially serious illnesses. Below are five health issues which have been linked to low vitamin D levels.
Unlike many of the other conditions on this list, schizophrenia is a condition which typically appears at a younger age. Symptoms such as social withdrawal, difficulty focusing, and hallucinations commonly develop between the ages of 16 and 30. Research shows people who are vitamin D deficient are twice as likely to be diagnosed, and specifically, individuals living in high latitudes and colder climates are at a higher risk for developing schizophrenia.
The risk for some forms of dementia, the condition in which cognitive function, behavior, and memory are compromised, is as much as two times higher in older adults with vitamin D deficiencies. Research shows that the greater the deficiency is, the higher the risk. While a direct cause-and-effect relationship has yet to be established, having vitamin D levels checked may still be a practice worth considering, especially in groups with a family history of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
3 Heart Disease
Low vitamin D blood levels have been linked to cardiovascular complications, including heart disease. Vitamin D is involved in cardiovascular function, and vitamin D receptors have been found in all cardiovascular cells and are even located in arterial walls. It’s suspected that insufficient levels of the nutrient are correlated with atherosclerosis, a build-up of fat in the artery walls which is a telltale characteristic of heart disease.
4 Erectile Dysfunction
Men with severe erectile dysfunction (ED) appear to have lower vitamin D levels than those with mild ED. While these findings were gathered through a small study, researchers theorize that the relationship between vitamin D and artery health (described in the point above) could be behind the trend. To produce and maintain an erection, there must be ample blood flow and properly functioning arteries.
5 Prostate Cancer
In a study published in 2014, researchers observed lower vitamin D levels in men who tested positive for prostate cancer, compared to their cancer-free peers. The trend was especially prevalent among African-American men. While the research didn’t suggest how vitamin D levels could lead to prostate cancer, the nutrient has been a suspected disease-fighting agent for quite some time and is said to also help reduce the risk of conditions such as multiple sclerosis and the flu virus.
While there’s still much to learn about vitamin D’s ability to defend against disease and promote better overall mental and physical health, these findings make a compelling case in the nutrient’s favor. Because the body can’t produce its own vitamin D without sunlight exposure or dietary factors, it’s important to make sure you’re taking in ample levels every day. Populations across the globe are suffering from low vitamin D, which could be attributed to dietary factors and increasing sun safety awareness. If you’re concerned about your levels, consider discussing supplementation options with your medical team.
In a world where prescription drug use and invasive treatments have become the norm, many individuals are looking towards supplements as a means of improving health and minimizing their risk for serious diseases. Patients are becoming their own advocates and empowering themselves by researching available options that have helped others achieve a better quality of life. One supplement which has gained the recent attention of patients and medical experts alike is C60. While you should always consult a physician before beginning any supplement regimen, explore how C60 could benefit you with the helpful guide below.
What is C60?
C60, or Carbon60, was discovered by a team of scientists in the 1980s. It is comprised of isolated atom clusters which, over the years, have shown to hold immense benefits – including the potential to extend organisms’ life spans. The discovery of this powerful cluster won the scientists the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999. Now, C60 is available in supplement form and is used to defeat toxic byproducts which contribute to tissue injuries in many diseases.
What Are the Benefits of C60?
The benefits of C60 are far-reaching, and due to the fact that its advantages are still being studied, it’s likely that this list is by no means exhaustive. With that said, we do know that the supplement is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, and aids in resistance to chemical toxicity. It also has an extremely high concentration of vitamin C.
Here are just a few of the ways in which C60 supplements can benefit individuals:
1 Extends Lifespan
In one animal study, results showed that the supplement extended the lifespan of mice by up to 14% – even when it was administered at the midpoint of their average lifespan. This could be a result of the supplement’s ability to prevent nerve cells from dying off, either from dehydration or amyloid-beta, the culprit behind Alzheimer’s.
2 Protects Against UV Damage
C60 has been shown to be effective in combatting UVA-induced skin damage, making it the perfect supplement to a daily sunblock regimen.
3 Fights Free Radicals
The supplement is an antioxidant, meaning that it attacks free radicals before they have the ability to cause damage throughout the body. We’re constantly exposed to free radicals in our environments, and these harmful agents are linked to everything from premature aging to serious diseases.
4 Kills Bacteria & Viruses
Group A Streptococcus – the bacteria behind infections like strep throat and certain skin conditions – has responded well to C60 in studies. The supplement aids in the production of white blood cells to fight off infection. Likewise, it has also been shown to attack certain viruses, such as mosquito iridescent virus.
5 Impedes Fat Cell Growth
The C60 found in squalene (shark oil) can control fat cell growth, and it also prevents insulin resistance in cells, a factor in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
6 Prevents Inflammation
One of the most powerful properties of C60 is its ability to fight inflammation. Studies specifically showcase its ability to treat inflammation in the lower back associated with disc degeneration, but it’s likely that its anti-inflammatory properties can benefit a large population of other patients as well.
7 Protects Nerves & Bones
C60 prevents nerve death resulting from overwork, which suggests that it could be a useful agent in promoting brain health. It also has the ability to prevent osteoarthritis by combatting stress-induced damage and breakdown of bones.
Are There Any Risks?
While rumors have circulated about C60 being linked to DNA damage, studies have not been able to confirm this, and instead suggest the corn oil present in some solutions is actually more dangerous than the C60 itself. Moreover, animal studies, rodents were administered doses of C60 far exceeding the amounts any physician would ever recommend for their patients, and certainly far greater than average daily doses of the supplement. Remarkably, however, there were no observable changes in body fat, protein, or many other molecules.
Based on the research indicated above, it’s clear that C60 can be used to support a broad range of wellness outcomes. For any patient seeking ways to control symptoms of chronic ailments or to simply promote longevity, the supplement could hold great promise. Keep in mind that, as with any supplement, C60 should be taken only as directed by your physician.
There are many factors contributing to a person’s risk for heart attack, including high blood pressure and cholesterol, smoking, and family history. Luckily, there are just as many ways to lower your risk as there are risk factors. Oftentimes, the first approach that comes to mind includes improving diet and establishing a healthy exercise routine. While these are indeed important for reducing heart attack risk and improving overall health, researchers are also finding minor lifestyle adjustments could also help you prevent cardiac events.
In particular, two recent Harvard-led clinical trials suggest eating more fish or taking a fish oil supplement can reduce the risk of heart attack. The findings were so impressive that one cardiologist even stated that a reduction in heart attacks so profound hasn’t been witnessed since aspirin therapy was first explored.
In the VITAL trial, study participants aged 50 and older who took 1 gram of fish oil daily had a 28% reduction in heart attack risk, observed over a five-year follow-up period. In the REDUCE-IT trial, participants took EPA, a pure form of omega-3 fatty acid. People taking the supplement had a 20% reduction in the risk of heart-related death, 31% reduction in heart attack risk, and a 28% reduction in stroke risk.
How Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Support Heart Health?
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish like salmon and sardines but can also be taken in supplement form. These nutrients are unsaturated fats which have been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation is the main offender in increasing heart attack risk, as it can damage blood vessels, contributing to heart disease and stroke. There are also other ways omega-3 can support cardiac health: they may decrease triglycerides, reduce blood pressure and clotting, and reduce irregular heartbeats.
While supplements are one way to take in these powerful fatty acids, experts agree that dietary measures should also be prioritized. One to two servings of omega-3 fatty fish each week is ideal. In addition to salmon and sardines, tuna, lake trout, and mackerel are also good choices. Most other types of seafood only contain small amounts of omega-3s.
As with any supplement, it’s important to talk with your doctor before beginning a daily regimen. Specifically, individuals on blood thinners may not be good candidates for fish oil supplements, as they too can produce a blood-thinning effect. With that said, based on the compelling research, it’s certainly worthwhile for adults over the age of 50 to discuss their candidacy for supplements with their doctors.
Experts have known for many years now that certain nutrients play an important role in preserving cognitive function. Brain-healthy foods like blueberries, nuts rich in omega-3 fats and seeds, and many types of vegetables have been hailed for their ability to support mental acuity. Now, sage extract is emerging as a serious contender in the fight against cognitive decline. Discover how this powerful supplement is improving brain health across various populations below.
The Decline of Acetylcholine
In both normal age-related cognitive dysfunction and dementia, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine declines. Neurotransmitters have a critically important role in brain function, as they allow brain cells to communicate with each other. Acetylcholine is among the most plentiful and important neurotransmitters, as it supports attention, memory, learning, and reasoning. It is also impacted most severely in Alzheimer’s disease. In trials conducted on patients with Alzheimer’s disease, treatments used specifically to boost acetylcholine were linked to a 20% lower mortality. Sage extract, it appears, is among the treatments which can support this essential neurotransmitter.
How Sage Helps
In recent studies, a proprietary sage extract with unique properties has been shown to boost cognitive performance and cerebral blood flow, in addition to improved longevity. It also protects acetylcholine by blocking an enzyme which depletes it. This distinct extract exhibits superior biological activity, has a chemical fingerprint unlike any other form of sage, and has been rigorously tested. In a study conducted in adults over the age of 64, the sage extract:
Improved memory performance by 60%, compared to placebo subjects
Led to attention scores 2.5x greater than those of placebo subjects
Improved brain function within a matter of hours
In a separate study, the extract also improved neuropsychiatric symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s: cognition scores improved by 26% in the group that was given the sage extract, whereas the placebo group’s scores declined by 22%. Interestingly, the powerful treatment even improved mood and cognition in younger individuals, showing results such as reduced anxiety and fatigue, extended memory and attention and boosted mood.
In addition to improving present cognitive function, sage is also believed to help combat future age-related impairment. This is because the extract supports neurotrophins, the proteins which support brain function by replenishing and repairing brain cells.
While some types of sage extracts are available for purchase, it’s important to remember that concentrated forms of any herb or supplement can have intensified effects and should therefore only be taken under the care of a physician. In the meantime, adding the herb to foods like poultry, sweet potatoes, and pork is an effective way to flavor your meals without adding extra calories, and it may deliver some brain-boosting benefits at the same time.
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