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Does Vitamin B6 Boost Mental Health?

This article was written by By Hannah Seo and originally published in the NewYork Times

Here’s what we know about this essential vitamin’s effects on well-being.

Q: Does vitamin B6 boost mental health?

When it comes to the B vitamins, you’re probably most familiar with vitamin B12, which helps prevent anemia and maintain bone health, and B9 (folic acid), which is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.

But vitamin B6, in some ways, is “the forgotten vitamin,” said Dr. Reem Malouf, a neurologist at the University of Oxford who has studied B6’s effect on cognition. As with the other B vitamins, like B12 and B9, it is an essential nutrient, yet scientists don’t fully understand how it affects mental health, and it’s less well known than the others.

That doesn’t make it any less crucial for the body’s functioning, said Katherine Tucker, a nutritional epidemiologist at UMass Lowell. Vitamin B6 is involved in a number of chemical reactions that are important for nervous system and brain function, including the synthesis of proteins, amino acids and chemical messengers of the brain, as well as proper functioning of the immune system.

It’s also critical for pregnancy and postnatal care — helping to relieve morning sickness and necessary for fetal and infant brain development. And deficiencies in vitamin B6 have been linked with several neuropsychiatric conditions, including seizures, migraine, anxiety, depression and impaired memory.

What role does vitamin B6 play in mental health?

“Vitamin B6 affecting mental health is not a new concept,” said Jess Eastwood, a doctoral student in nutritional psychology at the University of Reading in Britain. In one study of nearly 500 university students published in July, for instance, Ms. Eastwood and her colleagues found that those who took high doses of vitamin B6 — 100 milligrams per day for about a month — reported feeling less anxious than those who took a placebo. Their findings also suggested that B6 might play a role in tamping down the increased brain activity that can occur with certain mood disorders....

Read on here https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/02/well/mind/vitamin-b6-benefits.html?

6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science

This excerpt from an original article published on healthline.com

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy. People have used it for centuries in cooking and medicine.

Many people claim it can relieve a wide range of health complaints, but you may wonder what the research says.

Apple cider vinegar has various healthful properties, including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects.

What’s more, evidence suggests it could possibly offer health benefits, such as:

aiding weight loss
reducing cholesterol
lowering blood sugar levels
improving the symptoms of diabetes
However, little research exists, and further studies are needed before it can be recommended as an alternative therapy.

This article looks at the evidence behind 6 possible health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

1. High in healthful substances
Apple cider vinegar is made via a two-step process (1Trusted Source).

First, the manufacturer exposes crushed apples to yeast, which ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol.

Next, adding bacteria further ferments the alcohol, turning it into acetic acid — the main active compound in vinegar.

Acetic acid gives vinegar its strong sour smell and flavor. Researchers believe this acid is responsible for apple cider vinegar’s health benefits. Cider vinegars are 5–6% acetic acid (2Trusted Source).

Organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar also contains a substance called mother, which consists of strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance.

Some people believe that the mother is responsible for most of its health benefits, although there are currently no studies to support this.

While apple cider vinegar does not contain many vitamins or minerals, it offers a small amount of potassium. Good quality brands also contain some amino acids and antioxidants....


Read on here https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-proven-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar

A combination of three simple treatments may reduce invasive cancer risk by 61% among adults aged 70+

A combination of three simple treatments may reduce invasive cancer risk by 61% among adults aged 70+

original publication:Posted on April 25, 2022 by Frontiers Science Communications

A combination of vitamin D, omega 3, and exercise may reduce invasive cancer risk by 61% among adults aged 70+, finds new study in Frontiers in Aging

A new study published in Frontiers in Aging found that a combination of high-dose vitamin D, omega-3s, and a simple home strength exercise program (SHEP) showed a cumulative reduction by 61% in cancer risk in healthy adults aged 70 or older. It is the first study to test the combined benefit of three affordable public health interventions for the prevention of invasive cancers. Following future studies, the results may impact the future of cancer prevention in older adults.

Cancer is considered a major age-related disease in Europe and the US. It is the second leading cause of mortality in older adults and the chances of getting most cancers increases with age.

Apart from preventative recommendations such as not smoking and sun protection, public health efforts that focus on cancer prevention are limited, according to Dr Heike Bischoff-Ferrari of the University Hospital Zurich: “Preventive efforts in middle-aged and older adults today are largely limited to screening and vaccination efforts.”...

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6 Super Foods Containing Natural Supplements

Supplements are a great way to boost the health when you are deficient in vitamins and minerals. However, they should never be used as a replacement for a healthy diet.

The vitamins and minerals found in food are in their natural form. Supplements on the other hand don’t tend to contain the same level of nutritious benefits as the real thing. So, it’s much better to get your daily dose through your diet where possible.

Here, you’ll discover the best foods to eat to avoid needing supplements.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A. They contain a lot of beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A once it is in the body. They are considered one of the healthiest types of vegetables you can eat, with even the skin being packed full of nutrients.

Adding sweet potatoes to your diet will help to boost your immune system, promote good gut health and enhance brain function.  

Dairy

If you want to avoid calcium deficiencies, it’s important to eat a lot of dairy. Think milk, cheese and yoghurt. These days, a lot of adults are calcium deficient because they avoid consuming higher-fat dairy products.

Provided you consume dairy products daily, you should get the right amount of calcium that the body needs....

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Supplements For Vegans

Going vegan can be a great health choice. However, it can also make it difficult to get the right level of nutrients. Our bodies are designed to take in vitamins and minerals from a wide variety of food sources. So, when you cut any of these food sources out, it’s going to leave a nutritional gap.

Here, you’ll discover some of the main supplements you may need if you are following a vegan diet.

Vitamin B12

Arguably the most important vitamin supplement vegans should take is vitamin B12. Studies have shown that vegans and vegetarians have the biggest risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. This can lead to anemia, infertility and nervous system damage.

In order to top up their levels, vegans are advised to consume foods with added B12. Supplements can also work well; just be sure to pay attention to the strength before trying them.

Omega 3s

Another thing that vegans are often lacking in is omega 3s. These essential fatty acids are required by the body to keep the brain and eyes healthy. They are largely found in foods such as oily fish, which is why vegans often don’t get enough.

You can try to boost your intake naturally by consuming flax seeds, soybeans and walnuts. However, supplements are usually required to keep levels adequate....

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When Medical Conditions Impose Supplements Intake

While vitamin and mineral supplements are often taken to generally improve the health, there are times when they are medically needed. Certain medical conditions can affect the way that vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the body. This can lead to a deficiency without adequate supplementation.

Here, we’ll look at some of the medical conditions that may require supplements. Just remember that before trying any supplement to aid a medical condition, it is important to seek advice from your doctor.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

One of the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies is iron. This condition leads to anemia, causing you to feel constantly fatigued. Those who are suffering from iron deficiency anemia are often prescribed with iron supplements.

Supplements help to replenish the red blood cells in the body. However, you’ll typically need prescribed iron tablets which are stronger than the supplements sold in stores.

Skin Conditions

If you suffer with various skin conditions, supplements can also prove useful. Dry skin for example, could be down to a lack of omega 3s in the diet. Omega 3 supplements are great for the skin, helping to keep it looking healthy and youthful.

Vitamin B5 can also work wonders for skin complaints. Your doctor will be able to assess your condition to see whether supplements would prove effective, or whether medication is the best course of treatment....

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Debunking The Myths About Supplements

When you’re researching into the different vitamin and mineral supplements, it won’t take long to come across a few common myths. Finding reliable information can be tricky, which can make it dangerous if you follow the wrong advice.

To ensure you don’t fall victim to incorrect advice, here we’ll look at some of the most common myths about vitamin and mineral supplements.

Everyone Needs to Take a Daily Multivitamin

There is a myth circulating that everyone needs to take a multivitamin to stay healthy. This isn’t true at all. In fact, some experts suggest taking multivitamins when you are fit and healthy can be more harmful.

The truth is, if you take too many vitamins and minerals, it can have a negative impact on your health. So, you should only take one if you aren’t getting enough nutrients from a balanced diet.

Supplements Are Safe because They Are Natural

Perhaps the most dangerous myth surrounding supplements is that they are fully safe because they are natural. While it’s true that when taken correctly, vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance your health, if you take them incorrectly, they can cause a range of health issues.

There is also the fact that not all supplements are made equal. As the industry isn’t well regulated, you could be buying something where you have no idea what ingredients are in it. This can obviously be dangerous to your health as you don’t know what you are taking. So, you need to be very careful about where you buy the supplements....

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Dangers Of Excess Vitamins And Supplement Intake

Topping up your vitamin and mineral levels may seem like a great idea. However, did you know it’s possible to consume too many of them? Like anything you have in excess, too many vitamins and minerals in the body can cause potentially serious complications.

Here, we’ll look at some vitamins and minerals that are dangerous to consume in excess.

Iron

People with excessive levels of iron can develop a range of unpleasant symptoms. It can cause blood in your stools, nausea, dizziness and diarrhea. In severe cases it can even lead to fluid build-up in the lungs, which can prove deadly if not treated quickly enough.

The amount of iron you need will depend upon your sex and age. Men over the age of 18 need 8.7mg iron each day. Women aged 19-50 need 14.8mg per day, while women over 50 need 8.7mg, the same as men.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A delivers a lot of benefits to the body. It can boost the immune system, improve the skin and lower the risk of cancers. However, when taken in excess it can cause a range of problems.

Just some of the effects of overdosing on vitamin A include liver damage, hair loss, bone pain, extreme headaches, dry skin and blurred vision. Men need approximately 900mcg each day, while women need 700mcg daily....

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Common Deficiencies In Vitamins And Minerals

With so many different vitamins and minerals required by the body, a balanced diet is key for ensuring you get a healthy supply. However, even with a strict diet, it’s still possible to become deficient in certain types of nutrients.

Here, you’ll discover some of the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies you need to be aware of.

Iron

Iron is found in every cell within the body, making it crucial for our health. However, it’s also one of the easiest minerals to be deficient in. It is particularly common in women who haven’t yet experienced the menopause, alongside pregnant women and young children.

When you have an iron deficiency, it can lead to anemia. This is where there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells in the body. As a result, you’ll feel constantly tired, have brittle nails and pale skin.

Vitamin D

As we get most of our vitamin D levels from natural sunlight, it’s easy to not get enough of a daily dose. Those who work indoors and spend very little time outdoors are most at risk of a deficiency.

It can be difficult to get a decent level of vitamin D from your diet alone, so supplements are often required for those who are deficient in the vitamin.

Iodine

The thyroid hormone is reliant upon iodine during its production. The hormone is crucial for regulating the heartbeat, calorie burn and skin turnover. Like vitamin D, the body isn’t able to create its own Iodine supply. Instead, it can only be consumed via foods or supplements.

Those who live in an area where the soil is iodine deficient are most likely to not get enough in their diet. These include river valleys and mountainous areas....

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What To Consider Before Taking Vitamins And Supplements

It is estimated that more than half of Americans take vitamin and mineral supplements. While vitamins and minerals are crucial for the body, supplements aren’t always as healthy as you may think they are.

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons of taking vitamin and mineral supplements. Here, we’ll look at some factors that you need to be aware of.

The Pros of Taking Supplements

Vitamin and mineral supplements can deliver a lot of benefits in the right circumstances. For those who are deficient in certain types of vitamins, alongside pregnant women, supplements can prove invaluable at boosting the health.

There are some types of minerals and vitamins that are more difficult to consume in healthy amounts naturally. Vitamin D is a great example as we get most of it from the sun’s rays. If you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun (say if you work from home, for example), you might not be getting the proper level of vitamin D that you need. So, taking a supplement would help to top up your levels, preventing you from developing a vitamin deficiency.

Supplements can also potentially help kids get the nutrients they need. A lot of children can be very fussy eaters. This can mean they simply don’t get the right level of nutrients they should. So, kids’ supplements can help parents ensure their children are getting a healthy dose of vitamins to aid their development.

These are some of the benefits you can experience when taking the right supplements....

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