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New research links higher B vitamin intakes to a decrease in symptoms of depression in older adults.

Low intakes of the B vitamins are thought to contribute to depression in some people, but until now there has been little supporting evidence from population-based studies of older adults.

In a recent study published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined whether certain dietary intakes of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid correlated with symptoms of depression.

The study group consisted of 3,503 adults aged 65 and older who were followed over an average of 7.2 years. Vitamin intakes from diet and supplements were assessed using food frequency questionnaires, and the presence of depression was measured periodically using a standardised version of the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale.

After 12 years of follow-up, higher B vitamin intakes (including supplementation) were associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms. The lowered risk remained after adjusting for age, sex, race, education, income, and anti-depressant medication use. The risk of developing depression symptoms decreased by 2 percent for every 10mg (milligram) increase in daily vitamin B6 intake.  The same effect was true for every 10µg (microgram) increase in vitamin B12 intake. Increased intakes of the B vitamins through food intake alone did not significantly reduce depression incidence.

Both vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are involved in healthy nervous system function, but because older adults often have difficulty absorbing the B12 found naturally in food, fortified foods and a multivitamin may be necessary to reach beneficial levels.

The results of this research indicate that high total intakes of vitamins B6 and B12 may be protective against depressive symptoms in older adults.

Source: Skarupski KA, et al. AJCN ePub ahead of print, doi:10.3945/ajcn.2010.29413. Retrieved online 2 June 2010.

It’s that time of year that we all look forward to so eagerly – a time for rejuvenation and re-energising, for new starts and to spring into action.  Spring is the perfect season to start reinstating a healthy lifestyle, after an indulgent winter.

Fresh air, fresh food and fresh starts are what we envisage when we talk about spring.  It is the perfect season for a brand new start.

On the flip side, it is also that time of year when you and your family are prone to sneezing, hay fever and allergies that prevent you from enjoying the outdoors.

Here are some tips to give you that extra boost to getting back into a healthy – nutrition, fitness and skincare regimen after the tendency to neglect ourselves in the cold, dark winter months.

1. For a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals opt for fresh vegetables. Now is the best time of year to shop at your local fresh produce market and buy fresh salads, spinach, and fruits.

2. Take some time out for jogging, swimming or even a relaxing walk. Take advantage of the brighter days and go to the park with your family or with a friend or two. This will definitely help you rejuvenate.

3. Watch out for the seasonal cold. You might believe that winter is the best season to catch a cold but during spring most people have a tendency to catch a cold or even flu. So avoid crowded places where viruses lurk, and maintain a good nutritional supplement regime.

4. Spring allergies arrive at the onset of spring. If you know that you are allergic to pollen it is best to use air filters indoors during these few weeks, and consult with a medical practitioner on appropriate preventative measures and medications, so that allergies do not overcome you.

5. As you will be spending more and more time outdoors don’t forget to use sunscreen to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Protect your nose, lips and ears as they tend to get burned a lot more easily.

Some important ingredients to help through spring…

Vitamin D: Studies have shown that people who wake up earlier are healthier than night owls who completely miss the morning light. Especially after our long winter with no light, it will do you good to take advantage of the early morning light and the vitamin D it gives.

Antioxidants: Antioxidants are important components found in food that help to regulate bodily activities such as digestion and breathing! Some of the better known antioxidants include beta-carotene in carrots and vitamin C in orange juice. There are over 5,000 antioxidant components, including other vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenols which can be found in good, antioxidant-rich spring food sources.

Grape Seed Extract: An ingredient that is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect human cells from oxidation. This is a good thing, because oxidation of cells can lead to cell damage, which can lead to the beginning of degenerative diseases. Antioxidants, because they stop or slow down the oxidation of cells, are known to have a broad range of health benefits.

Omega: Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are necessary for human health but the body can’ t make them – you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development.

It is important to have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 in the diet. It does also play a role in assisting protect the skin from damaging effects of the sun.

Probiotics: Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. They are also called “friendly bacteria” or “good bacteria.” Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements. By consuming foods with probiotics, you can increase the number of healthy bacteria, boost your immunity, and promote a healthy digestive system.

Review your current nutritional, fitness and skincare regimes and make some positive changes that will benefit you in the long-term.

Spring time is the best time to cleanse your system and start afresh.

References:
http://www.healblog.net/general/health-spring-tips/
http://www.examiner.com/x-7709-Seattle-Farmers-Market-Examiner~y2010m5d28-Food-101-Antioxidant-food-list-for-spring-in-Seattle-farmers-markets
http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/grape-seed-extract-contains-antioxidants-855464.html
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm
http://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/article.htm

New research shows that vitamin D supplementation can reverse normal age-associated bone loss in postmenopausal women, which can lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.

Until recently, it was unknown whether improving vitamin D status (without changing calcium intake) could have a positive effect on bone turnover.  New Zealand Researchers at Massey University recently measured the effect of vitamin D supplementation on markers associated with bone turnover in women known to be vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/mL).

Participants were South Asian women at least 20 years of age.  The women were categorized by age and menopausal status, and then randomized to receive either 4,000 IU of vitamin D or a placebo every day for 6 months.

In the women who received vitamin D supplements, average vitamin D blood levels increased from 8.4 ng/mL to 30 ng/mL.  Additionally, measured bone markers either stayed the same or decreased in postmenopausal women who received vitamin D supplements, indicating a potential reduction in bone turnover.  In postmenopausal women who received placebo, markers associated with bone turnover increased.  In younger, premenopausal women, no significant bone turnover change was reported for either placebo or supplementation group.

This research confirms that correcting vitamin D deficiencies in older women can suppress age-related increases in bone turnover, which also helps reduce bone resorption (the process by which bone breaks down and releases its minerals, resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone into the blood).

Source : von Hurst PR et al2010. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. EPub ahead of print, retrieved online 6 April 2010.

Pass  The ButterPlease.


This is  interesting .  .. .

Margarine  was originally manufactured  to fatten  turkeys.  When it killed  the turkeys, the people who had put  all  the money into the research wanted a payback so  they put their  heads together to figure  out what to do with this product to get   their money back.



It  was a white substance with no food appeal   so they added the yellow colouring and  sold it to people to use in place of butter.   How do you like it?   They have come  out  with some clever new flavourings….

DO   YOU KNOW.. The  difference between margarine and butter?

Read  on to the end…gets very interesting!

Both   have the same amount of  calories.

Butter   is slightly higher in saturated  fats at 8   grams; compared    to 5  grams for margarine.

Eating margarine can increase  heart  disease in  women by 53% over   eating the same amount of butter,  according to a recent  Harvard   Medical Study.

Eating butter increases  the absorption of many other  nutrients in   other foods.

Butter has  many nutritional  benefits where margarine has  a few  and only   because  they are  added!

Butter  tastes  much better than  margarine and it can enhance the flavours of   other foods.

Butter  has  been around for centuries where margarine has  been around for less  than 100  years .

And  now, for Margarine..

Very  High in Trans fatty  acids.

Triples  risk of coronary heart  disease …

Increases   total cholesterol and LDL (this  is the bad cholesterol) and  lowers HDL  cholesterol, (the good  cholesterol)

Increases   the risk of cancers up to five  times..

Lowers   quality of breast  milk.

Decreases immune  response.

Decreases   insulin response.

And   here’s the most disturbing fact…. HERE  IS THE PART THAT  IS  VERY  INTERESTING!

Margarine  is  but ONE  MOLECULE away   from being PLASTIC… and  shares 27 ingredients  with PAINT

These  facts alone were enough to have me avoiding  margarine for life  and anything else that  is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is   added,  changing the molecular  structure of the  substance).

You   can try this  yourself:

Purchase   a tub of margarine and leave it open in  your garage or shaded  area.  Within a  couple of days you will notice a couple of  things:
*   no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies  will go near it  (that should tell you  something)
*   it does not rot or smell differently  because it has no nutritional  value ;  nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weeny   microorganisms will not a find a home to  grow.  Why?   Because  it is  nearly plastic .   Would you melt your Tupperware and   spread that  on your toast?

Share   This With Your Friends…..(If you want to  butter them   up’)!

Chinese  Proverb:
When  someone shares something of value with you and  you benefit from it,  you have a   moral obligation to share it with   others.

Pass  the BUTTER PLEASE

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