Vitamin D Deficiency: What Does It Do and What Should Your Levels Be?

Vitamin D Deficiency: What Does It Do and What Should Your Levels Be?

Vitamin D Deficiency: One of the most common health problems in the world today is vitamin D deficiency. Around 1 billion people worldwide and 40% of Americans are deficient in this important vitamin. A vitamin D deficiency is associated with multiple chronic conditions including the leading causes of mortality. Vitamin D deficiencies have been found to play a role in many conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and many other health conditions. Having optimal levels of vitamin D is critical for good overall health. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because the primary source of Vitamin D is exposure to the sun. When sun exposure is limited, it is important to obtain vitamin D from other sources. The best food sources of vitamin D are egg yolks, fatty fish, liver , and grass-fed cheese and butter. However, for many people, supplementation may be necessary to increase their levels of vitamin D to optimal levels. It is important to test your level of vitamin D regularly to ensure it is optimal and to prevent health issues associated with deficiencies. What is Vitamin D? Vitamin D is unique in that it functions as a prohormone ( 1 ). Prohormones are substances that the body converts to a hormone. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be produced by our bodies ( 2 ). While other vitamins must be taken in through diet or supplementation, our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must be activated by the body. Two hydroxylations are required for activation. The first occurs in the liver and converts vitamin D to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], or calcidiol. The second occurs primarily in […]

How Crochet and Knitting Heal Us

How Crochet and Knitting Heal Us

When I first did the research for my book Crochet Saved My Life , there seemed to be very few people talking about the health benefits of yarncrafting . I’m thrilled to see that in the half a dozen years since that time, a wide variety of industries are now discussing the issue. There has also been some great research into the topic. Cozy Hygge Look Book Two Research Studies into the General Benefits of Crochet In 2014, I conducted a survey of more than 8,000 crocheters to learn more about how they benefit from crafts. Some results of that study have been published online although the entire study has not yet been published. More recently, Australian researcher Pippa Burns from the University of Wollongong and her peer Rosemary van Der Meer completed a similar survey , of about the same number of people. Many of our results were strikingly similar, and they give insight into how the average person truly benefits from yarncrafting. The Australian study found that the major reasons people crochet are for: creativity relaxation sense of accomplishment The primary benefits of the craft were calmness (90%) happiness (82%) improved memory (74%) improved concentration (71%) The results of my own study were not so different; the top benefits cited were: creativity focused attention sense of purpose better self-esteem When I asked survey respondents to pick the number one healing benefit of the craft, 46% chose “calming, relaxing, stress-reduction” and another 34% said “creative outlet”. Blissful Moment Shawl free crochet pattern Crochet Helps with A Variety of Mental Health Issues My study looked more specifically at the ways in which crochet helped with specific ailments. 89% again said stress-relief / relaxation 59% said that crochet helped with anxiety 56% said that crochet helped with depression 27% said […]

If You’re Curious About Nootropics, It’s Time to Try This Clinically Proven Brain Booster

If You’re Curious About Nootropics, It’s Time to Try This Clinically Proven Brain Booster

Most of us use a psychoactive drug on a daily basis in order to maximize our mental alertness and wakefulness. That drug, of course, is caffeine . About 90 percent of Americans consume it in one form or another every single day, while at least 50 percent consume more than 300 milligrams. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Doctors and scientists aren’t sounding the alarms about a caffeine epidemic. That said, if we really want our brains work better, our first goal should be providing them with the best possible fuel, not merely pumping them full of stimulants. And when it comes to brain fuel, absolutely nothing beats TruBrain active nootropics . Created by UCLA-trained neuroscientists, TruBrain is a proprietary blend of nootropics specifically formulated to improve focus, enhance verbal fluency, and boost overall mental output . It’s designed to help you remember more and create faster. But what exactly are nootropics ? Though they are often referred to as “smart drugs,” nootropics are simply nutrients, minerals, amino acids, and other compounds that serve as fuel for neurotransmission. Taking a nootropics supplement will not increase your IQ, and any company that says otherwise is lying. However, what they can do is get your brain to function at maximum capacity. TruBrain When it comes to nootropics, nobody does it better than TruBrain . Here’s a complete breakdown of the active ingredients: Citocoline (250mg): a nootropic compound that the body turns into choline, a neurotransmitter that boosts learning and ability to focus. Uradine (500mg): a building block of RNA, which the brain uses to create and store memories. Centrophenoxine (250mg): a cholinergic compound that contains DMAE, a type of choline that reduces “age pigmentation,” or waste product build-up in the brain. Noopept (12mg): a synthetic molecule that increases blood flow to […]

Light and the circadian rhythm: The key to a good night’s sleep?

Light and the circadian rhythm: The key to a good night's sleep?

The cycle of sleep and wakefulness is one of the key human behaviours. We spend about a third of our lives asleep and cannot survive without it. When asleep, our brain memorises and processes information. Our body clears toxins and repairs itself, allowing us to function properly when awake. Even short-term sleep deprivation significantly affects our wellbeing. Most of us begin to fall apart after just one night without sleep and after three nights of missed sleep, we are functioning way below par. One study suggested that after 17-19 hours of staying awake , performance on cognitive tasks may be similar to having had too much to drink. These effects worsen over time. The longest documented period without sleep of just more than 11 days prompted serious cognitive and behavioural changes, problems with concentration and short term memory, paranoia and hallucinations. But while scientists have long understood the importance of getting enough sleep, the key part played by light exposure can sometimes be overlooked. Setting the body clock The reason light is so important is that it sets our circadian rhythm, or body clock, via specialised light sensors within the eye. Our eye detects the light and dark cycle within our environment and adjusts the body’s circadian rhythm so that the internal and external day coincide. This is so powerful that that people who have very severe eye damage can find their body clock is thrown off , leading to sleep problems. Without any access to light, the human body clock appears to drift, adding about half an hour on to its 24 hour cycle for each day of darkness. Jetlag is the most obvious example of the effect light can have. Exposure to light in the new time zone helps reset our body clock to local time, telling […]

Seventeen species of bees are EXTINCT in areas of the UK as climate change and pesticides damage their populations, WWF claims

Seventeen species of bees are EXTINCT in areas of the UK as climate change and pesticides damage their populations, WWF claims

Seventeen types of bees are now ‘extinct’ in parts of the East of England, considered one of the most diverse habitats for the pollinators in the UK. Climate change, habitat loss, pollution and disease have all been blamed for the losses. Species like the rare Great Yellow bumblebee and the Potter Flower been have been completely wiped out, last spotted in the region decades ago. A further 25 are under threat and 31 more are at-risk, a report from the WWF claims. Scroll down for video 17 pollinator bees are now considered ‘extinct’ from parts of East of England, one of the richest habitats for bees (stock image) 17 pollinator bees are now considered ‘extinct’ from parts of East of England, one of the richest habitats for bees (stock image) The report was published by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and the charity Buglife and called bees ‘essential’ to the UK, saying they are worth £690 million ($880m) per year to the economy. The study focused on the East of England made up of the areas of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk and analysed recorded data for 228 bee species. The East of England has nationally important bee populations including Moss carder bee, which is considered vulnerable in the region and the Other species found include the Redshanked carder bee and Shrill carder bee, Sea aster colletes and Margined colletes. The loss, fragmentation and degradation of their habitats, the use of pesticides and pollution were given as key reasons for the decline in these areas. According to the report, their loss have huge implications for farming and consumers – including how many apples are produced by farmers. Climate change, habitat loss, pollution and disease have all been blamed for the losses. The image shows a […]

Brain training app claims to improve concentration, but is it better than proper diet and an active lifestyle?

Brain training app claims to improve concentration, but is it better than proper diet and an active lifestyle?

( Natural News ) Cambridge researchers came up with a game app called “Decoder” that supposedly trains the brain of the player. They claimed that regularly playing the brain training game could improve the concentration of the user . They developed the app in response to the decreasing attention spans of young people. Increasing amounts of technologies require fast reactions to electronic messages and splitting one’s attention between multiple projects at the same time. In turn, this leads to diminished concentration, and the problem becomes worse thanks to stress stemming from a global environment and constant travel, which causes jet lag and poor sleep. The rise of smartphones has led to an increasing number of brain training apps. The developers of the programs claimed that they could improve concentration, memory, and other cognitive skills. Decoder is the latest in the increasingly long line of such game apps. Devised by a team from the University of Cambridge based on their existing research, this brain training app supposedly activates a frontal-parietal network in the brain, thereby improving the attention and concentration of the user. (Related: Study proves you can stop vital memory erosion through holistic “Loci memory training’ .) Cambridge-designed brain training app supposedly improves attention and concentration The Cambridge researchers held tests where participants played Decoder on electronic tablets. The results showed increases in the attention and concentration of the people playing the brain training app. Mother Nature’s micronutrient secret : Organic Broccoli Sprout Capsules now available, delivering 280mg of high-density nutrition, including the extraordinary "sulforaphane" and "glucosinolate" nutrients found only in cruciferous healing foods. Every lot laboratory tested. See availability here. In the experiment, participants split up into three separate groups. The first group was assigned to play the brain training game, the second one got Bingo as their […]

Is depression just a symptom of bad gut health? Study confirms link between gut and brain health

Is depression just a symptom of bad gut health? Study confirms link between gut and brain health

( Natural News ) One area of research that has been getting a lot of attention recently is the connection between gut and brain health. With mental health problems a growing concern, scientists have been trying to uncover some of their causes, and a new study out of Belgium shows that depression could well be a symptom of poor gut health . In the study, which was published in Nature Microbiology , the researchers looked at the fecal microbiome data of more than 1,000 people who were enrolled in the Flemish Gut Flora Project. They pooled this data with data on depression diagnoses in the hopes of exploring the link between gut bacteria, depression and quality of life. After looking at more than 500 bacteria that were isolated from the human gastrointestinal tract, they found that people suffering from depression had persistent low levels of two gut bacteria in particular, Dialister and Coprococcus. This was true even among those who took antidepressants. An independent cohort of more than 1,000 people who took part in the Dutch LifeLinesDEEP and clinically depressed patients was used to validate the results. It’s an exciting finding that could well lead to a probiotic-based treatment for depression – something that is sorely needed when you consider all the side effects that come with modern antidepressants. Many of the most widely used antidepressants today come with black box warnings because they raise the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Common side effects of antidepressants can include insomnia, constipation, nausea, blurred vision, weight gain, increased appetite, and sexual problems. It appears to be no coincidence that many mass shooting perpetrators happened to be using these medications at the time of their deadly rampages. Probiotics, on the other hand, are relatively safe for most people and can have […]

15 Brain Healthy Foods That Boost Its Function Naturally – #5 is Impressive!

15 Brain Healthy Foods That Boost Its Function Naturally – #5 is Impressive!

Did you know that adding certain foods to your diet can enhance your cognitive functions and enable your brain to stay healthy and active? The brain is an incredibly important organ in the human body. In fact, the brain acts as a control center – coordinating actions and reactions that happen – from thinking to feeling to remembering and everything in between. It’s responsible for keeping your lungs breathing and your heart beating. A brain-boosting diet is important to support both short and long-term brain function. Essentially, eating certain foods allows you to keep your brain healthy and operating at peak performance. Did you know the brain uses approximately 20% of the body’s calories? It needs a lot of fuel to maintain concentration throughout your day-to-day life. So how do you keep your brain healthy? What exactly is a brain-boosting diet and what does it consist of? We’ve compiled a list of 15 foods that keep your brain healthy and boost its function naturally. 1. Fatty Fish Fatty fish tops the list because they’re such a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids – an important factor when it comes to building brain and nerve cells. These fats are crucial for memory and learning. Consider adding more trout, salmon, and sardines to your diet. 2. Blueberries Blueberries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds that deliver surprising antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The antioxidants have been found to improve communication between brain cells while lessening the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. 3. Beets A very popular root vegetable, beetroot is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential for the entire body. It contains nitrates that boost blood flow to the brain and cancer-fighting antioxidants that help rid the blood of toxins. 4. Celery Celery is very nutrient dense — loaded with […]

DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: Can electric shocks to your brain give you the memory of a 20-year-old?

DR MICHAEL MOSLEY: Can electric shocks to your brain give you the memory of a 20-year-old?

Do you ever go upstairs to look for something, then realise you have no idea why you were going upstairs in the first place? Or what about putting rice on to cook, then leaving the room and only returning when you smell the burning? I find that as I get older I am increasingly doing these sorts of things. I’m not too worried. After all, about 40 per cent of people over the age of 60 have some form of age-related memory loss. It isn’t thought to be a condition or illness in itself, rather just natural wear and tear on the bits of the brain that connect to help us remember. But it is annoying. So I was intrigued to read the results of a recent study where it was discovered that if you zap the brain of someone in their 60s with short bursts of electricity, it can, at least for a short time, give them the memory ability of someone in their 20s. Buzzing: Christopher Lloyd as mad scientist Doc zapping his brain cells in cult movie Back To The Future Buzzing: Christopher Lloyd as mad scientist Doc zapping his brain cells in cult movie Back To The Future Could electric shocks really boost memory? The particular type of memory the researchers tested is something called working memory. This is the ability to hold several pieces of information in your mind at the same time, such as an address you have just read, while also trying to take down a telephone number. Working memory allows us to process information and be creative but it starts to decline in our early 30s, as sections of our brain gradually become out of sync and disconnect from each other. By the time we reach our 60s, these links may […]

Review of Life Essenz Essential Oils

Review of Life Essenz Essential Oils

Review of Life Essenz Essential Oils Essential Oil Benefits I often receive samples of essential oils from marketers and manufacturers, and you guys already know about L’orpur’s organic starter essential oil kit . Let me put it this way, I am very unforgiving and extremely strict when it comes to the quality of essential oils, and I am quick to give my unbiased reviews, whether the product in front of me comes from my own line, is being marketed by a friend or has been sent to me for an honest review. So, without meandering further let me tell you about an essential oil range that I received a few days back. The kit had 9 little bottles in all, which was cool because most sellers start with a modest range. But, then came the shocker! The same oil two and four times over! I admit; I did not pay a lot of attention to the labels at first except for the name of the oil in large font. And when all the bottles were out of the box, I had four lavenders, two peppermints and one each of myrrh, frankincense and lemongrass. At first, I thought it must have been a mistake. Then, I though it must be different types of lavender but a closer look revealed that I had 3 bottles of lavandula augustifolia and one of a cultivar called L. angustifolia maillette. The two bottles of peppermint were both of Mentha Piperita . ‘OK, I will bite, I murmured” and proceeded to open one bottle after another. And this is what I found! The difference in similarity! Before I tell you if Life Essenz is marketing the same product in 4 different bottles and under 4 different names, I know I will have to tell you […]