Category Archives: Vitamin D
Astaxanthin one of the most neuroprotective supplements yet discovered; fat-soluble carotenoids protect the nervous system, brain and eyes
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) Over the past several years, astaxanthin has earned a reputation as one of the most potent and powerful nutritional supplements ever made. I first began spreading the word about astaxanthin in 2004 when I toured the BioAstin production farm in Hawaii and published a series of articles and interviews about it (http://www.naturalnews.com/astaxanthin.html). Since then, astaxanthin has become increasingly famous, being promoted by other natural health websites and, more recently, a national infomercial campaign run by another company.
Briefly stated, astaxanthin is a fat-soluble antioxidant with neuroprotective support. It has been extensively studied in clinical trials, and its manufacturer is able to make several qualified health support statements under existing FDA regulations, including*:
• May help protect the brain from abnormal neurological function.
• May help reduce the proliferation of breast cancer tumor cells.
• May help reduce inflammation in joints and tissues.
• Helps support increased muscle recovery and stamina.
• May help protect the body from cellular damage associated with highly oxidative foods.
• May help prevent UV damage to the eyes.
• May help the skin resist UV damage from excessive sunlight exposure.
Astaxanthin is used by endurance athletes, professional fighters, exercise enthusiasts and others who seek a competitive edge.
The Health Ranger’s personal experience with astaxanthin
I have personally used astaxanthin since 2004. It was a crucial part of my dietary supplementation during my years in hand-to-hand combat training, where even at age 38 I was out-lasting the 19-year-old kids in class. These days, I spend more time working on the ranch with a chain saw or hauling bags of feed to the chickens, and I take astaxanthin every day along with a high-quality fish oil supplement from Living Fuel (www.LivingFuel.com). Because astaxanthin is fat soluble, it works better when you take it with a fish oil supplement. The combination is extremely powerful from a nutritional science point of view.
I credit astaxanthin with protecting my brain function, helping me stay mentally sharp and also keeping my physical endurance high. It’s not unusual for me to walk 4-5 miles a day, and I sometimes do that while fasting for 24 hours, as I’m into intermittent fasting. In fact, yesterday I fasted all day while I was clearing brush, removing barbed wire, chain-sawing some fallen trees, and doing other basic farm work. Most people would have considered it a day of “hard work” and couldn’t imagine doing it on an empty stomach. But I did it fasting all day long, drinking only Roobios tea in the morning and taking some astaxanthin and fish oils the night before.
The Health Ranger’s top 3 nutritional supplements
If you want to stay alive and healthy while helping prevent chronic degenerative health conditions, there are THREE powerful supplements that I consistently recommend:
#1 – Vitamin D3. This is the single most important nutrient you can buy and consume. It alone can help prevent cancer, boost brain function, help prevent diabetes, prevent osteoporosis, protect heart health, protect mood and brain function, and much more. Nearly everyone is chronically deficient in vitamin D3.
#2 – Astaxanthin. As described here, this is the “king of carotenoids.” Simply the most powerful antioxidant known to modern science. It’s what turns the flesh of salmon bright red (and is believed to help grant them their phenomenal endurance while swimming upstream). (See available sources, below.)
#3 – Fish oil or marine oil (rich in omega-3s). This is crucial. A high-quality fish oil supplement boosts mood and brain function, prevents heart disease, improves skin health, and can even help lower high blood pressure by making your blood flow more easily. Some good providers include Nordic Naturals and Carlson Labs.
If you were to take only these three supplements and nothing else, you would very likely experience a profound difference in your health. In fact, if we wanted to turn America into a nation of healthy, intelligent people with genius children and highly productive senior citizens, we would want to hand out vitamin D, astaxanthin and fish oil supplements to everybody. It could literally revolutionize the future of any nation!
Of course, other nutrients are important such as vitamin C, magnesium, zinc and so on, but it has long been my belief that these top three (vitamin D, astaxanthin, fish oil) deliver the most profound positive results that people really notice and feel.
In other words, if you have not yet tried taking these three supplements every day for 30 days, you will, I think, be amazed at the difference they make. In fact, I urge you to do so.
Recommended sources for these top three supplements
Best Vitamin D3 supplement: Solgar Viamin D3 10,000 IU. This is a high-dose vitamin D in a softgel. It’s not vegan, however. But I like the small size and the high dose of D. I usually take one of these each day unless I’m getting a lot of sunlight, in which case I may skip the supplement.
Best fish oil: LivingFuel Super Essentials Omega-3 from www.LivingFuel.com – It’s a bit pricey but I trust the quality, and it naturally contains some vitamin D by itself. I also like Carlson Labs as a source for fish oils. Beware of cheap “big box store” brands of fish oils, as they are often loaded with dangerous chemicals such as methylparabens. Read the ingredients labels to check…
Best astaxanthin: The new 12mg astaxanthin now offered through the NaturalNews marketplace (see below). A smaller, more affordable 4mg size is also available. 4mg is considered by many to be more than enough for a daily dose, but I take 12mg personally.
12mg astaxanthin now available
After producing the 4mg size of astaxanthin for over 10 years, the BioAstin company (Cyanotech) has now made a 12mg size available. This 300% increase in the dosage is in response to the community of athletes, exercise advocate and professional trainers, fitness gurus and even military soldiers who wanted a higher dose of astaxanthin in the same size capsule.
Here are the NaturalNews approved partners that offer astaxanthin. This is a real-time list showing current prices and availability. Note, our newest partner, the “Superfood Nutrition Alliance” is a new California-based non-profit that offers nutritional supplements at low prices, then directs a portion of its revenues to donate superfood to U.S. veterans and active duty soldiers.
Astaxanthin is a powerful carotenoid, one of my top three supplements of all time, and an incredible value that will not be repeated. Take advantage of this now while supplies last.
Note: This is not a vegan supplement. The capsule is made with gelatin. The oil carrier inside the capsule is safflower oil. It is a relatively small capsule compared to fish oil capsules.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) According to recent studies reported by the Body Ecology website, cortisol, the flight or fight hormone, can disrupt your body’s vitamin D3 uptake.
If cortisol is produced by chronic stress that can’t be acted upon by running or fighting for your life, the cortisol builds up in your body. This is the situation with many of us who try to suppress chronic low level stress and carry on with what many consider “normal” life.
Here’s another factor according to the report: Normally, cortisol production decreases from midnight to 4 a.m. Staying up past midnight creates an irregular cortisol production pattern that may result in increased cortisol in your body as it tries to compensate. That’s not good news for us night owls.
How does this happen? Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, and so is cortisol. Hormones need receptors in the body to perform their magic. The receptors for vitamin D3 are called simply vitamin D receptors (VDR).
So regardless of how much Vitamin D3 we take in, if it can’t find receptors, it just floats around in the blood with deceptively high D3 blood level counts. Cortisol is also a hormone. It is a prominent member of the glucocorticoid class of hormones, which diminish VDR capabilities.
Therefore, in addition to maintaining or increasing vitamin D3 intake, try to sleep regular hours and learn to stress less.
Here’s a vitamin D3 review to remind you of the benefits.
Sources, recommended amounts, and benefits of vitamin D3
You won’t get sufficient D3, technically a hormone precursor – not a vitamin, from foods. Sunlight and supplements are the keys. The sun’s UBV rays on exposed skin mixes with cholesterol, yes cholesterol, in your skin to start a series of metabolic biochemical changes that culminate in your liver and kidneys to produce D3 for those VDR receptors.
When you take natural animal or plant based supplements, you bypass the sunlight exposure phase that creates the vitamin D3 precursor. Instead, you get naturally derived precursors that go directly into the liver and kidneys for processing.
Your liver and kidneys take over to produce the hormonal activities and functions needed for a variety of situations. Do not use a prescription drug vitamin D or buy it off a shelf unless you are absolutely certain it’s a naturally based D3, not D2.
The best way to determine your vitamin D3 blood level is from a blood analysis known as the 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D test. If you don’t have access to a local lab or a trustworthy doctor, there is an organization that can work out home testing with you here.
Almost everyone is deficient with this hormone/vitamin. The negative effects are often sub-clinical. One factor is the low RDA (recommended daily amount) of supplements well under 1,000 IU (international units).
Another factor: The “medically acceptable” range of D3 blood levels, 20 to 30 nanograms per milliliters (ng/ml) of blood serum doesn’t cut it, according to the Vitamin D Council, Dr. Mercola and others.
They say optimum health protection occurs with a blood level of 50 to 70 ng/ml. Under 50 ng/ml is considered deficient. For treating cancer, they recommend 70 to 100 ng/ml.
Over 100 ng/ml can be toxic. However, tests have determined that supplementing up to 40,000 IU of D3 is safe for short periods of time.
The health benefits of D3 are numerous, from preventing or reversing Alzheimer’s (with curcumin), cancer, and minor flus and colds. It is an anti-inflammatory compound and immune system regulatorthat increases or decreases the immune system as needed.
By Jason Stevenson
Five years after telling a bunch of angry apes to keep their filthy paws off him, Charlton Heston starred in Soylent Green. In the film, a megacorporation solves a starving world’s need for nutritious food by turning the dead into dinner. This is complete science fiction, of course: Most of us are so short on key nutrients we couldn’t possibly be someone’s square meal.
In fact, studies show that 77 percent of men don’t take in enough magnesium, that many of us are deficient in vitamin D, and that the vitamin B12 in our diets may be undermined by a common heartburn medication. And we haven’t even mentioned our problems with potassium and iodine.
It’s time to play catch-up. Follow our advice, and a cannibal will never call you junk food.
This vitamin’s biggest claim to fame is its role in strengthening your skeleton. But vitamin D isn’t a one-trick nutrient: A study in Circulation found that people deficient in D were up to 80 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. The reason? D may reduce inflammation in your arteries.
The shortfall: Vitamin D is created in your body when the sun’s ultraviolet B rays penetrate your skin. Problem is, the vitamin D you stockpile during sunnier months is often depleted by winter, especially if you live in the northern half of the United States, where UVB rays are less intense from November through February. Case in point: When Boston University researchers measured the vitamin D status of young adults at the end of winter, 36 percent of them were found to be deficient.
Hit the mark: First, ask your doctor to test your blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. “You need to be above 30 nanograms per milliliter,” says Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Boston University. Come up short? Take 1,400 IU of vitamin D daily from a supplement and a multivitamin. That’s about seven times the recommended daily intake for men, but it takes that much to boost blood levels of D, says Dr. Holick.
This lightweight mineral is a tireless multitasker: It’s involved in more than 300 bodily processes. Plus, a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that low levels of magnesium may increase your blood levels of C-reactive protein, a key marker of heart disease.
The shortfall: Nutrition surveys reveal that men consume only about 80 percent of the recommended 400 milligrams (mg) of magnesium a day. “We’re just barely getting by,” says Dana King, M.D., a professor of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. “Without enough magnesium, every cell in your body has to struggle to generate energy.”
Hit the mark: Fortify your diet with more magnesium-rich foods, such as halibut and navy beans. Then hit the supplement aisle: Few men can reach 400 mg through diet alone, so Dr. King recommends ingesting some insurance in the form of a 250 mg supplement. One caveat: Scrutinize the ingredients list. You want a product that uses magnesium citrate, the form best absorbed by your body.
Consider B12 the guardian of your gray matter: In a British study, older people with the lowest levels of B12 lost brain volume at a faster rate over a span of 5 years than those with the highest levels.
The shortfall: Even though most men do consume the daily quota of 2.4 micrograms, the stats don’t tell the whole story. “We’re seeing an increase in B12 deficiencies due to interactions with medications,” says Katherine Tucker, Ph.D., director of a USDA program at Tufts University. The culprits: acid-blocking drugs, such as Prilosec, and the diabetes medication metformin.
Hit the mark: You’ll find B12 in lamb and salmon, but the most accessible source may be fortified cereals. That’s because the B12 in meat is bound to proteins, and your stomach must produce acid to release and absorb it. Eat a bowl of 100 percent B12-boosted cereal and milk every morning and you’ll be covered, even if you take the occasional acid-blocking med. However, if you pop Prilosec on a regular basis or are on metformin, talk to your doctor about tracking your B12 levels and possibly taking an additional supplement.
Without this essential mineral, your heart couldn’t beat, your muscles wouldn’t contract, and your brain couldn’t comprehend this sentence. Why? Potassium helps your cells use glucose for energy.
The shortfall: Despite potassium’s can’t-live-without-it importance, nutrition surveys indicate that young men consume just 60 percent to 70 percent of the recommended 4,700 mg a day. To make matters worse, most guys load up on sodium: High sodium can boost blood pressure, while normal potassium levels work to lower it, says Lydia A. L. Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.
Hit the mark: Half an avocado contains nearly 500 mg potassium, while one banana boasts roughly 400 mg. Not a fan of either fruit? Pick up some potatoes—a single large spud is packed with 1,600 mg.
Your thyroid gland requires iodine to produce the hormones T3 and T4, both of which help control how efficiently you burn calories. That means insufficient iodine may cause you to gain weight and feel fatigued.
The shortfall: Since iodized salt is an important source of the element, you might assume you’re swimming in the stuff. But when University of Texas at Arlington researchers tested 88 samples of table salt, they found that half contained less than the FDA-recommended amount of iodine. And you’re not making up the difference with all the salt hiding in processed foods—U.S. manufacturers aren’t required to use iodized salt. The result is that we’ve been sliding toward iodine deficiency since the 1970s.
Hit the mark: Sprinkling more salt on top of an already sodium-packed diet isn’t a great idea, but iodine can also be found in a nearly sodium-free source: milk. Animal feed is fortified with the element, meaning it travels from cows to your cereal bowl. Not a milk man? Eat at least one serving of eggs or yogurt a day; both are good sources of iodine.