Getting enough of the nutrients we need is the most important component of getting well and staying healthy. If the foods in our diet are deficient, then we must turn to supplements to make up the difference.
But what do the ingredient labels mean? What are the correct amounts we should be taking? Do vitamins really expire?
Nature Made, a producer of vitamins, minerals and herbal products designed to promoted good health, answers your questions. (more…)
In the following medical research study, healthy participants were enrolled to examine the effects of vitamin D on insulin production and use in the body. This research shows that:
1) Vitamin D plays an important role in insulin sensitivity in the body, and deficiency of vitamin D hampers production of insulin hormone by beta cells in the pancreas.
2) People with vitamin D deficiency are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by lack of insulin sensitivity in body tissues and inadequate production of insulin hormone in the pancreas. (more…)
Potassium is a mineral that is easily absorbed by the digestive tract. This micronutrient is essential for life because of the vital functions it performs in our bodies. Normal nerve conduction, muscle contraction, fluid balance, acid-alkali balance, blood pressure regulation, digestion, protein production, and metabolism require the action of potassium. For example, in metabolism potassium is required for the movement of sugars, amino acids, and other molecules into cells.
Potassium is an electrolyte that takes part in electrical conduction and chemical reactions in opposition to the electrolyte, sodium. In bodily fluids, potassium is the major cation (positively charged ion), while sodium is the major anion (negatively charged ion).
About 98% of the body’s potassium is contained within muscle cells, while (more…)
In this study, researchers investigating the absorption of copper in untreated patients who had damage to their duodenum found anemia in 3 out of 10 of these patients that was due to copper deficiency. They gave all the study subjects a solution of copper to drink that was equal to a daily dose then tested their blood level. (more…)
Editor’s note: Promising research published January 8, 2007 shows that adequate levels of vitamin D in the elderly are important to maintain cognitive function or thinking skills that include use of language, awareness, social skills, math ability, memory, reasoning, judgment, intellect, learning, and imagination. This study is called a retrospective review because the researchers did not actually examine anyone. Instead they reviewed data from records of 32 older adults who had been examined for memory (more…)
Editor’s note: In this case report of infants with severe malabsorption from celiac disease, the treating physicians found copper deficiencies based on blood studies that showed severe low copper levels and white blood cell count. Treatment required copper supplementation in addition to the gluten-free diet. Normally, in the last few months of gestation, an infant stores a large amount of copper in their liver. This storage must last about 6 months because infants must derive their nourishment from copper-poor milk. This case report shows dramatically the terrible effect of malabsorption coupled with a naturally occurring huge demand for copper that could not be satisfied through digestion. (more…)
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. About 99% of this essential nutrient is contained in bones and teeth with the rest being in blood and other tissues. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth and for nerve conduction, muscle contraction, heart muscle function, blood pressure regulation, glycogen to glucose conversion, initiation of blood clotting, many hormone actions, many enzyme activities and making acetylcholine, an important chemical for nerve transmission. Calcium plays a part in the prevention of colon cancer.
Most importantly, calcium opposes phosphorus as a buffer to maintain the acid-alkaline balance of the blood and is critical for milk production in the nursing of infants.
Calcium absorption in the small intestine is complex and has specific requirements.(more…)
Riboflavin is a micronutrient, also known as Vitamin B2, which performs many important functions in the body. Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that releases energy from carbohydrates, amino acids, and lipids. It plays a key role in specific amino acid production and provides antioxidant protection. Riboflavin is essential for growth and production of red blood cells and maintaining healthy skin, eyes, hair, and nervous system.
More than 34% of Americans get less than the RDA because, unlike other vitamins, riboflavin is not found in many foods.
Riboflavin depletion and/or deficiency is common before starting the gluten-free diet treatment. It frequently results from malabsorption due to damage to the small intestinal lining, but can also be depleted by excretion through diarrhea, excessive sweating or excessive urination. It is important to note that riboflavin deficiency can result from low serum proteins, which is a common occurrence in untreated celiac disease.
When riboflavin deficiency appears after starting the gluten-free diet, it is usually due to (more…)
Copper usually receives little coverage, but this unpretentious nutrient deserves center stage. It is time for a serious role review.
Here are two reasons: First, deficiency of this trace mineral can debilitate and threaten our lives, and second, deficiency develops with increased frequency in those of us with celiac disease, unlike the general population.
Copper plays a critical role in the formation of a variety of proteins and enzymes involved in functions that keep us alive. Consequently, many disorders caused by copper deficiency stem from failure to adequately produce or release copper proteins and enzymes. (more…)
The mineral zinc is classified as an essential nutrient due to the vital functions it performs in our bodies. It is found in almost every cell of the body with highest concentrations in the liver, pancreas, kidney, bone, and muscle. High concentrations occur in the brain, middle ear, eye, prostate gland, sperm, skin, hair, and nails. This micronutrient is essential for the activity of approximately 100 enzymes. Enzymes promote biochemical reactions in the body.
Zinc supports a healthy immune system. It is needed for wound healing and DNA synthesis. It helps maintain our sense of taste and smell and is involved in energy metabolism, hemoglobin production, carbon dioxide transport, prostaglandin function, synthesis of collagen, protein synthesis, and vitamin A metabolism. Zinc is important for male fertility. It supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. (more…)