Tag Archives: Vitamin D

A, D, E, and K – The Fat Soluble Vitamins

FatSolubleVitaminsJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInfluenced by their molecular properties, the solubility of nutrients determines how well they will be absorbed by the body. Whether a vitamin is soluble (dissolvable) in water or in lipids influences where it can be utilized and whether any excess will be excreted or stored. Water-soluble B-complex vitamins and antioxidant vitamin C are quickly and easily utilized; any excess intake is eliminated so daily replenishment is required. Not surprisingly, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K require some dietary fat in order to be absorbed and metabolized. Excess intake of these nutrients is stored in the liver and the body’s fatty tissues until needed. Dietary fats are also required for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for numerous biological processes. Vitamins A, D and K cooperate synergistically, and also work in tandem with important essential minerals like magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Nutrient deficiencies are generally the result of dietary inadequacy, impaired absorption, increased requirement, or increased excretion. While a well-balanced diet containing a wide variety of nutrient dense whole foods can provide sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies are incredibly common. Unlike vitamins A, E and K that have multiple dietary sources, very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. As food sources are limited, a deficiency can occur when dietary intake is insufficient over a period of time. Since vitamin D is synthesized through skin exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, restricting sunlight exposure can also create a deficiency of this nutrient. Additionally, low serum levels of vitamin D can result from inadequate digestive absorption, or the inability of the liver and kidneys to complete the synthesis of vitamin D from ultraviolet light.

Vitamin A

Also known as retinol, antioxidant vitamin A is critical for the maintenance of normal vision, as well as the growth and specialization of virtually all bodily cells. Vitamin A has important roles in embryonic development, normal immune functions, red blood cell production and free radical scavenging. Naturally present in foods such as organ meats, salmon, dairy products and colorful fruits and vegetables, vitamin A is actually a group of nutritional organic compounds that include retinol, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene. Although it is best known for the ability to support eye health, vitamin A also helps to relieve inflammation and supports bone, immune, skin and tissue health.

Vitamin D

All vitamin D, whether obtained through sunlight exposure, diet or supplementation, is biologically inert. To become biologically active it and must go through conversion, first in the liver, then in the kidneys. As optimizing vitamin D levels is important to disease prevention and long term health maintenance, one must expose large amounts of skin to the proper amount of sunlight, or supplement with vitamin D3, a highly potent, quickly converted bioactive form. Actually considered a prohormone, vitamin D has the potential to provide numerous health benefits when adequate levels are maintained. Among its many functions are the facilitation of calcium, phosphate and magnesium absorption, cell growth modulation, and inflammation reduction, as well as immune and neuromuscular support. Vitamin D may play a role in protecting against certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, autoimmune diseases and depression. As many individuals either avoid sun exposure or block ultraviolet rays with sunscreen, supplementation with vitamin D3 may be a wise choice for those who with low serum levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Required for the proper function of many organs, enzymatic activities and neurological processes, antioxidant vitamin E fights free radicals, helps reduce inflammation, and works to balance hormones naturally. Found in seeds, nuts, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables, vitamin E helps boost immunity and supports blood vessel health. Although more studies are needed, vitamin E may support cardiovascular health by helping to prevent platelet clumping and plaque buildup in blood vessels. Through its ability to fight the inflammation and oxidation linked to numerous health conditions, vitamin E may aid in the prevention of cataracts, arthritis and some cancers.

Vitamin K

Well known for its crucial role in proper blood clotting, vitamin K is also essential for building strong bones and preventing heart disease. Of the three types of vitamin K, K1, K2 and K3, natural vitamin K2 is synthesized in the digestive tract and is the form most often recommended for supplementation. Viewed as an important nutritional intervention for improved bone density, vitamin K2 aids the deposit of calcium and other important minerals into the bone matrix. Additionally, published research has indicated that optimum intake of vitamin K plays an important role in longevity. By aiding calcium placement in the bones, vitamin K helps to keep calcium deposits out of arteries and blood vessels, thereby preventing  arterial calcification, or atherosclerosis, that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Primarily present in leafy vegetables, vitamin K can be found in fermented foods and animal products, such as meat and dairy.

It can be nutritionally challenging to get the macro- and micro-nutrients the body requires, particularly when one is elderly or dieting, or has illnesses, allergies, or dietary restrictions that require the elimination of entire food groups. The result of sub-optimal intake of nutrients is a sub-optimal state of health. RDA’s, known also as Daily Values (DV), are typically based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. With diet alone, the average American will fail to meet RDA’s for B vitamins, vitamin D, and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Even those who consciously eat a nutritious diet each day may fall alarmingly short of their RDA’s for maintaining optimal health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements in support of overall health and longevity:

Comprehensive...Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories: Micronutrient testing offers an accurate, scientifically proven method of assessing nutritional deficiencies. This test measures 35 nutritional components including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and metabolites, as well as amino and fatty acids. Test kit, shipping labels and complimentary post-test consultation with Registered Nurse included.

 

Vitamin A 10,000 IUVitamin A 10,000 IU by Pure Encapsulations®: Largely derived from Norwegian cod liver oil, this product supplies an optimum amount of vitamin A per serving in support of healthy bodily function and maintenance. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Vitamin D 5,000 IUVitamin D 5,000 IU by Douglas Laboratories®: One tablet supplies 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 in support of calcium absorption, bone metabolism, and optimal health. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, sugar, yeast and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Natural Vitamin E...Natural Vitamin E Complex with Mixed Tocopherols by Douglas Laboratories®: One softgel provides 400 IU of pure, natural alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols in support of free radical defense. Gluten and soy free formulation.

 

K2-7 plus D3K2-7 + D3 by Vital Nutrients: This synergistic formulation supports healthy serum calcium levels, healthy bone and calcium metabolism, and vascular elasticity. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, egg and sugar free formulation.

 

References:
Nutrients and Solubility. http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Vitamins/vitamins.html
Which Vitamins are Water Soluble and Fat Soluble. https://www.medicinenet.com/water_soluble_vitamins_vs_fat_soluble_vitamins/ask.htm
Vitamin D: A Hormone for All Seasons – How much is enough? Understanding the New Pressures. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240026/
The role of vitamin e in human health and some diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24790736

 

 

Fibromyalgia

FibromyalgiaJacquie Eubanks RN BSNInvisible to the eye, Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by symptoms of widespread muscle, tendon, ligament and body pain often accompanied by tenderness in specific areas of the body known as tender points. In many cases fibromyalgia may be initially misdiagnosed, as individuals generally experience a range of symptoms that can include joint stiffness, sleep disturbances, headaches, cognitive and memory issues, depression, irritable bowel, whole body fatigue and more. Lab tests are often used to rule out other possible co-existing conditions. Fibromyalgia can affect anyone. Yet, for unknown reasons most of those diagnosed with the disorder are adult women.

Although fibromyalgia may be attributed to a number of factors, exact causes remain a mystery. The disorder is frequently attributed to traumatic events that can be physical, emotional or medical, such as a motor vehicle accident, a traumatic life event, or an illness or infection. Hormonal disturbances linked to chronic stress, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may also be contributing factors. Genetic mutations are believed to play a role, as those with a family history of the syndrome are at greater risk for developing the condition.

Fibromyalgia is a life-altering centralized persistent pain state that varies in intensity from day to day. A multi-disciplinary team approach for the management and relief of symptoms is often recommended, as currently, underlying causes are not identified and addressed. As the body is designed to heal and health is the natural state, affected individuals must play an active role. Self-management strategies may help to reduce the frequency, duration and intensity of periodic flare-ups. Although fibromyalgia results in painful and uncomfortable symptoms, the condition is not life-threatening and doesn’t result in organ or muscle damage.

Like the management of other chronic conditions, healthy daily lifestyle habits can help with symptom relief, minimize the impact on one’s life, and lower the risk for other health problems. Conventional approaches include medication, exercise and physical therapy. A more balanced approach includes complementary and alternative therapies. Supplements, along with lifestyle changes and other treatments, have been shown to help lessen pain, increase energy and promote healthier sleep.

Pain relief: Take medications as prescribed. Over the counter pain relievers should only be used as needed for as short a time as possible. A long soak in the tub with added Epsom salts can help to reduce deep muscle pain and promote better sleep.

Stress reduction: Focus on recognizing and reducing signs of stress, such as shoulder tension and headaches. Restorative yoga and meditation may help to lower stress and reduce pain.

Physical activity: Due to pain and fatigue, many find it difficult to be physically active. Yet, research has shown that daily activity is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Develop a low-impact exercise routine to help reduce pain, increase energy, reduce stress and aid more restful sleep. Walking and water aerobics for a short period a few days a week are good starting points. As pain decreases and energy increases, one may gradually increase frequency and intensity.

Sleep management: Pain makes it difficult to get restful sleep, and lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms. Getting sufficient sleep can help to ease pain and fatigue. Establish a healthy bedtime routine and avoid afternoon naps, as well coffee, alcohol and stimulating exercise within three hours of bedtime.

Nutrition: A balanced healthy diet and proper nutrition supports energy production and good health, and reduces the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Although no specific diet for fibromyalgia has been identified certain dietary strategies, such as eating more plant foods, reducing animal foods, staying hydrated, and reducing sugar intake, support overall wellness. Fermented foods and foods rich in omega-3 fats and antioxidants can keep the digestive system on tract, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Alternative therapies: Massage therapy, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation may be helpful to relieve pain, reduce stress, improve function and promote natural healing.

Dietary supplements commonly used to treat fibromyalgia symptoms include:

D-ribose: D-ribose is a naturally occurring unique sugar used by all bodily cells to build energy. Well-tolerated in supplemental form, D-ribose has been shown to increase cellular energy synthesis in heart and skeletal tissue. A pilot study found that D-ribose significantly improved energy, sleep, mental clarity, pain intensity, and wellbeing in those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

SAMe: Naturally produced by the body, SAMe boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, which may help improve mood, and relieve pain, morning stiffness, and fatigue. Harvard Medical School researchers have found that SAMe is safe and effective for treating symptoms of mild depression.

5-HTP: This natural amino acid is used by the body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and behavior. Many individuals with fibromyalgia have low levels of serotonin. 5-HTP may have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, appetite, and pain sensation.

Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency is linked to fibromyalgia symptoms. Maintaining therapeutic blood levels of magnesium is associated with a lessening of symptoms of depression, tender point soreness, and fatigue.

Vitamin D: A review of published studies found that vitamin D levels may play a key role in the relationship between pain and sleep. Researchers theorize that vitamin D supplementation combined with good sleep hygiene could increase the effectiveness of pain management treatments in fibromyalgia and other pain related conditions.

Adaptogenic herbs: Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and rhodiola help to improve metabolic and cognitive function, and defend against the negative consequences of stress by inhibiting the release of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality formulations to address symptoms of fibromyalgia:

Corvalen Ribose...Corvalen® Ribose Chewable Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: These all-natural D-ribose chewable tablets are clinically proven to help restore energy, support cardiac function, and reduce muscle stiffness, soreness, and fatigue. D-ribose helps to reduce energy loss in times of stress, and accelerates muscle and tissue recovery after exercise. Gluten, soy, wheat, dairy and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

5-HTP 100 mg (5...5-HTP 100 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Clinically studied 5-HTP supports and encourages brain serotonin levels that can lead to positive effects on emotional wellbeing, appetite control, and wake/sleep cycles. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Malic Acid +...Malic Acid + Magnesium Tablets by Douglas Laboratories®: This formula blends malic acid, a naturally occurring organic acid, with magnesium, vitamin C and bioflavonoids. These synergistic ingredients may have a beneficial effect on fibromyalgia symptoms, as well as the healthy structure and function of the immune and skeletal systems. Gluten, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free.

Bio-D-Mulsion ForteBio-D-Mulsion Forte® by Biotics® Research: Designed to be helpful for those with absorption issues, this formula provides vitamin D3 in a highly bioavailable, micro-emulsified form for enhanced absorption and utilization. Gluten free.

 

Bio-Adaptogen UltraBio-Adaptogen™ Ultra by Nutra BioGenesis®: This professional ayurvedic blend of adaptogenic herbs provides nutritive support during times of stress, and supports healthy adrenal function, optimal energy levels, and overall wellbeing.

 

Magnesium (glycinate...Magnesium Glycinate by Pure Encapsulations®: Important for numerous bodily functions, this product supplies highly bioavailable magnesium chelate along with vitamin C. Less likely to cause bowel discomfort than other forms of magnesium, magnesium in glycinate form provides support for neuromuscular and cardiac function, mood balance, and the proper metabolism and utilization of essential nutrients. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/
What is Fibromyalgia? https://www.fmcpaware.org/aboutfibromyalgia.html
Fibromyalgia. https://familydoctor.org/condition/fibromyalgia/?adfree=true
Everything You Need to Know About Fibromyalgia. http://www.healthline.com/health/fibromyalgia#is-fibromyalgia-real1
Fibromyalgia: Symptoms, causes, and treatment. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147083.php
7 Natural Remedies for Fibromyalgia: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/fibromyalgia-natural-remedies#1
Magnesium and its Role in Fibromyalgia Treatment. http://www.fmaware.org/about-fibromyalgia/magnesium-fibromyalgia-treatment/
The use of D-ribose in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia: a pilot study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17109576
Vitamin D Supplements, Quality Sleep Could Help Relieve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Other Chronic Pain Conditions. https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2017/06/07/fibromyalgia-chronic-pain-may-be-relieved-by-vitamin-d-supplements-qual/

 

Sunshine, Sunscreen and Vitamin D

SunshineVitaminDJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The primary role of vitamin D is the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, however the health of the immune, brain, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, and muscular systems also depend on the support of vitamin D. As an aid to diabetes management, vitamin D helps to regulate insulin levels. It also influences genetic expression in cancer development, and may have protective effects against depression, insomnia, and other diseases or conditions. Studies show that up to 50% of adults and children worldwide may be deficient in vitamin D.

Causes of deficiency can include inadequate sun exposure, sunscreen use, seasonal sunlight shortages, skin tone, obesity, malabsorption, aging, decreased outdoor activity, certain pharmaceuticals, and residential location. Vitamin D insufficiency can lead to a loss of bone density, increased risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. Deficiency is tentatively linked to metabolic disease, hypertension, upper respiratory tract infections, and increased cardiac events.

Research suggests that It can take as little as 10 – 30 minutes of twice weekly unprotected midday sun exposure for the body to synthesize vitamin D3. This begins with skin exposure to solar ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, which allows provitamin D found in the skin to be converted into pre-vitamin D3. Gradually, after further conversion in the liver and the kidneys, a useable form of vitamin D3 circulates in the blood stream. Yet the sun’s rays are a major risk factor for nonmelanoma and malignant melanoma skin cancers, and cumulative solar UV rays result in photoaging of the skin.

Not everyone agrees that complete avoidance of sun exposure benefits overall health, as this results in low levels of this important nutrient. There are limited dietary sources of vitamin D, such as fatty fish, liver, and cod liver oil, as well as fortified foods. However, most dermatologists agree that the regular use of sunscreen is the best way to protect against the harms of unprotected sun exposure.

Health benefits of vitamins D may include:

-Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and regulation and the maintenance of blood levels of phosphorus, both extremely important for maintaining healthy bones.

-Inadequate levels of vitamin D can lead to muscle weakness and loss of optimal muscle function. Research shows that supplementation can be effective in preventing falls in adults over 65 years of age.

-Vitamin D is important for regulating cell growth and for cellular communication. Studies suggest that vitamin D may reduce cancer progression by slowing the development and growth of new blood vessels in cancerous tissues, increasing cancer cell death, and reducing cell proliferation.

-Vitamin D facilitates normal immune function and improves resistance against certain diseases. Mounting evidence links low levels of vitamin D to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, dementia, depression, increased blood pressure, muscle weakness, bone pain and breast, colon, prostate, ovarian and other cancers.

If you have concerns about sensible sun exposure or have a history of skin cancer, supplementation is the safest, most effective way to get the vital amounts of vitamin D your body needs for good health. Supplementation guidelines vary. In general, a therapeutic range for children one year and older is 600 – 1,000 IUs daily and adults 1,500 – 2,000 IUs. Your healthcare provider can recommend optimal amounts for you based upon your own personal health status, or your 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test levels.

Consider taking vitamin K2 along with vitamin D3, as these two nutrients work synergistically to strengthen your bones and improve your health. Because all chronic conditions are multifactorial, it’s important to obtain adequate levels of all nutrients to support optimal heath and function, and reduce the risk of developing chronic health conditions.

If you are pregnant, nursing or taking blood thinning medications, please consult your healthcare provider before supplementing with vitamins D3 and K2.

Professional Supplement Center carries many fine brands for vitamin D supplementation as well as high quality sunscreen products:

Single Tests in...Single Tests in Blood Spot Vitamin D 25-OH, Total by ZRT Laboratory: This spot blood test provides a simple, convenient and accurate way to measure levels of vitamins D2 and D3. The kit includes all necessary tools for collecting the blood sample, as well as a pre-paid U.S. shipping label to send the sample off to the lab for analysis. The kit includes a 15 minute in person or phone consult with our Registered Nurse to review your results.

Bio-D-Mulsion ForteBio-D-Mulsion Forte® by Biotics Research: One drop supplies 2000 IU of highly absorbable vitamin D3 in micro-emulsified form designed to be helpful for those with malabsorption issues. Gluten free.

 

Vitamin D3 1000 IUVitamin D3 1000 IU by Pure Encapsulations: One capsule provides 1000 IU of vitamin D3 in support of bone health and calcium absorption. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

D3 2000D3 2000™ by NuMedica: One daily softgel provides 2000 IU of natural bioidentical vitamin D3 as highly absorbable cholecalciferol. Gluten, wheat, soy, yeast, dairy and artificial ingredient free.

 

Vitamin D 5,000 IU ...Vitamin D 5000 IU by Douglas Laboratories: One tablet supplies 5000 IU of vitamin D3 in support of calcium absorption, bone metabolism, neuromuscular and immune health and a healthy inflammatory response. Gluten, wheat, soy, yeast, dairy and artificial ingredient free.

 

Liquid Vitamin D3 ...Liquid Vitamin D3 2000 IU by Protocol for Life Balance: One serving provides 2000 IU of natural vitamin D3 preserved with medium chain triglycerides. Gluten, wheat, and soy free.

 

Very Emollient...Very Emollient Sunscreen Pure Lavender SPF 45 by Alba Botanica®: This lightly scented, fast- absorbing sun lotion provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. Water resistant, paraben, phthalate, and oxybenzone free, vegetarian formulation.

 

Cool Sport Face &...Cool Sport™ Face & Neck SPF 30 Sunscreen by Kiss My Face: This fragrance free, water resistant broad spectrum sun lotion offers Antioxidant Defenders® to protect and freshen skin. Gluten, paraben, phthalate, and artificial ingredient free. Vegan friendly.

 

References:
Does Chronic Sunscreen Use Reduce Vitamin D Production to Insufficient Levels? http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/713721_2
6 things you should know about vitamin D. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/6-things-you-should-know-about-vitamin-d
Little Sunshine Mistakes that Can Give You Cancer Instead of Vitamin D. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/26/maximizing-vitamin-d-exposure.aspx
Getting Enough Vitamin D. http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/getting-enough-vitamin-d/
Skin Cancer Facts & Statistics. http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts#general
Sun Protection AND Vitamin D. http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/vitamin-d/damage
Sunscreen may cause vitamin D deficiency, says study. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317278.php