Vitamin D Can Prevent COPD Symptoms from Getting Worse

Have you been feeling low lately?

Daytime fatigue?

Back pain?

Constant coughing?

Bone pain and loss?

When was the last time you worked on your tan? A little sun never hurts anyone and if you have been experiencing these symptoms, then you my friend are in dire need of some beach time!

So, what’s the cause behind these symptoms?

Lack of Vitamin D!

One of the most common problems caused by vitamin D deficiency is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s a lung disease that has two forms:

  1. Chronic Bronchitis: Long-term, constant coughing with mucus
  2. Emphysema: Slow deterioration of the lungs

People with COPD usually have both conditions.

Symptoms

  • Cough with mucus
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath, which worsens with activity
  • Depression
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Hair loss

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Fumes or gases in workplaces
  • Cooking in an area with insufficient ventilation
  • Exposure to secondhand air pollution and smoke

How Vitamin D Helps With Preventing COPD

We have already established that lack of vitamin D causes COPD, but what about bone loss? Well, vitamin D is quite essential for the absorption and distribution of calcium. When your body is low on vitamin D, less calcium is absorbed and your bones start to deteriorate. This is what causes osteoporosis and osteomalacia. Vitamin D also plays a huge role in the maintenance of the immune system. Without this, your body becomes vulnerable to common illnesses such as cold and the flu. Your body needs the vitamin to fight infections and destroy harmful cells that may cause further health problems.

Vitamin D has two vital roles, which are “boosting immune responses so that respiratory viruses don’t trigger COPD attacks and dampening inflammatory responses, which limits damage to your lung’s architecture.”

Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin.” The body manufactures this vitamin when it is exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through the following food items:

  • Salmon
  • Egg yolk
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Orange juice (fortified)
  • Cereal (fortified)
  • Milk (fortified)
  • Yogurt (fortified)

According to a study published in the journal of Annals of International Medicine, vitamin D can alleviate the symptoms on COPD.

182 patients having a history of COPD took part in the study, where the COPD symptoms ranged from moderate to severe.

The participants were divided into groups. Some were given 100,000 IU of vitamin D, and others a placebo. The supplementation was given every four weeks for one year. It was revealed that the exacerbation level varied from patient to patient. Patients who were on the moderate side of COPD experienced no changed in their symptoms, even with a high dose. However, patients with severe COPD saw a change in their symptoms.

The study concluded that vitamin D helps lower the severity of COPD in cases where the problem has progressed.

Based on this, we can safely assume that people with COPD need vitamin D supplements in high amounts. It’s time to have a look at your diet and come up with a new plan to give your body what it needs to stay healthy and whole.

Curcumin Helps Enhance Cardio Protective Effect

Curcumin has been used as a medicinal healing agent for more than 5,000 years. This compound is deeply rooted in Ayurveda and has been used in poultices even before it became a popular ingredient in supplements.

The orange-yellow pigment of turmeric comes from the compound curcumin. There are plenty of other compounds in turmeric but none as important as this one. Typically found in warmer regions such as Southeast Asia, China, and India, this compound is also used in foods, especially curries.

Curcumin offers plenty of health benefits such as reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, boosting immunity, cleansing the liver and more. However, one benefit that puts this compound in high regard is heart health. Let’s have a look at the cardioprotective effects of these benefits:

Prevents Inflammation

Atherosclerosis is a heart disease that prevents the blood vessels and arteries from carrying oxygen to the heart. As plaque builds up in the arteries, it hardens and narrows the passageway, which is what causes a stroke. The low supply of blood and oxygen can also cause a clot, which leads to a heart attack. Since the connection is quite intricate, anything can happen.

Chronic inflammation causes pathogens, such as bacteria, to take over the body. When the nutrients you consume don’t reach the organs, bacteria prevents them from functioning properly. This is where curcumin comes in. According to a study published in the journal of Nature, atherosclerosis is responsible for most types of strokes. Inflammation plays a huge roll in malfunctioning inflammatory mediators. The study revealed that lipid-lowering therapies might be the answer to prevent blockage of arteries.

According to another study published in the Nutritional Journal, curcumin helps CVD patients in improving their serum lipid levels. The study concluded that curcumin has the potential to replace conventional CVD drugs.

Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is the number one cause of deaths in the world. A study published in the International Journal of Cardiology revealed that curcumin has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, cardiovascular protective and anti-thrombotic effects. The results revealed that all these effects offer numerous benefits such as easing cardio-toxicity, preventing diabetic cardiovascular problems, decreasing serum cholesterol level and preventing atrial arrhythmias.

Another study published in the American Journal of Cardiology reported that curcumin can help lower the risk of a heart attack in a short time. The study involved 121 people who were about to have a coronary artery bypass surgery. Some of the people were given 4 grams curcumin and others a placebo for a few days before their surgery. The results revealed that the risk of a heart attack had decreased by 65% in the curcumin group.

These studies show that curcumin is the ultimate compound that offers cardioprotective effects. So, better stock up your pantry with turmeric and try out new recipes with it or if you are looking for an easy option then go for the supplements.

Kaempferia Parviflora (Black Ginger Root) Helps Manage Erectile Dysfunction

Kaempferia parviflora is black ginger extract that is known to help with erectile dysfunction. It belongs to the ginger family and hails from tropical Asia. It has strong aphrodisiac properties, which makes it a great Viagra substitute. Age-related erectile dysfunction is a well-known phenomenon worldwide. Kaempferia parviflora is referred to as Thai Viagra. The extract contains PDE5 inhibitors that act as Viagra, without any side effects.

It’s primarily used as a testosterone booster in men, but it also helps women increase their libido. Sexual frustration can lead to mood swings and depression. Men are not that forthcoming with such problem, which is why they find it difficult to seek medical advice. Using Viagra on a daily basis has mild to severe side effects, which most people are unaware of. Kaempferia parviflora presents a safer alternative, which makes it a better option.

Efficacy Assessment of Kaempferia Parviflora for the Management of Erectile Dysfunction

According to a study published in the journal of Biological Sciences, kaempferia parviflora does more than just improving erectile dysfunction. In order to find out how its extract helps with male libido, a study was conducted. 45 healthy elderly males volunteered for the study. They were divided into three groups: the first group received 25 mg of KP extract, the second group received 90 mg of KP extract, and the third group received a placebo. The doses were given daily for 2 months.

To measure the level of erectile dysfunction, a few tests were done to find out erection response latency from visual erotic stimuli and the length and size of the penis in erected and flaccid state. To investigate the underlying mechanism of erectile dysfunction, testosterone levels and concentrations were also recorded.

The results showed that the first group, which received the 90 mg dose, excelled in all parameters. The most promising results were seen in the penile length during the erection state. While the results were up to their expectations, one area where they saw no change was in the hormones concentration.

This concludes that not only is KP good for treating erectile dysfunction but also in enhancing penile length. To determine how fast KP shows its effects, data was taken after a single day, again after 1 month and then after two months. Data at single administration of treatment did not show differences between KP treated men and placebo treated men. This proves that low dose of KP does not affect erectile function in older but healthy men.

Another thing noted was lack of side effects. KP proved to be beneficial in other areas too such as blood circulation, relief from edema, inflammation and obesity. The good news is that you can get KP in various forms such as food, drinks, supplements and beauty products. There are even candies and chewing gums that contain black ginger extract. You no longer need to advertise your personal problems. If you are feeling shy and don’t want to buy KP supplements, then just grab a couple of candies and you will be good to go all night long.

Omega-3 Intake Lowers Risk of Mortality Including Multiple Sclerosis

All you need to know is that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your health. They play an important role in your diet and offer many powerful health benefits for your brain and body. Covering just the basics, there are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: α-linolenic acid (ALA), which are found in plant oils, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which are found in marine oils.

Common sources of ALA include edible seeds, walnut, flaxseed oil, hemp oil, and Clary sage seed oil, while you can get DHA and EPA from fish, squid oil, and eggs from chickens that were fed DHA and EPA.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the diseases that have taken the center spot for causing the most deaths in the world and in the US are heart disease (stroke, heart attacks, and coronary artery disease) and cancer. CDC’s 2017 fact stats on Leading Causes of Death report that, on an average, around 635,260 people die from heart disease and 598,038 from cancer. A few other diseases on the list are lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus (autoimmune disease), Alzheimer’s, tuberculosis, and cirrhosis.

A Fish a Day, Keeps the Cardiologist Away

Decades ago, it was discovered that communities who ate fish on a regular basis had a lower risk of getting strokes or heart attacks. This led to the conclusion that omega-3 consumption has numerous heart health benefits. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, omega-3 fatty acids break down fat in the form of triglycerides, which accelerates metabolism, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces liver fat, and lowers the production of substances and molecules that cause inflammation.

A study published in the Journal of American Heart Association found out that DPA reduces the risk of ischemic stroke. 953 incident ischemic strokes were identified (408 atherothrombotic, 256 cardioembolic and 289 undetermined subtypes). After 11.2 years, a follow-up was done and it was found out that DHA was associated with a lower risk of atherothrombotic stroke and DPA and a reduced risk of cardioembolic stroke.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fight Autoimmune Diseases

When your immune system starts attacking healthy cells, certain body parts start to shut down. A prime example is type-1 diabetes in which the immune system attacks your insulin-producing cells. As a result, your pancreas starts to fail. Another instance is when the cells in the brain are regulated by the immune system. So when the immune system is under attack, it affects the brain too.

According to a study published in the journal of Multiple Sclerosis, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis in adults and seniors. 267 cases of multiple sclerosis were targeted with 517 control subjects. Their dietary data was collected for 3 years.  

After 3 years, the participants were divided based on their omega-3 fatty acid intake, especially from fish. The results showed that people who ate fish had decreased risk of focal cortical dysplasia (FCD). It was concluded that food items having omega-3 fatty acids, especially fish, can decrease the risk of multiple sclerosis.

And this is why omega-3 fatty acids are important for your body. Why wait for tomorrow to get on the healthy path? Try including these omega-3 fatty acids in your diet from today: mackerel, salmon, herring, oysters, sardines, anchovies, caviar, flaxseeds, walnuts, and soybeans.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Boost Brain Power

When it comes to maintaining a well-balanced diet, we all like to eat foods that benefit us from head to toe. There are certain organs that we rely on to get by. Some of them are not that high up on the list, while some of them are extremely vital. Two organs that come under the latter category include your eyes and brain.

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Today, we are here to talk about zeaxanthin (Z) and lutein (L): two cartenoids that improve brain efficiency. They improve visual-spatial perception, processing, decision-making, and motor coordination… the complete brain package. So what role do they play in giving you these benefits?

Let’s find out:

Zeaxanthin and Lutein

Zeaxanthin is a cartenoid alcohol, which is synthesized in microorganisms and plants. It is what gives paprika its dark-red pigment, wolfberries, saffron, corn, as well as many other microbes and plants their characteristic colors. It is found in abundance in leafy greens and is quite beneficial for the eyes.

Lutein is also a naturally occurring cartenoid that is synthesized by plants. It is found in abundance in leafy greens like kale, spinach, and yellow carrots. This carotenoid is also beneficial for the eyes. It is absorbed in the retina from blood and prevents age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

There have been several studies conducted on how both these carotenoids improve eyesight. The question is — how are they related to cognitive function?

Effects of Zeaxanthin (Z) and Lutein (L) in Adults

According to a study published in the journal of Nutrients, high levels of zeaxanthin (Z) and lutein (L) can improve cognitive function. A placebo-controlled trial was designed to find out the effects of the cartenoids. 51 healthy adults were selected for the study and they were given Z and L supplements for a year. Their cognitive function and macular pigment optical density (MOPD) was measured every four months.

The results showed that the group that received the supplements had high levels of MOPD, which showed improvements in spatial memory, complex attention, and reasoning ability. It was concluded that L and Z supplements not only improve MOPD, but they also enhance the cognitive function.

Effects of Zeaxanthin (Z) and Lutein (L) in Older Adults

Another study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society looked at the effects of L and Z on cognitive function in older adults. 40 adults from the ages 65 to 86 years old were selected and their brain activity was recorded through MRI scans. They were asked to complete a task such as recalling word pairings. The MRI scans revealed that adults who had high levels of L and Z did not require much brain activity to finish the task.

Go Green

Many people are a bit skeptical about supplements. If you want to take the natural root, the best way to include L and Z in your diet is to go green. Following are a few items you should include in your diet:

  • Eggs
  • Leafy Greens: Turnip, Swiss chard, collard greens, romaine lettuce, etc.
  • Carrots and tomatoes
  • Corn and celery
  • Beets
  • Oranges, grapefruit and melons

So there you have it… the macular and cognitive benefits of zeaxanthin (Z) and lutein (L). According to several studies, a lutein supplementation of 10 mg/day and zeaxanthin supplementation of 2 mg/day can improve neural efficiency in a couple of weeks. It’s time to change your diet and amp up the snacks and meals by incorporating healthy doses of L and Z in them.

Sleep Better with Lemon Balm, Honokiol, and Chamomile

Insomnia can make your life a living hell, especially when your body is exhausted after a long day at work. So you stay awake at night, stare at the ceiling, count imaginary sheep, or perhaps sing a song. Sounds familiar?

We wouldn’t recommend popping the pills yet because they will make you feel drowsy in the morning. Your entire day will be spent in a bubble where everything seems out of place to you. Not a good feeling… at all!

Here’s what we suggest — try the herbal route first. There are plenty of herbal supplements that work the same as benzodiazepines but have fewer side effects or possibly none.

Following are three natural herbs that can help you treat insomnia:

1.     Honokiol (Magnolia)

Honokiol extract comes from the flowering tree called Magnolia. Originating from China, the bark of this tree has therapeutic effects that promote relaxation and sleep. The extract is found in several sleep-inducing supplements, herbal teas, and oils.

The bioactive compounds in the magnolia tree have anti-allergic, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Two of the most effective compounds are magnolol and Honokiol. The compound Honokiol promotes GABA activity and improves sleep by reducing stress. According to a study published in Neuropharmacology, the compounds in Magnolia bark have potent anti-epileptic effects. The results revealed that the compounds in the bark can shorten sleep latency and modulate sleep behaviors to prevent insomnia.

2.     Lemon Balm

Native to North Africa, West Asia, and Europe, lemon balm is simply an herb that has a lemony smell. It belongs to the “mint” family and is traditionally used to improve cognitive function and mood. The key ingredient in lemon balm that promotes sleep is eugenol. This oily substance has similar effects as of a numbing agent.

According to a study published in the journal of Phytomedicine, lemon balm relieves stress and improves sleep disorders like insomnia. 918 children took part in the study and were dosed with lemon balm. 96.7% of children and their parents said that lemon balm worked quite well in reducing dyssomnia.

3.     Chamomile

Chamomile is a plant that is mostly used to make herbal infusions. While the plant and flowers are not used directly, several versions of the compound, such as chamomile tea, essential oil and creams, are used for reducing inflammation, treating insomnia, and decreasing anxiety.

The calming effects of chamomile come from apigenin, an antioxidant that is found in abundance in chamomile tea. The antioxidant binds itself to specific brain receptors and helps in reducing anxiety and enhancing the quality of sleep.

According to a study published in the journal of Complimentary Therapies in Medicine, chamomile extract works as a tranquilizer. The study chose participants from a nursing home and divided them into two groups. One group was given chamomile extract capsules while the other was given wheat flour capsules. After two weeks, their sleep quality was assessed and it was concluded that the group that received the chamomile extract slept better and more peacefully.

So there you have it — three sleep-inducing extracts that will not only help you treat insomnia but also stave off depression and anxiety that usually follow the sleepless nights. Try these herbs for two weeks and feel the difference in your quality of sleep.

CoQ10 – Protective Effects After a Heart Attack

Did you know that strokes and heart attacks are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide? From obesity to high cholesterol, diabetes and many other problems contribute to heart disease. Today, maintaining a healthy diet is not enough to prevent yourself from falling prey to this ailment. Exercising and taking supplements are important too!

According to a study published in the Frontiers of Bioscience, people who suffer from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or brains disorder have low levels of CoQ10.

One supplement that shows immense promise in the world of medicine is the coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This coenzyme helps in mitochondrial energy production and preserving membrane integrity. In simple words: CoQ10 is an antioxidant, which is produced naturally in your body. This coenzyme is used by the body for maintenance and growth. As you age, the level of CoQ10 falls in your body. Other than that, people who have heart problems also have a short supply of this coenzyme.

CoQ10 can be consumed through wholegrain, meat, and fish. However, due to our body’s changing needs and growth, these food sources may be insufficient. This is where supplements come in. CoQ10 is available in tablets, capsules, and intravenous solutions. Along with treating heart conditions, CoQ10 supplement also treats migraines and alleviates the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

What Causes CoQ10 Deficiency?

  • Statin treatment side-effects
  • Nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B6
  • Mitochondrial diseases
  • Genetic defects in the synthesis of CoQ10
  • Oxidative stress caused by aging
  • Increased demands by body tissues

Effects of CoQ10 on Your Heart

Heart failure is caused by many health issues like high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, etc. These conditions cause inflammation of arteries and veins and oxidative damage that reduce the level of CoQ10 in your body. After a heart attack, the damage caused to your heart prevents it from contracting regularly and, as a result, less blood is pumped through the body.

Statins and other heart failure treatments often cause undesirable side effects that can further lower the level of CoQ10 in your body.

So you get the idea how CoQ10 supplements can restore your energy levels.

It Lowers the Mortality Rate in Heart Failure Patients

According to a study published in the journal of JACC: Heart Failure, CoQ10 can reduce the risk of death in heart patients.

420 heart failure patients took part in a 2-year study. The participants were divided into two sets: the first set was given 100mg of CoQ10 three times a day, and the other set was given a placebo. Along with the CoQ10 supplement, they were also given standard therapy.

Tests were done in 2 batches: after 16 weeks and after 2 years. The results showed that CoQ10 and standard therapy worked better in the long run. The researchers reached the conclusion that CoQ10 is not only a safer drug option for heart failure patients, but it also reduces adverse cardiovascular events and improves symptoms.

Lowers the Frequency of Hospitalization

Another study published on the effects of CoQ10 on heart problems in the journal of Clinical Investigation came to the conclusion that heart failure patients who take CoQ10 supplements regularly are less likely to get hospitalized. The research revealed that people who took this supplement had less serious complications and weren’t subjected to any problems that worsened their heart failure.

The bottom line is that CoQ10 restores the energy that your heart loses after a heart attack. Along with eating CoQ10-rich foods, you should also think about taking supplements to boost your heart health.