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Should we re-look at our RDAs? Comments Off on Should we re-look at our RDAs?

Since my last post there have been a couple of European changes to RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) levels, which has made me think that the UK really should be following suit if it truly is interested in the health of its residents!

Both Norway and Italy had up until recently Vitamin D RDA levels set at 10µg (double the current 5µg set for the UK!), but earlier this year they have both at least doubled these levels, with Norway increasing to 20µg and Italy moving to a fantastic 25µg. Now I’m sure there will be lots of people saying that Norway get much less sun than the UK, so these increases are necessary, but can they make the same argument for Italy, I think not! I just see this as a great recognition of the importance of good nutrition!

So let’s remind ourselves why vitamin D is so important:

Vitamin D pills linked to better heart health for diabetics!
According to researchers from Wolfson Medical Centre and Tel Aviv University in Israel, daily doses of vitamin D at 1000iu, (25µg) for one year can significantly decrease the central aortic augmentation index, a predictor of adverse cardiovascular events.

“The findings of the present study may have clinical implications for the usual recommended daily allowance for vitamin D in diabetic patients,” they wrote in Clinical Nutrition. “Since the levels of vitamin D are extremely low in this population, more appropriate daily supplementation doses of >1000iu/day might be recommended to achieve optimal levels of vitamin D.”

The study backed up a study published in Diabetes Care last year. The Israeli researchers recruited type-2 diabetic patients to participate in their randomised, placebo-controlled study.

Vitamin D supplements may yield immune benefits in healthy people!
Improving the blood levels of vitamin D via supplementation could help fight disease by affecting gene expression and boosting the immune system.

The study published in PLoS ONE, reveals for the first time that improvement in the vitamin D status of healthy adults significantly impacts with a number of biological pathways associated with cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and autoimmune diseases.

A randomised double-blind trial conducted at the Boston University School of Medicine, USA, which went a step further than previous research, has suggested vitamin D may be associated directly with improving immune response and lowering the risk for many diseases.

The participants received between 400iu and 2000ius per day for a period of two months, with samples of immune cells being taken before and after the study, showing increases for both groups, but significantly so for the higher vitamin D takers!

Vitamin D helps beat symptoms of asthma!
Vitamin D could help people suffering with asthma breath more easily, claim British researchers. Scientists at King’s College London have discovered vitamin D has the potential to significantly cut the symptoms of sufferers. They say it may one day be prescribed as a treatment alongside conventional steroids, but reducing the need for medication. The study found the vitamin resulted in lower levels of a natural chemical in the body that aggravates symptoms in asthma patients and cuts the effectiveness of steroids.

The results demonstrated that vitamin D could potentially provided an effective treatment for all asthma sufferers, as it significantly cut the production of IL-17A in cells, which is known to reduce the effectiveness of steroid based treatments.

And finally, just to show that whilst we may look at individual nutrients a good balanced approach is always preferred!

Probiotics may help boost vitamin D levels!
A daily supplement of probiotics may boost circulating vitamin D levels in the blood by 25%, according to a published randomised controlled trial. The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, is the first to show that oral probiotic supplements may increase circulation levels of the sunshine vitamin.

“Although it has long been known that the gastrointestinal tract plays an active role in the absorption of vitamin D, these findings showing improved vitamin D status in response to an orally delivered probiotic are a first, and will inform the development of new products that may be beneficial for people with low vitamin D levels.”

So, make sure you get your probiotics as well as your vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D.

I think that’s about enough for this post, but you never know maybe someone in the relevant government department will read this and consider another look at our current RDA levels!

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In The News! Comments Off on In The News!

Two stories again today I’m afraid, the first quite important and the second a little more light hearted!

Selenium may ease the symptoms of asthma!

Recent research has shown that asthmatics are more likely to have low levels of selenium than people who are not, and that the use of a daily supplement may reduce the symptoms. In the study patients were given daily selenium supplement or a placebo for 14 weeks. Those taking the supplement had reduced symptoms by the end of the study!

Selenium is a trace mineral – found naturally in meat, fish and eggs, and as an antioxidant may help to combat tissue-damaging molecules, which may help to reduce the inflamed airways associated with asthma.

Milk The Key To Stopping Garlic Breath!

In tests with both raw and cooked garlic cloves, milk significantly reduced the levels of sulphur compounds that give garlic its flavour and pungent smell!

In the trial, mixing the milk with the garlic in the mouth before swallowing had the greatest odour neutralising effect, and full-fat milk worked better than skimmed milk or just water. The milk appears to counteract the allyl methyl sulphide or AMS, which cannot be broken down in the gut during digestion, causing it to be released from the body on the breath or in sweat.

It’s very often the fear of the smell that prevents people from taking garlic and so missing out on it’s many health benefits, but if you don’t fancy eating it and having to have it with a glass of milk, why not try our fantastic Odourless Garlic, for all the benefits without the smell.

BBC News – Health:
The Daily Mail: Daily Mail, 21 September 2010, Page 42, Daily vitamin pill relieves asthma.

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