17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Better Sleep, Eyes, Mood

By Freydis Hjalmarsdottir, MS (Master of Science in Human Nutrition) – Courtesy of Authority Nutrition

fish oil capsules in hand - omega 3 fatty acids

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This nutrition article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, providing joint relief, better hair and nails, and more energy.

Note: Omega-3 fatty acids are most often found in fish like salmon and halibut, in fish oil supplements, in nuts like almonds and walnuts, and in flaxseed oil.
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Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important.

They can have all sorts of powerful health benefits for your body and brain.

In fact, few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are 17 health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids that are supported by science.

1. Omega-3s Can Fight Depression and Anxiety

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world.

Symptoms include sadness, lethargy and a general loss of interest in life.

Anxiety is also a very common disorder, and is characterized by constant worry and nervousness.

Interestingly, studies have found that people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to be depressed.

What’s more, when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, their symptoms get better.

There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA and DHA. Of the three, EPA appears to be the best at fighting depression.

One study even found EPA to be as effective against depression as Prozac, an antidepressant drug.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 supplements may help prevent and treat depression and anxiety. EPA seems to be the most effective at fighting depression.

2. Omega-3s Can Improve Eye Health

Eye on White Background

DHA, a type of omega-3, is a major structural component of the brain and retina of the eye.

When you don’t get enough DHA, vision problems may arise.

Interestingly, getting enough omega-3 has been linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.

Bottom Line: An omega-3 fatty acid called DHA is a major structural component of the retina of the eye. It may help prevent macular degeneration, which can cause vision impairment and blindness.

3. Omega-3s Can Promote Brain Health During Pregnancy and Early Life

Omega-3s are crucial for brain growth and development in infants.

DHA accounts for 40% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain, and 60% in the retina of the eye. (Polyunsaturated fats are found in animals and vegetables and include nuts, seeds, fish, algae and leafy greens).

Therefore, it’s no surprise that infants fed a DHA-fortified formula have better eyesight than infants fed a formula without it.

Getting enough omega-3s during pregnancy has been associated with numerous benefits for the child, including:

  • Higher intelligence.
  • Better communication and social skills.
  • Less behavioral problems.
  • Decreased risk of developmental delay.
  • Decreased risk of ADHD, autism and cerebral palsy.

Bottom Line: Getting enough omega-3s during pregnancy and early life is crucial for the development of the child. Deficiency is linked to low intelligence, poor eyesight and an increased risk of several health problems.

4. Omega-3s Can Improve Risk Factors For Heart Disease

Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s leading causes of death.

Decades ago, researchers observed that fish-eating communities had very low rates of these diseases. This was later found to be partially due to omega-3 consumption.

Since then, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have numerous benefits for heart health.

These include:

  • Triglycerides (fats): Omega-3s can cause a major reduction in triglycerides, usually in the range of 15–30%.
  • Blood pressure: Omega-3s can reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure.
  • HDL-cholesterol: Omega-3s can raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels.
  • Blood clots: Omega-3s can keep blood platelets from clumping together. This helps prevent the formation of harmful blood clots.
  • Plaque: By keeping the arteries smooth and free from damage, omega-3s help prevent the plaque that can restrict and harden the arteries.
  • Inflammation: Omega-3s reduce the production of some substances released during the inflammatory response.

For some people, omega-3s can also lower LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol. However, the evidence is mixed and some studies actually find increases in LDL.

Interestingly, despite all these beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors, there is no convincing evidence that omega-3 supplements can prevent heart attacks or strokes. Many studies find no benefit.

Bottom Line: Omega-3s have been found to improve numerous heart disease risk factors. However, omega-3 supplements do not reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes.

5. Omega-3s Can Reduce Symptoms of ADHD in Children

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Several studies have found that children with ADHD have lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, compared to their healthy peers.

What’s more, numerous studies have found that omega-3 supplements can actually reduce the symptoms of ADHD.

Omega-3s help improve inattention and the ability to complete tasks. They also decrease hyperactivity, impulsiveness, restlessness and aggression.

Recently, researchers evaluated the evidence behind different treatments for ADHD. They found fish oil supplementation to be one of the most promising treatments.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 supplements can reduce the symptoms of ADHD in children. They improve attention and reduce hyperactivity, impulsiveness and aggression, to name a few.

6. Omega-3s Can Reduce Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome

Vitamin D Capsules

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions.

It includes central obesity (belly fat), high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and low HDL levels.

It is a major public health concern, since it increases your risk of developing many other diseases. These include heart disease and diabetes.

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation, and improve heart disease risk factors in people with metabolic syndrome.

Bottom Line: Omega-3s can have numerous benefits for people with metabolic syndrome. They can reduce insulin resistance, fight inflammation and improve several heart disease risk factors.

7. Omega-3s Can Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is incredibly important. We need it to fight infections and repair damage in the body.

However, sometimes inflammation persists for a long time, even without an infection or injury being present. This is called chronic (long-term) inflammation.

It is known that long-term inflammation can contribute to almost every chronic Western disease, including heart disease and cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines (these are hormone-like molecules that assist with healthy cellular activity).

Studies have consistently shown a link between higher omega-3 intake and reduced inflammation

Bottom Line: Omega-3s can reduce chronic inflammation, which can contribute to heart disease, cancer and various other diseases.

8. Omega-3s Can Fight Autoimmune Diseases

Fish

In autoimmune diseases, the immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign cells and starts attacking them.

Type 1 diabetes is one prime example. In this disease, the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Omega-3s can help fight some of these diseases, and may be especially important during early life.

Studies show that getting enough omega-3s during your first year of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes in adults and multiple sclerosis.

Omega-3s have also been shown to help treat lupus (skin inflammation), rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids can help fight several autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.

9. Omega-3s Can Improve Mental Disorders

Low omega-3 levels have been reported in people with psychiatric disorders.

Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements can reduce the frequency of mood swings and relapses in people with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease violent behavior.

Bottom Line: People with mental disorders often have low blood levels of omega-3 fats. Improving omega-3 status seems to improve symptoms.

10. Omega-3s Can Fight Age-Related Mental Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease

Vitamin D Capsules in Hand of Man

A decline in brain function is one of the unavoidable consequences of aging.

Several studies have shown that higher omega-3 intake is linked to decreased age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, one study found that people who eat fatty fish tend to have more gray matter in the brain. This is brain tissue that processes information, memories and emotions.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 fats may help prevent age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, but more research is needed.

11. Omega-3s May Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world, and omega-3 fatty acids have long been claimed to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Interestingly, studies have shown that people who consume the most omega-3s have up to a 55% lower risk of colon cancer.

Additionally, omega-3 consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. However, not all studies agree on this.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 intake may decrease the risk of some types of cancer, including colon, prostate and breast cancer.

12. Omega-3s Can Reduce Asthma in Children

Yellow Vitamin Bottle

Asthma is a chronic lung disease with symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing.

Severe asthma attacks can be very dangerous. They are caused by inflammation and swelling in the airways of the lungs.

What’s more, asthma rates have been increasing over the past few decades.

Several studies have linked omega-3 consumption to a lower risk of asthma in children and young adults.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 intake has been associated with a lower risk of asthma in both children and young adults.

13. Omega-3s Can Reduce Fat in The Liver

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is more common than you think.

It has increased with the obesity epidemic, and is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the Western world.

Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce liver fat and inflammation in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce liver fat in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

14. Omega-3s May Improve Bone and Joint Health

Oil Capsules

Osteoporosis and arthritis are two common disorders that affect the skeletal system.

Studies indicate that omega-3s can improve bone strength by increasing the amount of calcium in bones. This should lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis.

Omega-3s may also help with arthritis. Patients taking omega-3 supplements have reported reduced joint pain and increased grip strength.

Bottom Line: Omega-3s can improve bone strength and joint health. This may lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis and arthritis.

15. Omega-3s Can Alleviate Menstrual Pain

Menstrual pain occurs in the lower abdomen and pelvis, and often radiates to the lower back and thighs.

It can result in significant negative effects on a person’s quality of life.

However, studies have repeatedly shown that women who consume the most omega-3s have milder menstrual pain.

One study even found that an omega-3 supplement was more effective than ibuprofen in treating severe pain during menstruation.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce menstrual pain. One study even found that an omega-3 supplement was more effective than ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug.

16. Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Sleep

Good sleep is one of the foundations of optimal health.

Studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to many diseases, including obesity, diabetes and depressio.

Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with sleep problems in children and obstructive sleep apnea in adults.

Low levels of DHA have also been linked to lower levels of the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.

Studies in both children and adults have shown that supplementing with omega-3 increases the length and quality of sleep.

Bottom Line: Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, may improve the length and quality of sleep in children and adults.

17. Omega-3 Fats Are Good For Your Skin

DHA is a structural component of the skin. It is responsible for the health of cell membranes, which make up a large part of skin.

A healthy cell membrane results in soft, moist, supple and wrinkle-free skin.

EPA also benefits the skin in several ways, including:

  • Managing oil production in skin.
  • Managing hydration of the skin.
  • Preventing hyperkeratinization of hair follicles (the little red bumps often seen on upper arms).
  • Preventing premature ageing of the skin.
  • Preventing acne.

Omega-3s can also protect your skin from sun damage. EPA helps block the release of substances that eat away at the collagen in your skin after sun exposure.

Bottom Line: Omega-3s can help keep skin cells healthy, preventing premature aging and more. They may also help protect the skin from sun damage.

Omega-3s Have Many Health Benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for optimal health.

Getting them from whole foods, such as eating fatty fish 2 times per week, is the best way to ensure optimal omega-3 intake.

However, if you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish, then you may want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement.

For people who are lacking in omega-3, this is a cheap and highly effective way to improve health.

This nutrition article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, providing joint relief, better hair and nails, and more energy.

Article source: https://authoritynutrition.com/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3/

A Medicine Cabinet of Healing Herbs and Spices in Your Kitchen

Greetings to you,

I’ve included an interesting and useful chart below containing healing herbs and spices – “A Medicine Cabinet in Your Kitchen.”

One good example is a healing herb that was the subject of a research study published in the journal “Circulation”.  Researchers found that a pain ointment containing the main ingredient in cayenne pepper was able to reduce damage to the heart during a heart attack.  An incredible 85 percent reduction in cardiac cell death was observed.

Cinnamon is more than a delicious seasoning.  Studies from the University of Toronto and Ball State University in Indiana have confirmed that consuming cinnamon can significantly reduce blood pressure as well as blood sugar levels by adding cinnamon to the morning cereal.

Ginger contains many healing properties.  For women with PMS, scientists at the University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran compared ginger capsules with two different kinds of anti-inflammatory drugs. 150 women participated and they were divided into three groups.  At the end of the five-month study, ginger was shown to be as effective as the drugs with relieving pain and providing relief.

Sage is a delicious herb used in cooking, particularly with poultry and pasta sauces, and it has a long history of use for medicinal purposes. It’s been used by herbalists to treat sore throats, strengthen the nervous system and improve brain function.

The German Health Commission officially approved the use of sage for excessive sweating and one German study found sage to reduce excessive perspiration by 50%. Sage leaf is also a well-researched remedy for hot flashes and night sweats in menopause.

Regarding the use of minerals such as calcium and magnesium for good sleep and remedying insomnia, William Sears, M.D. writes that: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”

In magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep.

For more information on effective sleep remedies, see this page on calcium and magnesium for sleep on the Nutrition Breakthroughs blog.

To your good health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs

Healthy Fruits to Eat Plus Top Sleep Foods Cherries and Bananas

Greetings to you,

Below is a chart with eight of the “Must eat” fruits. Take a look at the benefits shown here, but in reality there are truly many more health advantages to eating raw, healthy fruits and vegetables that are bursting with life.

For example, a study from Harvard University found that eating blueberries helps to prevent diabetes.  Another thing scientists have found is that fresh fruits and vegetables reduce inflammation and stress in the body and can add years to one’s life.

Many of the scientific studies on cherries are done with tart cherries or Montmorency cherries — usually sold as juice, dried, frozen, and in powdered supplement capsules. For those seeking a food-based remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, the tart Montmorency cherry is known to contain high levels of melatonin, the hormone made in the brain that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

The European Journal of Nutrition presented a placebo-controlled study that proved drinking tart cherry juice increases melatonin and improves sleep quality. Drinking the juice resulted in longer sleep times, less daytime napping and greater overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time actually spent sleeping).

Another recent study on the use of melatonin-rich foods for sleep appeared in the journal “Nutrients”.  The study was called “Dietary Sources of Melatonin.”  Many nuts are known as “drupe fruits”.  These are fruits with pits or stones inside.  The researchers for the study in “Nutrients” noted that nuts contain some of the highest quantities of melatonin.  Topping the list are almonds and walnuts.  Almonds deliver a two-part punch as they are also high in magnesium, a mineral known to induce sleep.

Bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium, and each of these minerals are proven to help good sleep in research studies.  The Journal “Sleep” recently reported that the use of potassium for sleep results in significant improvements in quality of sleep and less waking up during the night.

Warm milk is perhaps the most famous natural sleep aid.  James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”  The European Neurology Journal supports this with their study showing that the normal course of sleep is achieved by increasing calcium levels in the body.

One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This natural sleep aid contains powerful forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, stomach health, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.  The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbed than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The ‘Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot.  I wake once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Sleep inducing fruits and minerals are a healthy alternative to taking sleeping drugs, and fruits and vegetables in general are among the healthiest foods in existence.  For more information on natural minerals for sleep, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.


Magnesium as an Insomnia Remedy – Proven Research

Magnesium is an Effective Sleep Remedy

The magnificent mineral magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in our cells and is known to be effective for strengthening heart health, reducing diabetes, and treating migraines, insomnia and depression.  With increasing age, the risk factor for developing magnesium deficiency grows larger.

A National Institutes of Health fact sheet says that adults are at increased risk of magnesium deficiency due to a decreased ability to absorb the mineral.  And according to the Journal “Sleep”, nearly 50% of older adults are experiencing insomnia and having with difficulties with falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up early.

Several reports have come out regarding the role of magnesium deficiency in insomnia.  The journal “Magnesium Research” writes that magnesium deficiency contributes to sleep disorders and interrupts sleep by reducing melatonin levels in the body.  According to the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. Good sources of magnesium in foods include fish, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.

The most recently released study on magnesium for sleep comes from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran.  Its subjects were 46 older adults, aged 60 to 75, who were experiencing insomnia.  However, it’s interesting to note the researchers recommend their results be extended as a helpful aid to all ages of the general population.

In the University study, the subjects were divided into two groups.  One group received placebos, while the other received magnesium oxide tablets twice a day (250 milligrams each) for eight weeks.  In the group that was given magnesium, the subjects experienced significant increases in sleep time and sleep efficiency, with less night time interruptions and fewer early morning awakenings.

From blood samples taken, the researchers found that magnesium significantly reduced cortisol levels in the body, which is a stress hormone that can keep people awake.  Magnesium also brought about a statistically important increase in melatonin, the hormone involved with sleep-wake cycles.

Their conclusion: Supplementation with magnesium improves subjective and objective measures of insomnia in elderly people and is a useful natural remedy to manage sleep disorders – not only in the elderly but as an effective sleep aid for people of all ages.

Regarding supplements containing magnesium that are taken as an insomnia remedy, the combination of minerals included and the presence of complementary vitamins (such as calcium and vitamin D) are vital. Formulas should contain a 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium for the best utilization in the body. The original research on this recommended ratio appeared in 1935 in the Journal of Physiological Reviews.  In addition, softgels that mix the minerals with natural carrier oils allow them to be more fully absorbed than with tablets or capsules.

One formula that has these qualities and is gaining in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless legs syndrome, bone strength, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.  The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy rice bran oil, making it quickly absorbable and allowing it to provide a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Sadie D. from The Netherlands says: “I am ever so grateful that I discovered Sleep Minerals II after suffering with premenopause and now the real menopausal insomnia.  I felt like I was slowly losing my mind due to the continual lack of sleep.  I can’t express the relief of getting a good night’s sleep and being able to function properly.”

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot.  I wake once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours. This has been a great improvement.”

Minerals have come to the forefront as some of the most effective natural remedies for insomnia.  For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit this page.

Study on Puberty in Girls, Teen Insomnia, Calcium Deficiency

                                 
A study in the Journal of Pediatrics has found that the hormonal changes of puberty in girls can create a time of substantial risk for the development of insomnia.

The researcher’s data came from a random sample of 1,014 adolescents who were 13 to 16 years of age in the city of Detroit Michigan. The study was conducted with adolescents who had a history of insomnia, and who also reported they currently had insomnia.

In an exploratory analysis between insomnia and puberty development, the onset of menstruation (menses) was associated with an increased risk for insomnia that was three times greater. There was no difference in the risk for insomnia among girls before menses onset.

The researchers concluded that Insomnia seems to be common and chronic among adolescents. The study found that there is often a gender difference in risk for insomnia, and it seems to emerge in association with the onset of menses.

Teenagers are a special breed, having to face all the challenges of being in an in-between stage of life; not quite a child anymore and not yet an adult.  Along with an acceleration of social interests and activities, they also sustain accelerated physical growth and increased nutritional needs.

Given the consequences of sleep deprivation among teenagers, including blunted mental acuity, poorer school performance, and even poorer physical and emotional health, prevention and treatment may need to become “important priorities”, the study researchers say.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90% of teen girls and 70% of teen boys are not getting enough calcium.  Their bones are growing the fastest during the teen years and they need more calcium than at any other time of life.  This calcium deficiency can translate into irritability, nervous tension, hyperactivity and insomnia.

Due to a deficiency of crucial minerals at the teenage time of life, calcium and magnesium supplements can be an effective sleep remedy.  One natural insomnia remedy that’s gaining in popularity for all ages is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.   It contains potent forms of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, all combined with heart-healthy rice bran oil in a rapidly absorbed softgel formula.  Softgels that combine oils with the minerals are digested more thoroughly than tablets or capsules.

Wendy R. of Honolulu, Hawaii says: “My friends know that I’ve had chronic insomnia for a long time.  I was surprised — I received the Sleep Minerals II and began taking it and I actually slept.  In the past if I ever got a good nights sleep I’d say “I slept like a baby”, but that’s the wrong comparison. Those little guys get up every two hours, but I don’t anymore.”

With insomnia being common and chronic among teenagers, let’s help them get the nutrition and sleep that they need.

For more information on Sleep Minerals II visit this web page.

Related article:

Teenage Insomnia: Studies, Remedies and Tips

How Vitamin D Rich Foods May Help Remedy Insomnia

vitamin d foods for sleepDo you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night? If so, you are not alone. Every night, millions of people lie in bed hoping for a restful night’s sleep that does not come.

It is estimated that one in three people will develop acute insomnia every year, and about 10% of these individuals will struggle with insomnia for several months at a time.

Insomnia can wreak havoc on one’s ability to live a normal, productive life. In fact, lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, memory loss, and impaired judgement. In addition, unresolved or unmanaged sleep disorders can increase the risk of chronic pain, depression, and a compromised immune system.

There are a variety of sleep medications on the market to help manage insomnia. However, the side effects often lead to a new set of health complications. As a result, many people have begun searching for a safer, natural alternative to promote a healthier sleep cycle. Of the options on the market, vitamin D is proving to be a serious contender.

Vitamin D at a glance

Vitamin D has been making media headlines for over two decades. Originally believed to be important solely for bone health, research continues to uncover a wide range of additional health benefits of maintaining optimal levels.

Unfortunately, despite the thousands of studies that have showcased the body’s need for vitamin D, deficiency remains highly prevalent. This is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Indoor lifestyle
  • Sunblock use
  • Avoidance of mid-day sun exposure
  • Lack of supplement use
  • Imbalanced diet
  • Obesity

Often, people who are vitamin D deficient experience symptoms like fatigue, joint and muscle pain, frequent infections and insomnia.

How vitamin D status may impact sleep quality

Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it’s a hormone. That means, after undergoing a couple of activation processes in the body, it binds to cells throughout the body to regulate a wide range of bodily functions.

Hormones are fat-soluble substances derived from cholesterol. They are produced by glands such as the thyroid, adrenals and pancreas, and then released into the bloodstream to reach target cells. These include cortisol made by the adrenals, testosterone, estrogen and yes, vitamin D.

So, how may vitamin D impact sleep? Vitamin D receiving points are located throughout regions of the brain that regulate our mood and sleep patterns. This has led researchers to theorize that vitamin D helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that instructs us when to sleep, eat, and rest.

  • Several studies have supported this theory by reporting a relationship between healthy vitamin D levels and improved sleep quality. In addition, a recent study found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an 11-fold increased odds of resistance to sleep medication. This means that the people who didn’t respond to sleeping drugs had a lower level of vitamin D in their body.

Best sources of vitamin D

Thankfully, there are a variety of ways one can ensure they are receiving enough vitamin D to promote healthy sleep cycles.  This includes safe sun exposure (avoiding getting burned), supplementation, and eating a balanced diet.

Now more than ever, foods are being fortified with vitamin D in an effort to better support the body’s needs. However, people frequently ask, which form is better, vitamin D2 or D3?

Vitamin D2 is obtained through the diet and is produced by plants; whereas D3 is naturally produced when the skin is exposed to the sun and it can be consumed via animal sources in the diet.

Vitamin D3 is more bioavailable than D2, meaning this form is more efficiently utilized by our bodies. For this reason, experts recommend people ensure they are receiving ample amounts of vitamin D3 per day.

Top dietary sources of vitamin D

  1. Cod liver Oil is the most potent dietary source for vitamin D3. In just one tablespoon, you can receive 1,360 international units (IU) vitamin D3. In addition to vitamin D, cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are the best dietary sources of vitamin D, with about 500 IU vitamin D3 content in just three ounces of cooked fish. Also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these sources offer a heart-healthy option for those looking for a balanced dietary approach to maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.
  3. Plain greek yogurt is another healthy option to provide some of your daily vitamin D needs. Known for its probiotics, greek yogurt helps support a healthy intestinal tract. In addition, it is a great snack for people who struggle with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) due to its high protein, low carbohydrate ratio. It also contains calcium, magnesium and about 80 IU vitamin D per 6 oz serving.
  4. Eggs offer another beneficial source of vitamin D3. They generally contain about 40 IU per yoke.
  5. Perhaps one of the most popular dietary sources of vitamin D is milk. It offers about 120 IU vitamin D3 per serving. Milk also provides a great source of calcium. For this reason, milk is an important dietary component to protecting bone health.

Final thoughts

If you struggle with insomnia and hope vitamin D may help improve your sleep quality, there are a couple important factors to keep in mind. First, consistency is key. Although time of day isn’t important when eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking an oral supplement, it is important that this is done on a regular basis.

Research suggests that taking a couple thousand international units (IU’s) of vitamin D per day between foods and supplements is ideal when addressing sleeplessness and insomnia.

One supplement that contains a good amount of vitamin D is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. It also contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are all blended together with healthy oils to form an absorbable soft gel. Together, these vitamins and minerals work to help facilitate quality sleep.  Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause one to wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep.

One Sleep Minerals II user in Massachusetts says: “I had become dependent on sleeping drugs and couldn’t sleep without them. Now I take the Sleep Minerals before bed and can sleep through the whole night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back to sleep if I do have to get up.  Another benefit is this helps alleviate my chronic fatigue and aches and pains.”

Vitamin D is one of the master players in the game we all hope to win: Vibrant health, well-being and good sleep. Use it well in foods and supplements, as well as together with those minerals that are best-known for being relaxing insomnia remedies.

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

5 Tips for a Healthy New Year from Nutrition Breakthroughs

new yearsNew Years Greetings to you!

Here are five tips for increasing your good health in the New Year:

1. Choose healthy foods: Increase salads, cooked vegetables and raw fruits.  Eat healthy, preferably organic proteins such as grass-fed meat, wild Alaskan salmon, and organic eggs..  Eat wholegrain versions of carbohydrates and drink lots of pure water in between meals.

2. Take a walk each day, or a couple of short walks.  This supports virtually every organ and system in your body to stay strong.  It also detoxifies impurities and ease aches and pains.

Walking is also proven to help good sleep and remedy insomnia.  Scientists suspect that walking helps to set our biological clock into a consistent sleep pattern.

Walking can also help increase “endorphins”, which are protein-like chemicals made in the brain that can have a relaxing effect, a pain-relieving effect, and also reduce stress and increase well-being.

Exercise such as walking may also be one of the most effective ways to reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and heart symptoms, according to a study from the Annals (Journal) of Behavioral Medicine.

3. Take supplements:  Fish oil helps reduce inflammation and supports the eyes and brain; digestive enzymes increase absorption of foods and reduce gas; MSM remedies joint stiffness and arthritis, and Sleep Minerals II provides calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D in some highly usable forms to support good sleep.

4. Reduce stress.  Take breaks to do artistic or creative things that you enjoy.  When communicating with others, express things, and receive communications from people in a positive, upbeat way.

Support for stress can be found in certain vitamins.  The adrenal glands are known as the “stress glands”.  Vitamin B-5, also known as pantothenic acid, is used by the adrenal gland as a key component to manufacture its hormones.   A deficiency of
B-5 can result in impaired adrenal function and more physical and mental stress.

Regarding vitamin C, the highest amounts of vitamin C in the body are found in the adrenals and this vitamin is used to make all of the various adrenal hormones. When one is faced with stress, vitamin C is rapidly used up.

5. Look to the future.  We’ve all done some great things in this year just past.  Let’s
acknowledge our best achievements and take pride in them, and then turn our sights toward the year to come.  It’s a new canvas to paint our dreams on, so take out those brushes and create some masterpieces worthy of your signature!

Yours in good health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of Sleep Minerals II and Provider of Natural Health Info
Toll-free U.S. (888) 861-0326
International (818) 913-4308

New Chart on the Benefits of Seeds: Flax, Chia, Pumpkin

Greetings to you,

Check out the amazing health benefits of these power-packed small morsels in the chart below.  Seeds such as flax, chia, sunflower and pumpkin have major healing effects. Because of their high fat content, seeds soak up pesticides and toxins like little sponges. Organic is best.

According to Authority Nutrition: “Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they’re packed full of valuable nutrients.  Eating only a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats, magnesium and zinc.”

“Because of this, pumpkin seeds have been associated with several health benefits.  These include improved heart health, prostate health, protection against certain cancers and improved sleep.”

Another famous healthful seed is the sunflower seed, which can be eaten as a crunchy snack or used as creamy sunflower seed butter.  They are a good source of vitamin E, B complex vitamins and many minerals.  These nutrients help protect the heart, give us energy, and strengthen our immunity against infections.

Enjoy the chart below.  This natural health information is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of effective natural sleep aids and natural joint and pain remedies.

To your health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs

Seeds for healthProvided by Nutrition Breakthroughs.com

Top 12 Health Benefits of Walking

Greetings to you,

Walking is very beneficial to many aspects of our health and well-being.  Regarding sounder, deeper sleep resulting from taking walks, studies at the University of Arizona have found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women. 

Scientists suspect that walking helps to set our biological clock into a consistent sleep pattern. Walking can also help increase “endorphins”, which are protein-like chemicals made in the brain that can have a relaxing effect, a pain-relieving effect, and can also reduce stress and increase well-being.

Exercise such as walking may also be one of the most effective ways to reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and heart symptoms, according to a study from the Annals (Journal) of Behavioral Medicine.

For those of us who work in an office, its important to stand up and stretch and take breaks to walk around at least once an hour to keep things moving and healthy in the body.  These walking breaks are important for muscle and bone health, as well as for the heart and other organs.  Better yet, go outside and get a new view of things before settling back down to work in the front of the computer!

Check out the chart below for the twelve best benefits of walking. Go out and have some fun with your walks.  Walk with friends.  Try to go out on different routes and see different things.  You’ll be glad you did!

Best of health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of the Effective Natural Sleep Aid Sleep Minerals II

Walking benefits

This health information is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II

Want to Live Longer? Eat Calcium in Foods and Supplements

calcium longer lifeGreetings to you,

An article from the science news website known as Eureka Alert has shared the results of a study on how calcium extends lifespans in women.

Here’s the news article:

Calcium supplements linked to longer lifespans in women – Study finds calcium-rich diet, supplements provide equal benefits

Chevy Chase, Maryland — Taking a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day can help women live longer, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (A note from the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: “endocrinology” refers to the actions of hormones in the body.  Interestingly, in this study, the benefits of longer lifespans were seen when the calcium came from any source, including dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements. See a list of calcium-rich foods below).

Calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health, is commonly found in dairy products as well as vitamins. Although calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health, past studies have linked calcium supplements to heart disease risk. Researchers analyzing data from the large-scale Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study sought to clarify this issue and found moderate doses of calcium supplements had a beneficial effect in women.

“Our study found daily use of calcium supplements was associated with a lower risk of death among women,” said the study’s lead author, David Goltzman, MD, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “The benefit was seen for women who took doses of up to 1,000 mg per day, regardless of whether the supplement contained vitamin D.”

The study monitored the health of 9,033 Canadians (over a 12-year period), between 1995 and 2007. During that period, 1,160 participants died. Although the data showed women who took calcium supplements had a lower mortality (death) risk, there was no statistical benefit for men. The study found no conclusive evidence that vitamin D had an impact on mortality.

“Higher amounts of calcium were potentially linked to longer lifespans in women, regardless of the source of the calcium,” Dr. Goltzman said. “That is, the same benefits were seen when the calcium came from dairy foods, non-dairy foods or supplements.”

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From the blog author Nutrition Breakthroughs: Some of the best food sources of calcium include kale, collard greens, yogurt, cheese, sardines with bones, canned salmon with bones, broccoli, okra, almonds, figs, navy beans, sweet potatoes and spinach.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II — the effective natural sleep aid with highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.

Best of health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/tes-csl052013.php