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Vitamin A Recap

Thursday, 16 July 2015 by

journal-nutrition-imageA vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don’t eat it.” (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1937).

Vitamins are natural components of foods and are organic compounds distinct from fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Vitamin A is the generic descriptor for compounds with the qualitative biological activity of retinol. Unlike beta-carotene, vitamin A is not an antioxidant and its benefit is related to its intimate relationship with immune reactions.

The effect of vitamin A on immune function is wide-reaching and its deficiency appears to affect immunity in several ways. Both the innate and adaptive immune responses are affected by lack of vitamin A.

Vit D and IBD

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 by

3.coverA research paper published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal showed that if you are experiencing a period of remission with Cohn’s disease that Vitamin D confers additional benefit in restoring/maintaining appropriate gut permeability.[1]

In this small study – some 27 people were involved, all of whom were determined to be in remission at the time of the oral supplementation with either 2000 iu of vitamin D or a placebo for 90 days. They found, that patients treated with the supplementation were more likely to maintain their intestinal permeability, whereas this deteriorated in the placebo group. Increased intestinal permeability is considered a measure of gut leakiness, which is shown to predict and precede clinical relapse in CD. In addition, patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had signs of reduced inflammation (measured by C-reactive protein and antimicrobial peptides), and these patients also reported better quality of life.

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indexVitamin D supplements can reduce COPD lung disease flare-ups by over 40% in patients with a vitamin D deficiency – according to new research from Queen Mary University of London. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) includes conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and is thought to affect more than 3 million people in the UK.

The NIHR-funded randomised trial, published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, included 240 patients with COPD in and around London. Half of the patients (122) received vitamin D supplements (6 x 2-monthly oral doses of 3mg) and the other half (118) received an equivalent placebo. The risk, severity and duration of flare-ups was then compared between the two groups.[1]

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Vitamin A: Friend or Foe

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 by

It is well established that high retinoic acid (RA)  levels leads to teratogenic effects both in human and experimental models. Brain abnormalities such as microcephaly, impairment of hindbrain development, mandibular and midfacial underdevelopment, and cleft palate are all implicated.[1],[2] Ingested vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, is delivered to the blood via the lymph system in

It’s not just your mood that the dark months of winter can influence. Low levels of sunlight also mean lower levels of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D deficiency can trigger a range of diseases but until recently little was known about the exact biological mechanisms behind this. A research team at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has now decrypted one of these unknown molecular mechanisms. Vitamin D regulates the elasticity of blood vessels and thus also affects blood pressure amplitude. The results were published earlier this year in the journal Molecular Endocrinology.[1]

Having severe vitamin D deficiency may put people aged 65 years and older at more than twice the risk of having self-reported respiratory disease, according to an article published online May 6 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.[1] The author Dr Hirani had in 2010 identified a similar pattern in older member of the UK population, and described it as a public health problem.[2]

Vitamin D Testing – What About Reliability?

Sunday, 10 February 2013 by | Comments: 1

Following a series of questions raised by colleagues concerning the accuracy of vitamin D testing we asked Doctors Data, based in the USA to respond to some of the general concerns raised, as their lab has recently undertaken an extensive review of the methodologies utilised, to prepare for the next generation of vitamin D testing.

Women who experience painful menstrual cramps could find relief from high-dose vitamin D3, according to new research – which suggests the dietary supplement could provide an alternative to painkilling drugs that are currently used.[1] Women with a history of severe menstrual cramps reported significantly less pain when they took an ultra-high dose of vitamin D five days before their next expected period.

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So How Much Vitamin D do I Need?

Thursday, 08 March 2012 by | Comments: 1

In practice life a number of questions arise relating to all supplemental suggestions and vitamin D is no different.

•          What do I need to be healthy?

•          How do I know what my levels are now?

•          How do I raise my levels if I need to?

•          What foods, supplements or lifestyle changes do I need to do?

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The usefulness of vitamin D is increasingly being explored and as a result better studies are being collated and brought into publication. A study published the Journal of the American Geriatric Society in Dec 2011 reveals that Vit D status is linked to physical functionality and represents a suitable replacement option. Whilst the dose recommended is modest, it is able to record an improvement, higher levels may provide greater benefit depending on base line levels.

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