News & Events

October 21, 2017

Who Needs More Vitamin D?

Who is lacking Vitamin D? Thousands of elderly people are shut up in houses or nursing homes where they get very little sunshine. And unless they are drinking quantities of D-enriched milk or taking fish-liver oils, they are prime candidates for broken hips and other casualties. It's not just calcium they may 1ack, but the vitamin D, which makes the calcium available to the bones.

Who else? The children of today! They are inside the majority of the time in front of electronically tuned devices. Instead of giving our children drops and vitamin pills, we would be better off if we allowed them to eat plenty of eggs, drink calcium fortified milk, and play outdoors as much as we did, in unpolluted sunshine. Physicians have been astonished to find rickets among hospitalized children today, often from affluent homes, and even when there is not actual deformity, the deficiency shows up in other ways such as bad skin, bad eyes, bad teeth and weak bones. The rest of us don't come off so well either. Look at how many people work, play, and go to school in windowless, air- conditioned buildings, locked away from natural light. We now sit in sealed-up houses, and when we do get outdoors buildings often block the sun from us, or the air so choked with smog its rays can't penetrate. To compound the problem, at least half the population wears glasses, and practically everybody slaps on a pair of dark ones the minute the sun is spied. Some people even wear them indoors. Americans are tortured by arthritis, and uncounted millions more break hips and other bones every year. We are a nation woefully crippled by too little vitamin D. Adding vitamin D to whole milk is one commendable case of fortifying food, but remember, the form is the synthetic or vitamin DJ, which is less potent, yet at the same time more toxic, than the natural form found in fish-liver oil. Another problem? Vitamin D2 in whole milk is easily destroyed by light; and there is no vitamin D at all in skimmed milk, used by so many people who are worried about both weight and cholesterol. The vitamin D in fish-liver oils is preferable to any other, because it is the very same Vitamin D substance manufactured by the sun. It is also less toxic.
October 21, 2017

Vitamin D Deficiency: An Update

Studies link Vitamin D deficiency to nonskeletal disorders. To date, deficiency is difficult to assess. UVB therapy might benefit certain individuals.

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide epidemic. In the United States, close to 36% of young adults without apparent health conditions and 57% of adult, hospitalized patients are vitamin D deficient, according to Mayo Clinic Proceedings and Nutrition Journal. In the United Kingdom, an estimated 60% of middle-aged adults suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Recent studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation could benefit medical conditions other than diseases of the bone. Researchers face the problem that measurements of vitamin D levels do not reliably correlate with the risk of deficiency-related medical conditions. In addition, treatment involving the use of an artificial source of ultraviolet B light could potentially benefit certain vitamin D deficient individuals.

Backround

Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, is derived from sun exposure, dietary sources and supplements. Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, but certain dairy products, juices and cereals are fortified with vitamin D. The bone diseases classically associated with vitamin D deficiency are rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Exposure to ultraviolet B light from the sun results in the formation of vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D is transported in the bloodstream to the liver, where it is converted to 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D. Measurement of serum 25(OH)D levels is used to assess vitamin D deficiency. Besides individuals with insufficient intake of vitamin D, those with certain medical conditions, such as Crohn's disease, which is associated with impaired intestinal absorption of vitamin D, are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency.

Potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation

Strong evidence generated by randomized clinical trials links vitamin D supplementation to a reduced risk of falls and bone fractures in the elderly, as reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings and Nutrition Journal. Only doses of vitamin D above 400IU per day decreased the risk of fractures, while doses of 700IU or higher per day were needed to decrease the risk of falls. To date, numerous studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of a multitude of nonskeletal medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, asthma, infection, mental illnesses, myalgias, and renal disease. However, most of these studies are observational, and considered unconvincing because they are not based on the gold standard of a randomized clinical trial.  

Deficiency and Insufficiency

The term "vitamin D deficiency," defined as 25(OH)D serum levels below 10ng/ml, is associated with bone disease, while the term "insufficiency," defined as 25(OH)D levels of 11 to 20ng/ml, applies to nonskeletal disorders, according to Mayo Clinic Proceedings. However, these definitions are controversial, since significant numbers of individuals classified as "deficient," or "insufficient," based on measured 25(OH)D levels, do not have symptoms or signs of deficiency. Furthermore, studies showed that the same dose of vitamn D, or an equivalent exposure to sunlight, resulted in highly variable 25(OH)D levels, ranging from 11 to as high as 71ng/ml in one sun exposure study. The health outcome in relation to a measured level of 25(OH)D likely depends on multiple factors, including calcium intake, age, physical activity and fat stores, as well as individual genetic variation.

An altenative to supplementation

A recent review in Nutrition Journal proposes the use of an artificial source of ultraviolet B (UVB) light in the treatment of Vitamin D deficiency. Unlike vitamin D supplementation, UVB light does not carry the risk of vitamin D toxicity. However, optimal duration of exposure varies between individuals and must be established to prevent erythema (redness of the skin resulting from injury to small blood vessels). In addition, a device that generates the optimal wavelength of UVB light must be used. UVB irradiation is not suitable for individuals taking certain medications, such as insulin, or those with medical conditions, such as pulmonary tuberculosis or dermatitis.
October 20, 2017

How to avoid ill health condition

Every health conscious person throughout the world nowadays thinks about the easiest way to quit possibilities of ill health condition. If you have decided to improve your physique and mind together, then you have to keep focusing on some important things like your weight, diet, exercise and hobbies. You have to maintain a healthy weight when you expect a lot on the improved health condition throughout the life. Sufferers of obesity nowadays are unable to engage in their routine activities. They get ever-increasing physical and mental health problems. You have to begin a step now and maintain your weight based on the suggestions from your doctor. People who exercise regularly can be strong and sharp. This is because they reduce overall possibilities of ill health condition. You can play active games when you get bored with usual exercises in the fitness center.  If you engage in your favourite physical activities like gardening, dancing and walking, then you can become healthy as expected. This is worthwhile to listen to your favourite genre of music whenever you experience stress and its related mental health problems. Smokers are prone to various health problems like cancer. Once you have started smoking, you reduce days in your lifetime as quickly as possible. You have to quit smoking in a proper way. You can feel free to join in the most successful quit-smoking program and stop major possibilities of illness. Individuals of every age group have to make fresh fruits and vegetables as the part of their meal. They have to avoid red meat and prefer fish and chicken. They can drink alcohol only in moderation when they unable to quit alcohol. This is advisable to avoid participating in occasions centered on alcohol. You can prefer and consume non-alcoholic beverages at parties and meals. Do not fail to protect yourself from too much exposure to the sun.
June 21, 2017

A Chinese Medicine Flower Garden: Common Flowering Plants Used for Traditional Chinese Medical Healing

Chinese herbalists wishing to ensure the purity of the plant parts they use in their formulas can rely on the backyard garden for some easy to grow plants with a wide variety of uses in traditional health care.

Magnolia Buds (Xin Yi Hua)

The buds of the magnolia (Magnolia liliflora), are harvested in the spring before the flowers fully open. The Chinese herbal tea made from them is used to help open the sinuses, especially in cases where the patient feels cold.

Chrysanthemum Flowers (Ju Hua)

These are harvested at the height of the blooming season and the chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) flowers, are made into a tea for headaches, sinus congestion and red, itchy eyes. In this case, there is a perception of heat rather than cold.

Gardenia Fruit (Zhi Zi)

The gardenia or cape jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides) fruit is used in Traditional Chinese Medical formulas, allowing full enjoyment of the flower. The fruit is harvested in the late fall and used in cases of damp heat that manifest as sores in the mouth, urinary tract infections or some types of jaundice. It is also used topically to reduce swelling due to trauma or to stop nosebleeds.

Buddleia Buds (Mi Meng Hua)

The buddleia (Buddleia officinalis) or butterfly bush is also used at the budding stage by Chinese herbalists. Light sensitive and red, swollen eyes benefit from its use.

Phellodendron Bark (Huang Bai)

In this case, the phellodendron (Phellodendron amurense) bark is not harvested until the plant is ten years or older. Huang bai, as it is known, is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for diarrhea or dysentery and well as topically on sores and lesions where there is heat present.

Honeysuckle Flowers (Jin Yin Hua)

Another heat clearing herb, honeysuckle (Lonicerae Japonicae) is a common ingredient in Traditional Chinese herbal formulas for the early stages of a cold or flu as well as for urinary tract infections. The bud, just before it blooms, is used.

Forsythia Fruit (Lian Qiao)

Combined with honeysuckle for those TCM cold and flu formulas, the fruit of the forsythia (Forsythia suspensae) is harvested in the autumn after the flowers are long past.

Purple Aster Root (Zi Wan)

The roots of the purple aster (Astar tataricus) are harvested in either spring or fall and used by Chinese herbalists to treat coughs of a cold nature where it acts as an expectorant.

Peony Root (Chi Shao and Bai Shao)

TCM practitioners use red peony (Paeoniae rubrae) root for a variety of gynecological problems as well as for abscesses and boils. It is considered a Blood invigorating herb in Chinese Medicine

The white peony (Paeonia lactiflora) root is more of a Blood tonifying herb to Traditional Chinese herbalists but the two types of peony are often used together as they address women’s issues from slightly different angles.

There are many more common flowers used in Traditional Chinese medicine. Each has its specific use and each has its unique beauty allowing the herbalist-gardener to create a pleasing flowerbed with a secondary purpose.