Vitamin C Deficient? The Numerous Benefits Of Vitamin C

Health Benefits of Vitamin C Vitamin C is rapidly finding new applications in protecting against endothelial dysfunction, high blood pressure, and the blood vessel changes that precede heart disease. Additional research is discovering that vitamin C can be helpful in preventing asthma, protecting against cancer, and supporting healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics. While often taken for granted, vitamin C is a critical supplement in your program to improve cardiac health and avoid degenerative diseases. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike most mammals and other animals, humans do not have the ability to make ascorbic acid and must obtain vitamin C from the diet and supplementation. Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency Minor bleeding, such as nose bleeds, or easy bruising. Dry, split hair due to inadequate collagen. Slow wound healing. Vitamin C promotes collagen development in scar tissue. Iron deficiency. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption, so low vitamin C and low iron levels often coexist. Fatigue (Read More)

The Perils of a Wealth Shock

Suffering a major financial loss could lead to an early death, a new study suggests. Researchers at Northwestern University analyzed the financial history and health records of nearly 9,000 Americans between ages 51 and 61, from 1994 to 2014. During that period, about 25 percent of the subjects experienced a negative “wealth shock,” measured as a minimum 75 percent drop in their net worth over a two-year period. The median net-worth decrease was just over $100,000. The researchers found that the people who lost their nest egg were 50 percent more likely to die than their peers during the study period, and had the same risk of premature death as those who were poor or in debt. “This is something millions of people go through,” lead researcher Lindsay Pool tells Time.com. “It’s not really a rare event.” Pool and her team say a sudden reversal of fortune can lead to depression, (Read More)

Grilling Causes Inflammation

Regularly eating grilled, broiled, or roasted meat, chicken, or fish may increase the risk for high blood pressure, a new study shows. Harvard researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing the diet and cooking methods of more than 86,000 women and 17,000 men who were followed for up to 16 years. They found those who ate foods cooked by high heat more than 15 times a month were 17 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate them less frequently. The people who preferred their meats well-done were also 15 percent more likely to become hypertensive, reports Reuters.com. “The chemicals produced by cooking meats at high temperatures induce oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance in animal studies, and these pathways may also lead to an elevated risk of developing high blood pressure,” says the study’s lead researcher, Gang Liu. Lowering the heat could help reduce these health (Read More)

Healthy Heart, Sharp Mind

Americans are constantly advised to lead “heart healthy” lives, and for good reason: Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. But cardiovascular health is also a boon to the brain, new research reveals. The study examined the habits and lifestyles of more than 1,000 people who were an average age of 72. Specifically, they assessed how many of the American Heart Association’s goals the participants achieved—keeping physically active; main tain ing a healthy weight and eating regimen; not smoking; and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels under control. The participants also completed cognitive tests when the study began and again six years later. As it turned out, people who more closely adhered to a heart-healthy lifestyle showed fewer signs of age-related mental decline, reports TechTimes.com. University of Miami neurologist Hannah Gardener, who led the study, suggests more research is needed to pinpoint the age ranges (Read More)

How to Slow Brain Aging

Rigorous exercise may do more than protect the heart, trim the waistline, and keep bones strong. New research suggests strenuous physical activity can slow brain aging by as much as 10 years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Scientists followed 876 older adults for five years, tracking their physical activity and testing their memory and thinking skills. MRI scans also enabled researchers to assess their brain health. Repeat tests conducted five years later revealed the participants’ brain function was closely tied to how physically active they were. Those who opted for moderate to strenuous exercise, such as running and aerobics, had the highest scores and lowest risk for memory loss and decline in executive function. Less intense activities, including walking and yoga, produced only modest benefits. The brains of those who were sedentary, on the other hand, looked a decade older than the brains of their very active peers. They also had higher (Read More)

The Benefits of Calorie Cutting

Even if you’re not seriously overweight, there’s a lot to be gained by cutting back on calories, including sounder sleep, a better sex life, and more overall happiness, new research suggests. Researchers asked a group of 218 people with generally healthy weights to either reduce their caloric intake or continue to eat as they normally would for a period of two years. During that time, the participants completed detailed questionnaires about their quality of life. Those who ate normally experienced virtually no weight change, but the people who curbed calories (by 12 percent, on average) not only lost an average of 17 pounds but also reported brighter moods, better sleep, friskier libidos, and an improved quality of life. Lead author Corby Martin tells CBSNews.com that calorie restriction produces a wide range of “positive biological and physiological changes,” including lower blood sugar and improved cholesterol and blood pressure.

Recession’s Health Toll

Many Americans lost their jobs, homes, and retirement savings during the Great Recession, and new research indicates such economic stress can make people physically sick. Between 2007 and 2009, the U.S. unemployment rate doubled from 5 percent to 10 percent and home prices plummeted about 30 percent, on average. Researchers analyzed a long-running heart study to determine how the country’s economic woes affected American health. After examining data collected on 4,600 middle-aged and older adults between 2000 and 2012, they found the recession triggered dramatic increases in blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reports The Washington Post. The study also shows that many people stopped taking their medication during the recession—likely because they could no longer afford it or had lost their insurance. Study author Teresa Seeman warns that economic stress, political volatility, and international conflict all may contribute to a range of chronic health issues. “It will be interesting to (Read More)

Saunas’ Heart Benefits

A good sweat in the sauna may be as beneficial for your heart as moderate exercise. That’s the finding of a new study from Finland, which investigated the effects of a 30-minute sauna session on 102 middle aged adults with at least one risk factor associated with heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, or high cholesterol. When participants stepped out of a 160-degree dry-heat sauna, their blood pressure had dropped by an average of seven points and their arteries gained elasticity, reports Time.com. Their heart rates had also risen, from an average of 65 beats per minute before the sauna to 81 beats after. “At the moment, we can say that sauna use is recommended, and it seems that more is beneficial,” says study co-author Tanjaniina Laukkanen. The positive effects of saunas are likely linked to heat exposure, which can widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. Sweating also (Read More)

Sun Exposure Reduces Blood Pressure

A little time in the sun can do more than just give you a tan; it may help reduce your blood pressure. The incidence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease correlates with latitude and increases during winter, and researchers from the University of Edinburgh set out to find out why. They hypothesized that the seasonal and latitudinal associations with hypertension could be related to the effects of the sun’s UV radiation on nitric oxide (NO) in the skin, in light of the fact that NO metabolites are abundant in human skin. In the body, NO typically has a vasodilating effect, facilitating blood flow and reducing blood pressure. In 24 healthy volunteers, irradiation of the skin with UVA lowered blood pressure with decreases in circulating NO and increases in NO metabolites. Dietary interventions to increase circulating NO had no effect on these UVA-induced changes, which suggests that the blood pressure reduction was (Read More)

Slash Your Risk of Stroke by 42 Percent with Vitamin C

Each year, over 15 million people worldwide suffer from a stroke. As the second-leading cause of disability and death in people over the age of 60, stroke is devastatingly common. Fortunately, a familiar nutrient can drastically reduce the odds of it occurring. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Stroke: A Journal of Cerebral Circulation found vitamin C to be exceptionally helpful in preventing strokes. Identification and Health Consequences When blood circulation to the brain fails, either from an obstruction or blood vessel rupture, brain cells begin to die from lack of oxygen, indicating that we’ve had a stroke. The event doesn’t discriminate between race, sex or nationality – even babies within the womb can have a stroke. The three different classifications include: Ischaemic strokes, which occur when a blood vessel to the brain becomes blocked. This is the most common form, accounting for 87 percent of (Read More)