Vitamin D and Erectile Dysfunction/Vitamin D and Longevity/Vitamin D and Rheumatoid Arthritis/Astragalus and Green Tea/Preventing Wrinkles/Cancer Therapy

Vitamin D and Erectile Dysfunction

Approximately 40 percent of men over the age of 40 have erectile dysfunction and, coincidently, about 40 percent of Americans have vitamin D deficiency as well (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Now a recent study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, suggests that the two may be linked.

Scientists analyzed data on 3,400 American men over the age of 20 and found a vitamin D deficiency to exist in 35 percent of the men who also had erectile dysfunction, versus only 29 percent vitamin D deficiency in those without erectile dysfunction.

After allowing for other risk factors for erectile dysfunction, the conclusion was that men with low vitamin D levels have a 32 percent higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction compared to men who have adequate vitamin D levels. (Study)

Vitamin D and Longevity

Telomeres are a critical component of human cells that affect how we age, and in fact, they are now considered one of the most important biomarkers of ageing. Telomeres are a sort of “cap” that exists at the end of each strand of DNA, designed to protect our chromosomes, and often described as being akin to the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. As we age the telomeres fray and get shorter, and as a result our DNA makes poor copies when replicating, leading to age-related decline and diseases.  (Source)

A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that people with lower levels of vitamin D also had shorter white blood cell (leukocyte) telomere length. Here is yet another example of how vitamin D is critical to maintain good health and longevity. (Richards JB et al. “Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women.” Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 86: 1420-5) (Study)

Vitamin D and Rheumatoid Arthritis

A new study on the relationship between vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis, published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, indicates that taking high doses of vitamin D can significantly reduce symptoms in people with rheumatism.

This randomized study followed 150 adults who have had rheumatoid arthritis for more than 6 years, and had been taking drugs to treat it for more than 3 years. They discovered that 49% of the individuals had a deficiency of vitamin D (less than 20ng/ml). Subjects were given 60,000 IU of vitamin D per week for 6 weeks, after which they then received 60,000 IU per month for another 3 months.

Aside from observing a marked improvement in serum vitamin D levels, there was also a dramatic improvement in reduction of the painful symptoms of the rheumatoid arthritis, leading the author of the study to conclude that “use of vitamin D supplements in people with persistent rheumatoid arthritis and a vitamin D deficiency can result in significant improvement in disease symptoms.”  (Chandrashekara S and Patted A. “Role of vitamin D supplementation in improving disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis: an exploratory study.” International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Published online 20 Oct 2015)  (Study)

This study found support in another released in the same month (Oct, 2015) by Nature Review Rheumatology, which confirmed an association between vitamin D deficiency and a variety of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. Here the researchers noted that “the association of vitamin D deficiency with RA severity supports the hypothesis of a role for vitamin D in the initiation or progression of the disease, or possibly both.” (Jeffery LE et al. Vitamin D in rheumatoid arthritis—towards clinical application.” Nature Reviews Rheumatology2015; online 13 Oct)  (Study)

Astragalus and Green Tea for Cold and Flu Prevention

In the last newsletter I provided a link to an older blog of mine on how medicinal mushrooms can keep our immune system strong and able to fight of colds and influenza. The blog link below covers two other potent natural anti-viral, immune enhancing herbs that can be an important part of your winter defense system: Astragalus and Green Tea.
Western science has confirmed that Astragalus has potent immuno-modulating, anti-allergenic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. As well, studies have shown that using Astragalus throughout the cold season can reduce the both the number of colds caught, and the duration of those colds that were caught. Astragalus also is commonly prescribed by Naturopaths for bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Astragalus is available in our ImmuneStart product, along with medicinal mushroom extracts.

Green tea offers immune support from a number of different angles. It is a powerful antioxidant, and is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. All of which serve to protect our bodily terrain against free radical damage from toxins, and attack by invasive bacterial, fungal and/or viral agents.

For those who don’t like to drink green tea (and one does need 3 or more cups per day to get all of the benefits that it can provide), there is a distinct advantage to taking a liquid green tea supplement rather than capsules. When green tea runs through the mouth it kills the bacteria that can cause bad breath and cavities, and provides protection against oral cancers.

Preventing Wrinkles

Have a look at this infographic on how to naturally prevent wrinkles. Find out how valuable aloe vera, red ginseng and pine bark extract are at reducing wrinkles and improving skin elasticity. (Source)

Suggested Reading

For a unique approach to cancer therapy I found this book to be a valuable guide.

“Embrace, Release, Heal: An Empowering Guide to Talking About, Thinking About, and Treating Cancer” – by Leigh Fortson

“Created to help anyone whose life has been affected by cancer, this in-depth resource offers interviews with both allopathic and integrative medical experts; remarkable accounts from people who transcended “terminal cancer” and are now thriving, snapshots of progressive treatment techniques; and insights into other key factors that can affect well-being—including thoughts, emotions, and diet.”

This is perhaps the best book on cancer therapy that I have ever read. In the natural healing field it is easy to get caught up in the allopathic approach; the idea that, while drugs and medications are of dubious value, the answer lays in giving the right amount of vitamins and herbs to treat any given ailment, including cancer. This is still the “take this pill for that ailment” approach.

But illness includes other more subtle factors, such as what kind of emotional trauma we are carrying, along with negative thought forms running through our subconscious. What this book points out, with success stories to back it up, is that, as well as good nutrition and detoxification, the answer to life threatening diseases, such as cancer, also must include deep introspection, and a revitalization of our meaning and purpose in life. And that, in the case of one woman, included drinking margaritas on the beach in Mexico, since in her life she was lacking simple fun and pleasure. Now that is my idea of a good therapy. (Source)

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