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Study backs benefits of multivitamins

Taking multivitamin and mineral supplements significantly increases nutrient intakes and decreases nutrient deficiencies, a new study has found.

The US study, which was published in Nutrients, found that people who took a multivitamin or mineral supplement for 21 or more days per month eliminated most nutrient inadequacies. The findings were particularly notable for ‘under-consumed’ nutrients such as vitamin A and iron.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Health and Food Supplements Information Service said: “This study is really important in setting the record straight on the value of multivitamins and minerals. We know these nutrients are key to our health and wellbeing and low levels have been shown to have negative health impacts.

Unfortunately, all too often it is said that you can get all the nutrition you need from a healthy, balanced diet. But this ignores how most people actually eat. A lot of people don’t consume the full-spectrum of micronutrients needed to support optimum health.”

She added: “Topping up the diet with a daily multivitamin and mineral plus an omega-3 supplement will help to counteract potential dietary shortfalls and assist people in reaching the recommended levels of key nutrients which we all need to support good health.”

Heart failure risk linked to vitamin D deficiency

New research has highlighted the need for the older generation to supplement with vitamin D, the so-called sunshine vitamin. A study published in European Journal of Heart Failure reported that the risk of heart failure was more than 12 times higher in elderly vitamin D deficient participants than those with an adequate level.

These results support findings from a previous study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found an association between vitamin D supplementation and reducing the risk of heart failure. Deficiency can be corrected by using a simple daily vitamin D oral spray that bypasses the digestive system and guarantees absorption. Multiple trials have found that oral vitamin sprays elevate serum vitamin D levels on average 2.5 times more effectively than traditional tablets and capsules.

To find out how to check your vitamin D levels, visit www.betteryou.com/vitamin-d-testing-service

Asthma link to gum disease

Asthma sufferers have a higher risk of developing gum disease, according to new findings. The study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, examined a range of 21 papers published between 1979 and 2017, and analysed the relationship between asthma and oral health in more than 120,000 people. The results confirmed that people with asthma were almost one fifth (18.8 per cent) more likely to suffer from periodontitis. In response, the Oral Health Foundation is encouraging asthma sufferers to ensure they pay close attention to their oral health in order reduce their risk of developing gum disease.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation said: “We have known for some time that there are close links between oral health and systemic disease, such as heart disease and diabetes. This new study is hugely significant as it could help many millions of asthma sufferers from having to deal with further significant health problems. While gum disease can be treated very effectively, the best approach is certainly prevention and making sure we do not fall foul of it at all. We are encouraging anybody who suffers from asthma to be especially alert to the early signs of gum disease; which include red inflamed gums, bleeding when brushing your teeth and persistent bad breath, and ensure that you visit your dentist as soon as possible to get checked out and avoid any further problems.”

Did you know?

Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, so why not get into the Halloween spirit this October by making some pumpkin pie? Marry Cotter, a nutritional therapist with Nuffield Health explains: “Vitamin A is a key ingredient for healthy eyes, more specifically, the two specific carotenoid forms of vitamin A: lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are found inside the retina of the human eye and help protect the retina and cornea, and defend against age-related eye disorders.”

Other good sources of vitamin A include spinach, kale, carrots, squash and Swiss chard.

Get active this autumn

The end of the summer holidays and gyms nationwide see a surge of ‘returnees’ heading back to the exercise room. But how can you ensure that you stick to a new regime? “Try a new class to re-vitalise your routine,” says Jennifer Saxon, Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing for MINDBODY.

“What about a Flying Fantastic workout: an aerial class to hone your circus skills? Or boxercise: exercises based on the training routines that boxers use to keep fit. Whatever you choose, make it fun, and it won’t feel like a chore. After a break from exercise, you may feel like your fitness levels are back to square one. Don’t feel discouraged. Take the opportunity to push yourself a little bit more – sign up for two classes a week instead of one. And finally, take a friend or family member. Having someone to go with, especially if they’re at the same fitness level, makes exercise more fun.”

In the pink

This October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the charity Breast Cancer Now is encouraging everyone to dress in pink as part of its annual fundraising campaign. Wear it Pink takes place on 20 October and encourages supporters to hold events in their homes, schools and workplaces and to make a donation to Breast Cancer Now.

TV star Lisa Riley, who is supporting the event, said: “I will be wearing pink this year for my beautiful mum who lost her life to breast cancer in 2012. I know the devastating effect this awful disease can have and I want to help raise vital funds for Breast Cancer Now’s research so we can create a future where women don’t have to live in fear of a diagnosis.”

To find out more visit www.wearitpink.org

Why beetroot is so unbeatable

Due to its rich nutrient and nitrate profile, beetroot has been linked to reduced blood pressure and improved sports performance when consumed after exercise, according to a new study published in Complete Nutrition. The study found that beetroot has an ‘ergogenic’ effect – meaning that it enhances physical performance – during shorter bouts of high intensity exercise. The study also revealed the link between beetroot consumption and improved muscle recovery after short bursts of physical exercise.

Dr Emma Derbyshire, a leading public health nutritionist who authored the Complete Nutrition paper said: “There is a wealth of studies which explore the staggering health properties associated with beetroots, and so much more research still needs to be done. Beetroots are becoming increasingly popular with health conscious consumers as they can be bought pre-cooked and with infused flavours, making them a simple snack after exercise.”

For more findings and tasty beetroot recipes, visit www.lovebeetroot.co.uk

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