Friday, March 17, 2017
D3 – Magic Vitamin?
By Kim Roy
Long grey days getting you down? Hard to get out of bed in the morning? Mysterious aches and pains keeping you from doing as much as you'd like? You might be deficient in vitamin D3.
While most people call it a “vitamin”, it's actually more like a hormone1. Our bodies can produce most of what it needs, if the right building blocks are in place for this to happen. Sometimes those building blocks are either deficient, or downright absent. This can happen through a variety of means: lack of exposure to the sun, through our diet, and be means of some medications.
WHY WE NEED D3
D3 serves many functions in the human body. It helps our bodies absorb the calcium in food. It fights cancer. It lowers incidence of heart disease and stroke. It helps combat diabetes, depression, immunity, infertility (due to PCOS), chronic pain from fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy and Chronic Fatigue Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, to name a few7.
HOW TO GET IT
The oldest, and most natural way to get D3 is through sun exposure. It is the UV-B rays specifically that our bodies use to create D3 by means of the cholesterol our livers create. Hence the name cholecalciferol. Here is a small diagram that tries to illustrate how this works:
UV-B → Cholecalciferol → calcidiol → calcitriol (active form)
Note that D3 supplements come in the form of cholecalciferol, so that our bodies then have to convert it to its final usable conversion form calcitriol. Taking a supplement is simply bypassing the first stage, that is skin exposure.
The Vitamin D Council says,
“You don’t need to tan or to burn your skin in order to get the vitamin D you need. Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day. In fact, your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to turn pink. You make the most vitamin D when you expose a large area of your skin, such as your back, rather than a small area such as your face or arms.”4
If sun exposure isn't an option, due to daytime interior work, or for cultural reasons requiring covering the body, supplementation is a very good option. Whether it's in pill form, softgel, or liquid, makes no difference. Neither is time of day. The dose, however, does make a difference.
The general conventional consensus is 400 IU for a child, and 1,000 IU for an adult. But these doses have now been shown to be much too low to be of any use to the our bodies. The new information coming out now says that, for children, 1,000 IU per 25 lbs of weight is a good starting point. And for adults, a starting daily dose of 3,000 IU is a good place to start.5
If a person is significantly deficient in D3, they might need a much higher dose for a few months, just to up the stores within their fat. This dose can be as high as 50,000 IU a day for a few months6. After that, the dose can be reduced to 10,000 IU a day.
A short note on food sources. The amount of D3 in food is negligible, and not enough to satisfy our body's needs. The tiny amount in such awesome foods as cod liver oil is not enough, and only serves as an adjunct source of D3.
If you've been taking mega-doses for a while, here are some signs that your body has too much D3 in its fat stores, and you need to pause supplementing for a while, like a month.
- feeling sick or being sick
- poor appetite or loss of appetite
- feeling very thirsty
- passing urine often
- constipation or diarrhea
- abdominal pain
- muscle weakness or pain
- bone pain
- feeling confused
- feeling tired
These are all signs of hypercalcemia, or too much calcium in the blood.
While D3 is very good at getting the body to absorb the calcium from food, it's not very good at telling that calcium where it needs to go. (Nice guy, that D3, eh?) So the calcium ends up accumulating in the blood, and causing all sorts of issues. Big one being atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to calcium build up in the arteries. The other symptoms are of calcium not being where it's supposed to be. This can be reversed through pausing intake of D3 until symptoms go away, and then restarting at a much lower dose.
But to avoid this, D3 should always be taken with K2. Think of K2 as a cousin of K1 (phylloquinone), the anti-coagulant vitamin. The body can convert K1 to K2, but it is of minuscule end product, and not nearly enough for the body's needs. While K2 has some coagulating effects, its main function is to tell calcium to go where it ought to go. K2 comes in nine forms, but only two forms are good for what we need: MK-4, and MK-7. Both are menaquinones, but both have different sources. MK-4 (menatetrenone) comes from an animal origin, while MK-7 has a vegetable origin. MK-4 can best be gotten from butter made from the milk of pastured cows, as Dr Weston A Price discovered in his travels around the world in the late 1930s8. Barring that, the next best food source is natto, a rather visually disturbing dish prepared by fermenting soybeans with natto-kin. The end product looks something like this:
This is where MK-7 comes from. It is also present in hard cheeses (like emmenthal), and soft cheeses, and egg yolks from pastured hens.
In ensuring the calcium gets to where it's needed, K2 can help avoid heart disease, osteoporosis, brittle nails, weak teeth, atherosclerosis, muscle aches.
WHAT IS STOPPING US FROM GETTING ENOUGH?
Because it is the cholesterol in our bodies that helps convert the UV-B rays to cholecalciferol, eating a diet that is low in good fats can contribute to a D3 deficiency, which can lead to dementia in later years. However, some lipid lowering medications can cause the same end result. Statins, lipid lowering medication can significantly lower serum lipids, or cholesterol, and this impacts the body's ability to create its own D3. If you are taking statins (Atorvastatin, Lovastatin, Simvastatin, etc), consider taking higher doses of D3, perhaps in the range of 10,000 IU a day. This can also help alleviate many of the common side effects of statins, namely muscle pain9.
WHEN YOU SHOULDN'T TAKE D3
Just like any food, or drug, this vitamin does have a limit on who it can help. People with granulomatous diseases, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, leprosy, coccidioidomycosis, histoplasmosis, cat-scratch disease, paracoccidiodomycosis, granuloma annulare, should consult their family physician before taking any D3 supplements, as it may aggravate the symptoms.
I believe that everybody ought to be taking some form of D3 supplementation because hardly anybody can get enough exposure to the sun's UV-B rays in order to make adequate amounts of D3 for their health. So come on in and talk with one our staff in order to choose the best one that's right for you.
Further information, you can visit these sites:
- You & Your Hormones. (2015, January 11). Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/vitamin_d.aspx
- 10 Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms You Can Identify Yourself. (2017, February 08). Retrieved February 25, 2017, from http://universityhealthnews.com/daily/depression/10-vitamin-d- deficiency-symptoms-that-you-can-identify-yourself/
- Garland, C. F., Garland, F. C., Gorham, E. D., Lipkin, M., Newmark, H., Mohr, S. B., & Holick, M. F. (2006). The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention. American Journal of Public Health, 96(2), 252–261. http://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2004.045260
- Vitamin D Council | How do I get the vitamin D my body needs?. 2017. Vitamin D Council | How do I get the vitamin D my body needs?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body- needs/. [Accessed 26 February 2017].
- www.Easy-Immune-Health.com. 2017. Your Vitamin D Requirements are VASTLY Higher Than You Think. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.easy-immune-health.com/Vitamin-D- Requirements.html. [Accessed 26 February 2017].111
- www.Easy-Immune-Health.com. 2017. Is Vitamin D 50 000 IU Safe? Should You Be Worried?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.easy-immune-health.com/vitamin-d-50-000-iu.html. [Accessed 26 February 2017].
- www.Easy-Immune-Health.com. 2017. Know the Vitamin D facts. Your Health Depends Upon It. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.easy-immune-health.com/Vitamin-D-facts.html. [Accessed 26 February 2017].
- Whole Health Source: Vitamin K2, menatetrenone (MK-4). 2017. Whole Health Source: Vitamin K2, menatetrenone (MK-4). [ONLINE] Available at: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.ca/2008/06/vitamin-k2-menatetrenone-mk-4.html. [Accessed 26 February 2017].
- Vitamin D Council | New study finds vitamin D supplementation may reduce side effects from statins. 2017. Vitamin D Council | New study finds vitamin D supplementation may reduce side effects from statins. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/new-study- suggests-vitamin-d-supplementation-reduces-side-effects-from-statins/. [Accessed 26 February 2017].
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Help! I don't know what to do with my skin anymore!
By Kathryne R.
“I honestly don’t know what to do with my skin anymore”
This honestly really is an actual introduction to beautiful skin. The above statement seems to be a common that women make when they’ve claimed to have tried “everything” from cleansers and toners, serums, followed by all kinds of creams that promise beautiful skin. I myself have relied on advertisements in the past, spending so much money on what I thought was a good product, only to realize it was a horrible product that stressed me out and left me with breakouts and dry skin. I won’t bore you with what I went through and provide my detailed story. That’s not my purpose for writing this. I will save you some trouble and confusion by simply listing what not to do from personal experience and mention what to watch out for in the ingredients regarding all skincare products, how to stop breakouts from happening, keep your skin moisturized, what to put in your body, how your state of mind takes part, and lastly, recommend a few topical products that will work for most people. I promise that if you take care of the causes it will make a huge difference in your life and how you feel about you. Ideas are worthless unless we act on them and stick with it long-term.
Your skin eats too!
I’ll start with the inside scoop! Do you want that glow? Of course you do! We’re all told to eat our vegetables, that we are what we eat, etc, etc…but more so, and most importantly, we are what we digest! It goes so much deeper then that. Our digestive systems play a role in determining the state of our largest organ. It’s extremely common for women in their twenties to breakout around the chin area, usually due to weak digestive systems. What can you do?
-Take a probiotic supplement of at least 50 to 100 billion. This repopulates the good bacteria needed for absorbing nutrients.
-Consume fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, pickles and drink some kombucha!
-Completely avoid all dairy products. Absolutely NO cheese or ice cream, milk, but kefir is the only exception because of its probiotic properties and it does not contain any hormones or antibiotics. When we consume other milk products, it invites toxins into our guts, feeding the bad bacteria and causes inflammation which is then evident in the skin. Seriously, skip it. It’s totally worth it to find alternatives. Quit the dairy and the effects will start to take place in two weeks.
-Gluten is bad. Period. Gluten-free is not a “trend” and isn’t something that only certain people can tolerate. Your stomach doesn’t like it and shows its hate through the results of your skin….and that’s only one of the many other unpleasant symptoms.
-Drink plenty of distilled water. This is a no-brainer to hydration and flushes out toxins.
-Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water in the morning will kick-start your digestive system and because it’s anti-bacterial, acts as one of the cures for acne.
-Reduce sugar intake. High sugar causes wrinkles by ranking up inflammation which breaks down the collagen. Gross.
-Look into a hormone balancing supplement. Unfortunately, its common for our hormones to be out of whack, experience bad PMS, are estrogen dominant and, you guess it-our skin pays for it.
The nourishing oils and happy superfoods!
Yay! Let’s speak of what our bodies love! Most women have the biggest desire to concentrate on reducing as well as preventing wrinkles on their face and neck. We do this by moisturizing the outside, but consuming healthy fats, (oils in particular) can have a tremendous effect on the prevention of dry skin and creases. Borage oil is one of them, and it needs more recognition. We all know that the winter season takes its toll on drying out our skin, so it’s vitally important to apply and ingest essential fatty acids. What’s special about borage oil, is that it won’t only help with the dryness, but treats and prevents acne due to the GLA that reduces inflammation.
The best beverage to drink everyday is to literally drink your vegetables for the maximum absorption. By doing this, it’s a lot easier on your digestive system and will certainly give you that glow and clear skin you’ve always wanted! Do yourself a huge favor by getting an actual blender(one that does NOT extract the pulp) and just shove a bunch of kale, spinach, carrots, berries, and pineapples with 2 cups of coconut or almond milk into the blender and mix it all up. This is known as juicing and provides spectacular nutritional benefits to the body! You can do this as a cleanse or however long you like. There’s no limited time to healthy habits!
Are you chilled out?
Stress is the worst on your skin. It clearly shows when someone is in distressed. On the physical side, the dark circles are present, the blemishes are there all the sudden, you may get blotchy skin and in most cases women will breakout around the jawline. You are told you “look tired” and automatically get the worst feeling. First of all, completely disregard that person who tells you that and focus on you. How you feel and think about yourself is significant to your well-being which clearly influences the condition of your skin. Let’s say you are in a situation where your diet is going well, but now there’s cake in your mouth because of a birthday. Listen, if you’re eating habits have been excellent the majority of the time, my advice is simply this….DO. NOT. WORRY. I assure you the stress of eating it is worse than the dessert itself. You can go out to restaurants. Have some fun. Eat chocolate. Once in a while will never hurt you as long as you never stress about it. If you get a tiny spot here and there, who cares? You’ve done your best by doing all that you can for prevention of skin issues and it helps to be self-aware by asking how you’re feeling at this present moment. We are not aiming for perfection, but for self-improvement. What exactly stressed you out this week and what have you done to relax? I can honestly tell you that meditation and yoga have been my main activities for stress reduction along with a whole lot of mental labor, combined with eating organic produce, and applying the highest quality topical products and my skin has never been better.
“Ok, but WHAT do I put ON my skin??”
Alright, alright, let’s get to the fun part! It’s also the rude awakening, but the truth is sweet in this manner. I’m starting this off by telling you what NOT to use on your skin with the most vital piece of information….STOP washing your face with SOAP. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few cleansers that are safe as long as the ingredients are clear of parabens, sulfates, alcohols, fragrance, and other chemicals that the majority of us cannot pronounce…..like “ethylhexylglycerin”? Anyways, those are obviously harmful and should never be applied. The bottom line is that most soaps are very drying because of the fact that they strip away all of the necessary oils our skin needs to prevent dryness. The pores produce a certain amount of sebum, so when we wash it all away, our skin fights back and creates more, which then causes clogged pores and invite bad bacteria in to create a party of pimples. Fun eh? It’s a defense mechanism, but the good news is that all this mess can totally be reversed in a short period of time. You need to understand that there’s a huge chance that what you have been applying to your face everyday from those drugstores are what’s causing the problems. I know you’re probably thinking, “But my skin is too oily and I NEED to wash my face!” If that need be, please note that it’s so easy to make your own ant-bacterial cleanser without any damage and if you’re going to purchase one, please check the label and ask yourself if it’s really organic as natural as it claims to be.
Face masks and toner recipes
-one to two drops of frankincense
-1/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar
-2 tbsp of filtered water
-a pinch of lemon juice
-1 tsp of rosewater
Blend together in an empty spray bottle and use once every night
My favorite yummy mask:
-1 tsp of manuka honey
-1/4 tsp cinnamon and turmeric
-1 tsp of brown sugar
-a pinch of lemon
Smother it all over your face, leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, gently pat dry with a face cloth and voila! You get that instant colour, that even skin tone that we all crave to achieve. The best part is that if you continue to do this 3 times a week, those annoying spots, blemishes and scars will fade.
You know when you get those huge pimples that hurt? This emergency mask is specifically for severe cystic acne.
-1/2 tsp of activated charcoal powder
-1/4 tsp of baking soda
-1/4 tsp turmeric
-1 tsp of moor mud
Leave on for 15 mins and rinse thoroughly with warm water. Splash your face with cold water afterwards to shrink those pores. Pat dry with a face cloth.
The Magical Everyday Cleanser
Manuka honey. Yep, that sticky stuff kills all of the bad bacteria without stripping any oils away. It contains methylglyoxal-this is a GOOD one I swear-which is basically a compound formed in the nectar of the manuka flower itself and this is the primary bacteria killing sucker for curing acne.
You can spray your toner or apply a tiny bit of water to your face in order to easily smear the honey. Simply apply a small amount to wherever you breakout and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse off with cold water and gently pat dry. Do this everyday and within a week you will notice a remarkable change!
The moisturization process
What creams have you been using? Check. The. Ingredients. Remember what I mentioned earlier about the “ethylhellylglecerin”?? Stay away from anything similar to that word. I’ll be quick to tell you that the best creams are made of organic pure oils and vitamins. Just like the body thrives from nutrition, you need a multivitamin and high quality oils for your face. Some oils and vitamins will go by another name, but thankfully they have to mention it in parentheses. I hope I haven’t caused any confusion up to this point, so bear with me as I guide you through this last part on how to unclog your pores. It only takes 30 seconds and it will actually work for everyone.
Jojoba oil. Make it your best friend. This is the god of all oils because it’s the only one closest to our sebum. I can understand why it sounds counterproductive to add more oil to your face when you refer to your skin as already “too oily” but the truth is, oils are the best thing for your skin! What you’re actually doing by applying jojoba oil is tricking your skin to not produce so much. Jojoba oil contains plenty of vitamins and minerals and has a very long shelf life. I recommend the unrefined cold-pressed jojoba oil such as the Now brand. This will dig deep into your pores, soften the sebum and actually unclog them and by doing so, your skin won’t have to overcompensate at all. You can use it alone or in conjunction with a great face cream.
I’m going to end this with my highest recommendations of all of my favorable products. Below is a list of the best organic brands of face creams to consider, not to mention their fantastic body lotions!