Some Important Facts About Cellulite, Collagen, and Beautiful Skin

A lot of people spend a lot of time and money trying to get rid of cellulite.

Some try to exercise it away—and that’s always a good thing to do for the overall health of your body—even if it doesn’t completely improve the appearance of cellulite.

Others try to liposuction it away—but that can be painful and expensive, and it doesn’t get to the root cause of cellulite. (Liposuction can get at some cellulite, but because the procedure is really aimed at removing fat from deep within the body, it actually misses most of the skin layer where cellulite resides.)

There are new laser cellulite removal procedures that appear to be more effective than liposuction, but again, that’s surgery (at least of a sort), and it takes several costly sessions to get noticeable results (think 3 to 4 sessions at around $1,200 a pop).

Then, of course, there are the tens-of-millions of dollars spent each year on topical creams that make outrageous claims about removing cellulite from the outside—which is not where cellulite resides!

So, with all of the confusion about how to get rid of cellulite, it makes sense to get some facts about this vexing problem that has the attention of millions of women (and yes, plenty of men, even if they won’t admit it).

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Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

Life isn’t always pretty — especially when your gut gets involved. Gas, bloating, the runs, constipation… These are not pleasant topics. But they adversely affect millions of people every day, and if you are one of them, then you know that these issues can be a pain in more than just your you-know-what. Digestive issues can run the gamut from a minor irritation to a daily problem.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help your digestive tract get on track:

  1. Consult Your Doctor — If your digestive issues are more than a minor and rare annoyance, you should see your doctor to find out if there is an underlying issue involved.
  2. Track Your Eating Habits — A food journal will let you know if there are specific foods that trigger your digestive issues.
  3. Go Pro — As in probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that help your digestive tract do what it needs to. They are found in healthy digestive tracts, but their number is often diminished by poor diet and certain medications.
  4. Increase Your Fiber Intake — Getting enough of the right kinds of fiber into your daily diet is essential for digestive health. Fiber helps your body process the other foods that you eat. It can help keep your bathroom trips regular and more comfortable, as well as help manage blood sugar levels and cholesterol (which are definitely things you should have your doctor check regularly).
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Some Important Things Men Need to Know About Testosterone

Take away a man’s testosterone and he isn’t a man. Well, at least he’s not the man he once was.

While the prevalence of testosterone deficiency in men rises with advancing age, some research concludes there may be smart strategies we can put in place to maintain it. There are some researchers who believe that a declining testosterone levels in men are not a part of normal aging.1 And yet, testosterone levels among American men have been in decline over recent decades.2

The question is, what can we do about it. And while eating healthy, getting exercise and consulting a doctor are always good first steps in combating health issues, there are also nutritional approaches to dealing with testosterone concerns. One such approach is Zetosterone™, a nutritional supplement formula that contains a combination of cornerstone nutrients for men’s health.* Zestosterone™ is packed with evidence-based ingredients that men can utilize as a proactive way support healthy testosterone levels, along with healthy prostate function.*

Is It Time to Check Your Testosterone?

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New Hope for Healthy Women Dealing with Hair Loss

We live in a culture obsessed with healthy hair. In fact, in 2017 over $3.47 billion dollars was spent in America on products to enhance the look and beauty of our hair. And that’s not including money spent on shampoos or other basic hair cleaning products, or for spa treatments and trips to the hair salon. That’s money spent on hair coloring products, styling gels, and hair spray… and on one other category of hair products that most people do not like to talk about: hair growth products.

Nearly $118 million was spent in 2017 on products to help fight back against hair loss. However, if you were to think that the lion share of that was spent on male pattern baldness, you would be wrong — because nearly 40% of hair loss sufferers in America are women.1 And while the air waves are filled with commercials for hair loss reduction solutions for men — along with many male icons who embrace and popularize the “bald is beautiful” way of life — women often struggle in silence with hair loss, which for some leads to self-image problems, loss of confidence, and even depression.

Now, a distinction should be made here. There are certain medical conditions that lead to hair loss in both men and women, such as alopecia. And some hair loss in women can be caused by oral contraceptive use. However, there is an overwhelming number of healthy women who look in the mirror and are concerned about the health and volume of their hair because of damage done by daily wear and tear, or by excessive use of hair treatment products or harsh styling techniques such as hair straightening or curling irons.

Women in the former categories may want to pursue medical intervention. However, if the daily grind of life has worn down your hair, then you have a new nutrient-based alternative to the shampoos and spa treatments that have left you dissatisfied. It’s called Volumify™.

The New Word in Clinically-Tested Hair Health Supplements – VOLUMIFY™

You won’t find “volumify” in the dictionary, but if you are looking for a new approach to hair loss reduction, you will want to make Volumify™ part of your daily hair beauty routine. Volumify™ contains a patented, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinically tested ingredient developed by researchers in Europe that harnesses the power of a special standardized millet extract, along with other nutritional co-factors, to promote healthy hair density and volume from within.* Simply put, it’s a hair loss solution in a capsule.

Millet has an interesting place in history. Archeological evidence suggests that it was first cultivated in China during the Xia Dynasty and helped nourish the growth of China for over 8,000 years. And in the days of ancient Babylon, millet was prized as a symbol of strength, power, and beauty. Even botanists use the word “hair” to describe this majestic plant. And now modern scientists have discovered that this wholesome nutrient can promote the beauty, brightness, and volume of your hair to reduce hair loss in healthy women.*

Clinical research into the active millet ingredient in Volumify™ has produced some amazing results — and some very happy test subjects! Here’s what they found:

  1. Ninety-one percent of the women in the study reported getting a visible reduction in hair loss.
  2. And 75% said they noticed increases in the brightness, softness, and silkiness of their hair, most by the 6-week mark.
  3. In all, women in the clinical trials enjoyed a 49% overall reduction in hair loss after 12 weeks of use!

Volumify™ Promotes Better Hair Anchorage*

Volumify™ achieves these results by literally getting to the root of your hair loss problem. The active ingredient in this unique formula act on the hair bulbs in your scalp, where they strengthen the collagen that is naturally present there to promote better hair anchorage.* This activates the cell proliferation necessary for healthy hair follicles.* And healthy hair follicles are the root of healthy, beautiful hair.

So yes, Ladies, there really is a pill that can support healthy hair growth! You may have some trouble pronouncing the name, but you won’t have any trouble getting compliments on your new, beautiful ‘do.

(And for the record, some of the creators of the product pronounce it “Volume – if – I” while others say “Vol – loom – if – I” — but that’s really splitting hairs.)

 

1 – American Hair Loss Association. http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/

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Flexuron®: A Revolutionary Step Forward in Joint Comfort

Rolling over to get out of bed… Wrapping your hand around a door knob… Taking the dog for a walk… Riding your bike… Gardening… Getting down on the floor to play with the kids…

For millions of people, these are everyday activities that they do without much thought—and without having to deal with joint health. But for millions of other people, they are a struggle—a chore because their joints aren’t as young as they used to be. And if you are one of the many adults who report joint health issues in national surveys then you know what it is like to skip something you enjoy because your joints made you put on the brakes.1
There are many reasons why a person could be having trouble with their joints but aging and injury are the most prevalent. And while we can do our best to avoid injury and still end up getting injured anyway, there is no known way to avoid aging. However, there are some things you can do for your joints that can help mitigate the effects of normal aging or make dealing with the after-effects of an injury a bit easier: see your doctor, rest, exercise, lose weight, use heat or cold, and take Flexuron®, a new nutritional supplement that out-performed glucosamine-chondroitin for promoting optimal joint comfort in clinical trials.*†

6 Tips for Taking Care of Your Joints

1. See Your Doctor: Your doctor should always be the point-person for your joint health care. Injuries should be attended to as soon as possible. And your doctor can help guide you through a healthy aging routine tailored to your specific needs.

2. Rest: Sounds simple, right? But let’s face it, getting proper rest can be difficult in today’s fast-paced, demanding world. But your joints need proper rest every day if they are to avoid being over-taxed.

3. Exercise: Counter-intuitive, but just as important as getting proper rest for your joints. Joints are a “use-it-or-lose-it” part of your body, as reported by a study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, which observed that if you don’t use your joints, the cartilage covering them tends to get thinner.2 And a second study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that moderate exercise can increase the thickness of joint cartilage and improve joint performance.3 So use your joints—but use them properly (which is where Tip #1 – See Your Doctor – comes into play again).

4. Lose Weight: Weight can be a sensitive topic, but your joints are sensitive to weight. Multiple studies have shown the relationship between body weight and joint discomfort, with one reporting that “being only 10 pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by 30-60 pounds with each step.”4

5. Use Heat… Or Cold: It can be confusing whether to use heat or cold on your joints. Sometimes the answer is one or the other, and sometimes the answer is both (though not at the same time).

Heat is good for soothing stiff joints because it enhances circulation and delivers nutrients to the joints and surrounding muscles. 5 Some people prefer heating pads while others like using moist heat packs. Whichever you use, follow the instructions on the device and do not use it for more than 20-minutes at a time.

Cold, on the other hand, is used for reducing swelling and inflammation because it restricts blood flow to the area and numbs the nerve endings. However, whether you use a frozen bag of peas or an ice pack, do not apply cold for more than 20-minutes.5

6. Use Flexuron®: Getting proper nutrition to your joints can be key to improving their comfort, flexibility, and mobility. Flexuron® is a patented combination of three key nutrients for joint health: omega-3 from krill oil, antioxidant-rich astaxanthin, and hyaluronic acid, which is a component of your joint’s lubricating synovial fluid.*

When people in the past thought about joint comfort supplements, glucosamine-chondroitin is what most readily came to mind. However, Flexuron® will change that. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, the Flexuron® formula performed on average 3-to-5-times better that glucosamine-chondroitin as reported by test subjects using the WOMAC Pain Score Scale (The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index, a widely used set of protocols for assessing pain).† Study participants reported improved joint comfort in as little as 7 days, with increasing improvement over the course of 56 days when measured on the VAS Scale (the Visual Analog Scale, which measures subjective attitudes).

It’s the special combination of ingredients in Flexuron® that make the difference:

PhosphoBoost™ Krill Oil is a great source of Omega-3, and the phospholipids version used in Flexuron® carries the EPA & DHA components of Omega-3 directly into your cells, promoting absorption.* A meta-analysis of studies on Omega-3 concluded that supplementation can improve joint comfort.6

The molecular structure of Astaxanthin gives it an exceptional ability as an antioxidant to help fight joint damage caused by free radical oxidative stress.* Astaxanthin is also valued for a number of other stellar benefits including muscle endurance and circulation, both of which can play a role in joint health.*

Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid serves as a building block for healthy joints and skin.* This gel-like substance is the joint matrix’s “shock absorber,” making it a key component of joint health and comfort.* Unfortunately, the body’s own hyaluronic acid level begins to decline as we age. Supplementing with Flexuron® can help replace some of what the body has lost.*

Put It All Together For Healthy Joints

Your joints support you, so it’s only natural that you will want to support them. Achy joints are never fun; they can slow you down and even keep you from doing the things you enjoy. But with proper care — doctor visits, rest, exercise, weight loss, heat/cold, and Flexuron® — you can increase your joint comfort and flexibility and improve your mobility.* Try something new today to give your joints a helping hand and your joints will give you a standing ovation!

1 – https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/joint-pain#1. Accessed June 2018.

2 – Eckstein F, Lemberger B, Gratzke C, Hudelmaier M, Glaser C, Englmeier KH, Reiser M. In vivo cartilage deformation after different types of activity and its dependence on physical training status. Ann Rheum Dis 2005;64:291-295.

3 – Roos EM, Dahlberg L. Positive effects of moderate exercise on glycosaminoglycan content in knee cartilage: A four-month, randomized, controlled trial in patients at risk of osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum 2005;52:3507-3514.

4 – Role of Body Weight in Osteoarthritis. https://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/patient-corner/disease-management/role-of-body-weight-in-osteoarthritis/. Accessed June 2018.

5 – Using Heat and Cold for Pain Relief. https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/other-therapies/heat-cold-pain-relief.php. Accessed June 2018.

6 – A meta-analysis of the analgesic effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for inflammatory joint pain. RJ Goldberg and J Katz. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0024571/. Accessed June 2018.

† – 3 to 5 Times Better than Glucosamine and Chondroitin at Promoting Total and Maximum Joint Comfort as measured in Clinical study (improvement in WOMAC Pain Scores after subtracting out the placebo response).

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What Is the Right Way to Use Ashwagandha?

There are three things about Ashwagandha that are readily apparent: it’s hard to spell, it’s easy to mispronounce, and it’s quickly becoming a must-have ingredient for health enthusiasts hoping to experience a new sense of vitality. Which is why Chris Kilham The Medicine Hunter™ – has done extensive research into the benefit claims of this staple of Ayurvedic medicine. And what Chris discovered about Ashwagandha is nothing short of transformative.

But there’s a catch.

Not all Ashwagandha supplements are created equally.

What Is the Truth About Ashwagandha Supplements?

There’s a reason why CNN calls Chris Kilham the “Indiana Jones of Natural Medicine” — he’s willing to go to the ends of the earth to find the best natural ingredients for healthy living. So, of course his medicine hunting brought him to India, a country where plant-based remedies have thrived for thousands of years. There he discovered the facts about Ashwagandha, and how one unique patented extract of the plant — the carefully cultivated organic KSM-66® Ashwagandha extract — is changing lives.

Like many supplements available today, there are multiple versions of Ashwagandha available. Some use cut-rate ingredients that have little efficacy, poor absorption, no specific clinical studies, and are just riding the wave of popularity created by media buzz. And then there are those that use clinically studied premium ingredients that are backed by science. That’s the category that organic KSM-66® Ashwagandha is in.

KSM-66® Ashwagandha is a patented full-spectrum extract that maintains the natural balance of the active constituents of the original herb (crucial components such as the alkaloids withanine, somniferine, and tropine, and the steroidal lactones called withanolides). All of these constituents need to be present in the original proportions found in the plant to unlock the power of Ashwagandha — which is why when Chris Kilham developed his Vital Rejuvenator™ formula for Purity Products, he insisted on using organic KSM-66® as the heart of the supplement.

How Is KSM-66® Ashwagandha Made and What Does It Do?

KSM-66® Ashwagandha is produced using a first-of-its-kind unique extraction process dubbed “Green Chemistry”  because it does not use any alcohol or synthetic solvents. Plus, KSM-66® uses only the roots of the Ashwagandha plant, which yields a superior  extract compared to those that use leaves only, or a mixture of roots, stems, and leaves. In other words, organic KSM-66® Ashwagandha is free of fillers. It’s also organic and non-GMO, and it’s cultivated on sustainable farms that support the local community.

And while the science of the extraction and manufacture of KSM-66® Ashwagandha is impressive, it was the results of 13 “Gold Standard” randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind human clinical trials that made it the must-have ingredient for Vital Rejuvenator™.

Just look at a few of the results:

  1. STRESS AND ANXIETY — The treatment group that used KSM-66® exhibited a significant reduction in scores on all the stress-assessment scales on Day 60, plus a reduction in serum cortisol levels, relative to the placebo group.1
  2. CARDIORESPIRATORY ENDURANCE — There was a greater increase from baseline in the mean VO2 max with KSM-66® Ashwagandha compared to placebo at 8 weeks and at 12 weeks, suggesting that extract enhances the cardiorespiratory endurance.2
  3. MEMORY AND COGNITION — After eight weeks of study, the KSM-66® treatment group demonstrated significant improvements compared with the placebo group in both immediate and general memory. This group also demonstrated significantly greater improvement in executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed.3

Overall, the studies showed that KSM-66® Ashwagandha provided support for stamina, vitality, physical performance, mental alertness, and stress management.* No wonder Chris Kilham packed Vital Rejuvenator™ with the clinically-tested dose of 600 mg!

What Makes Vital Rejuvenator™ Special?

While there are other supplements out there that use KSM-66® Ashwagandha, Chris Kilham knew that people who wanted a higher level of physical performance and mental focus would want a formula that combined other nutritional co-factors that would support the Ashwagandha.* So he added 4 complimentary organic ingredients:

  • Schisandra (Organic) — a wild berry widely used in both traditional and contemporary Chinese medicine, Schisandra has a 2,000-year history of use for supporting longevity, energy and fighting fatigue — and a clinical study to back it up.*4
  • Pomegranate (Organic) — a super fruit shown in multiple published scientific studies to support antioxidant defense and cardiovascular health.*
  • Cranberries (Organic) and Blueberries (Organic) — 2 popular specially chosen ingredients endowed with special phytonutrients called anthocyanins that function as antioxidants in the body to help protect cells from free radical oxidative stress.*

What you get, then, with Chris Kilham’s Vital Rejuvenator™ from Purity Products is a unique, evidence-based organic formula that will help your body and mind achieve just what the name says: vitality.* As Chris himself puts it, with Vital Rejuvenator™ featuring all-organic active ingredients, you will have a new “can do feeling, an experience of doing something great for your life.”

1 – Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study Ambiye, V. R., Langade, D., Dongre, S., Aptikar, P., Kulkarni, M., & Dongre, A. (2013).  Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.

2 – Efficacy of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera [L.] Dunal) in improving cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy athletic adults Choudhary, B., Shetty, A., & Langade, D. G. (2015). Ayu, 36(1), 63.

3 – Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Journal of Dietary Supplements, 1-14. Chicago

4 – Pharmacology of Schisandra chinensis Bail.: An overview of Russian research and uses in medicine Alexander Panossian, GeorgWikman (2008). Journal of Ethnopharmacology 118 (2008) 183–212

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A Curcumin Created by Neuroscientists

Discover the Unique Power of Longvida® Optimized Curcumin and CurcuBrite™

The natural health news these days is jammed with people buzzing about the benefits of curcumin, the nutritional supplement ingredient extracted from the spice turmeric. Curcumin is one of the world’s most extensively researched botanicals, and it has a history of being prized as an herb that supports healthy joints, along with other benefits.*

So, when Purity Products went in search of curcumin to use in a new formula, we wanted one that was going to deliver those benefits in a way that garden-variety supplements couldn’t. Our search brought us to Longvida® Optimized Curcumin, a patented form of curcumin designed to be highly bioavailable—and we decided to feature it in CurcuBrite™, a curcumin supplement that goes beyond the ordinary.

Developed in collaboration with elite university neuroscientists, Longvida® Curcumin—the active ingredient in CurcuBrite™— delivers numerous health benefits for both the mind and body.* Longvida® is optimized using patented technology to deliver free curcumin into target tissues, such as in your brain and your joints, with a bioavailability that surpasses ordinary curcumin extracts by up to 285 times!*

Longvida® Optimized Curcumin and CurcuBrite’s™ Impressive Set of Credentials

Such high bioavailability is impressive, which sparked a host of universities and research scientists to put Longvida® Optimized Curcumin to the test—and what they discovered is that this unique active ingredient acts as a potent antioxidant that can help protect your body from oxidative stress and support healthy circulation.* Plus, the Longvida® Optimized Curcumin in CurcuBrite™ supports muscle and joint health, as well as cardiovascular health.* And one clinical trial on healthy older adults found that after one hour, Longvida® Optimized Curcumin improved performance on sustained attention and working memory tasks, compared to a placebo.*

Clinical studies of Longvida® Optimized Curcumin include:

  • Cognition Function + Mood in Healthy Older People (Age 60-80) – Swinburne University
  • Healthy Aging, Cardio Function and Brain Function in Middle-Aged Adults – Ohio State University
  • Evaluation of the Safety and Efficacy of Longvida® Optimized Curcumin in Knee – Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University
  • Retinal Amyloid and Proof-of-concept Imaging Trial – The Journal of Clinical Investigation

Support for Brain, Mood, Joint, Muscle, Eye, Cardiovascular Health, and More*

With all of the impressive results behind Longvida® Optimized Curcumin, you would think that we would just stick a Purity Products label on it and call it a day. However, as Purity customers have come to know (and trust), we never just call it a day when it comes to the health of our customers. So we asked our scientists to see how we could enhance the effects of CurcuBrite™. That led us to add two important ingredients to our formula: Bacognize® Bacopa Monnieri and Pomella® Pomegranate Extract.

Bacognize® is a top-line extract of Bacopa Monnieri that supports memory, focus, and mood.* Like Curcumin, Bacopa has a history of use reaching back centuries. Two separate clinical studies showed that Bacognize® provides positive results for both healthy older adults as well as people in their 20s.*

Pomella® Pomegranate extract is standardized to supply a consistent amount of readily absorbed plant-based polyphenols (flavonoids) known as Punicalagins. Punicalagins are known to promote a wide range of health benefits including antioxidant defense and circulatory support, making Pomella® a great addition to the wellness-enhancing effects of CurcuBrite™.*

So as you can see, there is a lot of new science, clinical research, and great results backing up the ingredients in CurcuBrite™. After all, when it comes to supporting your health, nothing less than an intelligent nutritional solution will do.

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New Randomized Controlled Trial: Vitamin D Helps in Depression

A new randomized controlled trial out of Iran and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology reports that vitamin D may help depression.

Past research has shown a definite association between low vitamin D levels and depression. However, clinical trials have shown mixed results, thus raising need for further research. The researchers in this study led by Dr Hassan Mozaffari-Khosravi wanted to know if a single injection of vitamin D could help improve symptoms in those who suffered from mild to moderate depression.

One-hundred and twenty people were recruited from specialist clinics at Yazd Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences and enrolled into the study. They only enrolled people between the ages of 20 to 60, had presented depression at specialist clinics, scored higher than a 17 on the Beck Depression Inventory II test (BDI) and had a vitamin D level lower than 16 ng/ml.

The BDI is a 63 point self-assess scale, with a score of 63 indicating severe depression, a score of 0 indicating no depressive symptoms. Scores in the range of 11-16 indicate mild depression, while scores 17-20 indicate the need for psychological consultation, so all participants scored at least just above mild depression.

The researchers evenly divided the participants into three groups. One group to receive a single shot of 300,000 IU of vitamin D (300k), another group to receive a single shot of 150,000 IU (150k) and another group to receive nothing, serving as a control group. The third group did not receive a fake shot, so this was not a double blind study, just a randomized controlled trial.

Here were the baseline findings:

  • Mean vitamin D levels were very low. The mean level was 10.1 ng/ml in the control group, 9.2 ng/ml in the 150k group, and 8.5 ng/ml in the 300k group.
  • Mean BDI scores were similar among groups, ranging from 26.4 to 27.5.

The researchers then administered the vitamin D. After three months, the researchers had participants take the BDI again to assess depression to see if improved vitamin D levels helped at all. Here is what they found:

  • Mean vitamin D levels increased to 24 ng/ml in the 300k group, 21.8 ng/ml in the 150k group and stayed low in the control group at 11.3 ng/ml.
  • The severity of depression improved in all groups, as assessed by decreasing BDI. However, the 300k group improved the most.
  • BDI decreased by 9.3 points in the 300k group (26.7 to 17.4).
  • BDI decreased by 6.8 points in the 150k group (27.5 to 20.6).
  • BDI decreased by 2.1 points in the control group (26.4 to 24.3).

The difference in BDI decrease between the 300k group and the 150k group and the difference in BDI decrease between the 150k group and the control group was not statistically significant. However, the difference in BDI decrease between the 300k group and the control group was statistically significant, suggesting that vitamin D may have had an effect in improving depression.

The authors conclude,

“The findings of this study showed that first, vitamin D deficiency in patients with depression has a high prevalence; second, the correction of vitamin deficiency improves depression in these patients; and third, the single dose of 300,000 IU of vitamin D is safe and more effective than 150,000 IU.”

The greatest limitation in this study was that the trial wasn’t double blinded, so we don’t know if there was an extended placebo effect in the people that received shots compared to the control group that didn’t However, the fact that the 300,000 IU vitamin D group showed statistically significant improvement in depression over the control group and the 150,000 IU group did not, hints that the vitamin D shots were not just a placebo effect and that the more vitamin D administered, the better the improvement.

There were some strengths in this study compared to previous randomized controlled trials looking at vitamin D and depression. In a study out of Norway last year, researchers wanted to see if 40,000 IU/week improved depression and found that it didn’t. However, their participants for the most part did not suffer from depression. They also used the BDI scale and found the median participant started at only 4 points, compared to the mean of about 27 points in this Iranian study. Thus, there were few depressive symptoms to improve upon in the Norway study. In this Iranian study, participants suffered from mild to moderate depression, so there was much more room for improvement.

The Vitamin D Council does not recommend the use of single loading doses like the ones used in this study. After three months, vitamin D levels were still low in the 300,000 IU group. Rather, the Vitamin D Council recommends use of daily maintenance doses of 5,000 IU/day in adults to achieve levels of 50 ng/ml. Please see our ‘How do I get the vitamin D my body needs’ page for more information.

Also visit our patient friendly summary on depression for an overview on the subject. Note that the summary is a little outdated now, as there have been a couple of trials on depression and vitamin D since we last updated it.

Source:
Mozaffari Khosravi H, et al. The Effect of 2 Different Single Injections of High Dose of Vitamin D on Improving the Depression in Depressed Patients With Vitamin D Deficiency: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Psychopharm 2013.

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Do Fruits and Vegetables Help Keep Your Brain Young?

Eating ample servings of fruit and vegetables every day is proven strategy for long-term health, one that may even help us live longer, according to large populations studies that have uncovered a direct connection between the numbers of daily servings consumed and the risk of mortality in various groups of people. In the search for understanding how fruit and vegetables work to protect health, research has zeroed in on natural compounds found in fruit and vegetables called “flavonoids.” Flavonoids are phytonutrients (“phyto” means “plant”) that exert protective effects on the heart and cardiovascular systems.

The health benefits of generous fruit and vegetable intakes extend to preserving cognitive function in the elderly, as shown in a prospective population study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Epidemiological research studies the incidence of diseases in population groups to identify possible causes or protective factors. The PAQUID study of 1640 subjects aged 65 and older looked at the intake of flavonoids in relation to cognitive function and decline. Standardized tests of cognitive function were utilized in the investigation. The subjects were divided into quartiles (fourths) based on the amount of flavonoids consumed daily from food, chiefly fruits and vegetables, over a 10-year period. Subjects with the lowest flavonoid intake lost twice as many points on the Mini-Mental State Examination. Those in the top two quartiles “performed significantly better over time than did subjects in the lowest quartile,” according to the report.

How flavonoids work in the body may help explain why eating multiple daily servings of fruit and vegetables is so good for us. “Flavonoids are powerful antioxidant molecules,” the report states, a fact established in other research papers. Antioxidants helps neutralize byproducts of metabolism called “free radicals” that can damage cells if they get out of control. The body has enzyme systems for dealing with free radicals, but these can slow down as we age, leaving us more vulnerable to free radical damage.

When we were kids, Mom told us to eat our vegetables; it’s now our responsibility to give our loved ones that same advice as they grow older. Young or old, however, it can be a real challenge to keep up with the standard recommendation to eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day without fail. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates the average number of daily servings eaten by Americans at only 1.6 for veggies and 1.1 for fruit. Taking a dietary supplement that includes concentrates of fruit and vegetables is one way consumers are helping meet the shortfall. The demand for “green food” supplements with organic vegetable and fruits continues to increase as consumers follow this emerging lifestyle trend.

Reference:
Letenneur L, et al. Flavonoid intake and cognitive decline over a 10-year period. Am J Epidemiol 2007;165(12):1364-71.

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Trouble sleeping? Consider these snooze-friendly foods

Is there anything worse than waking up after a night of no sleep? How about going to work or school with barely an hour of shuteye from the previous night? No matter how you look at it, poor sleep habits can lead to a number of physical and neurological problems – ranging from decreased cardiovascular health, stress management and even weight loss difficulties. Increased exercise is one way to help catch some more Zzzs, but you might also want to
consider incorporating some of these snooze-friendly foods into your regular diet.

Tea
Tea isn’t exactly the first thing you would think of as a sleep aid – especially considering how much caffeine is contained inside. However, WomansDay.com notes that many decaf varities – particularly chamomile and green teas – can help you fall asleep more easily. Green tea actually possess a substance known as theanine, which may assist with better sleep habits.

Cherries
Got a soft spot for cherries? Well, this delicious fruit can also offer a helping hand when it comes to falling asleep each night. Forbes.com notes that fresh cherries are a great natural source of melatonin, a substance that may be able to promote a more restful night’s sleep.

Bananas
Not just a quick breakfast, bananas may also be beneficial as a snack right before bed, according to the Huffington Post. The reason is twofold – bananas are sources of both magnesium and potassium. Magnesium may aid the body in relaxing nerves and muscles, while potassium can do the same, on top of promoting better blood circulation and digestion.

Dairy
That old idea of drinking a warm glass of milk before bed might not be so far off the mark. WomansDay.com reports that dairy products that are packed with calcium can be great sleep aids. Calcium may be able to reduce stress levels, relax the body and calm the mind for a better night’s sleep. This goes for milk and yogurt as well.

Eating habits
Beyond eating the right foods, it’s important to follow healthy dietary habits to enjoy a good night’s sleep, reports EverydayHealth.com. In particular, you should avoid gorging on snacks right before bed, as this can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Alternately, you shouldn’t go to bed hungry either, so choose pre-bedtime snacks that are light and won’t hurt your stomach. The source also suggests sticking with familiar foods at night so you don’t have an unexpectedly poor reaction to what you’re eating.

 

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