On July 29, 2010, the British Medical Journal published a flawed study of the usage of calcium supplements and associated risk of heart attack. The study misleadingly concluded that use of calcium supplements increases the risk of heart attacks by 27% and has no significant effect on overall mortality. The authors advise that the use of calcium supplements in treating or preventing osteoporosis should be reconsidered. Some in the media are broadcasting this study as a reason to stop using calcium supplements.
Please don’t stop your calcium supplements before reading more about the serious flaws in this study!
A major problem with this study is that it excluded people taking vitamin D, magnesium, and other common ingredients in bone protection products. As a result, the study participants generally had low levels of nutrients that are associated with lower risk of diseases such as atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease and are directly tied how calcium is used in the body. These nutrients all work together to keep calcium in the bones where it belongs, rather than building up calcium deposits in the vascular system and heart that can contribute to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
Nursing infants should be able to spend quality time, including overnights, with their fathers. Yet some mothers try to use nursing as an excuse to block contact between infants and their dads. Courts should be fully aware that there are plentiful means to ensure a good supply of breast milk for use by fathers caring for infants.
Robert Franklin of Fathers & Families recently penned the posting Expert: No Conflict Between Breastfeeding and Shared Parenting about an article from a breastfeeding advocate who claims fathers are trying to assert in court that breastfeeding is inappropriate behavior:
(Breastfeeding Court Letter, by Katherine A Dettwyler, Ph.D., Anthropology)
In addition, my research has been used to counter charges of child abuse and “inappropriate parenting behaviors” in many court cases, especially involving divorce and custody disputes, where fathers may accuse the mother of “inappropriate parenting by virtue of extended breastfeeding” as a strategy to gain custody of children, or may simply claim that ‘continued breastfeeding’ is not relevant to shared custody arrangements.
At this point (2005), all of the research that has been conducted on the health and cognitive consequences of different lengths of breastfeeding shows steadily increasing benefits the longer a child is breastfed up to the age of 2 years, and no negative consequences. No research has been conducted on the physical, emotional, or psychological health of children breastfed longer than 2 years. Thus, while there is no research-based proof that breastfeeding a child for 3 years provides statistically significant health or cognitive benefits compared to breastfeeding a child for only two years, there is no research to show that breastfeeding a child for 3 years (or 4-5-6-7-8-9 years) causes any sort of physical, psychological or emotional harm to the child. This has recently been confirmed in the 2005 American Academy of Pediatrics “Recommendations for breastfeeding the healthy term infant” (see below).
Low vitamin D levels have long been tied to malnourishment and resultant health problems such as rickets that involve weak bones. But what is surprising to many is that recent research on vitamin D has found that most people are deficient in vitamin D. In particular, those with dark skin such as African-Americans are at particularly high risk for low levels of vitamin D and a wide range of common health problems including obesity, diabetes, asthma, autism, and depression that research is showing are likely related to insufficient vitamin D.
Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic Tied to Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics
The mainstream media has been reporting lately on Michella Obama’s efforts to improve nutrition for kids. She is focusing on reducing calorie-laden foods such as soft-drinks and fast-food, increasing the consumption of healthier foods such as vegetables, and getting kids to trade in some of their sedentary activities such as watching TV for exercise. Yet she and her associates appear to be paying little attention to the widespread vitamin D deficiency epidemic that is increasingly being tied to the epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
If you’re shopping for vitamins and nutritional supplements, you might like to know Puritan’s Pride is offering an additional 10% off plus free shipping on April 9. This is above and beyond its “buy 2 get 3 free” pricing, but for one day only. Now would be a great time to click on over to Puritan’s Pride, enter your order, and then during check-out be sure to enter the coupon code TAPSSD5 to get the additional savings.
One Day Only – 10% OFF any order + Free Shipping at Puritan’s Pride Vitamins!
Enter code: TAPSSD5 at checkout.
Valid: April 9, 2010
Winter is the time of year with shorter days, lower intensity sunlight, and colder weather leading to most people making less vitamin D in their skin due to less sun exposure. The result is that vitamin D levels decline markedly during the winter in people not taking vitamin D supplements. Scientists believe that this accounts in large part for why winter is also the time of year with higher rates of colds and flus. We’ve discussed this further in our article H1N1 / Swine Flu Risk Increased by Low Vitamin D.
I’m a typical middle aged American guy with a weight problem. I’d like to share some of the useful experiences I’ve had without blushing, and also want to share some of my personal medical data with readers, too. So I’m writing this under the pseudonym “Lester Waite” because one of my goals, and I’m sure that of many others, is “less weight.”
Human health is complicated and there can be many different causes behind similar symptoms. It would be nice if there was a “magic bullet” fix for weight gain that will work for everyone, but from my experiences and reading I don’t believe this is likely to ever happen. Having tried a lot of recommendations that worked for others that didn’t work for me, I’ve seen firsthand how weight loss ideas seem very hit-or-miss and for me, unfortunately, mostly miss.
I did, however, finally discover the means to lose some significant weight. But it has some big “gotchas” that really need to be addressed to make it workable for more people. In this article, I’ll explain what I found that has worked for me as it might work for you, too.
Want to Lose Weight?
I wanted to lose weight. Over the years, I tried lots of ideas, ranging from reducing portions to increasing exercise to various weight loss supplements designed to crank up the metabolism. Nothing worked much. Even when I found supplements that helped reduced my appetite and food intake, the weight didn’t come off.
Life Extension founder William Faloon has written a detailed 12 page article on what to do if you get a respiratory illness such as a cold or flu. The article, What To Do If You Contract Influenza — Including H1N1 (Swine) Flu or the Common Cold is to appear in the upcoming January 2010 edition of Life Extension Magazine.
Flu season is here in the northern hemisphere. While there’s still no epidemic of “novel H1N1 flu” or “swine flu” as has been feared since last year, medical centers across the United States are reporting widely varying levels of flu infections. To date, sunny warm areas like Southern California have few infections, cold and cloudy areas like the Upper Midwest have many more. You can find maps showing the US CDC’s attempt at showing levels of infection outbreak across the United States at 2009 H1N1 Flu U.S. Situation Update. Unfortunately, these maps are of poor quality as they really don’t show much of any useful data because the CDC considers most areas to have “widespread” flu outbreaks at this time their maps don’t distinguish sufficiently between the level of flu activity in different areas.
Are you one of the majority of Americans who are overweight or obese? It might interest you to know that the growing mountain of vitamin D research showing that your health will suffer if you don’t get enough vitamin D now includes research that ties increased vitamin D blood serum levels to improved success at weight loss during diets.
This data is from a small study of 38 obese individuals undergoing an 11 week long weight loss program. Obviously replication in larger groups and in other studies would help firm up the conclusions. However, intriguingly the amount of weight lost during the 11 week diet was predictable based upon vitamin D blood serum levels in a very consistent fashion.
The researchers believe there is a predictable pattern here despite the small study size. For each 1 ng/mL higher vitamin D in blood serum, the dieter lost about half a pound more weight. Further, the higher vitamin D levels correlated with more abdominal weight loss. Researchers suspect that vitamin D may help the body metabolize fat more effectively. While more studies are needed to fully understand the exact mechanism of the increase fat loss induced by higher vitamin D levels, it’s not premature to be advising that people need to be increasing and/or monitoring their vitamin D intake more carefully to improve their health.
Given the widespread prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, few side effects from vitamin D supplements, and the low cost of those supplements, anybody intent on losing weight and body fat should be sure to bump up their vitamin D intake to attain optimal vitamin D levels. If you’re willing to spend money on diet books, Weight Watchers classes, low-calorie meals, etc. then you shouldn’t hesitate at the small annual cost (well less than $100 for most adults) of vitamin D supplementation and periodic vitamin D blood tests to verify you are getting optimal nutrition.
If you’re taking advantage of the buy 1 get 2 free sale at Puritan’s Pride and buying $25 or more of products, enter the coupon code 200903 during your checkout to get another $5. That’s enough to cover the standard $4.95 shipping amount with a nickel to spare. The coupon code is claimed to last until September 30, 2009, but the buy 1 get 2 free sales is over September 19, 2009.
Puritan’s Pride carries a huge variety of dietary supplements, vitamins, amino acids, skin care formulas, and other products for your well-being. Some of our favorite Puritan’s Pride products useful to a lot of people are their Vitamin D3 5000 IU softgels and 5-HTP 100mg mood and sleep aid capsules.