Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Melanoma Found to Be Easily Prevented

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Melanoma (skin cancer) found to be easily prevented with low-cost Vitamin B-3

 

Researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia believe that nicotinamide (vitamin B3) can be used to prevent the incidence of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. The study, published in Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, demonstrates the efficacy of vitamin B3 in reducing or even reversing DNA damage and inflammation caused by ultraviolet radiation. Authors of the review say that more research into the topic is necessary but conclude that should their data be further verified, it could lead to a cheap and potent solution to skin cancer.

 

The team noted that nicotinamide costs around $10 per month if taken at the recommended dosage of one gram a day. This is significantly less expensive than conventional cancer therapies, which usually include chemotherapy sessions and various forms of medications.

 

The vitamin therapy was observed to be effective in decreasing the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer among high-risk individuals. Dr. Gary Halliday, senior author of the study said that randomized placebo controlled trials are now needed to confirm a similar effect among high-risk melanoma patients. (Related: Fight skin cancer through nutrition not sunscreen.)

 

A primer on vitamin B3 and melanoma

 

Vitamin B3 is known by many names including niacin, niacinamide, nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide. It can be sourced through the consumption of lean meats, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, and nuts. Most people, however, tend to get their vitamin B3 through supplements.

 

Vitamin B3 is essential for healthy nervous and digestive function and promotes skin health. Those with cholesterol problems can also take the vitamin to balance their triglyceride levels. There is some evidence that also points to the vitamin’s use in the production of bile salts and the synthesis of sex hormones.

 

The vitamin is mostly recommended however for improving brain health. Certain psychiatric symptoms are claimed to be alleviated with an ample dose of vitamin B3. Preliminary studies also suggest that vitamin B3 can prevent dementia.

 

While no side-effects have been seen in taking niacin through food, sourcing the vitamin through supplements can lead to various adverse conditions. An overdose of niacin can lead to stomach irritation, nausea, liver damage, gout, and blurred vision.

 

Vitamin B3’s exact uses and functions are still being determined by medical science. One of the areas that scientists are looking into is the vitamin’s capacity to prevent cancer.

 

YOU CAN NOT TAKE A VITAMIN B3 SUPPLEMENT.  You need to talk to a healthcare advisor on how to take Vitamin B3correctly and what else you MUST take with it.  If you healthcare advisor does not tell you, or comes up with something else, run, do not walk to someone that does know.   Call us!

 

Melanoma is a type of cancer that usually forms on the skin. It begins when the pigment-producing cell, melanin, begins to mutate and multiply rapidly. Because melanoma forms on the skin, it is relatively easy to detect and treat early. Doctors say that 90 percent of all melanoma cases are caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays from natural and artificial sources, including indoor tanning beds. The remaining ten percent takes into account family history, genetics, and other environmental factors.

 

The prognosis for melanoma is normally good, although this depends on how early the cancer is detected.

 

It is important that you are aware of the warning signs of melanoma. This means consistently checking for abnormal moles, brown spots, or growths on the skin. Take note of these red flags:

 

Asymmetry – Draw a line in the middle of a mole and see if both halves match. Moles that are asymmetrical are more likely to be cancerous.

Border – Benign moles have smooth, even borders. Watch out for moles that have scalloped or notches borders.

Color – Noncancerous moles are usually one color. Having a mole that has a variety of colors is a warning sign that something is wrong.

Diameter – Malignant moles are normally larger than benign ones.

Evolving – Moles that seem to change over time can be cancerous.

 

Please call with all your healthcare concerns and questions.  We can help!

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr J J

312-972-WELL

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Sunlight and Vitamin D are Essential for Your Health

sunshine

Sunlight and Vitamin D are essential for Your Health

 

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone produced in your body with the help of cholesterol molecules when you expose significant amounts of skin to the sun. It is an essential vitamin that interacts with a number of different systems in your body.

 

One of the best ways to optimize your vitamin D blood levels is to get sensible sun exposure, taking great care never to get burned.

 

Deficiency is very common in the U.S. but many Americans mistakenly believe they are not at risk simply because they eat foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk. Before 2000, many physicians had not considered the possibility you could be deficient in vitamin D.

 

With advancing technology and research, it has become clear that vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. is rampant and this deficiency significantly impacts the development of many different health conditions.

 

Researchers estimate 85 percent of children in industrial cities and well over half of adults and elderly suffer from deficiency.1

 

The elderly may be at greater risk as they not only spend less time outside, but also produce approximately 30 percent less vitamin D than a younger person with the same sun exposure. Limiting your outdoor exposure and consistently wearing sun screen may also increase your risk of vitamin D deficiency.

 

A recent paper in Dermato-Endocrinology reviewed the current science for the risks and benefits of sun exposure and found insufficient exposure in the U.S. has become a major public health problem.

 

Insufficient Sun Exposure Has Become a Public Health Risk

 

In the late 1950s Coppertone began marketing their product, designed to help you get a suntan without the burn.2 Over the subsequent years researchers have theorized exposure to the sun would increase your risk of skin cancers and have recommended sun protection anytime you’re outside.3

 

However, this has overlooked the health benefits of sun exposure without burning. In response to public health recommendations to limit sun exposure, lead researcher Dr. David Hoel writes:4

 

“The body of science concerning the benefits of moderate sun exposure is growing rapidly, and is causing a different perception of sun/UV as it relates to human health.

 

Melanoma and its relationship to sun exposure and sunburn is not adequately addressed in most of the scientific literature.”

 

Historically, research identified benefits of sun exposure, linking it with prevention of rickets and production of vitamin D. In further scientific inquiry researchers began to focus on health risks, specifically the development of skin cancers.

 

Research has also determined outdoor workers have a lower incidence of melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, than do indoor workers.5 In the past 15 years, thousands of studies have been published linking the production of vitamin D with protective health benefits.

 

However, there is still considerable controversy over the optimum level of vitamin D for health, and not just prevention of disease. In their paper, Hoel’s team identified several effects that a deficiency in vitamin D may have on your health, half of which account for the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.6

 

With adequate sun exposure and vitamin D levels, public health officials may make a significant impact on the number of deaths attributed to these diseases. According to the authors:7

 

“Insufficient sun exposure has become a major public health problem, demanding an immediate change in the current sun-avoidance public health advice. The degree of change needed is small but critically important.”

 

Deficiency Increases Your Risk of Some Cancers and Neurological Conditions

 

In a 2010 cost benefit analysis of the necessity for vitamin D optimization, researchers found a link between vitamin D deficiency and 19 of the 30 leading causes of death.8

 

They estimated a 16 percent reduction in deaths from those diseases with an increase of vitamin D to 40 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and a direct health cost reduction estimated at $130 billion per year.

 

The link between vitamin D and specific cancers has been demonstrated in more than 200 epidemiological studies.9 Optimizing your vitamin D levels could help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, breast, prostate and skin cancers.

 

Vitamin D appears to increase the self-destruction of mutated cells that, when left to replicate, may lead to cancer. It also helps reduce the spread of cancer cells and improves differentiation in cells, as cancer cells often lack differentiation.10

 

A recent study demonstrated a strong link between vitamin D and breast cancer prevention and found in a study of over 1,500 women, those with the highest levels had superior breast cancer survival rates.11

 

Neurological conditions are also affected by levels of vitamin D in the body. An Egyptian research team evaluated the addition of vitamin D supplementation to the treatment plan for children with autism and found the children’s symptoms were positively affected by the increased levels of vitamin D, and not by placebo.12

 

In their review of the literature, Hoel’s team found research demonstrating links between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and cognitive decline in adults.13

 

The development of multiple sclerosis (MS) also appears to be impacted by low levels of vitamin D.14 In one study, women with low levels had twice the risk of developing MS in the following 10 years.

 

Vitamin D Protects Your Bones, Skin, Heart and Metabolism

 

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S., responsible for killing 787,000 people in 2011 and claiming more lives than the combination of all forms of cancer.15 Every 34 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack, and every 60 seconds, someone in the U.S. dies from heart related disease.

 

Research has recently demonstrated the role vitamin D plays in improving heart function in patients suffering from heart failure.16 Many patients suffering with heart disease were deficient in vitamin D and low levels were connected to worse outcomes and more severe disease. Experimental studies have also demonstrated a role in reducing inflammation, thrombosis and calcification.17

 

A review of the research demonstrates a link between people with levels of vitamin D below 20 ng/mL and the development of psoriasis.18 Vitamin D is also essential to the absorption and modeling of your bones, preventing osteoporosis as you age.19 The presence of vitamin D, MK-7 K2, calcium and phosphorus increase the likelihood of proper bone modeling and reduced risk of fracture.

 

Low levels of vitamin D are linked to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.20 Obesity, also linked to metabolic syndrome, increases your risk of vitamin D deficiency as the vitamin is sequestered in adipose tissue. According to recent research, vitamin D deficiency affects your glucose metabolism and may actually be more closely linked to diabetes than obesity.21

 

In a study of 118 people, those with low vitamin D levels were more likely to have type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, regardless of their weight. Another study22 published in 2013 found that type 2 diabetics given 50,000 IUs of oral vitamin D3 per week for eight weeks experienced “a meaningful reduction” in fasting plasma glucose and insulin.

 

Signs You Might Be Vitamin D-Deficient

 

Vitamin D is used in neuromuscular and immune functioning, reducing inflammation in your body, absorbing calcium, modulation of cell growth and assisting your muscles and nervous system to function properly. Many of the clinical signs you may be deficient are linked to these functions.

 

Darker Skin

 

African-Americans are at greater risk of deficiency as darker skin requires as much as 10 times more sun exposure to product the same amount of vitamin D as skin that is paler.

Feeling “Blue”

 

Serotonin, a brain hormone associated with mood elevation, rises and falls in association with sun exposure. In 2006, scientists evaluated the effects of vitamin D on mental health of 80 elderly patients and found those with the lowest level were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those with healthy doses.23

You Are 50 or Older

 

As you age your skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D and your kidneys become less efficient converting vitamin D into a form your body uses.

You Are Obese or Have Higher Muscle Mass

 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a “sink” by collecting it. If you’re overweight or obese, you’re therefore likely going to need more vitamin D than a slimmer person. The same also holds true for people with higher body weights due to muscle mass.

Your Bones Ache

 

People suffering from aches and pains, especially in combination with fatigue, frequently end up being misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome when in fact they may be vitamin D deficient.

Head Sweating

 

One of the first, classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. In fact, in years past physicians used to ask new mothers about head sweating in their newborns for this very reason. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.24

Gut Problems and Bowel Diseases

 

Remember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. This includes gut conditions like Crohn’s, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity and inflammatory bowel disease.

 

As with many supplements, depending on your conditions, symptoms, age, family history, will determine the amount of Vitamin D you should be taking, along with what other supplements you need to take with vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D can not be taken alone!

 

We are always here to help you with just this type of problem.  Call us, leave a message if needed, and we will call you back,

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Carole Baggrely

Archived

312-972-WELL

Rx to Wellness

Does Aspirin reduces the risk of cancer?

aspirin

Did You Know…
… that one baby aspirin a day cuts the risk of cancer development, metastases, and death?
Numerous recent studies, along with a very large British review of published literature, document what many experts have long believed—that is, that small amounts of aspirin over long periods of time can cut your risk of certain cancers.
Below is a round up of reasons that many experts—including your own doctor—might advise you to consider a daily baby aspirin.
Breast Cancer
A study conducted in 2011 showed that women who took aspirin had about a 20% lower risk of breast cancer than non-users.
In another study, breast cancer survivors who took a daily aspirin were 43% less likely to have recurrence and 64% less likely to die from the disease.
Colorectal Cancer
In a huge meta-analysis of 4 large aspirin studies conducted over 18 years, researchers found that taking 75 mg of aspirin (similar to the amount in a baby aspirin) for 5 or more years led to:

  • 70% lower risk of developing colon cancer
  • 40% lower risk of developing rectal cancer

Melanoma
Among 60,000 women studied, those who used aspirin had a 21% lower risk of melanoma compared with non-users.  The longer the women used aspirin, the lower their risk.
Ovarian Cancer
In a study of 20,000 women, those who took aspirin daily had a 20% lower risk of ovarian cancer than those who used aspirin less than once a week.
Prostate Cancer
In a study of 5,955 men who underwent surgery or radiation for prostate cancer, those who regularly used aspirin had a:

  • 57% lower risk of dying from prostate cancer after 10 years of follow-up
  • lower risk of prostate cancer recurrence
  • lower risk of bone metastases from prostate cancer

Other Cancers
One large meta-analysis examined 8 separate studies of more than 25,000 patients who took baby aspirin for 4 years or longer, compared to placebo.  With aspirin, the risk of dying from a several common cancers dropped after 5 years of follow-up:

    10% lower risk for death from prostate cancer 30% lower risk for death from lung cancer 40% lower risk for death from colon, rectal, pancreatic, and stomach cancers 60% lower risk for death from esophageal and throat cancers
When to Start Taking Aspirin?      Researchers say that for most people, your mid 40s are the best time to start taking a low-dose or baby aspirin.  This is when the risk of most cancers starts to rise.  No studies found better results with higher doses.
Of course, researchers don’t know exactly who will definitely benefit from aspirin’s anti-cancer effects.  If you are not currently taking a daily, low-dose or baby aspirin, experts recommend first discussing the potential risks and benefits with your doctor.  Serious risks are uncommon but can be made worse—for example, bleeding, stomach ulcers/gastritis, etc.—by your other health issues or medications.  However, most experts agree that for generally healthy individuals, the risks of taking a daily, low-dose aspirin are low, and the potential anti-cancer benefits are substantial.

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