Feeling sleepy? Vitamin D could help

While vitamin D is known to be linked to bone health, there is also a proven link between vitamin D levels an immune function and research, as reported in this article from NOLA reporting on The National Sleep Foundation. It suggests that there’s evidence supporting higher vitamin D being inversely associated with a risk of sleep disorders.

The reports are mixed but several large sample epidemiology studies found that dietary intake of vitamin D was related to midpoint of sleep, sleep duration and maintaining sleep.

Vitamin A shown to have a role in immune system regulation

A recent Brown University study has found that vitamin A has a role in immune system regulation.

Shipra Vaishnava, assistant professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Brown, said of the study “Both our diet and the bacteria in our gut are critically linked in regulating how our immune cells behave”. The study uncovered that the bacteria in the gut, also known as the microbiome, regulates the host’s immune system, which means that rather than attacking the bacteria it can coexist with the immune system and also moderate active vitamin A levels in the intestine. This, in turn, protects the microbiome from overactive immune response.

spinach best absorbed through smoothies

How to secure the most antioxidants from spinach

Research from Linköping University, as reported in Science Daily has shown that spinach consumption through smoothies or juices can be the best way of obtaining the antioxidant lutein.

The study compared the different ways of preparing fresh spinach in order to determine the best method in order to acquire the maximum level of the antioxidant. As with a number of different nutrients, lutein is degraded by heat so it was theorised that a raw preparation method was likely to be the best process, but making a smoothie seemed to harvest the most lutein. Principle author of the article, Rosanna Chung, said of the findings, “When the spinach is chopped into small pieces, more lutein is released from the leaves, and the fat increases the solubility of the lutein in the fluid”.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience. You can find her on Google+ Alison Claire.