It’s particularly important to take note of the latest health studies and advice at the moment with the abundance of colds and viruses that are taking hold. This week’s Nutrition News looks at the importance of vitamin D and how clementines could support your – as well as your child’s! – health.

Why vitamin D is important for health

There has been a lot of interest in vitamin D and vitamin D supplements recently, and for good reason; with viruses and colds in abundance at the moment, it’s incredibly important to arm your immune system with the nutrients it needs to function and vitamin D plays a large role in that process. With immune system B cells and T cells having receptors for vitamin D, the vitamin plays a crucial role in keeping the immune system balanced and healthy.

As well as keeping our immune system healthy and supporting the body’s natural defences against colds and flu viruses, vitamin D is important for a range of functions in the body, as outlined in this Insider article. These functions include the maintenance of strong bones, by helping the body absorb calcium, and supporting brain function.

All sorts of things can affect vitamin D production, from the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to and the amount of air pollution there is to how old you are. It’s important to make sure you get enough of the vital vitamins to stay healthy.

Could MSM benefit our skin?

A recent study from the International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research has found that there may be a link between Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) supplementation and healthy skin.

The study looked at 20 participants who were given either 3g of MSM a day or a placebo for 16 weeks. After this time, there was a noticeable improvement in skin condition, which was measured through both expert clinical grading and instrumental measurements as well as consumer perception. Improvements included a reduction in the severity of wrinkles, improved skin firmness, elasticity, and hydration.

Speaking of the research, the study’s co-author Neelam Muizzuddin, PhD, said, “Examining the ‘beauty-from-within’ approach has me converted to believing it is a better way of improving beauty because it helps improve the whole body. You fall short by focusing on topicals, as they only address the skin.”

MSM, as a supplement, comes in a variety of forms including MSM Liquid, MSM Powder and MSM capsules.

The health benefits of clementines

Clementines are regularly given to children as they are easy to peel, frequently come without seeds and are amongst the sweetest of the citrus fruits but they hold health benefits for everyone due to their nutritional profile, according to this Healthline article.

Clementines hold a number of benefits including:

  • They are rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, which help reduce inflammation and cellular damage caused by free radicals.
  • The vitamin C content also means they can support skin health as it aids the synthesis of collagen.
  • The fruit fibre content can feed the good bacteria in your gut, supporting gut health.

While clementines are nutritious and a good source of a number of important vitamins and minerals, like grapefruit, they contain furanocoumarins, which can interact with certain heart medications. For this reason, it is important to consult your healthcare practitioner if you are on any medication and discuss with them the potential interactions between your medication and clementines.

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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.