The British Nutrition Foundation’s findings on vitamin D

The British Nutrition Foundation, BNF, has voiced concerns at its annual lecture over rising levels of vitamin D deficiency in young people in the UK. Professor Susan Lanham-New, Head of the Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Surrey told attendees at the lecture, “There is a real need to promote more awareness of vitamin D deficiency across younger populations within the UK.” She followed this by saying that this population group is particularly at risk due to darker skin pigmentation and lower sun exposure due to lifestyle habits and cultural dress style, which can eventually lead to osteomalacia, the adult form of rickets, and even osteoporosis in later life.

A discussion on the differences between vitamin D3 and D2 used in supplements and fortified foods was also reported on in this article by FoodNavigator on the BNF’s findings. While historically it has been argued that there is no difference between the two forms, recent research has suggested that vitamin D3 is much more efficacious than vitamin D2 at increasing total 25(OH)D, which is the major circulating form of vitamin D and is considered the best indicator of vitamin D supply to the body.

The health benefits of curcumin

A recently updated Examine article on Curcumin has highlighted some of the benefits of this popularised polyphenol. According to the article, curcumin can have beneficial effects in reducing inflammation and increasing the levels of endogenous antioxidants in the body.

Curcumin is primarily found in turmeric, which gives the spice its yellow hue. Curcumin and the curcuminoids are present in rhizomes (the plant stems that send out roots) of turmeric at around 40.36mg.

The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin and turmeric are thought to be most effective in supporting joint health. It is also thought that piperine, the substance that gives black pepper its hotness, can increase the bio-availability of curcumin by as much as 2000%.

The nutrients that can help combat stress

Stress can come from any number of sources in our personal and professional lives but there are ways we can better equip our bodies to cope with the symptoms of stress, including regular exercise, getting enough sleep and good nutrition.

This article by Healthline suggests that getting enough of certain vitamins in our diet can better help the body cope with stress symptoms. B Complex vitamins are one of the suggestions from Healthline, in which the article not only highlights their importance in metabolism and energy production but also notes their effect on lowering blood levels of homocysteine, which is associated with stress.

Other nutrients that can help manage stress symptoms include L-theanine, where studies have shown that it may lower the stress hormone cortisol, and glycine, which is believed to help improve measures of sleep quality that can be impacted by stress.

Share your thoughts

Agree with the findings in this week’s Nutrition News? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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.