Vitamin D linked to healthier hearts in children

A recent study, reported by NutraIngredients, has suggested that children would benefit from vitamin D supplementation to support their heart health. The article referenced one study in particular from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh that found that vitamin D is particularly beneficial for overweight children, having showed a marked improvement in cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity.

The children participating in the study were split into three groups with different strengths of vitamin D supplementation. By the end of the study, none of the participating children were considered to be vitamin D deficient and there was marked improvements in cardiovascular health, particularly amongst the group on the higher amount of the supplement.

The study concluded with lead study author Kumaravel Rajakumar, M.D., M.S., stating “vitamin D is involved in more than building healthy bones. It can turn on and off genes that direct our cells to regulate blood glucose levels, and immune and vascular function.”

The health benefits of choline

A recent Good Housekeeping article has looked at a variety of studies on the health benefits of choline, bringing the essential nutrient to the wider public’s attention. While the body can make choline in the liver, it is necessary to get the nutrient from your diet in order to obtain enough of it.

Choline is known to have a role in normal homocysteine and lipid metabolism as well as the maintenance of normal liver function, but this article discusses studies that suggest choline may have a role in a whole range of bodily processes. The article references one study that links choline with supporting a healthy brain and cognitive function as we age and another that highlights the importance of choline during pregnancy as it is suggested that it has a role in transporting DHA into the placenta and supporting the development of the baby’s brain.

Choline can be found in cheese, mushrooms, beans and vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, as well in food supplements.

Should we be eating more white mushrooms?

As well as being a source of choline, mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, selenium, phosphorus and folate. This article by Healthline looks at the many potential health benefits of white mushrooms as well as how to use them and add them to your diet.

One key benefit, described in the article, is the impact white mushrooms can have on gut health. Mushrooms are thought to be a source of a number of antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols and polysaccharides, and it is these compounds that are believed to have potential benefits in supporting gut health, by acting as a prebiotic, which feeds beneficial gut bacteria. The nutrients in mushrooms are also considered to support blood sugar control and heart health.

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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.