A recent study published earlier this month by The Journal of the American Medical Association showed a significant link between low vitamin D and cognitive decline, specifically seen in Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The results of the study reinforce the importance of identifying vitamin D insufficiency among the elderly. Particularly with an older population, low vitamin D levels were associated with significantly faster rates of decline in memory and executive function performance.
This study included approximately 400 men and women participating in research at the Alzheimer's Disease Center in Sacramento, California. The participants had a mean age of 76 and were either cognitively normal, had mild cognitive impairment, or had dementia. At the start of the study, the participants' serum vitamin D levels were measured, and the results showed that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency were prevalent among all participants. Twenty-six percent were found to be deficient while thirty-five percent were insufficient.
At the 5-year follow-up, vitamin D deficient participants experienced cognitive decline at rates 2-3 times faster than those with sufficient vitamin D levels. The researchers expected to see cognitive decline in individuals with low vitamin D status; however, they did not expect how profoundly vitamin D impacts cognition.
There is enough evidence to recommend that health care providers should discuss daily vitamin supplementation with their elderly patients. Vitamin D deficiency is a common problem that is associated with many health consequences, yet this deficiency could easily be addressed. Sun exposure is the ideal source of vitamin D, but for most of us, sunlight itself is not enough; our bodies require us to obtain vitamin D from other sources.
Some racial and ethnic groups are at greater risk of low vitamin D because the higher concentration of melanin that makes their skin darker also inhibits vitamin D synthesis. Many people avoid the sun or cover up with protective clothing due to the dangers of overexposure. In addition, most of us spend a great deal of time inside under fluorescent lights and away from natural light. Also, depending on the particular time of year and what latitude you live at, you may not be able to get adequate vitamin D from the sun. In some locations this can be most of the year.
As functional medicine practitioners, Back To Health Wellness Care is prepared to check your Vitamin D levels and offer treatments that will help boost your levels. We also treat all ailments and diseases, whether you suffer from chronic fatigue, persistent pain, or stress-related conditions. Contact us at 973-595-1809 for a free consultation.
(The original article was published by Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN at FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com and has been edited for our purposes.)
Feeling the cloud of melancholy or even depression as we wrap the winter season? You’re not alone. Numerous medical reports going back to 2000 have confirmed that four to six percent of the population suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
What are the symptoms of SAD?
Change in appetite
Sleeping more than usual
Irritability and anxiety
Increased sensitivity to rejection
Loss of interest in any activities
Feelings of guilt or hopelessness
Physical problems, such as headaches or upset stomach
Sadly, the symptoms can get worse with age. But SAD is easier to overcome than you think, and much of it has to do with your physical condition as well as your state of mind. Below are some ways that you cure the winter blues and feel better this cold season.
Increase Your Physical Activity
There’s nothing unusual about winter hibernation. In fact, at least half of the animal world hibernates in one way or another. So, don’t feel bad for wanting to hunker down during the cold months. Keep in mind, however, that your drastic reduction in physical activity is one of the leading contributors to your state of melancholy.
Psychology Today reported just last year that physical activity stimulates mental health and reduces the likelihood of depression — the number one indicator of winter blues. It can intervene in depression, dementia, anxiety, and other cognitive issues. In other words, exercise has a profound effect on the brain.
We’re all guilty of packing on a few pounds over the winter months. We start eating poorly during the holiday season but then never stop once the holidays are over. Eventually, we start bad dietary habits that may continue into the spring and summer months.
A recent Harvard report revealed the connection between poor dietary habits and mental strength. According to the report, there is a direct correlation between what is in your gastrointestinal tract and your brain’s performance. 95% of the neurotransmitter, Serotonin, is produced in the tract. Serotonin guides your emotions affects your anxiety and helps you manage your stress.
If you are always eating junk food or unhealthy substances, then you can hinder serotonin production as well as line your neurotransmitters between your stomach and your brain with countless toxins. If you increase your junk food intake during the winter months, you are likely to suffer from poor brain performance. So, if you feel guilty or bad for eating poorly, it could be as much a physical reaction as it is an emotional reaction.
Do Something Crazy Good For Yourself
You’ve heard it said before:
You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself.
Shape Magazine echoes this sentiment. A recent article suggests that self-pampering can improve your body image, strengthen relationships, boost your immunity, lift your optimism, and even help you to be a better encouragement to those around you.
What are some of the best ways to pamper yourself? You can start with a therapeutic facial that goes deep into the skin to pull out all the stressors such as air pollution, sun exposure, chemicals, bacteria, and harsh exfoliants.
Next, enroll in a comprehensive wellness program that includes a deep-tissue massage, pressotherapy to improve your body’s circulation, a body contour for fat reduction, and lip cavitation. These self-pampering therapies do more than just make you feel better. They provide much-needed relief to the downward emotional spiral you may be experiencing during the winter time.
Rechannel Your Mood To Fuel Your Creativity
At the end of the day, you may have to realize that winter is what triggers your mental state, your emotions, and your mood. You may have to chalk it up and face the fact that this is who you are.
But you can always choose how to direct your emotions and mood. In other words, use it as a springboard for creativity. There is a direct connection between moodiness & creativity, emotional outpouring & innovation.
So, start a hobby, tap into your artistic side, launch a project, or meet a long-time goal. It may be freezing outside. However, you don’t have to freeze up internally. Unlock your creative side and see what you come up during those long stretches of snow or sub-zero temperatures.
Chiropractic Care In New Jersey
Are you ready to shake the winter blues? We can help. Back to Health complete health & wellness services such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, facial treatments, and so much more. We do more than just treat your condition. We focus on providing holistic care that improves your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
To find out more about our services or to schedule a consultation, then contact us at (973) 595-1809. We are here to help you feel better and live life to the fullest!