Researchers from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, have discovered a connection between vitamin D supplementation during infancy and a healthier ratio of muscle and fat in toddlers. “We were very intrigued by the higher lean mass and the possibility that vitamin D can help infants to grow both healthy skeletons and amounts of muscle, yet less fat,” says Hope Weiler, one of the study’s authors and director of the Mary Emily Clinical Nutrition Research Unit at the university.
Many experts agree on at least one underlying cause behind the trend—a widely studied condition called leaky gut, characterized by intestinal permeability. Microscopic pinholes in an unhealthy small intestine can allow undigested nutrients to pass through intestinal walls, triggering mild immune responses, inflammation and, potentially, the onset of some diseases.
Eat less, move more. These words have been the cornerstone of diet advice for decades, leading millions of Americans to greet the new year with vows to cut calories and hit the gym. In all, one in five U.S. adults are dieting at any given time, according to the international market research firm The NPD Group, and 57 percent would like to lose 20 pounds or more. Yet few will reach that goal.
Low testosterone levels can be problematic for men as they age. Fortunately, Mother Nature produces her own form of testosterone booster: the herb ashwagandha. Research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition tested 57 men between the ages of 18 and 50. They were divided into two groups—one was given 300 milligrams of the herbal extract twice a day for eight weeks; the other ingested a placebo for the same period. Both groups underwent supervised muscle training programs for the duration of the study.
The average head holds about 120,000 to 150,000 strands of hair, and it’s normal for both men and women to lose 50 to 100 strands daily. We lose hair for several reasons. Chiefly, aging weakens hair and makes it more brittle; it also decreases hormone production, slowing hair growth. According to a study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, anything that interrupts the normal hair cycle can trigger diffuse hair loss. Triggers include physiologic trauma and emotional stresses, nutritional deficiencies, endocrine imbalances and illness, as well as genetics, including pattern baldness. Even air and water pollutants and sunlight’s phototoxic aging effects may facilitate alopecia (sudden hair loss).
While it’s impossible to completely stop natural hair loss catalyzed by aging and genes, the rate can be controlled and abnormal loss may be reversed while stimulating growth.
A 12-week study of 60 menopausal women in Denmark has found that red clover halted bone loss and bone mineral density reduction. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research, sponsored by the Aarhus University Medical School and Hospital, tested the women over a three-month period.