Vitamin C: Pantone colours of the year: Yellow and charcoal coloured food makes way into our plates

Vitamin C: Pantone colours of the year: Yellow and charcoal coloured food makes way into our plates

  • January 20, 2021
A meal comprising colourful food never fails to appeal to the eyes as well as the body. Inclusion of colourful food in the daily meals is the key to boost immunity and remain in the pink of health. This can be done by adding VIBGYOR foods to at least one meal a day. This arrangement mainly includes fruits and vegetables that contain flavonoids (natural pigments) that give them their distinct colour. These flavonoids are the powerhouse of antioxidants and that is what we need in today’s time.
Going by the pantone colour of 2021, Chef David Edward Raj, Director of Culinary Innovation, Elior India, shares the benefits of activated charcoal and yellow vegetables and spices in our food.

Gray is the new Green

Activated Charcoal can be used as a ‘detox’ component in fresh-fruit juices, Kadha and shakes. Whole wheat breads and buns have also started with a black variant. Similarly, Sushi, Grilled chicken/fish, pizza base and Dim-sums are available in black version. There are a plethora of desserts and ice-creams that are available in charcoal flavour. Food grade charcoal can be obtained by burning the coconut shell at extreme temperatures. The black colour to food is the new trend. This can be achieved by adding/sprinkling the activated charcoal in the food/beverage/ dessert preparations.

The Power of Yellow

Yellow foods contain beta-carotene which is converted to Vitamin A, an important antioxidant that helps in healthy vision, skin, and dental health. The yellow-orange citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C, another antioxidant that boosts immunity. These include carrots, pumpkins, corn, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, yellow-orange peppers, oranges, malt, sweet lime, lemon, papaya, dried apricot, and peach. These yellow foods can be included in the form of salads, juices, infused water, as sautéed vegetables, side dishes and so on. Dishes like carrot poha, carrot fingers, pumpkin soup, pumpkin puris, carrot and pumpkin salad, juices, corn chat, corn pizza and many more. Turmeric has a bioactive compound called Curcumin that has antioxidant properties. Indian food is majorly cooked with turmeric neutralising the free radicals caused due to the oxidative stress. This spice has been used since ages to treat infection, cold and inflammation. Eating a diet high in antioxidant-rich food is always a smart choice. Many areas are vulnerable to oxidative stress but the immune system is extremely sensitive to these free radicals. Due to aging as well in some cases the free radicals outnumber the concentration of naturally occurring antioxidants in your body. Hence to ensure you have a good immune system you need to continuously pump your body with antioxidant-rich foods found in all bright-naturally occurring fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin sellers flagged by feds got coronavirus aid loans

Vitamin sellers flagged by feds got coronavirus aid loans

  • January 18, 2021

A trio of supplements sellers snagged millions in coronavirus relief loans last spring — all within weeks of getting dinged by the feds for questionable claims about their products, The Post has learned.

The vitamin marketers joined the rush for Paycheck Protection Program aid in early 2020, even as their sales reps angled to cash in on the pandemic, government records show. The reps claimed on social media that their shakes, teas and powders could help protect consumers from the deadly virus, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

“Instead of stockpiling toilet paper, you need to do something to help you fight the virus!” a rep for Pruvit Ventures allegedly wrote in a post accompanied by an image of the Texas-based company’s products. “Boost your immune system with our Immunity Boost Pack!”

The claims of immunity boosting caught the feds’ attention in particular: While the pitches might seem sensible to health-minded consumers, the FTC says such claims are illegal because there’s no scientific evidence to back them up.

“Any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such products are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence,” the agency wrote in warning letters to Pruvit, Total Life Changes and Zurvita on April 24. “You must immediately cease making all such claims.”

Nevertheless, nine days before the FTC fired off its warning letters, Pruvit and Total Life Changes had been approved for PPP loans totaling almost $1.7 million on April 15, according to data from the Small Business Administration, which oversees the $809 billion program.

Meanwhile, the third firm, Zurvita, won its own loan of roughly $1.4 million on May 1 — about a week after the FTC’s letter raised red flags about two of its reps’ posts hawking Zeal, its supplement packed with botanicals and vitamins.

“Want to join me in drinking Zeal to combat the Corona Virus? Contact me . . . to learn how to be your own Corona Virus Super Hero!” one Zurvita rep’s post read, according to the FTC.

Yet another relief loan worth $565,402 went to supplement seller IDLife, which also got an FTC warning in April. The agency said the company’s representatives claimed people could earn “substantial income” selling its products during the pandemic-fueled economic crisis.

None of the four companies responded to requests for comment.

The loans come as critics gripe that the PPP program, meant to keep workers on payrolls during the pandemic, has ended up aiding businesses with checkered pasts and deep pockets.

The SBA opened applications on Jan. 11 for another $284 billion in PPP money authorized last month. Officials have imposed tighter rules for the latest round — publicly traded companies can’t participate, for example — and Congress gave the SBA additional funding to conduct audits and root out fraud.

But that doesn’t change the fact that sketchy businesses got a lifeline that many small firms missed, according to Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, a left-leaning good-government group that tracks coronavirus relief spending.

“Shady MLMs were showered with PPP money because the Trump administration let banks approve taxpayer-backed loans to practically anyone, even if they didn’t need it,” Herrig told The Post.

Nutrition companies make up a significant chunk of the multi-level marketing industry. Known as MLMs, such firms can walk a thin line between being considered legitimate businesses and illegal pyramid schemes. In the latter case, firms reward reps for bringing in new recruits and often pressure them into buying the products they’re supposed to be selling, according to the FTC.

There’s no evidence that any of the four companies mentioned above are pyramid schemes. But two other MLMs got PPP money despite being publicly accused by the feds of running pyramid scams, records show.

Neora, a Dallas-based seller of skin-care, weight-loss and “wellness” products, won a $2.5 million loan on April 8 — about five months after the FTC filed a lawsuit alleging that it pressed distributors to focus on recruiting new reps rather than making sales to customers.

The company also made unsubstantiated claims that one of its supplements could prevent brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, according to the feds.

Neora — which “firmly” denies the FTC’s allegations — used the PPP money to retain its staff and cover other business expenses amid the pandemic, co-CEO Deborah Heisz said.

“As with almost every other business in the US, when the pandemic began there was a lot of uncertainty about what the future would look like and we were concerned for our approximately 90 full-time employees,” Heisz told The Post. “When the Paycheck Protection Program issued its guidelines, we reviewed them closely and determined Neora qualified for the loan.”

Vemma Nutrition Company — which got $227,500 in PPP funds — agreed to stop its pyramid-scheme practices under a 2016 settlement with the FTC. A federal court order in the case slapped the company with a staggering, $238 million penalty that was supposed to be “partially suspended” as long as Vemma paid about $470,000 and surrendered some of its assets, the agency said at the time.

Vemma did not respond to a request for comment.

Symptoms, foods to boost vitamin A, and more

Symptoms, foods to boost vitamin A, and more

  • January 17, 2021

Vitamin A is an important nutrient that plays a role in many crucial bodily functions. A deficiency may occur when a person does not get enough vitamin A to cover their body’s needs, and may lead to troubling symptoms.

Dietary intake is the simplest way to access enough vitamin A for most people. In some cases, doctors may recommend supplements or other forms of vitamin A to help replenish very low stores.

Keep reading to learn about the causes and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, why vitamin A is important, and some foods that are rich in vitamin A.

Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency may differ in severity, and some people may have more serious symptoms than others. Below are some possible symptoms people may experience:

Issues related to vision

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, vision issues are common in those with vitamin A deficiency.

The eyes may become very dry at first, which may damage the cornea and retina.

Night blindness may also occur as a result of vitamin A deficiency. This causes the person to be unable to see or have trouble seeing in low light, eventually leading to complete blindness at night.

The World Health Organization (WHO) note that night blindness is one of the first signs of vitamin A deficiency.

In severe cases, the eye continues to dry out, and tissues may build up in the cornea. This in turn may lead to the cornea becoming hazy, developing lesions, and being destroyed.

Frequent infections

Vitamin A plays a key role in immune function. A person with a vitamin A deficiency may experience more frequent infections, as they cannot fight off these infections as easily.

Skin issues

Some people with vitamin A deficiency may notice problems with their skin, such as dryness, itching, and scaling. Some may experience similar issues on the hair and scalp as well.

Fertility issues

Vitamin A plays a role in reproduction, and a deficiency may cause infertility and difficulty conceiving a child.

Stunted growth

Vitamin A plays a part in creating healthy cells. Not having enough of the key vitamin may delay growth or cause children to experience stunted growth or slow bone growth.

The cause of vitamin A deficiency is not getting enough vitamin A in the body or having an underlying issue that results in the body not absorbing or utilizing vitamin A effectively.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed nations, such as the United States, and common in developing nations, where people do not have as much access to vitamin A.

Some people may be more at risk of vitamin A deficiency, including:

  • premature infants
  • pregnant or lactating people
  • infants and young children in developing countries

Additionally, a secondary deficiency may occur in people who have underlying issues that interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin A, such as those with:

Young children and pregnant people in low income countries are at the highest risk of severe effects from vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin A plays a significant role in many functions in the body. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)note that vitamin A is important for the function of:

  • vision
  • the immune system
  • the reproductive system
  • cellular communication

There is an important link between vitamin A and vision. In addition to helping create the membranes of the eye and cornea, vitamin A is a key compound of a protein in the body called rhodopsin, which absorbs light in the retina.

Vitamin A also plays a crucial role in cell growth in other areas and helps with the normal formation and functioning of the cells in the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.

Learn more about vitamin A and its functions here.

There are two forms of vitamin A in the human diet. The first is preformed vitamin A, such as retinol, which comes from animal sources, including meat, fish, and dairy.

The second form is provitamin A carotenoids, such as beta carotene. These compounds are not usable forms of vitamin A as they exist naturally, but the body converts them into a usable form of vitamin A.

Both forms of the vitamin will go through an additional metabolization in the body, becoming active retinal and retinoic acid.

There are a number of simple dietary sources of vitamin A. This includes both plant and animal sources, so it is typically easy to meet intake recommendations when following a healthful, balanced diet.

The NIH list a number of plant and animal sources of vitamin A and their values.

Plant sources of vitamin A include:

  • baked sweet potato: 1,403 micrograms (mcg) per whole potato
  • boiled spinach: 573 mcg per 1/2 cup
  • raw carrots: 459 mcg per 1/2 cup
  • raw cantaloupe: 135 mcg per 1/2 cup
  • raw mango: 112 mcg per whole mango
  • raw sweet red peppers: 117 per 1/2 cup
  • fortified breakfast cereal: 90 mcg per serving

Animal sources of vitamin A include:

  • beef liver: 6,582 mcg per 3 ounces (oz)
  • ricotta cheese: 263 mcg per cup
  • Atlantic herring: 219 mcg per 3 oz of picked fish
  • fat-free or skim milk with vitamin A added: 149 mcg per cup
  • hard-boiled egg: 75 mcg per egg

Learn more about foods rich in vitamin A here.

Vitamin A also comes in various forms as a dietary supplement. Doctors may recommend taking a supplement if a person has difficulty getting enough vitamin A from their daily diet.

These supplements may contain preformed vitamin A or other forms, such as beta carotene, or a mixture of the two.

Anyone who is concerned about their vitamin A levels may wish to contact their doctor to have these levels checked. This may help diagnose any underlying condition.

People with underlying conditions that may put them at risk of various deficiencies should regularly check in with their doctor to keep an eye on their vitamin levels and make any necessary adjustments.

While the WHO note that vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed nations, where people have access to many foods rich in vitamin A, it may still occur in some people. Anyone who notices the signs of severe deficiency, such as nighttime blindness, should contact a doctor immediately.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning the body stores it in its tissues. It is possible to take too much vitamin A, which can lead to serious side effects. A person should avoid taking high-dose vitamin A supplements unless prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional.

Vitamin A deficiency is not common in places with access to common foods rich in vitamin A. However, deficiency can occur in cases where people cannot easily access these foods or where other issues cause the vitamin A to be unavailable.

Children and pregnant or breastfeeding people in low income countries have the highest risk of severe complications from vitamin A deficiency.

If a person is concerned about their symptoms or has an underlying condition that may disrupt their vitamin A intake, they should contact a doctor.

Researchers Aim to Prove Vitamin D Can Reduce COVID-19 Severity and Mortality Risk

Researchers Aim to Prove Vitamin D Can Reduce COVID-19 Severity and Mortality Risk

  • January 15, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to severe cases of COVID-19 and death from the virus. 
  • A new study is examining whether taking high doses of vitamin D can prevent severe COVID-19 and lower transmission risk.
  • More than 40% of Americans may have low levels of vitamin D. 

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are beginning the enrollment process for a study to determine if vitamin D can prevent severe disease and death from COVID-19. 

Since the pandemic began, many physicians and researchers have discussed administering vitamin D to people without COVID-19 in order to prevent the disease and to people with COVID-19 in order to avoid a severe case. The reason? Vitamin D can bolster the immune system.

“We know that vitamin D does boost immune function and also has a role in tamping down inflammation when the immune system goes into overdrive,” lead study researcher JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, Chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, tells Verywell, explaining the immune system may produce too many inflammatory signals in severe cases of COVID-19.

Manson says doctors have noticed that some people with COVID-19 can have lower-than-recommended levels of vitamin D. “But we don’t know if that is cause and effect, which is why we need to do the study,” she says, adding there is enough data to warrant moving forward with a randomized clinical trial to see if vitamin D supplementation can prevent severe illness in those who have recently tested positive.

For the study, researchers plan to enroll 2,700 participants nationwide: 1,500 newly-diagnosed individuals as well as 1,200 close household contacts. Trial participants will take high-dose vitamin D or placebo for four weeks (9,600 IU/day for the first two days, then 3,200 IU per day from day 3 through day 28). The researchers will then evaluate whether taking the supplement reduces the risk of hospitalization or death for those who have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 infection. 

The team will also assess whether the vitamin D prevents close household contacts from becoming infected. 

What This Means For You

Vitamin D deficiency could increase the risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19. Ask your doctor if you should have a blood test to check your levels of vitamin D to see if you need a supplement.

Determining Dosage

The vitamin D doses planned for the study are much higher than the currently recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults 19 years and older: 600 IU daily through age 69. For adults age 70 and older, the daily recommended dose is 800 IU, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Because vitamin D can be dangerous at high levels—including a risk of kidney stones—Manson does not recommend that anyone consider taking high doses of vitamin D without a doctor’s recommendation and supervision. 

“It is reasonable to know whether you have the recommended levels of vitamin D by having your doctor order and review a blood test,” she says.  

If your doctor thinks you are deficient, they may recommend a supplement. You can also get vitamin D from time spent outside in the sunshine and from certain foods, including mushrooms, egg yolks, and oily fish like salmon. 

Vitamin D Deficiency Is Common

Vitamin D deficiency is extremely prevalent in Americans. A 2010 study found as many as 42% of Americans are deficient in the vitamin. For that reason, it can be easy to suggest vitamin D deficiency exacerbates all sorts of health problems.

“Any time you run an epidemiological study related to vitamin D levels, you can by chance find a vitamin D deficiency related to just about anything. It could be cancer, and indeed, it could be COVID-19,” Luis Ostrosky-Zeichner, MD, professor of infectious diseases at UT Health in Houston and a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, tells Verywell. “Having said that, we do know that vitamin D is an important immune system regulator and associated with risk for respiratory infections. There is also a mechanism of action that may have something to do with [the COVID-19] virus.”

What we know for sure, Ostrosky-Zeichner says, is that people with severe COVID-19 tend to have low vitamin D levels upon hospital admission, and people with higher levels generally do better. 

“[The Brigham] trial is exactly what we need to be doing to find out if there is a crossover relationship between vitamin D and outcomes of the disease,” Ostrosky-Zeichner says.

How To Boost Your Vitamin D Levels During Cold and Flu Season

How To Boost Your Vitamin D Levels During Cold and Flu Season

  • January 12, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • Vitamin D is a key nutrient that helps support the immune system. You can get it from sunlight, food, and supplements.
  • It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D during cold and flu season if you live in a climate that gets less sunlight during the winter months.
  • You can increase your vitamin D levels by getting sunlight, eating foods rich in vitamin D, or taking a supplement if necessary.

Supporting your immune system involves eating vitamin-rich foods, washing your hands, and getting quality sleep. Research has also shown that vitamin D plays a significant role in keeping your immune system at its best. Studies have shown that being deficient in vitamin D can make you more susceptible to infections.

During cold and flu season—particularly during a pandemic—a strong immune system is one of your best defenses. Here’s what you need to know about vitamin D, including how to increase your intake.

What Is Vitamin D?

Although it has “vitamin” in its name, vitamin D is technically a hormone. Unlike many other key nutrients, your body can make vitamin D. When your skin is exposed to the sun for a long enough time, your body can synthesize vitamin D. You can also get it through foods and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of depression, weaker bones, and fatigue.

Vitamin D and Immune Support

From influenza and the common cold to COVID-19, our immune systems have a lot to contend with these days. While you won’t find a single nutrient that can prevent you from getting sick, adequate levels of vitamin D helps your body combat illness.

One cross-sectional study evaluating over 14,000 people found that people with lower serum vitamin D levels had a 58% higher odds of getting an acute respiratory illness (like the common cold) compared to people who had higher levels. 

Researchers have also recently reported that people with a vitamin D deficiency are more susceptible to COVID-19’s deadly “cytokine storm” (a dramatic immune system overreaction). Almost 20 data analyses have shown that vitamin D deficiency is a major contributor to COVID-19 risk and severity. 

What This Means For You

Vitamin D is key for a healthy immune system. While you can get it from sunlight, if you live in a place that doesn’t get much during the winter months, there are other ways to boost your levels. There are some foods, like milk and eggs, that are naturally rich in vitamin D. Others, like milk and cereal, are fortified. You can also take supplements, if necessary, to prevent deficiency.

How To Support Healthy Vitamin D Levels

The recommended dietary intake of vitamin D is 600 to 800 IU per day for adults, although some experts believe the requirements should be increased. Your healthcare provider can evaluate whether you have a deficiency by conducting a simple lab test. 

There are three ways that you can support a healthy vitamin D level or replenish a diagnosed deficiency:  

Vitamin D-Rich Foods

If you don’t live in a climate that gets a lot of sunlight year-round and you’d prefer to avoid taking a supplement, know that you can get some vitamin D from your diet. If you eat animal products, like fish and milk, you’ll have even more options. Many foods, like cereal, are fortified with nutrients including vitamin D.

Salmon

Oily fish like salmon naturally contain vitamin D, along with other immune-supporting nutrients like DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Whether you toss it on a salad or serve it on a bed of rice, salmon can be a great choice for your vitamin D-building diet. 

When selecting your fish, choose sustainably raised options that are naturally low in mercury, like Chilean-farmed salmon.

Fortified Orange Juice

When choosing your OJ—from pulp-free or low acid—look for a bottle that’s been fortified with vitamin D, calcium, and other key nutrients.

In addition to the immune-supporting vitamin C naturally provided by orange juice, the vitamin D found in these fortified choices gives the immune system a double-dose of support. 

Dairy Milk

Calcium is often the nutrient that comes to mind when people think about milk, but it’s also full of other key nutrients, including vitamin D. Milk also contains vitamin A and protein, two other important nutrients for immune function.

Most milk is fortified with 100-150 IU of vitamin D per 8-ounce serving, providing 15% of the recommended daily value. 

Canned Tuna

Canned tuna is a quick and convenient vitamin D boost. Look for tuna that is packaged in BPA-free containers to minimize your exposure to the potentially harmful chemical.

Certain Mushrooms

As the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle, mushrooms are able to produce vitamin D after being exposed to UV light (much like humans). 

Portabella, cremini, and white mushrooms top the list, but all mushrooms have at least some vitamin D.

When you’re making a hamburger, meatloaf, or other ground beef-based dish, sub half of the meat with chopped mushrooms. The recipe tastes great and packs extra nutrition.

Fortified Cereals

Many popular brands of cereal are fortified with vitamin D, as well as other important nutrients. To get the full vitamin D trifecta for breakfast, combine your cereal choice with milk and a glass of fortified OJ.

Eggs

Eggs can be a healthy source of vitamin D, as long as you are eating the yolk. Eggs that came from hens that live outside and get plenty of sunlight are especially beneficial. Research has shown that the vitamin D3 content of egg yolk is three-to fourfold higher when the eggs came from outdoor hens versus hens that live indoors.

Beef Liver

If you’re a meat-eater, beef liver is a naturally rich source of vitamin D and other important nutrients, like folate. It’s also a budget-friendly and versatile protein choice.

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12 Best Vitamin D Supplements of 2021 for Improved Overall Health – WWD

  • January 11, 2021

All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, WWD may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

Incorporating the best vitamin D supplements into your wellness routine is essential to your body’s overall health. As a vitamin that a large number of the American population is deficient in, vitamin D plays a vital role in the function of the body’s absorption and retention of calcium, which is required for strong bones and teeth.

Obtained through exposure to sunlight and a diet rich in eggs yolks, oily fish, red meat and liver, vitamin D is also responsible for supporting heart health in addition to healthy immune and digestive systems by aiding in the efficient functioning of the cells. For some, adequate vitamin D supplementation can boost their energy levels and mood due to its beneficial effect on the hormones.

What to Know Before Taking the Best Vitamin D Supplements

To ensure a strong daily dosage and healthy absorption, the best vitamin D supplements contain vitamin D3, an active form of the vitamin that the body has an easier time breaking down. Experts note that vitamin D is fat soluble and may be difficult for the body to absorb if it’s not taken with a fat. For some, vitamin D3 supplements can lead to a deficiency in other vitamins and minerals including magnesium and vitamins A and K. Make sure to consult your physician to find the right dosage and formula that best suits your body, diet and lifestyle.

NatureWise Vitamin D3 Supplement

The NatureWise Vitamin D3 Supplement packs a healthy, daily dose of vitamin D in its most active form with its easy-to-swallow softgels. Containing 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 and organic olive oil, this supplement is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles in addition to maintaining immune health.

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Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Supplement

Delivering what is considered to be a healthy daily dose of vitamin D3 for adults, the Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3 Supplement is a high-quality‚ hypo-allergenic dietary supplement that supports bone strength, heart health and digestive health.

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Now Supplements Vitamin D3 Supplement

Featuring the highest potency of vitamin D3, the Now Supplements VItamin D3 Supplement is free of GMOs, soy, gluten, dairy, sugar and eggs and promotes a healthier immune system and stronger bones.

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Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 Gummies

For those who prefer gummy formulations, the Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 Gummies provide 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 per gummy and allow for better absorption. These wild berry-flavored gummies support a healthy functioning immune system while strengthening your bones and promoting a healthy mood.

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HUM Nutrition Here Comes The Sun Supplements

With 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per serving, the HUM Nutrition Here Comes The Sun Supplement delivers a potent dose of vitamin D while supporting bone strength, muscle retention, heart health and the immune system.

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Sports Research Vitamin D3 Supplement

Made with coconut oil to increase the body’s absorption, the Sports Research Vitamin D3 Supplement contains 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 and strengthens your muscles and bones as it promotes a healthier immune system. It’s formulated without safflower and soybean oils for a healthier supplement.

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Nature Made Vitamin D3 Supplement

Stocked with a 250-day supply of softgels, the Nature Made Vitamin D3 Supplement contains 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 and promotes healthier bone, teeth and muscles in addition to supporting your immune health.

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MegaFood Vitamin D3 2,000 IU Supplement

The MegaFood Vitamin D3 Supplement helps maintain healthy bones, hormones and immune function thanks to its 2,000-IU tablets. A gluten-free and viable supplement option for vegetarians, it also contains organic brown rice, organic broccoli, organic parsley leaf, organic beetroot and organic carrot to promote your overall health and well-being.

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Solgar Vitamin D3 Supplement

With 1,000 IU of vitamin D3, the Solgar Vitamin D3 Supplement helps fortify your bones by aiding in the absorption of calcium while promoting healthy immune and digestive function. This Kosher supplement is also free of gluten, wheat, GMOs, soy, yeast and artificial flavors and sweeteners.

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Thorne Research Vitamin D/K2 Liquid Supplement

For those looking for a liquid formulation, Thorne Research’s Vitamin D/K2 Liquid Supplement contains a potent dose of vitamin D3 and vitamin K2, which has been found to bone and heart health. This supplement contains 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 and 200 mcg of vitamin K2.

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Caltrate 600+D3 Bone Strength Supplement 

Designed to support bone health, the Caltrate 600+D3 Bone Strength Supplement combines 600 mg. of calcium with 800 IU of vitamin D3 to maximize calcium absorption while replenishing the body’s vitamin D levels. Together, these important minerals also work to maintain the health of your nerves and hormones.

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Carlson Kid’s Super Daily D3 + K2 Supplement

Created with little ones in mind, the Carlson Kid’s Super Daily D3 + K2 Supplement is a liquid formula that contains 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 and 22.5 mcg. of vitamin K2. By encouraging the body’s absorption of calcium, this unflavored supplement plays an essential role in the healthy growth and development of your child’s bones.

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Tonic Health steps up super vitamin charge to boost immunity | City & Business | Finance

Tonic Health steps up super vitamin charge to boost immunity | City & Business | Finance

  • January 10, 2021

Its innovative powder formulations include top rated immunity defenders vitamins C and D along with zinc and plant extracts and are produced in partnership with a UK manufacturer.  Now in its second year and despite the highly volatile trading situation the brand is hoping for a £500,000 turnover in 2021 as demand for preventative health pick-me-ups grows and consumers’ respond to its unique A-list credentials.

In Tonic’s case that A stands for absorption, the beneficial elements in a product that a body actually absorbs that are a vital but often overlooked aspect of supplement taking. 

Founder and former corporate financier Sunna Van Kampen explains:

 “We are the highest dose and most natural immunity drink on the market, combining the high vitamin doses with the plant extracts which helps increase the absorption and is absolutely key to our format. This enables 90 percent take up by the body compared to tablets which is around 30 to 40 percent.” 

Years of fending off colds and seeing the shortfall in remedies, which focussed on symptom relief rather than immune system recovery, led to Van Kampen looking deep into what the science had to say and developing his own natural solutions. 

From ginger to lesser known potent ingredients such as aged garlic and reishi mushrooms, the recipes for Tonic were born.

Getting them to market took an investor group that includes New Look founder Tom Singh and £550,000 so far. Last year Tonic launched three products, including an immunity night drink that have won contracts with Boots and Holland & Barrett.

Customers are split between those who are proactive about their health and others who give the products a go because they are sick or run down.

Most popular is the daytime Elderberry & Blackcurrant drink with a whacking 1,500 mg Vitamin C hit. “We use British blackcurrants and our customers love that too,” says Van Kampen.

A new daily effervescent tablet is due next month along with a travel pack, while a further £1.5million raise he is planning will go to expanding exports with the US top of the list.

“Learn quickly,” has always been Van Kampen’s motto and he and his team of five have certainly had experience of that over the past 15 months.

The trials of smoothing out the production process came good, but like other small businesses the current challenges posed by lockdowns and Brexit are testing Tonic’s resilience in ways unimaginable a year ago.   

“Now 30 percent of our sales are direct and online. Multi-channel is the future but the present situation does not compensate for being on the big retailers’ shelves,” says Van Kampen. 

 “Smaller, lesser known brands like us get picked up when high street shoppers are browsing, not so much when surfing online. That is the particular impact of Covid on small businesses rather than larger ones.”

The extra paperwork following Brexit will need the equivalent of two or more working days a month. “Holland & Barrett sell in Ireland and for us to sell through them will require both of us having to do more admin. We are still unclear about other aspects too such as VAT. Clarity is desperately needed,” says Van Kampen, voicing problems shared by an increasing number of SMEs.

A Spanish distributor Tonic had lined up has now said it wants to wait before it receives shipments. 

“Everyone seems to be feeling they want the dust to settle,” adds Van Kampen.

When it does Tonic will be ready and recharged, aiming to recruit three more staff and settle into a new office it is now renting in central London.

“Ego goes out the window when you become an entrepreneur,” says Van Kampen. “You just have to persist.”

25 Best Vitamin C Foods: Nutrition & Benefits

25 Best Vitamin C Foods: Nutrition & Benefits

  • January 7, 2021

With the pandemic still in full force combined with cold and flu season, trying to make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape is likely top of mind.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but adding in some vitamin C to your diet for good measure will help, too. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, supports the immune system and helps your body use the iron you get from food. 

What is vitamin C?

First, let’s take a look at exactly what vitamin C is.

“Vitamin C is a plant-derived antioxidant that’s found predominantly in veggies and fruit,” explains Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN Head of Nutrition & Wellness at WW (Weight Watchers).  “This class of compounds helps to support overall immune function and general well-being by protecting your body’s healthy cells from damage.”

The body also uses vitamin C to make collagen which is a springy type of connective tissue that makes up parts of your body and helps to heal wounds. “ If you don’t get enough or no vitamin C for weeks, you can get scurvy, a condition causing fatigue, gum inflammation and bleeding, joint pain, and poor wound healing,” adds Brenda Braslow, RD. “The daily recommended allowance for adult men is 90 mg per day and 75 mg per day for adult women,” she says. 

The benefits of vitamin C

A diet that has the recommended amount of vitamin C can help prevent disease as we age. “Over time, a diet that provides antioxidants, including vitamin C, from plant foods can help to promote healthy cell function, and therefore, help to decrease risk of chronic disease on the whole,” says London. “Vitamin C helps protect vision by inhibiting the progression of cataracts and macular degeneration, it increases resistance to infection, colds, flu, and more,” explains Elizabeth Somer, MS, RDN, and Personal Nutrition Medical Advisory Board Member. She adds that vitamin C can also regulate cholesterol production, help lower blood pressure, and is important in the formation of the stress hormones produced by the adrenal glands. 

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Should you take vitamin C supplements?

There are all kinds of varieties of vitamin supplements in the pharmacy, but are they worth taking? “Most people get adequate vitamin C through their diet. Taking a daily multivitamin can also provide a little additional vitamin C, often about 100 mg per supplement, so an additional high dose vitamin C supplement is not necessary,” says Braslow. London agrees, adding that unless a physician has recommended it for the treatment of a medical condition, then adding in supplements will have little to no benefit. “Vitamin C belongs to a class of vitamins that are water soluble, meaning what your body can’t use, you’ll excrete through the urinary tract as well as your GI tract.”

Below, you’ll find a list of the very best dietitian-recommended vitamin C foods.

Best vitamin C foods

Plums 

Braslow says 1 medium purple plum has 6 mg of vitamin C. It’s also rich in potassium, vitamin E and the antioxidant lutein.

Chili Peppers

¼ cup chopped green chili peppers has 91 mg of vitamin C, according to Barslow. 

Sweet yellow peppers

The vitamin C content of sweet or bell peppers increases as they mature. “What makes this so great for those of us trying to eat more food sources of vitamin C is that it’s a perfect ingredient and condiment, but also easily adapted to be a snack in its own right,” says London. Just one-half cup of yellow peppers provides 137 mg of vitamin C.

Red peppers

A half cup of sweet, sliced red peppers arguably has the most vitamin C of any vegetable or fruit,” says London. She adds that it’s the perfect ingredient or condiment that can be adapted into a snack. “One half cup of peppers will provide up to 95 mg.”

Green bell peppers

One ounce of sauteed peppers provides up to 49.5 mg of Vitamin C. 

Oranges or orange juice

One medium-sized orange provides up to 70mg of vitamin C which is 78% of the daily value. A mandarin orange has 24 mg.  Start your day off with a glass of orange juice. Braslow says drinking  6 ounces of orange juice has 93 mg of vitamin C.

Related: Citrus Pineapple Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Guavas

Braslow says half of a medium guava provides 63 mg of vitamin C. Guava fruit is also a great source of fiber. 

Thyme

One teaspoon of dried thyme has 1 mg vitamin C,” says Braslow. Even just sprinkling a couple of tablespoons of fresh thyme over your meal adds up to 7 mg of vitamin C to your diet.

Parsley

Two tablespoons of fresh parsley contain 10 mg of vitamin C, providing 11% of the recommended daily value. 

Spinach

A half cup of cooked spinach has 9 mg of vitamin C. There are a variety of spinach options including savoy spinach, flat spinach, and semi-savoy spinach. 

Kale

“60% of the daily value for vitamin C per ½ cup, cooked serving of kale is up to four times what you’ll get from spinach,” says London. She suggests including it when sauteing, as a swap for romaine lettuce in sandwiches, or as part of a hearty winter soup.

Kiwi

“One medium kiwi packs 70% of the daily value for vitamin C,” says London. “ It’s a tasty and slightly-surprising addition to breakfast parfaits or eaten sliced as part of a snack.”

Broccoli

“One cup of broccoli packs up to 220% of the daily value for the nutrient and is easy to cook quickly in a saute pan with a little bit of garlic and olive oil or butter,” says London. 

Brussels sprouts

According to London, a ½ cup of cooked brussels sprouts packs 48 mg of vitamin C, which is about 53% of the daily value. “These are a great choice this time of year since you can drizzle olive oil and stick ‘em on a sheet pan for roasting. I’m also loving Brussels sprouts in the air-fryer.”

Lemons

London says one way to shake things up and get your water and vitamin C in is to add lemons to your drink. “Per half cup, lemon juice will provide more than half of the DV for vitamin C and it also adds tangy tartness to an otherwise unflavored sparkling beverage.”

Bok choy

“All cruciferous veggies provide some vitamin C,” says London. Bok Choy is also rich in Vitamin K.  

Strawberries

“Fresh or frozen, strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and provide up to 50% of the daily value for the nutrient per half cup,” says London. She suggests using it as a topping with plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt or as part of a dessert. You can also use it as a simple, lower-sugar swap for jelly on your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are also a great source of vitamin C and are easy to incorporate, from canned tomatoes used in sauce or stew to fresh tomatoes thrown into a quick chopped salad,” suggests London. She says one cup of cherry tomatoes packs up to 30% of your daily value of vitamin C. 

Snap peas

Snap peas, as well as sugar snap peas, are a great source of vitamin C, providing 100% of the daily value in just 3.5 ounces. 

Cantaloupe

A cup of cubed cantaloupe contains over 200 mg of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. 

Potatoes

A medium baked potato will provide about 30% of the daily value and is another go-to staple that’s easy to add as a side dish to meals, or, my personal favorite, as a quick and easy weeknight dinner of loaded baked potatoes with black beans, tomatoes, scallions, part-skim cheese, greek yogurt, and hot sauce,” says London. Braslow adds that you shouldn’t throw away the peel, which is packed with nutrients! 

Related: 18 Delicious Recipes to Add More Vitamin C to Your Table

Cauliflower

A half cup of cooked cauliflower packs up to 1/3 of your [daily value] for vitamin C, and it’s easy to incorporate now more than ever in the form of frozen, pre-prepped cauliflower rice, which you can find in your produce aisle at your local grocery store, or in the freezer aisle, making it that much easier to add to instant-rice to slowly introduce veggies into more meals and snacks,” says London. 

Grapefruit

Half a grapefruit contains 44 mg of the recommended daily value. 

Pineapple

Pineapples are rich in vitamin C, providing 131% of the daily recommendation. 

Mango

Mangoes are naturally high in vitamin C and beta-carotene. One cup of sliced mango provides 60.1 mg of vitamin C.

Next up, here are 66 immune boosters for flu season.

Sources

Brigham and Women’s study to test if Vitamin D can reduce coronavirus severity, transmission – Twin Cities

Brigham and Women’s study to test if Vitamin D can reduce coronavirus severity, transmission – Twin Cities

  • January 6, 2021

Vitamin D is known to boost the immune system by fighting off infection, and now a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study will test to see if the sunshine vitamin can lessen the severity of coronavirus symptoms and reduce the chance of becoming infected with the illness.

“Vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach to preventing severe COVID-19 illness and the need for hospitalization, as well as for preventing transmission of the infection to household members,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventative medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“We need randomized trials to test vitamin D for these purposes, and our VIVID trial will fill these knowledge gaps,” said Manson who is also the principal investigator of the Vitamin D for COVID-19 (VIVID) study, which is currently enrolling patients.

The nationwide, placebo-controlled study will include people age 30 and older who have gotten a positive coronavirus test result within the previous five days.

The 2,700 participants will take either high-dose vitamin D or a placebo pill for four weeks to see whether taking the supplement reduces the severity of symptoms and risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

Manson said there are no harmful side effects to taking high doses of vitamin D.

The trial is conducted entirely remotely with no travel or clinic visits required. Participants can also enroll a household member who does not have coronavirus to test whether vitamin D supplements can lower the risk of becoming infected.

The best established benefits of vitamin D are for bone health, said Manson, and the main sources are sun exposure, fatty fish and fortified cereals and dairy products.

“There is lab and clinical evidence that vitamin D boosts our immune system to help fight off infections,” said Manson, adding that other studies show vitamin D can reduce excessive inflammation, which plays a large role in severe coronavirus.

Manson is not the only Boston researcher to look into vitamin D and its effects on coronavirus.

Boston University Dr. Michael Holick found in a study that people who had deficient levels of vitamin D had 54% higher COVID positivity compared to those with adequate levels of vitamin D in the blood.

What causes, how to prevent Vitamin D deficiencies

What causes, how to prevent Vitamin D deficiencies

  • January 5, 2021

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — Usually when the thought of winter in Wisconsin comes to mind, there’s often an automatic association to cold weather and snow.

However, Dr. Larry Gordon with Aspirus Weston Clinic said it’s easy for people to suffer from Vitamin D deficiency during months that see less sunlight.

“Well we live in Wisconsin, so anyone who lives north of Atlanta, from the months of October to February, make no Vitamin D,” Dr. Gordon said.

The essential vitamin is made through sunlight hitting our skin in a chemical reaction that takes places according to Dr. Gordon. He said the reason for people not being able to make any during specific months is due to the angle of the Earth compared to how the sun hits it, and the ultraviolet radiation that helps make Vitamin D gets filtered out of the atmosphere.

Our bodies primarily make and store it from March to October. However, clothes and sunblock, for example, can prevent extra Vitamin D from being made as well.

Dr. Gordon stated that up to 40% of patients he sees that get their Vitamin D levels checked are low.

The average adult needs to get anywhere from 1,000 IU to 2,000 IU.

A few vitamin supplements, or different foods like fish or a lot of milk can help prevent deficiencies.

“It helps us actually absorb calcium,” Dr. Gordon added. “Calcium is the building block of our bones, so if you want nice strong bones you need Vitamin D to absorb that. Also, Vitamin D does have some immune system activity and it helps boost the immune system.”

Lack of sunlight is also directly correlated to seasonal affective disorder.

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