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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Are You At Risk For Vitamin B-12 Deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is found in animal-derived foods such as meat, eggs and milk. This essential vitamin keeps nerves and red blood cells healthy. Deficiency can lead to nerve damage, anemia, tiredness, depression and numbness in the hands and feet. As we get older, we lose some of our ability to absorb B12 from food. It was observed that one in 200 elderly people lack the gastric secretions necessary to absorb B12 altogether. In addition, people with diabetes have a heightened risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:

For the body to get enough vitamin B-12, three physiological processes should be undertaken –

Stress and Heart Diseases: B-Calm – Natural Stress Relief

When you experience stress, your body goes through a series of physiological responses that feed into your nervous system and circulatory system. It is well documented that stress has a substantial affect on the heart. Some of short lasting stress can be good for the heart. For example, physical exercise can put the heart under a degree of stress that is, generally agreed, to be beneficial provided that heart is not suffering from any disease.

However, if this stress is prolonged or gets chronic due to daily stress at work then the heart is forced to work harder for longer. It is believed that the stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol which increases heart rate, directs blood flow to the muscular system and releases fats into the bloodstream for use as energy) make blood thicker and stickier in preparation for any potential wound or injury. but in chronic stress this protective mechanism causes blood clots to form within the bloodstream because the body reacts to all stress in the same way.

Lack of Sleep Contributes to Heart Disease and Stroke

Not getting enough sleep may have more serious consequences than dark circles under your eyes the next morning. Current studies indicate that people who regularly sleep less than six hours a night have quadruple the risk of suffering a stroke than those who get seven or eight hours of sleep. A lack of sleep is linked  to a range of disorders which often lead to early death. According to the study of hundreds of thousands of people across eight countries, chronic short sleep results into production of specific hormones and chemicals in the body which increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease and other conditions such as high level of cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.

Melatonin: better sleep and greater protection against damage to DNA

Your body has its own internal clock that regulate your natural sleep and wake cycles. Melatonin is better known as a hormone made in your body by the pineal gland (a small gland in the brain) to help control these cycles. The principal factor affecting melatonin production is light which inhibits the secretion of this hormone while darkness istigates the pineal gland to increase melatonin secretion. At the same time many studies revealed that, in addtion to its sleep-enhancing benefits, this hormone acts as a powerful and versatile antioxidant which protects both lipids and proteins against damage by scavenging some of the most dangerous free radicals in the body.

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