Vitamin D and Vitamin K from BetterYou

Maintaining healthy bones is not just about increasing your calcium intake. Did you know that alongside calcium you should also look into vitamins D and K2?

Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 ensure that calcium is absorbed easily and reaches the bone mass, while preventing arterial calcification. Helping to keep your heart and bones healthy.

Separately, K2 regulates normal blood clotting, whilst D3 supports a healthy immune system and supports muscle function.

optimal bone health

D+K2 – Putting calcium in balance

For increased calcium into the bone

Vitamin D3 ensures that calcium is absorbed easily and K2 (MK-7) activates the protein, osteocalcin, which integrates calcium into bone. Without D3 and K2, calcium cannot do its job effectively.

For reduced calcium plaque in arteries

Vitamin K2 (MK-7) activates matrix GLA protein (MGP) to bind excess calcium and promote arterial flow and flexibility.

How do vitamins D3 and K2 work together?

The power of BetterYou Vitamin D + K2

This fantastic article has been created by BetterYou. You can read the original feature here.

A feature on B12 from BetterYou

Feeling tired all the time? Memory not what it used to be? Struggling to complete physical tasks that you used to normally take in your stride?

All these are common complaints that can result from a myriad of different medical problems… but there is often just one cause that links them all – vitamin B12 deficiency.

We get B12 from animal products such as meat, fish, milk and eggs. It is one of the water-soluble B vitamins which is bound to protein within food. However, you may be struggling to get enough through a healthy diet as it is notoriously hard to absorb through the gut.

What does vitamin B12 do?

Vitamin B12 helps the body’s ability to reduce the onset of fatigue and increase concentration levels by contributing to a normal energy metabolism.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the development and normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, particularly those aspects which determine concentration, learning, memory and reasoning.

Vitamin B12 concentration

Sources of vitamin B12

We get B12 from animal products such as:

  • Red meat
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • It can also be found in fortified foods

However, you may be struggling to get enough through a healthy diet as it is notoriously hard to absorb through the gut due to its large molecular size.

B12 in eggs

Who needs vitamin B12?

B12 is a notoriously difficult nutrient to absorb in the gut. At most only 1% of our dietary intake will be absorbed by the body. Diet and life-stages also have an impact on your vitamin B12 requirements, most notably:

Vegetarians and vegans

Who may have restricted B12 intake due to limited diet.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers

Not only essential for the mother but vitamin B12 crosses the placenta during pregnancy and is present in breast milk.

Those with malabsorption issues

As we age our secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach reduces and we become more vulnerable to depletion.

Athletes

With increased workout intensity the body will develop nutritional imbalances effecting stamina, strength and performance.

Frequent travelers

Can help energy levels when traveling, particularly over long distances where sleep patterns are disrupted.

Pernicious Anemia Sufferers

Can be used between injections to help boost vitamin b12 levels.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12 is a notoriously difficult nutrient to absorb in the gut. At most only 1% of our dietary intake will be absorbed by the body, and that relies on digestive efficiency and the presence of a chemical called intrinsic factor.

Deficiency can occur at any age and in the past, we have associated deficiency with growing older and our inability to extract the large molecule from our diet. However, more and more children and teenagers are being diagnosed with a deficiency. In extreme cases deficiency (known as pernicious anaemia) can cause severe nerve damage.

Our livers hold large stores of B12 and deficiency tends to develop over many years and because symptoms can easily be mistaken, diagnosis is often missed. Symptoms vary but include one or more of the following: fatigue, vague mental fogging and memory problems, depression, weakness, pins and needles in the hands and feet, and an unsteady walk.

The most common causes of vitamin B12 deficiency are:

  • An autoimmune condition – pernicious anaemia
  • Food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption
  • Restricted diets
  • Increasing age

Tiredness, stress, ill-health, poor or limited diet will all reduce this absorption further.

How do I raise my vitamin B12 levels?

A B12 supplement can be the easiest way to raise your B12 levels. As a water-soluble vitamin there is no upper daily limit to how much you can take. However, because of the difficulty in absorbing such a large molecule, tablets and capsules are notoriously difficult for the gut to break down and digest.

A daily B12 oral spray, applied directly onto the inner cheek of the mouth, it avoids over-reliance on our digestive system. Absorption commences immediately. It’s fast, it’s convenient and it tastes great.

Our work with the Pernicious Anaemia Society

There are many people who suffer with Pernicious Anaemia and have insufficient levels of B12. This is not a problem with the blood but rather with the digestive system. Some people do not produce the intrinsic factor which hampers their absorption of B12, however this is a very small percentage of Pernicious Anaemia sufferers. The majority of people do produce the intrinsic factor but for some unknown reason, they also produce something that kills off the intrinsic factor, Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibodies.

If you have been diagnosed with pernicious anaemia by your doctor he will undoubtedly have prescribed a course of B12 injections. Depending upon you level these will be weekly, monthly or every three months and vary in dosage levels. However, this form of treatment often results in symptoms returning before the next injection is due and this is one vital service BetterYou Boost B12 oral spray delivers.

With thanks to BetterYou for this article about the importance of B12. You can read the original piece here.

Is vitamin D the secret to staying injury free?

As the UK continues to embrace daily exercise, natural health experts share another key reason to supplement vitamin D.

Article powered by BetterYou.

Over 60 per cent of the adult population is now considered ‘active’, an increase of 1.5 per cent year-on-year, with people admitting to undertaking at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every week, according to Sport England.

Despite this time of great uncertainly, people are finding fun and creative ways to get moving, with over 60 per cent of adults saying it is more important to be active now, compared to before the coronavirus crisis.

Armed with the knowledge that increasing amounts of Brits are addressing their activity levels and are forming new exercise habits, International High Jump Athlete, Beth Partridge, discusses the impact this can have on our overall health and how a simple vitamin hit may just be the secret to keeping us injury-free. 

“Vitamin D is vital for many processes within the body and may be crucial for recovery and staying injury free. It is important, not only for its role in bone function, but it can also help to reduce the risk of autoimmune and chronic diseases”, explains Beth.

“There are various factors that can impact the amount of vitamin D an individual naturally absorbs from sun exposure and this can be dependent on time spent outdoors and sunscreen use, as well as skin pigmentation and diet.

“Our bodies endure a high state of stress when exercising regularly or at a high-intensity compared to those that do not exercise or those that have a lower volume of training. This, coupled with a higher energy requirement, means that the body can be at an increased risk of injury.

“Due to the nature of the lifestyle, it can be reasonable to suggest that vitamin D may be of greater need to an individual who undertakes a lot of physical exercise”, Beth continues.

“Playing a significant role in muscle structure and function, adequate vitamin D levels can help to reduce the risk of inflammation of the body, impaired muscle function and infectious illnesses, with optimal levels often resulting in improved health markers among those that are highly-active.

“For those that train regularly, a vitamin D deficiency may result in musculoskeletal discomfort, viral tract infections and stress fractures, all of which will have an impact on performance due to the time lost to illness or injury.

“From a dietary perspective, oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, egg yolks and fortified cereals or milk are the best sources to maximise your vitamin D intake. However, it can be difficult to obtain adequate levels from natural sources alone, so supplementing is the best way to ensure good health.

“With research suggesting that vitamin D deficiency can impact immune function, bone health and inflammation, I would recommend supplementing with vitamin D year-round to enhance your ability to exercise and ultimately improve performance. 

“For me, the best way to supplement is using an oral spray. This is the easiest way to ensure you have a consistent and measured daily amount without potentially damaging your skin through excess UVB exposure from sunlight.

“Vitamin D can often be overlooked and many of us are unaware that we may be deficient, so I would advise testing your levels using a simple at-home test kit, as maintaining optimal levels could be crucial when trying to maximise physical activity and training availability all-year-round”, Beth concludes.

BetterYou, the experts in effective vitamin D supplementation, is on a mission to eradicate vitamin D deficiency once and for all. The brand is helping to raise public awareness, encouraging people to test their levels to make sure they are supplementing appropriately.

Magnesium, are you getting enough?

This article on the importance of magnesium is written by Marta Anhelush of Biocare.

If there’s one nutrient we should all consider supplementing, it’s magnesium. Magnesium is one of the most important elements in our body, being involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions.[i] Up to 60% of it is stored in our skeleton. Therefore, just like calcium, it is important for healthy bones and prevention of conditions such as osteoporosis. Its functions stretch far beyond musculoskeletal health, though, and include:

  • Protein synthesis
  • Muscle and nerve function
  • Blood glucose management
  • Heart function and blood pressure regulation
  • Energy production.[ii]

In fact, magnesium is so essential to so many biological functions, that getting extra through diet or supplementation would be beneficial to everyone.

Unfortunately, many of us don’t consume enough magnesium-rich foods. In addition, modern lifestyle can create a big drain on our magnesium reserves. Because magnesium is used for so many processes, it can get easily depleted, especially by stress, erratic eating patterns, high sugar diets, or overtraining. Some common medications, such as acid blockers used for reflux, can also reduce absorption of magnesium.

HOW WOULD YOU KNOW IF YOU NEED MORE MAGNESIUM?

If you suffer from headaches, PMS, muscle cramps, high blood pressure, anxiety, constipation, fatigue, memory problems, hyperactivity, you could be deficient. In fact, a study done in America showed that 48% of the population had inadequate intake of this vital mineral.[iii]

You can naturally increase your magnesium levels by adding more magnesium-rich foods to your diet:

  • Vegetables: leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, broccoli), and squash
  • Nuts and seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds and cashews
  • Healthy grains and beans such as quinoa and black beans
  • Also try magnesium baths, using Epsom salts or magnesium flakes. They can be great to relieve muscle pain or help you to relax in the evening.

Make sure you integrate lifestyle strategies to reduce magnesium depletion; eat nutritious foods at regular times, avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates, reduce stress and allow time for your body to recover from exertion. Ensure your digestion is working optimally to enhance magnesium absorption. If you suffer with any digestive complaints, consider using probiotics or digestive enzymes to help.

SUPPLEMENTATION – WHAT’S THE RIGHT TYPE OF MAGNESIUM FOR YOU?

Increasing food sources of magnesium should be a priority but, if your requirements are high, or if you already have symptoms of deficiency, food alone may not be enough. There’s growing evidence that supplementing magnesium, especially specific types, can help with supporting certain aspects of health. You see, not all magnesium is equal. Choosing the right type is critical to successful nutritional support.

Just as with any other mineral, magnesium has to be bound to a ‘carrier’ molecule when it is consumed in a supplement form. The type of this carrier will determine its use and absorption rate, so it is important to choose the one that suits you best. For example, magnesium citrate was shown to be much more bioavailable (better absorbed and used by the body)than magnesium oxide.[iv] You can also benefit from the other molecule that the magnesium is bound to, as they all have their own unique functions in the body. Some of the most commonly used ones include:

  • Magnesium Citrate – a well absorbed, gentle form that delivers a good amount of magnesium per capsule. So it’s a great choice for general magnesium supplementation when you want a higher dose. One particular study successfully used 600mg of magnesium citrate in the prophylaxis of migraines.[v] It also acts as a gentle laxative so may be helpful to relieve constipation.[vi] In addition, long-term supplementation of magnesium citrate alongside potassium reduced the risk of recurrent kidney stones by 85%.[vii]
  • Magnesium Glycinate –glycine is an amino acid used for a number of important proteins in the body, including haemoglobin in red blood cells or creatine in the muscle. It supports the nervous system, reducing stress and promoting sleep, and improving memoryattention and learning.[viii],[ix] Glycine is a pre-cursor to glutathione – our most potent antioxidant and detoxifier,[x],[xi] and one of the largest components of collagen, which is crucial for healthy skin, joints, ligaments, tendons and bones. Insufficient dietary intake of glycine may interfere with collagen production.[xii]
  • Magnesium Malate –malic acid is a natural compound found in many different foods (e.g. apples). In the body, it is important for energy production. It’s been found to reduce tiredness, tenderness, pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia.[xiii],[xiv]So magnesium malate may be a better choice for those people with energy and fatigue issues. It may also be beneficial for muscle pain and cramps. It doesn’t give quite as much magnesium as other forms, but this isn’t an issue as the malate part is just as important in supporting energy.
  • Magnesium Taurate –an amino acid – taurine, is used to create bile which helps with absorption of fats[xv] in the digestive tract and detoxification of toxins. Through its impact on bile production, it aids natural elimination of cholesterol. In studies, it’s been found to lower LDL cholesterol[xvi],[xvii] and triglycerides, while increasing HDL cholesterol.[xviii] It is also used by the heart muscle for contractions, and may improve arterial function, supporting healthy circulation and blood pressure.[xix],[xx] Taurine also supports the nervous system by activating the calming neurotransmitter GABA.[xxi] So to summarise, magnesium with taurine can be particularly helpful for people with liver or heart problemspoor gallbladder function and reduced fat digestion[xxii] or those with high stress levels or insomnia.

Many of us may need additional magnesium support, but it is important to remember that not all magnesium is equal. Choose the best form for your specific needs and if you need any help, you can call our Clinical Nutrition team or see a practitioner for further advice and support.

Boost with beetroot

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Run Reigate 10k and half marathon yesterday! You should all be extremely proud of yourselves, that’s such a fantastic achievement! I don’t know about you, but whenever I go to these events it always really inspires me to get more into my running again! In case anyone is feeling the same way, today we wanted to share  a little bit about one of our products that been very popular amongst runners. If you’re an avid runner, then you probably know about this already, but the product that we’re talking about today is BeetActive, which is a completely natural beetroot concentrate.

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