Why vitamin D is still good for you

In a headline-grabbing report, Japanese researchers found that taking 1,200 IU of D3 supplements daily can cut your risk of catching influenza A by 50 per cent. And even though there’s been recent press about a French meta-study that casts doubt on D’s disease-fighting ability, we’re still devoted to vitamin D3 — from food, sun and supplements.



Cord blood vitamin D linked to paediatric RTI risk

South Korean researchers say that encouraging pregnant women to spend more time outdoors or to increase their vitamin D supplementation may reduce the number of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in their infants. The team studied 525 infants from whom cord blood was obtained at birth and who were followed-up until the age of 6 months. They found that, despite the infants being otherwise healthy, only 10.1% of newborns had optimal vitamin D concentrations of 75.0 nmol/L cord blood or higher, while 55.6% and 34.3% were born with vitamin D insufficiency (25.0–74.9 nmol/L) or deficiency (<25.0 nmol/L), respectively.



Review: ‘Panorama — I Want My Baby Back’

This important documentary tackles a subject that is seldom out of the news: child abuse. Here it focuses on cases that have been wrongly diagnosed as such. In July 2009, this young boy died from a head injury, which led to his parents facing murder charges. It was not until April 2012 that they were completely exonerated. The real killer was rickets. Rickets is a disease caused by Vitamin D deficiency.



10 nutrients that can lift your spirits

If you want some pep in your step or a dash of good cheer, look no further than the grocery store’s shelves. Not only are foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids healthful, but studies show they can also increase happiness, lessen symptoms of depression and quell anxiety. Magnesium is a mineral that plays over 300 roles in maintaining and protecting the body’s health. Deficiency can cause irritability, fatigue, mental confusion and predisposition to stress.



New blood test could be used to predict if a patient will have a heart attack

Patients who suffer heart attacks have unique cells present in their blood, according to a new study. The “significant” findings published in the journal “Physical Biology” could potentially be used to predict whether a patient is about to have a heart attack by testing for circulating endothelial cells (CECs). As one person in the UK dies from a heart attack every seven minutes, the test is potentially life-saving if used by doctors.



Rates of gout in UK ‘soaring’

The prevalence of gout – traditionally associated with too much port and an unhealthy lifestyle – is soaring in the UK, according to a study. One in 40 people in the UK is affected, according to analysis of 15 years of results, in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases journal. The disease, which particularly affects the overweight, can be countered by lifestyle changes. But researchers say not enough people are getting access to medication. Gout is a type of arthritis, caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood.



Fruit juice ‘shouldn’t count in your 5 a day’: Some brands have more sugar than cola says obesity tsar

Fruit juice is so high in sugar it should not count as part of a healthy five-a-day diet, the Government’s obesity tsar has warned. The public should even start watering it down to wean themselves off it, said Oxford professor Dr Susan Jebb. Some brands of orange juice contain as much sugar as cola and should be taxed because of their potential effect on the nation’s health, she claimed.