The many benefits of vitamin D3
Vitamin D has hit the headlines lately, and is being hailed as one of the most important supplements everybody should be taking.
A fat-soluble nutrient, Vitamin D is essential for many facets of human health. While many know it for its ability to help strengthen bone structure, research is showing that it does much more.
The body produces vitamin D if it gets enough UVB light from sun exposure - obtaining vitamin D from the diet alone is prohibitively difficult. Factors influencing how much vitamin D we produce from the sun include:
• Age (synthesis slows as we age)
• The amount of sunlight we get (less in the UK/Ireland, particularly in autumn and winter)
• Skin pigmentation (those with darker skin require more exposure)
• Regular use of sunscreen
• Covering the skin for religious reasons
A clinical review found almost 1 billion people worldwide may have insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a recent rise in rickets cases in the UK.
Vitamin D supplementation can help correct insufficiency and is associated with a wide range of other health benefits.
Vitamin D is vital for a normal, healthy immune system. A meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal concluded that not only is vitamin D supplementation safe, but it also helps protect against respiratory tract infections (this covers everything from colds and flu to pneumonia).
Reduction in cardiovascular risk
Vitamin D has been linked to the reduction of cardiovascular events by cutting the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure, reducing inflammation of the cardiovascular system and reducing the risk of arterial calcification.
Reduction in fall risk and bone fractures
As we age, accidental falls are more likely to lead to bone fractures. Vitamin D supports muscle function, consequently reducing the risk of falls, particularly in elderly people.
A meta-analysis shows that in a range of studies, people experienced a 29% reduction in falling and fracture risk. Vitamin D also plays a well established role in maintaining bone structure, producing the protein osteocalcin which is vital for bone remodelling.
Sleep and pain
A recent review study found low vitamin D levels were associated with elevated pain (in rheumatic disorders and fibromyalgia) as well as irregular sleep patterns. The study author concluded vitamin D supplementation is associated with the therapeutic improvement of sleep and the prevention and treatment of chronic pain conditions.
A study from the Journal of Diabetes found children with low levels of vitamin D were also more likely to develop type 1 diabetes through islet autoimmunity. This is when the body's own immune system begins to attack the islets of langherans (found in the pancreas), an event which acts as a precursor to the development of type 1 diabetes.
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help prevent rheumatoid arthritis. A study led by the University of Birmingham compared the ability of immune cells in blood from inflamed joints in people with rheumatoid arthritis to respond to vitamin D. Tissue that was not diseased responded well to vitamin D, suggesting it could be effective at preventing the onset of rheumatoid arthritis
Taking vitamin D supplements with traditional asthma medication can reduce the occurrence of serious asthma attacks by around 50%. A study led by Queen Mary University of London showed vitamin D supplementation was involved with:
• a 30% reduction in asthma attacks requiring some treatment
• a 50% reduction in asthma attacks requiring A&E/Hospitalization
Vitamin D is necessary for the maintenance of a healthy immune system, and this is the proposed mechanism for its ability to reduce asthma attacks as well.
Pharma Nord Vitamin D3
Pharma Nord’s Bio-Vitamin D3 range is fast becoming the preparation of choice because:
• It is dissolved in cold pressed olive oil – the most absorbable form for an oil-based vitamin
• The capsules are extremely small (7mm diameter), making them easy to swallow
• It has documented quality and is supplied to hospitals
• It is highly bio-available, meaning more Vitamin D enters the body
• It is manufactured to pharmaceutical standards, ensuring precise dosage
• It is blister packed to retain freshness and prevent exposure to the atmosphere
• It comes in five different strengths – 400IU, 800IU, 1000IU, 5000IU and 20,000 IU – to suit a range of requirements
* References available on request December 2017
Pharma Nord at leading heart conference
NUTRITIONAL supplements specialist Pharma Nord took part in one of the UK’s leading conferences on heart health and cardiac issues.
Representatives from the company attended the two-day British Society for Heart Failure’s 20th Annual Autumn Meeting in London.
Over 800 delegates from across the UK, including cardiologists, nurses, researchers and other healthcare professionals, gathered at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre for the event.
Pharma Nord UK was the only supplement company represented at the conference and interest was high in the company’s Coenzyme Q10 supplements.
Coenzyme Q10 is essential for the normal functioning of all tissue in the body, particularly in the heart. Pharma Nord’s Bio-Quinone Q10 supplement was used in two clinical trials – the KiSel10 and Q-SYMBIO studies – which showed remarkable results in heart patients.
In the KiSel10 study, Swedish researchers recorded a 50% reduction in deaths from cardiovascular disease in a group of elderly people who regularly took Bio-Quinone Q10 while in the Q-SYMBIO trial, amongst a group of Danish people who had suffered severe heart failure, death rates were reduced by 43% among those who regularly took Bio-Quinone Q10.
Pharma Nord’s Bio-Quinone Q10 is also the reference product used by the International Coenzyme Q10 Association.
This impressive track record had many delegates at the British Society for Heart Failure’s 20th Annual Autumn Meeting interested in finding out more about Bio-Quinone Q10 and Pharma Nord.
Bent Henriksen, managing director at Pharma Nord UK Ltd, said: “This was the third year in a row that we have attended the conference and our appearances always generate a lot of interest – this year being no exception.
“We talked to a lot of people at our stand about the benefits of our CoQ10 supplement - delegates were keen to take as much information as possible as well as leave details so we can visit their hospitals and conduct a presentation about it.
“There was also a lot of interest in some of our other products, such as Bio-Gluco Control which assists with blood sugar management, and supplements addressing other health conditions.
“Our aim in attending this event and similar conferences not only to generate interest in products like Bio-Quinone Q10 but also to provide evidence-based literature that people can take away and learn from.
“As a company, we believe in the science of supplements – our products are manufactured to strict pharmaceutical standards and are developed using a constantly updated database of over 9,000 scientific studies.
“Pharma Nord products have also been used in over 300 different clinical trials, including landmark studies such as KiSel10 and Q-SYMBIO.
“As a result of this strong evidence-based foundation, we found that doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals attending the British Society for Heart Failure’s Annual Autumn Meeting were keen to ask questions, take information away and also invite us into their wards to present further information regarding the importance of Q10 in cardiology.
“We look forward to working with them and a range of other practitioners over the coming months as we look to bring the benefits of our work to people across the UK.” November 2017
Pharma Nord helps Strictly star’s latest show to keep dancing
Nutritional supplements specialist Pharma Nord is putting a spring in the step of former Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff’s latest show.
The company – one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of dietary supplements – is providing vitamin supplements to the cast and crew of Dance To The Music throughout the show’s 39-date nationwide tour.
Choreographed by and starring Kristina Rihanoff alongside fellow ex-Strictly Come Dancing professionals Robin Windsor, Oksana Platero and Jason Platero from So You Think You Can Dance, the production takes audiences on a journey of dance through the decades from the 1920s right up to today.
As official vitamin supplier to the show, Pharma Nord will be helping the cast of dancers, singers and crew to cope with the rigours of an extensive two-month tour, which starts in January and takes in locations from Scotland to the south coast.
Bent Henriksen, managing director at Pharma Nord UK, said: “We are delighted to be linking up with Kristina Rihanoff and the stars of Dance To The Music as they take their spectacular show across the country.
“We know that Kristina has been feeling the benefits of Pharma Nord products for a number of years so it is terrific that we can help her and the rest of the cast and crew to keep on top form as they entertain audiences in theatres in England, Scotland and Wales.
“Performing night after night in different venues and locations does put a strain on the body, particularly during winter time when illnesses are more prevalent, so getting access to a wide range of supplements and vitamins will hopefully keep everyone involved in the show at their best throughout the tour – and of course for Kristina and friends to keep dancing!”
Kristina Rihanoff, who is also co-producing Dance To The Music, said: “This is our most spectacular show yet and we are all really looking forward to wowing the crowds across the UK.
“The demand from audiences has been so strong that we will be performing at over 30 different venues throughout January and February.
“It’s great that so many people will be able to come and see us, but with such an extensive tour, it’s important that everyone keeps fit and healthy throughout the two months.
“That’s why it’s great to get the support of Pharma Nord for this tour. I’ve been taking their supplements for over three years and have really felt the benefits both in terms of my energy and recovery levels when I am working and in my overall health.
“I feel sure the rest of the cast and crew will benefit from Pharma Nord’s help and advice over the coming months as we take the show on the road.”
Frankie Brogan, Senior Nutritionist at Pharma Nord UK, said: “Dancers put their bodies under a lot of stress both during rehearsals and in performances.
“Whilst a well balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals and a good night’s sleep will help their bodies to recover, neither of these are guaranteed, especially when you’re out on the road in an extensive touring production.
“Taking the right supplements, such as Bio-Quinone Q10, Vitamin D3 and Bio-Magnesium, will help to support the cast and crew of Dance To The Music throughout their tour and beyond.”
Pharma Nord has been producing and supplying pharmaceutical quality vitamins and dietary supplements to consumers, health food shops, pharmacies, hospitals and practitioners in the UK for over 25 years.
Based in Morpeth, Northumberland, the company’s products include co-enzyme Q10 supplements for heart health and energy, Pycnogenol supplements for improved skin condition and circulation and a full range of vitamins to tackle tiredness and boost natural immune systems.
As well as the dancing talents of Kristina, Robin, Oksana and Jason, Dance To The Music also features singers Chris Maloney (an X-Factor finalist) and Beth Sherburn with music edited by Strictly music producer Ed Howes.
Tickets and further information on the production can be found at www.strictlytheatreco.co.uk November 2017
Q10 and Magnesium - supporting energy at the cellular level
The energy we need to live is obtained from the food we eat and a range of sophisticated processes in our body turn our food into fuel. The very final step in this process (known as respiration) depends on good functioning of the mitochondria to complete.
The mitochondria are kidney shaped organelles found within every human cell, and their main job is the production of energy resulting in them often being called the 'powerhouse' of the cell. This biological energy supports every bodily function and hence every activity, from sports and dancing to breathing and sleeping not to mentioned a wide range of biochemical processes we don't see or necessarily appreciate.
The impact of supporting these mitochondria cannot be underestimated and one way of doing that (beyond a virtuous diet and exercise) is appropriate nutritional supplementation. Two supplements stand out due to their impactful and vital natures: CoEnzyme Q10 and Magnesium.
CoEnzyme Q10 and energy
CoEnzyme Q10 (a vitamin-like substance) is essential for energy production within every single cell in the body, with the heart and muscle cells having a particularly high demand. Found in the mitochondria, Q10 is vital to produce energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This compound is produced via the electron transport chain, the complex final stage of respiration that converts our food to energy.
We produce Q10 ourselves (primarily in the liver), but this production declines from early 20s onwards. This decline accelerates if we take certain medications, such as the statin reducing-family of drugs. Beyond providing energy to every cell, Q10 can convert to an antioxidant form in the body- linking it to a range of other health benefits.
What can CoQ10 do for you?
Not only does the heart need adequate Q10 to function its best, Q10 aids circulatory health in other ways in clinical studies. Q10 has demonstrated being 'the first line of defence against oxidative stress', protecting the cells from free radicals (damaging particles produced by our bodies, pollution, smoking and UV rays). This antioxidant ability also protects against atherosclerosis building up in the blood vessels, a plaque associated with heart attacks, high blood pressure and stroke.
Q10 also helps to widen the blood vessels, an action associated with lower blood pressure and improved blood flow all around the body. In the study 'Q-Symbio', participants who took Q10 supplements (versus placebo):
• were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease-related events,
• experienced less stress on the heart
• recovered from heart failure better at an improved rate.
Aiding physical activity
Studies have shown that Q10 supplementation reduces perceived fatigue sensation, making exercises and strenuous activity feel easier to perform. Q10 (300mg daily) also resulted in less injury and less muscular damage in elite athletes, compared to a placebo in other studies making Q10 a great addition to any training regime.
Various studies also support Q10's ability to improve athletic performance, especially if you've had previous cardiac events in your life.
Bio-Quinone Q10- The benchmark
Q10 is, by nature, not easy to absorb, so many Q10 supplements don't allow significant levels into the bloodstream. Bio-Quinone Q10 from Pharma Nord is documented to prove bioavailability is a reference product for the international Q10 association, and many clinical trials.
Q10 is best derived from yeast as it's identical to the Q10 found in our bodies, though in this way it forms large crystals that don't absorb well. Via a unique patented process, Bio-Quinone is produced to ensure that these crystals are dispersed and made small enough for the body to absorb. It also comes in oil capsules which is important considering Q10 is fat soluble substance and absorbs best in the presence of fats.
In terms of how much Q10 to take, 200mg-300mg daily is a great range to aim for and is the dose range used in most successful studies. Splitting the dose over the day (i.e. 100mg breakfast and 100mg lunch) has demonstrated an improvement in Q10 levels more so than single doses.
Magnesium- are you getting enough?
Some expert panels suggest that magnesium insufficiency is one of the most common insufficiencies in the world. It's difficult however to get an accurate reflection of magnesium status in an individual basis, as only 1% of our magnesium is present in the blood. The rest is utilized throughout the body by over 300 enzymes for a plethora of biochemical processes in the body, as well as some magnesium being stored within tissue.
Because magnesium is needed for so many vital functions, a lack of it can cause a range of symptoms including cramps, poor sleep, depression, headaches and fatigue.
To quote the European Food Safety Authority, “A decline in magnesium status is associated with various symptoms such as depression...”. Magnesium is necessary for normal psychological functions and adequate levels can benefit brain biochemistry.
Various clinical trials demonstrate this ability, with magnesium supplementation improving various aspects of depression. This is incredibly important, considering a reported 250 million people worldwide suffer from a form of depression.
Clinical research demonstrates that magnesium supplementation can prove beneficial for mild-to-moderate depression, showing it to be safe, effective and comparable to common anti-depressant medications.
A trial led by he University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine shows that adults with mild-moderate depression consuming magnesium supplements over 6 weeks showed a significant improvement in depression and anxiety, versus a placebo group. These benefits started to manifest in a little as two weeks, and neither group experienced any adverse events with the supplements.
Magnesium supplements can significantly improve sleep. There is a significant body of research on the subject, magnesium works by calming the nervous system and relaxing the muscles. Studies have found that the mineral reduces the severity of insomnia, improves the length of sleep and decreases the time taken to achieve a full sleep (versus placebo).
Magnesium and Q10: an energy-boosting partnership
The 300+ different enzyme related processes in the body that require magnesium, include energy production. Magnesium, much like magnesium, is important for the production of ATP in the mitochondria and therefore energy. Magnesium insufficiency could impair the mitochondria's ability to produce energy and result in a reduction in many other bodily processes.
Magnesium supplements vary in effectiveness, usually offering high levels of magnesium or good absorption, but not both. Striking a balance between bioavailability and magnesium content ensures an effective supplement that’s well absorbed and is gentle on the gut.
Bio-Magnesium is a multi-sourced magnesium that is well absorbed by the body and produced to pharmaceutical standards. It’s so well absorbed, it breaks down readily in a glass of water!
Q10 and Magnesium
Both Q10 and Magnesium are needed to give every cell in the body access to the energy it requires and the functional enzymes it needs. Unfortunately both are considered insufficient in many individuals, including in the industrialized world. November 2017
The result of correcting such imbalance can be far reaching, supporting everything from cardiac health and energy levels to psychological functions, restful sleep and much more.