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Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain

Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"Our brains were shaped and sharpened by movement, an emerging view of human evolution goes, and we continue to require regular physical activity in order for our brains to function optimally."
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/exercise-and-the-ever-smarter-human-brain/?_r=0&nbsp

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Can Free Play Prevent Depression and Anxiety In Kids?

Can Free Play Prevent Depression and Anxiety In Kids? | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it
The decline in time children have for free play could be tied to increased levels of depression and acute anxiety among young people.



For full post, click on title above or here:
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/can-free-play-prevent-depression-and-anxiety-in-kids/ 

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Teaching Students How to Combat Traumas of Poverty on the Yoga Mat

Teaching Students How to Combat Traumas of Poverty on the Yoga Mat | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"At Cesar Chavez Academy in East Palo Alto, Calif., 7th graders are learning yoga as a way to cope with the stress of life in a community rife with homelessness, shootings and gang war trauma. By teaching these children to pay close attention to their breathing and movements, Stanford University researchers are hoping they will focus better in school and beyond. Jeffrey Brown reports."...

 

For full article and video, click on title above or here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/low-income-students-combat-stress-mindfulness/

 

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Healthy Child, Healthy World // HealthyChild.org

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Exercise Connection to Academic Ability

Exercise Connection to Academic Ability | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"While boosting health and fitness are often promoted as the key benefits to increased physical activity, growing ­attention is now being given to its potential to impact across all areas of life.
 

Gregor Henderson, who advises the UK government on public health and wellbeing issues, said there was now good scientific evidence that taking part in sport boosted educational achievement, ­increased confidence and ­improved mental health.
 

But he said these benefits were not always recognised, which made young people less likely to take part if they believed only winning and being good at sport were important.
 

One example of the wider benefits of sport is in the field of educational achievement, with growing scientific evidence that activity boosts learning ability. A study by researchers at the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee last year found links between exercise and exam success in English, maths and science."...

 

For full post, click on title above or here: http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/exercise-improves-academic-ability-1-3406781

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American Youth Becoming More Sedentary, Less Active - NYTimes Wellness Blog

American Youth Becoming More Sedentary, Less Active - NYTimes Wellness Blog | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"This is Our Youth"
By Gretchen Reynolds - "America’s young people, as a group, are becoming more out of shape with every passing year, regardless of their family’s economic situation, a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The finding raises troubling questions about the future health and longevity of our children and suggests that parents and other authority figures need to find better ways to get our youth moving.


For the past few decades, accumulating data and anecdotal evidence have shown that children in the United States are becoming more sedentary. Less than a third of young people ages 12 to 18 are said to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity for their age group, which would be about an hour a day of exercise.


Instead, epidemiological studies suggest, physical activity among American youngsters peaks before age 10, and perhaps as early as 2, and begins a steady and accelerating decline after that. By some reports, children typically spend eight to 10 hours a day in front of a television or computer screen, with their screen time rising in summer, when school doesn’t interfere."


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Soda’s Impact on Schools

Soda’s Impact on Schools | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Matt Haney: "In the conversation about a tax on sugary beverages in San Francisco, most of the attention has focused on the detrimental health impacts of soda, and whether or not a tax on sugary beverages will lead to less use.

 

These are important questions, with big implications, and ones that the scientists, doctors, and researchers are perfectly qualified to handle. Take the politics out of it, and much like global warming, the science and the facts fall clearly on one side in this debate. Soda is a unique driving factor in causing obesity, which is the greatest public health crisis facing our country, particularly among children.

 

Still, less attention has been given to an equally important consideration: The impact that soda use has on our schools’ ability to ensure educational opportunity for all, and the urgent need for more resources to address its devastating impacts.

 

As a Commissioner on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education, I am responsible, along with my Board colleagues, for providing each student in San Francisco schools with an equal opportunity to succeed and achieve his or her full potential.

 

When children walk through our doors, they come in with a range of needs—academic, social, behavioral, and physical. Schools understand that you can’t address these needs in isolation. You can’t focus solely on teaching algebra if your students haven’t eaten or can’t see the chalkboard. Successful schools must understand and address the wide range of factors that affect educational achievement."...

 

For full post, click title above or here: http://www.choosehealthsf.com/sodas_impact_on_schools

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FED UP - Official Trailer - YouTube

"This is the movie the food industry doesn't want you to see. FED UP blows the lid off everything we thought we knew about food and weight loss, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public, resulting in one of the largest health epidemics in history. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of An Inconvenient Truth) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever."

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCUbvOwwfWM

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What Happens To Your Body After Just One Workout

What Happens To Your Body After Just One Workout | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"To reap the full range of life-extending, heart-protecting, sleep-promoting, obesity-thwarting benefits of exercise, you're going to have to get some regular activity. In fact, about two and a half hours a week of it.

 

Those hours should be moderate-intensity aerobic activity (think: brisk walking), according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. (More vigorous exercisers can cut back on time as they up the intensity, but everyone should also aim for a couple of strength-training sessions a week, according to the Guidelines.)"

 

For full post, click on title above or here: 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/benefits-of-one-workout_n_4618547.html

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Pain In The Back? Exercise May Help You Learn Not To Feel It - NPR

Pain In The Back? Exercise May Help You Learn Not To Feel It - NPR | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Patti Neighmond and Richard Knox - (NPR)

"More than 1 in 4 adult Americans say they've recently suffered a bout of low-back pain. It's one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor. And more and more people are being treated for it.

 

America spends more than $80 billion a year on back pain treatments. But many specialists say less treatment is usually more effective.

In fact, there's evidence that many standard treatments for back pain — surgery, spinal injections and painkillers — are often ineffective and can even worsen and prolong the problem."...

Full post at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/13/255457090/pain-in-the-back-exercise-may-help-you-learn-not-to-feel-it

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The Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise

The Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Gretchen Reynolds - NYTimes - Nov. 27th, 2013 -

(Selected quote)

..."Their method was simple. They randomly divided their volunteers into two groups, one of which was assigned to run every day at a moderately intense pace on a treadmill for 45 minutes. The other group did not exercise.

     Meanwhile, the men in both groups were told to generally stop moving so much, decreasing the number of steps that they took each day from more than 10,000 on average to fewer than 4,000, as gauged by pedometers. The exercising group’s treadmill workouts were not included in their step counts. Except when they were running, they were as inactive as the other group.

     Both groups also were directed to start substantially overeating. The group that was not exercising increased their daily caloric intake by 50 percent, compared with what it had been before, while the exercising group consumed almost 75 percent more calories than previously, with the additional 25 percent replacing the energy burned during training.

     Over all, the two groups’ net daily energy surplus was the same.

The experiment continued for seven days. Then both groups returned to the lab for additional testing, including new insulin measurements and another biopsy of fat tissue.

     The results were striking. After only a week, the young men who had not exercised displayed a significant and unhealthy decline in their blood sugar control, and, equally worrying, their biopsied fat cells seemed to have developed a malicious streak. Those cells, examined using sophisticated genetic testing techniques, were now overexpressing various genes that may contribute to unhealthy metabolic changes and underexpressing other genes potentially important for a well-functioning metabolism.

    But the volunteers who had exercised once a day, despite comparable energy surpluses, were not similarly afflicted. Their blood sugar control remained robust, and their fat cells exhibited far fewer of the potentially undesirable alterations in gene expression than among the sedentary men.

     “Exercise seemed to completely cancel out many of the changes induced by overfeeding and reduced activity,” said Dylan Thompson, a professor of health sciences at the University of Bath and senior author of the study. And where it did not countermand the impacts, he continued, it “softened” them, leaving the exercise group “better off than the nonexercise group,” despite engaging in equivalently insalubrious behavior."...

Full post at: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/the-power-of-a-daily-bout-of-exercise/?_r=0#!&nbsp

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Children with cerebral palsy improve physical abilities through dance

Children with cerebral palsy improve physical abilities through dance | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

(Photo by Susan Kahn) - Caption: Upstate patient Miracle Thompson, 5, dances with Jowonio occupational therapist Lisa Neville, and is supported by Nottingham High School student and dancer, Bela Harris. The ballet program is sponsored by the Madeline Cote fund.


March 14th, by Amber Smith

"Like many preschoolers, Marley Aberdeen was enthralled with the mouse, Angelina Ballerina from the series of children’s books. So it was easy to enlist her participation in a pilot project last year exploring how ballet could help children with cerebral palsy.


Her mother brought her in pink leotard and tights to Jowonio School, where teenage dancers from the Syracuse City School District volunteered to help Marley and other children enjoy the benefits of dance.


It’s a program created by Nienke Dosa, MD, a developmental pediatrician at Upstate, and Lisa Neville, an occupational therapist at Jowonio. They were inspired by Citali Lopez, PhD, an exercise scientist at the Rehab Institute of Chicago who gave a presentation at Upstate last year, attended by physicians, dance instructors and physical therapists from throughout Central New York. 


“In ballet, dancers learn positions that are held for eight counts, then four counts, then two counts until they become fluid movement,” Dosa explains. Her patients are children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida. She says dance is a good way for them to experience movement and motor learning and to be part of a group. "...


For full post, click on title above or link here: http://whatsupatupstate.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/children-with-cerebral-palsy-improve-physical-abilities-through-dance/

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The Aging Brain Needs "REST" (Gene Regulator) - BioScienceTechnology

The Aging Brain Needs "REST" (Gene Regulator) - BioScienceTechnology | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

Photo caption: "A new study shows that a gene regulator called REST, dormant in the brains of young people (left), switches on in normal aging brains (center) to protect against various stresses, including abnormal proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases. REST is lost in critical brain regions of people with Alzheimer’s (right). (Source: Yankner Lab)"

 

"Why do neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s affect only the elderly? More than a century of research into the causes of dementia has focused on the clumps and tangles of abnormal proteins that appear in the brains of people with neurodegenerative diseases. However, scientists know that at least one piece of the puzzle has been missing because some people with these abnormal protein clumps show few or no signs of cognitive decline...."

 

For full post, click on title above or here: http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2014/03/aging-brain-needs-rest

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Limiting Screen Time Critical For Children's Academic, Emotional Development // Chicago Tribune

Limiting Screen Time Critical For Children's Academic, Emotional Development // Chicago Tribune | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Heidi Stevens [image by Heleen Sitter/Getty-Lifesize]
"Forty-five minutes of daily recreational screen time is the maximum a child can handle before his or her educational, emotional and social development are affected, according to a new "super study" that polled 50,000 parents from 4,600 American cities over a three-year period.


Spelled out in the new book, "The Learning Habit: A Groundbreaking Approach to Homework and Parenting That Helps Our Children Succeed in School and Life" (Perigree), the study aims to guide parents through an academic landscape that barely resembles the one we knew as kids — starting, of course, with the number and ubiquity of screens populating it.


"What we observe," they write, "are children who can relate to screens with ease, but have few social or communication skills; kids who can play video games for hours, but can't read a book for longer than 10 minutes; kids who can text and tweet, but can't focus on a challenging math problem or make sense of a few paragraphs in a history book."


Sure, but they're going to college in record numbers!

"We are graduating children who lack the skills to survive, much less thrive, in college," write the authors. "Once first in the world in college-graduated students, the United States is now 10th. Almost half of our students who enter college do not graduate."


We've got a mess on our hands, Jackson told me by phone. And we're not, in many cases, eager to tackle it.


"Parents aren't looking to make lifestyle or habit changes unless something isn't working," said Jackson, a neuropsychological educator. "Many families are struggling with something they're not connecting with screen time: moodiness at bedtime, fighting to get out of the house in the morning, anxiety — which (are hallmarks) of too much screen time."...


***


..."The Learning Habit study found that students who spend 45 total minutes per day consuming media — computer, phone, tablet or television — can maintain an A average.


"After 45 minutes of use, however, grades slowly but steadily declined," write the authors. "After three hours of use, grades rapidly declined. … After four hours, children had virtually zero likelihood of academic success."


Parents who took part in the study reported their children used media for an average of 90 to 120 minutes per day. "Yet when asked specific questions about the devices, the total was commonly between six and eight hours per day," write the authors."...


For full post, click on title above or here: 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-children-screen-time-balancing-20140909-column.html 

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Physically Fit Kids Have Beefier Brain White Matter Than Their Less-Fit Peers // University of Illinois

Physically Fit Kids Have Beefier Brain White Matter Than Their Less-Fit Peers // University of Illinois | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — 8/19/2014 | By Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor


"A new study of 9- and 10-year-olds finds that those who are more aerobically fit have more fibrous and compact white-matter tracts in the brain than their peers who are less fit. “White matter” describes the bundles of axons that carry nerve signals from one brain region to another. More compact white matter is associated with faster and more efficient nerve activity. 


With his colleagues, Beckman Institute director Arthur Kramer found an association between physical fitness and the integrity of white-matter tracts in the brains of 9- and 10-year-old children.

The team reports its findings in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 

“Previous studies suggest that children with higher levels of aerobic fitness show greater brain volumes in gray-matter brain regions important for memory and learning,” said University of Illinois postdoctoral researcher Laura Chaddock-Heyman, who conducted the study with kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman and psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Arthur Kramer. “Now for the first time we explored how aerobic fitness relates to white matter in children’s brains.”

The team used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI, also called diffusion MRI) to look at five white-matter tracts in the brains of the 24 participants. This method analyzes water diffusion into tissues. For white matter, less water diffusion means the tissue is more fibrous and compact, both desirable traits. 

The researchers controlled for several variables – such as social and economic status, the timing of puberty, IQ, or a diagnosis of ADHD or other learning disabilities – that might have contributed to the reported fitness differences in the brain. 

The analysis revealed significant fitness-related differences in the integrity of several white-matter tracts in the brain: the corpus callosum, which connects the brain’s left and right hemispheres; the superior longitudinal fasciculus, a pair of structures that connect the frontal and parietal lobes; and the superior corona radiata, which connect the cerebral cortex to the brain stem. 
“All of these tracts have been found to play a role in attention and memory,” Chaddock-Heyman said."...


Photo by L. Brian Stauffer


For full post, click on title above or here:

http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0819whitematter_LauraChaddockHeyman_CharlesHillman_ArthurKramer.html 

 


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One Pound of Fat Versus One Pound of Muscle: Clearing up the Misconceptions

One Pound of Fat Versus One Pound of Muscle: Clearing up the Misconceptions | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Bamboo Fitness
Debunking the myth

"Have you ever heard the saying, “Muscle weighs more than fat?” Perhaps at some point in your life you were working your butt off in the gym in an attempt to lose weight. During this time, you hopped onto the scale weekly, sometimes even daily. Some days were better than others. Sometimes the numbers on the scale decreased, but to your dismay, this wasn’t always the case. Some weigh-ins showed that the scale read higher than your starting weight. Other days the scale wouldn’t budge. This would depress and sadden you. To soothe your worries and soften the blow of the scale, perhaps a family member, friend, personal trainer, or doctor told you that you shouldn’t freak out because the scale is showing that there has been a gain in muscle and that “muscle weighs more than fat.” Maybe you relaxed after hearing this. Maybe you were skeptical of this comment."... 


For full post, click on title above or here: 
http://bamboocorefitness.com/one-pound-of-fat-versus-one-pound-of-muscle-clearing-up-the-misconception/  

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THIS is an excellent read!!! 

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Top 5 Favorite Quotes From The Integrative Nutrition Conference - ElizabethRider.com

Top 5 Favorite Quotes From The Integrative Nutrition Conference - ElizabethRider.com | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it
Clockwise from top left: me, Deepak Chopra, MD, Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, Christiane Northrup, MD, Walter Willet, MD and Chair of the Harvard Nutrition Dept., Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post (middle). A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Institute For Integrative Nutrition (IIN) Conference in...

 

For full post, click on title above or here: http://www.elizabethrider.com/top-5-favorite-quotes-integrative-nutrition-conference/

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For Fitness, Push Yourself - NYTimes Wellness Blog

For Fitness, Push Yourself - NYTimes Wellness Blog | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Gretchen Reynolds - "...For some time, scientists and exercise experts have debated the merits of intensity in exercise. Everyone agrees, of course, that any exercise is more healthful than none. But beyond that baseline, is strenuous exercise somehow better, from a physiological standpoint, than a relative stroll?

There have been hints that it may be. Epidemiological studies of walkers, for instance, have found that those whose usual pace is brisk tend to live longer than those who move at a more leisurely rate, even if their overall energy expenditure is similar."...

For full post, click on title or picture above. 

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Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend | TED.com

"Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case."
http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend.html
 

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Strength-Building Exercises Help Adolescents Reduce Health Risks

Strength-Building Exercises Help Adolescents Reduce Health Risks | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"The treatment for adolescent obesity and associated health problems has focused mostly on diet modifications and aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming.


But a recent research study concludes that adding strength-building exercises will help adolescents reduce the risks of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and other health problems. The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, show that strength capacity is strongly associated with lower cardiometabolic risk in adolescents, even after controlling for the influence of BMI, physical activity participation and cardiorespiratory fitness."... 

 

For full post, click on title above or here: http://humankinetics.me/2014/04/04/strength-building-exercises-help-adolescents-reduce-health-risks/

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Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting? - Mayo Clinic

Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting? - Mayo Clinic | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels."... 

 

For full post, click on title above or here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

 

 

 

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The Myth of Choice: How Junk-Food Marketers Target Our Kids - Anna Lappé & Food MythBusters

For more information click on video or visit http://www.foodmyths.org 

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How Your Brain Works During Meditation

How Your Brain Works During Meditation | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Nancy Bazilchuck

(Selected quote)..."A team of researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the University of Oslo and the University of Sydney is now working to determine how the brain works during different kinds of meditation.

 

Different meditation techniques can actually be divided into two main groups. One type is concentrative meditation, where the meditating person focuses attention on his or her breathing or on specific thoughts, and in doing so, suppresses other thoughts. The other type may be called non-directive meditation, where the person who is meditating effortlessly focuses on his or her breathing or on a meditation sound, but beyond that the mind is allowed to wander as it pleases. Some modern meditation methods are of this non-directive kind."...

 

For full post click title above or here: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-brain-meditation.html
 

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Why Food Education Matters - Edudemic

Why Food Education Matters - Edudemic | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"Every teacher knows that education reaches beyond the material contained in books and lecture materials. Students learn all sorts of things in school – from study habits to social skills. With many required elements in today’s curricula and a heavy focus on standardized testing, many schools are finding that the ‘extras’ are being marginalized, or even cut entirely. Art, music, and sports all have pretty vocal advocates fighting to keep them integrated into schools, one of the things that often gets looked over is food education."... 

For full post and infographic, click on title above or here: 
http://www.edudemic.com/why-food-education-matters


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For Fitness, Intensity Matters

For Fitness, Intensity Matters | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

By Gretchen Reynolds - NYTimes:
"This year, exercise science expanded and fine-tuned our understanding of how physical activity affects our brains, joints,hearts, and even genes, beginning before birth and continuing throughout our lifespans, which can be lengthened, it seems, by exercise, especially if we pick up the pace." 

Full post at: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/25/for-fitness-intensity-matters/?_r=0

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Vitamin D - Could it stop 'modern' diseases? - Telegraph U.K.

Vitamin D - Could it stop 'modern' diseases? - Telegraph U.K. | Fitness, Health, and Wellness | Scoop.it

"Scientists often liken the process of discovery to doing a jigsaw. At first, few pieces fit and the picture is a mystery. Then suddenly two or three pieces lock together and an image starts to take shape.


This is what is happening in the study of apparently unrelated, chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, diabetes and asthma. These conditions are increasingly common both in the UK and elsewhere; their causes have puzzled doctors and scientists for decades.

 

Now pieces of the jigsaw are starting to fit together – and they focus on vitamin D which is produced naturally in the skin when exposed to sunlight."...

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10686624/Vitamin-D-could-it-stop-modern-diseases.html

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