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Maintaining Healthy Vitamin D Levels During Winter

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Did you know Vitamin D helps the intestine absorb nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus. This ensures strong bones and a strong immune system.  Vitamin D provides calcium balance in the body that prevents osteoporosis and arthritis.  It regulates blood pressure, reduces stress, relieves body aches by reducing muscle spasms, reduces respiratory infections, helps in differentiation of the cells, helps fight depression and improves overall skin health.  On top of that it is believed to help fight several diseases!  These are just a fraction of the health benefits, but the focus of this post is on how to obtain healthy levels of Vitamin D during the winter time when you lack exposure to the sun.

The best natural sources of Vitamin D other than sunlight being absorbed by your skin include the following:

  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna Fish
  • Sardines
  • Milk
  • Margarine
  • cereals
  • Eggs
  • Beef Liver
  • Swiss Cheese


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Pedometers Promote Physical Activity


Research has shown that wearing a pedometer promotes physical activity and helps with weight loss.

“Just as a watch can’t make a person be on time, a pedometer can’t make a person active,” said Dr. Barbara Bushman, an exercise specialist and personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). “But it’s a good tool for promoting physical activity.”

A summary of 26 different studies showed that pedometer users walked at least 2,000 more steps each day than nonusers, according to the Harvard Health Letter, produced by experts at Harvard Medical School. Also, using a pedometer helped them increase overall physical activity levels by 27 percent.

For most healthy adults, 10,000 steps per day is a reasonable goal, according to ACSM.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/12/us-fitness-pedometers-idUSBRE8AB0CZ20121112


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New Strep Throat Guidelines

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The Infectious Diseases Society of America recently released a new set of guidelines for doctors to avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics that can lead to drug-resistant bacteria.

Research shows that up to 15 million people in the United States go to the doctor for a sore throat every year. As many as 70 percent of patients receive antibiotics for a sore throat, but only 20 percent of those patients have strep throat, according to the IDSA.

The new guidelines advised that when a strep infection is confirmed by testing, it should be treated with penicillin or amoxicillin, if the patient does not have an allergy, and not with an antibiotic such as cephalosporin.

Most importantly the patients with a sore throat do not need to be tested for strep throat if they have a cough, runny nose, hoarseness or mouth sores. These are strong signs of a viral infection.

In addition, children who have recurrent strep throat should not have their tonsils removed solely to reduce the frequency of throat infections, according to the guidelines.

SOURCE: Infectious Diseases Society of America, news release, Sept. 10, 2012