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Vitamin B12


What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential water-soluble vitamin. This compound plays an important role in DNA synthesis and the production of new red blood cells. Normally, vitamin B12 is found in animal foods, including meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common despite the efforts of governments to include a fortified form in other food elements.

The benefits of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 provides a diverse collection of benefits for our bodies, including being a crucial piece in the process of producing new red blood cells, reducing the risk of macular degeneration, improving symptoms of depression, and preventing major birth defects. This list is by no means comprehensive, as vitamin B12 is included in a multitude of physiological processes, which is similar to vitamin D. Fortunately, the body is able to store up vitamin B12 inside the liver. Therefore, even after the interruption of this vitamin’s absorption, patients do not present any symptoms until after a period of three years. Obviously, the most devastating effect of vitamin B12 deficiency is birth defects since these are usually irreversible. However, the most common clinical presentation is megaloblastic anemia, which can lead to dire consequences if left untreated.

Conclusion on B12

Providing your body with vitamin B12 supplements could be a great way to prevent all the adverse effects of its deficiency. If you have any questions about the health benefits of this vitamin, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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Vitamin D – An Essential Compound To Our Health

Vitamin D An Essential

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a crucial compound that mediates several physiological functions in the body. This vitamin is unique since it functions more like a hormone, and every cell has its receptor.

The process of producing vitamin D in the body is absolutely fascinating and involves multi-step physiology that starts at the level of the skin

Here’s a summary about this process:

How vitamin D is produced?

Step one 

    • when the body synthesizes cholesterol, it will get converted at the skin level by a chemical reaction that involves sunlight exposure (i.e. photons).

Step two 

    • once the cholesterol is transformed into an active form of vitamin D, the liver will produce a special enzyme that catalyzes a second metabolic reaction.

Step three 

    • finally, the kidneys release an enzyme to produce the active form of vitamin D, which is known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol.

The active form of the vitamin provides several benefits to the body, including:

    • Improves bone mineral density and decreases the risk of osteoporosis
    • Facilitates hormonal regulation in both males and females
    • Helps manage blood sugar levels
    • Boosts the immune system
    • Reduces oxidative stress
    • Improves cardiovascular health
    • Sharpens memory and improves cognitive functions


Takeaway message

As you can see, vitamin D affects a multitude of organs and its deficiency can lead to dire consequences. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough sunlight exposure, hence the low levels of vitamin D in their bloodstream. This is especially true for individuals living in cloudy areas, such as Europe and North America.

To counter this issue, experts recommend taking vitamin D dietary supplements to meet your daily needs.

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Food intolerance

Food intolerance

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, food intolerance is defined as having difficulties digesting a certain food element that may cause symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, bloating, and gas.

A food intolerance is different from a food allergy, with the latter being more serious. If you want to learn more about the difference between the two conditions, check out this article (insert link of intolerance vs sensitivity article).

The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance, which we have covered in greater detail in our other article (insert link of lactose intolerance article).

Causes of food intolerance

There are many causes of food intolerance, including:

Enzyme deficiency

Most macronutrients are metabolized by specific enzymes secreted by the stomach, liver, and pancreas. When one of these enzymes is deficient, the body is no longer able to digest that food element. As a result, symptoms of indigestion occur.

Food toxins

Some foods are rich in chemical substances that irritate the intestinal lining, leading to symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

This is often the result of undercooking our food. For instance, beans are a rich source of chemicals known as aflatoxins, which can cause serious digestive symptoms.

Histamine intolerance

Histamine intolerance is the result of consuming foods rich in histamine; this process could lead to symptoms similar to food intolerance, including hives, skin rash, and indigestion.

For more information about histamine intolerance, check out this article (insert link of histamine intolerance article).

Treatment options

The only viable treatment option for food intolerance is to identify the exact element that’s causing your symptoms. This could be done via allergic testing at a clinic or from the comfort of your home.


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What is an allergy?

What is an allergy

Every day, your immune system encounters thousands of pathogens that try to penetrate and wreak havoc on your body. In fact, if it wasn’t for this system, none of us would be alive today!

Even though this system is highly sophisticated, it is not perfect. Every now and then, your immune system will launch a severe immune response against a harmless substance. If this process is recurrent, we are dealing with an allergy.

Causes of allergy

The exact causes of allergy have not yet been pinpointed; however, scientists believe it’s a combination of nature and nurture.

The nature part is the genetic predisposition that runs in families. If you have a close relative with many allergies, your risk of developing a new onset allergy is high.

The nature part relates to environmental exposure to chemical substances, which can be the trigger point of allergies.

Immunologists refer to the immune reaction that causes allergy symptoms as a hypersensitivity reaction. During a hypersensitivity reaction, your immune system will release several pro-inflammatory substances, such as histamine, leukotrienes, and prostaglandins. All of these molecules will cause the typical symptoms of an allergic reaction, which include:

  • Congested nose
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hives
  • Swollen lips and tongue

Treatment options

At first, you might think that the best treatment option for allergies is to reduce the hyperactivity of the immune system. However, this treatment is left for extremely severe cases since it could be very damaging.

If you suppress your immune system, you will susceptible to developing many dangerous infections.

Therefore, the best treatment for allergies is to identify the substances that are causing these reactions.

Before the invention of allergy testing, this process was extremely expensive, long, and ineffective. Fortunately, you can accurately pinpoint the substance that’s causing your allergy from the comfort of your home, using home allergy testing.