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Over Half Of Americans Are Sick Because Of Lacking Vitamin D

Over Half Of Americans Are Sick Because Of Lacking Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies around the world. One study revealed that 36 percent of healthy adolescents and 57 percent of adults in U.S suffer from Vitamin D deficiency[1].

Most of us only associate vitamin D with the bone’s health, but it’s closely linked to our immune system, and that’s why widespread deficiency is concerning.

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Vitamin D and your immune system

Vitamin D acts as light switches in our body, turning on and off processes and genes that our bodies need to maintain health. It is sent to various parts of your body including immune cells, intestines, bones, the brain and the colon.

Sufficient levels of vitamin D strengthen your innate immune system, which reduces the risk of infectious diseases. It turns on key members in the immune system that trigger an anti-microbial response which allows your body to effectively and quickly fight off invading microbes before they can develop into severe infections.

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Researchers at the University of Copenhagen discovered that vitamin D plays a major role in activating the killer cells of the immune system [2] known as T cells. These cells are responsible for detecting and killing foreign pathogens such as viruses or bacteria, but they must first be triggered and transformed from a dormant and harmless status into killer cells ready to destroy any foreign pathogen. So if the T cells don’t find vitamin D, they won’t even mobilize, and this leaves your immune system unarmed.

For a long time, scientists have only associated vitamin D with calcium absorption, fighting diseases such as cancer and combating some heart disease. Identifying the role of vitamin D in the immune system was a breakthrough; not only to the immune system but also in addressing anti-immune reactions and rejection of transplanted organs.

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How to get more vitamin D

As we can see, vitamin D is clearly crucial in strengthening our immune system to fight against infectious and autoimmune diseases. Unfortunately, vitamin D is not naturally found in most foods that we consume, which could lead to dizziness, weak muscles, and other symptoms. Below are some of the foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin D that might just help you to increase your intake.

  • Vegetables and fruits: orange juices and beverages fortified with vitamin D, grain products.
  • Milk and alternatives: soy beverages, milk, yogurt
  • Meat and alternatives: egg, deli meat, beef liver
  • Fats and oils: margarine and cod liver oil

Recommended Recipe

Featured photo credit: Anelka via pixabay.com

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Reference

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Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher is a passionate writer sharing about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

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