Monday, September 1, 2014
7 Reasons to Eat Cucumbers and Put Them on Your Eyes Too
The Sunshine Vitamin: Get Your Vitamin D
Experts agree that vitamin D is essential for your many aspects of your health, but the latest research questions vitamin D as a panacea for cancer and heart health. What you need to know now about vitamin D: how much you need, where to get it, and more.
Chances are, you’re confused about vitamin D — whether you should take supplements, how much you should take, and how it helps you. Some recent studies tout vitamin D as the new supervitamin while other research and experts have questions its wide-ranging benefits and even acknowledged the potential side effects from too-high doses. New research published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine is the latest in a slew of studies to cast doubt on the benefits of vitamin D supplements.
After a review of 19 trials and 28 observational studies, researchers found thatvitamin D supplements alone were not effective in reducing bone fracture risk, as previously thought. But because vitamin D promotes the body’s absorption of calcium, researchers concluded there is evidence that a combined vitamin D and calcium supplement can reduce fracture risk and boost bone health. The same research review found limited data to suggest that vitamin D can reduce cancer risk. In a separate review of vitamin D studies also out today, researchers concluded that there’s still no evidence that vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of heart disease.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is set to analyze this new research and release updated recommendations for vitamin D supplements. Currently, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends adults consume 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily, less than what is in two three-ounce servings of salmon, which provides 894 IUs. After age 71, the IOM recommends increasing intake to 800 IU. Still, some experts view these levels as too low, and the right dosage of vitamin D remains unclear.
As the debate around the importance of vitamin D supplementation wages on, remember that exposing yourself to limited amounts of sunlight and adding D-rich foods to your diet remain the most fail-safe ways to reap the benefits of vitamin D. Here, what you need to know now.
The Importance of Vitamin D
In addition to helping the body absorb calcium, vitamin D also regulates the body's calcium levels in the blood, as well as levels of the mineral phosphorus, which also helps to promote healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D deficiency can be serious, causing bones to deteriorate and weaken. In adults, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to the bone condition osteoporosis and, in children, it can cause rickets — soft and weak bones. Although more research is needed, some studies have suggested that vitamin D may have many other beneficial effects, such as boosting the immune system.
Where to Get Your Vitamin D
The body produces vitamin D on its own after exposure to sunlight. You can also take a vitamin D supplement or get vitamin D from certain foods though it can be challenging to get all the D you need from diet alone.
Foods rich in vitamin D include:
- Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and oysters
- Vitamin D-enriched cereal
- Some eggs (but the hens must have been given vitamin D)
- Vitamin D-fortified milk or juice
- Margarine and butter
- Dairy foods including cream and cheese
The Vitamin D Conundrum
So just how much vitamin D do you need? It depends on your gender and age. Get too little vitamin D, and you’ll feel the effects of vitamin D deficiency. Too much of it — and your blood can contain too much calcium, harming your lungs, heart, or kidneys.
Many physicians are now testing vitamin D levels in their patients and results often show low vitamin D levels. Based on these results, doctors often recommend much higher supplement doses, often 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day. However, a 2010 Institute of Medicine expert panel said that laboratory tests for vitamin D are not standardized and results vary widely among labs. Vitamin D deficiency may be overestimated, the panel concluded, and most American don't need more than the recommended amount of this nutrient.
How to Boost Vitamin D Levels
To get enough vitamin D from the sun, you need to spend about 5 to 15 minutes in the sun, just three times each week, without sunscreen. Too much sun exposure can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer, so make sure you limit your exposure. Also, you can expose your arms and legs, but you should always protect your face with sunscreen. If you don’t feel safe in the sun, turn to your diet and a vitamin D supplement to get the vitamin D you need.
Remember that you still need vitamin D in the winter. For many people, especially those in northern climates, it’s hard to get enough sun during those months, and a supplement may be necessary. African-Americans and others with darker skin tones may also be less able to absorb enough sunlight for sufficient vitamin D production from the sun alone.
Description: The Barnes Foundation is seeking an Accounting Manager who is responsible for the day to day operations of accounting activities. The Accounting Manager is also expected to make recommendations to the Director of Finance for developing and maintaining accounting principles, practices and procedures to ensure accurate and timely financial reporting. The Accounting Manager supervises the A/P Coordinator and Accounting Coordinator and must meet tight deadlines.
Established as an educational institution the Barnes Foundation carries out its mission by promoting appreciation of the arts and horticultural science, through the preservation, presentation, and interpretation of the collections of Albert C. and Laura L. Barnes.
Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation's art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of impressionism, post-impressionist, and early modern art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more. The 12-acre Arboretum contains over 3,000 species of woody plants and trees.
The Foundation engages diverse audiences through its exceptional collections and related high-quality programs that reflect a broad range of periods and cultures and build on the founders’ innovative educational vision of transforming lives through the arts and horticulture.
- Performs monthly and year-end closing procedures.
- Manages all accounting functions, including revenue accounting, accounts payable and payroll.
- Assists with daily banking activity.
- Prepares monthly journal entries and supporting schedules.
- Maintains general ledger including reconciliation of income statement and balance sheet accounts.
- Assists Director of Finance with preparation for the annual audit and annual audit of the retirement plan and responds to auditors’ requests for documentation.
- Reviews and reconciles gifts recorded in the G/L against Development’s numbers.
- Reviews cash receipt entries.
- Reviews, analyzes and posts accounts payable batches and assists Accounts Payable Coordinator as appropriate.
- Reviews monthly bank reconciliations.
- Coordinates with Accounting Coordinator to review payroll prior to processing; maintains currency in laws, regulations and best practices regarding payroll processing.
- Maintains proficiency in ADP and other systems to assist with reporting and other tasks.
- Assists with the preparation of the annual 99- and 1099 reports.
- Supports the preparation of invoices and reports to grantors.
- Provides analytical support to the Director of Finance and EVP, CFO & COO on special projects.
- Assists with the preparation of financial information for Board meetings as well as committee meetings.
- Assists in the development and implementation of new procedures and features to enhance the workflow of the department.
- Provides training to new and existing staff as needed.
- Performs other duties as requested.
Skills and Knowledge:
- BS/BA in Accounting
- Five to seven years prior supervisory experience in the accounting
- Strong understanding of GAAP and Fund Accounting
- Keen analytic, organization and problem solving skills
- Strong interpersonal skills and effective written and verbal communication skills
- Experience in not-for-profit environment preferred
- Knowledge and experience with Sage/MIP, ADP WFN preferred
Competitive Benefits Include: Group health and dental insurance; flexible spending accounts; short and long term disability and group life insurance; 403(b) with matching contributions; Employee Assistance Program; voluntary benefits; as well as paid vacation, personal time, sick time and holidays.
To Apply: Please apply online:
Please include your cover letter, resume and the names of three professional references with your application. Applications that fail to fulfill this requirement will not be accepted.
The Barnes Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and a Drug-Free Workplace. We participate in E-Verify.
Probiotics are getting a lot of attention for helping to regulate your digestive system. But can adding them to your diet have weight-loss benefits?
You may already be familiar with taking probiotics to counter stomach complaints or reduce the diarrhea that results from taking antibiotics. Probiotics, the “friendly bacteria,” are touted as an aid in improving immunity and managing digestion, but whether they have a significant role in weight loss is still up for debate.
Before you can decide whether to add probiotics to your diet, it helps to know what they are. “Probiotics are foods that contain live bacteria or other organisms that may promote your health,” says Amy C. Brown, PhD, RD, associate professor in the department of complementary and alternative medicine at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. “They are naturally found in fermented dairy products and other fermented foods or beverages.” Probiotics are also available in supplement form.
Probiotics and Weight Loss: The Debate
“Recently the research world has been buzzing about how probiotics may help with weight loss,” says Brown. The theory is that probiotics may affect the way that energy (calories) is digested and therefore could help regulate the process by which energy can be used by the body, including becoming fat.
Brown recommends caution in the face of any such research: Probiotics are not magic diet pills, and they definitely do not give you license to stop counting calories or following your diet.
“I can tell you that the very minute those minor changes probiotics cause in relationship to metabolic pathways related to obesity occur, they will be immediately wiped out with an extra spoonful or sip of anything containing calories,” she says. In fact, a sugary yogurt could have more calories than probiotic benefit.
The Health Benefits of Probiotics
The recommendation to include probiotics in a healthy diet dates back to the 1930s. Probiotics can be used to help:
- Diarrhea from infection, food poisoning, or antibiotics
- Treat urinary tract infections
- Prevent or treat yeast infections
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Reduce the risk of bladder cancer returning
- Protect against colon cancer
- Improve the immune system
When the digestive tract is out of balance, people experience a lot of discomfort, says Brown. Probiotics are used to maintain that balance. “A balanced or ‘normal’ [digestive] flora may competitively exclude possible [harmful] organisms, stimulate the intestinal immune system, and produce nutrients and other [beneficial] substances,” Brown explains.
The Risks of Excess Probiotics
Researchers do not yet know how safe it is to eat a lot of probiotics. Some people experience gas or bloating as a reaction to these organisms.
“Probiotic research is in its infancy. It’s difficult to tell what would happen if you introduce a large amount of a certain bacteria through dietary supplementation,” cautions Brown, adding that probiotics have to be kept refrigerated. Many people unknowingly buy inactive supplements that haven’t been handled correctly.
How to Include Probiotics in Your Diet
While probiotics are available in supplement form, Brown emphasizes that it is best to get them from your diet if possible. Try:
- Dairy products with live cultures, such as yogurt and buttermilk
- Miso soup, which is made from fermented soybean paste
- Poi, fermented taro root paste
- Natto, fermented soy beans
- Tempeh, caked fermented soybeans
- Sauerkraut, fermented cabbage
- Kombucha tea, fermented sweet tea brew
As long as you keep counting calories, adding probiotics to your diet may be good for your health and your weight. Just remember that its chief benefit may be more geared toward your well-being rather than your weight loss.
Learn more in the Everyday Health Weight Center.