Lake Erie Waterkeeper
The mission of the Lake Erie Waterkeeper is to preserve and to improve the ecosystem of the Lake Erie watershed including its bays, rivers and tributaries.
Land Trust for the Little Tennessee
The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee is dedicated to conserving the waters, forests, farms and heritage of the Upper Little Tennessee and Hiwassee River Valleys.
League of Conservation Voters
League of Conservation Voters is a national non-profit organization that works to turn environmental values into national priorities.
Leave No Trace
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
Legacy Land Conservancy
Legacy Land Conservancy protects forests, prairies, farms, wetlands and waters – today and forever.
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
The Leopold Center is a research and education center on the campus of Iowa State University created to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources.
Lincoln Green by Design
Lincoln Green by Design’s mission is to bring together individuals, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to promote a sustainable Lincoln and Lancaster County.
Living Oceans Society
Living Oceans Society has been a leader in the effort to protect Canada’s Pacific coast since they were formed in 1998.
Local Food Hub
Local Food Hub is a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and secure the future of a healthy regional food supply by providing small farmers with concrete services that support their economic vitality and promote stewardship of the land.
Louisiana Bucket Brigade
The mission of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade is to support communities’ use of grassroots action to create informed, sustainable neighborhoods free from industrial pollution.
Louisiana Environmental Action Network
The purpose of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network is to foster cooperation and communication between individual citizens and corporate and government organizations in an effort to assess and mend the environmental problems in Louisiana.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
The purpose of the Association is to help farmers and gardeners grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.
Our mission is to protect, restore and enhance the ecological health of Maine’s river systems.
Marcellus Earth First!
Marcellus Earth First! is a regional network of Earth First!ers united in the struggle to stop fracking–a region wide ecological terror.
Marine Conservation Alliance
Marine Conservation Alliance promotes science-based management and collaborative projects that promote stewardship, healthy oceans and sustainable fisheries to feed the world.
Maui Tomorrow Foundation
Maui Tomorrow works with government decision makers and citizens to teach and promote growth management strategies, to implement sustainable development policies for Maui, and to preserve irreplaceable open space and natural areas.
Media Matters for America
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
MedWish International is a not-for-profit organization committed to repurposing medical supplies and equipment discarded by the healthcare industry with the objectives of providing humanitarian aid in developing countries to save lives and reducing waste to save our environment.
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
We are a non-profit organization with the mission to cultivate the ecological, social, economic and spiritual vitality of food and farming systems through education, research, policy and market development.
Michael Pollan: Today’s Link
Michael Pollan shares the link (or links) that he thinks readers will find most provocative or useful.
Michigan Association of Conservation Districts
The mission of the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts is to strengthen Michigan’s Conservation Districts through leadership, information and representation.
Michigan Energy Options
Michigan Energy Options is a results driven nonprofit focused on promoting and implementing quality energy-efficiency and sustainability programming.
Michigan Nature Association
The purpose of the Michigan Nature Association is to acquire, protect and maintain natural areas that contain examples of Michigan endangered and threatened flora, fauna and other components of the natural environment, including habitat for fish, wildlife and plants of the state of Michigan and to carry on a program of natural history study and conservation education as permitted under the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act.
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is the regional voice and a catalyst for sustainability and economic prosperity in order to secure a competitive advantage for central Ohio.
Milwaukee Environmental Consortium
The Milwaukee Environmental Consortium fosters collaboration within Milwaukee’s environmental community through efficiencies of scale attained by the combined efforts of groups working together.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect water quality and wildlife habitat in the river corridors and to advocate for sound land use in the Milwaukee, Menomonee and Kinnickinnic River Watersheds.
Minnesota Environmental Partnership
The Partnership’s mission is to strengthen the effectiveness of the Minnesota environmental community in protecting and enhancing the state’s natural resources.
The mission of Minnesota Waters is to promote responsible stewardship of our water resources by engaging citizens, local and state policymakers and other partners in the protection and restoration of Minnesota’s lakes and rivers.
Missouri Coalition for the Environment
The Missouri Coalition for the Environment works to protect and restore the environment through education, public engagement and legal action.
Missouri River Relief
Missouri River Relief is a grassroots, volunteer and equipment-based organization dedicated to reconnecting people to the Missouri River through hands-on river clean-ups and education events.
Missouri Votes Conservation
Missouri Votes Conservation is a non-partisan statewide organization that advocates for pro-environment legislation and political candidates in Missouri.
Mobile Baykeeper’s mission is to provide citizens a means to protect the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay watershed, Alabama’s waterways and coastal communities.
Mobilization for Climate Justice
The Mobilization for Climate Justice is a North America-based network of organizations and activists who have joined together to build a North American climate justice movement that emphasizes non-violent direct action and public education to mobilize for effective and just solutions to the climate crisis.
Moms Clean Air Force
Moms Clean Air Force bring parents together to come out in strength for our kids’ right to clean air — just as our parents fought for us, forty years ago, when the Clean Air Act was first passed.
Since 2006, MomsRising has been working to bring together millions of people who share a common concern about the need to build a more family-friendly America.
Mothers Against Drilling in Our Neighborhoods
Mothers Against Drilling In Our Neighborhoods, or MADION, is a group formed by Ohio mothers whose sole mission is to preserve the health and safety of our children from the harmful effects of drilling for gas and oil in our neighborhoods.
Mountain Justice works to create diverse and sustainable economies in Appalachian regions traditionally dominated by the coal industry by supporting businesses, jobs and ways of living that are not environmentally or culturally destructive and are nourishing to the social and biological fabric of healthy communities.
Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust leads and inspires action to conserve and enhance the landscape from Seattle across the Cascade Mountains to Central Washington, ensuring a long-term balance between people and nature.
Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment
Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment is working to restore and protect the natural and cultural environment through respectfully promoting intercultural engagement among communities and institutions for the benefit of all life and future generations.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In Major Win for Indigenous Rights, Supreme Court Rules Much of Eastern Oklahoma Is Still a Reservation
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
- Federal Judge Orders Trump Admin to Give Native Americans Their ... ›
- Police Were Ready to Shoot Indigenous Pipeline Protesters in ... ›
- Climate Justice, Indigenous Rights Advocates Rally for Wet'suwet'en ... ›
By Tiffany Means
Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.
The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.
- Airborne Coronavirus Transmission Must Be Taken Seriously, 239 ... ›
- Trump Halts WHO Funding Amidst Criticism of His Own Coronavirus ... ›
- Here's Why COVID-19 Can Spread So Easily at Gyms and Fitness ... ›
- Is the New Coronavirus Airborne? A Study From China Finds Evidence ›
By Angela Nicoletti
The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.
- Global Frog Pandemic May Become Even Deadlier as Strains ... ›
- New Species of Diamond Frog Discovered in Remote Pocket of ... ›
- Frogs Are on the Verge of Mass Extinction, Scientists Say - EcoWatch ›
A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.
- Trump Admin Denies Endangered Species Protections to Pacific ... ›
- Trump Admin Failed to Protect 241 Species From Extinction ... ›
- New Border Wall Construction Threatens 8 Species With Extinction ... ›
By Julia Vergin
It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.
Where Does the Deficiency Begin?<p>Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. The question of when a deficiency starts is correspondingly controversial. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular.Not only is the pseudo-scientific literature on the "sun vitamin" experiencing an upswing, but the number of published studies has also increased enormously in recent years. For example, in 2019 <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/40/4/1109/5126915" target="_blank">a study found that</a> Vitamin D is responsible for keeping the skeleton functional and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. <br></p>
An All-Rounder<p>Vitamin D levels in the body rise and fall according to sun exposure. If sufficient UV rays reach the skin, the body is able to produce the vitamin itself. However, the human body only derives an estimated 10 to 20 percent of its daily requirement from food.</p><p>The vitamin D that we synthesize from sunlight or food is not biologically active at first. Before the kidneys can produce the biologically active form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, and release it into the blood, some metabolic processes must take place beforehand.</p><p>In addition, many organs have receptors to which the precursor of calcitriol binds. Further, this substance is also present in blood.</p><p>From this precursor, the organs then produce calcitriol themselves, which the body then uses for countless other processes in the body. This form of vitamin D thus regulates insulin secretion, inhibits tumor growth, and promotes the formation of red blood cells as well as the survival and activity of macrophages, which are important for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/7/2502/htm" target="_blank">immune system.</a></p>
Low Vitamin D, Severe COVID-19 Disease?<p>A research study carried out <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">at the University of Hohenheim</a> has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.</p><p>According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."</p><p>"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.</p><p>Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.</p><p>Fassnacht says, "If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far."</p>
Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
- 8 Ways to Tell if You Are Vitamin D Deficient - EcoWatch ›
- 7 Healthy Foods That Are High in Vitamin D - EcoWatch ›
- 7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common ›
Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.
EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.
Climate models are predicting faster warming of the North Atlantic Ocean, which will shift the Gulf Stream. NASA
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- World Leaders, Media Ignore Biodiversity Report Detailing Mass ... ›
- The Top 10 Ocean Biodiversity Hotspots to Protect - EcoWatch ›