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Did you know that glutathione is not only great for liver health, but it also promotes beautiful, radiant skin?
December 07, 2023 12:12 PM
Did you know that glutathione is not only great for liver health, but it also promotes beautiful, radiant skin?
Glutathione (GSH), often considered as an amino acid but actually a tripeptide, is an antioxidant primarily synthesized in the liver. Composed of cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine, it plays a crucial role in the synthesis and repair of DNA and protein, as well as the synthesis of prostaglandins. With its involvement in various functions like amino acid transport, toxin and carcinogen metabolism, immune system function, prevention of oxidative cell damage, and activation of enzymes, it is undoubtedly the most important tripeptide in the body.
While the benefits of supplementing with glutathione are numerous, two particularly compelling reasons are its positive impact on liver health and beautiful skin, which are the key focus of this article. However, before diving into the specifics of liver health and skin benefits, it's important to review the data on glutathione depletion and absorption.
GSH depletion can occur due to various oxidative stressors such as radiation, v.infections, enviro toxins, household chemicals, heavy metals, surgery, inflammation, burns, septic shock, and dietary deficiencies of GSH precursors and enzyme cofactors. Additionally, research suggests that GSH levels tend to decline with age.
The bioavailability of glutathione as a dietary supplement has encountered challenges in the past. Studies in the 1990s suggested that oral GSH might be inactivated by peptidases in the gut, as the levels of glutathione in the body did not seem to correlate with dietary intake, despite its presence in fruits, vegetables, and meats. Moreover, previous studies showed no significant increase in blood GSH levels when subjects were given high doses of 1,000-3,000 mg. As a result, alternative strategies like supplementation with NAC were used to boost GSH levels.
In 2014, something interesting happened that changed the way we look at the bioavailability of GSH. A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shed new light on the old research. This study showed that GSH, when taken in its intact form as OPITAC, a yeast-derived glutathione by Kohjin/Mitsubishi, can actually be rapidly transported across intestinal epithelial cells. Once inside, it gets rapidly converted into oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and accumulates in red blood cells and the liver, with only a small presence in plasma. So, although the GSH was indeed absorbed, it didn't show up in blood plasma because it transformed into GSSG and stored in the red blood cells and the liver. The bottom line is, supplementing with GSH is an effective way to boost GSH levels in the body.
This finding was further confirmed in another study that described how OPITAC, as a yeast-derived glutathione by Kohjin/Mitsubishi, is directly absorbed in its electrochemically reduced form in the intestine, then transported in the blood in bound forms, and eventually deposited into the liver in its reduced form.
But here's where it gets even more significant. A six-month randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving 54 adults was conducted to investigate the effects of oral GSH supplementation (250 or 1,000 mg/day, as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi) on GSH levels in various parts of the body, including blood, erythrocytes, plasma, lymphocytes, and exfoliated buccal mucosal cells. The results were astounding. After one, three, and six months, GSH levels in blood increased significantly compared to baseline in both dosage groups. At the six-month mark, GSH levels skyrocketed 30-35 percent in erythrocytes, plasma, and lymphocytes, and a mind-boggling 260 percent in buccal cells in the 1,000 mg group (P < 0.05). Even in the low-dose group, GSH levels in blood and erythrocytes increased by 17 and 29 percent, respectively (P < 0.05). This research clearly demonstrates that supplementation with GSH is not only effective for increasing GSH levels in the body but also for maintaining them.
So, to sum it all up, the evidence speaks volumes - supplementing with GSH can have a profound impact on your body's GSH levels, and trust me, that's definitely a good thing!
When it comes to our well-being, the liver is a true superhero. Let's dive into some fascinating details about this essential organ.
Did you know that the liver is not only the largest reservoir of GSH (glutathione) but also a major site of GSH manufacture in the body? Pretty impressive, right? Special cells in the liver work tirelessly to synthesize GSH, which plays a crucial role in detoxification. Speaking of detoxification, the liver is a champion in this field. Its cells have sophisticated mechanisms to break down toxic substances, be it internal or external compounds.
During the detoxification process, the liver attaches or conjugates the toxins to water-soluble substances. This attachment makes the toxic molecules more water-soluble, less harmful, and easier to eliminate via urine or bile. In fact, glutathione conjugation produces water-soluble mercaptates that are excreted via the kidneys, effectively detoxifying acetaminophen and nicotine. Isn't it amazing how this process helps our bodies get rid of harmful substances?
But that's not all. Adequate levels of glutathione are crucial for the elimination of fat-soluble compounds, particularly heavy metals like mercury and lead. What's more, GSH serves as a cofactor for various peroxidase enzymes, aiding in the detoxification of peroxides generated from oxygen radical attacks on biological molecules. It also assists transhydrogenase enzymes in reducing oxidized centers on DNA, proteins, and other biomolecules. Talk about a multitasker!
The practical significance of this liver superhero was demonstrated in a study involving workers exposed to lead. A group of five workers received GSH at 200 mg/day for 30 days, while five others served as the control group. The results were striking. The group receiving GSH showed a significant increase in ALA dehydratase activity (which is inhibited by lead) compared to the control group (p < 0.05). This indicates that GSH could be a valuable solution for treating patients with lead poisoning.
So, let's take a moment to appreciate the remarkable liver and its incredible role in maintaining our health and well-being!
Alcohol consumption is widely recognized for its capability to induce hepatic steatosis, also known as fatty liver disease, and disrupt biomembranes due to hepatic lipid peroxidation. This can lead to various lifestyle-related diseases and even hepatic cirrhosis by diminishing hepatic physiological function. Nevertheless, animal studies have shown that hepatic damage caused by alcohol intoxication can be mitigated by glutathione (GSH), a powerful antioxidant found in cells.
To further investigate the impact of GSH supplementation on the effects of alcohol intake, a human crossover comparative study was conducted. The study involved twenty healthy men and women who were grouped into three categories: placebo, 100 mg GSH (as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi), and 30 mg curcumin. The study evaluated laboratory parameters, including breath alcohol concentration at different time intervals (20, 60, 120, and 180 minutes post-alcohol consumption) as measured by an alcohol checker. Additionally, subjective feelings were assessed through a questionnaire. During the study, all participants consumed whiskey in a quantity equal to their body weight multiplied by 1.25 mL, and were instructed to drink the entire sample within 10 minutes.
The results revealed that the breath alcohol concentration in the group supplemented with GSH significantly decreased compared to the placebo and curcumin groups at 20 (p<0.01), 60 (p<0.01), 120 (p<0.05), and 180 (p<0.08) minutes post-consumption. Furthermore, the GSH group reported lower levels of "sleepiness," "headache," and "upset stomach" in the subjective feeling questionnaire. Importantly, the concentration of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), an indicator of alcohol-induced organ damage, was significantly lower in the GSH group after two months compared to the placebo group.
The oral intake of GSH has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing alcohol consumption-related stress and improving long-term hepatic function. These findings highlight the potential benefits of GSH supplementation in alleviating the detrimental effects of alcohol intoxication on the liver.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition characterized by the build-up of fat in the liver of individuals who consume little or no alcohol. Unfortunately, NAFLD is quite common, affecting nearly one-third of all American adults. Interestingly, it often presents without readily apparent signs or symptoms, sometimes resulting in complications, and can lead to liver inflammation and scarring as the fat accumulates. Additionally, NAFLD is typically associated with conditions such as insulin resistance, central obesity, reduced glucose tolerance, type-2 diabetes, and elevated triglyceride levels.
Recognizing the substantial role glutathione (GSH) plays in phase 2 liver detoxification, a pilot trial was conducted to examine the therapeutic effects of GSH supplementation in patients with NAFLD. The trial included 29 individuals, and the patients were provided with daily oral supplementation of GSH at a dose of 300 mg (in the form of OPITAC glutathione, from Kohjin/Mitsubishi). The patients' clinical parameters were assessed before and after the GSH supplementation, and liver fat and fibrosis were quantified as well. The primary goal of the study was to determine any changes in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. The results indicated a significant decrease in ALT levels following the GSH supplementation. Furthermore, triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids, and ferritin levels also showed a reduction. This pilot study provides promising evidence for the potential therapeutic effects of oral glutathione administration, even at practical doses, in patients diagnosed with NAFLD. However, further investigation through large-scale clinical trials is necessary to validate its efficacy.
In summary, NAFLD is a prevalent condition with potential serious consequences, but studies like the aforementioned pilot trial shed light on potential treatment options such as GSH supplementation. The findings demonstrate the need for continued research in order to provide more conclusive evidence and expand our understanding of NAFLD management.
By activating melanocytes in the skin, there is a notable increase in melanin formation, resulting in various blemishes such as freckles, pigmentation, and UV-induced skin spots, commonly known as age spots or liver spots. This is especially prominent after prolonged sun exposure and tanning. Age spots appear when melanin becomes concentrated or "clumped" in areas that have had years of frequent sun exposure. Luckily, there are materials like glutathione that can prevent or improve such pigmentation-related skin conditions.
Another aspect to consider is skin pigmentation, wrinkles, and pores. In a study conducted with eight women in their 30s or early 40s, each supplemented with 100 mg/day of GSH (as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi) for two months, their skin conditions were evaluated using the Robo Skin Analyzer. Several parameters were analyzed, including skin brightness, the amount and area of skin pigmentation, number of pores, and number of wrinkles under the eyes. It was observed that all subjects' skin brightness improved when measured on the second day of the study. Additionally, over the course of the two months, both the amount and area of skin pigmentation decreased, leading to an improvement in blemishes and pigmentation. Not only did glutathione exhibit a whitening effect, but it also reduced the number of wrinkles under the eyes and minimized pores.
Furthermore, a randomized, double-blind, two-arm, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 60 otherwise healthy medical students. The purpose was to investigate whether supplementing with 500 mg of glutathione daily for four weeks would affect the skin melanin index compared to a placebo. Melanin indices were measured at six different sites on the body. The results demonstrated that melanin indices consistently decreased at all six sites in subjects who received glutathione after four weeks. The reductions were statistically significant compared to those who received the placebo at two sites: the right side of the face and the sun-exposed left forearm (p = 0.021 and 0.036, respectively). This improvement was likewise reflected in the reduction of UV spots. Importantly, both glutathione and placebo were well-tolerated. In conclusion, oral administration of glutathione leads to a lightening of skin color in the tested subjects.
Skin lightening is a process that is of interest to many individuals who seek to achieve a more even and radiant complexion. In recent studies, the use of a Lozenge containing GSH 500 mg was explored as a means of skin lightening through an open-label, single-arm trial. The focus of this trial was to evaluate the buccal mucosa as a route for GSH administration and its potential in relation to skin lightening. It is worth noting that substances absorbed through the buccal route have the advantage of entering directly into the systemic circulation, effectively bypassing the gastrointestinal tract.
The trial involved thirty Filipino females with Fitzpatrick skin types IV or V who received a daily glutathione-containing Lozenge for eight weeks. The results from this trial demonstrated a significant decrease in melanin indices from baseline to endpoint. What is fascinating is that this visible change became evident in as little as two weeks. It is important to highlight that during this trial, there were no recorded serious adverse events, and the laboratory examination findings remained normal. Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the Lozenge containing glutathione was deemed safe and effective in lightening the skin of Filipino women.
In addition to the aforementioned buccal route administration, another interesting approach that emerged from the studies is the topical application of GSH. A double-blind randomized clinical trial35 conducted in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, involved 74 healthy Indonesian women, with an average age of 33.3 ± 5.9 years, to explore the potential benefits of topical GSH. The trial subjects received supervised applications of facial wash twice a day, along with day cream containing sunscreen and night cream. The subjects were divided into three groups based on the active ingredients of the tested products, which included GSH (as OPITAC glutathione, Kohjin/Mitsubishi) at concentrations of 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent, and a control group without GSH.
Throughout the trial, the effects of the tested products on skin color and pigmentation were measured using colorimetry with Chromameter Minolta for L. Compared to the baseline measurements, there were significant increases in lightness (L) detected as early as week 2 for the group using GSH at 0.1 percent concentration. Interestingly, this increase was significantly higher compared to the group using GSH at the higher concentration of 0.5 percent, as well as the group without GSH. It is important to note that hyperpigmented lesions also showed improvement, particularly in the group using GSH at 0.5 percent concentration, which displayed superiority compared to the other groups at week 8. In conclusion, the skin care products containing GSH at 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent concentrations were found to be effective in lightening facial skin.
The findings from these studies shed light on the potential benefits of GSH in achieving skin lightening, either through buccal administration or topical application. It is worth noting that these studies focused on specific populations and more research is necessary to explore its effectiveness and safety across different skin types and ethnicities.
In summary, the administration of glutathione, whether oral, buccal, or topical, has shown promising results in skin lightening and the improvement of complexion. Studies have demonstrated that glutathione not only enhances skin brightness but also reduces hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and minimizes pores. Moreover, its effects have been evident in as little as two weeks, with a sustained impact over longer periods. These benefits were observed across a range of different skin types and ethnicities. However, it is important to highlight that these findings are based on specific populations, and more research needs to be conducted to confirm the consistency of these effects across a broader spectrum of skin types and ethnicities. The studies have also confirmed that the usage of glutathione is well-tolerated with no serious adverse effects reported.
Benefits of Vitamin D-3 In The Body!
August 05, 2023 09:10 AM
As we live in modern times, most people spend their days indoors or in offices under artificial light. This fact can help explain why many individuals are deficient in vitamin D. This vitamin is crucial for bone health, immune function, and overall body wellness. If you're looking for a way to improve your vitamin D levels, Solaray Vitamin D-3 supplement can be a suitable solution. Lets dive into the benefits of this product and how it can help you maintain your health.
Improved Bone Health
Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium. Calcium is a critical element that our bodies require for strong bones. Thus, deficiency in vitamin D can lead to weak bones and fragile bone structures. Solaray brand Vitamin D-3 2000IU in Lemon flavor can supplement our bodies with enough vitamin D to enable sufficient calcium absorption and, in turn, strong and healthy bones & teeth.
Enhances Immune System
Our immune system is the first line of defense in protecting our bodies against diseases and infections. Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in the proper functioning of our immune system. Vitamin D boosts our white blood cells' activity, which helps combat infections and bacteria that may be detrimental to our system. Thus, supplementing with Solaray Vitamin D-3 2000IU can help improve your immune system's health and functionality.
Increases Dopamine/Serotonin Production
Dopamine/Serotonin are neurotransmitters that promotes positive thoughts, feelings of well-being, and happiness. Research has shown that maintaining optimal serotonin levels is essential for mental health and well-being. A Vitamin D-3 supplement can help increase serotonin production, leading to an improvement in mood and emotional regulation.
Boosts Mood and Mental Well-being
Vitamin D-3 plays a crucial role in mood regulation and warding off depression. It essentially works in the brain's mood centers and impacts the production of serotonin—a key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. Deficiency of Vitamin D-3 has often been linked with mood disorders, feeling of sadness, depression, and anxiety. By ensuring an adequate intake of Vitamin D-3, such as through supplements like Solaray Vitamin D-3 2000IU, you can maintain optimal serotonin levels, thereby improving your overall mood and promoting mental well-being. So, if you're feeling down more often than not, it might be a good idea to get your vitamin D levels checked and consider supplementation or more sunshine exposure.
Prevents Chronic Diseases
Deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to the development of chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and heart disease. Supplementing with Vitamin D-3 can reduce the risks of developing these diseases and improve your overall health.
Easy-to-take and Delicious Flavor
Solaray offers Vitamin D-3 2000IU in a Lemon flavor comes in a Lozenge (under the tongue) form, making it easy and pleasant to consume. Hence, incorporating this supplement in your daily routine can be effortless and convenient.
In Summary: Supplementing with Solaray brand Vitamin D-3 can help boost your immune system, promote strong-bone-teeth development, enhance your mood, and prevent the development of chronic diseases. Additionally, the lemon flavor and Lozenge form make it an enjoyable and easy-to-take supplement. Take care of your body and your health by incorporating a Vitamin D-3 supplement into your daily routine and feel the difference it can make in your life!
How to fight the flu effectively with elderberry
April 24, 2019 02:24 PM
Elderberry syrup is a potent antiviral that offers excellent protection against influenza A and B, staph, salmonella poona, and herpes simplex. According to a double-blind Israeli study, people who took elderberry syrup at the first signs of flu symptoms experienced improvement within two days. Another study conducted by Norwegian researchers confirmed similar findings. Elderberry syrup is bad news to the vaccine industry because pharma strongly promotes the notion that the flu vaccine is the only protection available to us. Elderberry is also available as lozenges, tinctures, or dried berries. It is available at most health food stores and can be consumed alone or with honey and cinnamon.
"Measure your liquid and mix in up to equal amounts of honey, then heat gently and stir to combine. I like to add a stick of cinnamon, a few whole cloves and a teaspoon of ginger root during the boiling process for synergetic effects and flavor."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/elderberry-syrup-flu-2801.html
Zinc lozenges proven to greatly speed recovery from colds and flu by 300%
May 26, 2017 04:14 PM
According to a recent study, zinc acetate lozenges are an effective treatment for the common cold, causing significant increases in the speed of recovery in several trials. Other unrelated research has supported this conclusion, acknowledging zinc's effectiveness in relieving congestion and muscle pain, among other symptoms. The original study, done by experts from the University of Helsinki, concluded that it would be recommendable to take zinc acetate supplements as a means of treatment for the common cold.
"Zinc acetate lozenges were found to effectively accelerate recovery from common colds, according to a recent analysis published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-05-22-zinc-lozenges-proven-to-greatly-speed-recovery-from-colds-and-flu-by-300.html
Cough medicines and lozenges are loaded with refined sugars that increase blood sugar levels
April 01, 2017 06:59 AM
Lozenges and cough medicines contain a large amount of sugar. There is so much sugar in the lozenges and cough medicine that there is close to, or more than the daily recommended amount, according to WHO (World Health Organization). Companies should make it more clear to the consumer just how many calories are actually in these products. There are alternatives that are sugar free, but without the sugar, the products might lose their pleasure effect and show their bitter taste.
Read more: Cough medicines and lozenges are loaded with refined sugars that increase blood sugar levels
9 natural health benefits of Bee Propolis
January 24, 2017 07:59 AM
Everyone knows the benefit bees offer for pollination, but many do not know that they also offer some substances that are pretty healthy for humans. Honey, of course, is known to have therapeutic properties. Bee propolis, or bee glue, is a resin produced when bees digest tree sap. They mainly use it to patch up holes in the hive, but consumption by humans has been known to help fight inflammation, cancer, food poisoning, and high blood pressure. This chemical has many different forms that can be used, including Lozenges and capsules.
"Due to its antimicrobial properties, the three most common microorganisms associated with food poisoning – Enterobacter faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus and C. jejuni – can be fought using bee propolis."
The Benefits of Anise.
Anise is a perennial herbal plant that grows to a height of about 0.3 to 0.6m above the ground. It is a native plant to Egypt and Greece and it has been in use for health ailments since seventh century. Moreover, anise has been in use as a fragrance and spice according to its history. The following are health benefits of anise.
Anise seed oil which is obtained by extraction has so many applications traditionally as a medicine to cure expectorant, anti-septic, stomachic, and anti-spasmodic as well as a stimulant agent.
Anise seed oil and anethol is also added to medicines such as Lozenges and syrups because of its potent antioxidant action.
Anise oil is also very effective against conditions that are associated with convulsions, cramps, spasms, muscle pains and diarrhea due to its anti-spasmodic and relaxant effects.
Anise oil also is use by individuals who have flu and cough usually get some relief when they administer the herb because of its expectorant and decongestant abilities.
Reduce Caloric Intake with Xylitol
Xylitol is a natural sweetener which was discovered long back in 1891 but since 1960s it is used as a good alternative for refined sugar to sweeten a number of edible products. It reduces caloric intake and the chances of cavities in your dental line. But before discussing the benefits of this alternative sweetener you should know the harms of white sugar on your health which compelled people to adopt it as an effective alternative.
Harmful Effects of Refined Sugar on your Health
Sugar is a kind of drug that contains additive chemicals but no nutritional value. Most of the people use it in their day-to-day life due to its addictive properties. According to various health experts white sugar affects your brain like cocaine. In fact, the added sugar in your day-to-day diet can be the single item that is most unhealthy for you. Most people eat it as they are ignorant about the harmful effects of white sugar on their health. It has been proven that white sugar can;
After realising the harmful effects of white sugar on their health many people have started to adopt alternative sweeteners like Xylitol etc. to replace white sugar and protect their health from its ill effects.
What is Xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural product which is produced by human body in normal metabolic conditions and is also found in various vegetables and fruits like fibrous vegetation, hard wood trees and birch etc. It is produced commercially from these fruits and vegetation plants due to the quantity of sucrose and sweetness it provides without giving unpleasant aftertaste and increasing calories. When you eat Xylitol it gives cooling sensation in your mouth.
How it replaces sugar effectively?
Xylitol has been approved to be used in various oral health and pharmaceutical products like cough syrups, Lozenges, chewable pediatric multivitamins, mouthwashes and toothpastes etc. It is also permitted to use in various food items like hard candies, chewing gums and gum drops etc.
Benefits of Xylitol as alternative sweetener
Xylitol is good in taste without any unpleasant flavour. It can be used in same quantity as in sweetness it is equal to sugar. Helps in reducing the chances of cavities in your teeth and reduces the formation of plaque in your teeth. Xylitol also helps in repairing damaged enamel of your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. It provides 2.4 calories per gram which is about 1/3 of the calories provided by same amount of white sugar.
Most of the healthcare providers advice it as a useful alternative to sugar to their diabetic patients. Thus, Xylitol can be used as an effective alternative to white sugar to reduce the chances of a number of health problems caused by the later one.
The Healing Properties Of Bee Propolis
December 27, 2012 10:11 AM
Bee propolis is a substance produced by bees to safeguard their hives from foreign matters. It consists of amino acids, raisins, waxes and fatty acids. It's basically a sticky resin and comes from the barks and buds of the conifer trees that bees can gather and then store within its special abdominal glands.
Does Bee Propolis Have Healing Properties?
Well, there are several health benefits associated with propolis.
Health Benefits of Bee Propolis Skin Infections:
Due to its anti-flammatory properties, propolis heals your skin from any minor scalds and burns. You can apply it on the affected part on the skin surface. Its antifungal and antibiotic effects help prevent any wound infections alongside other skin disorders.
Just as it protects your bee hive against fungi and bacteria, propolis is quite effective in the elimination of fungal and bacterial infections within the mouth area. Cold sores, dental caries and oral yeast infections are examples of such infections. It is sold in form of mouth rinse and Lozenges in most countries.
Viral and bacterial infections:
Propolis' antibacterial properties guard your body against bacteria which cause gastrointestinal diseases and tuberculosis. It is also considered as an effective antiviral agent that could prevent the onset of flu, common colds and the H1N1 swine flu.
Propolis' potent antiviral properties can help in hindering the entry of herpes virus into your body. The virus, if allowed, will cause further infection in the body cells.
Propolis, based on clinical tests, was found to contain essential properties which could help to treat and prevent cancer. Trials show that this substance is able to inhibit tumor growth by blocking the supply of blood to the affected cell. Propolis also helps in boosting your immune system, offering you a great opportunity to fight off any devastating cancer effects on the body.
OralBiotic for Ear, Nose, and Throat Health
May 28, 2010 01:29 PM
OralBiotic™ For Ear, Nose & Throat Health
NEW IN JUNE 2010
Many people, even some of the most nutritionally well-versed health enthusiasts, are unaware that the body’s immune system activity actually begins in the mouth. In addition to Amylase, saliva contains an important enzyme, called lysozyme, which functions as a first line of defense against potentially harmful constituents. This simple aspect of human health speaks volumes about what’s happening inside our mouths. The short version is that the mouth offers a near perfect environment for the growth and fortitude of various bacteria; some good, and some clearly not so good. No one is immune to this, including those who are meticulous in their oral care practices.
The food we eat, the environmental particles we inadvertently inhale, and a wide range of additional factors can all contribute to the residual presence of undesirable oral bacteria. For the most part, these particles are harmless and can be washed away by saliva or enzyme activity. Some bacterium, however, can lead to acute halitosis (bad breath) when left behind, as well as a potentially-increased affinity towards various infections resulting from bacterial imbalance. For individuals striving to support on a head-to-toe good health, it is important to take this into consideration when developing or augmenting one’s nutritional program. NOW® Foods new OralBiotic™ is a completely innovative natural supplement developed specifically to help promote healthy oral bacteria, and therefore, a desirable state of overall health and wellness.
OralBiotic™ contains the naturally-occurring probiotic organism Streptococcus salivarius BLIS K12®, which has been shown in clinical studies to support both oral and throat health. OralBiotic™ BLIS K12® is not an antibiotic, but it can successfully colonize the oral cavity at the expense of other bacteria, thereby encouraging oral health.1 For greater support, we’ve included Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic that provides nutritional support for the growth and preservation of S. salivarius. OralBiotic™ can also promote fresh breath when used in conjunction with proper oral hygiene, such as NOW® XyliWhite™ products. To help your customers get the most out of this exciting new formula, we recommend taking it in conjunction with one of
NOW® Foods’ various high-potency natural Probiotic supplements.*
BLIS K12® Advantages:
• The strength of the scientific and clinical data behind BLIS K12®
• A unique probiotic clinically-demonstrated to benefit the mouth and throat*
• Strong IP position (13 patents granted worldwide and 15 patent applications pending)
• Stability/shelf life (Two years shelf life at ambient temperatures)
• Demonstrated efficacy of various delivery formats
• An extensive safety record and comprehensive safety data
† Used with permission from the BLIS K12® website
Herbs, Serrapeptase, and your Sinus
February 18, 2010 04:26 PM
Sinusitis occurs when the nasal sinuses become inflamed. There are sinuses that are located above the eyes (frontal sinuses), inside the cheekbones (maxillary sinuses), behind the bridge of the nose (sphenoid sinuses), and in the upper nose (ethmoid sinuses). Sinuses are air-filled pockets in the skull that are connected to the nose and throat by passages designed to drain away mucous. The sinuses are the first line of defense to protect the lungs from infection. The majority of sinusitis cases affect the frontal and/or maxillary sinuses. However, any or all of the sinuses may be involved, with each individual tending to have problems with a particular set of sinuses. If the sinuses are too small or happen to be poorly position to handle the volume of mucous produced, they can become clogged. This causes pressure in the sinuses to increase, which causes pain. Those sinuses that are clogged for a long time are extremely prone to infection.
Sinusitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is usually caused by bacterial or viral infections of the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract, like the common cold. Over 50 percent of all cases of sinusitis are caused by bacteria. Air travel can also lead to acute inflammation of the sinuses, due to the changes in air pressure. Chronic sinusitis problems, on the other hand, may be caused by small growths in the nose, injury of the nasal bones, air pollution, dental complications, emotional stress, smoking, and exposure to irritant fumes and smells. Allergic sinusitis may be the result of hay fever of food allergies, especially those allergies to milk and dairy products. People who have compromised immune systems are susceptible to fungal sinusitis, which is a potentially dangerous condition that requires aggressive treatment.
Sinusitis is characterized by symptoms such as fever which is usually low-grade but can be higher in some cases, cough, headache, earache, toothache, facial pain, cranial pressure, difficulty breathing through the nose, loss of the sense of smell, and tenderness over the forehead and cheekbones. If pain results from tapping the forehead just over the eyes, the cheekbones, or the area around the bridge of the nose, the sinuses may be infected. Sinusitis occasionally produces facial swelling which can be followed by a stuffy nose and a thick discharge of mucous. Those who suffer from sinusitis can have other unpleasant symptoms as a result of previous symptoms. Postnasal drip can cause a sore throat, nausea, and bad breath, while difficulty breathing can cause snoring and loss of sleep.
The following nutrients are considered to be helpful in dealing with and preventing sinusitis: acidophilus, bee pollen, flaxseed oil, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Quercetin, raw thymus glandular, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMSO, garlic, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, Pycnogenol, sea mussel, serrapeptase, and zinc Lozenges.
Additionally, the following herbs may be helpful in preventing and treating sinusitis: anise, fenugreek, marshmallow, red clover, bayberry, bitter orange oil, cat’s claw, ginger root, goldenseal, horehound, mullein, nettle, olive leaf extract, and rose hips. Serrapeptase is an enzyme that is able to help keep sinus fluid thin and flowing properly. Serrapeptase also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce sinus inflammation which will ease pain and speed healing of the sinus cavity.
Lactase Enzymes and Acidophilus
February 10, 2010 11:16 AM
Lactose intolerance is what is known as the inability to digest lactose. It is cause by a lack or deficiency of lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that is manufactured in the small intestine. It is responsible for splitting lactose into glucose and galactose. When a person who has lactose intolerance consumes milk or other dairy products, some or all of the lactose they contain remains undigested, retains fluid, and ferments in the colon. This results in abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and gas. Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually result between thirty minutes and two hours after consumption of dairy foods.
The degree of lactose intolerance varies from person to person. For most adults, lactose intolerance is actually a normal condition. Only Caucasians of northern European origin generally retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood. In the United States, somewhere between 30 and 50 million people are lactose intolerance. Lactase deficiency can also occur due to gastrointestinal disorders, which damage the digestive tract like celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, regional enteritis, or ulcerative colitis. Lactase deficiency can even develop on its own, with no known way to prevent it.
Lactose intolerance can occur in children as well as adults, even though it is far less common. In infants, lactose intolerance can occur after a severe case of gastroenteritis, which damages the intestinal lining. Symptoms of lactose intolerance in an infant can include foamy diarrhea with diaper rash, slow weight gain and development, and vomiting. Lactose intolerance can cause discomfort and digestive disruption, although it is not a serious threat to health and it can be easily managed through dietary adjustments. The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with lactose intolerance. The dosages specified are for adults unless otherwise specified. For a child between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. A child between the ages of six and twelve should use half the recommended dosage.
One teaspoon of acidophilus in distilled water, taken twice daily on an empty stomach, can help to replace lost friendly bacteria and promote healthy digestion. It is recommended that a nondairy formula is used. Charcoal tablets are helpful in absorbing toxins and relieving diarrhea. Four tablets taken every hour with water until symptoms subside can help combat an acute attack. 1,000 mg of magnesium should be taken daily, as it is need for calcium uptake and promotes pH balance.
A multivitamin and mineral complex should be taken as directed on the label because all nutrients are needed for optimal health. 400 IU of vitamin D3 is also needed for calcium uptake, while 200 IU of vitamin E daily protects the cell membranes that line the colon wall. It should be noted that the d-alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E should be taken. 30 mg of zinc should be taken three times daily. A total of 100 mg daily from all supplements should not be exceeded. This nutrient is needed to maintain immune system and proper mineral balance. For best absorption, zinc gluconate Lozenges should be used. Additionally, 3 mg of copper is needed to balance with zinc.
Most of all, a good lactase enzyme supplement can help ease painful gas and bloating when taken before dairy products are consumed.
Elderberry Lozenges With Zinc 1.2mgs
December 18, 2009 01:24 PM
The immune support benefits of Zinc and Elderberry, on their own or when united, are supported by scores of welldocumented research. Numerous studies have demonstrated the ability of these two natural compounds to help support the body’s ability to more effectively identify, target, and eliminate foreign particles, as part of the immune system’s innate defense mechanism. In Lozenge form, they help coat the lining of the throat and esophageal surface — a region where airborne particles, many of which can be harmful, tend to thrive. The presence of zinc has been shown on countless occasions to support a healthy immune response.* Simple enough, right? It would be, if such a strong percentage of the population wasn’t so sensitive to zinc. On an empty stomach (and in some cases, even when food has been consumed), zinc can result in almost unbearable feelings of nausea.
This innovative new low-dose Zinc-Elderberry Lozenge from NOW® provides enough zinc to provide effective immune system support, without the gut-wrenching nausea that leaves many would-be users apprehensive of even considering supplementation. Each tasty Lozenge delivers a modest 1.2 mg of zinc, along with additional vitamin C, Elderberry extract, Echinacea purpurea root extract, and Slippery Elm extract. If there was ever a time to be extra mindful of one’s immune system maintenance,* this is definitely it. Stock up on this promising new immune supplement and save throughout December!
Slippery Elm Bark
July 23, 2009 10:35 AM
The slippery elm plant can be found natively growing in eastern North America. It is similar to the American elm in general appearance, but it is more closely related to European Wych Elm. Other common names for this plant are Red Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm, and Indian Elm.
The Greek physician Dioscorides used slippery elm in ancient times to help speed up the healing of broken bones. A seventeenth-century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, also recommended this herb for healing broken bones, balding, and burns. This herb was known as a survival food by Native Americans and early colonists. These people considered this herb to be extremely valuable. They used the inner bark of slippery elm as a salve and applied externally for burns and wounds. Slippery elm bark was also used for colds, coughs, sore throats, wounds, as a poultice to bring boils to a head, and also for bowel complaints. This herb was considered to be one of the most valuable remedies in herbal practice by Dr. Edward Shook.
This herb contains about the same amount of nutrition as oatmeal. It is responsible for providing a wholesome and sustaining food for those people for young children and invalids. Slippery elm is mainly used to treat gastrointestinal problems. Like stomach and intestinal ulcers, soothing the stomach and colon, indigestion, acidity, and to lubricate the bowels. The mucilage content that is found in this herb is believed to help in healing ulcers and ulcerated colons. The herb has also been used for asthma, bronchitis, colitis, colon problems, and all lung problems. Slippery elm is also a mild purgative, which helps to assist with elimination.
Research done on slippery elm has found that it is an excellent demulcent. It is also beneficial for diarrhea, coughs, stomach problems, colitis, and lung problems. The bark of slippery elm contains mucilage which is responsible for swelling in water. This swelled mixture can then be applied to wounds or taken internally to soothe and heal. Some Lozenges for throat irritations have powdered bark included in them to help soothe the throat and promote healing.
In short, the inner bark of the slippery elm plant is used to provide antacid, antineoplastic, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, mucilant, and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, vitamins A, F, K, and P, and zinc. Primarily, slippery elm is extremely beneficial in treating abscesses, asthma, bronchitis, burns, colitis, colon problems, constipation, coughs, diaper rash, diarrhea, gastric disorders, and lung problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appendicitis, bladder problems, boils, cancer, croup, diphtheria, dysentery, eczema, eye ailments, fevers, flu, hemorrhoids, herpes, inflammation, kidney problems, pain, phlegm, pneumonia, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, uterine problems, vaginal irritations, warts, worms, wounds, and whooping cough. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by slippery elm, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Boost Absorption With Natural Vitamins
April 17, 2009 11:20 AM
Malabsorption occurs when the body fails to properly absorb vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from food. Even though a person’s diet is adequate, an individual with malabsorption develops various nutritional deficiencies. This problem is often the result of impaired digestion, impaired absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream from the digestive tract, or both.
Common symptoms of malabsorption syndrome include constipation or diarrhea, dry skin, fatigue, gas, mental difficulties such as depression or an inability to concentrate, muscle cramps and/or weakness, premenstrual syndrome, steatorrhea, a tendency to bruise easily, failure to grow normally, thinning hair, unexplained weight loss, and visual difficulties especially with night vision. Abdominal comfort may also be present and a combination of anemia, diarrhea, and weight loss is typical. However, in some individuals, obesity may result if fats are deposited in the tissues rather than being utilized properly by the body. Additionally, the body may begin to crave more and more food, which often leads to the consumption of many empty and/or fat calories.
Factors that can contribute to a malfunction of the absorption mechanism include digestive problems, poor diet, excess mucus covering the intestinal lining, an imbalance in intestinal bacterial flora, the use of certain medications, food allergies, and illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.
No matter how good your diet is or how many supplements you take, you will have nutritional deficiencies if you suffer from malabsorption syndrome. These deficiencies lead to other problems. The impaired absorption of protein can cause edema, while a lack of potassium can cause muscle weakness and cardiovascular problems. Anemia results for a lack of iron and folic acid, while bone loss and tetany can be caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D. Bruising easily results from a lack of vitamin K, while night blindness comes from a deficiency of vitamin A. The failure to absorb B vitamins and to transfer amino acids across the intestinal lining interferes with the production of needed digestive enzymes and causes further malabsorption, as these nutrients are essential in the absorption process itself. This causes a vicious cycle to be produced.
Malabsorption is a factor in other medical and physical problems, along with being a serious condition in itself. The body needs all nutrients in balance because they have to be able to work together. If there is a deficiency in even a single nutrient, the body no longer functions as it should, allowing all things to go awry. This results in disease. Malabsorption is a common contributing factor to a wide range of disorders, including cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and all types of infection.
People with malabsorption syndrome must take in more nutrients than the average person to compensate, and to treat and correct the problem. It is best to bypass the intestinal tract as much as possible when supplying these nutrients. As a result, choosing supplements that are sustained-release and large in size should be avoided. Many people with malabsorption problems can not break down supplements taken in hard pill form. Therefore, injections, powders, liquids, and Lozenges provide nutrients in forms that are more easily assimilated.
The following nutrients are recommended for dealing with malabsorption syndrome: acidophilus, vitamin B complex, bioperine, calcium, free-form amino acid complex, garlic, magnesium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, essential fatty acids, a multi-vitamin and mineral complex, proteolytic enzymes, and zinc Lozenges. Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: alfalfa, dandelion root, fennel seed, ginger, nettle, aloe vera, peppermint, black pepper, buchu, goldenseal, irish moss, rhubarb, and yellow dock.
Cold And Flue Remedies
March 16, 2009 03:42 PM
Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, and garlic are all the most well-known and respected supplements concerning the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Echinacea contains polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides, which contribute to the herb’s therapeutic benefits. These constituents are responsible for a variety of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea possesses the ability to enhance the movement of white blood cells into infected areas of the body. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. Additionally, this herb enhances the performance of macrophages in the immune system, which are responsible for engulfing foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and dead cellular matter. Echinacea also has the ability to kill viruses that indirectly encourage the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that potentially blocks the transcription of viral RNA.
Zinc has been recognized for an extended amount of time as a protection against colds. It is well known that zinc deficiencies are linked to immune system-related disorders as well as the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Zinc throat Lozenges have become very popular in treating colds over the last few years. One recent study found that zinc is not only beneficial to the immune system, but also necessary for its optimal function.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for battling the effects of colds and flu. Its benefits have been known for years, with a large body of research indicating its effectiveness in reducing the severity and duration of colds an flu. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an immunostimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promotes secretion of thymic hormones, and improves connective tissue.
There is conflicting information on how much vitamin C one should take, but most experts agree that the FDA’s recommended dietary intake is not sufficient. Many doctors suggest taking large doses, as much as 10,000 mg when suffering from a cold or flu. One of the great things about vitamin C is that it can be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables. The best food sources include broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic, which is extremely well known as a culinary additive, is actually one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs as it is found throughout the world and employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It is common in Chinese herbal medicine and has recently received a great deal of attention in the U.S. and other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses powerful capabilities relating the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic possesses antiviral and antibacterial capabilities and has been shown repeatedly to simulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Studies on garlic have shown that it has the ability to actually kill flu and cold viruses. Garlic also can protect the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Additional herbs and natural supplements that are useful in fighting cold and flu viruses include goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, licorice, peppermint, and beta carotene. No matter what you choose to do by way of a doctor or natural alternative, supplements such as these discussed have zero side effects if taken as recommended on the bottles label. Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
March 13, 2009 02:48 PM
The coming of winter brings the possibility of becoming sick for many people. Millions of Americans suffer from at least one bout of the flu or cold each year, which results in millions of hours of lost work time, millions of dollars spent on remedy products, and flat-out despair. Those people who do come down with a cold or flu end up seeking out syrups, Lozenges, tablets, and pills that are not designed to get rid of the ailment, but suppress its various symptoms instead.
There has been no cure to date for the various strains of viruses that cause colds and flu. Although conventional medicine has attempted to suppress the symptoms of the flu and cold, most of the products are relatively ineffective and come along with a variety of side effects. Thankfully, there are natural methods and products that help to prevent infection from cold and flu viruses and also help to shorten the duration and lessen the severity of a cold/flu infection.
The differences between a cold and flu are often imperceptible. However, there are several differences. Although there are more than 20 identified major virus families, most colds come from only five of these. Three other virus families produce flu, which are usually identified as A, B, and C strains. Flu types B and C are generally mild in adults, both of which are often confused as bad colds. Once a person experiences a type C flu, they usually gain immunity, although children can get it more than once. The type A flu virus is the least stable and most volatile, as it changes genetic makeup frequently. Type A strains cause more severe symptoms than a cold and individuals do not generally develop an immunity to it. The virus found in the type A flu are generally the viruses that produce epidemics.
The flu is almost always more severe than a cold, as it is usually accompanied by fever, chills, and aches. The onset of a flu is also much more rapid than that of a cold, with a flu usually lasting anywhere from a few days to a week. However, residual effects from the flu can last up to a few weeks.
Most colds come from one of five virus families, with almost half coming from the rhinovirus family. The rhinovirus wasn’t officially detected until the late 1980s. Colds are usually restricted to the nose, throat, and surrounding air passages and usually do not bring fever, chills, or the more severe symptoms that often associated with the flu. Unfortunately, the duration of symptoms of a cold is usually longer than that of the flu, as it sometimes lasts several weeks at a time.
Viruses are the cause of the majority of symptoms that are found along with a cold or flu. They are involved in the cause of these symptoms in several ways. First of all, some of the symptoms of a cold are caused by the body’s own response to the infection. Some of these symptoms include cough, fever, runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Viruses often prompt what is termed a disease process, in which antibodies are produced that attach to the viruses they’re fighting as both travel throughout the body.
The virus is able to destroy or damage vital organs that they invade. Depending on the extent of the infection in the organs, along with the overall virus invasion, the body’s immune system can be worn down, which makes it much more susceptible to other infections. Fortunately, natures provides relief. Those who suffer from the flu or a cold can take vitamin C which has been shown to reduce the severity and length of ones cold.
Year after year the flu will rear its butt and there is little we can do accept keep clean by washing our hands regularly. Even though the flu can not be stopped, vitamins like vitamin C can help reduce the length and severity the cold one experiences. Quality vitamin C is inexpensive and available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamin C is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 27, 2009 02:34 PM
Mumps, a common viral illness mostly occurring during childhood, is caused by a type of virus that is known as a paramyxovirus that infects the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands that are located at the jaw angles below the ears. Symptoms include swelling of one or both glands plus headache, fever, chills, decreased appetite, sore throat, and pain when swallowing or chewing, especially when swallowing acidic substances such as citrus juices. A lot of times, one of the parotid glands will swell before the other, and as swelling in one gland subsides, the other begins to swell. Mumps travels from person to person by means of infected droplets of saliva or direct contact with contaminated materials. This illness can be contracted through sneezing, coughing, kissing, talking, breathing, drinking out of the same glass as an infected person, and sharing utensils. This virus has an incubation period that can vary from fourteen to twenty-four days, with the average period being about eighteen days. A person with mumps is contagious any time from forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms to six days after the symptoms have started. Although this attack is not as contagious as measles or chickenpox, it is similar in that one attack usually gives lifetime immunity.
Mumps occurs most commonly in those children that range between the ages of three and ten. However, it can occur through teenage years and, rarely, in adulthood. If this illness does occur after puberty, the ovaries or testes may become involved and sterility may result. If the testicles are affected, they become swollen and painful, while abdominal pain will result if the ovaries or pancreas is affected. Other organs that can be affected by mumps in rare or severe cases include the brain, pancreas, and kidneys. All of these can potentially cause serious complications.
The following bacteria are beneficial in dealing with mumps. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended doses should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six. Bifidobacterium bifidus should be taken as directed on the label to provide friendly bacteria, which contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to destroy the virus and eliminate toxins if taken in dosages of 500 mg every 2 hours until improvement is noted.
One 15 mg zinc Lozenge should be taken every 4 to 6 hours to aid healing. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. A free-form amino acid complex should be taken as directed on the label, as it is important for tissue repair and healing. 50,000 IU of vitamin A with mixed carotenoids should be taken daily, as it potentates immune function. Kelp, which contains essential minerals, iodine, and vitamins, should be taken in dosages of 1,000-1,500 mg daily. Additionally, the following herbs are beneficial in dealing with mumps: catnip, chamomile, dandelion, Echinacea, elderflower, lobelia, mullein, peppermint tea, slippery elm bark, barley, and yarrow.
Vitamin supplements are great to help fight off colds, but with the mumps always consult your doctor, if left untreated further life threatening complications may occur which is not desirable by anybody. Vitamin and Herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
February 26, 2009 12:43 PM
Motion sickness is the result of motion causing the eyes, the sensory nerves, and the vestibular apparatus of the ear to send conflicting signals to the brain, causing a loss of equilibrium or a sense of vertigo. Most often, it is experienced in a car, airplane, train, boat, elevator, or swing. Contributing factors to this illness are anxiety, genetics, overeating, poor ventilation, and traveling immediately after eating. A susceptibility to things like offensive odors, sights, or sounds can often precede an attack of motion sickness. Typically, women are affected by this condition more frequently than men are. Elderly people and children under the age of two are usually not affected.
Those people who suffer from motion sickness experience symptoms including severe headaches, queasiness, nausea, and vomiting while flying, sailing, or traveling in automobiles or trains. Other symptoms of motion sickness include cold sweats, dizziness, excessive salivation and/or yawning, fatigue, loss of appetite, pallor, severe distress, sleepiness, weakness, and occasionally, breathing difficulties that make one feel as if they are suffocating. If motion sickness is severe, an attack can make a person feel completely uncoordinated, and sometimes and injury can occur from loss of balance. The motion sickness typically goes away once the stimulus is removed. However, it can also persist for hours or days. If a person suffers from motion sickness for a prolonged amount of time, they may experience depression, dehydration, or low blood pressure. Motion sickness can also worsen any other illnesses that a person already has.
Many natural remedies have been greatly successful in treating motion sickness. The prevention of motion sickness is the key, as it is far easier to prevent than it is to cure. Once excessive salivation and nausea set in, usually it is too late to do anything but wait for the trip to be over so that recovery can begin.
The following nutrients have been recommended to help prevent motion sickness. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended dose should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six.
Charcoal tablets can be used as a detoxifier. Five tablets should be taken one hour before travel. Magnesium, which acts as a nerve tonic, should be taken in dosages of 500 mg one hour before a trip. To help relieve nausea, 100 mg of vitamin B6 should be taken one hour before a trip, and then 100 mg should be taken again two hours later. Additionally, black horehound can help to reduce nausea. Butcher’s broom, kudzu, and motherwort are great for helping to relieve vertigo. Ginger is beneficial in suppressing nausea, making it an excellent treatment and preventive for nausea and upset stomach.
Lastly, peppermint tea sooths and calms the stomach. Also, a drop of peppermint oil on the tongue is a great way to provide relief from nausea and motion sickness. Peppermint can also be taken in a Lozenge form. To learn more information about the above nutrients, contact your local or internet health food store.
February 23, 2009 11:54 AM
Mononucleosis is an infectious viral disease that is most often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. More rarely, it can be caused by cytomegalovirus. Both of these viruses are members of the herpes family. Once the virus enters the body, it multiplies in lymphocytes. Mono then affects the respiratory system, the lymphatic tissues, and glands in the neck, groin, armpits, bronchial tubes, spleen, and liver.
Symptoms of mono include depression, extreme fatigue, fever, generalized aching, headache, jaundice, and loss of appetite, sore throat, pain on the upper left side of the abdomen, puffy eyelids, swollen glands, and sometimes, a bumpy, red rash. Additionally, the spleen may become enlarged and liver function may be affected. Meningitis, encephalitis, and rupturing of the spleen are very rare complications that may develop as a result of mono.
The virus’s associated with mono are extremely contagious, often being transmitted from person to person by close contact such as kissing, which explains why mono is often referred to as the “kissing disease.” The disease can also be spread by sharing food or utensils, as well as through sexual contact or through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for mono is about ten days in children and thirty to fifty days in adults. A lot of mononucleosis cases occur in the military and in colleges, as living conditions are crowded and sleeping patterns are inadequate. High school students also have a high incidence of this disease. Mono is most common among children and adolescents, as about 90 percent of people over age thirty-five have mono antibodies in their blood, which means that they had the disease at some point in their lives, although many do not even know they had it.
The symptoms of mononucleosis are very similar to those of influenza, which often results in mono often being mistaken for it. However, with mono, the symptoms tend to be more persistent, with acute symptoms usually lasting from two to four weeks, and fatigue persisting for three to eight weeks after the other symptoms disappear. The disease can even linger for a year or more in some individuals. It can also produce recurring, but successively milder, attacks. If the immune system has been compromised by an organ transplant, HIV/AIDS, or other viruses, the mono symptoms can be extremely serious and chronic.
Mononucleosis is diagnosed through a blood test called a spot test. This test reveals the presence of specific viral antibodies and also confirms the presence of mono. Additionally, a liver function test can assist in the diagnosis.
The following nutrients are considered to be extremely important in dealing with mononucleosis: acidophilus, proteolytic enzymes, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Other nutrients that have proven to be both important and helpful include: DMG, a free-form amino acid complex, garlic, vitamin B complex, zinc Lozenges, maitake extract, reishi extract, shiitake extract, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and raw thymus glandular.
Astragalus and Echinacea are also beneficial in boosting the immune system, while cat’s claw has immune-enhancing properties that act against viral infections. Dandelion and milk thistle are beneficial in protecting the liver. Goldenseal helps to fight infection, while olive leaf extract helps to inhibit the growth of viruses that cause mono. Pau d’arco balances the bacteria in the colon and spirulina contains phytonutrients that are helpful in boosting the immune system.
Whether you want to combat mono symptoms naturally or use prescription drugs, always consult your family physician before taking matters into your own hands. A correct diagnosis is important to how one might want to combat sickness in general. Natural vitamins like the ones listed above are available at your internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
August 05, 2008 01:13 PM
Unlike macro-minerals such as calcium, which the body needs in gram amounts, trace minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc, silicon, chromium, sulfur, and copper are only needed in milligram or micrograms. However, these small quantities do not reflect the importance of trace minerals, as inadequate intake can have huge effects on the body. Lets discuss a few of these trace minerals.
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, with 20 to 50 percent of people affected. The average body contains only one teaspoon of iron, but this mineral is crucial in oxygen transportation throughout the bloodstream and into cells. A lack of iron will starve the body of oxygen and energy, which cause the symptoms of iron deficiency to be fatigue, foggy thinking, irritability, headaches, and lethargy.
A lot of athletes have inadequate iron intake, impairing their exercise performance as it decreases hemoglobin levels and the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles while it increases the time that is needed to recover from exercise. Iron is also important in immunity, with optimal iron intake strengthening the immune system and building resistance to colds, infections, and diseases. Even though inadequate intake is a common concern, too much can also cause health problems including stomach and intestinal cramps, nausea, and constipation.
The most important function of selenium is its antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme is invaluable in protecting red blood cells and cell membranes from free radical damage. Selenium works closely with vitamin E, sometimes replacing it in certain situations. Selenium holds an important role in maintaining the immune system and has been shown to reduce the risk of many health problems which include several types of cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain birth defects.
Zinc is a valuable antioxidant that supports many aspects of the immune system. Zinc works in the eyes to protect them against sunlight-related free radicals. Zinc supplements have been found to slow the progression of macular degeneration, but high intakes of zinc and other antioxidants have been shown to lower the risk of developing this eye disease in the first place. This mineral can reduce the severity and duration of the common cold when in Lozenge form, if started within 24 hours of the first cold symptom and taken every couple of hours. Taking 50mg of zinc daily or higher amounts for short periods of time is a good idea, but amounts over 150mg daily could cause metallic taste, stomach upset, or impair immune function.
Many modern diets contain extremely low amounts of silicon, especially since food processing removes much of the silicon. Silicon improves the elasticity and suppleness to skin that has been damaged by excessive skin exposure. Silicon is also important in natural bone formation, since deficiencies in silicon lead to bone weakness and sluggish wound health. Bone mineral density can be improved in people with osteoporosis by raising the intake of silicon.
Chromium is important in maintaining blood sugar levels, as well as many other roles in the body. Chromium deficiency impairs the blood sugar-insulin relationship, while chromium supplementation improves insulin response. Studies have shown that supplementing with chromium picolinate improves diabetes management by lowering blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels and reducing the reliance on blood sugar medications. This mineral is also important in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates.
Finally, Sulfur is needed in the joints to keep the connective tissues within them strong and stable. One source of sulfur, MSM, has been shown to significantly relieve pain and improve use of knee joints in studies. Through all of the above, one can see that trace minerals are extremely important contributors to health, even in small amounts.
June 05, 2008 04:15 PM
Positioning purpose: As the body’s biological workforce, enzymes are fundamental to healthy digestion and metabolism, energy production, and immune system balance. Unfortunately, very few people actually consume an adequate amount of enzymes from their day-to-day modern diets. As the body ages, it produces fewer enzymes with each passing year. Over time, the system-wide effects of insufficient enzymes can manifest in a number of unsuspected ways. Hormone and neurotransmitter production can decline, wounds may not heal as fast, fatigue can become a more regular occurrence, digestion may suffer, and the body may become more susceptible to infection.
Product Description: ChewyZymes™ utilizes National Enzyme’s BioCore system, a broad spectrum digestive enzyme formulation in a natural berry-flavored, vegetarian chewable tablet that is perfectly suitable for both adults and children. It is designed to support improved digestion of meals. Digestive enzymes are essential to the body’s absorption and full use of food. The enzymes in this product are non-GMO. They have been proven in a controlled laboratory study by TNO Nutrition and Foods Research to have efficacy throughout the entire pH range of the digestive system and to not be degraded by acid in the stomach.* Each serving (2 Lozenges) is equal to 1 capsule of our popular Optimal Digestive System.
Ideal Users: Ideal for healthy adults and children who may benefit from additional enzymes in their diet.
Complementary Products: Consider taking this product with NOW® BerryDophilus, Kid Vits, or Chewable C.
Recommended Use: Adults: Chew 2 Lozenges before a meal. Children: Chew 1 Lozenge before a meal. Supporting Science
* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease.
10 Top Winter Cold & Flu Supplements
January 14, 2008 10:01 AM
As the winter weather continues to keep people close together indoors, viruses causing influenza and the common cold are able to more easily multiply. However, there are ways to prevent these unwanted germs from invading your body. Here is a list of the top ten dietary supplements that help the immune system fight and repel cold and flu bugs.
Andrographis has long been used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to boost the immune system. Actually, andrographis was first used during the Indian flu epidemic of 1919, where it was credited with stalling the spread of the disease. According to research, andrographis works better than a placebo for reducing the symptoms of respiratory infections and it may even prevent the infection in the first place. These studies used a proprietary andrographis product which combines the herb with a Siberian ginseng.
Beta glucan is a fiber-like complex sugar that can be found in oats, barley, and the cell walls of mushrooms. It provides a boost to the immune system which enhancing resistance to viruses and bacteria. In fact, beta glucan has been shown to boost the activity of phagocytes, special immune system cells which engulf and destroy germs.
Echinacea has a long history of traditional use; with it actually being one of the most widely used herbs in Native American medicine. Instead of having a direct germ-killing effect, Echinacea stimulates the body’s own immune defenses. Many studies go back as far as 1970 have shown that Echinacea boosts the immune system so that it can protect against infections invaders. A new study has found that Echinacea can reduce the odds of developing a cold by 58 percent and shortens the length of a cold to 1.4 days.
Elderberry was considered in Roman times to be a flu remedy. Recently, elderberry extract has been researched for its role in treating influenza infections, especially when it is taken with in the first 24 hours of developing symptoms. One recent study proved that individuals who were taking elderberry recovered four days sooner from influenza than those taking a placebo. Additionally, the use of other medications was less for those who used elderberry.
Garlic improves resistance to disease by boosting immune function. Many studies have found that garlic stimulates immunity because it increases the number of white blood cells and other immune system team members. A recent study proved that a group of individuals taking garlic caught significantly fewer colds and recovered more quickly from the colds they did come down with than the other group which was taking a placebo.
Ginseng boosts immune function in all of its forms. A study of adults who were taking American ginseng daily during the winter months found that those people, compared to those taking a placebo, caught fewer colds and needed less sick days. Additionally, Siberian ginseng and Asian ginseng can also build defenses against winter germs.
Propolis is created by bees when resins from plants are mixed with wax. This propolis coats the inside of the beehive with an antiseptic layer and it can have similar benefits when taken by humans. Propolis stimulates the body’s immune system. It has been proven in studies that taking propolis extract can protect against colds and other upper respiratory infections. Children who take propolis daily for three winter months have been proven to catch fewer colds than those kids who are taking a placebo.
Zinc Lozenges, when they are taken within 24 hours of the first cold symptom, can keep cold viruses from taking ground in the respiratory tract. The use of a zinc Lozenge every couple of hours also causes colds to resolve more quickly and symptoms to be less severe.
Our immune system is out first line of defense against the cold and flu, as well as the diseases we may come down with. Keeping our immune system in tip top shape is key to a happier and healthier life. The above herbs can help boost the immune system along with a dietary change and exercise plan one can reduce the length of or prevent sickness over a life time.
Vitamin C - Cancer-Preventive nutrient shows new promise for treatment
May 28, 2007 11:45 AM
Appearing in pills, capsules, liquids, Lozenges, tangy chewables and scoopable crystals, vitamin C is the ubiquitous superstar nutrient with health benefits that far exceed its renown as immune booster. Widely recognized as a powerful antioxidant that may be an important preventive measure against cancer, vitamin C’s potential as a cancer treatment—once dismissed by western medicine—is now being re-evaluated with well deserved research.
Throat Releev Lozenges - Sing your heart out!
December 30, 2005 06:30 PM
Kal says: "Sing your Heart Out!"
Weather you're performing on stage or just singing in the shower, you want to be your best. Kal Throat Releev Lozenges have a wonderful slippery texture that can provide daily nutritive support for your throat. The formula is designed for soothing triple action with slippery Elm, Elderberry and Zinc in a great natural orange flavor.
Introducing... CardioFit Plus Lozenges!
September 10, 2005 02:21 PM
Is Your Cardiovascular system Fit?
Delicious Homocysteine Lozenges naturally flavored with Orange Creamsicle flavor and REAL orange Juice!
Advanced B-6, B-12, Folic Acid Formula!
One Tasty Orange Creamsicle Lozenge Provides:
What is Homocysteine?
Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the blood. Healthy homocysteine levels are important markers of normal, healthy cardiac function. Intake of Vitamins B-6, B-12 and folic acid may help provide nutritive support for healthy homocysteine levels. Choline and Trimethylglycine (TMG) act as methyl donors, which can help the body convert homocysteine into methionine.
Source Naturals - From Formula to Implementation
August 20, 2005 11:45 AM
“Overseeing and tracking the manufacture of approximately 500 different products is a challenging and very satisfying responsibility. I take pride in making sure all aspects of manufacturing—material rotation and pulling, mixing, wet granulation, milling, tableting, and encapsulation—run smoothly and efficiently. –Dale Nemecek, Manufacturing Supervisor
From Formula to Implementation
Source Naturals’ manufacturing team has an enormous responsibility: bringing to fruition the plans so carefully laid down on paper by our research and product development staff. Here’s how.
Premium Ingredients Because grinding or cutting increases the exposure of plants to light, heat and air, and can cause a powdered herb to degrade, whole herbs are milled on site. The result is fresher, more potent botanicals. Source Naturals also seeks to minimize excipients (non-active ingredients) in tablets and to use the most natural sources available. Vegetable gums bind ingredients together, vegetable fiber (cellulose) improves hardness and compressibility, and modified cellulose gum facilitates disintegration after ingestion. Only natural flavorings and sweeteners are used in our Lozenges or chewable tablets. Our labels provide full disclosure of all ingredients and excipients.
Optimal Production Methods
Ingredients are pulled from our warehouse using first-in, first-out inventory practices. Batches of measured materials are processed according to individual specifications. For tablets, roller compaction improves granulation and milling decreases particle size. Wet granulation is used when appropriate as an alternative: active ingredients are blended with water and vegetable binder, dried, milled, and compressed on a tablet press. Tablets are coated with cellulose and polished, adding a smooth, attractive surface that protects them and makes them easier to swallow. Source Naturals also has the capacity for manufacturing and filling liquids, and for in house encapsulation.
Whole herbs are milled on site, resulting in fresher, more potent botanicals.
Wellness Herbal Kids Liquid - Immune Support for Children–Ages 2 & Up
June 29, 2005 12:45 PM
For parents, nothing is more important than ensuring the wellbeing of our children. That’s why Source Naturals developed WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS.
WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS is the only herbal liquid for children with the Wellness name behind it. This unique and powerful cold weather blend features the prime immune herbs, echinacea and goldenseal. Unlike typical formulas, WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS also contains the famed Yin Chiao Chinese herbal complex, plus uncommon winter botanicals from around the world. And WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS is alcohol-free, with a great kidapproved taste. Source NaturalsWELLNESS HERBAL KIDS: because nothing is too good for your child.
Echinacea & Goldenseal: Botanical Immune Support
Echinacea, one of the most popular herbs in the United States, has been used to support natural defenses for more than 5,000 years. A highly valued Native American botanical, it has been shown in modern research to support immune function, specifically the activity of macrophages. Echinacea’s beneficial activity is due to a number of constituents, including polysaccharides and echinacosides, a group of compounds found only in echinacea. WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS features a standardized extract of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. Goldenseal, another Native American botanical, has been used for centuries to soothe sensitive mucous membranes, including those in the respiratory, digestive and genitourinary systems. Its beneficial properties are attributed to its alkaloids, especially berberine.
According to traditional Chinese herbalism, Yin Chiao is best taken at the first signs of internal imbalance. Yin Chiao features herbs like lonicera (honeysuckle), forsythia, peppermint, and licorice.
WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS includes other traditional botanicals. Elderberry has been used for winter health for centuries. It is a rich source of nutrients, especially bioflavonoids and anthocyanins. The phytonutrients in elderberry positively influence cell function and protection, and support the immune system. Isatis contains glycosides that help support your body’s innate defenses; it is valued by herbalists as a complement to echinacea and goldsenseal. The formula also includes the traditional Native American botanicals boneset and horehound, warming ginger, the renowned adaptogen Eleutherococcus senticosus, and bayberry.
The Wellness Family™:
Comprehensive Winter Support WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS, an important member of Source Naturals’ Wellness Family of natural immune system products, is available in 2, 4 and 8 fl oz bottles. You can also try Source Naturals’ other fine Wellness products. Look for WELLNESS EARACHE™ homeopathic kids’ formula, WELLNESS COLD & FLU™, WELLNESS COUGH SYRUP, WELLNESS ZINC™ Lozenges and Throat Spray, WELLNESS ELDERBERRY™ and lots more—including, of course, original WELLNESS FORMULA®.
WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS: Part of the Wellness Revolution
There is a revolution underway in natural health consciousness, and health food stores are in the forefront. You can benefit right now—long before word spreads to the general public—with the innovative child nutrition of WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS.
June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002
Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey
Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.
The Allergy Response
Your immune system triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.
Just Blame The Folks
Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.
The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities
Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.
Breathing Problems Expand
Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.
The All-Natural Gesundheit
Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based Lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 : 1210-3).
Herbal Remedies To The Rescue
n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica,  44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
Make Your World Allergy-Free
For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.
Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field
On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.
Fat Fix For Allergies
The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."
Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.
Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy
Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot weather or while lying down.
Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.
This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.