Posts Tagged ‘stress nutrition vitamin and mineral deficiencies’

The Reason for the Season: Why do we get more colds in winter!??

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Colds appear more prevalent when it is cold out. However, in terms of infectious illnesses, it is the germs that make us sick, not cold weather itself. We have to come in contact with rhinoviruses to catch a cold and we need to be infected with influenza viruses to contract the flu. Rhinoviruses peak in spring and autumn, and influenza viruses peak in the winter.

There are many reasons why we are more likely to get sick in the winter months:

Cold Temperatures

Cold weather may help some germs prosper. Research from the National Institute of Health suggests that in cold temperatures, flu viruses are more stable; the outer shell of flu virus particles get tougher and more hardy so they survive longer. Low humidity also helps the virus particles remain in the air because the viruses float in the air in small respiratory droplets. When the air is humid, those droplets pick up water, grow larger and fall to the ground.

The cold air also makes it harder for the hairs and mucus in our noses to protect us from germs. The dryness can thicken the mucus and clog the cilia that sweep mucus from our nasal cavity into the back of the throat.

Some research suggests that both the cold air from outdoors as well as the dry air from indoors may play a role in protecting the aerosol droplets we sneeze and cough into the air, allowing them to spread more easily from one sick person to another. Add to that the confined spaces with air heating systems that recirculate the air from those who have the virus which causes the cold and it’s a perfect recipe.

Gene Activity

Researchers have found the seasons affect gene activity. A recent study found that up to a quarter of our DNA actually changes with the seasons; during the Winter months our bodies increase the levels of many of the genes linked with inflammation, triggering the signs of swelling and discomfort that our bodies use to protect us from colds and the flu.

Similar seasonal changes occur in various components of the immune system. A further study found gene expression in red blood cells shifted with the seasons.

In the summer, a different set of genes are more highly expressed, including some that help regulate our blood sugar, potentially curbing cravings and helping us burn off excess fat. Researchers looking at 1,000 people from six different countries studied people’s genes and how they changed over time according to their location and exposure to sunlight. They found that in Europe, the expression of inflammatory genes got ramped up during the Winter months. But in Gambia, where there is virtually no Winter, these inflammatory genes were amplified in the rainy months, when mosquito populations are at their peak and the risk of malaria is the highest.

Boost your health during these colder months

  • Wash hands — The number one way to stop the spread of germs. Experts recommend washing hands every few hours and in particular after using the toilet, before meals and after using the keyboard at work etc.
  • Keep exercising – Research has shown that regular exercise strengthens our immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. When our blood is pumping, immune cells circulate through our body more quickly helping to seek and destroy infections. This boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects.
  • Eat well – Various foods, herbs and spices help to reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system e.g. turmeric, garlic and omega-3 fatty acids. Dark leafy greens and red and yellow vegetables are all high in antioxidants too.
    Supplements
    Vitamin A – Essential for mucous membrane health. Cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin A.
    Vitamin C – Important for supporting the health of innate immune cells such as phagocytes.
    Zinc – Is involved in immune cell recruitment and function, systemic inflammation, is an antioxidant, and may have antiviral properties with respect to the common cold.
  • Stay hydrated – Adequate water will also help make mucous membranes, including those in your sinuses, more resistant to bacteria.
  • Clean up winter mould – Mould can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions. Spring cleaning in Autumn may help your health.

Increase in natural killer (NK) cell activity with Andrographis and Super Mushroom combinations. NK cells are part of the body’s innate, or first-line, immune response. They respond more quickly than the adaptive immune system comprised of B cells and T cells. Once activated, natural killer cell activity peaks in as quickly as several hours, providing rapid support and wide-range immune defence.

Call us at New Leaf for Immune support:

  • Kinesiology immune and inflammation balancing
  • Acupuncture immune protocols for better sinuses, lung activity and bronchitis
  • Infrared saunas
  • Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage – breaks down biofilm and releases old infections so your immune system can deal with them!

3348 6098

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies
healthteam@newleafnaturaltherapies.com.au

What is the Role of Th1 and Th2 cells in Autoimmune Disease?

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

by 3 Comments

What is the Role of Th1 and Th2 in Autoimmune Disease?

This article was originally written as a guest post for The Paleo Mom

FROM NEW LEAF:  This is a fantastically written article about T Helper 1 & 2 cells and how Auto-Immune is linked, which disorders are considered T Helper 1 or 2 dominant.  All of which we treat at New Leaf Natural Therapies. 

Those that suffer from autoimmune disease commonly experience symptoms that stem from imbalances within the functioning of their immune system. There are many factors that can influence this balance – stress, nutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, gut flora, and allergies, among others. This way of looking at autoimmune disease is a growing trend in the alternative field, highlighted through the work of Datis Kharrazian.

What are Th1 and Th2?

T-helper cells (abbreviated as Th) are a vital part of the immune system. They are lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) that recognize foreign pathogens, or in the case of autoimmune disease, normal tissue. In response to this recognition, they produce cytokines, which are hormonal messenger proteins that are responsible for the biological effects of the immune system. They are divided into subgroups as follows:

Th1: Th1 cells are involved in what is called “cell-mediated” immunity, which usually deals with infections by viruses and certain bacteria. They are the body’s first line of defense against pathogens that get inside our cells. They tend to be pro-inflammatory and are involved in the development of organ-specific autoimmune disease.

Th2: Th2 cells are involved in what is called “humoral-mediated” immunity, which deals with bacteria, toxins, and allergens. They are responsible for stimulating the production of antibodies in response to extracellular pathogens (those found in blood or other body fluids). They tend not to be inflammatory and are involved in systemic autoimmune disease and other chronic conditions.

In a well-functioning immune system, both groups of these T helper cells work together to keep the system balanced. One side might become more active to eradicate a threat, then settling back to a balanced level.

How does this affect autoimmune disease?

In some people with autoimmune disease, patterns showing a dominance to either the Th1 or Th2 pathway have been shown. Although there are exceptions, the following table shows the conditions that are most commonly associated with a Th1 or Th2 dominant state:

TH1 dominant conditions:

Type I diabetes Multiple sclerosis Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Grave’s Disease Crohn’s Disease Psoriasis Sjoren’s Syndrome Celiac Disease Lichen Planus Rheumatoid Arthritis Chronic viral infections

TH2 dominant conditions: 

Lupus Allergic Dermatitis Scleroderma Atopic Eczema Sinusitis Inflammatory Bowel Disease Asthma Allergies Cancer Ulcerative Colitis Multiple chemical sensitivity

When the th1 cells of the immune system are overactive, they can suppress the activity of th2 and vice versa. This can be problematic because these two components of the immune system function in a delicately balanced relationship. In the case of autoimmune disease, imbalance can further the attack on healthy tissue, thereby worsening symptoms.

Although research can lump those with certain conditions under the Th1/2 categories, in reality they can be all over the map. For instance, although most Hashimoto’s patients present a Th1 dominance, some can be Th2. It is also possible to have both Th1 and Th2 simultaneously overactive or under-active. Pregnancy can shift the immune system temporarily to Th2, which is why a lot of women find out they have Hashimoto’s after they give birth and their immune system returns to Th1 dominance.

How do I find out if I am Th1 or Th2 dominant?

AT New Leaf we provide Live Blood Screenings from which we do a white blood cell count – the count of neutrophils, lymphocytes and monocytes, along with eosinophils, let us know a huge amount about your immune system.

There are effective treatments, supplements, processes we use that can help to start the process of regulating your immune system.

Ask about:

  • kinesiology for the immune system (NOT)
  • kinesiology for finding out if your body is recognising foods, supplements, viruses, bacteria
  • live blood screenings
  • remedial massage and microcurrent for pain

3348 6098

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