Posts Tagged ‘zinc’

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

First Aid Kit – Colds and Viruses

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

 

 

 

With the colder months about to start and the year in full swing come busy days, exhaustion and for some families the inevitable colds and virus season. So what are some go to natural solutions we can keep in the cupboard/fridge and dose up on the first signs of colds? This can save valuable time and help to prevent the virus or cold from developing into something more serious like days of work and school. Here is a good all round First Aid Kit for Colds and Viruses.

 

  • Andrographis Complex by Mediherb or Andro NK by Metagenics (available at New Leaf Natural Therapies). When a cold is rapidly taking effect it is good to start Andrographis Complex as soon as possible. Dose: 2 tablets 3 times daily for an adult dosage. Can take every two hours for vigour viruses.
  • Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that is utilised around the body for many different reasons including skin repair, immunity, detoxification and as a catalyst for a myriad of enzymatic reactions around the body. Therefore it is in high demand especially with today’s modern lifestyle and exposure to our environment, such as car fumes, perfumes, plastics etc. Zinc is a major mineral for the immune system and usually very easy to replenish in the system. Therefore, at the first sign of a cold or a virus zinc is a good mineral to dose up on. Dose: a therapeutic dosage range is between 20-40 mg per day. However, if a virus rapidly taking hold and zinc levels are low it is generally acceptable it increase that dose by 2 or 3 times for 4 to 5 days.
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin is widely known for it’s role in immunity and for good reason. Vitamin C stabilises the immune cells and is an excellent anti-oxidant which is in need when a virus is spreading. Vitamin C works alongside zinc synergistically and therefore are often in formula’s together. For a virus taking at least 3,000 – 4,000 mg in 500 – 1000 mg increments throughout the day. For a rapidly moving virus it is recommended to take 1000 mg up to what is called bowel tolerance. Bowel tolerance is essentially how much vitamin C the bowel can absorb. If it can’t absorb any more the vitamin C will remain in the lumen of the bowel and attract water to it thus bowel movements become looser. Sometimes a lot looser. Therefore once someone has reached bowel tolerance drop the dose by 1 -2 doses the next day and stay on that until the virus has run its course.
  • Probiotics. Ultra Flora Immune by Metagenics. The immune system is produced on the other side of our digestive system. Therefore the quality of the digestive process can affect the production of the immune system. There are many different species of probiotics which all extenuate different processes and functions, some in a negative manner, some not at all and some in a positive manner. Therefore it can be tricky to figure out which probiotics are right however when coming down for a cold reach for the probiotics that help stabilise the digestion and support the immune system. It is good to have what is called a loading dose for a 3 – 7 days and then drop to a maintenance dose. This is to support the immune system to make new cells if it needs to which can take up to 7 – 10 days i.e. 2 capsules twice a day before food for a loading dose and then drop to 1 capsule twice a day for the duration of the cold. If a virus is a common occurrence it would be recommended to have a maintenance dose of 1 capsule per day for 1 – 3 month afterwards.
  • Naso Clear by Metagenics. Whenever there is any congestion especially in sinuses which are prone to infection a god sinus flush works wonders! Naso Clear is not only a antibacterial but also breaks down any films which can form that bacteria harbour in making it difficult for the immune system to search and destroy them. One to two pumps per nostril at least first thing in the morning and again before bed can work absolute wonders!
  • Herbal Throat Spray by Mediherb. Sore throats can be the entry point of many viruses and therefore good to soothe and assist in maintaining the area’s defences. Herbs helps to do just that by soothing, antibacterial/antiseptic actions and helps support lymphatic drainage so the immune system can reach the area and carry away the
    • We’ve all heard of gargles, but who has time to gargle during a busy day? So a spray can be very convenient!
  • Homeopathics. Homeopathics can work really well for the sensitive people, easy to take and gentle on the pocket! BioResearch Formula 5 is a good immune supporter especially with re-occuring sore throats, colds and flu’s. For infections which have gone into secondary infections Formula C or Formula CR for chest coughs. Homeopathics should be taken 10-15minute away from strong flavours such as toothpaste, breathmints or even strong coffee.
  • Cells need weekends too! In a word recuperation and convalescents. If it is the beginning of a cold a warm easy to digest meal such as soup or casserole is great. These meals often need time to cook thus the food is already starting to break down and less work for the digestion to do. Rug up, get comfortable and enjoy some cosiness for the evening.. down time is a the path the new convalescence.

 

 

 

If a course of antibiotics is needed these products will be fine with these. If any other medications are prescribed and you have concerns it is best to take the Andrographis Complex 2 hours apart to avoid interactions or call the girls on 3348 6098 to see if we can help you with your health concerns.

 

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

December is upon us and with this comes what is commonly referred to as the silly season. Many will try to avoid the excesses of the period and other’s will embrace and go along for the ride. Either way when it comes to the actual holidays often we find ourselves exhausted, body aches and pains come back demanding attention and yet, the Christmas celebrations still must go ahead. So where do we muster this energy from? And how can we do it all without falling in a heap when we want to enjoy ourselves?

Building blocks

Good nutrition is the building blocks for the fuel for our bodies to run on. That is, if we give our bodies good quality fuel it will be able to do more and cope with increased stressors. Stressors can include:

  • Increased celebrations and alcohol consumption over the course of the month
  • Increased rich foods
  • Less sleep
  • Deadlines for work all before the Christmas break
  • Increased driving time driving kids, partners, friends and family around
  • Christmas shopping, crowds, shopping malls and parking
  • Mental/emotional stress
  • Travelling. Including radiation exposure when flying. Or just sitting for long periods of time in one position such as on road trips.

Whether the stressor is physiological or mental/emotional it all counts. They all make an impact on digesting, breaking down foods and absorbing nutrients properly, and how fast we utilise and need our nutrients replenished. Therefore there is an increased demand.

Where to start

Where to start? With the basics. As water soluble nutrients and vitamins are not stored in body and will be under increased demand these are a good place to start. These are vitamin B’s, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc (amongst others). All of these are in high demand with alcohol consumption and as they are water soluble there will also be an increase of them washed out as alcohol is a diuretic. Therefore replenishment is a must.

Vitamin Bs are a group of water soluble nutrients which are essential to many enzymatic reactions around the body. They are implicated in systems such as energy production, digestion, neurotransmitter production, and hormonal balance. Foods such as whole grains and organ meats are often high in most of these foods. However, it can be challenging to have these every day. Therefore, purchasing a good quality supplement through these busy times might be the most convenient.

Vitamin C is one of the most underrated vitamin we know! It is a fantastic antioxidant, helps replenish the adrenals and plays an important role in immunity.

Magnesium is utilised in many systems in the body including energy, hormonal and neurotransmitter production. Magnesium is also very important in muscle relaxation. Therefore if feeling tired and needing of replenishment after the windup to the end of year magnesium is a good start.

Zinc is in high demand around the body especially in times of stress, alcohol and increased food consumption. Zinc is used in many different systems around the body, it is used in the detoxification processes, in skin and wound healing, immunity and a lot of enzymatic processes around the body and digestion. Zinc is found  along side many animal based proteins but in particularly oysters are very high in zinc. Plus for the vegetarians sunflower and pumpkin seeds. So bring those freshly shucked oysters to the summer barbeques.. for therapeutic reasons of course!

Herbs that Matter

Everyone has differently demands on their bodies and everyone’s body’s are individual. Therefore, different people require different types of support. However there are a few good go to herbs which almost everyone can benefit from.

Milk Thistle is a herb widely known for its support to the liver and to digestion. It is not stimulating which makes it mild and gently strong in its action. It is the go to herb before and after consumption of alcohol. As a herbal tincture of tea it has a natural bitter flavour however in our modern times we have some very good supplements in the form of capsules which means we can bypass the bitter taste.

Withania is what we call an adaptogenic herb. That is, it helps as adapt to stress in our lives. There are a number of herbs that fall under this banner however Withania is a nice soothing herb which will helps calm the particularly stressed person, especially if there is difficulty sleeping. For the exhausted person adaptogens such as Licorice and the Ginseng’s are strong candidates to help support energy and clarity of mind. Siberian ginseng, Korean Ginseng, American Ginseng and Rhodiola would also fall under this banner.
Echinacea is a great herb to have on the shelf, just in case a cold starts to take hold! It helps to regulate, stimulate and support the immune system. A herb that also helps the lymphatics to drain contributing to upper respiratory congestion.

Goals for the Holidays

Enjoying some down time and allowing oneself to relax at this time of year can be recharging and refreshing. This can also be a time of reflection to add to the contrast of what is wanted for the next year making way for clarity and then direction.