Archive for the ‘Immune System’ Category

How To Strengthen Your Immune System

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

The best defense is a good offense, right!  Especially, when it comes to your immune system. By practicing healthy lifestyle habits and reducing exposure to infection (offense), you can better help protect against illness (defense).

Why you get sick or not – or not?
Louis Pasteur and Antoine Bechamp were both keenly aware of the same things you and I experience every year: during the cold and flu season, some people get sick and some people don’t.

Pasteur devoted his life looking for what makes sick people sick, and Bechamp spent his looking for what keeps healthy people healthy - and how we can be like them! Both men settled their argument with the discovery that illness visits people with poor habits much more frequently than those who care for their health.

As the beast in nuture prefer to pay on the weak, so microbes prefer to wreak their havoc on people with compromised immune systems.  Even simple things can compromise our immune system, including:

  • An imbalanced diet
  • Alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • An argument with someone you love

Pasteur and Bechamp discovered, more than a century ago, that our health depends more on a healthy lifestyle than on the virulence of a microbe.

Help protect against illness
The phrase that describes our vulnerability or resistance to disease is “biological terrain.” Your genetics, your environment and, most importantly, your lifestyle make up the terrain of your health. Vigorous application of the 10 Essentials yields the healthiest, most disease-resistant terrain. Skipping even one of these principles will change your terrain and leave you vulnerable to infection.

  • A base of healthy nutrients
    Establishing a base of healthy nutrients can provide a very resilient terrain. The more dense the base is, the more disease-resistant your terrain will be. Taking a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement every day is an excellent start. Many physicians recommend an Omega-3 supplement as well. If your terrain is being remodeled by stress, you may need adaptogens to help you cope while remaining disease-resistant. Indeed, the long-term studies of adaptogens in Russia clearly demonstrated that these plants help you resist infections and speed healing.
  • Vitamin C
    Vitamin C is a favorite for protecting against and even treating viral infections. Russell Jaffe, MD, former director of the National Institutes of Health, recommends a loading dose of Vitamin C: one teaspoon of Vitamin C crystals every 15 minutes until you “flush.” By this, he means a complete bowel evacuation. After the flush, he recommends a daily serving of Vitamin C (for one month) that is equivalent to 75% of the amount it took you to flush. This should really improve your terrain!
  • Echinacea
    Echinacea is used in a similar way. Significant medical research from Germany suggests that an hourly dose of Echinacea will help reduce symptoms and may help shorten the duration of a virus infection. Taking a gram of Echinacea every hour for three days may even “abort” an infection that has already begun. Continue taking Echinacea three times daily for up to two weeks afterward to protect against a relapse.

Reduce your exposure
Here are some great recommendations for reducing your exposure to infection:

  • Wash your hands
    First, the largest contributor to infection is unwashed hands. Washing your hands with soap every few hours will reduce the chance for pathogens to gain access to your system. You should also make sure they are completely dry. Then, use the disposable towel to open the door out of the washroom. Many ugly microbes lurk on door handles – usually from people who have not properly washed and dried their hands.
  • Clean surfaces
    Next, disinfect surfaces that are shared by many people. For instance, public telephones bring you within kissing distance of hundreds or even thousands of people. Who knows what their hygiene habits were? In a typical day we may be exposed to germs from as many as 150 countries or more!
  • Reduce stress
    Reduce stress. Stress decreases the effectiveness of your immune system. Your immune system may begin to overreact or not react in time to stop an infection when you are under stress. The source of the stress really doesn’t matter. Job stress and an injury may seem like entirely different stresses to your mind but they are treated exactly the same way by your body.

Remember, building up your terrain and reducing your exposure are keys to a great offense… which will help improve your defense!

                                              Take Charge of Your Health

Learn More… The proper way to wash your hands

Is Your Diet Nutrient Rich?

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Our bodies make millions of new cells every day: heart cells, brain cells, bone and blood cells. Every time a cell dies it should be replaced. If you do not have the right amount of nutrients to construct a new cell you will either make an incomplete cell or none at all. The outcome is bad in either case, so we really need to keep all nutrients on board at all times. This is why we suggest a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. This helps ensure we stay on top of our nutrient reserve.

Supplements
The word supplement means to add more – to make up for a deficiency. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be taken in addition to a healthy diet. They make up for the deficiency we face due to the poor nutrient density in our foods. Supplements also help make up the difference when our diet is less than perfect.

The simplest way to help support your nutrition is to take a general multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that provides a broad range of nutrients at standard nutritional levels. However, please remember the following points:

  1. Some supplements contain very high doses of certain nutrients. When you take nutrients in extremely high doses, you are no longer in the world of nutritional supplementation and have passed into the riskier world of “megadose” treatment.
  2. Calcium and magnesium are very bulky minerals, and few multi-vitamin/mineral supplements provide the daily requirement. These minerals generally must be taken in the form of additional pills. Note: It isn’t possible for your body to absorb a day’s worth of calcium in a single dose. At least two doses are necessary.

Common nutritional deficiencies:

Calcium Helps with bone density, muscle contraction and digestion
Chromium Helps with blood sugar control
Magnesium Helps protect against high blood pressure, kidney stones and migraine headaches
Vitamin C Helps with detoxification, immune system health and connective tissue
Vitamin D Involved in bone and skin health and helps protect against diabetes and obesity
Zinc Helps protect against acne, ADD/ADHD, the common cold and macular degeneration

Very few of us are so deficient in these nutrients as to show symptoms of obvious malnutrition. However, subtle deficiencies may increase the risk for a variety of conditions. For example, insufficient intake of calcium and Vitamin D may increase your chances of developing osteoporosis, and inadequate folate and Vitamin B-6 may speed the development of heart disease.

Besides vitamins and minerals, intake of essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is often inadequate.

A plan for everyone
Finally, keep in mind that food contains many substances other than vitamins and minerals that may enhance your health.

Supplements won’t overcome bad dietary choices. We simply must commit ourselves to eating more fruits and vegetables. However, the reality of life is that we don’t always attend to our diet perfectly. So, appropriate nutrient supplementation can help make up for the deficiency we face because of poor nutrient density in our foods and an imperfect diet.

 

Take Charge of Your Health

  • Eat the appropriate amount of fruits/vegetables daily:
    • Children: 5 servings
    • Women: 7 servings
    • Men: 9 servings
  • Focus on organic whenever possible
  • Eat high quality protein daily (34 to 71 grams)
  • Eat Omega-3 fats every day (flax, walnuts & some fish)
  • Take a balanced multiple vitamin/mineral supplement
  • Take an EFA supplement like OmegaPrime
  • Take Vitamin B-12 every morning
  • Take Vitamin C every morning and at bedtime

Learn More…

What’s Special About The Cranberry?

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

 For as long as I can remember, cranberries have always been part of the Thanksgiving and Christmas festive celebrations.  I have fond memories of making cranberry “chains” to decorate our Christmas tree and of course there was always a bowl of cranberry sauce on the table for both the Thankgiving and Christmas feast. I especially liked the whole berry kind.  In more recent times, I’ve learned there is more to the cranberry story.

The Cranberry’s Healing Power

This wholesome fruit has a delicious taste and many important health benefits as well. The cranberry is very high in several important nutrients, in particular, a variety of important antioxidant vitamins. Nutritionists and other experts often talk about the many benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and cranberries are an excellent way to fit five or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables into even the busiest lifestyle.

Is The Cranberry Really Nutritious?

The cranberry has a role in optimizing overall health and fitness, but it is thought to play a role in reducing the occurrence of urinary tract infection. This effect is thought to be the result of the proanthocyanidins (PACs) contained in cranberries. These PACs have been shown to prevent certain types of bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract.

The PACs contained in the cranberry may also help prevent gum disease and stomach ulcers, using the same anti-adhesion mechanism.

The evidence continues to increase showing that the phytonutrients and antioxidants contained in the cranberry and other fruits help to protect against a variety of diseases, including such potentially life-threatening conditions like cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants contribute their healing power through their ability to fight the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are part of the normal cellular processes of the body. They can also be the result of environmental pollution of our air, food and water, and they can be quite damaging to our health. Antioxidants work to mitigate the damage caused by free radicals. Therefore, they are believed to play an important role in the prevention of degenerative diseases and perhaps even retarding the aging process.

If you want to include more cranberry products in your diet, these products are plentiful, inexpensive and available all year long. Fresh cranberries are available in grocery stores and supermarkets for the majority of the year, and when they are not available, there are plenty of canned and frozen cranberry products to take their place.

In addition to fresh, canned and frozen cranberries, there are a number of excellent cranberry based products on the market. You’ll find the cranberry sauce that is part of every traditional Thanksgiving celebration, cranberry juice and even cranberry pudding. With all these choices, it’s not hard to fit more cranberries into just about any diet. And with all the health benefits cranberries contain, there is good reason to enjoy more of this tasty treat.

To further support your immune system, try TriVita’s Adaptogen 10 PusTM. It contains 10 plant and herbal extracts with adaptogenic qualities, each one chosen for its ability to help the body “adapt” to stress and stressful situations quickly and efficiently.

The Easy Way To Get Your Daily Servings of Fruits & Vegetables!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

TriVita has launched on their corporate web-site several new product offers and packaging. These new products can be reviewed and purchased at Trivita.com.

Fruits ‘n VegEZ
Fruits ‘n VegEZ is the quick and easy way to help you get the right amount of fruits and vegetables each day.

  • Fast and convenient – simply mix with water or your favorite beverage
  • Contains rare, antioxidant-rich superfruits including mangosteen and acai
  • Includes vegetable powerhouses such as broccoli, spinach, artichoke and carrots
  • Only 20 calories and less than 1 gram of sugar per serving
  • No artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors

The recommendation of the health community is that we should get 8 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. This seems like an interesting alternative to eating a basket full of produce every day; think of all the time and work involved.

I’d rather mix a tall glass of Fruits ‘n VegEZ in mere seconds. It costs a lot less, too!

Why do people get shingles?

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Shingles outbreaks (rashes or blisters on the skin) are associated with the virus, Varicella zoster. Usually, people are exposed to this virus when they get the chickenpox. Other people contract the virus but never have an outbreak or symptoms.

Although there is a strong association between the virus and the disease, this association is far from “cause and effect,” because many people who test positive for the virus never get chickenpox or shingles. And, only a tiny fraction of the people who have the virus ever get shingles.

So, the pertinent question is, how can you reduce your risk of getting shingles?

Read the complete article to learn more.