How To Test Zinc Levels At Home

Zinc, much like magnesium, is one of those nutrients that is critically important in hundreds of processes in the body. It is estimated that around 25% of the world population is actually deficient in this critical mineral. If you want healthy hormones, a strong immune system, and healthy tissues, you absolutely need to make sure your zinc levels are adequate. Not enough people know this, but there is actually a very simple method to test zinc levels in the comfort of your own home.

Another great way to start to tell if you may not be getting enough zinc in your diet, is by understanding its functions and how someone could become deficient in the first place.

Benefits Of Zinc

The benefits of optimizing your zinc levels are vast. Zinc is involved in so many processes from modulating the immune system to supporting healthy hormone production. These are foundational human processes that must be supported if you want to attain optimal health.

Boosts Immunity

Zinc modulates the immune system by balancing the Th-1 and Th-2 branches of the immune system. This is important for coordinating the immune system in cases of imbalance such as autoimmunity and cancer.

Zinc also assists a protein called human cytokine interferon alpha that is responsible for inhibiting the replication of viruses within the body (1).

Reduces Inflammation

An imbalanced immune response is one of the number one causes of chronic inflammation in our society. By helping to balance and coordinate the immune system, zinc also helps to drastically lower inflammation for many people.

On top of this, zinc plays a critical role in the production of one of the body’s most important antioxidants, superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD protects genes from becoming damaged, helps to detoxify the body, and further assists the immune system by protecting against viral infection.

Anti-Cancer

It is a natural consequence that by reducing inflammation and improving immune coordination, zinc also improves the body’s ability to fight off cancer cells.

In addition to this, zinc actually plays an important role in regulation of the expression of the P53 gene. The P53 gene plays an important role in monitoring the cell division cycle and preventing cancerous growth (2, 3).

Chronic oxidative stress can cause damage to the p53 gene that renders it useless and leads to an inability to protect the genomic stability. In order to be active, p53 needs to bind zinc while other metals such as copper can displace zinc leading to p53 unfolding.

Low zinc levels or excessive copper and other heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, cadmium and mercury can damage the p53 protein (45).

Reasons For Zinc Deficiency

Before we can even think about using supplemental zinc or consuming more zinc-rich foods, we must understand what causes our zinc stores to deplete.

Addressing these factors will make the zinc you do consume go much further in exerting its benefits in the body.

Leaky Gut & Poor Digestion

A commonly overlooked reason for poor zinc levels in the body, is that you are just not digesting your foods as well as you should. If you have a leaky gut or poor stomach acid production, it is likely you are deficient in several nutrients.

Zinc is also extremely important for healing and sealing the gut.  So if you are deficient, it becomes a viscious cycle of inflammation and the gut lining will never heal.

Medications

Medications that damage the gut or inhibit stomach acid production can be another overlooked factor in poor zinc levels.  Most prescribing doctors are unfamiliar with the long-term ramifications of these medications and how they deplete key nutrients and cause a number of health problems.

If you currently use or have a history of using things like prescription antibiotics, NSAIDS (Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.), proton pump inhibitors, or antacids; you will definitely want to take additional steps to support digestion.

Poor Diet & Blood Sugar Imbalance

If you are simply not consuming nutrient dense foods, and instead rely heavily on processed foods, you are most likely lacking in several nutrients.  Consuming zinc-rich foods and balancing blood sugar are critical strategies for ensuring you retain adequate levels of nutrients like zinc.

Finally, consuming a lot of grains, nuts, and foods containing phytic acids can quickly deplete the body’s zinc stores. Limiting your intake of these foods or at least sprouting them before consuming is important.

Chronic Stress

Zinc is important for a large number of biological processess and stress speeds up biological function.  During times of elevated stress, zinc is utilized at a much more rapid rate, increasing your dietary need for zinc.

If you are noticing that you are experiencing high amounts of overwhelming emotions like anxiety, this could be due in part to low zinc levels. Of course several other nutrient are involved such as magnesium and B-complex vitamins.

Exposure To Toxins

Exposure to toxins like pesticides and heavy metals in the environment can interfere with zinc absorption and increase stress within the body. This depletes your zinc levels while simultaneously increasing your need, not a good combo.

Also, consuming high levels of copper can lead to an imbalance in copper:zinc ratios.  This is not uncommon as copper is a common byproduct of industrial manufacturing and is often high in our city water.  Additionally, high copper can come from drinking water from copper pipes and women having a copper IUD.  Additionally, foods such as grains, nuts and seeds are high in copper and also contain phytic acids that reduce zinc absorption.

Copper and zinc work against each other to regulate certain functions in the body. Having high copper levels in relation to zinc can create many problems and you can read more about that in this article.  Consuming a clean, healing diet, getting good water filtration and lowering your intake of copper-rich foods, and increasing your zinc intake are all powerful for rebalancing this ratio.

Signs Of Zinc Deficiency

After reflecting on your daily life and seeing if any of the causes above align with you, it is important to observe your own health for common symptoms of zinc deficiency.

The following is a list of common symptoms seen with zinc deficiency or copper:zinc imbalance:

How To Test

There are several ways to test your zinc levels. One that I am a fan of due to its simplicity and cost-effectiveness is the zinc sulfate taste test. All you do purchase a bottle of zinc sulfate liquid (this a good one), place a capful in your mouth, and observe the sensations in your mouth.

Below are the possible outcomes and indications:

You Notice No Metallic Taste: Zinc Deficiency

You Notice A Delayed Metallic Taste: Slight Zinc Deficiency

You Notice Slight Metallic Taste: Zinc Levels Are Adequate, But Could Be Higher

You Notice Very Strong Metallic Taste: You Likely Have Optimal Zinc Levels

Optimal Levels

If you notice that you are expressing signs of slight to complete zinc deficiency, you will need to be intentional about the foods you eat to drastically increase zinc intake. You will also need to avoid dietary habits that deplete zinc levels like consuming high amounts of sugar, grains, and processed foods.

Zinc-Rich Foods

Consuming plenty of zinc-rich foods is a great start to optimizing your zinc levels. The following graphic outlines some of the best sources of zinc you can consume.

You will notice that various seeds made the list which seems counterintuitive since I mentioned phytic acid containing foods lowering zinc levels. However, these foods contain really high amounts of zinc that may counteract this effect. Buying these in their sprouted forms is ideal.

Supplemental

When it comes to quickly balancing zinc levels in the body, supplementation is very helpful. Just as with many supplements, zinc comes in many forms. My favorite is Zinc Glycinate because it is what’s called a chelated form. This is important because it is very easily absorbed by the body unlike many other forms.

The recommended daily allowance for zinc is between eight to eleven milligrams for most adults. However, for functional health most progressive nutritionists and doctors recommend between 20-40 mg/daily. You can use your results from the Zinc Sulfate taste test to determine how much supplemental zinc to consume.

If your results indicate a slight or complete zinc deficiency, 40 mg daily is likely more suitable for you while 20 mg daily may be more suitable for someone who is trying to maintain optimal levels.

Summary

Zinc is critical for overall health and quality of life. It is important to assess your daily life and physiological wellbeing to determine whether or not you are getting enough of this vital mineral in your diet.

The Zinc Sulfate test is an incredibly simple and cost-effective way to determine your zinc levels at home. If you are showing signs of zinc deficiency, than it is important to follow a blood sugar stabilizing healing diet and improve your stomach acid, enzymes and overall digestive function.  You will also want to reduce your exposure to some of the higher copper foods such as nuts and seeds and increase zinc rich foods (fish and grass-fed meats) and take additional zinc supplements.

Sources For This Article Include

1. Ohio State University. “Zinc helps against infection by tapping brakes in immune response.” Science Daily.
2. Lane, D. P. (1992). Cancer. p53, guardian of the genome. Nature. PMID: 1614522
3. Adimoolam, S., & Ford, J. M. (2003). p53 and regulation of DNA damage recognition during nucleotide excision repair. DNA Repair. PMID: 12967652
4. Phatak, V. M., & Muller, P. A. J. (2015). Metal toxicity and the p53 protein: an intimate relationship. Toxicol. Res., 4(3), 576–591. Link
5. Tokumoto, M., Fujiwara, Y., Shimada, A., Hasegawa, T., Seko, Y., Nagase, H., & Satoh, M. (2011). Cadmium toxicity is caused by accumulation of p53 through the down-regulation of Ube2d family genes in vitro and in vivo. The Journal of Toxicological Sciences, 36(2), 191–200. PMID: 21467746


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8 Antiviral Nutrients To Prevent Colds

Do you feel like you get colds too often? You would think after your first exposure that your immune system would be able to detect and fight it off the next time without a problem. The truth is, there are over 200 different viruses that can cause a cold including influenza, rhinovirus, and Epstein Barr.   For ongoing protection from cold-causing viruses, try incorporating these 8 antiviral nutrients to prevent colds from getting you down.

Encountering viruses is an everyday occurrence and a normal part of life.  However, some people adapt well to the stress of a virus and fight it off while others struggle with this form of stressor.  Using these 8 antiviral compounds will help improve your bodies resilience and give you the immune power to adapt strong!!

The Challenge With Viruses

Unlike bacteria, fungi, and parasites; viruses are not living organisms. This means they do not contain the cellular machinery necessary to grow and reproduce on their own. Instead, they make their way into the cells of living organisms and use their infected host as a copy machine. They essentially hack the reproductive mechanisms of living organisms in order to replicate and spread.

The huge downside about viruses from a medical standpoint is that they cannot be killed. However, a strong and healthy immune system is well equipped to stop viruses in their tracks. Additionally, there have been several natural compounds that have shown to help fight off viruses.

The Advantage Of Herbs

Unlike traditional medical treatments of viruses, nutrient-based therapies are typically very safe and create little side effects. Additionally, they tend to work against viruses in multiple ways by boosting the immune system and directly inhibiting viral reproduction.

This combination of safety and broad-spectrum efficacy gets my pick every time. There are 8 that come to mind when someone asks me what they can do about their cold.

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C is a great first step for viral defense. Not only does vitamin C boost the immune system, but has shown tremendous non-specific antiviral support. Non-specific means that it works against a broad range of viruses.

For daily preventative support, I would suggest about 1000mg per day. For acute support after you are already experiencing symptoms of infection, you can go up to 4000-6000 mg until symptoms begin to dissipate.

Zinc 

Another common cold remedy you can find in most grocery stores is Zinc in the form of lozenges. Zinc is a powerful immune support compound yet it is estimated that 25% of the world’s population is deficient. For optimal immune protection from cold-causing viruses, you need to ensure you are getting enough zinc (in a form you body can actually use) on a daily basis.

Your body produces a protein called human cytokine interferon alpha whose primary role is to inhibit the replication of viruses. Zinc boosts your immune defense against viruses by potentiating this crucial protein.

Beta-Glucan

Beta-glucan has emerged as a power player for cancer conditions due to its ability to modulate the immune system. For this same reason, it provides powerful immune support in the case of viral infection. When the body is overburdened by infection, the immune system can become dysregulated. The result is systemic inflammation and further contribution to the many unpleasant side effects of infection.

Beta glucan helps balance the immune system so that it can focus on targeting the virus present in the body. Beta glucans also help in the fight against infection by binding to virus-targeting white blood cells called macrophages. By doing so they improve the ability of macrophages to seek out foreign pathogens.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf is a less commonly known but powerful anti-microbial compound. It possesses antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. This means that not only will it help target your cold virus, but will help rid of other underlying infections that may be distracting your immune system.

Olive Leaf Extract is one of my go-to compounds for colds. In fact, this is why I formulated Immuno Charge. It combines Vitamin C, Beta Glucan, and Olive Leaf extract for powerful immune support.

Monolaurin

Monolaurin is a compound that has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties. It is this reason that coconut oil is a great antimicrobial for the gut lining. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is converted into monolaurin in the body.

Monolaurin has been studied and found to be particularly helpful in disrupting lipid-coated bacteria and viruses. This includes HIV-1, influenza, rubeola, and the herpes family (1).

Echinacea

According to a meta-analysis of 14 different studies, Echinacea may reduce your risk of contracting a cold by over 50% (2). Echinacea has also been shown to help reduce the recurrence and complications of respiratory infections, which can be a progression of a cold-causing virus (3).

For daily support, you can consume Echinacea tea. This would be a great way to keep your guard up against cold-causing viruses.

Ginger 

Ginger is a warming herb that boosts circulation and immune activity. At the same time the effects of ginger help to prevent the accumulation of toxins that make you more susceptible to infections of the respiratory tract (4). Additionally, regular ginger consumption will help lower inflammation which will allow the immune system to function for effectively.

I would recommend either consuming a drop or two of a high-quality ginger essential oil in water or consuming fresh ginger ground into recipes on a daily basis.

Yarrow

Yarrow is an herb with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral benefits. Additionally, it can help improve fever symptoms by helping the body induce perspiration. This is important because it is supporting the body’s own response to fighting off the cold-causing virus.

For this, I recommend Cold Care tea. It contains yarrow, ginger, elder flower, and many other traditional cold-fighting herbs for daily support.

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Preuss, H. G. (n.d.). A Review of Monolaurin and Lauric Acid, 310–314. (Link)
2. Shah, S. A., Sander, S., White, C. M., Rinaldi, M., & Coleman, C. I. (2007). Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis. Lancet Infectious Diseases. PMID: 17597571
3. Schapowal, A., Klein, P., & Johnston, S. L. (2015). Echinacea Reduces the Risk of Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infections and Complications: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Advances in Therapy. PMID: 25784510
4. Chang, J. S., Wang, K. C., Yeh, C. F., Shieh, D. E., & Chiang, L. C. (2013). Fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) has anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 145(1), 146–151. PMID: 23123794

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7 Natural Remedies For Epstein Barr Virus

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), also known as mononucleosis or mono, is a virus that is transmitted from human to human through body fluids. EBV is commonly referred to as the kissing disease but can be spread through many different types of contact including through the blood and seminal fluid. Although many people are carriers of this virus, some experience moderate to debilitating symptoms that can make life difficult. In this article I cover symptoms, causes, and my top remedies for Epstein Barr Virus.

Although EBV can affect anyone, it seems that those who are younger (especially college age) and up to 40 years old are at higher risk (1). Other factors that may put a person at higher risk of contracting EBV are weakened immunity and intimate contact with varying partners.

Symptoms

If you have been infected with EBV, it can sometimes be weeks before you have any symptoms. The initial stages of symptoms may resemble those of a cold or flu and include: fatigue, fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and general lethargy.

Although these initial symptoms may diminish within a few days, many experience a nagging fatigue that just won’t seem to go away. Some may also experience chronic pain throughout the body and in more rare cases, a swollen and painful spleen.


Causes

Just like any virus, you become a carrier of EBV by coming in contact with it. In the case of EBV this is commonly through saliva from kissing, sharing drinks, or sometimes picked up from shared surfaces like toys.

In rare cases, EBV can be contracted from blood transfusions, organ transplantation, or oral exposure to seminal fluids.

The extent to which you will experience EBV symptoms depends on the strength and coordination of your immune system. An intact immune system should be able to handle viral exposure with minimal or no symptoms but those who are immunocompromised will likely experience lasting symptoms.

How To Detect EBV

Being able to detect the presence of EBV is the first step in employing specific strategies to help your body heal it.

The first major sign to look for is a sudden onset of the flu-like symptoms described above, followed by a residual feeling of chronic fatigue. This residual fatigue that is sometimes accompanied by sudden onset of chronic pain is very indicative of EBV.

For my patients that have experienced this phenomenon I recommend having a Complete Blood Count and functional lab work done to look for specific indicators of EBV.

Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count (CBC) is a commonly used blood draw test that looks at the distribution of an individual’s blood cells. In a healthy person, there is an expected balance of the different types of blood cells. Many people understand that there are both white and red blood cells; white blood cells regulate the immune system, while red blood cells carry oxygen to our tissues.

Because white blood cells are responsible for a huge proportion of immunity, they can be observed clinically through a CBC for signs of elevated immune activity. In the case of mono, you would likely see elevated lymphocytes and monocytes.

Lymphocytes include natural killer (NK) cells, T cells, and B cells. Residing in the lymph fluid, these three regulate the body’s short-term and long-term immune responses. An elevated level indicates an increase in immune activity likely due to viral presence.

Monocytes play a similar role in immunity by forming macrophages. Macrophages are immune cells that reside in specific tissues and protect them from infiltration of foreign materials (such as viruses).

In a complete blood count, a proportion of white blood cells are observed and represented as a proportion out of 100 (as a percentage). A lymphocyte proportion of over 40% and a monocyte count of over 7% are indicative of viral infection.

Comprehensive Viral Panel

While the CBC is great at detecting abnormal immune system status, it doesn’t do much for telling what exactly is causing it. After seeing elevated lymphocytes and monocytes on a CBC, a viral panel can be used to determine the presence of specific viruses in the body.

My Comprehensive Viral Panel looks at 5 different indicators of EBV in addition to cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, human herpes type 6, varicella zoster, and rubeola.

Upon detection, targeted strategies such as the ones listed in this article can be used to help your body fight off EBV and free yourself from the nagging symptoms.

Natural Remedies

Conventional treatment of EBV is very much focused on the mitigation of symptoms and little else. Common approaches include prescription steroids and pain medications to help the individual cope with fatigue and pain.

The common understanding is that there is very little we can do to get rid of a virus. By supporting the body through these 7 natural remedies, you can speed up the time it takes to overcome EBV.

Vitamin C

We all know and love Vitamin C as a traditional cold and flu remedy, but this vitamin can actually have a powerful impact on EBV. A 2014 study observed the effects of high-dose IV vitamin C on EBV and found that it both lowered the presence of the virus in the body while also reducing the duration of symptoms (2).

The doses used within the study are hard to obtain in the diet, ranging from 7.5-50 grams. While small amounts of vitamin C can be obtained from the diet, you may look into supplementation with encapsulated or IV vitamin C from a qualified professional.

Zinc

Zinc has long been known as an effective anti-viral compound. Commonly found in lozenges marketed to speed healing from cold or flu, it is thought that having optimal zinc levels in the body inhibits the replication of viruses.

This is because zinc potentiates human cytokine interferon alpha which is a protein whose primary role is to inhibit viral replication (3). Zinc also supports the production of a powerful antioxidant call superoxide dismutase which protects your cells from the damaging effects of viral pathogens.

Finally, zinc helps to downregulate the inflammatory response of the body which can help keep the immune system functioning properly. It is estimated that 25% of the world’s population is zinc deficient so this one is important!

L-Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid that plays important roles in building muscle, production of hormones, and antibody formation. It has also been found that lysine supplementation may lower the severity and frequency of outbreaks in cases of herpes.

It is thought that because EBV is a strain of the herpes virus that it has similar benefits.

Arginine is another amino acid that has been shown to promote the growth and survival of viral pathogens in the body. It has been proposed that lysine provides an antiviral effect by directly opposing the effects of arginine (4).

Beta-Glucan

Beta Glucan is a powerful immune-regulatory agent. This means it can stimulate or inhibit immunity depending on the needs of the body. In the case of an infection like EBV, the immune system can become overwhelmed.

Instead of a swift eradication of the virus, you get immune discoordination and systemic inflammation.

Beta Glucan activates both short and long-term immune responses to allow a more efficient activity of the immune system and increase the chances of fighting off infection. One way it does this is by binding to macrophages and boosting their ability to target and destroy foreign pathogens.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf is a powerful herb with a long history of use. It has been shown particularly helpful for supporting the immune system due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral effects.

The effects of olive leaf are beneficial for many reasons. First, addressing other underlying bad bacteria and fungi is crucial for freeing up the immune system to fight EBV. Additionally, it has been shown that olive leaf extract inhibits viral reproduction.

Finally, using olive leaf extract along with other immune support agents like beta-glucan and vitamin C provides multi-faceted support for fighting off an infection.

This is exactly why I developed Immuno Charge. It has a therapeutic combination of all three to optimize your immune response from many different angles. It is a key component of my EBV protocol (which I outline at the end of this article).

Berberine

Berberine is a powerful antimicrobial compound isolated from many plants found in nature. A 2017 study looking at nasopharyngeal cancer found that berberine was able to inhibit cancer formation that is commonly associated with EBV.

This is due to the inhibition of a specific gene called EBNA1 (Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen 1). What is significant about this is that this gene also plays a primary role in the replication and survival of the EB virus (5).

Berberine also acts in the GI tract to fight off other unwanted pathogens that may be distracting your immune system from fighting off EBV.

Echinacea 

Echinacea is a powerful traditional herb for immunity. Commonly used in cold and flu remedies, Echinacea also has strong anti-viral and immunomodulation effects (6).

Echinacea may enhance healing from EBV due to its specific antiviral activity while also supporting macrophage activity.

Echinacea has also been shown to control the body’s pro-inflammatory responses to viruses. This helps lower systemic inflammation in the body and keep the immune system properly coordinated.

My Personal Protocol

Once I have seen that a patient’s CBC shows elevated lymphocytes and monocytes in addition to the presence of EBV on the comprehensive viral panel, I recommend the following protocol:

Super C:  Take 4-6 grams daily by taking 6-8 caps – 3x daily away from meals

  • If you get diarrhea, lower the dosage
  • If you have low iron, take with meals

Immuno Charge:  Take 2 caps – 3x daily (w/Super C)

  • Contains Beta-Glucan & Olive Leaf

GI Regulator Take 2 caps with each meal

  • Contains Berberine along with other immune supportive compounds

Zinc Charge:  1 cap – 2-3x daily

L-Lysine:  1 cap – 2x daily

Probiocharge 30 Billion:  1 cap in morning upon arising and 1 cap at night before bed

  • Proper microbial balance in the gut is absolutely critical for optimal immune system function

Additionally, I would recommend consuming 2 cups of Echinacea w/Elderberry tea daily for a week and then 2 weeks on this Everyday Detox tea and continue to cycle like that – 1 week Echinacea and 2 weeks Everyday Detox.

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Hjalgrim, H., Friborg, J., & Melbye, M. (2007). The epidemiology of EBV and its association with malignant disease. Human Herpesviruses: Biology, Therapy, and Immunoprophylaxis. PMID: 21348109
2. Mikirova, N. A., & Hunninghake, R. (2014). Effect of high dose vitamin C on Epstein-Barr viral infection. Medical Science Monitor, 20, 725–732. PMID: 24793092
3. Ohio State University. “Zinc helps against infection by tapping brakes in immune response.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily (Link)
4. University of Maryland Medical Center: Lysine (Link)
5. Wang, C., Wang, H., Zhang, Y., Guo, W., Long, C., Wang, J. … Sun, X. (2017). Berberine inhibits the proliferation of human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells via an Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1-dependent mechanism. Oncology Reports, 37, 2109-2120. PMID: 28259949
6. Hudson, J. B. (2012). Applications of the phytomedicine Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower) in infectious diseases. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. PMID: 22131823
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10 Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

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10 Benefits of Cod Liver Oil:

Rickets was a common disease in 17th century England that was also rampant throughout the United States in the 1920s. When cod liver oil was used to eradicate the disease by the 1903s, scientists had only known that this marine based oil was an excellent source of vitamins A and D.

Successfully used to treat nutrient deficiencies and disease for over 100 years, the strong therapeutic properties of cod liver oil continue to be revealed today.

Cod liver oil treats a variety of health conditions ranging from asthma, heart disease, arthritic and neurological conditions. This article will outline the top 10 benefits of cod liver oil and how supplementation can improve your quality of life.

codliveroil_10benefits

Why Take Cod Liver Oil?

Cod liver is an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A and D.  The regular practice of consuming cod liver daily in Nordic countries like Iceland and Norway is believed to result in reduced deficiencies in people living in these areas (2).

Cod liver oil is the number one choice of dietary vitamin D supplementation in these countries and is commonly used from the beginning of infancy and throughout life (25).

The combination of these nutrients provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the body from illness and chronic diseases like cancer.  Here are the top 10 benefits of Cod liver oil.

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1. Critical Source of Vitamin D:

Optimal vitamin D levels is key to supporting endless physiological processes within the human body. Vitamin D: (1)

  • Fortifies bone strength and muscle function
  • Aids in calcium absorption across the gut lining
  • Contributes to oral health
  • Protects against cancer
  • Improves body weight management

Lifestyle habits including increased time spent indoors, greater dependence on medications and drug use, and poor dietary habits are all causes for the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in people today. Worldwide, vitamin D deficiency impacts approximately 1 billion people (4).

Cod liver oil is rich in vitamin D and is estimated to reduce the burden of chronic disease by no less than 10% by normalizing vitamin D levels (3). Vitamin D works synergistically with vitamin A which is also naturally occurring in cod liver oil. This combination of vitamins increases the biological effects of each including the ability to promote apoptosis in prostate cancer cells (5).

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2. Supports Bone Health:

Vitamin D is predominantly synthesized beneath the skin when exposed to UVB rays. When seasonal changes and fewer sunlight hours prevents the body from manufacturing adequate vitamin D3 levels, there is an increased risk for vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women.

The vitamin D content in cod liver oil is more concentrated than any single other food source and can help improve bone density. In post-menopausal women, cod liver oil protects against bone mineral loss and reduces the risk of bone fractures. (6, 7, 9)

Nutritional intake of vitamin D is also very important for athletes looking to recover from strength training and intense exercise. Dietary supplementation of cod liver oil to athletes may help maintain bone density especially when exerting themselves during intense physical training (10).

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3. Reduces Cancer Risks:

Sun exposure remains the most important factor known to reduce the risk of breast cancer.  However, a Nurses’ Health Study found that vitamin D supplementation can also significantly reduce breast cancer risks. Evident at all stages of life, cod liver oil intake appears to have a direct correlation with the pro-apoptosis and anti-proliferative activities on breast cancer cells. (11)

A study of Norwegian women showed that daily supplementation of cod liver oil in individuals with tumors and lung cancer patients had the lowest risk of mortality. When taken annually, the benefits from cod liver oil were evident regardless of whether the patients had taken supplementation before diagnosis or as a form of treatment following. (12)

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4. Contains Anti-Inflammatory Omega-3 Essential Fats:

Dietary patterns including high sugar intake, increased trans fat consumption from hydrogenated vegetable oils and the overabundance of processed foods fortified with synthetic nutrients devoid of real nutrition contribute to low omega-3 levels in Western diets today and thus promote the development of disease.

The problem with omega-3 deficiency specifically correlates with the increased amount of omega-6 fatty acids common in the Standard American Diet. A healthy ratio of 2:1 omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats is now approximately 16:1. This imbalance contributes to poor health and is characteristic of individuals with mood disorders like depression, insulin resistance, metabolic and hormonal disturbances. (14)

Among many vital functions, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for regulating metabolism, influencing inflammatory responses in the body, controlling insulin pathways in the brain, supporting cognitive health and reducing the risk of chronic degenerative diseases.

Omega-3 fats mediate anti-inflammatory reactions in the body. The two major omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (dochosahexaenoic acid). These fats reduce circulating antigens in the body that trigger autoimmune reactions and downregulate processes involved in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (14).

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5. Boosts Brain Health:

Studies involving newborns support that DHA is vital for the development of brain and emotional health and is especially important in premature infants (15).  Omega-3 fats inhibit the inflammatory responses that can cause metabolic alterations that are known triggers of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and abnormal hormone signaling in the hypothalamus region of the brain (16).

Increasing fatty acids can boost brain health by controlling insulin sensitivity in the brain to ward off obesity, type-2 diabetes and prevent cognitive decline (18). Research suggests that the two fatty acids found in cod liver oil (EPA and DHA) are likely to provide the greatest benefit at preventing and providing therapeutic treatment to those with bipolar depressive disorders (19).

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6. Heart Disease Prevention:

Analysis of a large group survey of European individuals found that those who supplemented dietary cod liver oil reported fewer symptoms of cardiovascular disease and stroke (8).

Omega-3 fatty acids in cod liver oil improve cholesterol levels, control high blood pressure and also reduces the risk for metabolic syndrome which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Cod liver oil may be just the right intervention for lowering the prevalence of metabolic syndrome which currently affects: (17)

  • 34% of Americans over the age of 20
  • 4% of adolescents

In clinical trials, patients with heart disease who supplemented marine sourced omega-3 fats had a lower risk of mortality and improved vascular function. Protective benefits of the cardiovascular system may underlie with the ability of EPA and DHA to improve glycemic control. (21)

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7. Treats Concerns Associated with Diabetes:

An imbalance of fatty acid levels is deleterious to health creating an environment of increased oxidative stress resulting from omega-3 deficiency in skeletal muscle fibers.  Low levels of omega 3 composition within muscle cells makes them extremely susceptible to stress. This suggests that omega-3s in cod liver oil can improve skeletal muscle membranes and therefore better control insulin response and glucose concentration. (22)

Cod liver oil supplementation may also help treat complications of poor insulin signaling and glucose levels in patients with diabetes. A 12 week study that analyzed metabolic markers in diabetic rats found that cod liver oil exhibited multiple benefits. These include: (23)

  • Protection from degenerating muscle tissue
  • Better tissue fluid regulation and mitochondrial performance
  • Reduced swelling in endothelial cells which consequently also reduced the risk for cardiovascular disease

A nationwide study conducted in Norway also found that the availability of vitamin D in cod liver oil was linked to a lower risk of type-1 diabetes. When mothers supplemented cod liver during pregnancy, the toddlers were significantly less likely to develop diabetes within their first year of life. (25).

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8. Improves Reproductive Health:

Dietary intake of omega-3 fats during the last trimester of pregnancy and the initial months of a newborn’s life is crucial to the development of the central nervous system in fetus and child.

Children born to mothers who supplemented cod liver oil into their diets during pregnancy and continued throughout nursing exhibited higher scores on a standardized test (KABC) that assesses intelligence and achievement in preschoolers (24).

A global trend continuously on the rise is vitamin D deficiency and its association with infertility. Low concentrations of vitamin D have been shown to lower sperm count and quality. Deficiency also poses a higher risk for miscarriage because of disturbances created during the implantation process and loss of embryonic protection during the 1st trimester (26).

9. Supplies Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is an important part of the human diet and is essential for health. Like vitamin D, vitamin A is required for the synthesis of hormones and is a key player in the function of the immune system. It is also fat-soluble, which is why the combination of fatty acids in cod liver oil enhances the delivery of vitamin A to the body.

As earlier noted, without vitamin D, vitamin A could not work effectively in the body and the inverse is also true. Much of the reason for the debate on the possible toxicity of vitamin A likely stems from the fact that the American diet is deficient in vitamin D.

Fortunately, high quality cod liver oil supplements contain an excellent and balanced source of both vitamin A and D. With good reason, Europeans have been supplementing cod liver oil in their diets for centuries. Vitamin A contains antioxidant properties and supports cellular growth and repair, aids in reproductive function in men and women, and is essential for bone health and night vision. (27)

Cod liver oil is now used as a natural therapy to treat glaucoma. Vitamin A preserves vision by inhibiting oxidative trauma to the eyelids as well as the ocular lens which protect the cornea. Eye conditions like night blindness are reversible with increased vitamin A intake from cod liver oil and can slow the progression and severity of glaucoma. (28)

10. Relieves Arthritic Pain and Swelling:

Studies show that marine sourced omega-3 fats like those from cod liver oil reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and also alleviate symptoms in those suffering with the disease.

EPA and DHA both inhibit joint inflammation caused by a species of bacteria known to inflict systemic complications including arthritic flare-ups. A 3:1 ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats in people with rheumatoid arthritis had a significantly beneficial effect on suppressing inflammation. A 5:1 ratio improved other systemic inflammatory reactions (20). (13)

Clinical evidence supports that cod liver oil supplementation can reduce the intake of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medication in these patients. Omega 3 fatty acids naturally suppress inflammation and swelling, reduce the duration of morning stiffness, decrease pain and severity of the disease and also improves joint strength. (14)

Supplementing with Cod Liver Oil:

Understanding which cod liver oil is right for you can be intimidating with so many brands on the market. Many contain an assortment of synthetic ingredients including added dyes, artificial flavors, binders and preservatives which should be avoided.  Be sure to get one from a reputable brand.  My favorite is Nordic Naturals, which has the best reputation in the fish oil industry and 3rd party tests all their batches for purity.

Depending on the manufacturer, cod liver oil will contain varying concentrations of omega-3s and vitamins A and D.   A recommended guideline for supplementing cod liver oil into your diet is as follows:

  • Children ages 3 months – 12 years:  1 tsp regular potency formula. Dosage should provide 5,000 IU vitamin A and 500-1,000 IU vitamin D daily.
  • Children over 12 years & adults: 2 tsp regular potency formula. Dosage should provide 10,000 IU vitamin A and 1,000-2,000 IU vitamin D daily.
  • Pregnant & nursing women: 4 tsp regular potency formula. Dosage should provide 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2,000-4,000 IU vitamin D daily.

Be sure to read the label to understand the potency of cod liver oil you are taking and adjust dosing accordingly.

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Risks and Side Effects:

Taking cod liver oil is likely safe for most people. However, high dose supplementation can increase the risk for bleeding. If you experience nausea and/or loose stool, it may also be possible that your vitamin A and D levels are too high.

Common complaints that may occur include bad breath, belching, heartburn and nosebleeds. Consider taking your supplements with a meal to avoid these side effects and reduce the fishy odor by adding the fish oil to a smoothie, yogurt or consume with lemon water.  Our Nordic Naturals brand of cod liver oil tastes like lemon oil and does not have a fishy flavor or after taste and won’t cause bad breath.

If you are belching or have heart burn after using cod liver oil, it is possible you have low stomach acid or a sluggish gall bladder.  Consider these possibilities and reduce your dosage of cod liver oil and see if the complaints continue.  If so, discontinue use until you discover what the root cause is.

Contraindications:

Cod liver oil can act as a blood thinner, slowing blood clotting and decreasing blood pressure. Pregnant and nursing women should consult with their doctor before beginning a regimen to be sure they are taking a safe and effective dose.  I am personally a huge fan of pregnant or nursing women using cod liver oil, but to be sure, it is always wise to consult with your physician first.

Individuals taking anticoagulant or blood pressure medication should also understand how cod liver oil can interact with such drugs. These individuals may experience hypotension and increased risk of bruising and bleeding.  As a clinician, I have found that 99.9% of my clients do great on this, but there are always a unique few that need to be on the lookout, as with any supplement.

Sources for this Article Include:

1. Spiro A, Buttriss JL. Vitamin D: An overview of vitamin D status and intake in Europe.Nutrition Bulletin / Bnf. 2014; 39(4):322-350. doi:10.1111/nbu.12108. PMCID: 4288313
2. Laerum BN, et al. Relationship of fish and cod oil intake with adult asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2007 Nov; 37(11): 1616-23. PMID: 17877766
3. Feher J, Kovacs I, and Corrado BG. Cod Lliver oil. A natural Vitamin D for preserving health. Orv Hetil. 2011 Feb; 152(9): 323-30. PMID: 21324803
4. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin.Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics. 2012; 3(2):118-126. doi:10.4103/0976-500X.95506. PMCID: 3356951
5. Sha J, et al. Synergistic effect and mechanism of vitamin A and vitamin D on inducing apoptosis of prostate cancer cells. Mol Biol Rep. 2013 Apr; 40(4): 2763-8. PMID: 23436065
6. Macdonald HM, et al. Vitamin D status in postmenopausal women living at higher latitudes in the UK in relation to bone health, overweight, sunlight exposure and dietary vitamin D. Bone. 2008 May; 42(5): 996-1003. PMID: 18329355
7. Barker ME, et al. Serum retinoids and beta-carotene as predictors of hip and other fractures in elderly women. J Bone Miner Res. 2005 Jun; 20(6): 913-20. PMID: 15883630
8. Lentjes MAH, Welch AA, Mulligan AA, Luben RN, Wareham NJ, Khaw K-T. Cod Liver Oil Supplement Consumption and Health: Cross-sectional Results from the EPIC-Norfolk Cohort Study.Nutrients. 2014; 6(10):4320-4337. PMCID: 4210919
9. UNH Daily: Natural Osteoporosis Treatment: Cod Liver Oil Benefits Include Strengthening Bones Link Here
10. Lorincz C, Manske SL, Zernicke R. Bone Health: Part 1, Nutrition.Sports Health. 2009; 1(3):253-260. PMCID: 344524310.
11. Knight JA, et al. Vitamin D and reduced risk of breast cancer: a population-based case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Mar; 16(3): 422-9. PMID: 17372236
12. Skeie G, et al. Cod liver oil, other dietary supplements and survival among cancer patients with solid tumours. Int J Cancer. 2009 Sep; 125(5): 1155-60. PMID: 19444919
13. Van den Broek MF, van den Berg WB, van de Putte LB, Severijnen AJ. Streptococcal cell wall-induced arthritis and flare-up reaction in mice induced by homologous or heterologous cell walls.The American Journal of Pathology. 1988; 133(1):139-149. PMCID: 1880648
14. Simopoulos AP. Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency and High Fructose intake in the Development of Metabolic Syndrome Brain, Metabolic Abnormalities, and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.Nutrients. 2013; 5(8):2901-2923. PMCID: 3775234
15. Simopoulos AP. Omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease and in growth and development. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Sep; 54(3): 438-63. PMID: 1908631
16. Farooqui AA, Farooqui T, Panza F, and Frisardi V. Metabolic syndrome as a risk factor for neurological disorders. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Mar; 69(5): 741-62. PMID: 21997383
17. Yates KF, Sweat V, Yau PL, Turchiano MM, Convit A. Impact of Metabolic Syndrome on Cognition and Brain: A Selected Review of the Literature.Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2012; 32(9):2060-2067. PMCID: 3442257
18. Simopoulos AP. Is insulin resistance influenced by dietary linoleic acid and trans-fatty acids? Free Radic Bio Med. 1994 Oct; 17(4): 367-72. PMID: 8001841
19. Parker G, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and mood disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jun; 163(6): 969-78. PMID: 16741195
20. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Exp Biol Med. 2008 Jun; 233(6): 674-88. PMID: 18408140
21. Woodman RJ, et al. Effects of purified eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids on glycemic control, blood pressure, and serum lipids in type 2 diabetic patients with treated hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov; 76(5): 1007-1015. Link Here
22. Storlien LH, et al. Skeletal muscle membrane lipids and insulin resistance. Lipids. 1996 Mar; 31 Suppl: S261-5. PMID: 8729130
23. Ceylan-Isik A, et al. Cod liver oil supplementation improves cardiovascular and metabolic abnormalities in streptozotocin diabetic rats. J Pharmacol. 2007 Dec; 59(12): 1629-41. PMID: 18053324
24. Helland IB, et al. Maternal supplementation with very-long chain n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children’s IQ at 4 years of age. Pediatrics. 2003 Jan; 111(1): e39-44. PMID: 12509593
25. Stene LC, and Joner G. Use of cod liver oil during the first year of life is associated with lower risk of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes: a large, population-based, case-control study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec; 78(6): 1128-1134. Link Here
26. Dabrowski FA, Grzechocinska B, Wielgos M. The Role of Vitamin D in Reproductive Health—A Trojan Horse or the Golden Fleece?Nutrients. 2015; 7(6):4139-4153. PMCID: 4488777
27. Griffing GT. Mother Was Right About Cod Liver Oil.Medscape Journal of Medicine. 2008; 10(1):8. PMCID: 2258476
28. Huang W-B, Fan Q, Zhang X-L. Cod liver oil: a potential protective supplement for human glaucoma.International Journal of Ophthalmology. 2011; 4(6):648-651. PMCID: 3340802

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5 Phases to Heal UTIs Naturally

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5 Phases to Heal UTIs Naturally

A urinary tract infection is most common in women occurring in only 1 male for every 8 females (23). It affects millions of children and adults annually and is the second leading cause of infection in the body (9).

Some individuals are susceptible to reoccurring infections which not only is frustrating but weakens total health and well-being. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to decrease the likelihood of UTIs and combat an infection naturally with these 5 safe treatment remedies.

Causes of Infection

Any organ which urine passes through is susceptible to infection from pathogenic bacteria. E. coli related infections are commonly to blame accounting for 90% of infections in the bladder, urethra, ureters, and kidneys (9). Escherichia coli reside in the colon and near the anus but can generally take up route following the opening of the urethra where they migrate and populate within the urinary tract.

Bacterial infection causes acute symptoms such as the need to urinate frequently, painful urination, pressure in the pubic area, and fatigue. If left untreated it can lead to more serious complications like kidney infection.

Elevated Risks

Children are at a greater risk of developing UTIs and are more susceptible to kidney trauma because symptoms may go unnoticed (19). In pregnant women, UTIs pose a special concern because they are not only common but they increase the threat of preterm delivery.

Other risk factors include diabetes, birth control, sexual activity, menopause and any problem that causes an obstruction to the urinary tract such as kidney stones or enlarged prostate (16).

Conventional Medicine Concerns

Antibiotics are prescribed for 33% of women to combat a UTI before the age of 24 but these synthetic antimicrobials are not without both short and long-term consequences (23). Urinary tract infections were once easily treated with antibiotics in the 1980s and remain the most excessively used medicines for UTI care today. However, emerging evidence reveals how antibiotics damages our health and is no longer the most effective approach.

Microbial Imbalance: Conventional medicine may have its place in the world but treating every case of urinary tract infections with antibiotics is not a proper solution. Antibiotics disturb the total microbial balance that resides in the human body. Rather than isolating the harmful bacteria causing infection, antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria which are critical components of an optimally functioning immune system.

Secondary Infections: Approximately 25% of individuals treated for a UTI will experience a reoccurrence 6 to 12 months later (15). Bacteria are not the only micro-organisms affected by antibiotics. When the balance of the microbiome is upset, Candida albicans and other fungi are less inhibited to grow and may lead to yeast infection.

Antibiotic Resistance: High rates of antibiotic use is contributing to the increasing numbers of resistant bacterial strains and loss of antibiotic efficacy. Greater than half the number of individuals who receive antibiotics for UTIs in other countries see no benefit as a consequence of antibiotic resistance (7).

The WHO (World Health Organization) released a report siting that the treatment of urinary tract infections with antibiotics is one of the top causes for an increase in antimicrobial resistance worldwide (7).

Concerns with Diuretics: Diuretic medication is often prescribed to increase urination and support the elimination of bacteria from the urinary tract. Unlike natural diuretics, prescription diuretics cause unwanted side effects ranging from nausea and dizziness, decreased blood circulation, electrolyte imbalance, glucose and insulin resistance. Some individuals may suffer more severe and life threatening consequences relating to diuretic use. (1)

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5 Phases to Healing UTIs

Healing UTI’s is not as simple as taking a prescription or a supplement.  There are 5 phases one must apply in order to truly heal the UTI and not just cover up the symptoms.  I explain all of this in detail below.

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1)  Flush Out Bacteria

Natural diuretics are one of nature’s best ways you can maintain the health of your urinary system. Cleanse and disinfect your urinary tract to prevent and treat a UTI in the following ways.

Cranberry: The traditional home remedy to treat UTIs with cranberry juice has withheld its popularity for good reason. Cranberry concentrate reduces the incidence of recurrent UTIs because it prevents pathogenic bacteria like E. coli from adhering to a surface along the urinary tract. The primary flavonoid responsible for this antibacterial effect is proanthocyanidin-A.

Proanthocyanidin-A assists in regulating urine pH, relieves discomfort associated with urination, and boosts the immune response by activating macrophages to improve wound healing and reduce inflammation (3). It also decreases the risk for asymptomatic bacteriuria which can cause the presence of bacteria to go unnoticed due to a lack of symptoms later wreaking havoc on the kidneys. (2)

Drink 1 oz of organic cranberry juice in 8 oz of water with 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar every 2 waking hours until you knock out the infection.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to your glass of water is a simple strategy that you can do to prevent and treat a UTI.

Apple cider vinegar contains the powerful antimicrobial compound acetic acid. Acetic acid is one of the best natural disinfecting compounds that kills resistant bacteria and creates a favorable environment for healthy bacteria to thrive (25). It also strengthens the immune system by boosting your body’s detoxification pathways (24).

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D-Mannose: Researchers suggest that the use of D-mannose along with cranberry and probiotics are of the best treatment options to prevent and treat UTIs (16). In a clinical study consisting of 308 women with a history of recurring UTIs, researchers learned that the supplementation of D-mannose significantly prevented the reoccurrence of an infection (26).

Compared to those administered antibiotics, D-mannose patients also reported much fewer, and milder side effects if any. D-mannose works by adhering to E. coli so that the bacteria cannot cling to the bladder wall in a force similar to static cling (27). The harmful bacteria is then readily able to be excreted with urine.

We recommend Jazzee D-Mannose – take 2 caps (1 gram) every 2-3 hours until you knock out the infection.

Optimal Hydration: Super hydrate your body with purified water to strengthen the health of your immune system and fight infection. Remaining well hydrated naturally supports the removal of bacteria from the urinary tract and enhances detoxification pathways in the body to aid in healing.

Although you may already feel the urge to urinate frequently from having a UTI, drinking fluids often will provide the pressure required for a forceful stream of urine to flush bacteria away.

Other Diuretics: If the taste of apple cider vinegar and cranberry juice isn’t to your liking, there are plenty of other natural ways you can flush bacteria out of your system. Choose a few strategies from the options below: (4, 16, 17)

  • Juice parsley to increase urine flow.
  • Prepare an herbal tea with dandelion leaf, burdock root and nettle leaf to reduce inflammation and cleanse the urinary system.
  • Snack on raw celery for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and total antioxidant effects on the urinary tract.
  • Add celery seed to pickled veggies, dips, dressings and more to increase urine output.
  • Supplement with juniper berry concentrate to prevent the proliferation of bacteria and eliminate microbes in urine.

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2)  Strengthen Immunity

Zinc: Zinc is one of the top immune boosting micronutrients that many individuals are deficient in. It can become further depleted with use of medication and anti-inflammatory drugs. Without zinc, more than 200 enzymes that rely on this mineral cannot function causing immune dysfunction and metabolic disturbances (19).

Zinc is vital to immune support helping protect us from infection in numerous ways. Zinc boosts the surveillance of the immune system inhibiting bacterial infections by: (13)

  • Increasing activity of antioxidant compounds like superoxide dismutase (SOD),
  • Providing protection against oxidative damage; and
  • Suppressing inflammation and pain.

In children diagnosed with a UTI, zinc supplementation was significantly shown to reduce frequency of urination and pain in clinical testing. Treatment of UTI with zinc was further shown to enhance the recovery process of damaged tissue and prevent kidney problems. (19)  I recommend 10mg every 2 hours until you knock it out.  I usually have my clients get it in the GI Regulator that we discuss in the anti-microbial section.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is the nutrient that probably first comes to mind when you think about improving your immune system. Vitamin C fights infection by upregulating biological agents that seek to destroy pathogenic invaders, increases the absorption of bioflavonoids in our diet, and equips the body to handle tissue trauma and stress. (11, 12)

Add more vitamin C to your diet by eating red or yellow bell peppers, citrus fruits, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, spinach, leeks, chives and tomatoes.  I also recommend supplementing with 2 grams of vitamin C every hour until you knock out the UTI.  The best supplement for this is Super C.

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3)  Anti-Microbials

Antimicrobials offer an affordable and safe alternative remedy to treat UTIs without the risk of increasing resistance to antibiotics. Use the following antibiotics that nature has already provided to find relief from symptoms and reduce the possibility of secondary infections.

Garlic: Garlic has long been known to contain antibacterial properties as attributed to its ability to suppress inflammation and provide immune support. It is an excellent source of the powerhouse antioxidant glutathione and is high in the sulfur compound allicin which enhances detoxification (14).

Treatment with garlic extract is associated with inhibiting the reoccurrence of a UTI within the general 6 to 12 month timeframe that they occur. Its use is also reported to decrease the urge and frequency to urinate as well as pain associated with the pubic region. (15)

Echinacea: Native Americans have used Echinacea as a natural antibiotic for over 400 years. Echinacea stimulates the immune system to overcome infection. Today the German government regulates the use of Echinacea as an approved treatment for urinary tract infections (18). It contains several plant compounds and can be taken in pill form or as an herbal extract in a tincture or tea.

Goldenseal (Berberine): Berberine is the responsible compound found in the plant bark of goldenseal acclaimed to effectively destroy E. coli. Supplementation of berberine is shown to stop diarrhea which contributes to the spread of bacteria, directly inhibits the growth of E. coli and Pseudomonas (P.) aeruginosa and act as an anti-adhesive agent along the urinary tract (16).

Its medicinal use as an antibacterial agent against resistant strains of E. coli coupled with its strong anti-fungal properties makes berberine an effective natural antibiotic.

Grapefruit Seed Extract: Grapefruit seed extract has been found to contain antibacterial properties that resemble synthetic antibacterial drugs. Its effects against a broad range of both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms are so potent that it decreased the growth of pathogenic organisms in urine like Staphylococcus aureus, P. aeruginosa, and Klebsiella species. The extract is shown to destroy pathogenic bacteria within 15 minutes of contact with a diluted solution. (5, 6)

We use GI Regulator, which has therapeutic dosages of berberine, zinc and grapefruit seed extract within it.  We recommend 2 caps – every 2 waking hours until the infection is eradicated.

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4)  Essential Oils

The use of essential oils in natural medicine to treat bacterial infections dates back to historical records from the Chinese, Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. The Chinese historically used myrrh oil for a wealth of benefits including its ability to help reduce pain. Myrrh oil has since been shown to suppress inflammation and prevent infection using a variety of mechanisms to enhance the immune system (22).

A combination of oils from clove and cinnamon were shown to have a synergistic effect on inhibiting the growth of E. coli in study (8). Clove oil contains anti-inflammatory properties which support pain relief while cinnamon oil possesses anti-septic properties inhibiting bacteria overgrowth (20, 21)

Oil extracted from herbs like sage have been shown to produce significant inhibitory effects on the growth of UTI causing bacteria. In one study, sage oil had a 79% inhibition rate on the growth of bacteria. It killed E. coli with 96% effectiveness and destroyed 100% of the more severe bacterial strains of Klebsiella species and Enterobacter aerogenes. (10)

Oregano oil is so combative against inhibiting bacteria proliferation that you will want to avoid taking your daily probiotic at the same time. Oregano oil contains antibacterial properties which inhibits the growth of several bacteria strains including E. coli and P. aeruginosa (28). This plant extract also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties and upregulates cytokines activity to fight infection (29).

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5)  Lifestyle Changes

Good Hygiene: Parents teach their girls during potty training that wiping from front to back is critical for female hygiene. The practice of good hygiene on lower body areas doesn’t end here.

Maintaining cleanliness in your lower body parts doesn’t mean scrubbing your genitals with soaps and spraying deodorants. In fact, feminine hygiene deodorants should be avoided entirely. Certain hygiene steps you should include into your daily regimen are:

  • Gently clean your genitals before and after sexual intercourse avoiding alcoholic wipes and fragrances
  • Avoid holding the urge to pee following intercourse as urination will help remove bacteria
  • Wear cotton underwear that is fitted (not tight) to avoid friction, heat and moisture that can lead to UTIs

Healthy Sexual Life: Sustaining from frequent sexual activity when suffering from a UTI is key in the recovery of injured tissue lining the urinary tract. Frequent sexual intercourse contributes to a higher risk for introducing bacteria from the anus into the bladder and also causes drying and irritation of vaginal tissue.

Just as you shouldn’t avoid the urge to pee following sex, you should also empty your bladder before intercourse. If dryness is an issue during intercourse, vaginal lubrication using gels and creams can help with irritation and prevent increased inflammation.

Having a healthy sex life may also mean talking to your doctor to understand if the contraceptive pills you may be taking are weakening your immune system making you more susceptible to recurring UTIs.

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Plant based foods are rich in antioxidants and should be added to every meal. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables boosts the immune system so that it is equipped to handle the intrusion of pathogenic bacteria and prevent infection.

Limit carbohydrates and sugar intake. These foods blocks zinc absorption and contribute to weakened immunity, added inflammation and the increased likelihood of bacteria overgrowth.

Adding probiotic rich foods to your diet is also key to maintaining the health of the urinary tract. Drink beverages concentrated with beneficial bacteria like Kombucha and kefir. Eat probiotic and prebiotic foods like pickled vegetables, grass-fed yogurt, raw asparagus and leeks.

Making sure you are taking a high quality probiotic can also give your immune system the backup support it needs when fighting off any infection. Once your UTI is treated, continuing to take probiotics regularly can decrease the likelihood of its reoccurrence.foodpyramid_11_3_16-1024x463

Sources for this Article Include:

1. Prichard BN, Owens CW, and Woolf AS. Adverse reactions to diuretics. Eur Heart J. 1992 Dec; 13 Suppl G: 96-103. PMID: 1486914
2. Singh I, Gautam LK, and Kaur IR. Effect of oral cranberry extract (standardized proanthocyanidin-A) in patients with recurrent UTI by pathogenic E. coli: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical research study. Int Urol Nephrol. 2016 Sep; 48(9): 1379-86. PMID: 27314247
3. Liu YZ, et al. Immunomodulatory effects of proanthocyanidin A-1 derived in vitro from Rhododendron spiciferum. 2010 Mar; 81(2): 108-114. Link Here
4. Kreydiyyeh SI, and Usta J. Diuretic effect and mechanism of action of parsley. J Enthnopharmacol. 2002 Mar; 79(3): 353-7. PMID: 11849841
5. Oyelami OA, et al. The effectiveness of grapefruit (Citrus paradise) seeds in treating urinary tract infections. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Apr; 11(2): 369-71. PMID: 15865506
6. GreenMedinfo: Grapefruit Seeds Treat Antibiotic-Resistant UTIs Link Here
7. World Health Organization: WHO’s first global report on antibiotic resistance reveals serious, worldwide threat to public health. Link Here
8. Allavi, S. H., Puri, V. M., Knabel, S. J., Mohtar, R. H., & Whiting, R. C. (2001). Development and validation of a dynamic growth model for Listeria monocytogenesin fluid whole milk. Journal of Food Protection, 62(2), 170–176. Link Here
9. Jain R, Kosta S, Tiwari A. Ayurveda and Urinary Tract Infections.Journal of Young Pharmacists : JYP. 2010; 2(3):337. PMCID: 2964762
10. Pereira RS, et al. Antibacteria activity of essential oils on microorganisms isolated from urinary tract infection. Rev. Saude Publica. 2004 Apr. 38 (2). Link Here
11. Varma SD, Bauer SA, Richards RD. Hexose monophosphate shunt in rat lens: stimulation by vitamin C. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1987 Jul; 28(7):1164-9. PMID: 3110091
12. Winkler BS, Orselli SM, Rex TS. The redox couple between glutathione and ascorbic acid: a chemical and physiological perspective. Free Radic Biol Med. 1994 Oct; 17(4):333-49. PMID:8001837
13. Prasad AS, Beck FW, Snell DC, Kucuk O. Zinc in cancer prevention. Nutr Cancer. 2009; 61(6):879-87. PMID:20155630
14. Wang H, Luo K, Tan L-Z, et al. p53-induced Gene 3 Mediates Cell Death Induced by Glutathione Peroxidase 3.The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2012; 287(20):16890-16902. PMCID: 3351337
15. Mansour A, Hariri E, Shelh S, Irani R, Mroueh M. Efficient and Cost-Effective Alternative Treatment for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Interstitial Cystitis in Women: A Two-Case Report.Case Reports in Medicine. 2014; 2014:698758. PMCID: 4283390
16. Head KA. Natural approaches to prevention and treatment of infections of the lower urinary tract. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Sep; 13(3): 227-44. PMID: 18950249
17. Kooti W, et al. A review on medicinal plant of Apium graveolens. Adv Herb Med. 2015. 8(1): 48-59. Link Here
18. University of Maryland Medical Center: Echinacea Link Here
19. Yousefichaijan P, et al. Zinc Supplementation in Treatment of Children With Urinary Tract Infection. IJKD 2016. 10: 213-16. Link Here
20. Singh A, and Purohit B. Tooth brushing, oil pulling and tissue regeneration: A review of holistic approaches to oral health. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2011 Apr; 2(2):64-68. PMCID: 3131773
21. Chaieb K, et al. The chemical composition and biological activity of clove essential oil, Eugenia caryophyllata (Syzigium aromaticum L. Myrtaceae): a short review. Phytother Res. 2007 Jun; 21(6): 501-6. PMID: 17380552
22. Elbakry KA, Abdelaziz MM. Myrrh and artesunate modulate some Th1 and Th2 cytokines secretion inSchistosoma mansoniinfected mice. Central-European Journal of Immunology. 2016; 41(2):138-142. PMCID: 4967647
23. Al-Badr A, Al-Shaikh G. Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Management in Women: A review.Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 2013;13(3):359-367. PMCID: 3749018
24. Johnston CS, Gaas CA. Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect. Medscape General Medicine.2006 May; 8(2):61. PMCID: 1785201
25. Cortesia C, et al. Acetic Acid, the Active Component of Vinegar, Is an Effective Tuberculocidal Disinfectant. 2014 Feb; 5(2): e00013-14 DOI: 1128/mBio.00013-14
26. Kranjcec B, Papes D, and Altarac S. World J Unrol. 2014 Feb; 32(1): 79-84. PMID: 23633128
27. Feenstra T, et al. Adhesion of Escherichia coli under flow conditions reveals potential novel effects of FimH mutations. Eur J Clin Microbiol. Infect Dis. 2016 Nov. PMID: 27816993
28. Sienkiewicz M, Wasiela M, and Glowacka A. The antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum L.) against clinical strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Med Dosw Mikrobiol. 2012; 64(4): 297-307. PMID: 23484421
29. Bukovská A, Čikoš Š, Juhás Š, Il’ková G, Rehák P, Koppel J. Effects of a Combination of Thyme and Oregano Essential Oils on TNBS-Induced Colitis in Mice.Mediators of Inflammation. 2007; 2007:23296. PMCID: 2233768

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7 Ways to Beat a Chronic Cough

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7 Ways to Beat a Chronic Cough

A chronic cough can significantly impair your quality of life and affects an estimated 10% of the adult population (20). It may be the cause of pollutants circulating in the dry air around you but chronic coughing may also be a sign something more serious is impeding on your health.

What is causing your swollen airways making your breathing so obstructive that you can’t concentrate during the day or fall asleep at night? Associated with several health disturbances, chronic coughing can be a challenging symptom to treat without an understanding of how your overall health affects breathing.

Learn why your cough may be lingering by identifying additional symptoms you may have. The 7 ways that follow will help you find relief from your chronic cough faster and give your body the time and tools it needs to recover naturally.

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Identify the Cause

One seemingly simple problem that affects more of us than not is stress. Stress depletes the body of its vital resources needed to fight off what may just be a cold. If you are feeling overwhelmed and you may be pushing your body beyond its limitations, receiving adequate rest and relaxation may be just what the doctor orders.

Inadequate hydration can also be the source of your cough. Are you swapping out your caffeinated beverages during the morning and afternoon for an alcoholic drink in the evening? Both of these fluids increase dehydration which contributes to thickening phlegm, reduced moisture in your airways and a chronic cough.

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Underlying Health Ailments

Maintaining awareness of other symptoms that may affect the respiratory tract is key to identifying the cause of your chronic cough. Ask yourself if you have any other symptoms such as:

  • Heartburn or acid reflux: Often accompanied with a chronic cough may be symptomatic of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease);
  • Burping: Digestive disturbance; or
  • Loud snoring, repetitive awakenings or gasping at night: May be associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

Weakened Immunity

A common reason may be either the cold or flu and in general an overwhelmed immune system. The average adult is stricken with a cold about 3 times a year while kids are more susceptible to viruses and can battle a cold 10 times annually (1).

Unlike a cold which affects the nose and throat, the flu virus can make you more ill because it also affects the lungs (2). If your cough worsens and is accompanied with fever and chills, there is no time hesitate building up your immunity.

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B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is not only common but it may be a serious problem that is contributing to your chronic cough and weakening your overall health. Individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency have been shown susceptible to having constricted airflow, inflammation of the larynx, and nerve damage that can contribute to coughing (18).

One early sign of B12 deficiency is elevated homocysteine levels associated with a high concentration of histamine in the body. Exceeding this threshold of histamine in the respiratory tract results in a chronic cough unexplainable by the individual. It is a consequence of sensory neuropathy and can become toxic condition. Vitamin B12 deficiency induces this increased stimulation of nerve impulses. (18, 19)

If you believe vitamin B-12 deficiency may be contributing to your cough and you are experiencing other related symptoms, speak with your physician before the deficiency increases and inflammatory diseases develop.

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Foods to Avoid:

When recovering from a cough that is wearing you down, it is best to avoid certain foods that trigger inflammation and can cause further obstruction to your respiratory system. It may seem counterintuitive to avoid some of these foods.

We have assumed throughout our childhood that many marketed cough suppressants and immune boosters are good for fighting a cough and cold. In fact many of these “treatments” like lozenges contain key ingredients we should be avoiding or they simply do not contain enough of the nutrients our body demands.

Here is a list of 5 foods you should eliminate:

  1. Conventional Dairy: Conventional dairy is pasteurized, can thicken mucus and increase inflammation.
  2. Chocolate: Can stimulate the production of mucus.
  3. Processed Foods: Additives in processed foods begin a cascade of inflammatory responses that weakens the immune system taking away from the body’s ability to heal pre-existing concerns. Many processed foods also contain GMOs that contribute to the same harmful inflammatory response and may also increase mucus production.
  4. Sugar: Sugar drains the body of its natural defenses to aid against inflammation and infection. One way it does this is by depleting the white blood cells that attack pathogens weakening your natural immune response.
  5. Fruit Juice: Not only do fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar, but they also do not contain enough vitamin C that your body needs for recovery. Instead of sipping on orange juice, consider eating vitamin C rich whole fruits and vegetables including bell peppers, kale, papaya, strawberries, kiwi and Brussel sprouts. Eating the fibrous pulp of fruits will prevent your insulin levels from spiking which again contributes to weakened immunity.

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7 Natural Cough Remedies:

1)  Bone Broth

Bone broth is an easy and effective remedy you can incorporate into your daily routine to find symptom relief. Bone broth soothes sore and tired muscles, hydrates the respiratory tract and contains powerful immune system healing nutrients.

Broths from either grass-fed beef bones or pastured chickens release amino acids glycine and proline. These nutrients help repair tissue damage and fight infection. The magnesium and potassium bone broths contain can also ease pain in the chest resulting from a constant cough. (23, 24)

Some of the best vegetables you can add to bone broths include dark leafy greens, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, cruciferous vegetables, bell peppers and onions. These veggies are rich in vitamin C, chlorophyll, sulfur, zinc and other nutrients that encourage a strong immune system. Use bone broth to prepare soups, stews and add a variety of herbs for healing.

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2)  Eat Light & Hydrate Well

Receiving much needed rest and relaxation that comes with boosting your immune system and fighting off a chronic cough is not the optimal time to be snacking on the couch. Your body uses energy for digestion that is much better redirected to healing when ill.

Consuming easy to digest foods that promote immunity is best for recovery. Eat foods rich in probiotics such as grass-fed dairy like kefir and yogurt. Supplement your hunger with light and nutritious foods like citrus fruits and almonds.

Drinking adequate amounts of water should go without saying but is often something many of us need a reminder to do. Drinking purified water frequently hydrates the respiratory system that can have accumulating substances like mucus making breathing difficult. Water loosens phlegm making it less of an irritant to your airways.

Stimulates Detoxification: Hydration to the body is also essential to boosting detoxification processes responsible for flushing toxins and biological pathogens from tissue. Infusing lemon juice and adding apple cider vinegar to your water is an excellent way to rebuild the supply of antioxidants your damaged lungs and throat need to repair swollen tissue (3).

When you consider that the majority of your body is made up of water, you should strive to drink at least 2 glasses of water within 30 minutes of waking up and actively drink water throughout the day.

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3)  Immune Strengthening Herbs

Herbs seem to aid in treating almost any ailment when it comes to immune health. Some of the best are garlic, ginger, and oregano. These herbs are anti-inflammatory, stimulate a healthy immune response because of their potent antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.

Garlic: Contains a sulfur containing compound called allicin that enhances the antioxidant defense system aiding in effective detoxification (4).

Ginger: By increasing the antioxidant powerhouse glutathione, ginger is loaded with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. More than 400 unique compounds are concentrated in ginger which encourage healing. Some of the most abundant are vitamins A, polyphenols gingerol and shogaeol, amino acids and phytosterols (6).

Oregano: The oils found in oregano destroy E. coli and bacteria that cause pneumonia. Oregano has even been shown to be an alternative remedy in the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (5)

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4)  Herbal Teas

Herbal teas may be some of the best ancient remedies used to relieve a cough and cold. A variety of hot herbal teas provide soothing relief from coughing and provide immune protection.

Herbal teas have been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to reduce inflammation and improve immune health (7). They provide a potent source of vitamins and antioxidants from the herb, peel or citrus extract.

Today, herbs remain an important part of medicine despite medical advancements. Their strong anti-inflammatory properties they contribute to health and healing are unparalleled with synthetic drugs. Common herbal teas used to treat symptoms of cough include purple Echinacea, lemon, ginger, and chamomile. (8, 9)

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5)  Chiropractic Care

Spinal manipulation can help remove interferences and spinal imbalances that can weaken the immune system. Chiropractic care can be beneficial at applying pressure below the collarbone to remove obstructions that may be contributing to difficulty breathing and chest congestion and consequently your chronic cough (10).

Receiving regular chiropractic care improves your health by keeping your immune system running optimally. Studies reveal that patients who receive chiropractic care have an increase in circulating leukocytes to combat infectious agents and protect against inflammation (11).

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6)  Diffuse Essential Oils

Whether your cough is triggered by a weakened immune response exacerbated by stress or caused by infection, aromatherapy can provide you tremendous relief. The volatile compounds diffused into the air from essential oils destroys infectious agents like viruses and other pathogens.

Clinical evidence abundantly supports that essential oils have countless health benefits on the mind and body. Some of these benefits include: (15, 16, 17)

  • Decreases cortisol levels for stress relief
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Relieves muscle aches
  • Energizing
  • Boost mood

Eucalyptus oil is commonly used as a decongestant while peppermint oil can provide relaxing relief to sore and tight muscles in and around the chest. A mixture of eucalyptus and peppermint oil can help you find cough relief at night so that you can sleep.

Add a few drops of each oil to a diffuser or mix with vitamin E or grapeseed oil to prepare a homemade chest rub. You can also add these oils to a bath before bedtime to help break up mucus congestion in your chest and open up your breathing passageway.

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7)  Immune Support

Consider taking a whole foods based supplement while your symptoms persist. Combining vitamin and mineral supplementation with the 6 previous strategies to beat a chronic cough will have your symptoms disappearing in no time.

Vitamin C: Take 2,000 mg vitamin C containing bioflavonoids 3 to 4 times daily for a synergistic health response. Vitamin C helps repair damaged tissue in the respiratory tract. Researchers have provided support that this immune boosting antioxidant destroys pathogens, regulates the synthesis of white blood cells and reduces the need for the body to waste its glutathione stores on reusing old vitamin C. (12, 13)  I personally use our Super C, which has a 1:1 combination of vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids.

Zinc: Increase the activity of your antioxidant defense systems glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase) by supplementing with 20 mg of zinc every 3 hours while awake or about 3 to 4 times daily. Many individuals are deficient in this vital mineral due to unhealthy lifestyle influences. Zinc suppresses viral activity, inhibits oxidative stress and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. (14)  We use Zinc Charge, which is a zinc glycinate form for ideal absorption.

Vitamin B12: The most effective way to supplement vitamin B12 is to take 5,000 mcg of a sublingual spray. Look for a liquid methylcobalamin which is most available for use in the body upon absorption (21). B12 will help improve nerve function, support tissue repair, lower homocysteine levels and reduce inflammation (22).  We recommend B12 Power

b12header_grandeSources for this Article Include:

1. CDC: Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others Link Here
2. CDC: Guidance for School Administrators to Help Reduce the Spread of Seasonal Influenza in K-12 Schools Link Here
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4. Bayan L, Koulivand PH, Gorji A. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects.Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. 2014; 4(1):1-14. PMCID: 4103721
5. Sienkiewicz M, Wasiela M, and Glowacka A. The antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum L.) against clinical strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Med Dosw Mikrobiol. 2012; 64(4): 297-307. PMID: 23484421
6. Prasad S, Tyagi AK. Ginger and Its Constituents: Role in Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancer.Gastroenterology Research and Practice. 2015; 2015:142979. PMCID: 4369959
7. Zhou Y, Li Y, Zhou T, Zheng J, Li S, Li H-B. Dietary Natural Products for Prevention and Treatment of Liver Cancer.Nutrients. 2016; 8(3):156. PMCID: 4808884
8. Panickar KS. Beneficial effects of herbs, spices and medicinal plants on the metabolic symdrome, brain and cognitive function. Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem. 2013 Mar; 13(1): 13-29. PMID: 23092406
9. Raal A, Volmer D, Sõukand R, Hratkevitš S, Kalle R. Complementary Treatment of the Common Cold and Flu with Medicinal Plants – Results from Two Samples of Pharmacy Customers in Estonia. Thomas PG, ed.PLoS ONE. 2013; 8(3):e58642. PMCID: 3590151
10. Acupressure Points: Immune System Boosting Link Here
11. Brennan PC, et al. Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation: potential role of substance P. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1991 Sep; 14 (7): 399-408. PMID: 1719112
12. Varma SD, Bauer SA, Richards RD. Hexose monophosphate shunt in rat lens: stimulation by vitamin C. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1987 Jul;28(7):1164-9. PMID: 3110091
13. Winkler BS, Orselli SM, Rex TS. The redox couple between glutathione and ascorbic acid: a chemical and physiological perspective. Free Radic Biol Med. 1994 Oct; 17(4):333-49. PMID:8001837
14. Prasad AS, Beck FW, Snell DC, Kucuk O. Zinc in cancer prevention. Nutr Cancer. 2009; 61(6):879-87. PMID:20155630
15. Kuriyama H, Watanabe S, Nakaya T, et al. Immunological and Psychological Benefits of Aromatherapy Massage.Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2005; 2(2):179-184. PMCID: 1142199
16. Li Q, et al. Phytoncides (wood essential oils) induce human natural killer cell activity. Immuno Immunotox. 2006; 28 (2): 319-33. PMID: 16873099
17. PubMed Health: Aromatherapy and Essential Oils (PDQ) Link Here
18. Bucca CB, et al. Unexplained chronic cough and vitamin B-12 deficiency. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar; 93(3): 542-8. PMID: 21248188
19. Oh R and Brown DL. Vitamin B12 deficiency. Am Fam Physician. 2003 Mar; 67 (5): 979-86. PMID: 12643357
20. Song W-J, Chang Y-S. Cough hypersensitivity as a neuro-immune interaction.Clinical and Translational Allergy. 2015; 5:24. PMID: 4503292
21. Global Healing Center: What is Methylcobalamin? Link Here
22. O’Leary F, and Samman S. Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2010 Mar; 2(3): 299-316. PMCID: 3257642
23. Deal CL, Moskowitz RW. Nutraceuticals as therapeutic agents in osteoarthritis. The role of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and collagen hydrolysate. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 1999 May; 25(2):379-95. PMID: 10356424
24. Barbul A. Proline precursors to sustain Mammalian collagen synthesis. J Nutr. 2008 Oct; 138(10):2021S-2024S. PMID: 18806118

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