Posts Tagged ‘immune system’

Can This Toothpaste Cure Allergies?

As you may have noticed, spring allergy season still isn’t over. In fact, June is the peak time for grass pollen in many areas of the country, so your sneezing, itchy eyes, and fatigue may actually be getting worse.

Until now, your only hopes for coping with allergy symptoms have been drugs like antihistamines or preventive “cures” like allergy shots. The former can help ease symptoms, but they often carry not-so-great side effects like dry mouth—and recent research has even shown that if you take them enough, they may hurt your brain. As for the latter, even if you don’t mind needles, shots are a three-plus year commitment, which ultimately is too much for many people.

But there may be an easier fix: a toothpaste.
Granted, we’re not talking about your regular tube of Crest. Called Allerdent, this is a toothpaste that actually contains your allergen—if you’re allergic to a specific type of tree pollen, for example, it’ll be mixed into the paste (either by a compounding pharmacy or your own general practitioner).

It sounds outrageous, but this works in a similar way to allergy shots (and another FDA-approved treatment called sublingual immunotherapy): As you brush, small doses of the allergen get absorbed through the mucus membranes under your tongue and travel to the local lymph nodes, which contain immune system cells. This helps build up your tolerance to the substance, so you (ideally) eventually stop reacting to it at all, explains Bob Pomrenke, the vice president of allergy at QmedRx Compound Pharmacy, which helped create Allerdent.

With shots, though, you have to visit your doctor as often as twice a month for three to five years, which is inconvenient (and, for people who are scared of needles, downright stressful). Even for sublingual immunotherapy, “there’s a high dropout rate, and we wanted to find a way to increase compliance,” explains Pomrenke. Everyone brushes their teeth daily, so building into that established routine made sense. Plus, you’re meant to hold the allergen in your mouth for at least two minutes in order for it to work effectively—the same amount of time you’re supposed to spend brushing your teeth (though few people do). So you might improve your gum health as you build up your tolerance to allergies.

If you’re interested, ask your primary physician or ENT about the treatment. They can send a prescription to Allovate, or learn how to mix it themselves in their own office.

~Courtesy of Shape Magazine

Yoga For The Winter Blues

As the weather shifts to chillier temps, many of us are finding ourselves with the sniffles or sore throats. Beat the symptoms of a common cold all year long with these yoga asanas, which help to balance the sympathetic (activity, or “fight or flight” response) and parasympathetic (rest and relaxation) systems. Anything that affects this balance, whether coming from the inside (like hunger, the need for oxygen, fear) or the outside (like temperature change, movement, watching a movie), requires a change from one state of balance, such as hunger, to another, such as digestion.

Because our immune systems consist of white blood cells that circulate in the blood and organs of the thymus located in the chest (above the heart and the spleen in right upper abdomen) you can help stop the common cold by a shoulder stand to draw blood to your head and throat, which brings more white blood cells to the areas where they are needed and helps relieve sinus congestion.

Shoulder Stand  (Sarvangasana)

Benefits: Brings blood to the head and throat, thereby relieving sinus congestion and stress, and strengthens the immune functions of the hormonal system.

How-to:

1.  Lie on your mat, press shoulders down and draw the shoulder blades toward the waist. 2.  Turn the upper arms out and extend them toward the legs, bring elbows close to trunk. 3.  Move the back ribs in and bend the legs with feet close to the buttocks. 4.  With palms up press elbows into the floor, exhale and lift the trunk, bending legs over the abdomen. 5.  Support the back with the hands and raise the trunk and legs higher, bringing the chest toward the chin; take the hands lower down and press the back ribs forward. Straighten the legs up until they are vertical and with the help of the hands raise the shoulder blades and extend the trunk up, lift the hips and stretch the legs.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Benefits: Opens up the throat and lungs, increasing circulation while helping to break up congestion. Stimulates the thyroid gland in the base of the throat, helping to regulate metabolism. Stimulates the pineal gland in the center of the brain, releasing melatonin brings a relaxed response to the nervous system.  Increases blood flow to the thymus and the spleen helping white blood cells target infection.

How-to:

1.  Lie flat on the floor with your palms pressed against sides of your thighs. 2.  Shift your bodyweight to your elbows and raise your head and trunk. 3.  Arch your chest and lower the crown of your head to the floor, creating a “bridge” between your buttocks and head; expand your chest as much as possible. 4.  To come out of the pose, place your body weight on your elbows again and raise your head gently.

Yoga Nidra (Deep Relaxation)

Benefits: Relieves strain and tightness of the lower back.  This asana massages the abdominal organs and digestive tract, increasing circulation and pushing the contents of the bowel along, helping to relieve constipation. A powerful ancient meditation technique, it is also a scientific way to eliminate the root cause of all the negativities. This asana also allows heart to rest deeply and reduces stress, helping to strengthen the immune system. It is also helpful in balancing the hormonal system while stimulating the pineal, thymus and thyroid glands, which increases circulation into all major organs.

How-to:

1.  Lie on your back in a comfortable supine position with your arms and legs extended, about a foot-and-a-half apart, and your arms a few inches away from your body with your palms up. 2.  Close your eyes, breathing through your nose and begin relaxing. 3.  Bring your awareness to your right leg and foot. Tense the leg. Lift it off the floor a few inches. Tense a little tighter and let it drop. Roll it from side to side and just forget about it. Repeat with the left leg. 4.  Now, inhale and tense your pelvis and buttocks; squeeze the tension out. Most of us hold a lot of stress in this area, which can lead to disorders in the reproductive system as well as in the pelvis and hips. 5.  Inhale and fill your stomach with air. Hold it for a few moments, then release through your mouth – just let it gush out.

~ Spa Wellness

Are You Running Into Wrinkles?

We’re (obviously) huge fans of exercise and the myriad benefits that accompany it, such as weight loss, better health and an improved immune system, and stronger bones. However, we’re not such huge fans of the loose, saggy skin that some people claim can result from different forms of long-term exercise, such as running. Since we’re not ready to hang up our running shoes quite yet, we want to look more into this phenomenon of the saggy “runner’s face” and find out if there’s anything that can be done to prevent it.

Many factors affect your skin’s  elasticity, including genetics and lifestyle habits, so it’s not just runners who suffer from sagging skin, but some medical experts say that it’s common in long-time runners, especially those who spend a lot of time outdoors.

Any high-impact exercise, like running, causes a jolt to the skin, which can tear up the collagen in the skin. It doesn’t happen over night, but it is one of the downsides to running.

Although it takes a long time for your skin to break down, there’s not a lot you can do to repair it once your facial muscles start to sag. Mini-face lifts and fat transfers can help to improve your skin texture a bit,  but there’s nothing that can restore the original elasticity.

Take heart, runners! While nothing can reverse the process once it starts, there are things you can do to prevent your facial skin muscles from sagging in the first place. If you’re trying to lose weight, maintain a slow, steady weight loss of about 1 to 2 lbs per week; this will give your skin time to adjust to the fat loss and minimize the amount of sagging you see. Remember to wear a broad spectrum suncreen when you’re outside. A healthy diet will also help—fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with carotenoids (think lycopene in tomatoes, alpha-carotene in carrots, and beta-carotene in spinach), that promote cell turnover and strengthen your skin cells.

Bottom line? If you love running, don’t give it up. As long as you lead a healthy and active lifestyle, the benefits to running outweigh the potential side effect of sagging skin. ~ Shape Magazine

OMG! Catching a Cold by Having a Cold?

While mom may have warned that you would catch a cold from going outside in chilly weather with a wet head or without a jacket, experts say it’s a myth. “Bad weather does not cause colds,” says Carl Olden, MD, a family practitioner in Yakima, Wash., who explains that Alaskans and Canadians living year-round above the Arctic Circle have no more winter colds than folks who live in Australia. “These are old wives’ tales from an era when we had no ability to treat fever or other complications of infection. Folks created myths to explain what happens to protect their children from getting sick.”

Cold Weather Myths
Cold weather’s association with colds probably evolved from confusion, similar to beliefs about the origin of malaria. “Bad air around swamps was once believed to cause malaria,” says Anatoly Belilovsky, MD, a pediatrician in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Mosquitoes, also plentiful in swampy areas, actually carried the disease. Cold air and respiratory disease are connected, but the connection is more complicated than just ‘cold causes colds.'”

On the contrary, cold weather appears to stimulate the immune system, according to a study by the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, says Dr. Belilovsky. “Researchers examined the immunological responses to cold exposure and found that acute cold exposure, such as going outside without a jacket, actually appears to activate the immune system.” This occurs in part by increasing the levels of circulating norepinephrine, one of the body’s hormones, which works as a natural decongestant.

Weather as an Indirect Cause of the Cold
While simply stepping outside in cold weather without a jacket doesn’t cause a cold, hypothermia (the lowering of the body’s core temperature) suppresses immunity, which can lead to colds. “Most cold symptoms are produced by the body’s immune system physically responding to the rhinovirus,” says Belilovsky. “So, someone with a stronger immune system in the cold will produce more [mucus], while the one with the weaker immune system will sniffle longer, but less dramatically.” The person with the weaker immune system probably will have more complications, such as sinusitis or ear infections, Belilovsky adds.

Cold weather may be indirectly responsible for colds, however. Vasoconstriction — when blood vessels close to the outside of the body, such as those found in the nose, narrow — leads to dryness. “This dryness compromises the nose’s ability to filter infections,” Belilovsky explains. “On returning to warm air, rebound vasodilation occurs, where your hands get pink and your nose starts running as blood returns to it.” The cycle continues if the runny nose is severe enough to cause mouth breathing. Bypassing the nose’s ability to filter inhaled air, combined with dry indoor air, allows the inhalation of virus-bearing mucus, which may trigger colds and lower respiratory infections.

Cold-Induced Asthma
“Cold-induced asthma can certainly masquerade as a recurrent cold when it is not severe enough to produce acute attacks,” Belilovsky cautions. People may think that going outside with a wet head or no jacket solely causes a cold, but people in the early stages of an illness may actually feel hot. As a result, they may go outside without proper clothing and return with a full-blown fever. This makes it appear that the cold weather triggered a cold, when it fact it had already been under way.

~ Source: Everyday Health

Healthy Icecream for Hospital Recovery Patients

Though they are in the business of healing patients, hospitals and long-term care facilities are rife with germs and bacteria that can hinder a patient’s road to recovery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two million patients per year pick up infections in U.S. hospitals. About 90,000 die as a result of these deaths, with approximately 70% caused by bacteria that are resistant to at least one antibiotic. Those figures were a compelling factor in the creation of HHice Cream Probiotic Defense, a “healthy hospital” frozen yogurt mix developed by NEWtritious, a relatively new startup food and beverage company based in Los Angeles, CA.
HHice Cream, which debuted at Natural Products Expo West, is designed to deliver “viable and potent probiotics along with a beneficial serving of vitamins and minerals,” and provides “much-needed supplementation” in the form of a cooling soft-serve to coax patients—especially pediatric and geriatric patients—who are reluctant to eat in the hospital. The product’s marquis ingredient is GanedenBC30, a patented strain of probiotic bacteria Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086, which according to the company may help enhance immune system response while supporting gut health.
“Each cell of GanedenBC30 contains a hardened structure, or spore, which is similar to a seed,” explained Michael Arlen, founder and president of NEWtritious. “This spore or seed, serves as a natural protective shield against the strong acids in your stomach to arrive alive and then thrive in your intestines—their intended target. GanedenBC30 is designed by nature to survive and thrive so more probiotic cells can help support your immune system.”
To ensure its probiotic would perform as expected NEWtritious sponsored research at the University of Reading in the U.K. on its proprietary strain BC30. In vitro fermenters (continuous culture) were used to assess the persistence of BC30 in the background of a complex mixed microbiota, and modern molecular based technologies were used to assess microbial changes in the fermenters. The researchers found BC30 to be “effective at persisting in the reactors for the duration of the experimental period,” with no negative effects of supplementation determined.
The researchers also reported that their co-culture work showed that BC30 could exert anti-microbial activity against C. difficile, C. perfringens and Listeria monocytogenes (to varying degrees). And in a culture system designed to favor C. difficile growth, the probiotic demonstrated the ability to repress the pathogen. “In the human situation where persons at risk of C. difficile associated diarrhoea are likely to be taking antibiotics, the BC30 sporulation is almost certain,” the researchers reported. “We propose that both the level of growth (i.e. number of vegetative cells) and phase of growth (i.e. log phase, late log phase, or sporulation) are important factors in the expression of anti-microbial compounds from Bacillus probiotics. We also suggest that the (unique among probiotics) bi-modal lifecycle of BC30 may lead to antimicrobial activity in distal regions of the gastrointestinal tract. This is an important facet given the prevalence of gut disorders in the left side of the large intestine.”
NEWtritious is promoting the product for its ability to “deliver active cultures more effectively than yogurt,” citing an independent lab study that simulated a gastric environment with a pH of 2.0 for two hours during which GanedenBC30 delivered more than 10 times the live cells than common probiotic yogurt cultures.
Mr. Arlen said GanedenBC30 does not adversely influence HHice Cream’s taste, mouth feel, texture or color. “HHice Cream is both appealing and delicious, and can be the perfect solution for those having difficulty swallowing or suffering from alimentary tract inflammation due to chemotherapy or surgery,” he said. “It also provides an enjoyable way to deliver nutrition to children during their hospital stay, as well as healthcare professionals on the go.”
 In addition to Vanilla, 3 D Chocolate (Deep Dark Dutch) and Tart, hospitals can purchase flavored syrups or powders that blend with the Tart Mix for an assortment of soft-serves varieties including: Almond, Banana, Blueberry, Coconut, Green Tea, Kiwi, Lemon Ice, Lychee, Mango, Mint, Passion Fruit, Peach, Pistachio, Pomegranate, Raspberry, Strawberry and Strawberry Banana. – Nutraceuticals World Now

Capture This Cleanse to Release Loose Ends – Seasonal Beauty

Rain or shine, clear or smoggy, our bodies are profoundly affected by the rhythms and cycles of seasonal changes. As we metaphorically awaken from the slumber and hibernation of winter, we often realize that we have put on a few extra pounds.

Spring arrives, and after months of overindulging in heavy comfort foods, our clothes are fitting tighter, our anxiety is high and our energy levels are low. This prompts us into a desperate search for a way to drop weight instantly. Out of sheer panic, many opt for a trendy, over-the-counter liver or detoxification cleanse. In my experience, this has only caused me to abandon the mission halfway through or binge immediately afterward.

The danger of sudden or drastic shifts in diet is that they can actually toxins are released from the fat stores, they stream into our blood, and can cause nausea and headaches. For this reason, moderation and frequency are key components to success.

Now for the good news: The spring season brings lighter, crisper foods, which helps the body cleanse itself and shed the unwanted winter excess. However, it won’t happen overnight or all by itself.

The spring season symbolizes rebirth, life growth and purity. Let’s give our bodies the time and attention they deserve at this time of year, because when the seasons change, we change. Seasonal spring foods offer exactly what the body needs for  this season: fruits, sprouts and greens. Fruits with high water content hydrate the body, flush out the winter load and provide sugars as an energy source. Fresh, healthy greens and sprouts are high in vitamins and mineral, aid digestive function and are helpful in the weight loss process. They should be included in your diet on a daily basis.

Simple is better. Although the body naturally cleanses itself and eliminates waste through the skin, kidneys, respiratory system and gastrointestinal track, our bodies are bombarded with more artificial stimulants, pollution and chemicals than it is able to handle. These toxins accumulate. A moderate plan releases toxins at a slower rate. Any extensive or extreme detoxification program should be done under a doctor’s supervision.

Challenge yourself to a three-day do it yourself cleanse. This simplified detox is a great way to refocus and recommit to the goals and resolutions that you made at the beginning of the year. A week prior to cleansing, gradually reduce your intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners, white flour, dairy, alcohol, salt and caffeine, while increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. This prepares you for the change, both mentally and physically.

3-day cleanse

Upon rising: Drink 1 cup of hot water with lemon; sit in silence for 10 minutes.

Breakfast: Green smoothie: 2 handfuls of spinach, 1 banana, 1 apple cored, 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil and 16oz filtered water or 1 cup of oatmeal with almond or rice milk

Snack:  1 apple or pear and a handful of unsalted raw almonds

Lunch: 1 cup legumes; 1 cup brown rice or quinoa; 1 cup steamed chard kale or spinach

Snack: 2 apples or 1 cup of celery and carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons of hummus

Dinner: 1 cup of steamed beets with brown rice; 1 cup of steamed kale, chard, collard greens or spinach

Before bed: Drink 1 cup of hot lemon water

Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Begin and end the day with 1 teaspoon of psyllium powder mixed with 10oz water. This assists the elimination process.

Detoxifying the body targets the liver (where toxins and mood-altering hormones can build up) and the colon (which hold waste). it is very common to experience an increase in energy and improved digestion, both of which lead to healthier skin and a greater ability to focus.

Regularly doing a seasonal cleanse can help us follow a lifetime of healthier eating. Mark you calendar this spring and make a commitment to prepare your body for the new season.

Here some of our great Calendula cleansing supplements (LIVER, IMMUNE SYSTEM AND SKIN & BODY) – Check them out.

~ Source: LNE

The New You – 5 Detox Herbs

Immune support can be achieved  from consuming herbs on a moderate basis. Read on to see how this blog promotes the health benefits of these five natural immunity boosters. For the most optimal results, the best places to purchase these herbs would be at a natural food store or your local farmers market.

Artichoke leaf

  • Stimulates production of bile, the liver’s main carrier of expelled toxins
  • Helps strengthen liver cell membranes so they can resist toxin absorption

Dandelion root

  • Increases bile flow from the liver
  • Helps flush the kidneys

Green tea

  • Protects the liver from toxin damage, especially that caused by alcohol, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Milk thistle seed

  • Strengthens liver cell membranes
  • Stimulates bile production
  • Promotes glutathione production

Turmeric root

  • Quells inflammation
  • Elevates detox enzymes in the liver

**Calendula flower is also great for cleansing. Check out our new Nutralenda®  items we are offering now on our site – www.omgalternmed.com

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