LOS ANGELES – Many brands of multivitamins for pregnant women may not contain all the iodine they claim, potentially putting babies at risk of poor brain development, a new study suggests.
Tests on 60 brands that listed iodine as an ingredient on their labels found many fell short of the stated amount. The risk of too little iodine appears greater with “natural” vitamins that get their iodine from kelp rather than a salt form, the study found.
“If these numbers are all real, then they’re not meeting their label claim and that’s a problem,” said William Obermeyer, a former Food and Drug Administration scientist who co-founded ConsumerLab.com, a private testing service. Obermeyer was not part of the research.
The study was done by scientists at the Boston University Iodine Research Laboratory. Results were reported in a letter published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. No brands were named in the analysis.
Iodine is commonly added to table salt and can be found in seafood, dairy products and bread. Iodine deficiency affects more than 2 billion people worldwide and is the leading cause of mental retardation.
Pregnant and nursing women need 220 to 290 micrograms of iodine a day, according to the Institute of Medicine. Expecting mothers who don’t get enough can put their babies at greater risk of mental retardation and growth, hearing and speech problems.
The American Thyroid Association recommends that pregnant women take a daily dose of prenatal multivitamins containing 150 micrograms of iodine, which is needed for proper thyroid function. During pregnancy, having enough thyroid hormones is important for fetal brain development.
There is no law requiring vitamin makers to add iodine to prenatal multivitamins, which are available by prescription or bought over-the-counter as dietary supplements.
Boston University scientists last year looked at 223 prenatal multivitamins available by prescription or sold over-the-counter in the United States. About half of them — 114 — listed iodine on their labels.
Prescription prenatal vitamins face more stringent government scrutiny than their supplement counterparts, which do not have to be proven safe before they are sold.
However, researchers found problems with both types when they tested iodine levels in 60 prescription and over-the-counter prenatal multivitamins. The iodine was in the form of kelp or potassium iodide.
Among vitamins with potassium iodide, tests found the average iodine level was 119 micrograms per daily dose — less than the recommended amount.
Among kelp-containing vitamins, the iodine levels ranged from 33 to 610 micrograms per daily dose. Experts say taking too much iodine can lead to problems, especially for women who already have a thyroid problem.
In 10 brands, iodine levels were less than half than what was listed on their labels. Three brands contained iodine levels 50 percent or more higher than advertised. Variations were greater among kelp-containing vitamins.
Based on the study’s findings, pregnant women should take prenatal multivitamins that contain potassium iodide instead of kelp, said Dr. Elizabeth Pearce, one of the researchers.
Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green, who specializes in pregnancy thyroid problems at the Touro University College of Medicine in New Jersey, said the findings point out a problem in vitamin marketing and urged the Food and Drug Administration to make iodine a mandatory ingredient in all prenatal multivitamins.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition, a Washington-based trade group for vitamin makers, said it supports putting iodine in all prenatal vitamins. The council’s John Hathcock said iodine is difficult to measure and can degrade over time, which can affect its concentration.
Some independent groups such as the United States Pharmacopeia test dietary supplements to verify their contents. Consumers can buy brands with a seal of approval from USP.
For over a decade, claims have been made that vitamin and mineral supplements may improve the symptoms of autism in a natural way. While not all researchers agree about whether these therapies are scientifically proven, many parents and an increasing number of physicians report improvement in people with ASD when using individual or combined nutritional supplements. Malabsorption problems and nutritional deficiencies have been addressed in several as-of-yet unreplicated studies. A few studies suggest that intestinal disorders and chronic gastrointestinal inflammation may reduce the absorption of essential nutrients and cause disruptions in immune and general metabolic functions that are dependent upon these essential vitamins. Other studies have shown that some children on the autism spectrum may have low levels of vitamins A, B1, B3, and B5, as well as biotin, selenium, zinc, and magnesium; while others may have an elevated serum copper to plasma zinc ratio, suggesting that they may benefit by avoiding copper and taking extra zinc to boost their immune system. Other studies have indicated a need for more calcium. There are several laboratories that test for nutritional deficiencies, but many insurance companies will not pay for these tests. Perhaps the most common vitamin supplement used for individuals with ASD is vitamin B, which plays an important role in creating enzymes needed by the brain. In several studies on the use of vitamin B and magnesium (which is needed to make vitamin B effective), almost half of the individuals with autism showed improvement. The benefits include decreased behavioral problems, improved eye contact, better attention span, and improvements in learning. Other research studies have shown that other supplements may help symptoms as well. Cod liver oil supplements (rich in vitamins A and D) have resulted in improved eye contact and behavior of children with autism. Vitamin C helps in brain function and deficiency symptoms like depression and confusion. Increasing vitamin C has been shown in a clinical trial to improve symptom severity in children with ASD. If you are considering the addition of vitamins or minerals to your child’s diet, a laboratory and clinical assessment of nutritional status is highly recommended. The most accurate method for measuring vitamin and mineral levels is through a blood test. It is also important to work with someone knowledgeable in nutritional therapy. While large doses of some vitamins and minerals may not be harmful, others can be toxic. Once supplements are chosen, they should be phased in slowly (over several weeks) and then the effects should be observed for one to two months.
http://www.autism-society.org By Autism Society of America – February 20, 2009
If you’re interested in improving the quality of your diet, adding small amounts of flaxseed to your favorite foods is a quick and tasty way to accomplish your goal.
The flax plant is the source of fiber from which linen is woven, and it also yields edible seeds and oil. Flax has been part of the human diet for thousands of years, and for just as long, it has been valued for its health-promoting properties.
Flaxseed is a rich source of a number of beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and protein. With about 3 grams of fiber per tablespoon, flaxseed is a good source of roughage.
Adding more fiber to your diet can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reducing the risk for heart disease and stroke. The combination of oil and fiber in flaxseed make it an excellent laxative and an effective remedy for sluggish bowels and chronic constipation.
Flaxseed contains plant estrogens called lignans. These natural compounds have been found to possess anti-tumor properties and appear to be especially beneficial in reducing the risk of breast and colon cancer.
In the body, lignans act as weak estrogens. Because their chemical structure is similar to the structure of the hormone estrogen produced by the female body, they’re capable of binding to the same cellular receptors.
When hormone-sensitive cells, including those of the breast and uterus, are occupied by the weak plant estrogens in flaxseed, they appear to be less susceptible to the cancer-causing effects of human estrogen.
While consumption of flaxseed is believed to help prevent breast cancer, researchers from the University of Toronto found that it also may be useful in the treatment of the disease. For their study, the Canadian scientists asked postmenopausal women who had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer to eat either a plain muffin or a muffin containing 25 grams of flaxseed every day for four weeks.
Women who ate the flaxseed muffins showed a significant reduction in the rate of tumor growth, as well as an increase in the death of cancerous cells. Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that dietary flaxseed has the potential to reduce tumor growth in women with breast cancer.
As plant estrogens, the lignans in flaxseed can help alleviate some symptoms of menopause.
Scientists at the Mayo Clinic found that postmenopausal women who consumed 40 grams of crushed flaxseed daily for six weeks experienced a welcome 57 percent reduction in the frequency and severity of hot flashes.
The women also reported noticeable improvements in mood, as well as reductions in joint and muscle pain. Combined, the benefits of consuming flaxseed significantly improved their health-related quality of life.
Flaxseed is an important source of an essential omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid. Because essential fatty acids cannot be manufactured by the human body, they must be obtained from the diet.
Hundreds of scientific studies performed over the last decade suggest that most Americans don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids for good health. Increased consumption of these beneficial fats has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and decreasing the clotting potential of the blood.
The essential fatty acids in flaxseed have been credited with improving symptoms of dry eyes, psoriasis and eczema. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, making flax a popular remedy for arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Flax is available at many supermarkets and most health food stores. Whole flaxseed can be eaten alone or added to other foods, but because the seeds may not be fully digested, other forms may be more beneficial.
Ground flaxseed is easier to digest and simple to use: You can add a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed to hot or cold cereals or to a cup of yogurt. Adding a quarter-cup of ground flaxseed to recipes can boost the flavor and nutritional quality of baked goods, including muffins and breads, as well as meatloaf, chili and casseroles.
Flaxseed oil is best used as an ingredient in cold preparations, such as salad dressings and smoothies. While the oil is a good source of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, it doesn’t contain the protein, fiber or lignans found in the seeds of the flax plant.
Adding a sprinkle of ground flaxseed or a dash of flaxseed oil to your favorite foods is a simple way to improve the quality of your diet. It’s also a smart strategy to enhance your overall health.
Rallie McAllister is a board-certified family physician, speaker and the author of several books, including “Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom’s Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim.” Her website is http://www.rallieonhealth.com. To find out more about Rallie McAllister, M.D., and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.
by Hilary Butler
Avid readers of dramatic novels from yesteryear will recall stories from the days when fevered patients were watched over by family, and the oldies in the group just “knew” that a proper fever would “break” with a sweat. When that happened, they knew that the prognosis would be good. Of course, such sentiments today would be greeted with alarm, or scepticism, by those who consider illness should never be endured.
Isn’t that why acetaminophen (in all their different brand names) is reached for, at the first sign of a fever?
In 2001, a headline
1 made me look twice. “Sweat has the power to fight off disease.” We were told that sweat contains a versatile antibiotic that may be on the front line against disease-causing bacteria and that: “The researchers said dermcidin probably plays a key role in the innate immune responses of the skin”. A news roundup from the British Medical Journal told us2 that dermcidin killed escherichia coli, enterococcus faecalis, staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. It was active at high salt concentrations and the acidity range of human sweat. In concentrations of 1–10 μg/ml, it killed all of the staph aureus colonies in only four hours. Unsurprisingly, the scientists didn’t know how dermcidin worked.
Up until the late 1990s the skin was simply thought to be a “barrier” with no active participation in the immune system. The original 2001 paper
3 said that during some inflammatory skin disorders and wound healing, skin cells functioning within a salty sweat with a pH of 4–6.8, produced many effective pharmacologically active substances, such as immunoglobulin A, interleukin 1, 6 and 8, tumour necrosis factor, transforming growth factor β receptor, epidermal growth factor, and a prolactin-inducible protein.
As time has gone on, other researchers have taken a closer look at skin, and have found that the neutrophil,
4 which is the professional phagocyte of fundamental importance for defence against micro-organisms, provides instant help, not only in microbial infection,5 but to the growth factors when the skin is broken and there is a risk of infection. Another article6 says that mast cells, macrophages and skin cells produce antimicrobial peptides. These are called cathelicidin, which disrupts bacterial cell walls, modifies the host cells inflammation, and provides additional immune defence. At the heart of this all, is our friendly neutrophil:
“These studies clearly illuminate the importance of neutrophil recruitment in cutaneous defense against bacterial infection. … Recent advances in understanding of innate immune defense systems have suggested that these ancient evolutionary immune mechanisms may be important to human disease yet previously underappreciated.” (Underlining mine)
The article looked at whether just skin and mast cells were involved, or whether neutrophils were also important. Using mice, they found that mice with few neutrophils developed much worse tissue death (necrosis) and had 3,000 times the amount of bacteria on the skin than mice with active neutrophils. The skin cells worked hard and could produce some cathelicidin on their own, but didn’t have the killing power of the skin cells plus neutrophils. The article’s conclusion said that life-threatening necrotizing skin and soft-tissue infections can develop in patients with depressed neutrophils, but that numerous examples exist of patients with increased frequency of skin infections who have no
“demonstrable defect 7 in leukocyte recruitment or function.”
Properly fed, healthy children, whose parents know what to do, and what not to do, will rarely get any complications to chickenpox. As was the case for our children, well-managed chickenpox should not even lead to any scarring. So let’s ask some questions here, with chickenpox in mind. What is the function of fever?
Here’s a really simple statement11 from twenty years ago: “… elevated body temperature enhances the infl ammatory response and function of the immune system at the same time that it reduces the replication of microbes and tumor cells.”
Not so simple is this sentence.
“Fever also appears to be a prominent component of cytokine therapy and attends the use of several biologic response modifiers.”
Fever switches on the chemical messengers and processes which call on the body immune system to respond and “modify” or deal with the infection.
If fever is a key to an immune-system process, without a fever, how effective is the body going to be in fi ghting viruses, or bacteria? With viruses like chickenpox, which are known to have an affinity with
group A streptococcus,
which can infect the pox rash and so have access to the body, what do we want the immune system to do? It’s pretty obvious isn’t it?
to allow the body temperature to rise to the level it needs so that all the on-switches can be thrown.
the body to send out all those little chemical messengers which get the antiviral side of things going.
want the messengers to call the neutrophils to join the skin cells in producing cathelicidin, and to work with the whole array of anti-viral and antibacterial components12 in “sweat” to stop group A streptococcus
in its tracks.
As a 1991 article13 says: “… temperature elevation … enhances the processes involved in initial antigen recognition and support for immunological specifi c response to challenge.”
We want the body to recognize the virus, ring the bell and sound the red alert (fever) to fight, don’t we? Why, then, turn the fever off with acetaminophen products? Doesn’t that defy logic?
Another article14 of that era said: “There is considerable in-vitro evidence that a variety of human immunological defences function better at febrile temperatures than at normal ones … Studies have clearly shown that fever helps laboratory animals to survive an infection whereas antipyresis15 increases mortality.”
A 1998 article16 said: “The elevation of body temperature by a few degrees may improve the efficiency of macrophages in killing invading bacteria, whereas it impairs the replication of many microorganisms, giving the immune system an adaptive advantage. There is a simultaneous switch from the burning of glucose, an excellent substrate for bacterial growth, to metabolism based on proteolysis and lipolysis. The host organism is anorectic (doesn’t want to eat) minimizing the availability of glucose, and somnolent, reducing the demand by muscles for energy substrate. During the febrile response, the liver produced proteins known as acute phase reactants … the net effect … is to give the host organism an adaptive advantage over the invader.” (Underlining mine.)
Treating fevers is dicing with more severe infection, and a greater likelihood of death, because fever is a key immune response to get the immune system working properly.
You mess with fever, and you mess with lots of things. It stands to reason. Do you need to know what the medical profession does not yet know about fever in its totality, to see that?
Back to chickenpox. Tucked away in a small co
rner of the New Zealand Herald in 2001 was a warning:17 “GPs warned over chickenpox drug.” Doctors were warned about treating chickenpox with ibuprofen to reduce fever because of a higher rate of necrotizing fasciitis18. There was no mention of paracetamol in the warning, yet, since both perform the same function, there is reason to argue that paracetamol might do the same as ibuprofen. In USA, the link between the use of non-steroidal anti-infl ammatories and chickenpox reached the ears of doctors,19,20
but not, it seems, the public.
There was a flurry of articles suggesting it was dangerous to use anti-febrile drugs with chickenpox; there was also an article by a group of doctors, who in defiance of all logic and known immunological impacts of drugs used to reduce fever, decided that there was no association. They
decreed that when parents used drugs to “treat high fever and severe illness”, drug use was merely the identifying factor of who was at high risk for secondary bacterial infection! That interesting little word “coincidental” again.
… I see the increase in these infections as evidence of a total lack of common sense about how to prevent complications. I see the association between nonsteroidal anti-febrile drugs and GAS as a predictable outcome of the loss of home nursing skills and handed-down generational wisdom. I see the increase in secondary bacterial infections as something which can stem from parental lack of understanding that messing around with fever, and using symptom-suppressing/immune-suppressing drugs can restrict the ability of the immune system to fi ght the virus. It also reduces the ability of the leucocyte system of neutrophils, macrophages and phagocytes to fight bacterial toxins from secondary bacterial infections.
As pointed out in Chapter 70, if you don’t have enough vitamin C in your system, then the neutrophils won’t be recognized by the macrophages, and you might be in big trouble, because if that happens, the result could be toxic shock/sepsis taking hold very quickly. Even if you have enough vitamin C, if the amount of GAS toxin is such that the glucose transporters (which are part of the vitamin C shuttle service which takes ascorbate from A to B) are blocked, that can result in a GAS infection which threatens to run out of control. The quickest way to restore the immune function in a case of sepsis is by giving vitamin C intravenously. The body can fight sepsis by itself, but it’s a bit more of a lottery as to whether it will succeed if it doesn’t have the tools to do the job.
Chicken Pox/Shingles Treatment
Vitamins A and C are the vitamin treatment of choice. Chickenpox can require large doses, but Shingles requires much larger doses. Selenium and Zinc are also beneficial.
Avoid sugar and undiluted fruit juices.
Keep the skin clean and cool with frequent baths using 1 cup baking soda or 5 drops lavender essential oil in the bath water. Rubbing the juice from the fresh stems of aloe vera can also help the itching. Cider vinegar neat, used as compresses, changes the skin PH and when held against the pox spots can kill surface virus particularly where the blister is broken. No pox virus can survive a ph of 3.
An oil mix, for adults, is bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemon and tea tree oil… as above, or dilute them by adding 5 drops each to a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil and apply them directly to rash if painful.
Epsom salts baths with oat straw/oatmeal-one cup per bath in a bag, hung under the hot water tap, and then float it, for children who are tense and itchy.
Echinacea and goldenseal combination helps prevent bacterial infections of the sores. So can Calendula (1 tsp tincture – 4 tsp water)
For severe, Lysine (an essential amino acid) inhibits replication of both chickenpox and shingles. Use 2,000 mg a day as a supplement (or smaller doses in children). Lysine works by blocking the virus’s ability to absorb arginine.
For pain in both children and adults, often the person is vitamin B deficient. For shingles in older adults, if nerve pain is severe B12 injections along with some of the others orally can relieve the pain, and shorten the course of illness.
If a bacterial infection looks like its setting in, a capsule of Transfer Factor may help. Breast milk, if available, may do the same.
Shingles is triggered by stress, and stress pulls out huge amounts of B-vitamins from the body. People with shingles need B supplementation.
For both chickenpox and shingles in adults, Hydrogen Peroxide gel, every 2 – 3 hours helps dry and heal blisters.
Alpha Lipoic acid is another some doctors prescribe for shingles in adults. It’s an antioxidant, and helps keep the scarring of both chickenpox and shingles to a minimum. It may affect blood sugar levels, so use with care with diabetics.
Pharmaceutical treatment for shingles is dependent upon symptom alleviation using drugs like prednisone and acyclovir.
Mint tea made with lemon balm or other mints may be beneficial: hyssop, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, sage, self-heal, spearmint or thyme. These are antiviral, anti-herpetic compounds. If there are spots in the throat, you can add licorice root. You could mix it with pear juice which is rich in antiviral caffeic acid.
Although milk and dairy products are important components of a healthy diet, if consumed unpasteurized, they also can present a health hazard due to possible contamination with pathogenic bacteria. These bacteria can originate even from clinically healthy animals from which milk is derived or from environmental contamination occurring during collection and storage of milk. The decreased frequency of bovine carriage of certain zoonotic pathogens and improved milking hygiene have contributed considerably to decreased contamination of milk but have not, and cannot, fully eliminate the risk of milkborne disease. Pasteurization is the most effective method of enhancing the microbiological safety of milk. The consumption of milk that is not pasteurized increases the risk of contracting disease from a foodstuff that is otherwise very nutritious and healthy. Despite concerns to the contrary, pasteurization does not change the nutritional value of milk. Understanding the science behind this controversial and highly debated topic will provide public health care workers the information needed to discern fact from fiction and will provide a tool to enhance communication with clients in an effort to reduce the incidence of infections associated with the consumption of unpasteurized milk and dairy products.
Continued (fulll article)
Having grown up on raw milk, eggs, vegetables we grew ourselves, and eating meat from the animals we raised ourselves, and venison, I strongly disagree. There are children who can not drink pasteurized milk but do fine on raw milk from cow, goat, or other.
I have to wonder if cows today, receiving vaccines and or antibiotics, are still milked as usual and its being sold and pasteurized that way. Anyone know the current laws on that? When I was a child, a cow’s milk while on antibiotics could not be added to the milk tank and sold. We drank it as a family anyways and obviously did not get sick.
…Elderberry is primarily recognized as providing natural support for the immune system. Elderberry contains concentrated amounts of vitamin C, flavinoids, fruit acids, and anthocyanic pigments. It is also an excellent source for vitamins A and B and may also have antiviral properties.
…There is new evidence concluding that Elderberries have great value in fighting flu and other similar viruses. Elderberry has an ability to help break fevers because it promotes profuse sweating.
The list of attributes that Elderberry boasts is impressive. Elderberry works as a simple cleanser and also as an antioxidant. It is also a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory, an anti-catarrhal, and can act as a mild laxative. This useful herb can be used for bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sore throats, fevers, influenza, neuralgia, rheumatism, sciatica, skin disorders, and even hay fever.
Elderberry’s use as a flu remedy dates back to ancient Roman times. Typically, Elderberry consumption will improve flu symptoms within three days. Elderberry has been proven effective against eight different strains of influenza. This fact alone gives it a stronger record than any synthetic vaccine being offered at a clinic this winter. In addition, laboratory studies on Elderberry concerning HIV, herpes, and Epstein-Barr viruses have all had positive results.
To effectively utilize Elderberry, make a tea with 3 to 5 grams of the dried flowers steeped in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. This may be taken three times a day. Liquid Elderberry extract can be taken twice a day. The dosages are 5 ml (for children) and 10 ml (for adults). Between 20 and 60 drops of a tincture may be taken two or three times a day.
One caution – the leaves and stems of Elderberry are considered slightly toxic if they are ingested in raw form. There are no other known adverse reactions, however. There is also no evidence of other drug interactions with Elderberry.
All children should get at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily, either through dietary intake or supplementation, beginning within days of birth and continuing through adolescence, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
This advice doubles the organization’s previous vitamin D intake recommendation in an effort to prevent the development of rickets in specific pediatric populations, as well as to take advantage of the potential long-term health benefits associated with adequate intake of the fat-soluble nutrient, Dr. Frank Greer reported at the AAP’s annual meeting.
A spoonful of honey can do more than just satisfy your sweet tooth — it might improve your health.
For centuries, the natural sweetener has served as a versatile healing agent. Folk remedies featuring honey have long been used to treat ailments ranging from the common cold to constipation.
After the development of antibiotics and other modern drugs, honey fell from favor as a medicinal agent in the 1940s, but lately, it’s making a comeback. A growing body of scientific evidence proving the health benefits of honey is putting this ancient remedy back into modern day medicine chests.
In a recent issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice, researchers reviewed 18 studies on honey performed over the past 60 years. They concluded that the natural sweetener appears to be a viable treatment for surgical wounds, especially those that become infected or fail to heal properly.
Hydrogen peroxide and other ingredients in honey make it useful for sterilizing infected wounds and preventing infection. When used as a topical dressing, it reduced amputation rates among diabetic patients.
Honey has been shown to have potent antibiotic properties. Scientists have discovered that it naturally produces hydrogen peroxide, a substance capable of killing disease-causing bacteria.
Its high concentration of sugar, low moisture content and acidic pH create an inhospitable environment for invading organisms. Because it fights bacteria in numerous ways, it’s ideal for combating superbugs that have developed resistance to standard antibiotics.
Additional natural ingredients appear to reduce inflammation and speed the repair of damaged tissue. Honey covers injured tissue with a thick, protective barrier, preventing contamination with dirt and germs. Each of these healing properties makes honey an excellent wound dressing. As an added bonus, it’s far less expensive than comparable medicinal products.
Researchers in India found that when burn victims’ wounds were treated with honey, they experienced less pain and scarring than those treated with more conventional medications. Superficial burns covered with honey-laden skin dressings healed far faster than those treated with silver sulfadiazine, an ointment commonly prescribed for mild to moderate burns.
While honey’s antibiotic properties help promote faster wound healing, its antifungal properties can provide relief for many common skin conditions, including ringworm, athlete’s foot and yeast infections.
As a fungus-fighter, honey appears to be comparable to many over-the-counter antifungal preparations.
Scientists recently found that psoriasis sufferers may benefit from applications of a mixture of honey, beeswax and olive oil. In a study of people suffering from psoriasis and other inflammatory skin disorders, 60 percent showed significant improvement when treated with the honey-based mixture.
Honey’s healing powers may also work from the inside out, boosting the body’s natural disease-fighting ability when taken by mouth. To test this theory, researchers at the University of California, Davis, asked volunteers to consume about four tablespoons of honey daily for one month.
Blood samples taken at the beginning and end of the 30-day period showed a direct link between honey consumption and levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in the bloodstream.
The results of the study led researchers to conclude that consuming honey on a daily basis can help protect individuals from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress is known to contribute to a number of chronic conditions, including Alzheimer’s, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The antioxidants in honey, called polyphenols, are similar to those found in fruits, vegetables and olive oil. Polyphenols are thought to reduce the risk of many diseases by disarming disease-causing free radicals in the body.
If you like the flavor of honey, you might want to use it as a marinade for meat. Not only does it promote browning and glaze formation, it reduces the production of cancer-causing compounds during grilling and frying.
One type of carcinogen, called heterocyclic aromatic amine, is formed when high cooking temperatures cause meats to char or blacken. Researchers at Michigan State University demonstrated that when meats are covered in marinades consisting of 30 percent honey for four hours, formation of HAA during cooking is significantly reduced.
Honey shouldn’t be given to children younger than one year of age. Occasionally, it can contain spores of the bacteria known to cause botulism, a rare but potentially fatal condition, especially in infants.
For healthy adults, small amounts are not only safe, they might even be beneficial. Whether you spread it on your bread or slather it on your skin, a spoonful of honey is good medicine.
Rallie McAllister is a board-certified family physician, speaker and the author of several books, including “Healthy Lunchbox: The Working Mom’s Guide to Keeping You and Your Kids Trim.” Her website is http://www.rallieonhealth.com. To find out more about Rallie McAllister, M.D., and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Medicine Cabinet Basics
Aloe Vera gel for stomach/digestion problems.
Acidophilus to help treat yeast problems, digestive issues, and when using antibiotics.
Vitamin C -an immune booster.
Echinacea – an immune booster.
Garlic- an immune booster and natural antibiotic.
Valerian Root – for stress, sleeplessness, relaxer.
Hylands Homeopathic colic tabs.
Hylands Homeopathic teething gel.
Ginger root can be steeped in hot water to settle an upset stomach.
Neosporin for wounds.
Hydrogen peroxide for wounds.
Cranberry capsules for urinary tract problems.
Benadryl cream/stick pen for insect bites. Also works well on bee stings.
Benadryl-liquid for allergic reactions.
Grapefruit Seed extract for fungal problems.
Flaxseed or Fish oil capsules for EFA’s.
Cod-Liver Oil for EFA support and Vitamin A.
Raw Honey can be used for coughs and other uses.
Apple Cider Vinegar for digestive issues, chicken pox and Shingles treatment.
Licorice Root helps with coughs.
Epsom salts for muscle aches.
Vicks Vapor Rub can be applied to the feet, cover with socks, and quiets a cough at night.
Lavender oil is an antiseptic, pimple reducer, burn/ pain relief and healing relaxation.
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic.
Olive oil & garlic Remedy -
1 pint of olive oil and 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped. Simmer on the stove for 30 minutes. Strain it into a clean mason jar and let it cool. Put 3-7 drops to the ear as needed until the infection clears. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 years. Drops should be room temperature or slightly warm before administering to the ear.
A wider perspective, common among complementary practitioners was popularised in the book, The Yeast Connection. The author, a Dr Crook, described a condition in which the main features are fatigue, intestinal disturbance, chronic infections, allergies, skin problems, poor concentration, depression, irritability and cravings for sweets or other carbohydrates. This is called the yeast syndrome.
This yeast syndome is thought to be due to an overgrowth of yeast multiplying in the intestines and producing toxins. Because this has not been intensively researched and subjected to peer review, conventional doctors remain skeptical of the existence of this syndrome. On the other hand, there is substantial clinical and anecdotal evidence that it exists and that it appears to be connected to the rampant overuse and abuse of antibiotics.
Many patients who have been diagnosed with the condition get better when they follow the kind of programme outlined below.
- Tiger White PR
Black elderberries have been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of cold and flu and may be the solution to maintaining a healthy immune system this winter.
In a recent randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study, black elderberry extract was shown to reduce the duration of influenza by around four days1. This study adds weight to earlier research which found that within three days, the symptoms of influenza were relieved in nearly 90 per cent of cases treated with black elderberry extract, compared to six days in the placebo group2. And most recently, in an in-vitro study, black elderberry extract was also found to be 99 per cent effective against the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu 3.
Native to hedgerows in the UK and Europe throughout October, black elderberries are thought to contain a unique compound, which coats viruses and prevents them from penetrating and infecting healthy cells. As a result viruses, such as flu, are unable to replicate. The body’s white blood cells are then able to ingest the infected cells, effectively removing the virus from the body.
Black elderberries also contain high levels of natural antioxidants known as flavonoids which help strengthen the immune system against attack. As the black elderberry has twice the antioxidant capacity of blueberries and significantly more than cranberries4 this dark purple berry may be the unsung hero of the English countryside.
Though black elderberries should not be eaten directly from the bush, the immune health benefits of this delicious ‘superfood’ can still be enjoyed by cooking the berries and using them in recipes for jam or fruit pies. It is also worth noting that the immune health properties of elderberries can only be found in the fruit of the black elderberry bush and not in its elderflowers.
Expert immunologist and registered medical herbalist Dr Serene Foster says: “Black elderberries have been traditionally used to help protect against a range of viral ailments, including colds and flu, because of their natural immune health properties. Recent research has confirmed that these dark purple fruits contain a unique compound which helps the immune system to fight back against viruses.”
For more information and research on clinical trials on black elderberry visit the website http://www.blackelderberry.info/.
Eczema can be an autoimmune response gone haywire, or an allergic response. It can also be a manifestation of the inability to metabolise essential fatty acids.
In 1931 Dr. Arild Hansen found that children with this condition had abnormal levels of omega 6 EFA’s in their blood. People with eczema, hayfever, and asthma lack a key enzyme that converts essential fatty acids into prostaglandins.
Evening primrose oil and blackcurrant seed oil can relieve symptoms.
Dr. Leo Galland ( Superimmunity for Kids, 1989) recommends that toddlers recieve 2 X 500 mg capsules of Evening Primrose Oil per day by piercing them and rubbing them on the skin of the inner thigh or arm. If you don’t see improvement increase the dosage to 4 capsules per day (8 per day for adults. Half the dosage with blackcurrant oil). Other necessary co-factors are vitamins A and B, magnesium, zinc and iron.
Supplementation with lecithin can help some but watch the source if you’re allergic to soy, as soy lecithin is everywhere. Lecithin is an emulsifier. It may not work if there is a wheat allergy either.
Vaccines may not be in the best interests of a person with eczema because they already have a skewed immune response and is sensitive to a number of allergens, or has a biochemical challenge that they need to cope with.
Absolutely avoid all trans fats, as they compete with essential fatty acids.
For infants-Do not give grains as first foods. Stick to fruits, veggies, meats and egg yolks for the first year at least.
Books you may find helpful:
“Breaking the Vicious Cycle” by Elaine Gottschall
“Enzymes for Autism” by Karen DeFelice
“Superimmunity for Kids” by Leo Galland MD
(Supplementing with essential fatty acids and probiotics is the essential first step in treating eczema)
“Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon
HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE SOLUTION
1 quart water
2 ounces dextrose (corn syrup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Combine all ingredients
Electrolyte is a general term for sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium.
Electrolyte supplements help to restore electrolytes that may be lost by dehydration or used for the stress associated with moving, sorting, or vaccinations.
Homemade Electrolyte Solution
2 quarts water
1-teaspoon baking soda
7 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet Sugar-Free Kool-Aid
1/2-teaspoon salt substitute
The salt substitute and Kool-Aid are optional. Store in the refrigerator. Be creative; use your special Kool-Aid to make ice cubes so it will stay cool in their bottle or sippy-cup. Or, insert toothpicks into your ice cubes before freezing and make homemade popsicles. This contains sugar; it will eventually go bad so check any that has sat for a long time.
How to take the itch out of poison ivy :
When your child gets poison Ivy give them a vinegar bath. Put two cups of vinegar in running warm water. It will help take the itch out.
Instant Relief for Cough:
Take vapor rub and put on the child’s or adult’s feet all over and then put on a pair of socks. Your child won’t cough for at least 8 hours. Great for the nighttime when you don’t want to wake them for medicine.
Home-made Cough Syrup
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Mix this together.
Take 1/2-1 teaspoon as needed or cough. Can be used for kids as well as adults.
A highly contagious acute disease characterized by fever, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, eruptions (Koplik’s spots) on the buccal and labial mucosa, and a spreading mucopapular cutaneous rash.
Caused by a virus infections that can be spread by physical contact or through the air via respiratory droplets. One bout usually gives immunity for life, but it is possible for some children to get measles twice. The incubation period is between 7 to 14 days, and is most communicable from 2 to 4 days before to 5 days after the rash appears.
Measles is characterized by fever, red eyes with light sensitivity, runny nose, dry and sometimes severe cough, white spots (Koplik’s spots) on the inside of the cheeks, seen 2 days prior to the red rash near the scalp, later involving the upper body. After 3-4 days it has a brownish bronzy appearance with peeling also occurring. The rash lasts 7 days and the child usually begins to feel better by the fourth day.
The herbal contribution to treatments of measles is based upon alleviation of symptomatic distress. The primary areas to address include fever, itching, eye sensitivity and coughing.
· The fever will be helped with diaphoretic teas such as Catnip (Nepetacataria), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Linden (Tiliaspp.). For details of appropriate infusions please refer to pgs. 2-71 to 2-79
· Alleviation of itching can be achieved by the use of the anti-pruritic herbs. An example is Distilled Witch Hazel dabbed onto the itching skin will usually soothe immediately, but very temporary. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a particularly effective anti-pruritic.
· Eye strain due to photosensitivity is common, and so the child will prefer a darkened room. An Eyebright (Euphrasiaspp.) wash and a Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) compress. Ms. Riggs instructions for making the Eyebright eyewash:
1/2 oz. Eyebright
1 cup water
Paper coffee filter
Clean cotton washcloth
1. Combine the Eyebright and water in a covered pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Strain the liquid very thoroughly through the coffee filter and discard the herbs. There should be no floating particles in the solution.
3. When the tea has cooled to a tepid temperature, comfortably warm for the eyes, it is ready to use.
4. This herbal wash is to be used only once. Discard any leftovers and make a fresh batch each time.
Application: Make sure the infant is not hungry or tired before proceeding with the application. Hold the infant securely in your arms and place yourself in a comfortable position on the floor or on a bed. Put the washcloth into the pot of warm tea and place it close to you. Wring out the washcloth with one hand so that it is not dripping but is still quite moist. Gently lay the washcloth across the infant’s eyes and hold it there with very minimal pressure. The infant will close his or her eyes. This is normal and the tea will still be of benefit. Leave the cloth in place over the eyes for 3 minutes, let the infant rest for 3 minutes, then rinse the cloth in the tea and repeat the process 2 more times. The infant will relax at first, then may try to remove the cloth. Keep replacing it gently until the skin around the eyes gets a little red. This is a good sign since it means that blood is circulating in the area. This process may be performed once or twice each day until the infant’s eyes have returned to normal (up to about 1 week). If the infant’s eye disorder seems to cause severe discomfort, or if it persists or gets worse after 1 week of treatment, consult a physician.
Demulcent expectorants will help with both the cough and any sore throat. Herbs to consider include Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), Mullein(Verbascum thapsus) and Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
Recovery will be further facilitated by good nutrition and possibly using bitter tonics such as Gentian (Gentiana lutea) or Horehound if the cough is persistent.
Mumps is a viral infection of childhood that affects the salivary glands, most commonly the parotid glands, located near the ear (hence its medical name, parotitis). The illness begins with a fever, headache, loss of appetite, malaise, and muscle aches. Pain in the ear and under the jaw begins about twenty-four hours later. Over the next one to three days, the salivary glands swell and become very tender. The swelling typically lessens over a course of three to seven days.
The illness is spread by contact with infected saliva. It is somewhat less contagious than either measles or chickenpox. Once a child is infected with the virus, it can incubate for two to three-and-a-half weeks before signs of infection appear. A child is contagious from about six days before the onset of illness to nine days after the glands have become swollen.
Mumps is most common in children from age five through fifteen. It is usually self-limiting and runs its course without complications. One possible long-term complication that does exist occurs in boys, when the virus attacks the testicles. This may result only in pain and swelling initially, but in some cases it can cause infertility the long run, especially if a boy contracts the disease as a teenager or young adult.
Do not give a child aspirin if you think he may have the mumps.The combination of aspirin and a viral infection has been linked to the development of Reye’s syndrome, a dangerous liver disease.
Because mumps is a viral illness, antibiotic therapy is ineffective and therefore not appropriate.
Warm or cool compresses applied to the site of the swollen glands may help relieve the pain and tenderness.
If your son has a case of mumps that causes testicular pain, bed rest is particularly important. It may help lessen the pain if you support the scrotum by using cotton held in place by an adhesive-tape “bridge” between the thighs, and/or if you apply ice packs. In rare cases, where pain and swelling are extremely severe, a corticosteroid may be prescribed to combat these symptoms.
Mumps causes pain when chewing or swallowing, therefore a diet of soft foods may minimize discomfort.
Avoid citrus fruits or other acidic foods, which can be painful to swallow.
Keep well hydrated. Offer fruit-juice popsicles, spring water, herbal teas, soups, and diluted fruit juices. Once the acute phase of the infection has subsided, immune-boosting astragalus and vegetable soup is very good for supporting recovery.
Eliminate fats as much as possible. Fats are difficult to digest under normal circumstances, and are even harder to digest when the digestive system is weakened by infection. Undigested fats contribute to a toxic internal environment.
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help to stimulate the immune system.
Zinc stimulates the immune system and promotes healing.
Arnica or peppermint oil, used as a rub, can help to relieve headache. Rub arnica tincture into the temple or forehead area; rub peppermint oil into the temple area. Be very careful to keep tinctures away from your child’s eyes and do not use them on broken skin.
Note: If you are using peppermint oil as well as a homeopathic preparation, allow one hour between the two. Otherwise, the strong smell of the mint may interfere with the action of the homeopathic remedy.
Feeling restless? A cup of chamomile tea, twice a day, as needed.
Echinacea and Goldenseal combination formula helps to fight viruses and boost the immune system. It also soothes mucous membranes.
Shiitake mushrooms have immune-stimulating properties. They may be taken in capsule form.
Castor oil packs can be soothing to swollen glands. Heat castor oil to a soothing (but not too hot) temperature, soak clean cotton cloths in it, and apply these compresses as often as needed.
A child with the mumps should be isolated until the swelling of the glands has gone down, to decrease the possibility of spreading the disease.
Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and drinks plenty of fluids. The increased metabolic rate that results from a fever causes the body to lose fluids rapidly.
Apply warm or cool compresses to ease the discomfort of the swollen glands.
Be alert for signs that a secondary infection may be developing. If symptoms seem to get worse, or if new symptoms develop, seek medical treatment.
Meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the three meninges, which are thin membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. The infection can be caused by either a virus or bacteria. Hemophilus influenzae, or “H. flu.,” is the most common among the bacterial organisms that cause meningitis in children. An infection in the blood (bacteremia), ears, jaw, or sinuses can also lead to an infection of the meninges.
A newborn with meningitis may have poor muscle tone, difficulty feeding, a weak suck and cry, vomiting, irritability, sleepiness, and/or jitteriness. In infants, symptoms of meningitis include a high-pitched cry, irritability, loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, and possibly a fever or convulsions. An older child is likely to have a fever, chills, vomiting, irritability, headache, and/or a stiff neck. Seizures and changes in consciousness, such as stupor or coma, are possible as the infection progresses.
Meningitis is a serious infection that is potentially life threatening and can cause such long-term consequences as hearing or vision problems. It requires immediate medical attention. If treated early and appropriately, there is a low likelihood of complications or lasting harm to your child.
The nutritional supplements listed below are aimed at supporting your child’s recovery from meningitis. They should not be considered a substitute for appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Floradix is an herbal iron supplement that will give your child v,itamins and minerals necessary to rebuild his strength.
GreenMagma is a product that supplies trace minerals and beta carotene end helps to restore strength.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and/or bifidus is very good for restoring bowel health after a regime of potent antibiotics.
Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help stimulate the immune system.
Herbal treatment for meningitis is aimed at supporting your child’s recovery from the illness. It should not be considered a substitute for appropriate antibiotic therapy.
The antibacterial properties of garlic will help resolve infection.
American ginseng is an excellent source of trace minerals and micronutrients. It will also support and strengthen your child’s immune system.
Note: This herb should be used during recovery only. It should not be given if fever or any other signs of infection are present.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous), with its rich concentration of trace minerals and micronutrients, will help strengthen your child’s immune system. Note: This herb should be used during the recovery phase only, not while fever or any other signs of acute infection are present.
During the acute phase of meningitis, a quiet, dimly lit room will help ease the headache pain.
Bacterial meningitis- be aware of the possibility of a subtle injury to the brain. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you are worried about persistent hearing loss, problems with balance or coordination, difficulties with schoolwork, or similar difficulties.
Something that can explain why flu epidemics also occur both in warm and cold climates is this: During a flu epidemic, wherever it may be, the atmosphere blocks ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation from the Sun. In the temperate zones above latitude 35 degrees North and South, the sun is at a low enough angle in the winter that the ozone layer in the atmosphere absorbs and blocks the short-wavelength (280–315 nanometers) UVB rays. In the tropics during the wet season, thick rain clouds block UVB rays.
Skin contains a cholesterol derivative, 7-dehydrocholesterol. UVB radiation on skin breaks open one of the carbon rings in this molecule to form vitamin D. The activated form of vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) attaches to receptors on genes that control their expression, which turn protein production on or off. Vitamin D regulates the expression of more than 1,000 genes throughout the body. They include ones in macrophages, cells in the immune system that, among other things, attack and destroy viruses. Vitamin D switches on genes in macrophages that make antimicrobial peptides, antibiotics the body produces. Like antibiotics, these peptides attack and destroy bacteria; but unlike antibiotics, they also attack and destroy viruses.
Vitamin D also expresses genes that stop macrophages from overreacting to an infection and releasing too many inflammatory agents – cytokines – that can damage infected tissue. Vitamin D, for example, down regulates genes that produce interleukin-2 and interferon gamma, two cytokines that prime macrophages and cytotoxic T cells to attack the body’s tissues. In the 1918–19 Spanish flu pandemic that killed 500,000 Americans, young healthy adults would wake up in the morning feeling well, start drowning in their own inflammation as the day wore on, and be dead by midnight, as happened to my 22-year-old grandmother and my wife’s 24-year-old grandmother. Autopsies showed complete destruction of the epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract resulting, researchers now know, from a macrophage-induced severe inflammatory reaction to the virus. In a terribly misguided way, these victims’ own immune system attacked and killed them, not the virus, something in future pandemics vitamin D, in appropriate doses, can prevent.
A creditable hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease. Cannell and colleagues offer this hypothesis in “Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D” (Epidemiol Infect 2006;134:1129–40). They quote Hippocrates (circa 400 B.C.), who said, “Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year.” Vitamin D levels in the blood fall to their lowest point during flu seasons. Unable to be protected by the body’s own antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides) that this gene-expresser engineers, a person with a low vitamin D blood level is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections (e.g., respiratory syncytial virus).
Studies show that children with rickets, a vitamin D-deficient skeletal disorder, suffer from frequent respiratory infections; and children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get a cold. Given vitamin D’s wide-ranging effects on gene expression, other studies, for example, show that people diagnosed with cancer in the summer have an improved survival compared with those diagnosed in the winter (Int J Cancer 2006;119:1530–36).
A growing body of evidence indicates that rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults (both a softening of bones due to defective bone mineralization) are just the tip of a vitamin D-deficiency iceberg. Tuberculosis and various autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and type I diabetes have a causal association with low vitamin D blood levels. Vitamin D deficiency plays a causal role in hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and stroke. It is also a risk factor for metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes, chronic fatigue, seasonal affective disorder, depression, cataracts, infertility, and osteoporosis. At the bottom of the vitamin D iceberg lies cancer. There is good evidence that vitamin D deficiency is a causal factor in some 15 different common cancers. (NEJM 2007;357:266–81.)
The increased number of deaths that occur in winter, largely from pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases, are much more likely due to vitamin D deficiency than to an increased prevalence of serologically-positive influenza virus (which also results from vitamin D deficiency).
Experts reckon that an optimum blood level of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is 50–99 ng/ml. (Children need a blood level >8 ng/ml to prevent rickets. It takes a concentration >20 to maintain parathyroid hormone levels in a normal range. A level >34 is needed for peak intestinal calcium absorption. And in elderly people neuromuscular performance steadily improves as vitamin D blood levels rise to 50 ng/ml.) The government’s recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 400 IU (international units) a day, an amount sufficient to prevent rickets and osteomalacia but not vitamin D’s other gene-regulating benefits. To achieve all of vitamin D’s benefits one has to take an amount ten times the government’s RDA – 4,000 to 5,000 IU a day.
A light-skinned person will synthesize 20,000 IU of vitamin D in 20 minutes sunbathing on a tropical beach, at which point vitamin D synthesis shuts down for the day (it takes a dark-skinned person 6 to 10 times longer to make this amount). Human breast milk does not contain vitamin D, since, from an evolutionary standpoint, our African ancestors’ infants, reared near the equator, could readily synthesize this gene regulator from sunlight in their skin. Food contains very little vitamin D. (The highest concentrations are in wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, and cod liver oil.) Federal regulations now require that some foods, like milk, be fortified with vitamin D. But one would have to drink 200 glasses of milk to obtain the amount of vitamin D a light-skinned person can make in 20 minutes sunbathing.
The majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient, with a 25-hydroxy D blood level <20 ng/ml, or insufficient, with a level of 20–<30 ng/ml. Cheap vitamin D supplements (D3, not D2) provide the only way most of us can maintain a year-round vitamin D blood levels greater than 50 ng/ml. That requires taking 4–5,000 IU of vitamin D a day (50,000 IU every ten days or 150,000 IU a month).
Taking vitamin D in these doses is safe, far safer than a flu shot with all the bad chemicals it contains. Concerns about vitamin D toxicity are overblown. One can take a 10,000 IU vitamin D supplement on a daily basis without any adverse effects. In healthy persons, long-term consumption of more than 40,000 IU a day is necessary to cause an elevation in the blood calcium level (hypercalcemia), the first manifestation of vitamin D toxicity (Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:694–97). Check your vitamin D (25-hydroxy D) blood level. People with granulomatous diseases like sarcoidosis should also check their blood level of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, the active form.
Can a shot (or tablets) of vitamin D prevent influenza better than a flu shot? There is good reason to believe that it can.
Doctors in India and Canada give people a once-yearly injection of 600,000 IU of vitamin D (MJA 2005;183:10–12). That would be better, and safer, than having a flu shot. Daily, weekly, or monthly vitamin D tablets work just as well. For more on this subject see my article “Vitamin D in a New Light” and visit Dr. Cannell’s Vitamin D Council website.
Investigators have completed one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial that shows vitamin D prevents colds and influenza significantly better (P <0.002) than a placebo pill (Epidemiol Infection 2007;135:1095–6). A large multi-center randomized trial conducted over multiple flu seasons comparing vitamin D to a flu shot can show conclusively which is better, and safer. But given the financial stakes underpinning flu shots, and unpatentable vitamin D, who will fund it?
Honey Effective in Killing Bacteria that Cause Chronic Sinusitis
Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery
Honey is very effective in killing bacteria in all its forms, especially the drug-resistant biofilms that make treating chronic rhinosinusitis difficult, according to research presented during the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.
The study, authored by Canadian researchers at the University of Ottawa, found that in eleven isolates of three separate biofilms (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and methicicillin-resistant and -suseptible Staphylococcus aureus), honey was significantly more effective in killing both planktonic and biofilm-grown forms of the bacteria, compared with the rate of bactericide by antibiotics commonly used against the bacteria.
Given the historical uses of honey in some cultures as a homeopathic treatment for bad wound infections, the authors conclude that their findings may hold important clinical implications in the treatment of refractory chronic rhinosinusitis, with topical treatment a possibility.
Chronic rhinosinusitis affects approximately 31 million people each year in the United States alone, costing over $4 billion in direct health expenditures and lost workplace productivity. It is among the three most common chronic diseases in all of North America.