Prevent Colds

woman trying to prevent colds and flus

How to Prevent Colds and Flus

By Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc(Hons), ND

Looking to waltz through cold and flu season unscathed and prevent colds and flus?  Here are 5 tips to stay cold and flu free this year:

  1. Up your vitamin D intake.  This time of year you want to be taking more than your usual dose of vitamin D to make up for shorter days and very little exposed skin to sunlight. A trip south may also help increase your vitamin D but also help fend of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Personally, I can’t wait for March Break and some warmth and sunshine.
  2. Cut food sensitivities out of your diet.  How can your immune system fight off viruses if it’s busy fighting off your lunch?  If you know you have a dairy sensitivity, avoid dairy. Ok, well maybe after the holiday parties are over.
  3. Eat more ginger – Ginger helps protect against viruses by blocking viral attachment and internalization.  Ginger tea and curries are good ways to incorporate more ginger. There are lots of healthy ways to add some extra ginger to your diet on our recipe page: Gingerbread Cookie Tea, Apricot Ginger Chicken, and Ginger Pear Energy Bars are just a few.
  4. Reduce your intake of sugar sweetened beverages – pop, energy drinks, lattés, chocolate milk, fruit drinks, shakes, and anything else with added sugar. We know sugar suppresses the immune system for at least 3 hours after consumption.  Drink this Cinnamon Chai, Gingerbread Cookie Tea, or New Year’s Resolution Smoothie instead.
  5. Drink green tea. Green tea is the perfect immune system boosting drink. Green tea contains a substance called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. This substance can fight bacteria and prevent viruses from multiplying. Green Tea Cheesecake anyone?

Wanting more advice about how to prevent colds or flus, what to take or do if you get a cold or flu or what to do if you are feeling the first signs of a cold or flu?  See one of our licensed naturopathic doctors today.

Want to know when to see a doctor about a cold or flu?  Want to know what should be in your cold and flu prevention tool box? Download and save Dr. Pamela’s handy infographic here:

prevent colds and flu

 

Looking for even more information about colds and flus, natural remedies for colds and flus, tips to stay healthy, herbal remedies for colds and flus, quizzes and immune system assessments?  Purchase the full Cold and Flu ebook here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/595481

 

Gut Health

how to heal your gut

How to Heal Your Gut

Many of the disorders that our naturopathic doctors frequently treat, are related to poor gut health including autoimmune disorders, allergies, eczema, psoriasis, recurrent infections, low immune function, inflammatory bowel disease, acne, hormone imbalance, irritable bowel syndrome and yeast infections.

Patients suffering from these conditions will often have gut overgrowth of yeast, harmful bacteria and parasites, inadequate beneficial bacteria, inflammation, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) and leaky gut. Healing gut issues requires a multi-pronged and stepwise approach:

  1.  Remove food sensitivities that are weakening the immune system and damaging the intestinal lining.
  2. Remove any harmful organisms that are damaging the gut.
  3. After the two above steps, then we can repair the gut lining.

Supplements to Repair the Gut Lining

L-glutamine – L-glutamine is an amino acid that is an important fuel for cells that line the digestive tract.
Vitamin A – Vitamin A is vital to the health of mucous membranes – the tissue that lines the digestive and respiratory tracts.
N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) – This is a different glucosamine from the one that is used for arthritis. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in inflammatory bowel disease.
Zinc carnosine – A special form of zinc that helps increase antioxidants in the gut and protect the lining of the stomach and digestive tract from damage.
Aloe vera – The gel from inside the aloe plant helps protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage.
Citrus pectin – Research has shown that pectin can help the lining of the digestive tract heal from injury.
Research:

Rolandelli RH, Koruda MJ, Settle RG, Rombeau JL. The effect of enteral feedings supplemented with pectin on the healing of colonic anastomoses in the rat. Surgery. 1986 Jun;99(6):703-7.

Azuma K, Osaki T, Kurozumi S, Kiyose M, Tsuka T, Murahata Y, Imagawa T, Itoh N, Minami S, Sato K, Okamoto Y. Anti-inflammatory effects of orally administered glucosamine oligomer in an experimental model of inflammatory bowel disease. Carbohydr Polym. 2015 Jan 22;115:448-56. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.09.012. Epub 2014 Sep 21.

Beaufrère AM, Neveux N, Patureau Mirand P, Buffière C, Marceau G, Sapin V, Cynober L, Meydinal-Denis D. Long-term intermittent glutamine supplementation repairs intestinal damage (structure and functional mass) with advanced age: assessment with plasma citrulline in a rodent model. J Nutr Health Aging. 2014 Nov;18(9):814-9. doi: 10.1007/s12603-014-0468-6.

Lan A, Blachier F, Benamouzig R, Beaumont M, Barrat C, Coelho D, Lancha A Jr, Kong X, Yin Y, Marie JC, Tomé D. Mucosal healing in inflammatory bowel diseases: is there a place for nutritional supplementation? Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Jan;21(1):198-207. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000177.

Werawatganon D, Rakananurak N, Sallapant S, Prueksapanich P, Somanawat K, Klaikeaw N, Rerknimitr R. Aloe vera attenuated gastric injury on indomethacin-induced gastropathy in rats. World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Dec 28;20(48):18330-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i48.18330.

Deters A1, Zippel J, Hellenbrand N, Pappai D, Possemeyer C, Hensel A. Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from Marshmallow roots (Althea officinalis L.): cellular internalisation and stimulation of cell physiology of human epithelial cells in vitro. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 8;127(1):62-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.050. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Ueda K, Ueyama T, Oka M, Ito T, Tsuruo Y, Ichinose M. Polaprezinc (Zinc L-carnosine) is a potent inducer of anti-oxidative stress enzyme, heme oxygenase (HO)-1 – a new mechanism of gastric mucosal protection. J Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Jul;110(3):285-94. Epub 2009 Jun 19.

Milk Thistle

picture of milk thistle or silymarin

How Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver

A 2009 study suggests that Milk Thistle may help reduce the liver damage caused by some cancer drugs. In a study of 50 children undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), researchers found that milk thistle appeared to reduce drug-related liver inflammation.

Liver inflammation is common among children undergoing chemotherapy for ALL — with about two-thirds developing liver toxicity at some point during treatment. That meant that doctors have had to lower patients’ chemotherapy doses — which, in turn, can lower the chances of seeing a complete remission.

That is where milk thistle comes in. The plant’s flowers and seeds have been used for more than 2,000 years to treat disorders of the liver and gallbladder. In recent years, lab research has found that the active substance in milk thistle (an antioxidant called silybin) might help prevent body tissue damage by blocking toxins from breaching cell walls.

The herb should also be considered for preventing liver damage from other chemotherapy regimens for other cancers and is used to treat hepatitis, cirrhosis, and to aid in liver detoxification. If milk thistle can help protect the liver from toxic chemotherapy drugs, then it’s application for prevention of damage to the liver from many other drugs makes sense along with protecting it from damage from pesticides, herbicides and other environmental pollutants.

SOURCE: Cancer, online December 14, 2009.

Our licensed naturopathic doctors are the experts on liver detoxification and herbs.  Book a consultation to discuss how we can help keep your liver healthy and functioning optimally.