Tag Archives: Hypovitaminosis D

Simple and Inexpensive Trick to Cure a Common Cold

Each year Americans catch more than one billion colds, making the cold virus the most common infectious disease in the United States.It causes more school absences and missed work than any other illness, and it’s the number one reason people visit their physicians — even though most physicians have little to offer in the form of treatment.

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Colds are actually triggered by a virus and not by bacteria, which means antibiotic will be absolutely useless.

It  is important you know how  we get colds in the first place.:-

The most common way cold viruses are spread is not from being around coughing or sneezing, or walking barefoot in the rain, but rather from hand-to-hand contact. For instance, someone with a cold blows their nose then shakes your hand or touches surfaces that you also touch.

Cold viruses can live on pens, computer keyboards, coffee mugs and other objects for hours, so it’s easy to come into contact with such viruses during daily life.

However, the key to remember is that just being exposed to a cold virus does not have to mean that you’ll catch a cold. If your immune system is operating at its peak, it should actually be quite easy for you to fend off the virus without ever getting sick.

If your immune system is impaired, on the other hand, it’s akin to having an open-door policy for viruses; they’ll easily take hold in your body. So the simple and short answer is, you catch a cold due to impairment in your immune system.

There are many ways this can result, but the more common contributing factors are:

1.Eating too much sugar and too many grains
2.Not getting enough rest
3.Using insufficient strategies to address emotional stressors in your life
4.Vitamin D deficiency, (as discussed below)
5.Any combination of the above

Vitamin D Deficiency: Another Reason You May “Catch” a Cold

It’s estimated that the average U.S. adult typically has two to four colds each year, while children may have up to 12! One reason for the widespread prevalence may be that vitamin D deficiency is incredibly common in the United States, especially during the winter months when cold (and flu) viruses are at their peak.

Research has confirmed that “catching” colds and flu may actually be a symptom of an underlying vitamin D deficiency. Less than optimal vitamin D levels will significantly impair your immune response and make you far more susceptible to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

In the largest and most nationally representative study of its kind to date, involving about 19,000 Americans, people with the lowest vitamin D levels reported having significantly more recent colds or cases of the flu — and the risk was even greater for those with chronic respiratory disorders like asthma.

At least five additional studies also show an inverse association between lower respiratory tract infections and vitamin D levels. But the research is very clear, the higher your vitamin D level, the lower your risk of contracting colds, flu, and other respiratory tract infections.


How Long Do Colds Last … and How Can You Make Your Cold Go Away Faster?

Most uncomplicated colds last between eight and nine days, but about 25 percent last two weeks, and 5-10 percent last three weeks. Even the most stubborn colds will typically resolve in a few weeks’ time; this is actually one of the ways you can distinguish a cold from allergies.

A cold will last, at most, a few weeks, but allergy symptoms can last all season.

How quickly you bounce back is typically defined by you and your collective lifestyle habits — and this does not mean popping over-the-counter cough and cold remedies or fever reducers. In fact, as long as your temperature remains below 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius) there is no need to lower it.

Cold viruses do not reproduce at higher body temperatures, so a slight fever should help you get rid of the virus quicker and help you to feel better much sooner.

You should avoid taking over-the-counter pain-relief medications as well, as a study showed that people who take aspirin and Tylenol (acetaminophen) suppress their body’s ability to produce antibodies to destroy the cold virus. Aspirin has even been linked to lung complications including pulmonary edema, an abnormal build up of fluid in your lungs, when taken in excess.

You should only use these medications when absolutely necessary, such as if you have a temperature greater than 105 degrees F (40.5 degrees C), severe muscle aches or weakness.

HYDROGEN PEROXIDE (H2O2): A Simple Trick to Beat a Cold:-
Many patients at Dr.Mercola,s Natural Health Center have had remarkable results in curing colds and flu within 12 to 14 hours when administering a few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into each ear. You will hear some bubbling, which is completely normal, and possibly feel a slight stinging sensation.

Wait until the bubbling and stinging subside (usually 5 to 10 minutes), then drain onto a tissue and repeat with the other ear. A bottle of hydrogen peroxide in 3 percent solution is available at any drug store for a couple of dollars or less. It is simply amazing how many people respond to this simple, inexpensive treatment.

Dietary Strategies to Kick a Cold:-
If you feel yourself coming down with a cold or flu, this is NOT the time to be eating ANY sugar, artificial sweeteners or processed foods. Sugar is particularly damaging to your immune system — which needs to be ramped up, not suppressed, in order to combat an emerging infection.

So if you are fighting a cold, you’ll want to avoid all sugar like the plague, and this includes sugar in the form of fruit juice and even grains (which break down as sugar in your body).

Ideally, you must address nutrition, sleep, exercise and stress issues the moment you first feel yourself getting a bug. This is when immune-enhancing strategies will be most effective.

So when you’re coming down with a cold, it’s time to address ALL of the contributing factors immediately, which includes tweaking your diet in favor of foods that will strengthen your immune response. Good choices include:

•Raw, grass-fed organic milk, and/or high-quality whey protein
•Fermented foods such as raw kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, etc, which are rich in probiotics, or good bacteria. Scientific research shows that 80 percent of your immune system resides inside your digestive tract, so eating probiotic-rich foods, or taking a high-quality probiotic, will help support your immune system health.
•Raw, organic eggs from free-ranging, preferably local, chickens
•Grass-fed beef
•Coconuts and coconut oil
•Animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil
•Locally grown fruits and vegetables, appropriate for your nutritional type
•Mushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake, which contain beta glucans (which have immune-enhancing properties)
•Garlic, a potent antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses and fungi. Ideally this should be in fresh form, eaten raw and crushed with a spoon just before eating.
•Herbs and spices with high ORAC scores: Turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, cloves (for more on ORAC, visit www.oracvalues.com)
•Make sure you are drinking plenty of fresh, pure water. Water is essential for the optimal function of every system in your body and will help with nose stuffiness and loosening secretions. You should drink enough water so that your urine is a light, pale yellow.
And what about the old wives’ tale of chicken soup for your cold?

Chicken soup can help reduce your symptoms. Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily.

Processed, canned soups won’t work as well as the homemade version, however.

For best results, make up a fresh batch yourself (or ask a friend or family member to do so) and make the soup hot and spicy with plenty of pepper. The spices will trigger a sudden release of watery fluids in your mouth, throat, and lungs, which will help thin down the respiratory mucus so it’s easier to cough up and expel.

Three Cold-Busting Lifestyle Strategies are:

-1.High-Quality Sleep, and Plenty of It

2.Regular Exercise

3.Controlling Emotional Stress

Supplements can be beneficial for colds, but they should be used only as an adjunct to the lifestyle :-

Some of the more helpful options for cold (and flu) — above and beyond vitamin D — are:-

•Vitamin C: A very potent antioxidant; use a natural form such as acerola, which contains associated micronutrients. You can take several grams every hour till you are better unless you start developing loose stools.

Oregano Oil: The higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Carvacrol is the most active antimicrobial agent in oregano oil.

•Propolis: A bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds in the world; propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important compounds that aid in immune response and even fight cancer.

•A tea made from a combination of elderflower, yarrow, boneset, linden, peppermint and ginger; drink it hot and often for combating a cold or flu. It causes you to sweat, which is helpful for eradicating a virus from your system.
•Olive leaf extract: Ancient Egyptians and Mediterranean cultures used it for a variety of health-promoting uses and it is widely known as a natural, non-toxic immune system builder.

When Should You Call Your Physician?
Sinus, ear and lung infections (bronchitis and pneumonia) are examples of bacterial infections that do respond to antibiotics. If you develop any of the following symptoms, these are signs you may be suffering from a bacterial infection rather than a cold virus, and you should call your physician’s office:

•Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius)
•Ear pain
•Pain around your eyes, especially with a green nasal discharge
•Shortness of breath or a persistent uncontrollable cough
•Persistently coughing up green and yellow sputum
Generally speaking, however, if you have a cold medical care is not necessary. Rest and attention to the lifestyle factors noted above will help you to recover quickly and, if you stick to them, will significantly reduce your chances of catching another one anytime soon.

Source :The World’s #1 Free Natural Health Newsletter

Vitamin D Deficiency Doubles Risk Of Stroke in Whites

Low levels of vitamin D, the essential nutrient obtained from milk, fortified cereals and exposure to sunlight, doubles the risk of stroke in whites, but not in blacks, according to a new report by researchers at Johns Hopkins.

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Stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death, killing more than 140,000 Americans annually and temporarily or permanently disabling over half a million when there is a loss of blood flow to the brain.

Researchers say their findings back up evidence from earlier work at Johns Hopkins linking vitamin D deficiency to higher rates of death, heart disease and peripheral artery disease in adults.

The Hopkins team says its results fail to explain why African Americans, who are more likely to be vitamin D deficient due to their darker skin pigmentation’s ability to block the sun’s rays, also suffer from higher rates of stroke. Of the 176 study participants known to have died from stroke within a 14-year period, 116 were white and 60 were black. Still, African Americans had a 65 percent greater likelihood of suffering such a severe bleeding in or interruption of blood flow to the brain than whites, when age, other risk factors for stroke, and vitamin D deficiency were factored into their analysis.

“Higher numbers for hypertension and diabetes definitely explain some of the excess risk for stroke in blacks compared to whites, but not this much risk,” says study co-lead investigator and preventive cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart and Vascular Institute. “Something else is surely behind this problem. However, don’t blame vitamin D deficits for the higher number of strokes in blacks.”

Nearly 8,000 initially healthy men and women of both races were involved in the latest analysis, part of a larger, ongoing national health survey, in which the researchers compared the risk of death from stroke between those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D to those with higher amounts. Among them, 6.6 percent of whites and 32.3 percent of blacks had severely low blood levels of vitamin D, which the experts say is less than 15 nanograms per milliliter.

“It may be that blacks have adapted over the generations to vitamin D deficiency, so we are not going to see any compounding effects with stroke,” says Michos, who notes that African Americans have adapted elsewhere to low levels of the bone-strengthening vitamin, with fewer incidents of bone fracture and greater overall bone density than seen in Caucasians.

“In blacks, we may not need to raise vitamin D levels to the same level as in whites to minimize their risk of stroke” says Michos, who emphasizes that clinical trials are needed to verify that supplements actually do prevent heart attacks and stroke. In her practice, she says, she monitors her patients’ levels of the key nutrient as part of routine blood work while also testing for other known risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including blood pressure, glucose and lipid levels.

Michos cautions that the number of fatal strokes recorded in blacks may not have been statistically sufficient to find a relationship with vitamin D deficits. And she points out that the study only assessed information on deaths from stroke, not the more common “brain incidents” of stroke, which are usually non-fatal, or even mini-strokes, whose symptoms typically dissipate in a day or so. She says the team’s next steps will be to evaluate cognitive brain function as well as non-fatal and transient strokes and any possible tie-ins to nutrient deficiency.

Besides helping to keep bones healthy, vitamin D plays an essential role in preventing abnormal cell growth, and in bolstering the body’s immune system. The hormone-like nutrient also controls blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, essential chemicals in the body. Shortages of vitamin D have also been tied to increased rates of breast cancer and depression in the elderly.

Michos recommends that people maintain good vitamin D levels by eating diets rich in such fish as salmon and tuna, consuming vitamin-D fortified dairy products, and taking vitamin D supplements. She also promotes brief exposure daily to the sun’s vitamin D-producing ultraviolet light. And to those concerned about the cancer risks linked to too much time spent in the sun, she says as little as 10 to 15 minutes of daily exposure is enough during the summer months.

If vitamin supplements are used, Michos says that daily doses between 1,000 and 2,000 international units are generally safe and beneficial for most people, but that people with the severe vitamin D deficits may need higher doses under close supervision by their physician to avoid possible risk of toxicity.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) previously suggested that an adequate daily intake of vitamin D is between 200 and 600 international units. However, Michos argues that this may be woefully inadequate for most people to raise their vitamin D blood levels to a healthy 30 nanograms per milliliter. The IOM has set up an expert panel to review its vitamin D guidelines, with new recommendations expected by the end of the year. Previous results from the same nationwide survey showed that 41 percent of men and 53 percent of women have unhealthy amounts of vitamin D, with nutrient levels below 28 nanograms per milliliter.

Source
:Elements4Health

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This Simple Habit May Actually Reduce Cancer and Diabetes by 50%

It is Vitamin D that influences more than 200 genes. This includes genes related to cancer and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D affects your DNA through the vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome.

Reuters reports:

Vitamin D deficiency is a well-known risk factor for rickets, and some evidence suggests it may increase susceptibility to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, as well as certain cancers and even dementia.”

Resources:
Reuters August 23, 2010

Genome Research August 23, 2010; [Epub ahead of print]

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The Vitamin D Solution

A press release by the publisher Penguin declares the release of Dr. Michael F. Holick’s latest book about the remarkable health benefits of vitamin D.

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“What do obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and fibromyalgia have in common?

The answer is vitamin D deficiency,” the press release states.

“More than 200 million Americans lack this essential vitamin. In the landmark book The Vitamin D Solution, Dr. Michael F. Holick identifies the causes of vitamin D deficiency, outlines why it is essential to your health, and provides a 3-step program to attain optimal levels of Vitamin D.

Increasing levels of vitamin D can treat, prevent, and even reverse a remarkable number of daily ailments, from high blood pressure to back pain. It can lessen the symptoms of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, and actually prevent infectious diseases, including H1N1 and cancer. Dr. Holick also credits vitamin D with improving infertility, weight control, memory and mood.”

Source: Eurekalert April 1, 2010

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How Much Sunshine is needed to Make Enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, and a growing list of diseases and conditions are being linked with it. Regular sun exposure, without sunscreen, causes your skin to produce vitamin D naturally. But how much sun do you need?

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You’ve probably seen some vague guidelines, recommending “a few minutes every day.” But these recommendations are far too general to be useful. The amount of sun you need to meet your vitamin D requirements varies hugely, depending on your location, your skin type, the time of year, the time of day, and even the atmospheric conditions.

The Vitamin D/UV Calculator
Scientists at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research have devised a calculator that will take all those factors into consideration and estimate how many minutes of exposure you need for your skin to produce 25 mcg (the equivalent of 1,000 International Units) of vitamin D.

It’s not the most user-friendly interface and it is very easy to enter the wrong information. But once you get past the technicalities, it’s very interesting to see how much the answers change when you vary the input.

It is also not written for US cities so you can go to this page to find out latitude and longitude of many cites and enter the numbers manually. The easiest way may be to simply google “altitude of [your town]”. Remember to convert it to kilometers. One kilometer is about 3300 feet.

If your latitude is 39 S, enter -39. If your longitude is 76 W, enter -76.
You’ll also need to enter the time of day you are going out in the sun, expressed as UTC (Greenwich Mean Time). Here is a converter that will convert local time into UTC. The calculator uses a 24 hour clock, so hours from 1 PM to midnight are expressed as 13 to 24.

The calculator also wants to know the thickness of the ozone layer. I suggest just setting this one to medium.

Be sure to click the radio button next to the entries. They are often not automatically selected when you fill in the values.

Keep in mind that the exposure times given are considered enough to maintain healthy vitamin D status. If you are starting out with a vitamin D deficiency, you might need more.

Resources:

Nutrition Data August 10, 2009

CNN October 4, 2009

Times Online October 10, 2009

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