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Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for the synthesis of the structural protein collagen, the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, and the amino acid carnitine. It is also involved in cholesterol metabolism and is a significant antioxidant. In addition, vitamin C plays a profound role in the health of the immune system.

    WHAT IS IT?
    Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble micronutrient. Human beings cannot manufacture their own vitamin C and must rely on outside sources, including food and supplements, to obtain it. Other forms of vitamin C, which may be found in supplements include, ascorbyl palmitate (a fat-soluble form) and mineral ascorbates such as calcium ascorbate.

    Vitamin C is found in different fruits and vegetables. Although the vitamin C content varies depending upon the produce,1 about five servings (2½ cups) of fruits and vegetables should average out to about 200 mg of vitamin C. Rich sources of vitamin C include sweet red peppers, strawberries, orange juice, grapefruit juice, oranges, and broccoli. Other good sources include grapefruit, tomatoes and potato.

    WHAT DOES IT DO?
    Vitamin C is best known for its role in the synthesis of collagen, a connective tissue protein used as a structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. A deficiency of vitamin C leads to the deficiency disease “scurvy,” characterized by insufficient collagen production. This water-soluble vitamin is also needed for the synthesis of: 1) the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which performs critical brain function including an effect on mood, and 2) the amino acid carnitine, which is essential for the transport of fat into cellular mitochondria, where the fat is converted to energy or ATP.2 Vitamin C may also be involved in the metabolism of cholesterol to bile acids, which may be important for blood cholesterol levels and the incidence of gallstones.3

    Another significant function of vitamin C is the important role it plays as an antioxidant, protecting vital molecules in the body from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species. These molecules include proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). Vitamin C also plays a complementary role with other antioxidants, such as vitamin E, helping to regenerate them from their oxidized form back into their reduced (active) form.4,5

    Vitamin C also plays a profound role in the health of the immune system, stimulating the production and function of white blood cells, including leukocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes and phagocytes.6,7,8,9,10,11,12 In addition, research has demonstrated that supplemental vitamin C increases serum levels of antibodies13,14 and C1q complement proteins.15,16,17 Also, vitamin C has been shown to increase interferon levels in vitro,18 and research on supplemental vitamin C and the common cold suggests that it promotes an antiviral effect in humans.19

    WHO SHOULD USE IT?
    Given that humans do not make any vitamin C themselves, everyone would do well to supplement with vitamin C. This is especially true during times when additional immune support is desirable—such as during cold and flu season.

    DOSAGE/TIMING
    The RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. The RDA for men and women smokers is 125 mg and 110 mg, respectively. However, studies conducted at the National Institutes of Health indicated that plasma and circulating cells in healthy subjects attain near-maximal concentrations of vitamin C at a dose of about 400 mg/day—a dose much higher than the current RDA.20 This suggests that a daily intake of 400 mg is advisable.

    Vitamin C can be taken with or without food, so the timing is not critical.

    ADVERSE REACTIONS/ INTERACTIONS
    An adult dose of up to 10 grams of vitamin C daily has not been found to be toxic or detrimental to health. High dose of vitamin C, however, may induce diarrhea. The concept of “bowel tolerance” describes utilizing vitamin C in amounts just short of the doses, which produce diarrhea.21 The Food and Nutrition Board recommends an upper limit of 2,000 mg daily in order to prevent most adults from experiencing diarrhea and gastrointestinal disturbances.22

    There is some controversial evidence that high doses of vitamin C (16 grams/day) reduced the response to warfarin in two people,23,24 possibly by causing diarrhea and reducing warfarin absorption.25 To be safe, individuals on anticoagulants should limit their vitamin C intake to 1 gram/day.

    CONCLUSION
    In conclusion, vitamin C performs several important roles in the body. It is necessary for the synthesis of the structural protein collagen, needed for blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone, as well as for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which affects mood. Vitamin C is also necessary for the synthesis of the amino acid carnitine, which is essential for fat transport and energy production. This critical nutrient may be involved in the metabolism of cholesterol to bile acids and provides significant antioxidant protection against free radicals. Finally, vitamin C plays a profound role in the health of the immune system, stimulating the production and function of white blood cells.

    Endnotes
    1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22. 2009. Available at: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/.
    2. Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(6):1086–107.
    3. Simon JA, Hudes ES. Serum ascorbic acid and gallbladder disease prevalence among US adults: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(7):931–6.
    4. See note 2 above.
    5. Bruno RS, Leonard SW, Atkinson J, et al. Faster plasma vitamin E disappearance in smokers is normalized by vitamin C supplementation. Free Radic Biol Med. 2006;40(4):689–97.
    6. Prinz W, Bortz R, Bregin B, Hersch M. The effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on some parameters of the human immunological defense system. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1977;47(3):248–57.
    7. Vallance S. Relationships between ascorbic acid and serum proteins of the immune system. Br Med J. 1977;2(6084):437–438.
    8. Kennes B, Dumont I, Brohee D, Hubert C, Neve P. Effect of vitamin C supplements on cell-mediated immunity in old people. Gerontology. 1983;29(5):305–10.
    9. Panush RS, Delafuente JC, Katz P, Johnson J. Modulation of certain immunologic responses by vitamin C. III. Potentiation of in vitro and in vivo lymphocyte responses. Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl.1982;23:35–47.
    10. Jariwalla RJ, Harakeh S. Antiviral and immunomodulatory activities of ascorbic acid. In: Harris JR (ed). Subcellular Biochemistry. Vol. 25. Ascorbic Acid: Biochemistry and Biomedical Cell Biology. New York: Plenum Press; 1996:215–31.
    11. Levy R, Shriker O, Porath A, Riesenberg K, Schlaeffer F. Vitamin C for the treatment of recurrent furunculosis in patients with impaired neutrophil functions. J Infect Dis. 1996;173(6):1502–5.
    12. Anderson R, Oosthuizen R, Maritz R, Theron A, Van Rensburg AJ. The effects of increasing weekly doses of ascorbate on certain cellular and humoral immune functions in normal volunteers. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980;33(1):71–6.
    13. Prinz W, Bloch J, Gilich G, Mitchell G. A systematic study of the effect of vitamin C supplementation on the humoral immune response in ascorbate-dependent mammals. I. The antibody response to sheep red blood cells (a T-dependent antigen) in guinea pigs. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1980;50(3):294–300.
    14. Feigen GA, Smith BH, Dix CE, et al. Enhancement of antibody production and protection against systemic anaphylaxis by large doses of vitamin C. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1982;38(2):313–33.
    15. Haskell BE, Johnston CS. Complement component C1q activity and ascorbic acid nutriture in guinea pigs. Am J Clin Nutr.1991;54(6 Suppl):1228S–30S.
    16. Johnston CS, Cartee GD, Haskell BE. Effect of ascorbic acid nutriture on protein-bound hydroxyproline in guinea pig plasma. J Nutr. 1985;115(8):1089–93.
    17. Johnston CS, Kolb WP, Haskell BE. The effect of vitamin C nutriture on complement component C1q concentrations in guinea pig plasma. J Nutr. 1987;117(4):764–8.
    18. Dahl H, Degre M. The effect of ascorbic acid on production of human interferon and the antiviral activity in vitro. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand B. 1976;84B(5):280–4.
    19. Sasazuki S, Sasaki S, Tsubono Y, Okubo S, Hayashi M, Tsugane S. Effect of vitamin C on common cold: randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006;60(1):9–17.
    20. Higdon J, Drake VJ. Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2006-2009. Retrieved June 15, 2011 from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/index.html#lpi_recommend.
    21. Cathcart RF. Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 1981;7(11):1359–76.
    22. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000:95–185.
    23. Rosenthal G. Interaction of ascorbic acid and warfarin. JAMA1971;215:1671.
    24. Smith EC, Skalski RJ, Johnson GC, Rossi GV. Interaction of ascorbic acid and warfarin. JAMA 1972;221:1166.
    25. Feetam CL, Leach RH, Meynell MJ. Lack of a clinically important interaction between warfarin and ascorbic acid. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1975;31:544–7.
  • The heart is a functioning muscle and needs oxygen and fuel in order to do its work. It is the job of the coronary arteries to supply the necessary oxygen and nutrients to the muscle. When one of the three major coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked, blood flow to the muscle is reduced, resulting in angina pectoris—a feeling of tightness or pressure in the chest often associated with shortness of breath. At first, angina may only be obvious during periods of exercise or emotional stress, and may go away when the activity ceases. Later, it may occur even while resting. If the blood flow to an area of the heart completely stops, heart muscle cells die, causing a heart attack, or myocardial infarction. While healing, the infarcted or damaged area forms a scar, but is no longer a functioning part of heart muscle.

    Conventional medical treatments for angina include blood vessel dilators such as nitroglycerine and other nitrites and calcium channel blockers. If arteriograms show clogged coronary arteries, bypass surgery is usually recommended.

    Dietary Supplements: Primary Recommendations

    Vitamin C
    Those pesky little free radicals really get around. They seem to be involved in almost every cardiovascular condition, and angina is no exception.1,2 Consequently, it's not surprising that vitamin C and other antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals, are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of angina. In fact, studies have shown that men and women with lower blood levels of vitamin C have a higher risk for angina.3,4,5,6 Furthermore, research has also shown that vitamin C supplementation, with or without other antioxidants, has been able to reduce the incidence of angina.7,8,9 About 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily is recommended.

    Co-enzyme Q10
    Co-enzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like substance involved in cellular energy metabolism. It is also an antioxidant, like vitamin C, that is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of angina. In a study, which reviewed the scientific literature, Co-enzyme Q10 was revealed to be used in oral form to treat various cardiovascular disorders including angina.10 In one study, patients with acute myocardial infarction experienced a significant reduction in angina, arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat), and poor heart function when supplemented with 120 mg of Co-enzyme Q10 daily.11 Of course everyone knows that exercise is good to prevent cardiovascular disease. But in one study, patients with ischemic heart disease/effort angina were found to experience a faster loss of Co-enzyme Q10 during exercise.12 Does this mean that you shouldn't exercise if you have angina? No, it just means you should supplement with Co-enzyme Q10. In another study, 150 mg of Co-enzyme Q10 given to angina patients not only increased their blood levels of Co-enzyme Q10, but also increased their ability to exercise longer. These results lead the researchers to conclude, "This study suggests that Co-enzyme Q10 is a safe and promising treatment for angina pectoris."13 (Note: If you have acute angina, you should only exercise in accordance to a program approved by your physician.)

    Vitamin E
    Vitamin E is considered by many to be the granddaddy of all antioxidant and cardiovascular support vitamins—and this reputation certainly holds true in the case of angina. As with vitamin C and Co-enzyme Q10 previously discussed, vitamin E protects against the free radical damage associated with angina. But what happens when there are inadequate levels of vitamin E? Not surprisingly, research shows that blood levels of vitamin E are significantly lower in patients with angina, and that these lower levels render them more susceptible to further cardiovascular damage.14,15,16 And what happens if vitamin E is supplemented? Various studies show that vitamin E supplementation, with or without other antioxidants, is able to successfully decrease the incidence of angina in affected patients.17,18,19 In fact, in a study, which examined vitamin use in 2313 men, vitamin E supplementation was found to have the strongest association with a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease, including angina.20 Finally, vitamin E supplementation together with conventional anti-anginal drug therapy has been found to bring a higher response and exercise improvement, as well as other positive changes, than drug therapy alone.21 About 100 –400 IU of vitamin E daily is recommended.

    L-Carnitine
    L-carnitine is an amino acid involved in energy metabolism. Extensive research has also shown that l-carnitine has a valuable role to play in cardiovascular disease, especially where angina is concerned. Several studies have demonstrated that supplementation with l-carnitine (2000 to 4000 mg daily) is able to reduce the incidence of anginal attacks in cardiovascular disease patients.22,23,24,25 Furthermore, in studies involving patients with angina pectoris and effort angina (i.e., angina induced by physical effort, such as exercise), supplementation with l-carnitine (2000 or 3000 mg daily) was able to improve exercise performance.26,27,28,29,30 Furthermore, in a study where l-carnitine was given to patients with effort angina along with anti-arrhythmic drugs, the l-carnitine was found to improve the action of those drugs.31

    Hawthorne
    Germany's Commission E has validated the use of Hawthorn in cases of cardiac insufficiency, resulted in an improvement of subjective findings as well as an increase in heart work tolerance, and a decrease in pressure/heart rate product.32 (Although Hawthorne Berry products are often marketed, it is the Hawthorne leaves and flowers which have been so carefully researched and validated.). In one study, a 60 mg hawthorn extract taken three times per day improved heart function and exercise tolerance in angina patients.33

    L-Arginine
    Typically physicians will give their angina patients a prescription for nitroglycerin tablets, which are used in case of an angina attack. Nitroglycerine works through dilation of arteries, which in turn, works through an interaction with nitric oxide, which stimulates dilation. It is interesting to note that nitric oxide is made from the amino acid arginine. Furthermore, blood cells in people with angina have been shown to make insufficient nitric oxide,34 (possibly due to abnormalities of arginine metabolism). Of greatest significance is research showing that 2 grams (2,000 mg) of arginine, three times per day for as little as three days improved the ability of angina sufferers to exercise.35 Additional research has shown that the mechanism by which arginine operates is through stimulating blood vessel dilation.36 (Note: If you have an active herpes virus, you should avoid arginine supplements since they can "feed" the virus.)

    Dietary Supplements: Secondary Recommendations

    Magnesium
    The heartbeat normalizing effects of magnesium has been described repeatedly since 1935, both as a factor in human disease and in animal experiments. Nevertheless, this therapeutic effectiveness is rarely mentioned in textbooks. Both the therapeutic effect of magnesium and the correction of magnesium deficiency have been used in treatment of digitalis toxicity (a drug used to treat angina), angina, as well as in arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) of unknown origin. Magnesium deficiency can be caused by a number of situations. Of possible concern to the angina sufferer are the uses of drugs such as digitalis, diuretics, gentamicin, as well as cisplatinum, which appreciably enhance urinary magnesium loss. Correction of magnesium deficiency should lead to recovery.37 About 300 – 500 mg daily is recommended. Please note, however, that it may take weeks or even months of magnesium supplementation, to achieve an angina-relieving result.

    Omega-3 fatty acids
    The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been studied in the treatment of angina. Some research indicates that 3 grams or more of omega-3 oils (e.g., fish oils) three times per day (providing a total of about 3 grams of EPA and 2 grams of DHA) have reduced chest pain as well as the need for nitroglycerin, a common medication used to treat angina.38 However, other research did not confirm these benefits.39 In any case, if omega-3's are used, vitamin E should be supplemented with it, since the vitamin E may protect the oils against free radical oxidation.40 Also, if you are using any type of blood-thinning medication, consult with your doctor before using omega-3 fatty acids.

    Bromelain
    Bromelain acts naturally as a blood thinner agent since it prevents excessive blood platelet from clumping together,41 which would otherwise cause "sludgy" blood. Furthermore, there have been positive reports in a few clinical trials of bromelain to decrease thrombophlebitis (inflammation of veins) and pain from angina and thrombophlebitis.42,43 About 1200–1500 mg daily (derived from at least 900 GDU/Gram material) is recommended.

    References:

    1. Ito K, et al, Am J Cardiol(1998) 82 (6):762-7.
    2. Kugiyama K , et al, J Am Coll Cardiol (1998) 32(1):103–9.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Riemersma RA, et al, Ann NY Acad Sci (1989) 570:29–5.
    5. Riemersma RA, et al, Lancet (1991) 337(8732):1–5.
    6. Ness AR, et al, J Cardiovasc Risk (1996) 3(4):373–7.
    7. Ito K, et al, Am J Cardiol (1998) 82 (6):762–7.
    8. Kugiyama K, et al, J Am Coll Cardiol (1998) 32(1):103–9.
    9. Singh RB, et al, Am J Cardiol (1996) 77(4):232–6.
    10. Greenberg S, Frishman WH, J Clin Pharmacol (1990)30(7):596–608.
    11. Singh RB, et al, Cardiovasc Drugs Ther (1998) 12(4):347–53.
    12. Karlsson J, et al, Ann Med (1991) 23(3):339–44.
    13. Kamikawa T, Am J Cardiol (1985) 56 (4):247–51.
    14. Miwa K, et al, Cardiovasc Res (1999) 41(1):291–8.
    15. Miwa K, et al, Circulation (1996) 94(1):14–8.
    16. Pucheu S, et al, Free Radic Biol Med (1995) 19(6):873–81.
    17. Rapola JM, et al, JAMA(1996) 275(9):693–8.
    18. Singh RB, et al, Am J Cardiol (1996) 77(4):232–6.
    19. Motoyama T, et al, J Am Coll Cardiol (1998) 32(6):1672–9.
    20. Meyer F, Bairati I, Dagenais GR, Can J Cardiol (1996)12(10):930–4.
    21. Pimenov LT, Churshin AD, Ezhov AV, Klin Med (1997) 75(1):32–5.
    22. Singh RB, et al, Postgrad Med J (1996) 72(843):45–50.
    23. Davini P, et al, Drugs Exp Clin Res (1992) 18(8):355–65.
    24. Fernandez C, Proto C, Clin Ter (1992) 140(4):353–77.
    25. Ferrari R, Cucchini F, Visioli O, Int J Cardiol (1984) 5(2):213–6.
    26. Kobayashi A, Masumura Y, Yamazaki N, Jpn Circ J (1992) 56(1):86–94.
    27. Cacciatore L, et al, Drugs Exp Clin Res (1991) 17(4):225–35.
    28. Canale C, et al, Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol(1988) 26(4):221–4.
    29. Cherchi A, et al, Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol (1985) 23(10):569–72.
    30. Kamikawa T, et al, Jpn Heart J (1984) 25(4):587–97.
    31. Mondillo S, et al, Clin Ter (1995) 146(12):769–74.
    32. Blumenthal, M., et al, The Complete German Commission E Monogrpahs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines/CD version (1998) American Botanical Council, Austin, Texas.
    33. Hanack T, Bruckel MH, Therapiewoche (983) 33:4331–33 [in German].
    34. Mollace V, et al, Am J Cardiol (1994) 74:65–68.
    35. Ceremuzynski L, Chamiec T, Herbaczynska-Cedro K, Am J Cardiol (1997) 80:331–33.
    36. Egashira K, et al, Circulation (1996) 94:130–34.
    37. Laban E, Charbon GA, J Am Coll Nutr (1986) 5(6):521–32.
    38. Saynor R, Verel D, Gillott T, Atheroscl (1984) 50:3–10.
    39. Mehta JL, et al, Am J Med (1988) 84:45–52.
    40. Wander RC, et al, J Nutr (1996) 126:643–52.
    41. Heinicke R, van der Wal L, Yokoyama M, Experientia (1972) 28:844–45.
    42. Nieper HA, Acta Med Empirica (1978) 5:274–78.
    43. Seligman B, Angiology (1969) 20:22–26.
  • There has been a lot of publicity about the need for everyone to get a flu shot for protection from swine flu and seasonal flu. However, there are mixed reports surfacing on the efficacy of the existing vaccines.

    • "There is no evidence that any flu vaccine, thus far developed, is effective in preventing or mitigating an attack of influenza". Dr. J. Anthony Morris, former Chief Vaccine Officer, FDA.
    • In the October 2008 issue of the Archive of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine it was reported that vaccinating young people against the flu had no impact on flu related hospitalization.
    • A large-scale systematic review of 51 studies published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than placebo for children. The study involved 260,000 children.

    On the other hand, there very good evidence to support the use of a variety of natural strategies to deal with any flu. Some of these strategies include:

    • Avoid sugar, which lowers the immune systems strength.
    • Get plenty of sleep, which helps the body to regenerate and balance itself.
    • Avoid stress, which also lowers the strength of the immune system.
    • Wash your hands and use sanitizer cleansers, if washing is not possible.
    • Eat whole foods, no processed foods, especially plenty of vegetables.
    • Certain supplements have been shown to have a good impact on preventing the flu and lessening the symptoms. These include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Vitamin A, L-lysine, Garlic, Echinacea, Olive leaf extract and Elderberry.
    • The regimen used by the Bens family, and anyone who asks for help, includes:
    1. Vitamin D- 2,000-4.000 iu/day – Extremely effective at flu prevention.
    2. ACF Prevention-Immune Support from Buried Treasure. Potent anti-flu formula.
    3. Oregacillin from Physicians Strength. Clinically tested anti-viral formula.
    4. Oscillococcinum- Strong Homeopathic symptom relief.
    5. Olive Leaf Complex- Made by Barlean’s for bacterial and viral conditions.
    6. Vitamin C- If your condition moves into your lungs Dr. Andrew Saul recommends taking 2000 mg of vitamin C every 6 minutes until you get relief. Dr. Saul resolved his viral pneumonia in 3 hours with this approach.

    These natural flu prevention and treatment strategies have good scientific evidence as well as support from doctors in actual practice. They are not only effective; they have no side effects. Most of the flu vaccines not only have little scientific evidence, they also have numerous possible negative reactions including increased risk of asthma, autism, and neurological damage. The sooner you start the above treatment the better your results will be.

    A strong immune system appears to be the best way to combat any flu.

  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the February 2019 issue of TotalHealthOnline Magazine. We wish everyone a Happy Valentines Day.

    Charles K. Bens, PhD, in “Changing Your Age Equation” gives us a heads up with general strategies and to be adjusted based on factors such as age, sex, general health, metabolism, genetics and income. We all can only do the best that we can given our personal circumstances. Bens is clear on there being no excuse for not paying attention to the scientific facts that are included in this article.

    Stress Hormone #2—Insulin,” by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. Long-time weight loss, detox, and anti-aging expert alerts us that insulin is the one hormone that you have the most control over. It is controlled primarily by what you put in your mouth. All foods trigger a hormonal response. Gittleman shares details on how excess production of insulin can result in too much blood sugar being stored as fat, interfering with weight loss efforts. Another reminder on the influence of stress on the body.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, in “An Overview of Vitamin C.” This is one vitamin the human body is unable to make. The source of vitamin C is your diet and supplements. Broccoli and potatoes (not French fries) in addition to orange juice and grapefruit juice are good sources. There are some exceptions based on prescriptions you may be taking. Bruno also discuses dosages of supplements and where there may be restrictions. We always recommend consulting with your healthcare provider.

    BEMER For Circulation Health,” by Ross Pelton, RPh, CCN, recommends and discusses a product, which helps blood circulation, including even the tiniest vessels in the body. BEMER stands for Bio-Electro-Magnetic Energy Regulation. BEMER Pro is an FDA-approved Class 1 medical device that dramatically improves circulation to micro-capillaries throughout the body. BEMER is not a “therapy” for any disease or health condition. However, many functions in the body start to improve when cells receive more oxygen, more nutrients and generate more energy.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, offers “Menestra de Lentejas (Lentil Stew).” Another of Gilbère’s fabulous recipes from her test kitchen in Ecuador. “If you visit this unforgettable country (my new chosen homeland) of amazing people, spectacular scenery, celebratory festivals, diverse music, and colorful ancient customs, the one thing you’ll find everywhere is the national dish—menestra.” Menestra is made with lentils, you may also see it with chickpeas, red or pinto beans, it can be made with or without meat for vegetarians.

    Shawn Messonnier’s, DVM, topic this month is “Liver Disease in Pets.” Beginning with, “liver disease is the catch-all term that is applied to any medical disorder affecting the liver and usually causing elevated blood levels of liver enzymes. It can be divided into both acute and chronic disease.” Read on for a thorough discussion of liver disease in pets. Thanks to you our readers, the authors and advertisers.

    Best in health,

    TWIP—The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full February 2019 issue.

    Click here to read the full February 2019 issue.

  • Dear Readers,

    Early this morning, Sam clicked on Pandora on his iPhone and Le Freak started playing. If you don't know that song, look on YouTube and watch the 'Freak Out' video by Chic which was popular in 1978 when I was 13 years old. We must have healthy amygdalas because we remembered the lyrics which go like this: Aww freak out! Le Freak! Say Chic! Freak out!"

    At some point, the beat overcame our sleepiness and we both started to do a little bed dance, complete with hip gyrations, but not in the way you are thinking. (Stop thinking that, this is a family-friendly column!)

  • 1. Eat only whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, chicken, fish and whole grains (not wheat). Eat organic if you can, no junk food, no fried food, no cow dairy products and nothing with sugar added.

    2. Eat three small meals and two healthy snacks each day. Eat no starches, breads or sugar after 3:00 PM and eat enough calories to equal ten times your body weight to maintain your current weight. Use herbs and spices liberally and eat 50 percent of your plant foods raw.

    3. If you want to lose weight never cut your calories by more than 10 percent of the amount suggested in item #2 above. Your metabolism will slow down and cause you to gain weight if you try to cut your calories by more than 10 percent.

    4. Drink a green powdered drink every day. Use vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and rice milk, coconut milk, or almond milk to make a shake and then add a scoop of green powder and a scoop of protein powder. This drink will provide over ten helpings of vegetables and fruits.

    5. Take the following nutritional supplements every day.

    Consider www.allstarhealth.com and order the brand Source Naturals. High quality/low price.

    6. Exercise 45 to 60 minutes every day, enough to sweat and raise your heart rate by 50 percent above normal. Do aerobics, resistance and flexibility type exercises. Consult with your doctor before beginning your program so he/she can help you take into account your age, weight and medical condition.

    7. Practice yoga, meditation or deep breathing for at least 30 minutes each day. These are proven ways to reduce and manage stress.

    8. Go to bed at least one hour before midnight and sleep seven to nine hours depending on your need, to awaken refreshed and energized. When you sleep your body detoxifies, rebuilds and balances your biochemistry.

    9. Get the right tests to ensure your body is within healthy ranges for bio-markers. Use the following tests beyond the normal ones, if you can afford them.

    • Vitamin D levels
    • Homocysteine
    • Serotonin levels -
    • Dopamine levels
    • Thermography (for breast health)
    • Glucose challenge test
    • C-reactive protein

    10.As you age (40+) you may need to add digestive enzymes, probiotics, co-enzyme Q10 and other nutrients, which diminish with age.

  • Most people contract one or more colds every year. A cold is caused by viruses that infect cells of the upper respiratory tract. Since there are over 200 different species and strains of these viruses, a cold caused by one virus does not protect a person from catching a cold cause by a different one. This explains why colds can occur one after another or several times a year. An acute sore throat, on the other hand can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. If your sore throat gets worse no matter what you do, it’s probably bacterial and may require a trip to the doctor for an antibiotic. The well-known symptoms of a cold include stuffy nose, watery eyes, low fever, aching, and possibly a sore throat.

    Conventional medical treatment for a cold generally involves rest, aspirin, decongestants, and drinking a lot of fluids. Conventional medical treatment for a sore throat also involves rest, aspirin, lots of fluids, and sometimes antibiotics. An integrative approach may also include supplementation with vitamin C, zinc lozenges, Echinacea, vitamin A, and a homeopathic remedy for colds.

    Vitamin C
    Since the late, great Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling first discussed that megadoses of vitamin C might be an effective treatment for the common cold, the medical world has published study after study attempting to prove or disprove Pauling’s claim. In some cases, the studies were flawed since the amounts of vitamin C used were hardly megadoses, and were not sufficient to elicit a response.

    Placebo-controlled studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation decreases the duration and severity of common cold infections. However, the magnitude of the benefit has substantially varied, hampering conclusions about the clinical significance of the vitamin. In one published review, 23 studies with regular vitamin C supplementation were analyzed to find out factors that may explain some part of the variation in the results. It was found that on an average, vitamin C produces greater benefit for children than for adults. Perhaps of greatest significance, the dose also affects the magnitude of the benefit, there being on average greater benefit from at least 2000 mg daily compared to 1000 mg daily. For example, in five studies with adults administered 1000 mg daily of vitamin C, the median decrease in cold duration was only six percent, whereas in two studies with children administered 2000 mg daily, the median decrease was four times higher, 26 percent. The studies analyzed in this review used regular vitamin C supplementation. The authors of the review, however, noted that, “it is conceivable that therapeutic supplementation starting early at the onset of the cold episode could produce comparable benefits.”1

    In fact, this is exactly what took place in a recent study involving 252 adult subjects with a cold or flu who were treated with hourly doses of 1000 mg of vitamin C for the first six hours, and then three times daily thereafter. A control group of 463 subjects were treated with pain relievers and decongestants. The results were that overall reported flu and cold symptoms in the vitamin C group decreased 85 percent compared with the control group after the administration of megadose Vitamin C. The researchers in this study concluded: “Vitamin C in megadoses administered before or after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group.”2

    I’ve also found effective results with the common cold when supplementing with higher doses of vitamin C. I recommend 1000–2000 mg every two hours (reduce dose if experiencing loose bowels).

    Zinc Lozenges
    Zinc’s role in immune function is well established.3 The use of zinc in a lozenge form for the treatment of the common cold is also gaining validity. In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the treatment of the common cold with zinc lozenges resulted in a significant reduction in duration of symptoms of the cold. The zinc group had significantly fewer days with coughing, headache, hoarseness, nasal congestion, nasal drainage, and sore throat. Cold symptoms were over in 4.4 days in the zinc group compared with 7.6 days in the placebo group.4

    Echinacea
    Echinacea is an immune stimulant/supporter, and is excellent in the prevention and treatment of colds and influenza. Research suggests that Echinacea supports the immune system by activating white blood cells (lymphocytes and macrophages).5 In addition, Echinacea appears to increase the production of interferon, which is important to the immune response of viral infections.6 In any case, a number of double-blind, clinical studies have confirmed Echinacea's effectiveness in treating colds and flu.7,8,9,10,11 However, some research suggests that Echinacea may be more effective if used at the onset of these conditions.12,13

    In addition, the results of a published study involving 238 subjects confirmed that Echinacea was safe and effective in producing a rapid improvement of cold symptoms. In the subgroup of patients who started therapy at an early phase of their cold, the effectiveness of Echinacea was most prominent.14 In a similar study, 246 subjects with a cold were treated with Echinacea preparations or a placebo. Those treated with the Echinacea preparations experienced a reduction of symptoms, significantly more effective than the placebo. The researchers concluded that the Echinacea preparations, "represent a low-risk and effective alternative to the standard symptomatic medicines in the acute treatment of common cold." 15

    Homeopathic Remedy For Colds
    In one clinical study, 170 soldiers suffering from the common cold were treated with either a combination homeopathic preparation, or aspirin. On the 4th and 10th treatment days, both the homeopathic remedy and the aspirin were found to possess comparative effectiveness in the treatment of the common cold.16 Another study involving 53 outpatients suffering from common cold found similar results.17

    Vitamin A
    Vitamin A's role in maintaining healthy epithelial tissue helps to fight infection by preventing the invasion of bacteria or viruses. In addition, children with even mild vitamin A deficiency develop respiratory infections and diarrhea at two and three times the rate of children with normal vitamin A status.18

    common cold treatments


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    13. Grimm W, Müller HH. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of fluid extract of Echinacea purpurea on the incidence and severity of colds and respiratory tract infections. Am J Med 1999;106:138–43.
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