Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How Nutrition Affects Swine Flu (Influenza) and Immunity

Why are the Public Health authorities silent on the role of nutrition to protect us during an official national health emergency? Do they not know, or simply not care? Is either answer acceptable to citizens concerned about their health and wanting to get practical/real/fair/impartial information that we can utilize to help protect our families? Here's what the experts are not telling us:

  • Did you know that if you had the seasonal flu vaccine last year it may make you more vulnerable to the swine flu this year? Vaccines create antibodies that actually make you more susceptible to other organisms, like viruses and bacteria. (Four Canadian studies reported by CBC News, 9/23/09)
  • Did you know that side effects of vaccines can be minimized if there are adequate levels of vitamin D in the person? (Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40. Review.)
  • Did you know that a lack of vitamin D makes people far more likely to have respiratory infections? (On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29. Review.) Did you know that the virus itself can become less aggressive and less prone to mutating into more dangerous forms if a person has adequate levels of nutrients, especially antioxidants? (Host nutritional status: the neglected virulence factor. Trends Microbiol. 2004 Sep;12(9):417-23. Review.)
  • Did you know that antioxidants, like selenium, not only reduce our vulnerability to getting influenza but also reduce the chances that it will progress into pneumonia! (Host nutritional status: the neglected virulence factor. Trends Microbiol. 2004 Sep;12(9):417-23. Review.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nutrition, Eye Health & Diseases of Aging Eyes

Glaucoma is pressure in the eyes and can be from different causes such as narrow/inflamed tear duct drainage or a type of high blood pressure type problem. Since synthetic prostaglandin eye drops (travatan, etc) are sometimes used to maintain normal pressure, it implies that natural prostaglandins (GLA, fish oil) might prevent certain forms of glaucoma. Cataracts and macular degeneration are caused by oxidative damage. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17478338?ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Lutein is the key but not sole antioxidant. It does take about 5 grams of fat to absorb 10 milligrams of lutein (usually found in a complex also containing zeaxanthin), so lutein only absorbs well if taken with a meal. Eye formulas are also very good to supply multiple antioxidants and eye nutrients. These should also be taken with meals. Lutein is also the yellow pigment in egg whites, dark green leafy vegetables, yellow corn, orange peppers and squash. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=9828775