Confronting Viral Infections

Posted by Rita Texeira on 29 September 2021
Confronting Viral Infections

Supplements appear to have varied levels of evidence to assist our immune system. The supplement with the most evidence so far has been vitamin D. Definite benefits have been seen in patients with adequate levels of vitamin D and disease progression and outcomes.Currently there are no public health guidelines around vitamin D supplementation but we recommend around 3000 IU/daily. Routine testing of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is highly recommended as a measure of some currency. This will enable you to adjust your dose to suit. Vitamin D needs to be converted in the liver and this can pose a problem for certain people with genetic variants. Here we recommend an active form of vitamin D but only after checking your levels first.

Some evidence is currently emerging that there appears to be a synergistic interplay between vitamin D and K. Vitamin K2 is known to be protective for bone and cardiovascular health. Vitamin K2 is mostly from bacterial origin and can be found in fermented foods and animal organ meat.Another agent to consider in Quercetin. It has been shown to be effective in some viral infections such as Ebola and significant anti-viral activity has recently been reported. In combination with vitamin C and D it may have some immunomodulatory properties.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) has been researched to eliminate flu viruses. NAC also has evidence as an anti-oxidant supplement and can reduce oxidative stress.

But immunity isn’t all depended on supplementation. The importance of adequate sleep needs to be emphasised. The immune system seems to be more robust with at least 7 hours of sleep each night. The hours before midnight are the most beneficial because during those hours slow wave sleep is released. Growth hormone is released which is important for longevity and overall health.

Viral infections are known to increase oxidative stress and plays a role in negative outcomes after the infection. Melatonin can assist with sleep issuesand protects against oxidative stress. This is now available over the counter but only for patients above 55 years.

The importance of Zinc can’t be forgotten and we urge people not to self-prescribe. Discuss your plasma levels with your health care provider and supplement appropriately. The innate immune system seems to get weaker with age and Zinc uptake. Appropriate innate immune response is a critical factor in favourable disease outcome. People susceptible to severe viral disease aren’t able to mount an effective early antiviral response. Many herbals have strong antiviral properties and can be considered.

Thermal management during a fever has also shown to bring on a faster resolution of the infections. Researchers looked into measures to increase body temperature and were surprised to find the activation of the immune system. Hydrotherapy and sauna may be a consideration.

Please follow public health measures in order to prevent infections. Stay committed by observing distance, hygiene, ventilate your home and wear a mask when needed.

Stay healthy and contact us for an appointment to discuss your health.

References

P.K Agrawal, C. Agrawal & G. Blunden (2020) Quercetin: Antiviral significance ……Natural Product Communications, Volume 15 912) 1-10.

Nancy R Gough, Interferon responses could explain susceptibility…… (Https://medium.com/swhil/ interferon –responses-…….

J. Hadjadj, N.Yatim et al, Impaired type 1 interferon activity and inflammatory response in severe……, Science 7 August 2020, Vol 369.

Zeller M, Hegovics N, Roth E et al, Human monocyte stimulation by experimental whole body hyperthermia, Wiel Klin Wochensch, 2002 Feb 15, 114

Posted in:Coronavirus  

How important is Therapeutic Fibre in your diet ?

Posted by Rita Texeira on 17 June 2021
How important is Therapeutic Fibre in your diet ?
Altered GIT (Gastro-intestinal tract) play a significant role in the promotion of metabolic syndrome and obesity. Dietary fibre can modulate the diversity of the microbiome.

Fibre is a group of materials and have different biological effects. Certain types of fibres are fermentable typically by Lacto & Bifido bacteria and this produces short chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are the preferred food for our colonocyte and keep the digestive tract healthy. Some fibres are also prebiotics. Short chain fatty acids also have immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. Pectins from both apple and citrus, guar gum and other legumes produce more short chain fatty acids than other fibres such as oat bran.

There are many forms of fibres such as :

Soluble Fibres: Chia seeds, linseeds, oat bran, pectins (citrus rind, apple and onion skins), green banana, guar gum.

Chia seeds contain both soluble as well as insoluble fibres.

Linseeds are the most balanced option and contain lignans. Lignans can act as antioxidants and anticarcinogenic. Lignans can also bind to oestrogen receptors and protect breast tissue.
These fibres slow gastric emptying and minimise cholesterol uptake and lead to better glycaemic control. Mucilages such as legumes, konjac root, slippery elm and marshmallow root can also chelate heavy metals.

Insoluble Fibres: Wheat bran, rice bran, nuts and many fruit and vegetables.
These fibres will speed up bowel transit time and promote regular motions. Wheat bran does contain phytic acid which could give rise to mineral imbalances.

Rice bran has beta glucans (immune stimulants) but unfortunately most cultivated rice bran is contaminated with Arsenic. Studies have shown this to be true from products farmed in different parts of the world.

Some recent research indicates that a viscous fibre such as psyllium can reduce glucose absorption by around 12%. Long-terms low fibre intake can result in reduced microbial diversity. High fat/low fibre diets have been directly linked to an increased risk in type 2 diabetes and an increased colonisation of pathogenic strains in the gut.

A significant less diverse microbiome was found in the elderly especially those in care facilities. This directly correlates with more co-morbidities.

Fibre is recommended at around 30gr a day but our ancestors consumed around 100 gr/day. The introduction of extra fibre in the diet can lead to side effects such as bloating. Certain underlying conditions such as SIBO (Small bacterial bowel overgrowth) can aggravate. Start with low dose and include prebiotics with every meal. We recommend Fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) or Guar Gum as well as a balanced diet. FOS can be found naturally in Jerusalem artichokes, burdock, chicory dandelion root, leeks, onions and asparagus. It can be purchased as a nutritional supplement.

If you would like to book an appointment to discuss your fibre intake or purchase supplements please email us at reception@resolvemyhealth.com.au or call us on 07 5525 2211.

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Posted in:WellbeingBuilding Your Immune SystemWeightlossHealthy EatingDietHealthFibre  

What is the evidence for Vitamin D and immune function ?

Posted by Rita Texeira on 22 February 2021
What is the evidence for Vitamin D and immune function ?

Research suggests the benefit of supplemental vitamin D to assist with immune function. Vitamin D controls the expression of selected genes as it's a steroid hormone. It can effect transcriptional changes within our genes. Further evidence suggests vitamin D to be an important regulator of immune function. An observational study in Germany showed reduced mortality to respiratory conditions with adequate vitamin D levels.

Many of my patients are aware of optimal vitamin D levels and osteoporosis but few know about the link to the immune system. White blood cells (WBC) have vitamin D receptors and have been shown to reduce the risk of infections such as influenza. It has also shown to increase antimicrobial peptides in human WBC.

A survey conducted in the United States indicated that people spend around 86,9 percent of their day indoors. Although figurers may be different for anybody living over the 34 degrees latitude. Viral infection are higher in the winter months and in cities more south.(Australia)

There are other factors leading to lower vitamin D levels such as a diet with an increase consumption of high fructose corn syrup, higher body mass index and patients with chronic kidney disease. Skin colour also effects vitamin D absorption and with aging the skin is no longer efficient to make adequate vitamin D levels.

Do you know your vitamin D levels? Consider doing a test.
Medicare only funds testing for patients with certain relevant health conditions. It is advisable to know your levels for optimal dosage.

You can contact us for a referral to have your levels tested. Some Pathology labs can test for both your storage and active vitamin D. This is important for anybody with chronic auto immune conditions. Some references.
MacLaughlin J & Holick M F (1985), Aging decreases the capacity of human skin to produce vitamin D, J. Clin Invest, 76 (4) 1536-1538.

Lui P T,(2006) Toll-like receptor triggering of a vitamin D mediated human antimicrobial response. Science, 311, 1770-1773.
Calder P C, Carr A C, Gombart A F, Eggersdorfer M (2020) Optimal nutritional status for a well-functioning immune system is an important factor to protect against viral infections, Nutrients,12:118
McCarthy D M, O'Shea P M, Faul J L et al (2020), Vitamin D and SARS-COV-2 infections evolution of evidence supporting clinical practice and policy development, Ir J Med Sci.Griffen T P, Bell M, Robinson T (2017), Vitamin D and Vitamin D deficiency in Ireland a call to action: UPDATE

If you would like to book an appointment or purchase supplements please email us at reception@resolvemyhealth.com.au or call us on 07 5525 2211.


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Posted in:Building Your Immune SystemVitamin DVitamins and Immunityimmunisationimmunity  

10 natural weight loss tips to shape up for summer

Posted by Rita Texeira on 8 September 2020
10 natural weight loss tips to shape up for summer

With Spring in full swing now is the perfect time to put your newly found motivation to good use and shed those extra 'winter' kilos. To help you on your weight loss journey here are 10 tips to get into shape naturally.

1. Start your day with lemon water

Starting your day with a glass of warm water and a piece of lemon in it is a great way to detox and wake up your system, so put this one down on your New Year's Resolutions list.

2. Track your food intake

Track the frequency, amount and types of foods you are eating.  With loads of tempting treats around, it's important to choose your foods wisely so you fill up more on good foods and leave the treats as just that treats. Opt for leafy green salads, vegetable dishes, and lean proteins, not only will these be better for you they will also leave you fuller for longer and help you to maintain consistent energy levels.

3. Be Prepared

Clean out the junk in your pantry and fill it with healthy alternatives for that mid afternoon snack attack!  Prepare snacks for work or outings and with parties eat a healthy meal before going out and/or take a healthy dish to contribute that you can enjoy.

4. Listen to your body

Don't automatically assume to loose those extra kilos you need to stop eating and start exercising hard or excessively.  You may be the opposite, where you're life is so hectic you need to stop, meditate and calm your system down, stress can often be a contributor to weight gain.

5. Watch your coffee

Are you consuming too much coffee due to a hectic lifestyle?  If yes, substitute some of your coffees for water. Not only will it keep you well hydrated in the heat of summer, it flushes out toxins, aids in digestion, raises your metabolism and aids in weight loss. With your brain being mostly water too, it will also help you feel more awake and alert.

6. Exercise

Daily exercise will not only make you look fitter and thinner, you'll prevent many life-threatening conditions, improve your muscle strength and joint function, boost oxygen and nutrient supply to all your cells, you'll sleep better and be less stressed.

If exercising is becoming more of a chore, mix up your routine to include brisk walking, swimming, beach walking (you'll use more muscles) or other fun activities like climbing, hiking and snorkelling.

7. Move!

Keep moving. Did you know standing can burn up more calories than just sitting 1.5 times more in fact!  Give your seat up on the bus or train; walk around while on the phone or even work at the computer standing up every now and again.

8. Supplements and Herbals

Nutritionally we recommend Chromium, Magnesium and Lipoic Acid supplementation for weight loss. Chromium helps to improve blood sugar regulation, reduction in leptin levels waist, hip circumference and thus abdominal obesity. Magnesium has been shown to reduce BMI, body fat percentage, insulin and insulin resistance, and Lipoic acid improves insulin sensitivity. 

There are also a number of herbals that can assist with weight loss:

  • Nigella sativa  provides significant reduction in cholesterol and blood glucose)
  • Gymnema   reduces cravings for sweetness/sugar and offers a favourable shift in lipid profiles
  • Fenugreek  has been found to reduce fasting glucose, plasma insulin and insulin resistance
  • Coleus  has a positive effect on fasting insulin, improving lipid profiles
  • Holy Basil  - has the ability to reduce fasting blood glucose by 17%)
  • Magnolia  - can manage stress and prevent hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance, which suppresses weight gain and stimulates adipocyte differentiation

Please note though that herbals do need to be prescribed by a professional after a consultation to avoid herb drug interactions.

9. Get a good night sleep

Lack of sleep can really affect the way our bodies function. When you get a good night's sleep your metabolism speeds up, you look more vibrant, you're less likely to get ill and it's proven to help us live longer. Ideally you want to aim for 8 hours, so try to be in bed by 10.30pm.

10. Be kind to yourself

It's okay to have an off day. Healthy eating isn't about elimination it's about moderation. Remind yourself of all the good days, give yourself a pat on the back and keep going! Incorporating a healthy lifestyle will ensure that all your future summers are greeted with enthusiasm rather than trepidation.

Posted in:WellbeingNutritionWeightlossHealthy EatingDietHealth  

Update regarding Coronavirus

Posted by Rita Texeira on 27 March 2020
Update regarding Coronavirus

Just a quick update regarding the recent government restrictions on some allied health providers due to COVID-19.

We wanted to assure you that as healthcare practitioners we are exempt from these restrictions.

Our professional organisation representatives have attended a briefing with the Principal Medical Advisor at the Department of Health today. The key message from that briefing is:
Government encourages healthcare professionals to continue working to help ease the pressure on our hospital system.

Continue using your immune support, and follow the Government Guidelines paying particular attention to personal hygiene and infection control by washing hands regularly, coughing into your elbow or on a clean tissue and disposing of it immediately.
Whilst there has been a general consensus in the community that this is merely, for most people a mild flu. My research since it first came to my attention in January leads me to feel that this respiratory illness should be taken very seriously. The mechanism of this virus does not follow the normal mechanisms of many known upper respiratory viruses and is highly infectious.

Should you find this period extremely stressful we can offer an acute Homeopathic consultation for $50 which also includes 1 Homeopathic remedy.  We hope this will be of assistance particularly during these economically challenging times.
All consultations will be carried out via online or phone by appointment only.

Our clinic operates on Tuesday and Thursday as our staff are committed to other organisations offsite on alternative days.

If you would like to book an appointment or purchase supplements please email us at reception@resolvemyhealth.com.au or call us on 07 5525 2211.  Please be patient and respectful with our staff, we are working through our enquiries as quickly as we can.

Please follow us on Facebook for up to date information and relevant immune support strategies.
 

Posted in:Building Your Immune SystemCoronavirusCovid19StressMinimising StressHealthy EatingCold and Flu  
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