Minerals

Vitamin C skin care – The challenge

Vitamin C is often regarded as a wrinkle fighter or an anti-aging agent. The main objective of ‘Vitamin C skin care’, in scientific terms, is to increase the synthesis of collagen (a structural protein that is found in skin). The additional benefit of ‘Vitamin C skin care’ is related to its capability of countering free radicals which cause damage to the skin.

Vitamin C skin care, however, faces a major challenge today. This is related to the oxidation tendency of Vitamin C skin care products. On coming in contact with any oxidising agent (e.g. air), the Vitamin C in the Vitamin C skin care products, gets oxidised; thus making the Vitamin C skin care product useless (in fact counter-effective). The oxidised Vitamin C imparts a yellowish-brown colour to the Vitamin C skin care product. This is something that you need to check before buying a Vitamin C skin care product. Even after you buy a Vitamin C skin care product, you need to store it properly and keep checking that it’s still good to use (i.e. it hasn’t attained a yellowish-brown texture).

The manufacturers of Vitamin C skin care products have tried to deal with this (oxidation) problem in multiple ways (and research on Vitamin C skin care products is on the top of their list). One such method of retaining effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products for a long term is to keep a high concentration (say 10%) of Vitamin C. However, this makes the Vitamin C skin care products even more expensive. The Vitamin C skin care products are already pretty inexpensive and making them even more expensive will throw the product manufacturers out of business. The other way is to use Vitamin C derivatives (like ascorbyl palmitate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate). These are not only more stable but also inexpensive. Even though the derivatives based products are not as effective as the Vitamin C skin care products, their stability against oxidation is a very desirable feature that makes them very attractive. Moreover, these are known to be less irritating too.

Talking of effectiveness of Vitamin C skin care products, it’s important to mention that not everyone responds to Vitamin C treatments. So it’s not a magic potion in any way. If you don’t see a noticeable difference in your skin, it might be because of your skin not responding to Vitamin C treatment (and the Vitamin C skin care products might not be at fault, at all).

As more research goes on, one can only keep our fingers crossed and wait for a complete solution to the challenges faced by ‘Vitamin C skin care’ today.

Flu Home Remedies You Should Know About But Probably Don’t

With the first signs of the flu, this will mean for the largest majority of people, uncomfortable and irritating symptoms where they will be using conventional flu strategies to get rid of these symptoms. However, few people know that these very same conventional strategies will actually slow down the healing

Asthma, Natural Home Remedies

As the conventional medicine used for asthma only treats the symptoms and not the problem it has often worsened the condition over a longer period of time.

Because of that, more and more people are turning to alternative remedies.

Nutritional Therapy

Magnesium
Because the magnesium acts a natural bronchodilator this means that it will relax and open up the bronchial tract, the airway to the lungs that becomes smaller during asthma attacks. It’s recommended taking a daily 500 mg supplement of either magnesium aspartate or magnesium citrate for 6 months.

Vitamin D / Sunshine
William Grant, who directs the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center, a research and education organization based in San Francisco, suspects that sun exposure and higher 25(OH)D levels may confer protection against other illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), asthma, and infectious diseases.

Vitamin B12
Not getting enough vitamin B12 leads to a deficiency which causes the red blood cells that are produced to be larger than normal and unable to function properly. It affects people of all ages. Vitamin deficiencies often go unnoticed and it can be difficult to pinpoint the underlying cause of the wide ranging symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. The fact that the body does not store this important substance efficiently means that to avoid the levels of Vitamin B12 depleting rapidly it must be regularly absorbed into the body from food or using supplements.
The best supplement is one that will be absorbed by the skin, because using an oral version doesn’t reach the body in the amount that it needs, when you have a deficiency. Go to http://www.neemgenie.co.uk/imported-products/transdermal-vitamin-b12/prod_74.html

Fatty Accids
One of the most most important steps is to reduce the lung inflammation. The asthma attack causes the lungs to be inflamed which makes it harder to breath.

The natural way to reduce the imflammation is using the omega’s 3 found in fish and flaxseed oil. In asthma you have two kinds of inflammatory responses. The first one is an acute inflammatory response and the second one is a “late-phase” inflammatory reaction that can occur up to 24 hours later and could last for weeks.
This “late-phase” response is now believed to be the cause of cronic asthma and tissue damage and this can be stopped by using omega 3 fatty acids.

You can eat salmon, tuna and mackerel, three or four times a week. You can also use capsules. If you don’t like fish or the fish capsules than you can also use flaxseed oil, which is also rich in omega 3’s. Take 2 tablespoons a day.
If you’re sensitive to aspirin it could be that you’re also sensitive to fish oil. Take the fish oil only after you’ve checked this with your physician. Also, if you have a high risk of stroke as well as asthma, talk to your doctor before taking fish oil as fish oil may increase the risk of stroke in some people.

Anti oxidants
Our body produces unstable, cell-damaging molecules called free radicals.
When there is an inflammation in the body the level of free readicals rises. Because of this behaviour the theory is that these free radicals are doing much of the damage in asthma.

When using supplements with anti oxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E you can control the free radicals and limit their damage.
It’s recommended to take daily supplements containing 400 international units of vitamin E 3.000 milligrams of vitamin C (split in to three doses, but not taken later than about 6:00 pm because vitamin C can keep you awake), 15 milligrams of beta-carotene.

Chinese herbal remedies

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
This Chinese remedy boasts several healthful effects, including an ability to reduce allergies. Reishi inhibits some of the body chemicals that trigger inflammation, including histamine. In China it is used to treat asthma and other allergic disease. It’s available in capsules, tablets, syrups and teas. Typical Dosage: up to five 420 milligram capsules per day, or up to three 1.000 milligram tablets up to three times per day.

Ginger
In China Ginger tea is a popular treatment for asthma. You can make the tea yourself by using fresh ginger or you can by ginger tea in the health food stores.
When you make it yourself press a fresh ginger to extract the juice, and then use 1 teaspoon of the liquid to 1 cup of hot water.

Ginkgo
Ginkgo contains ginkgolides, which are compounds that relaxes constricted bronchial tubes and smoothes the lung tissue. The bark and leaves of this tree are used as a tea because of their effectiveness in the treatment of asthma. You can also use the seeds of Ginkgo to make a decoction for asthma. Combine the seeds with other herbs, such as ma huang, elecampane or mulberry leaves to treat both asthma and coughs.

What the Chinese call ma huang is also known as ephedra. For centuries, the Chinese have been stir-frying ephedra roots in honey and mixing them with apricot kernels. They find this preparation effective to treat asthma and a host of other illnesses.
Ma huang is the source of ephedrine, an active ingredient in many of our modern allergy and cold medications. Ephedrine causes the release of epinephrine, the quickly active stimulant component of adrenaline, used today to treat asthma by relaxing smooth muscle bronchoconstriction. Ma huang is available in health food stores and Oriental markets.
Be careful do; do not use ma huang if you are pregnant or when you suffer from hypertension.

Acupressure

Working like acupuncture without needles, this therapy aims to balance the body’s energy flow. It is assumed that acupressure has a similar, but weaker effect on the body than acupuncture.
People with asthma could benefit from a acupressure therapy.

Earthing
Earthing™ (re-connecting with the earth) is a recent idea. It is based on scientific evidence confirming the long-suspected necessity for barefoot contact with the earth. Modern science has determined that standing barefoot on the earth (or otherwise connecting to the natural frequencies of the earth) has a wide variety of effects on the human body.

Standing barefoot on the earth (or otherwise connecting to the natural frequencies of the earth) connects the human body with an unlimited supply of free electrons resident in and on the surface of the earth.
Standing barefoot on the earth also connects the human body with rhythmic cycles of the earth’s energy field. These appear important for synchronizing biological clocks, hormonal cycles and physiological rhythms.
Earthing is not a disease treatment. Earthing, like a restorative period at the seaside, is one of nature’s gifts that can help the body to restore healthy operation. Symptoms are your own experience of a dysfunction. Reduction in symptoms means the body is addressing an imbalance in a better way. The changes that earthing brings for many people hints at a systemic rebalancing process.
In a month long, blinded study with 60 subjects who suffered from self-described sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain for at least six months, other found significant benefits in subjective sleep, pain, and well-being feedback. Some subjects reported significant relief from asthmatic and respiratory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, PMS, sleep apnea, and hypertension while sleeping grounded.

Herbal Remedies
Make a tea of fresh or dried Eucalyptus leaves or use Fennel seeds. They both contain rutin, which is a bioflavonoid, which can reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Drink the tea without milk, sugar or artificial sweeteners. It is better to use liquorice root or honey as a sweetener.

Fennel tea: Add 2 teaspoons of lightly crushed fennel seeds in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain before drinking.

Eucalyptus tea: Standard dosage medicinal use: Take 3 times a day a teacup. The dosage for children and elderly people should be less. For elderly people use half the dosage (this because the metabolism slows down with age) and for children Give children under two years a fifth of the adult dose and let this slowly up to a quarter of children from 3 or 4 years (depending on the weight of the child), a third for children of 6 or 7 years, half of children aged 8 or 9 years, until the full dose in puberty.

1. Take a china or glass teapot which has been warmed and put one teaspoonful of the dried herb or herb mixture into it for each cup of tea that you intend to brew.
2. Pour a cup of just boiled water in the teapot for each teaspoonful of herb that is already in the pot and then put the lid on. Leave too steep for ten to fifteen minutes.

Hyssop
The plant contains a bitter compound that works as an expectorant and its oils are an effective treatment for all types of respiratory ailments. The Cherokee Indians used this plant to help subdue asthma attacks as well as general congestion.

Mugwort
Mugwort contains tannins, which are astringents and reduce secretions.

Peru Balsem
The Indians of Peru have found a treatment for asthma in the sap of the Peruvian balsam tree. This reddish-brown, syrupy sap of the tree is valuable for its ability to relieve respiratory ailments.

Traditional House Remedies
The proper British remedy for prolonged bouts with asthma is to soak thin onion slices in honey overnight. The resulting syrup is administered 4 times a day until the condition improves.

What Part of the Respiratory System is Affected by Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects 10’s of thousands of people across the world. Although it isn’t curable it is controllable. ‘Asthma’ is the Greek word for pant or to breath hard. The Greek’s named it ‘asthma’ because of the wheezing sound which is diagnostic of the condition.

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that arises from allergies or allergic responses in the lungs and is characterized by sudden attacks of laboured breathing, chest constriction and coughing. So what part of the respiratory system does asthma affect?

Diagram of the Lung and HeartThe respiratory system supports the oxygen needs of the body by taking in air, removing the oxygen at the level of the alveoli (air sacs) and delivering the oxygen to the blood, which then transports the life supporting oxygen around the body. This is a continual system. The air is exchanged constantly – not just when you take air in. There are thousands of tiny air sacs that store the air and oxygen for use. The air is exchanged with each pass of the blood through the pulmonary system.

During an asthmatic event the muscles surrounding the air tubules (bronchioles) constrict. This constriction doesn’t allow the air in the alveoli (air sacs) to be released and the lungs become over inflated. This over inflation forces the sufferer to cough in an attempt to get rid of the trapped air. If coughing doesn’t relieve the situation, or if the swelling and constriction becomes more severe, the sufferer begins to use their accessory breathing muscles. This causes the shoulders to hunch over and rise with each breath.

What part of the respiratory system does asthma affect when the asthma sufferer is wheezing? The wheezing sound that is common to asthmatics is caused by the contraction of the bronchioles as the air passes through tubes that are almost completely blocked.

During an asthmatic attack mediators from mast cells are released that causes the airway muscles to contract, which increases the mucus production and narrows the airways. This causes white blood cells to flood the area that keeps the attack going. This constriction of the airway, and the air forced through those tiny paths, is what causes the wheezing sound that can be heard either audibly or through a stethoscope.

What part of the respiratory system does asthma affect before an asthmatic attack? Triggers for the physical changes are varied and many. They range from environmental allergens, occupational chemicals, weather changes, cold, scented items such as deodorants and perfumes. Some asthmatics are induced by exercise.

The respiratory system is a complicated organ system that supports the body by delivering oxygen at the cellular level to help heal and provide life support. Taking care of the respiratory system helps to improve your health and take care of you.

Magnesium


Magnesium is a mineral that is absolutely essential for every biochemical process in our body. Including the metabolism and also producing the protein and nucleic acids. Magnesium deficiency is very common, especially with elderly, heavy drinkers, pregnant women and people who regularly sport intensively. It’s proven that even the smallest deficiency can cause a disturbance in the heartbeat. Other symptoms of magnesium deficiency are weakness, fatigue, dizziness, tension (nervous) and muscle cramps.

Qualities of Magnesium

      • Necessary for many different body functions, among those are energy production and cell division.
      • Essential for passing through nerve impulse
      • Helps preventing kidney stones and gallstones
      • Used in treatment of prostate problems
      • Recovers and maintains the somatic cells
      • Necessary for hormonal activities
      • Is used in high blood pressure treatments
      • Protects against heart- and vascular disease
      • Helps in treating PMS symptoms

Good sources
Brown rice, soybeans, nuts, brewer’s yeast, wholegrain products, legumes.

Dosage
In the average western diet the magnesium intake isn’t sufficient. Supplements with 200-400 mg a day is recommended.

Caution

      Magnesium can be harmful for people with kidney- and heart problems
      It is possible that a high dosage can cause hot flashes, feeling thirsty, low blood pressure and sometimes losing your reflexes.

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Zinc


Zinc is one of the most important spore elements and enhances the function of more than 200 enzymes in our body. Zinc is the protector of our immune system and essential to regulate the genetic information. It is also omissible for the structure and functioning of the cell membrane. This anti-oxidant can help with the detoxification of the body.

A zinc deficiency can lead to growth disadvantage, infertility, impotence and sometimes a diminished sense of taste. Eczema is often associated with zinc deficiency and the same accounts for postnatal problems. A decreased immune system and problems to recovery also indicates on a deficiency.

Qualities of Zinc

  • Increase the immune system
  • Can help to prevent cancer
  • Prevents and treats the common cold
  • Can help in the case of anti-aging
  • Keeps the sense of taste, smell and sight intact
  • Prevents hair loss
  • Treats acne and other skin disease
  • Used with the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Prevents blindness cause by old age
  • Enhance the male virility and libido
  • Used for infertility treatment

Good sources
Meat, mushroom, oysters, eggs, wholegrain products, brewer’s yeast, offal

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Nutritional supplements by Dr. Sarah Myhill


It has become increasingly apparent that the long established Recommended Daily Amounts (RDAs) of nutritional supplements are now out-dated. Either the levels have been incorrectly set, or they do not represent levels for optimum health, or they do not permit the necessary latitude for individual biochemical differences or disease states. Increasingly, they are not relevant to people leading modern Western lifestyles and eating Western diets. It is time for a new set of RDAs.

Reasons for a new set of RDAs
Modern agricultural techniques
1. The vast majority of our crops are annual crops, so that only the upper few inches of soil are exploited. This soil is rapidly becoming depleted of minerals.
2. Traditional systems of crop rotation have been abandoned in favour of monocultures. This increases the need for pesticide and herbicides.
3. Human manure is not recycled back onto the growing fields; therefore, there is a net depletion of minerals.
4. The use of nitrogen fertilisers and pesticides reduces the humus content (mycorrhiza) of soil; therefore, plants will malabsorb minerals.
5. Pesticides, such as glyphosphate, work by chelating minerals in soil, thereby reducing mineral availability to plants.
6. Modern plant varieties are often developed to suit the palate. Fruit, for example, is cultivated to increase sugar content – increasing fructose consumption is a major cause of “metabolic syndrome”.
7. Genetically modified crops – genetic modification is largely done to develop pesticide resistant strains rather than for improving micronutrient density. So, more pesticide is used exacerbating the above problems.
8. Foods may be bred or genetically modified for their “keeping qualities” at the expense of good micronutrient content. Indeed, people often comment how tasteless modern varieties are, and this loss of flavour reflects declining levels of micronutrients.
All these issues result in food crops being micronutrient deficient. Plants grown on mineral-deficient soils will not be able to synthesise other micronutrients essential to their health and the health of consumers downstream (farm animals and humans). In practice, this means the plants themselves are more susceptible to diseases, such as fungal infestation, and therefore they are more heavily sprayed to counteract this. Consumers downstream will be rendered deficient in not just minerals but vitamins, essential fatty acids and many other constituents essential for healthy life which they can only get from eating plant material.
For further reading please see Nutrition Security Institute’s White Paper: Human Health, the Nutritional Quality of Harvested Food and Sustainable Farming Systems

Modern food processing
For reasons of convenience we have adopted food processing techniques which further deplete the micronutrient content of food. All the following processes have this effect:
1. Food storage – it may be many months between harvest and consumption. Storage inevitably results in micronutrient depletion.
2. Food processing – whole fruits are very acceptable, but fruit juices not so because of their high fructose content. Potato is a good food until crisped! Food processing often results in production of hydrogenated and trans fats, which effectively are anti-nutrients.
3. High temperature cooking results in production of transfats and lipid peroxides, all of which are directly toxic in their own right.
4. Cooking to serving times – it may be some time between cooking and eating; a particular problem with ready meals, take-away foods etc.

Food choices and addictions
Western diets are addictive with respect to sugar, refined carbohydrates, allergens (particularly dairy and wheat), caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and, of course, tobacco. This creates problems for the following reasons:
1. We consume these micronutrient-poor foods to the exclusion of micronutrient-dense foods.
2. The above consumables require additional micronutrients for their elimination from the body.
3. Many of these consumables are diuretic.
4. Eating addictively means we do not get the normal cues that tell us when to stop eating. Westerners eat more food than they need and so there is a tendency to weight gain.
5. Fast food and snacking. These are now accepted parts of Western lifestyle, but lead to eating refined and processed foods.
6. Whole-foods are less efficiently digested. In contrast, refined foods are rapidly absorbed, thus hiking blood sugar and insulin levels resulting in metabolic syndrome.
Essentially, these socially acceptable addictions are anti-nutrient, increase our need for micronutrients, and encourage over-consumption of micronutrient-poor foods.

Poor education and ill-advised beliefs
Many people make food or lifestyle choices in the mistaken belief they are doing the healthy thing. Modern advertising campaigns are highly influential, are often aimed at children, and encourage poor food choices through subliminal association of ideas.

1. Many people still believe that saturated fat is unhealthy and believe that low-fat diets are healthy.
2. Foods highly coloured with synthetic colourings are attractive and desired.
3. Sunshine is the only substantial source of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is pandemic because of western climates, but largely due to ill-founded advice to avoid sunshine and use sun blockers.
4. Dairy products are believed to be healthy options, but for many people this is not true. The evolutionarily correct diet is free from dairy products.

Modern western man is less physically active
Consequently, he needs to eat less than our physically active ancestors and lesser amounts of food carry lesser amounts of micronutrients.

Increasing toxic stress of Western environments
Xenobiotic chemicals (pesticides, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals) all need to be detoxified and excreted from the body, but this process is highly demanding of micronutrients. Our increasing xenobiotic load increases micronutrient requirements. Furthermore, xenobiotics are directly anti-nutrient: so, for example, nickel increases our requirement for zinc; fluoride increases our need for iodine; and mercury increases our need for selenium.

Xenobiotics come from:
1. Contamination of our food and water in ways indicated above.
2. Contamination by packaging – many products are wrapped, and sometimes cooked, in plastics with phthalates leeching into food.
3. Contamination of the environment by persistent organic pollutants from agricultural industry, polluting industry, war, fires, road traffic and waste disposal.
4. Cosmetics often contain volatile organic chemicals and/or heavy metals such as nickel and aluminium – this increases the toxic load and thereby the requirements for micronutrients to detoxify them.
5. Jewellery and piercings increase exposure to toxic metals.
6. Prescription medication – the best example of this would be the malabsorption induced by proton pump inhibitors and other acid blockers, resulting in an increased risk of osteoporosis. Most drug side effects result from micronutrient deficiencies.
7. The medication of healthy people, including children, with vaccinations which often contain heavy metals together with live or attenuated viruses. Vaccinations have immune disrupting potential and the potential to switch on novel disease processes.
8. Dental work and surgical prostheses – these often involve use of heavy metals such as mercury, palladium, titanium, nickel, gold and silicones, all of which may be toxic either directly or through their potential to disrupt the immune system.

Other mechanisms not yet identified

At The Holistic Approach we have several professionals who have contributed to our website.
If you want to contact Dr. Sarah Myhill, please click here.

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