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.
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
Western cultures have become almost phobic about any exposure of unprotected skin to sunshine with the well-recognised association between skin cancer and exposure to sunshine. Indeed the US Environmental Protection Agency is currently advising that ultraviolet light, and therefore sunlight, is so dangerous that we should “protect ourselves against ultraviolet light whenever we can see our shadow”.
But a certain amount of sun exposure is essential for normal good health in order to produce vitamin D – and partly as a result of current recommendations, we are seeing declining levels of vitamin D and the problems that go with it.
Human beings evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in equatorial areas and were daily exposed to sunshine. Dark skins evolved to protect against sun damage. However, as hominids migrated north, those races which retained their dark skins were unable to make sufficient vitamin D in the skin and did not survive. Only those hominids with paler skins survived. Thus the further away from the Equator, the paler the skin became. Races in polar areas survived because they were able to get an alternative source of vitamin D from fish and seafood.
There is an interesting inverse correlation between sunshine exposure, vitamin D levels, and incidence of disease as one moves away from the Equator. Even correcting for other factors such as diet, there is strong evidence to show that vitamin D protects against osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, bone fractures (vitamin D strengthens the muscles thereby improving balance, movement and preventing falls), cancer, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and vulnerability to infections. Multiple sclerosis is a particularly interesting example of a possible vitamin D deficiency disease. Indeed mice bred for susceptibility to multiple sclerosis can be completely protected against development of this disease by feeding them high doses of vitamin D.
For people living in equatorial areas, blood levels of 25 (OH) D) usually exceed 100nnmol/l and often 200nnmol/l. Since we evolved in hot climates, this is probably what is physiologically desirable. However, normal ranges in laboratories are still stated at around 40 to 100nnmol/l. This almost certainly represents sub-optimal levels – it may be enough to prevent rickets and osteomalacia, but is not sufficient for optimal health.
For a pale skinned Caucasian, whole body sunlight exposure barely sufficient to trigger tanning (the so called minimum melanogenesis dose) is as little as 15 minutes and is equivalent to the consumption of 10,000i.u. of vitamin D. If this is compared to the US recommended dietary allowance now standing at 200i.u. (which is the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil), one can readily see that the best source of vitamin D is sunshine.
It is extremely difficult to get blood levels up to an optimum level on diet alone. Furthermore, dark-skinned individuals need very much more sunshine exposure in order to achieve the same blood levels of vitamin D. As people get older their requirements also increase – however, typically they spend less time in the sunshine and are much more prone to vitamin D deficiency and the problems that go with it.
In a study in which groups of elderly people started to take calcium and vitamin D, the occurrence of fractures is reduced by a third in the first year even though bone density is not increased sufficiently to account for the fewer fractures. What is not yet common knowledge is that vitamin D improves muscle strength and balance and it is thought that this is what reduces the occurrence of falls leading to fractures.
How to get more vitamin D
It is impossible for people living in Britain to get adequate vitamin D levels through full spectrum light. To receive sufficient vit D, you need to get the equivalent of at least 15 minutes per day whole body exposure to sunshine, probably more depending on the colour of your skin, to trigger tanning, but not burning of the skin. How likely is that? So what do you need to do to optimise your vitamin D levels?
- If you are taking my Mineral Mix at your full correct daily dose (up to max 5 g a day), then you will be getting 4000 – 5000 i.u. of vitamin D3 a day. You do not need to take any other Vitamin D supplement, but sunshine on your skin whenever you can get it will be a welcome bonus! If you are not taking the Mineral Mix, you need to add 5000 i.u. vitamin D3 to your nutritional regime.
- Lack of sunshine in the UK is an excellent excuse to book a holiday in a sunny climate during the winter! In order to get an equivalent dose through eating fish, one would have to consume 25 teaspoonfuls of cod liver oil or its equivalent. Eskimos and Inuit Indians probably achieve this easily with their diet, but I cannot see myself persuading my teenage daughters to do this. A foreign holiday sounds much more attractive, or keep taking your 5,000 iu daily.
Vitamin D supplements
In choosing a good vitamin D supplement, one needs to know a little of the biochemistry. Vitamin D2, ergocalciferol is made from yeast and is about a quarter as potent as vitamin D3. In order for D3 to be activated it needs to be twice hydroxylated in the liver and the kidney – bear in mind that anybody with liver or kidney problems may have a requirement for the active twice hydroxylated vitamin D (calcitriol) rather than D3.
In studies where vitamin D3 is supplemented at 10,000i.u. daily there have been no cases of hypercalcaemia. 5,000i.u. daily seems a reasonable dose for the winter months, higher amounts where there is pathology such as osteoporosis.
People will be delighted to hear that sunshine is good for them – the overwhelming majority feel much better for sitting out in the sunshine. If the skin goes red then they are having too much exposure – they need just sufficient to promote mild tanning.
People with dark skins need much more than people with fair skins, but again they can judge this from the degree to which their skin darkens with exposure to sunshine. Redness means inflammation due to skin damage and should be avoided. It’s the old story – with any substance from water to sunshine, there is potential to underdose and overdose – it’s all about getting the balance right!
“THE CLINICAL IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN D (CHOLECALCIFEROL): A PARADIGM SHIFT WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR ALL HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS” by Vasquez et al. – gives the science behind vitamin D.
Pathology Department at the City Hospital in Birmingham offers a “direct to the public service for serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D based on dried blood spots”. They send a home kit with detailed instructions, which makes it a very convenient way to check the levels. All the details on the Pathology Department’s website City Assays and in the page about the test: Vitamin D test.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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™ (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.
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.
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 contains tannins, which are astringents and reduce secretions.
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.
Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins and is also known as Cobalamin. It is the most complex vitamin in the human body. It is essential for a range of healthy bodily functions including the production of red blood cells, the health of the nervous system, immune function and sperm production.
There is also evidence to suggest that Vitamin B12 reduces cancer risk and the chances of suffering from heart disease.
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.
Fortunately, research is uncovering various conditions and illnesses that are thought to be linked to a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found in quite a wide range of foods but because it is only produced by bacterial fermentation-synthesis, it is only found naturally in animal products.
It is commonly added to foods and is available as a supplement or as a vitamin B12 spray. Those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet can easily become deficient in vitamin B12 or they may absorb enough to avoid severe deficiency but not to protect against the risk of heart disease or dangerous complications during pregnancy.
For this reason vegetarians and vegans should be especially aware of their vitamin B12 intake. The body can safely take on high doses of vitamin B12 because any that is not needed can be either stored or excreted.
The following are sources rich in vitamin B12;
Lamb’s liver and pork liver are amongst the richest sources of vitamin B12. Lamb’s liver provides 85.7μg (1428% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving, a truly impressive vitamin B12 content.
Shellfish are another excellent source of vitamin B12, especially oysters, clams and mussels. These also provide other important substances such as zinc, copper and iron in significant amounts.
Clams contain 98.9μg per 100g serving, accounting for 1648% of the RDA. That is 84μg (1401% RDA) per 3 ounce serving, and 187.9μg (3132% RDA) in 20 small clams, or 9.4μg (156.6 %RDA) in one small clam!
Crab and lobster are also high in vitamin B12, not as high as clams etc but a 100g portion of crab contains 11.5μg of vitamin B12 (192% of the RDA).
Lobster can provide 4.04μg (67% RDA) per 100g serving, or 6.59μg (110% RDA) in an average whole lobster (163g).
There are many types of fish that provide substantial levels of vitamin B12.
Mackerel provides the most vitamin B-12 with 19μg per 100g serving (317% RDA),
followed by Herring (312% RDA),
Trout (130%), and Bluefish (104%).
Fish eggs (caviar) are also high in vitamin B12.
The eggs of white fish contain the most vitamin B-12 with 56.4μg (940% RDA) per 100g serving.
Caviar contains a third of that with 20μg (333% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving.
While octopus is more commonly found in traditional Mediterranean and eastern cooking, it is becoming more popular on a global level.
Octopus typically provides 36μg of vitamin B-12 per 100g serving accounting for 600% of the RDA.
The amount of vitamin B12 in beef depends on the cut you choose but the best choice in terms of vitamin B12 levels is lean chuck steak, followed by sirloin then rib-eye.
Lean lamb is a good source of vitamin B12 and also is a good source of protein and zinc. Lamb shoulder is the best cut of lamb for vitamin B12 levels.
As well as providing calcium and vitamin B2, cheese is a fairly good source of vitamin B12.
Swiss cheese provides the most with 3.34μg (56% RDA) per 100g serving,
followed by Gjetost (40% RDA),
Parmesan (38% RDA),
Tilsit (35% RDA), and Feta (28% RDA).
Chicken eggs are another fairly good source of vitamin B12 , the yolk has the highest level. Goose eggs and duck eggs have even higher levels of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
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.
This is more common in older people but can affect people of all ages.
Vitamin deficiencies often go unnoticed. Therefore it can be difficult to pinpoint the underlying cause of the wide ranging symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency;
Because vitamin B12 is of influence in so many systems in the body, the symptoms of a deficiency will be different for everyone.
Where one person in particular suffer from fatigue, tingling, memory loss and problems with muscle cramps, someone ells can be suffering from an inflamed tongue, menstruation complaints, trouble concentrating and depression.
The symptoms can also vary during the years.
- Weird feeling in the feet (feeling of walking on felt, wadding or pads; surface feeling is disturbed, under-sensitivity to pain; burning sensation on the skin)
- Tingling feeling (in the feet and hands and later in legs, arms, face “feels like being charged “; “ants walk”; also numbness in hands and feet, shaky hands, loss of control over your arms/legs)
- Concentration and memory problems (can’t think clearly, wadding head, drowsiness)
- Heavy and stiff feeling in the legs (pain in the hips)
- Fasciculaties /myokymieën (muscle vibrations; contraction of a small part of a muscle most common near the eye, but can be in other places of the body; involuntary movements, restless legs)
- Ataxia, loss of position (unstable / difficult walk, stumble; walking like being drunk until no longer able to walk; walking against things; unexplained fall; dropping things out of your hands; being clumsy)
- Aphasia (problems with speaking; using wrong words; can’t remember the right words; speaking with “double tongue”; “keyboard-aphasia”: swapping letters)
- Mental health problems:
“Short fuse” / irritability; Mood swings; Irrational to serious mental complaints
- Panic attacks and suicidal behaviour; Nervousness; Psychosis; Paranoia
- Dementia (memory loss); Depression; Confusion
- Fatigue (sometimes very tired)
- Drowsiness (need a lot of sleep, just fall asleep spontaneously)
- Lack of energy
- Discolorution around the knockles (skin is browner then the rest of your fingers)
- Glossitis (inflamed tongue; burning, painful or irritated tongue, especially among seasoned/spicy food, sour drinks and when brushing your teeth; inflamed and/or bloody gums; iron-/metal taste); Canker sores
- Tightness of chest (angineuze pains, palpitations, arrhythmias, accelerated heart rate, shortness of breath)
- Being cold (sometimes a burning sensation on the skin)
- Myalgia (muscle pain after exercise, is worse than before; sometimes muscle cramps; muscle weakness; strength loss)
- Pain (including back, hands, wrists, joints, hips and knees)
- Inflammation in the digestive system (up to bowel perforation)
- Nausea (no appetite, indefinable feeling in the stomach)
- Bowel complaints, diarrhoea (with some regularity)
- Derogatory reflexes
- Weight loss (loss of appetite, loss of taste/smell)
- Anaemia, sometimes little, often not; (fainting; dry skin; itching; yellowing eyes and skin; paleness; hyper pigmentation; spontaneous bruising; petechia)
- Problems with eyes (optic neuropathy, blurred vision, loss of visual field)
- Hearing problems (tinnitus, distorted sound),
- Hair loss
- Friable nails
- Hyper tone bladder (incontinent, even a little bit and/or weak bladder)
- Infections (vaginal-and an increased risk of urinary system infections)
- Menstrual problems (irregular, heavy, long, increased pain, sometimes no menstruation at all, error-positive PAP smear)
- Infertility/miscarriages, birth abnormalities; libido loss, impotence
- Young children with a deficit: growth and development is lagging behind, autistic behaviour
Who is most at risk from vitamin B12 deficiency?
Some groups of people are more at risk from vitamin B12 deficiency than others and the risk increases with age. The following groups should be especially vigilant for signs of a possible vitamin B12 deficiency;
Those with Atrophic Gastritis may have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 properly and so a supplement is often recommended to keep levels up.
Vegans and vegetarians may not get enough vitamin B12 because they do not consume animal products, supplements and foods with vitamin B12 added to them are recommended for those who avoid animal produce, especially during pregnancy when it more important than ever to have the right levels of vitamin B12 in the body.
People who are taking medications including Proton pump inhibitors, Metformin, Histamine antagonists, Bacteriostatic Antibiotics and anticonvulsants. Advice should always be taken from a medical professional if you are taking medication and think you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 and the Earth
The level of vitamin B12 in foodstuffs depends on how much nutrition the animal absorbs from the food it eats.
If vitamin and mineral levels in the earth are low, the animal then does not absorb as much and then we in turn do not absorb as much.
Intensive farming, chemicals and environmental damage all play a part in the depletion of nutrients in the soil and so farming techniques that take this into account will always produce better sources of vitamin B12 and other important nutrients.
Also there is the matter of the preventive vaccination the animals receive. The more we give this to the animals, the worse their general health will be, which in turn has his effect on the meat we eat.
Vitamin B12 and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition that experts are only really beginning to understand.
Sufferers experience widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disorders and depression. Many sufferers also have high levels of homocysteine and low levels of vitamin B12 (vitamin B12 reduces the level of homocysteine) and research now suggests a link between the two conditions.
Experts are researching how chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia could be successfully treated with vitamin B12 supplements.
Solutions to vitamin B12 Deficiency
The solutions to any vitamin deficiency are to increase the levels of that particular vitamin in your body.
For vitamin B12 deficiencies you can increase your intake of foods that are rich in vitamin B12, increase your intake of foods that have had vitamin B12 added to them or choose a supplement.
There are various supplements available, in various forms including injections. Research suggests that one of the most effective ways to take a supplement is in the form of a vitamin B12 spray.
Check with your health practitioner if you think you depleted with vitamin B12.
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?
The 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.
More info will follow
- Retinol; this you’ll find in liver eggs, butter and cod-liver oil
- Beta-carotene; which our body turns into vitamin A whenever we need more of this.
Vitamin A is for years, considered a miracle cure for its effect on the immune system and growth. We need Vitamin A for a healthy skin and eyes and it is what makes us see in the dark.
Beta -carotene is an anti-oxidant.
Qualities of Vitamin A
- Helps preventing cancer
- Prevents and treats skin problems and the aging of skin
- Improves the eyesight and prevents night-blindness
- Improves the healing power of the body
- Stimulates the growth of strong bones, hair, teeth, skin and gum
- Helps with a thyroid gland that works to fast
- Retinol: cod-liver oil, liver, kidneys, eggs and dairy products
- Beta carotene: carrots, tomatoes, watercress, broccoli, spinach, cantaloupe and apricots. You’ll find beta-carotene in every bright coloured fruit and vegetable.
- The RDA is a minimum of 800 mcg. People with specific needs will require a higher dosage
(E.g. after being sick, if you have infections or when you have diabetes)
- Pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant can’t take more than 6000 mcg
- You can take a maximum daily dosage of 15 mg beta-carotene as a prevention against disease
Vitamin A can be harmful in the form of Retinol and it should not be taken as a supplement for pregnant women, because it can harm the unborn child.
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