It has been acknowledged for some time that 70-80% of the immune system is in the gut.
One class of tissues that the immune system has is called sampling tissues. One of the jobs of these tissues is to understand what the body is being exposed to, both chronically and acutely, and to learn whether or not it should be attacking those things..
Why is the sampling tissue in the gut? The gut is the largest site where foreign material enters the body. Some stuff comes in through the eyes, the nose, the genital tract, some through our skin where the skin is broken, but mostly it comes from what we put into our mouths, not just nutrients but also toxic elements from the environment.
Anything that enters through the respiratory route will also end up in the gut to some degree, because one of the things that happen is when viruses or other material are in the upper respiratory tract, they get trapped by mucus. One of the important jobs of mucus in your respiratory system is trapping things so that your immune system has a chance to assess and identify them. The cilia, the fine, hair-like structures that help sweep away fluids & particles in your lungs and airways, move the mucus up and then your sinus system drain the mucus down and all of that ultimately gets swallowed.
Everything from your nose, and your ears, and your lungs, all of that stuff eventually comes into your throat and you end up swallowing it. The swallowing part is really important because that’s where whatever’s being trapped in your respiratory tract and in the upper airways gets presented to the immune tissue in your gut.
Now viruses in general, and COVID-19 in particular, enter through the gut and causes a gut-based infection as well. In fact, at least 53% of the cases in one of the latest publications (April 2020) in the American Journal of Gastroenterology shows that they first present with gastro symptoms rather than anything else - nausea, diarrhoea, cramping and pain to the gut.
It may be that if there is a good response in the gut, that may help with our overall defence against Covid-19. Disclaimer: there are no validated studies on Covid-19 in particular, but there have been studies done on other influenza viruses.
The immune system uses short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) for energy, especially butyrate. We typically get small amounts of butyrate from fibre in our diet, so remembering to have a diet rich in fruits & vegetables over processed food it a good guideline.
Beta-glucans and Quercetin help the immune system switch from the highly inflammatory response to the more specialised targeted response, making antibodies against the virus.
Beta-glucans are found in certain mushrooms, oats, yeast and seaweed. A medicinal mushroom supplement may be helpful.
Quercetin is found in onions, grapes, berries, apples, broccoli & citrus fruit.
Probiotics also play a big role in modulating the microbiome in the gut, which in turn helps modulate the body’s immune response. There has been much research undertaken on probiotics, and different strains are indicated and recommended for different applications, for instance, one for irritable bowel, one for allergies etc. Spore-based probiotics are particularly indicated for the immune system and show dramatic improvements for conditions like intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”).
Another user-friendly aspect of spore-based probiotics is that they do not need to be refrigerated. Cow serum is taken and spun out and purified to extract the antibodies. When we add them back into our system, they go to work in our digestive tract, neutralizing viruses, bacteria, toxins, compounds, mould toxins, bacterial toxins and so on, thereby lending an important helping hand to our immune system.
Probiotics are present in some of the food we eat, but for therapeutic effects we need to take them as supplements.
Your health practitioner will be able to guide you as to the best one for your needs.
As a summary, as well as being aware of hygiene and upper respiratory care practices, it is also relevant to acknowledge the role our gut health may play in protecting us from Covid-19 and other seasonal viruses.
With Covid-19 prominent in our awareness this year and public messages about those with compromised immunity being more at risk, more of us are thinking about whether we fall into that category. If you know you have an auto-immune condition, you may be more likely to think that this may apply to you. But what if you don’t have an auto-immune condition? It may be that those little niggles (low energy, itchy skin, sore muscles, poor sleep, moodiness, sniffiness or coughs, occasional random bouts of diarrhoea or constipation) could be signposts to impaired immune function.
Learn how to boost your immune system! Don’t wait till winter illnesses strike, be proactive and get your immune system protection in place now!
Book a session with Marion Stobie and she will help you identify and address your own particular weaknesses before winter hits!
Senior Naturopath & Medical Herbalist
Marion practices the art and science of medical herbalism within the framework of naturopathic evidence-based practice.
In these challenging times during Covid-19 and the coming post Covid-19 era, now more than ever we need to pay attention to our immune system. Medical authorities aren’t telling you what to do other than social distancing, washing your hands and (or not) wearing a face mask.
The reality is there is so much you can do to be proactive to strengthen common immune weaknesses in winter, ideally before the really cold weather hits. In an article of this size I can only cover the basics, we do way more in consults both online and face to face when lockdown level 2 is activated. I won't go into the politics of Covid-19 here; that’s for a face to face discussion!
It takes at least 2-6 weeks to fully elevate immune responses depending on your age, state of health and risk factors. All the research I’ve done shows there are specific nutrients and herbs that can help with immune activation and optimisation. Let's cover the basics here and if you want something more specific to you please contact us to be tested to find out what your missing, so we can get specific in your particular case.
In a nutshell the key areas to look at are:
All the medical advice above, is obvious, especially hand washing as is well publicised. Face masks especially if you have an infection, mainly to protect others.
Look at your diet, cutting out sugar and refined carbs as much as possible as they weaken the immune system and play havoc with your blood sugar levels adding to immune weakness.
Making sure you are sleeping well is crucial for active immunity aiming for 7-8 hours for adults more for teens and pre teens. If you’re not sleeping well contact us as we have options for you!
Increase your levels of vitamin C, D3, Zinc and vitamin A, especially so you can help prevent colds and flus before they circulate at school and in the workplace. Yes, your kids should be on these too!
These are the most potent and indispensable of all the supplements out there to help prevent as much as possible all viral infections; there are many others but it all depends on your budget and your ability to enhance immunity.
The testing we do in the clinic assesses if you have xenobiotic toxins, synthetic chemicals like sprays, insecticide, pesticides, solvents, heavy metals and parasites, not just viruses, bacteria, fungi or worms. These all help suppress immunity and with Phenolic Homeopathy, herbal medicines and specific supplements we can significantly reduce their impact helping your immunity recover.
Nearly every patient we test has significant xenobiotic loading that is not looked at by conventional medicine at all. This is what we do and is a rapid way to restore immunity back to health and vitality. These toxins add to co-morbidities and this is what makes the difference between surviving or not, with serious infections.
Most all the fatalities reported in the media with Covid-19 are with people who have other serious illnesses or who are aged and invariably on a plethora of pharmaceuticals that have their own side (main) effects.
We all know the benefits of vitamin C in helping shorten the length or duration of a colds and flus, and there is good evidence that Zinc & vitamin C combined will help prevent colds and flus and certainly shorten their length if taken regularly during the cooler winter months. I can recommend the better-absorbed products that will work more cost-effectively than many products available over the counter, usually at cheaper cost and easier to dose up to effective levels. The key is absorption, especially as we age.
With many formulas available you just don’t get the best absorption especially if you are already immune compromised or over 40. This is why Lypospheric C is best as it is very well absorbed and stays in the blood stream for longer, giving you better protection, but some brands taste disgusting and aren’t easy to use. I use several liquid forms as they taste much better are cheaper than sachet brands and stay active in the blood stream longer than straight vitamin C powders or tabs.
What isn’t being broadcast in the media is that IVC (Intra Venous Vitamin C) will actually eliminate most viruses on contact, as will ozone, but both are expensive to use and ideally should be given in a clinical setting. Many Integrated Doctors are now doing IVC but not Ozone – both are frowned upon by orthodoxy; I won’t go into the politics here but there is little money to be made by drug companies with either!
But what about vitamin D3? (Not D2 which has minimal immune benefit). This is a fat-soluble vitamin and takes weeks to get up to adequate levels in your system even with high dose supplements. As sunlight is reduced this time of year sunbathing for many in NZ isn’t an option as it gets too grey and cloudy in the winter months.
Vitamin D3 is just as important for immunity as vitamin C, some research shows it is even more important. We use either a liquid form or a spray form that is better absorbed faster. This needs to be a part of your armoury with viruses and bacterial infections of all types, not just Covid-19. Contact me if you want access to the better brands cheaper.
Vitamins C and D combined are brilliant at giving your system that kick it needs to help ward off immune infections of all types including Covid-19, but if you actually get Covid-19 then you do need to seek professional advice as several immune boosters can be detrimental if you get deep lung infections that can cause the “cytokine storm” where the immune system over reacts to the virus and can attack the lungs and all mucous membranes requiring expert medical help and often hospitalisation.
What most people don’t know is vitamin D3 is a potent fat-soluble immune stimulator. You can only get small amounts from foods, larger doses from sunshine which is now becoming harder to get, and from supplements.
If you get sunlight safely over your body it takes at least 4-5 hours before the vitamin D produced in reaction to the sun in the dermal layers of the skin to fully absorb. If you shower within that 4-5 hours with body soap you wash all of the vitamin D produced on the skin down the plug hole! So best to wash with warm water only no soap that day of sun exposure, then wash with soap the next morning to allow the vitamin D produced in response to the sun to be properly absorbed.
Over-the-counter vitamin D3 is often poorly absorbed in tablet form and can be a waste of money. We use a new practitioner-only liquid form or a sublingual spray, which is easy for kids and the elderly to take, and has the best possible absorbency. It is best taken with meals that contain fat in it, like fish or nuts and seeds or flax, chia, or olive oil. I recommend at least 1,000iu daily for kids below age 10 and 2,000iu daily for those below age 14 or under 40kg. In adults up to 5,000iu daily in winter or more if over 90kg or you have immune compromise like a history of colds and flus in winter, or a diagnosed disease like diabetes, arthritis or cancer.
I can get a blood test done for you to find out your exact levels via Lab Test for under $50, the beginning of winter is the best time to get this done. If you want the best vitamin D3 for you contact me via text.
Vitamins C and Zinc are also potent immune builders and require only hours for vitamin C and a couple of weeks for Zinc to build up in your blood stream. This is more important for those with poor diets like teens and small kids as well as fussy eaters and anyone who has elevated work or home life stress levels.
I recommend the Metagenics Meta Zinc & Vitamin C powder which is easy to get into kids and can be added to water or smoothies or any liquid of your choice to boost the levels quickly and easily. If you don’t have a Metagenics account call me and I can set one up for you, it’s easy. Dose is children 4 to 8 years ¼ metric tsp 1 x daily in liquid or sprinkled on food of choice; Children 9 to 13 years ¼ metric tsp TWICE daily as above; Adults & kids over 14 ½ tsp 2 x daily as above, if you have an actual cold or flu or immune health issue you can safely double this dose.
Deficiencies of vitamin C & Zinc combined can increase susceptibility to colds and flus and impact the production of T & B lymphocyte production, and reduce the activity of the Thymus gland producing Thymosin that helps fight all infections in the body. So the importance of these nutrients can’t be over stated when it comes to immune health at this time of the year. Start dosing now and give yourself a head start!
Lastly Vitamin A is specific to protecting all mucous membranes, especially those in the chest, lungs and sinuses. To help prevent chest infections avoid heavy dairy products in your diet like cheeses and ice creams as they stimulate mucous production. Getting enough vitamin A from carrots and carrot juice as well as supplements is really helpful to combat this, best done professionally as you can overdose on preformed vitamin A, but not easily on beta carotene from carrots.
If you want more info or to place an order contact us now on 09 282 3588 or email email@example.com subject line “help my immune system”. Texting me is always the fastest way to get me.
If you haven’t had a Winter Wellness Check up please book one in and I will assess you for your immune nutrients and give you a plan with foods and drinks that will help boost you up over the cooler winter months.
David is doing a Covid-19 special for $95 you will need to fill in a form and book this time, it only takes 45mins and can be done remotely.
Book Now or text to 0274 837 188 / or leave a message on 09 282 3588
David is doing a Covid-19 Consultation special for only $95. It only takes 45mins and can be done remotely.
To book now, text to 0274 837 188 or leave a message on 09 282 3588.
Senior Naturopath & Nutritional Biochemist
David has over 30 years of experience in Natural Medicine and Natural Therapies to help YOU! He trained in 3 countries spanning 12 years after training as a Scientist/Technician in Microbiology & BioChemistry with the National Health Institute in Wellington in the 1980’s.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the seasons are each associated with a particular organ system, and the Liver is the organ of Spring. We tend to feel quieter and less active during the winter months but with the arrival of spring we should begin to feel re-energised and more alive.
Healthy liver energy is strong, decisive and free-flowing - the type of energy you need to set goals and motivate yourself to achieve them. If your liver is unbalanced or sluggish you will feel irritable, depressed and lack motivation.
Some other common signs your liver energy is out of balance:
If you are suffering from any of these springtime patterns your body is crying out for a course of rebalancing treatments from your acupuncturist!
Visit Katherine Barley at Holden HealthCare; she will assess your liver health using Traditional Chinese Medicine methods, and offer a programme of acupuncture and lifestyle routines to put you back on track.
Yes its that time of year when Christmas and the New Year is a distant memory and when we look down – oops! Its time to set the wheels in motion to do a weight loss plan that will not only get rid of excess fat round your middle, and the upper thighs, but also a time to look at how we can make some permanent changes that will help us keep the weight off once we have got down to where we want to be.
In my 30 years of full time clinical practice I have used 3 main weight loss programs and all of them had issues, either expense, time consuming or just plain difficult. With the advent of Dr Michael Mosley’s “The 5:2 Fast Diet” all these issues go out the window! His plan is good, it works because it is based on science. As a science nerd I like that, as it is quantifiable, and we can prove it works with the VLA testing that I do as a part of my new 2018 Weight Loss Plan package.
This plan includes a copy of the book FREE as well as 3 sessions spaced out 2 weeks apart so over 6 weeks you see me 3 times – first session to do baseline Antioxidant testing and Thyroid testing to make sure this is OK. If it isn’t then we need to help restore your Thyroid back to normal correct physiological functioning.
In my experience over many years most GP’s completely miss low thyroids especially in women, as they depend on a simple blood test which doesn’t give all the info needed to accurately assess thyroid function. The thyroid is extra important in helping relay chemical messenger info from the pituitary gland deep in the brain to the ovaries. If the thyroid isn’t functioning properly, ideally at optimum, it will sabotage all efforts to lose weight. It is rather like a car wheel spinning in mud, lots of noise but no motion. Balancing the thyroid isn’t that hard when you know what you are doing, but it can take a few months to get it right. This is an extra cost (mainly the supplements & herbs) that is not included in the special price offer we are giving you today. But as thyroid is SO important it is vital we tick that box or you won't lose the weight you want to. If you suffer from tiredness in the mornings, mood swings tending to depression, hard to lose weight and irritable and out of sorts that time of the month for the ladies then suspect thyroid and you will be correct almost all of the time.
So once we get the thyroid regulated then we put you on the Fast Diet where you limit your calories to 500 per day for just 2 days a week for Women and 600 per day for Men. These 2 low cal days as we call them need to be at least 2 days apart. This does 3 things; it trains your brain to accept smaller meals as a norm; it shrinks the stomach so you are satisfied with less on your normal eating days AND it sets you up for getting used to feeling lighter and less full. All of these help re-program your brain into accepting less calories on a regular basis which makes sticking to a healthier diet that much easier after you have finished the diet when you have reached your goal weight.
Age need not be a barrier to weight loss, my elderly mother (bless her she is no longer with us) went on the 5:2 Fast Diet when she was 85 and lost 8 kg in 8 weeks! So if she can do it anyone can. I have used this plan myself and with at least 50 patients in the last year with GREAT results! So I know it works which is why I am offering a money back guarantee!
During the second and third sessions I recheck the Thyroid scores, Antioxidant Scan to make sure you are eating the right foods and getting all your needed nutrients and I redo the VLA test. This accurately tells us exactly how much fat you have lost to 2 decimal places and it breaks down the numbers to fat and ATM muscle. ATM is one thing you don’t want to lose if you can avoid it as this is what keeps your fitness up and improves immunity. I talk you thru it so you get what is the best diet for you, your body type and your age and ethnicity as all of these need to be factored in. So as you can see it is not a one size fits all type plan. This is one reason why it is so successful, so much so that I am offering a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!! If you pass a simple AK test that tells me if you have stuck to the plan and not cheated and in the unlikely event haven’t lost at least 5 kg then I will refund your money no further questions, but we will ask for the book back!
So what are you waiting for? Call or email Jax and book your first weight loss session today before we sell out of the books or the offer expires (31.03.2018) at the end of this month. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 09 282 3588 . . .
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland, a walnut sized gland surrounding the urethra (the duct through which urine is passed) just below the bladder.
Prostate cancer is most common in men over the age of 40, and is rare in younger men. By age 60, one man in 9 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Australia and New Zealand have the highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world (but, fortunately, not the highest mortality rates).
In New Zealand, over 3000 men per year are registered with prostate cancer and 600 men die from it (Ministry of Health New Zealand).
First step is a Prostatic Specific Antigen test (a blood test) and the physical exam, known as the Digital Rectal Exam (DRE). The DRE is performed by a doctor while the patient lies down on their side or on their stomach; the doctor slips on a pair of disposable gloves and examines the size and hardness of the prostate by inserting a finger into the rectum. The prostate can be felt through the rectal wall. It is important to have the DRE, however reluctant you may be, because a man may have a normal PSA but still have aggressive cancer nodules.
If the findings are cause for concern, ie the PSA is above 3 (for a man aged in his 50’s) and the prostate feels hard and enlarged, the GP will refer you to a specialist for further investigations.
If you have results that may indicate prostate cancer, consult the specialist the GP refers you to.
Complementary medicine can produce some promising results, either alone or in conjunction with the conventional medicine pathway, depending on the person and on the cancer itself.
Either way, treating the person and the environment in which the cancer lies is of utmost importance for the best outcome. This will include lifestyle, exercise, diet and selected supplements.
Goals may include management of insulin sensitivity, detoxification, low body fat and increased muscle mass. This will be delivered by dietary and lifestyle advice.
Exercise six days a week – this will be a combination of walking/aerobic exercise and weight or resistance training.
Meditation / mindfulness or positive thinking. There is a lot of research which shows that managing stress, whether conscious or sub-conscious stress, is effective in reducing cancer markers. This is because stress fosters inflammation in the body, and inflammation is one of the triggers for cancer.
Diet: reducing or avoiding red meat, sugar, alcohol, cigarettes and increasing chemoprotective foods and spices such as tomato, turmeric, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli will be discussed. Your practitioner will cover this in depth with you.
Vitamin D, folic acid and sulphurophane are among the supplements that may be relevant. Some herbal medicine may also be appropriate and effective, and may be prescribed for you, depending on your own individual needs and other medications taken.
Your naturopaths at Holden Healthcare are well-qualified and experienced practitioners who practise compassionate healthcare and can offer you a health plan going forward from diagnosis.
We look forward to being included in your healthcare team!
Senior Naturopath, Medical Herbalist & Nutritionist
Prostate image creative commons licensed from Wikimedia.
By David Holden, Senior Naturopath & BioChemist
specialising in Naturopathic Oncology
That’s the stats and it needs to change, and the reality is you are the only one that can make your own stats change. Lifestyle Medicine is the science behind lifestyle and how it affects your health and the impact it makes on it. Diet, exercise, relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, attitude all make an enormous difference on gene expression and whether you will get what your parents had. These are all areas your GP has had little training in as a rule. Naturopaths & Health Coaches do extensive training in all these areas and know well their impact on health stats and outcomes.
This Blue September for Prostate Cancer awareness do something about your risk and get tested via a simple PSA blood test and prostate exam if you are over 50 and especially if you have a family history of a father or grandfather or uncle who had or has prostate cancer. If you have a partner with a risk profile in the immediate family then ask him to get tested, it could save his life!
In the early stages BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy) or swelling of the prostate gland can be helped a lot with Lifestyle Medicine. Usual symptoms are the dribbles when peeing, having to get up at night to pee urgently, reduced urinary flow and /or pain or discomfort in the prostate area & sexual issues. This condition isn’t life threatening but it is a bloody nuisance and can make many Men’s lives a misery, especially at night and can play havoc with their sex lives.
Here at HHC we use advanced testing and scientific analysis to accurately assess your lifestyle and its impact on your health & wellness. If you show elevated risk we can teach you how to reduce it significantly. It really is a case of getting things early and acting sooner than later to get the best results with your health short, medium & longer term. Think of your health as your best investment. Without it, saving for retirement is, frankly, futile if you won’t live long enough or aren’t well enough to enjoy it. You spend money on your vehicle and toys so spend on you and reap the benefits.
Book you or your male partners Prostate Month Blue September Wellness Check-up this month and save over $125! It may be the best investment in your health you ever made!
BOOK NOW call 09 282 3588 or email us
By Dr. Deven P Sharma, MD, MD (AM), FCMA, FRSPH, FCLM.
A new study by researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has found regular moderate exercise also has anti-inflammatory benefits. They have found that a 20-minute session of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system which then produces anti-inflammatory cellular response. This has encouraging implications for chronic diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia and more pervasive conditions such as obesity.
The research stated that the anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise have been known to researchers, but finding out how that process happens is key to safely maximising those benefits. Inflammation is an important part of the body’s immune response to injuries, foreign invaders and damaged tissue; however chronic inflammation can lead to serious health issues related to diabetes, celiac disease, obesity and other conditions. The study shows that exercise does not need to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects - just 20 minutes of moderate exercise including fast-paced walking appears to be sufficient.
This is an important new finding, as feeling like a workout needs to be particularly intense or a long duration may have been off-putting for those who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases, who particularly benefit from exercise. However, it should be noted that patients with chronic inflammatory disease should always consult with their physician concerning their treatment plan. But knowing that exercise can provide these benefits is an important consideration. Needless to say a very cheap form of natural anti-inflammatories!
For a tailored natural programme to help with chronic inflammation, book an appointment to visit Dr. Deven by calling (09) 282 3588.
Reference : Perspectives in Public Health – May 2017-Vol 137-No3 ; Royal Society for Public Health, London E1 8AN , England.
With the warmer weather starting to come through, many of us are starting to dust off the exercise gear and training shoes to get fitter for the summer.
Sometimes we can get put off from exercising because of the aches and pains that can follow. This can be offset by proactive self-care strategies.
Firstly, we need to ensure that we are adequately hydrated before, during and after exercise. Filtered water is the best, however those of us who exercise intensely or in the hot sun and sweat heavily may be wise to replace lost electrolytes as well. Adding ⅛ teaspoon of Himalayan or Real Salt to a litre bottle of water is effective; ½ teaspoon of maple syrup together with a squeeze of half a lime (or small lemon) can help the taste as well as replacing some glucose.
A sachet of Lypospheric Vitamin C or other good quality vitamin C, such as Naturopath’s Own Daily C at 1000mg dose per day, is effective as an antioxidant and to help repair micro-tears in sore muscles.
Turmeric is a spice native to the Spice Islands and has long been used in Asian cuisine and medicine. The same part of the plant, the rhizome, has been used in Western herbal medicine since the Middle Ages and has enjoyed a revival in recent times. By its stimulating action on general circulation and also its anti-inflammatory properties, it is of value in bringing symptomatic relief to musculoskeletal aches and pains, with particular focus on joint mobility. It’s valuable not only to those with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis for this reason, but also for those of us with an active lifestyle.
Turmeric has become well-known as a liver and gallbladder tonic and as such it is well regarded as supportive in those undergoing radiation therapy and there are clinical trials demonstrating turmeric’s potential benefit in cancer patients. It is useful in treating skin conditions where they are associated with impure or coagulated blood, especially in radiation dermatitis.
Therapeutically, the bioavailability of Turmeric has been questioned, and research has shown that it is much better absorbed in the human body when
taken with some form of fat. This is why Ayurvedic (Indian) use of Turmeric combines it with milk or yogurt. Recipes for these are available at the clinic.
Of course, as a food the concentration is limited for therapeutic uses, although it is fine for maintenance levels. For more focused therapy, 1 -2 tablets per day of Turmeric, containing not less than 90mg of the active curcumin and phospholipids for absorption per tablet, is the best way of delivering an effective dose.
If you would like to follow this up, please contact me at Holden Healthcare to discuss if this is right for you. Turmeric is contraindicated for pregnant women and at high doses for people who are taking blood-thinners and some anti-inflammatory medications.
Marianne Stobie, Senior Naturopath at Holden Healthcare.
This week, Columbia University announced a “breakthrough” in our understanding of how gluten relates to health issues. Their findings, published in the journal Gut, revealed that the complaints gluten-sensitive people (those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity) experience are a consequence of a disruption of the gut lining – what has come to be called “leaky gut.”
As the authors concluded:
These findings reveal a state of systemic immune activation in conjunction with a compromised intestinal epithelium affecting a subset of individuals who experience sensitivity to wheat in the absence of celiac disease.
Co-author of the study, Dr. Umberto Volta, professor of internal medicine at the University of Bologna, summarised as follows
These results shift the paradigm in our recognition and understanding of non-celiac wheat sensitivity and will likely have important implications for diagnosis and treatment… Considering the large number of people affected by the condition and its significant negative health impact on patients, this is an important area of research that deserves much more attention and funding.
I am pleased to see reports like this making their way into the conversation. But to be fair, the idea that a breakdown of the intestinal lining plays a pivotal role in the various complaints of those suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a new discovery. In fact, this exact mechanism is the central theme of Grain Brain!
What is newsworthy is the recent finding that the breakdown in the gut lining as a response to gluten exposure is, according to Harvard researchers, an event that occurs in all humans. That means that there is immune activation occurring in all of us when we consume gluten, whether we think we are having issues, or not.
When we understand the powerful relationship between this mechanism of immune activation and diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, coronary artery disease, and even obesity, it makes opting for a gluten-free diet the clear choice if you want to do everything you can to protect your health.
Dr. Perlmutter is a pioneer in medicine. His approach to brain health offers us the opportunity to get to the underlying cause of some of the most challenging diseases. Dr. Perlmutter offers a holistic approach to neurology, treating the whole person body, mind and spirit. His approach is evidenced-based and cutting edge providing options and hope to individuals with significant neurologic challenges.
Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC
Founder and Founding Director, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
His approach to brain health offers us the opportunity to get to the underlying cause of some of the most challenging diseases. Dr. Perlmutter offers a holistic approach to neurology, treating the whole person body, mind and spirit. His approach is evidenced-based and cutting edge providing options and hope to individuals with significant neurologic challenges. - See more at: http://www.drperlmutter.com/top-researchers-reveal-gluten-threatens-health/#sthash.ZYK9Iqob.dpuf
On my return from a two week trip to China (a bucket list must!) there was a definite change of season in New Zealand, with fallen linden tree leaves covering my street and with a nip in the air in the mornings. A beautiful time of year!
Rapid temperature changes, whether from cold to hot, but more predominantly from hot to cold, are stressful to the human body as we adapt to maintain balance. Add exposure to upper respiratory viruses to this and our immune systems are challenged to fight these bugs off, especially if we already have a health condition to manage to start with.
It is a good idea to continue exercise, particularly when the heart rate is raised and sweating occurs, as the higher temperature helps to kill off the unwanted viruses. Take care, however, not to chill down too quickly afterwards, again because of the stress of changes of temperature.
Remembering to throw a jacket into the car when going to work to allow for temperature fluctuations and to keep warm when the temperature drops in the early evening.
Eating properly is always a foundation stone for good health, and especially when the weather changes from warm to cool. Now is the time to reintegrate hot dinners, soups and casseroles. Using warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and curry powders are beneficial at this time – for instance, Thai pumpkin soup is nutritious and comforting! Ingredients include red curry paste, pumpkin and coconut cream - see www.taste.com.au/recipes/21007/thai-pumpkin-soup/181/ for the base recipe, and add Asian fish sauce, onion, garlic, and seasoning to taste.
On the subject of garlic, use it liberally in your diet or if that is not practical in your household, buy some garlic capsules. Garlic has antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, and is anti-inflammatory and anti-viral too. Its immune-stimulating actions earn it a place in our toolkit to combat winter chills and ills. Of course it also has a lot of evidence-based research for its cardiovascular benefits too. The main caution is if you are taking blood-thinning medication, in which case moderate dietary use of garlic is fine, but it is wiser to stay away from garlic supplements.
Vitamin C is well-known in doses between 500mg – 2000mg per day is a must for its immune-enhancing and anti-inflammatory actions.
Herbal medicine is also very effective for immune support. Many people know about Echinacea, but here I want to mention Astragalus.
Astragalus root is originally a Chinese plant, but has been widely adopted by Western medical herbalists as a tonic and treatment for colds, ‘flu and other chronic viral infections, either on its own or together with other herbs such as Echinacea and Licorice. Research has shown that Astragalus activates and stimulates the proliferation of various immune cells. Traditionally, Astragalus is not used in the active phase of an infection (the first 2 days of a cold, for instance) but comes into its own straight after the end of the active phase, when it significantly helps to speed recovery and shorten the duration of symptoms.
If you would like a liquid herbal immune support formula tailor-made for you, or herbal advice, do give Holden Healthcare a call to book an appointment to see me and I can make something up to suit your own individual needs.