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Zinc: 5 Benefits of Zinc, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Zinc: 5 Benefits of Zinc, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Zinc is a micronutrient that’s vital for keeping your body healthy. It’s an ‘essential’ mineral, meaning the body cannot produce it. This means you must consume zinc every day in the diet or from dietary supplements.

 

What is Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral found in several foods, including meats, shellfish, legumes, dairy, eggs, whole grains, some vegetables (potatoes and kale), and seeds and nuts (1). However, it can also be consumed via dietary supplements if the diet is low in zinc-containing foods.

This micronutrient is a vital nutrient for several body functions. These include supporting a healthy immune system, keeping bones strong, aiding in healing, helps in iron absorption, functioning as an antioxidant, and promoting healthy aging.

 

5 Benefits of Vitamin C

 

  1. Boosts the immune system

Zinc is involved in many parts of the immune system and keeping immunity strong.

It is critical for immune cell development and function. Zinc is necessary for immune cell function (i.e., white blood cells like lymphocytes and phagocytes) (2). These cells help protect the body against infections and illnesses.

Because of this, a deficiency in zinc can cause a delayed immune response.

 

  1. Aids wound healing and tissue repair

Zinc is essential for cell growth, making it a key component in tissue repair.

Along with vitamin C, zinc plays an important role in the production of collagen. Collagen is a key protein for skin tissue construction (2).

Because of this, adequate to higher levels of zinc in the diet is connect to increased rate of tissue repair and wound healing.

 

  1. Functions as an antioxidant

Zinc is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

This mineral protects cells from damage by free radicals, but also decreases oxidative stress. Oxidative stress contributes to chronic inflammation, which can contribute to the development of several age-related diseases (3).

However, several studies in older population have shown the positive effect of decreasing markers of inflammation and damage to cells.

 

  1. May benefit memory and boost learning

 

Zinc plays an important role in neuron function, especially in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the section of the brain responsible for long-term and spatial memory (2).

Although this subject has limited research, an adequate amount of zinc has been shown to benefit the function of memory. Also, aid in the ability to learn and store this information in long-term memory (4).

However, it is important to note that an excess or toxicity of zinc may also have the opposite effect on the brain; so it’s important to ensure you are not overconsuming this mineral.

 

  1. May help clarify skin

The clinical trials associated to zinc and acne are also limited, but from the research that has been done has shown a positive outcome of zinc and its ability to clarify skin.

As an antibacterial agent, zinc can hinder bacteria that cause acne breakouts. Also, its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce redness and pain associated with moderate to severe acne (5).

 

What is the daily requirement of Zinc

The recommended daily amount (DRI) of zinc is 11mg for adult men and 8 mg for adult women (2).

This requirement increases for certain groups, including pregnant women (11mg) and breastfeeding women (12mg).

 

Risks of Zinc deficiency and toxicity

Zinc is an important mineral for many functions of the body, but like any micronutrient, there are always risks of deficiency. And of the opposite end, there is also the possibility of toxicity. Though both deficiency and toxicity are rare, it’s important to understand that the risks of each.

Not meeting the recommended daily amount of zinc can lead to deficiency. Symptoms include (2):

 

  • Impaired growth and development
  • Skin rashes
  • Weakened immune system
  • Slow wound healing

 

On the opposite side, toxicity can occur with mega doses of zinc. Just like deficiency, too much zinc can cause health complications and negative side effects.

Indicators that you may be consuming (via diet or complement) too much zinc can include (2):

 

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache and cramps
  • Reduced immune function

 

What are the best sources of Zinc?

 Because zinc is an essential nutrient, it’s important to meet the suggested intake recommendations every day via diet or dietary supplement.

As mentioned, zinc found in a variety of foods — meats, shellfish, animal by-products, and some vegetables.

However, if you are having difficulties meeting your zinc daily intake requirements through your diet, supplements are also recommended. Zinc can be found in most multivitamins, but is also available as a solitary supplement.

Always insure you are using reputable companies to source your zinc supplements.

Also, consult with a healthcare professional to discuss if you are consuming an adequate amount of zinc through your daily diet.

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

 

References

 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-foods-high-in-zinc
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/zinc
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429650/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3561272/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/zinc-for-acne

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Simple Steps for Staying Healthy All Year Long

Simple Steps for Staying Healthy All Year Long

Regardless of season, harmful bacteria and viruses are all around and capable of being spread all year long. In order to keep fend away potential illnesses and infections that can prevent you from living your day-to-day life, it is important to be diligent about keeping your body healthy.

Thankfully, keeping yourself healthy is much simpler than it may appear, especially with the following eight simple steps to follow throughout the year.

8 simple steps to keep yourself healthy

1. Wash your hands (correctly!)

As always, the number one way to keep yourself healthy all year long is to wash your hands. Times when you should ensure you’re washing your hands when you may come into contact with germs, such as (1):

Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After using the restroom
After touching discarded waste or garbage

And also, make sure you follow the recommended hand washing regimen (that actually kills germs and bacteria) (1):

1. Wet your hands
2. Lather your hands with soap (including the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails)
3. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds
4. Rinse your hands with warm water
5. Dry hands
 
 
2. Keep your surroundings clean

Similarly to the washing hands, regularly cleaning surfaces you come in contact with on a regular basis is important to keep yourself healthy. Frequently touched surfaces and itemsharbor harmful germs and bacteria with the potential to make you, or others, sick. 

Places like bathrooms and offices should be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Items that should be regularly cleaned include cell phones, laptops or tablets, and television remotes. Other items can include bed sheets, blankets, and towels. 

3. Avoid touching your face

Touching your face is an absent-minded habit most people have, but it may also be a habit causing the spread of illness. The most vulnerable access points for harmful bacteria to enter the body is the face’s mucous-lined orifices the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Mucous membrane-lined orifices like the eyes, nose, and mouth are the perfect access point for bacteria where they can enter the body and travel to the respiratory system. To avoid this, be mindful about not touching your face; and even more so, washing your hands properly after any activities where germs may be spread before touching your face.

4. Get enough sleep

Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus (2). They also show that sleep quality can affect how quickly you can recover from an illness, as well. 

During sleep, the immune system releases a protein called cytokines and during an illness, the amount of cytokinesreleased is increased. These extra proteins help to fight inflammation and/or infection. A lack of sleep reduces the immune system’s ability to complete this function (2).

5. Reduce stress

Being stuck in a state of stress can wear down the body and mind. Stress overworks and weakens the immune system, reducing its ability to protect the body against illnesses and infections the way it properly should (3).

Although stress is not completely avoidable, it is important to embrace stress-reduction when necessary. Examples include:

Listening to music
Taking walking breaks
Practicing mindfulness strategies (i.e., yoga, mediation)
 
6. Get regular exercise
 
Getting regular exercise is a key component of preventing disease, both passing and chronic. Aerobic exercise, in particular, is especially helpful in keeping you healthy throughout the year.

Aerobic exercise, like walking or jogging, positively affects the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. It boosts the immune system by increasing the circulation of immune cells from the bone marrow, lungs, and spleen. In turn, this enhances the body’s defenses against viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses like the flu and common cold.

7. Stay hydrated

Keeping the body strong is an important part of fending off illness. A key component of keeping your body resilient, especially during the cold and flu season, is to drink plenty of water. Recent studies have found that staying hydrated may boost immune response to enable the body to better fight viruses (4).

Current recommendations are eight glasses of water for male and female adults daily. However, the body’s requirements for liquids increase under stress, such as illness or hot weather.

8. Maintain a healthy diet

Maximizing your diet is an important component of keeping the body healthy. Besides maintaining a well-balanced diet, there several micronutrients with immune-boosting qualities you needed to elevate when attempting to prevent illness.

Vitamins A, C, and E – Provide immune system support, form antibodies, and act as an antioxidant (5). These vitamins participate in functions all the way from protecting against free radicals, aiding in white blood cell production, to healing tissue. Several supplements are available to boost the intake of these vitamins, but foods high in them as well include acidic fruits, leafy vegetables, and nuts.

ProteinPlays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery (5). Foods high in protein include seafood, meat, eggs, legumes, nuts, and/or protein supplements and shakes.

Probiotics – Are ‘good’ bacteria that are beneficial to the gut and can also help the body fend off harmful bacteria. Studies have found that regular use of probiotics kept people healthier and reduced the incidence of upper respiratory infections (4).Foods high in probiotics are yogurt and those that are fermented, like kombucha and kimchi.

Wrapping it all up –

Harmful bacteria and viruses are lurking all time the year, especially during cold and flu season. To keep from contracting an illness that can stall your day-to-day life, ensure you are following a balanced, healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy diet, reducing stress levels, and above all else, washing your hands.

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

 

References

 

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

 

Vitamin C is another micronutrient that’s vital for keeping our bodies healthy. Because it is not a nutrient the human body can produce, we must consume Vitamin C every day in our diet or from dietary supplements.

What is Vitamin C

Vitamin C—also known as ascorbic acid—is a water-soluble vitamin found in an abundant number of vegetables and fruits, primarily citrus fruits, but can also be consumed via dietary supplements.

This micronutrient plays an important role in several vital body functions, which is why it needs to be consumed daily. These include supporting a healthy immune system, keeping bones strong, aiding in healing, helps in iron absorption, functioning as an antioxidant, and promoting healthy aging.

 

6 Benefits of Vitamin C

 1. Healthy immune system support

Vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system.

First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) and essential antibodies. These cells help protect the body against infections and illnesses (1).

Even further, vitamin C is a key component of the body’s first line of defense to disease and infection—the skin (and mucus membranes), which is discussed further below.

2. Aids in healing and tissue repair

Vitamin C is essential for the growth, skin strengthening and defense, and repair of tissue all over the body due to its contribution to collagen production. Collagen is a key protein for of skin tissue construction.

This way, vitamin C keeps our skin strong, but also helps to heal tissue wounds (2). Research has shown a higher intake of Vitamin C is associated with faster wound healing.

 

3. Keeps bones strong

Like in healing and tissue repair, vitamin C’s role in collagen production is also vital of bone mineralization, maintenance, and repair. However, collagen is also found in not only bone, but also teeth and cartilage (2).

Studies have shown an increased intake of vitamin C is linked to higher bone density (3). Older individuals, who naturally have lower bone density and are at higher risk for breakage and fracture, will want to increase their supplementation of vitamin C to increase density.

 

4. Helps to absorb and store Iron

 

Iron is an important nutrient for several functions in the body, including making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. However, some food sources of iron, like those found in plants, is poorly absorbed by the digestive system. Vitamin C helps convert these certain forms of iron into one that is easily absorbed by the body (1).

5.Functions as an antioxidant

As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help protect your cells against the effects of molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals are produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to harmful tobacco smoke or radiation. (4) This occurs by Vitamin C aids the protection of white blood cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) from the damage free radicals can cause (1).

 

It’s antioxidant properties also assist in maintaining skin health. Vitamin C is actively transported to the skin where it help strengthen the skin’s barriers and promote its natural regeneration process (1).

6. Promotes healthy aging

To keep bodily systems running at top shape as we age, it’s important to maintain an adequate intake of vital nutrients that contribute to these systems is essential. Vitamin C being one of those nutrients.

As discussed above, vitamin C is a key component of many body functions including maintaining a healthy immune system, keeping bones strong, aiding in healing and iron absorption, and functioning as an antioxidant, which all promote healthy aging over the lifetime.

Additionally, high vitamin C intake has been linked to a lowered risk of cataracts, blood sugar stabilization for those with diabetes, increase heart health and function, reduced cholesterol levels, and help in preventing gout—all of which are common complications of aging. (5)

 

What is the daily requirement of Vitamin C

The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90mg for adult men and for adult women is 75mg (1).

 

What are the best sources of Vitamin C?

Because Vitamin C is a vital nutrient, it’s important to meet the suggested intake recommendations every day via diet or dietary supplement.

As mentioned, vitamin C found primarily in citrus fruits, but is also in an abundant number of other fruits and vegetables. These include strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach (1).

However, fruits and vegetables lose vitamin C when heated or stored for long periods of time. To get the most nutrients, you must eat them as soon as possible after shopping and consider steaming or microwaving vegetables for short periods of time to limit nutrient loss. (2)

Consult with a healthcare professional to discuss if you are consuming an adequate amount of vitamin C through your daily diet.

If you are having difficulties meeting your vitamin C daily intake requirements through your diet, supplements are also recommended. Vitamin C can be found in most multivitamins, but is also available alone as a dietary supplement or in combination with other nutrients. The vitamin C in dietary supplements is usually in the form of ascorbic acid, but some supplements have other forms, such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other mineral ascorbates, and ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids. However, no one form has been proven to be more effective than the other (6)

Always insure you are using reputable companies to source your vitamin C supplements.

 

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

 

References

 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits#section5
  2. https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/how-vitamin-c-supports-a-healthy-immune-system
  3. https://americanbonehealth.org/nutrition/vitamins-for-bone-health/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-c/art-20363932
  5. https://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/april-2019/vitamin-c-and-the-role-it-plays-in-healthy-aging.aspx
  6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Echinacea: 5 Benefits, Forms, and Dosage

Echinacea is one of the most popular herbs used worldwide as a natural remedy.

It has also been linked to its ability to enhance immune health, ability as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and benefit to reducing anxiety.

What is Echinacea?

Echinacea –  also known as purple coneflower – is, in fact, a flower. A group of flowers, to be exact.

Echinacea includes three different daisy species (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida) that are used in herbal supplements (1). These flowers can be found in North American prairies as well as Europe and are an age old remedy for various ailments and are still being used today.

The roots of the flower are dried and used to make tablets, extracts, and teas you can purchase from the store or online (1).  Additionally, the  leaves, flowers and seeds are also used to produce several over-the-counter supplements. These roots, leave, etcetera, contain phytochemicals including caffeic acid, alkamides, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid, polyacetylenes and many more that have the potential to provide several health benefits (1).

 

5 Benefits of Echinacea 

  1. High in antioxidants

Echinacea is high in a phytochemical called alkamides, which has antioxidant properties. In this way, consuming Echinacea as a supplement may enhance your cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) ability to protect against the effects and damage from free radicals.

  1. Boosts immune system health

Echinacea is best known for its effect on the immune system.

Numerous research studies have found this plant may help your immune system fight attacks. Further, they’ve been shown to assist in combatting infections and viruses, which may also help in a quicker recovery (1).

  1. May reduce feelings of anxiety

The is potential for Echinacea to aid in reducing anxiety, which is an mental/emotional disorder diagnosed in every 1 in 5 adults in the United States. Phytochemicals in Echinacea  have shown to lessen the stress on certain areas of the brain in order to reduce chemical causes of anxiety (3).

  1. Inflammation prevention and reduction

Though inflammation is a natural body function for healing, there are times inflammation can become uncontrollable. When inflammation increases to an out of control extent, this is when the risk for chronic disease and other health problems increases (1).

Echinacea has been shown to reduce this excessive inflammation linked to increased risk for chronic disease and other ailments. This will help, in particular, those with diseases associated with high rates of chronic pain and swelling caused by inflammation. Including those with osteoarthritis.

  1. May reduce skin concerns

Echinacea has been added to several skin care products and has shown that it has the potential to reduce a scope of skin problems.

As listed above, the herb has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce inflammation and redness of the skin. Additionally, it is also anti-bacterial. In test-tube studies Echinacea suppressed the growth of a bacteria (i.e., Propionibacterium), which is a common cause of acne (1). Some users of Echinacea ointments have also seen reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.

3 Forms of Echinacea supplements

  1. Capsules

The most familiar form to consume supplements is as a capsule or tablet.

These tablets all include phytochemicals from the Echinacea flower (2). Phytochemicals are natural, active compounds produced by plants that provide the benefits of the herb. In this case – the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and anxiety reduction Echinacea offers.

Phytochemicals in Echinacea include caffeic acid, alkamides, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid, polyacetylenes and many more (1).

  1. Extracts 

You can also find Echinacea in the form of extracts. Extracts are made primarily from the dried root of the flower. They also come in several different varieties (i.e., tinctures).

Extracts are a beneficial way to consume and herb, due to its processing of the phytochemicals into a from that is readily absorbable without the need for digestion.

  1. Teas

Another common way to consume Echinacea is as a tea.

The amount of Echinacea tea you need to drink to see benefits varies depending on the brand of tea itself and how strongly you brew it (4). 

  1. Bonus – Ointments or other skin care products

Although not a consumable supplement, ointments and other skin care products containing Echinacea are available to help treat skin concerns. These creams provide anti-inflammatory aid, for skin redness, and anti-bacterial assistance to stave off acne. Also, don’t forget about their ability to reduce fine lines and of wrinkles.

Dosage recommendations

There is currently no recommendations for Echinacea due to research variability and a few unreliable products labeled to be containing Echinacea, but in fact do not. This shows the importance of finding trusted brands for your preferred Echinacea supplement (1).

That being said, researchers have seen enhanced immunity with the following doses of Echinacea for short-term use:

  • Dry powdered extract: 300–500 mg, three times daily. 
  • Liquid extract: 2.5 ml, three times daily; or up to 10 ml daily.

However, best practices are to follow the instructions for your specific supplement (1).

Potential side effects of Echinacea 

Echinacea has been proven to be safe and effective with short-term use. However, in cases where Echinacea supplements are used against recommendations — such as long-term or excessive use — patients experienced a range of less than optimal side-effects, including (1):

  • Rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

As always, if you are experiencing any of these negative reactions seek out the advice of a medical professional immediately.

Is an Echinacea supplement right for you?

First and foremost, you will need to determine what your need and use of Echinacea is and will be. Afterward, you will need to choose the form of Echinacea supplement you are looking for – whether that be a tea, extract, or tablet.

Whichever you happen to select, ensure you purchase a trustworthy brand and through review usage instructions.

Remember, though there is data on Echinacea, there is still ample research to be done on topics like dosage. So if you are ever in doubt, seek the advice of a medical professional.

 

Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

 

References

 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/echinacea
  2. https://www.herb-pharm.com/pharm-journal/ask-an-herbalist-what-is-an-herbal-extract/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4068831/
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/echinacea-tea-benefits

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Vitamin E

Vitamin E liquid vitamins for health and wellness

Vitamin E

Vitamin E comprises a combination of 8 different compounds (4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols) that exhibit vitamin E activity. The tocopherols include isomer alpha-tocopherol, beta-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol and omega-tocopherols. They are all derivatives of tocol or 6-hydroxy chromane ring with phytyl side chain. All the tocopherols are alkaline sensitive, and their vitamin activity is destroyed through oxidation. Of all the tocopherols, alpha-tocopherol is the most potent and widely distributed in nature.  Vitamin E is only found in plant dietary sources such as oils, nuts, grains, wheat and fruits. Therefore, excessive cooking and food processing may destroy vitamin E to some extent. It is fats-soluble hence, stored in the body and used as needed. Each isomer of vitamin E confers unique properties and hence functions and applications especially in the manufacture of food and beverage products.  To begin with, the dietary tocopherols maintain cell integrity by functioning as antioxidants and free radical scavengers. It also prevents the peroxidation of membrane lipids especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of membrane phospholipids.

 Vitamin E supports the immune system.  First, it has the ability to reduce free radical damage and promote healthy inflammation response which confers its immune supportive function. As an antioxidant, vitamin E protects cells from damage. The alpha-tocopherols present in the membrane protect membrane lipids from radical attacks to cause a change in membrane structure.  The damaging of body cells increases susceptibility to invasion by foreign bodies. Vitamin E therefore acts as a chain breaking antioxidant. The antioxidant function is also helpful when exposed to risk factors such as ultra violet light or cigarette smoke. Its antioxidation function also, balances cholesterol preventing its transforming to a toxic form.

Additionally, vitamin E plays a role in the maintenance of muscle tone. Most of the vitamin E is normally stored in the skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. It also has a metabolic role that ensures optimal body functioning. Vitamin E notably   prevents hormonal imbalance especially the nervous and endocrine systems.  In addition, Vitamin E supports spermatogenesis.

Vitamin E is beneficial to the skin as it strengthens the capillary walls and therefore, their moisture and elasticity. Additionally, it enhances the healing process of the skin by speeding up cell regeneration. It is absorbed by the epidermal layer of the skin. As such, vitamin E slows down the aging process and aids in improvement of athletic performance such as running by reducing the oxidative stress on muscles post exercise.  Vitamin E counteracts the formation of free radicals that weaken and break down healthy cells hence promoting longevity.

Other therapeutic uses of vitamin E include the ability to induce apoptosis. This helps in the elimination of damaged cells or DNA thus minimizing errors. Modified Vitamin E is  that proaptotic agent that is  used in the process of   eliminating such cells.

Vitamin E deficiency is rare. The daily requirement for an adult is up to 10mg per day. However, during states of increased physiological needs such as in pregnancy or during lactation the amount increases to about 12-13mg/day.  It entails a deficiency in intake of all the isomers. At times Vitamin E toxicity may occur due to self-medication with large doses of vitamin E.

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Rutin

Rutin ingredient article header

Rutin

Apart from vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables also contain other healthy compounds known as flavonoids. Rutin is one such compound. Rutin refers to a bioflavonoid (plant pigment) that is found in certain fruits and vegetables such as, buckwheat bran, tea, green tea, asparagus, figs, black peel and apple peal. Rutin is multifunctional in nature. Traditionally, rutin has been used in the maintenance of adequate circulation. Rutin plays a role in the reduction of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol hence maintaining a healthy circulatory system function. It also maintains blood vessel health and function. It supports the integrity and flexibility of the capillary walls especially in the eye and helps to prevent the formation of blood clots.  

Rutin also strengthens the lining of blood vessels in the body thus preventing their collapse or probability of bleeding.  This is because it contains a group of flavonoid chemicals known as oxerutins. According to the “Journal of Clinical Investigation” rutin blocks an enzyme involved in clot formation thus blocking clot formation in both arteries and veins.  It also, inhibits platelet aggregation and thins the blood thus improving circulation. Rutin promotes vascular health by increasing the elasticity of arterial wall thus promoting increased blood flow and thus improved vascular health.  

Rutin is also crucial due to its cardio-protective function. Rutin protects LDL against oxidation. It contains Quercetin that confers its anti-oxidant properties.  These protect the body cells from damage by free radicals that induce reversible cell injury that might ultimately lead to cell death and hence defective health.  

Rutin also maintains healthy eye function by inhibiting aldolase reductase activity that is present in the eye. It helps convert glucose into sugar alcohol known as sorbitol. When excessive sorbitol is trapped in the eye and nerve cells it can damage the eye. Thus the fact that rutin prevents the intracellular accumulation of sorbitol is therapeutic to the eye. Its combination with vitamin C further potentiates its action in the maintenance of healthy eye health and function 

Rutin’s antioxidant properties support cellular structure and function.  Rutin scavenges on free radicals that damage cells in the body and neutralizes them. This also helps in cardiac function as free radicals LDL cholesterol in plaques that can interfere with the integrity of blood vessel walls through hardening.   Additionally, it helps maintain the body levels of reduced glutathione that further helps in antioxidation. Rutin also assists in a healthy inflammatory response in combination with the ability to minimize oxidative stress makes it beneficial in relieving pain. Flavonoids that come from rutin relieve swelling, aching and pain from inflamed vessels.  

Rutin is also important for maintaining a healthy skin. It is involved in the production of collagen the skins main building blocks.  The fact that It also plays a key role in ensuring that the body utilizes vitamin C more efficiently further helps nourish the skin.  As such, it   consumption of rutin ensures that the skin is continuously renewed to give it a youthful look. 

Rutin plays a key metabolic function for optimal body functioning. First, it protects against fat accumulation in the liver according to a study by the “Journal of Food Science” issued in March 2011 to provide an optimal metabolic function. Rutin also maintains levels of blood glucose.  It has an effect in decreasing fasting glucose hence a role in the protection against hyperglycemia. 

Therefore, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is crucial initiative for promoting a good health. According to public health studies the average American fails to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables getting only up to three servings per day which is way below the normal range of five to thirteen servings daily. 

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EpiCor Whole Food Fermentate

EpiCor whole food fermentate fermented yeast

EpiCor® Whole Food Fermentate

The root of a healthy diet is the use of whole foods. Processed foods remove a lot of plant materials that are more beneficial. Thus, diets rich in unprocessed or whole foods allow our bodies to use the whole part of the plant. When wheat, rice or other grains are processed we lose beneficial essential nutrients. What is even better for our immune and digestion system is fermented whole foods.   Fermented whole foods help cultivate and build up the good bacteria in our digestion system. A healthy digestion system can lead to a healthy immune system.

One of the main ingredients in Buried Treasure Prevention ACF is unprocessed whole food fermentate commercially known as EpiCor.  EpiCor is a whole food fermentate which means it is minimally processed and refined. It is not considered an extract or chemically synthesized because EpiCor is created by a proprietary fermentation process. 

EpiCor begins with natural baker’s yeast, which has been used to make bread, wine and other foods. However, through the natural fermentation process new compounds are created such as beneficial beta glucans. EpiCor is comprised of proteins, fibers, vitamins, beta glucans among other ingredients with many benefits to help support a strong immune system. Through much research EpiCor has been shown to balance the immune system and to be beneficial to upper respiratory issues and pollen related issues.  

There are numerous levels of how EpiCor works to help build up a healthy immune system and digestive system. Combining this powerhouse of fermented whole foods with Buried Treasure’s blend of other immune boosting ingredients make up this daily immune supplement Prevention ACF. Prevention ACF combines EpiCor with Vitamin C, Zinc, Elderberry, Citrus Bioflavonoids and other ingredients to create this unique comprehensive daily immune support supplement.

Related Information: https://www.epicorimmune.com/what-is-epicor/

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Supplements for Your Immune System This Winter

Supplements for Your Immune System This Winter

Tired of feeling run down every time it gets cold or when your child comes home from school? I remember feeling under the weather on a regular basis when my daughter started day school and I was working at two different hospitals. Luckily, I found some supplements that have helped me from getting under the weather and have given me relief once I start feeling run down.   

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most common vitamin known for assisting the immune system.   Originally discovered to be beneficial for the prevention of scurvy, now it has been used primarily for assisting the immune system.

I love to take vitamin C to help support my immune system. Especially since I work out on a regular basis, I know that I am putting more stress on my body and need extra support. (1,2).

Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral and has many different benefits including prostate health, muscle growth and repair as well as beneficial for the immune system.

I like to take zinc as soon as I start feeling under the weather. There are many ways to take zinc, from capsules to lozenges. I personally prefer either a lozenge or a liquid (3).

Elderberry

Elderberry has been used for thousands of years and besides being a great product for the immune system, it is also commonly used for making wine!

Elderberry is another supplement that I like to take during the winter months and especially if I am traveling. The most common form is liquid form and is either by itself or in combination with other immune supporting products (4).  

Echinacea

The traditional use of Echinacea has been to boost the immune system and is native to North America.   There are many varieties of Echinacea, but the most common are E. pururea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida.

There has been a myth that Echinacea should only be taken once you feel run down, but other research indicated that it is better to take it during the winter months in order to help support the immune system (5)

Beta Glucan

Beta Glucans are a type of sugar that come from plants such as oats and barley.   It can also be found in the cell of fungi, yeast and bacteria.  

A lesser known supplement, Beta Glucans are on my list of must take items during the winter months to assist with immune support and overall wellbeing (6).

Conclusion

You can find these products by themselves or a combination with some or all of these ingredients to help support your immune system, and remember to stay warm and healthy!

 

  1. Sasazuki S, Sasaki S, Tsubono Y, Okubo S, Hayashi M & Tsugane S. Effect of vitamin C on common cold: randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005) 60, 9–17 (2006)
  2. Hemilä H. Vitamin C and Common Cold Incidence: A Review of Studies with Subjects Under Heavy Physical Stress. Int J Sports Med 1996; 17(5): 379-383
  3. Hulisz D. Efficacy of Zinc Against Common Cold Viruses: An Overview. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Volume 44, Issue 5, September–October 2004, Pages 594-603
  4. Tiralongo E, Wee SS, and Lea RA. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 24;8(4):182.
  5. Jawad M1, Schoop R, Suter A, Klein P, and Eccles R. Safety and Efficacy Profile of Echinacea purpurea to Prevent Common Cold Episodes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:841315. Epub 2012 Sep 16.
  6. Volman JJ, Ramakers JD, and Plat J. Dietary modulation of immune function by β-glucans. Physiology & Behavior. Volume 94, Issue 2, 23 May 2008, Pages 276-28

 

 

Chris Terrell, NS, RDN, CSCS

Specialized Health & Nutrition

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