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7 Ways Vitamin C Keeps Your Body Healthy

7 Ways Vitamin C Keeps Your Body Healthy

 

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for keeping the body healthy.

It is also an essential vitamin, meaning it is not a nutrient the human body can produce. You have to eat vitamin C every day in your diet to make sure your body has enough of it for vital, daily functions.

If you aren’t getting enough vitamin C from your diet, dietary supplements are also available.

What is Vitamin C

Vitamin C—also known as ascorbic acid—is a water-soluble vitamin that is linked to several health benefits.

Its widely known for its high content in citrus fruits (i.e., oranges, lemons, or grapefruits) , but it can be found in an abundant number of colorful fruits and vegetables. Including papaya, kiwi, strawberries, kale, broccoli, and sweet potatoes (1).

7 ways vitamin C keeps the body healthy

As stated above, vitamin C plays a very important role in keep your body healthy.

It plays a key part in several vital body functions, which is why it needs to be consumed every day through diet or via dietary supplement.

Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system, functions as an antioxidant, quickens tissue healing, keeps bones strong, aids iron absorption, boost brain health, and promotes healthy aging.

  1. Keeps the immune system strong

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

It helps in the production of both white blood cells (lymphocytes and phagocytes) and antibodies. These cells help protect the body against viruses, infections, and illnesses (1).

Vitamin C is also part of the body’s first line of defense to disease and infection—the skin (and mucus membranes). Strong, healthy skin is an essential barrier for keeping out harmful bacteria. Vitamin C plays a role in producing collagen, which is a key protein for the structure of skin.

  1. Has antioxidant power

As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help protect your cells against the effects of harmful free radicals. Free radicals can cause serious harm to the body in the form of oxidative stress and inflammation (4).

It’s antioxidant properties also assist in maintaining skin health. When

Vitamin C is actively transported to the skin where it help strengthen the skin’s barriers and promote natural repair and rejuvenation to prevent weakness and signs of aging (1).

  1. Repairs and heals the skin

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 of skin tissue building.

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

As stated above, as an antioxidant it also protects the skin from oxidative damage that can lead to weak tissue and to signs of ageing, like wrinkles (4).

  1. Keeps bones strong

Vitamin C’s role in collagen production is also important for bones. The protein is an essential component for bone mineralization, maintenance, and repair. But not only bones of the body, but also teeth and cartilage (2).

Higher intake of vitamin C is also linked to higher bone density (3). This is important for individuals of all ages, but especially for older adults. As we ages, bone density decreases and the risk for breakage and fracture increases.

It’s important to increase supplementation of vitamin C with age to maintain strong bones.

  1. Aids iron absorption

Iron is an important nutrient for several functions in the body. This includes making red blood cells. Red blood cells transport micronutrients and oxygen through the body, keeping it functioning properly.

Vitamin C helps convert these certain forms of iron – those found in plants that are poorly absorbed by the digestive system – into one that is easily absorbed by the body (1).

  1. Boost brain health, mood, and memory

The brain consumes a lot of vitamin C for it to function properly. It uses the highest concentration of vitamin C of any other body system.

Most important for brain health, is the role vitamin C plays in the nervous system (via neuron and neurotransmitter function), which is where it boosts brain power (5). It’s also needed for production of serotonin, which is important in regulating mood.

Adequate vitamin C intake is also important to keep the brain healthy as we age. Primarily with collagen production and its ability to support ‘cognitive capacity’ – AKA: memory.

  1. Promotes healthy aging

To age and remain healthy is important to prevent and stave off age-related diseases. And it’s also important to maintain an adequate intake of vital micronutrients.

Vitamin C is one of those nutrients because of its role in all the functions described above. An intake of vitamin C that meets the recommended daily amount (listed below) throughout the lifetime may help stave off several issues related to aging. Including frail bones and teeth, weakened and wrinkled skin, and some diseases (6).

Enough daily vitamin C can promote healthy aging over the lifetime.

What is the daily requirement of Vitamin C

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

Are you getting enough Vitamin C to keep your body healthy?

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

As mentioned, vitamin C found in citrus fruits, but it can be found in an abundant number of colorful fruits and vegetables. Including papaya, kiwi, strawberries, kale, broccoli, and sweet potatoes (1).

However, sometime you cannot consume enough vitamin C from diet alone. You can consult with a healthcare professional to discuss if you are consuming an adequate amount of vitamin C through your daily diet or if a supplement is needed.

Vitamin C – in the form of ascorbic acid or others, including sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other mineral ascorbates, and ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids – can be found in most multivitamins, but is also available alone as a dietary individual supplement (7).

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.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained#free-radicals
  5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201801/the-cognitive-benefits-vitamin-c
  6. https://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/april-2019/vitamin-c-and-the-role-it-plays-in-healthy-aging.aspx
  7. 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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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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Bayberry

bayberry nutritional supplement

Bayberry

Bayberry is a common name for plants in the genus Myrica encompassing up to 50 species. It contains tannins that confer its mechanism of action. Traditionally, bayberry was used as a beverage due to its stimulant and tonic properties. The parts used for therapeutic purposes include the bark, leaves, and roots. However, the root bark is the essential part as it contains biologically active compounds including, triterpenes (taraxerol, taraxeron, and myrikadiol), flavonoids, tannins, and phenols. For instance, the dried bayberry root has traditionally be used as a nasal astringent to contract and dry tissues in the sinus cavity in order to dry the secretions. One of the flavonoids known as myricetin is specific to this genus. Other constituents include vitamin C, potassium, starch and calcium.

The main functions exhibited by Myrica species include astringent, antibiotic, antispasmodic, expectorant, diaphoretic, tonic and stimulant. The presence of high concentrations of tannins in the root bark of the bayberry plays a role not only in the protection against infection but also tightening of the mucous membranes.

Myricetin gives bayberry ability to prevent invasion by foreign bodies.  In vitro studies have shown that red bayberry extract suppresses the growth and virulence gene expression of bacteria such as Vibrio cholerae.The dichloromethane extract of leaves of Myrica Serrata has also been shown to inhibit the growth of Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli in vitro. It promotes sweating that flushes out toxins and helps lower the fever as well. However, potency to treat particular infections is unclear.  The bacteriostatic activity of C-methylated dihydrochalcones one of the constituents of Myrica has also contributed to its immune supporting function. Additionally, laboratory studies have shown the role of mycetrin in the stimulation of bile flow that may be useful in the management of conditions related to the liver and gallbladder. Myricetin also exhibits pain relieving effects in vivo. A root extract experimented on animal models demonstrated analgesic activity.

Notably, most of the health benefits are also due to the plant’s astringent properties. The astringent properties assist in the management of respiratory symptoms such as coughing. Besides, Bayberry shows potency in the management of gastrointestinal inflammation.  It supports the digestive and respiratory systems through maintenance of inflammation. The tannins component play a significant role in the regulating of the inflammatory processes. This function is mainly beneficial to the gastrointestinal system.

Cyanidin-3-O-glucosidase present in Chinese bayberry fruit regulates normal cell replication. Scavenging activity reduced cell proliferation, decreased cell adherence and induced abnormal morphological changes similar to apoptosis.Chinese bayberry fruit extract(CBFE) also alleviates oxidative stress thus inhibiting 1,2-dimethylhydrazine(DMH)-induced intestinal aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in rat colon carcinogenesis. This is due to the high content of phenolic compounds.

Bayberry bark is also used topically to manage the wound care process. Bruises respond well to the oil of bayberry. Direct application of a decoction on chronic sores or varicose veins is also beneficial.  However, the species also show anticoagulant activity. In vivo studies with myricetin, has shown that it shows increases clotting time. Additionally, ant thrombin activity interferes with coagulation as well.

Bayberry is also used for the management of mouth and gum related problems. The incorporation of bayberry bark root powder in toothpaste preparations is one of the applications in the contemporary world.

The recommended dosage in synthetic preparations is up to 0.5g per day. Bayberry has an emetic function in high doses which functions as a treatment for poisoning such as in case of narcotic poisoning. However, excessively high doses can have adverse effects as a result of mineralocorticoid imbalance between sodium and potassium, resulting in fluid retention and hypertension in the long-run. Although safe, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding children or a child as it is a strong herb.

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Quercetin

Quercetin

Quercetin

Quercetin refers to a water soluble bioflavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. Highest levels are found in onions and apples. Just like other elements in the bioflavonoid family, quercetin has anti-oxidant, pain management and  regulation of  appropriate cell growth. It therefore has role in modulating and regulating inflammatory processes in the body as well as immune supporting activity.

Being a flavonoid, quercetin scavenges for free radicals that harm the body cells by causing cell membrane damage, tampering with DNA and ultimately resulting in cell death. According to Researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at the University of Oregon , the antioxidant potency of a flavonoid is dependent upon  its molecular structure. Quercetin having all the necessary structural features makes it one of the most powerful antioxidants. Besides, antioxidants fix damaged molecules by inhibiting metal radical production that provides a “shield effect”. Also, stimulates gene expression and the production of more endogenous antioxidants.

Quercetin provides an immune supporting activity by acting mainly on leucocytes and targeting the various intracellular signaling kinases, phosphatases and membrane proteins that ate often crucial for specific cellular functions. Quercetin counteracts inflammation and minimizes hypersensitivity due to its ability to stabilize histamine releasing cells. Histamine stabilization occurs due to quercetin’s ability to prevent the histamines to attach to and irritate the body cells. These counteract allergic reactions by the body such as sneezing or itching. Additionally, laboratory studies have also shown that quercetin counteracts the effects of IgE mediated reactions.

Quercetin also, inhibits the production of enzymes  such as cyclo-oxygenase(COX) and lipooxygenase(LOX).  It limits LPS-induced inflammation through the inhibition of Src- and Syk-mediated phosphatidylinositol-3-Kinase(PI3K)-(p85), tyrosine phosphorylation. Besides, quercetin confers an immunosuppressive effect on dendritic cell function. It also possesses mast cell stabilizing and confers gastrointestinal cytoprotective activity.

Dietary flavonoids also reduce the hardening of vessels .According to a report by the university of Maryland Medical Center; quercetin prevents the buildup of plaques in arteries and improves endothelial function.  In addition, quercetin counteracts Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) which is the bad cholesterol. A study among overweight subjects has shown that quercetin reduced their LDL concentrations. Besides, Quercetin plays a role in the regulation of body’s blood pressure. According to a research by Advances in Nutrition Group, quercetin has the potential to lower blood pressure in individuals who are hypertensive.

Flavonoids also regulate optimal cellular growth due to its antioxidant and antimutagenic property. Several In vitro studies have shown that quercetin inhibits lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), macrophage production and LPS-induced Il-8 production in the lung A549 cells. A combination with vitamin c (ascorbic acid) potentiates its antimutagenic activity. The antimutagenic activity was associated with free radical scavenging activity. Ability to induce apoptosis and change the expression of the apoptotic protein also helps in counteracting unwanted multiplication of cells.

Quercetin also increases endurance and thereby improving athletic performance. As per a 2012 study by the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, non-professional athletes, who used quercetin-vitamin C supplements coupled with regular exercise, showed a decreased oxidative stress and decreased inflammatory biomarkers.

Quercetin has the ability to inhibit unnecessary oxidation coupled with regulation of inflammatory processes that reduce swellings in body organs.. A report in the 2008 issue of the “Journal of Pre-Clinical and clinical research” (JPCCR) delineates the action of quercetin in relieving joint pain within a period of 2 to 3 days. On the other hand, the University of Maryland Medical Center in vitro studies have shown that quercetin prevents the release of histamines.

Quercetin is also available in supplement form whereby it is packaged with bromelain, a pineapple derived enzyme since both have anti-inflammatory properties. Though quercetin is available in form of dietary supplement, the American Cancer Society recommends intake through food sources because such sources contain other necessary vitamins and minerals that work augments quercetin’s activity. The dosage of quercetin ranges from 12.5 to 25 mg per kilogram body weight.

 

 

Product Name: Quercetin    

Test Type: Identification and Purity

Country of Origin: China

  Test Method:  Standard
Test Type: Microbiology  

Yeast & Mold
E. Coli
Salmonella

Test Method: CP2010
Test Type: Chemical Heavy Metals
Lead
Cadmium
Arsenic
Mercury
Test Method:  AAS

Quercetin Source

Beijing China

Quercetin Source: Beijing China

Contact
Office Phone: 1-800-216-3231
Office Fax: 1-423-881-3214 
EMail: lifelinefoods@lifelinefoods.com

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm cst

Mailing Address
Buried Treasure
PO Box 949
Pikeville, TN 37367

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The Council for Responsible Nutrition   Producer of SOHO EXPO a Natural Products Industry Trade Show

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Selenium

selenium mineral supplement

Selenium

Selenium was discovered as an element in 1817 by the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius, who determined the atomic weights of many elements and developed a system of chemical symbols. Selenium is one of the essential nutrients for humans. Without it the heart, joints, eyes, immune system and reproductive system can suffer. Yet humans only need to eat a trace amount of selenium every day, about 55 micrograms.

Brazil nuts, seafood and organ meats are amount the richest dietary sources of selenium. The amount of selenium found in plant foods depends on the amount of it present in the soil were the plant was grown.

Selenium is an essential mineral found in small amounts in the body. It works as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. Antioxidants like selenium help fight damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals can damage cell membranes and DNA, and may contribute to aging and health conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Selenium plays a role in thyroid function. Your immune system also needs selenium to work properly.

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Product Name:  SE Chelate    

Test Type: Identification and Purity

Country of Origin: USA

   
Test Type: Microbiology  

Yeast & Mold
Salmonella

 Test Method:  AOAC
Test Type: Chemical Heavy Metals
Lead
Cadmium
Arsenic
Mercury
 Test Method: ICP-MS

Selenium Source

Pikeville, TN

Contact
Office Phone: 1-800-216-3231
Office Fax: 1-423-881-3214 
EMail: lifelinefoods@lifelinefoods.com

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm cst

Mailing Address
Buried Treasure
PO Box 949
Pikeville, TN 37367

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The Council for Responsible Nutrition   Producer of SOHO EXPO a Natural Products Industry Trade Show

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Andographis

Andographis Immune function

The immune system is the body’s natural defense system. However, at times challenges to the immune system may call for some extra nutritional support. Andrographis paniculata, a common name in Ayurveda medicine is one such immune enhancing herb that confers immunomodulating properties that help stimulate the immune system (Okhuarobo eta l.,2014).

The plants active component, andrographolide is a potent immune system stimulant that works by enhancing cell-mediated immune response. For instance, research shows that natural killer cell mediated target cell lysis is enhanced by the administration of andrographis paniculata extract. Besides, andrographolides promote the production of white blood cells, interferon release and enhance the protective function of the lymphatic system. The macrophages and antibodies   produced scavenge for invaders through antibody dependent cell-mediated cytoxicity thus restoring immunity (S. (2013, August 01). They also, reduce the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1beta, IL-6, GM-CSF and TNF-alpha (Sheeja & Kuttan, 2010). Therefore, it is evident that Andrographis paniculata’s immune stimulating ability confer its beneficial biological properties.

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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/