Help Your Immune System Become the Ultimate Defender

Your body’s immune system is a wonder.

Imagine… it helps stop attacks from foreign invaders like viruses and bacterial microbes and internal attacks from harmful cell changes.

And once you’ve encountered a foreign microbe, your immune system makes antibodies ready to squash them should they try to invade again. BTW – that’s called Immunity.

Not only that, but your immune system is also solely responsible for you bouncing back from an illness. No wonder experts say that a robust, balanced, and supported immune system is a key to a long and healthy life.

 

Support Your Body Needs

Now your immune system does an incredible job most of the time, but today more than ever, it can use some serious support.

You see, there’s an aggressive virus still hanging around. At the same time, public health officials are cautioning that this cold and flu season could be one of the worst ever.

Taking all this into consideration, Stonehenge Health has decided that helping you prepare yourself for the coming flu season with a highly responsive immune system is the best contribution we can make to your overall health and wellness.

And that’s why today, we’re proud to introduce Dynamic Immunity – a blend of 10 beneficial nutrients formulated to support your overall immune system health. We made it for you to take every day, so you stay well year-round with a balanced immune system, ready to respond when you need it.

And if you do feel something coming on or are in the midst of an illness, Dynamic Immunity helps speed up your immune response and boosts your capacity to fight off infections.

 

Proven Support

Every ingredient in Dynamic Immunity has proven immune system benefits.

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, L-Glutamine, and Zinc provide the vital daily nutrients that help restore and maintain your body’s natural defense system.

Elderberry, Echinacea, Garlic, and Turmeric are powerhouse antioxidants shown to boost white cell and antibody activity.

And Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotics help balance your gut microbiome, an essential part of a responsive immune system.

Balanced

Dynamic Immunity is a balanced blend of ten proven ingredients at optimal levels in daily two veggie capsules. Dynamic Immunity is the ideal immune system support supplement available today.

Now, if you were to take each one of these nutrients individually, it could cost literally hundreds of dollars every month. And who wants to have to take ten extra pills per day. With Dynamic Immunity, it’s both easy and economical to include all ten of these powerhouse nutrients in your daily routine.

Now, you’ll notice some of the ingredients in Dynamic Immunity, especially Elderberry and Echinacea, were pretty hard to find this past March and April. These two ingredients have long-standing reputations for fending off upper respiratory infections, which is why they were so popular.

The way things are shaping up, it’s likely they’ll be just as popular, if not more so, and difficult to find in the months ahead. For us, that means, once we sell out our current inventory, it’s going to be difficult to make another batch. Right now, we have fresh inventory in stock.

>> Click here to try Dynamic Immunity now while it’s available.

Sources

Krawitz, Christian, Mobarak Abu Mraheil, Michael Stein, Can Imirzalioglu, Eugen Domann, Stephan Pleschka, and Torsten Hain. 2011. “Inhibitory Activity Of A Standardized Elderberry Liquid Extract Against Clinically-Relevant Human Respiratory Bacterial Pathogens And Influenza A And B Viruses”. BMC Complementary And Alternative Medicine 11 (1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-16.

Hawkins, Jessie, Colby Baker, Lindsey Cherry, and Elizabeth Dunne. 2019. “Black Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) Supplementation Effectively Treats Upper Respiratory Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis Of Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials”. Complementary Therapies In Medicine 42: 361-365. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.12.004.

Hudson, James, and Selvarani Vimalanathan. 2011. “Echinacea—A Source Of Potent Antivirals For Respiratory Virus Infections”. Pharmaceuticals 4 (7): 1019-1031. doi:10.3390/ph4071019.

Boosting the Bioavailability of Vitamin C

When you hear vitamin C, do you instinctively think of orange juice and the common cold? The credit for this perception goes to Linus Pauling and his 1970 book Vitamin C and the Common Cold. In it, Pauling postulated that high-doses of vitamin C could stop the progression of a cold and improve your overall health. His book triggered a devotion to vitamin C that’s still going strong today.

And vitamin C deserves to be put on a pedestal because regardless of how you get it – juice, fruit, or supplements – its benefits are enormous. Vitamin C is a required nutrient for all major enzyme systems within the human body. It’s a super antioxidant that fights off free radical damage and supports healthy immune system function. It even helps you look younger by enhancing collagen production, which helps firm up sagging skin.

Vitamin C’s Absorption Problem

Vitamin C supplements have a reputation for making expensive urine, and here’s why. In its most common form- ascorbic acid – vitamin C is water-soluble. All water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are readily absorbed into your tissues with any excess quickly excreted in your urine. Because your body doesn’t store vitamin C, it needs to be replenished daily through your diet.

As far as vitamin absorption goes, vitamin C has even more challenges. Vitamin C needs transporter proteins to carry it from your small intestines to your bloodstream. And even more, transporters are required to move the vitamin from your blood to your cells. Your body doesn’t have enough of these transporter proteins to carry large does of vitamin C to its intended destinations. Instead, it gets stuck in your intestines and gets excreted when you pee instead.

 

The Solution – Liposomal Technology

Liposomal encapsulation technology was invented in the 1960s for use with vaccines and gene therapies. Then around 2003, it was discovered that this technology could make high-dose Vitamin C more absorbable and its benefits more accessible. Liposomal Vitamin C supplements bypass your body’s restrictive transport system and ensure higher absorption, helping your body reap more of the vitamin C’s health benefits.

How Liposomal Vitamin C Works

The word Liposomal comes from the word liposome. Liposomes are microscopic spheres made from plant-based phospholipids that form a double-layered sphere around the vitamin C nutrient, creating a protective encapsulation. These phospholipids are nearly identical to the human phospholipids that encase your own cell membranes.

Because of this liposomal encapsulation, vitamin C can travel from your intestines into your bloodstream without the help of protein transporters. And because their composition nearly matches human cell membranes, the liposomes assimilate into your cells and release the vitamin C where it’s needed.

Much research has been done on liposomal vitamins, and the findings are impressive. One study found that the liposomal delivery systems made vitamin C circulate in higher concentrations in the body compared to un-encapsulated vitamin C. Another study published in Integrative Medicine showed that liposomal technology increased intracellular delivery and resulted in higher bioavailability than other forms of oral supplements.

Liposomal Vitamin C Supplements

Although vitamin C is available in a variety of citrus fruits and vegetables like broccoli, surprisingly, a study done on 16,000 Americas showed that 33% of us are vitamin C deficient. And that’s a problem because even a moderate deficiency can lead to fatigue, dry skin, delayed wound healing, weight gain, and an impaired immune system.

Fortunately, a high-quality vitamin C supplement like Stonehenge Health Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C can quickly and efficiently replenish your daily need for this critical vitamin. Our formula contains a potent dose of 1,500 mg of vitamin C in the form of ascorbyl palmitate to increase its absorption power. Unlike ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate is fat-soluble and highly bioavailable. Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C also uses a high-quality liposomal delivery system using phosphatidylcholine sourced from non-GMO sunflower for optimal results.

 

Sources
Wallace TC, et al. 2020. “Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement Contribution To Micronutrient Intakes In The United States, 2007-2010. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24724766.
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Helmersson J, et al. 2020. “Low Dietary Intake Of Beta-Carotene, Alpha-Tocopherol And Ascorbic Acid Is Associated With Increased Inflammatory And Oxidative Stress Status In A … – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19079838.

Carr, Anitra, and Silvia Maggini. 2017. “Vitamin C And Immune Function”. Nutrients 9 (11): 1211. doi:10.3390/nu9111211. “The Roles Of Vitamin C In Skin Health”. 2017. Nutrients 9 (8): 866. doi:10.3390/nu9080866.

Johnston, Carol S, and Bing Luo. 1994. “Comparison Of The Absorption And Excretion Of Three Commercially Available Sources Of Vitamin C”. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association 94 (7): 779-781. doi:10.1016/0002-8223(94)91950-x

“Liposomal-Encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence On Vitamin C Bioavailability And Capacity To Protect Against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury – Janelle L. Davis, Hunter L. Paris, Joseph W. Beals, Scott E. Binns, Gregory R. Giordano, Rebecca L. Scalzo, Melani M. Schweder, Emek Blair, Christopher Bell, 2016”. 2020. Nutrition And Metabolic Insights. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.4137/NMI.S39764.

What Every Woman Must Know Before Choosing A Probiotic

By now you’re most likely familiar with probiotics – the good bacteria found in fermented foods and dietary supplements that help keep your digestive tract healthy. But did you know that not all probiotics are the same? There are many different probiotics – called strains – and each provides unique health benefits beyond just good gut health.

Certain probiotic strains are particularly helpful for women, as numerous studies show they can help combat urinary and vaginal health issues. But that’s not all these unique female-friendly microbes can do; some make managing your weight much easier, some help improve the look of your hair and skin, and some even lift your energy and mood.

Digestive Health

If you have tummy issues like gas, bloating, or cramps look for Bifidobacterium breve or Lactobacillus casei, which help restore your gut flora. If you can’t stop going number two, try Lactobacillus acidophilus, which can help ease antibiotic-related diarrhea and prevent extreme cases stemming from infections.

Weight Loss

One recent study showed that women taking Lactobacillus rhamnosus for three months lost 50% more weight than the group of women taking a placebo. Another study involving Lactobacillus gasseri showed reduced body weight, waist size, and hip circumference with belly fat reduced by 8.5%.

Lactobacillus fermentum has wide-ranging benefits for women’s health – shown in studies to help with weight loss and weight management while also protecting against vaginal and urinary tract infections.

Vaginal & Urinary Tract Health

The bacteria genus Lactobacillus is naturally present in your vagina and urinary tract, and their health relies on the right balance of this bacteria. If recurring yeast or urinary tract infections are your concern caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most-researched strain in establishing and maintaining healthy balance. Two other capable strains are Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Stress & Anxiety

If you’re struggling with anxiety, there’s a probiotic strain that helps that too. Your brain and gut communicate with each other, and both produce the neurotransmitter, serotonin – also known as the happiness chemical.

Medical experts believe a balanced gut is a pro-health way to address mood issues like anxiety because it supports better communication between the gut and the brain. The strains with proven gut-brain benefits are Lactobacillus Plantarum and Lactobacillus reuteri.

Skin & Hair

And speaking of Lactobacillus reuteri, studies show that this remarkable strain may help make your skin look younger and your hair grow longer and stronger. In 2013, a study done on mice
titled “Probiotic Bacteria Induces a Glow of Health” demonstrated doses of Lactobacillus reuteri caused thicker, shinier coats and skin that was more resilient and younger-looking.


Immune System

For immune system support, look for a probiotic supplement with at least 50 billion colony forming units of a combination of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains. High counts of these strains support your immune system by decreasing the risk and duration of common infections in the respiratory system and the gut.

And remember, supplementing with probiotics supports your microbiome, especially when your innate good bacteria are challenged by antibiotics, travel, poor diet, and pathogens like viruses.

Keeping your female microbiome in balance is easy…

Many factors influence the balance of your microbiome, including your stress levels and what you eat. To help keep your microbiome and you in balance, eat more fermented foods, and take a daily probiotic supplement like Stonehenge Health Dynamic Biotics.

Dynamic Biotics formulation contains all the probiotic strains proven to help support a woman’s specific health needs. It is also synbiotic, meaning it contains both probiotics and prebiotics in one capsule. Prebiotics are the food that probiotics consume and which help them survive and thrive in your digestive tract.

Dynamic Biotics doesn’t need to be refrigerated, comes in a dark amber glass bottle to block out moisture and light, and is meticulously inspected and tested for quality, plus it’s vegan, free of gluten, dairy, soy, binders, and fillers. With just one easy to take delayed-release capsules to resist stomach acid, Dynamic Biotics is an easy way to feel and look your best.

Sources:
 1. "Bifidobacterium Breve - Probiotics Database". 2020. Probiotics Database. https://probioticsdb.com/probiotic-strains/bifidobacterium-breve/.

2. "Lactobacillus Brevis – Probioticsamerica.Com". 2020. Probioticsamerica.Com. https://probioticsamerica.com/lactobacillus-brevis/.

3. Effect of probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, on bisphenol A exposure in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jun;72(6):1409-15. Epub 2008 Jun 7. PMID: 18540113

4. "Lactobacillus Acidophilus - Health Encyclopedia - University Of Rochester Medical Center ". 2020. Urmc.Rochester.Edu. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Lactobacillus.

5. Homayouni A, et al. 2020. "Effects Of Probiotics On The Recurrence Of Bacterial Vaginosis: A Review. - Pubmed - NCBI ". Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24299970.

6. "Lactobacillus Reuteri - An Overview | Sciencedirect Topics". 2020. Sciencedirect.Com. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/lactobacillus-reuteri.

7. Falagas ME, et al. 2020. "Probiotics For Prevention Of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections In Women: A Review Of The Evidence From Microbiological And Clinical Studies. - Pubmed - NCBI ". Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16827601


 8. Pendharkar, Sonal, Erik Brandsborg, Lennart Hammarström, Harold Marcotte, and Per-Göran Larsson. 2015. "Vaginal Colonisation By Probiotic Lactobacilli And Clinical Outcome In Women Conventionally Treated For Bacterial Vaginosis And Yeast Infection". BMC Infectious Diseases 15 (1). doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0971-3.


 9. Sanchez, Marina, Christian Darimont, Vicky Drapeau, Shahram Emady-Azar, Melissa Lepage, Enea Rezzonico, and Catherine Ngom-Bru et al. 2013. "Effect Of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 Supplementation On Weight Loss And Maintenance In Obese Men And Women". British Journal Of Nutrition 111 (8): 1507-1519. doi:10.1017/s0007114513003875.

The Power of 3 for Optimal Digestive Health

If having better gut health (or maintaining the good gut health you currently enjoy) is one of your self-care goals, there is no better way than by adding the power of three – probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.

Putting these three powerful tools together will help improve your digestion and help eliminate digestive issues. Together they can also help maximize the nutrition you get from everything you eat, which boosts your immune system and your overall health.

 

Your Gut Health

Your gut contains trillions of both good and bad bacteria; together, they make up your gut microbiome. When your microbiome is in balance, meaning good bacteria dominate and far outnumber harmful bacteria – all of your bodily systems work better.

Eating yogurt and fermented foods rich in probiotics is an excellent way to help maintain gut balance. Another way you can help the good bacteria thrive is by taking probiotics and prebiotic supplements together.

 

Probiotics & Prebiotics – What’s the Difference?

Think of the relationship between probiotics and prebiotics like a garden. Probiotics are the diverse plants, flowers, and trees that bring the garden to life. Prebiotics are like fertilizer that helps the plants in your garden grow lush and strong.

Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help your gut perform many duties that dramatically benefit your overall health. Probiotics supplements reinforce helpful bacteria, delivering microbes directly to where you need them.

Prebiotics are types of starches and fiber that feed the good bacteria in your microbiome and allow them to thrive.

But that’s not all prebiotics do for you; their benefits go beyond food for good gut bacteria. Prebiotics strengthen your bones by enhancing the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Prebiotic also take part in fat metabolism and appetite regulation.

Taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements together like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics and Ulitmate Prebiotic Complex helps create a more balanced microbiome, leading to better digestion, fewer gastric disruptions, and more complete nutrient absorption. And better nutrient absorption means your entire body gets more of what it needs for health and wellbeing.

Digestive Enzymes

Enzymes are a type of protein within cells that create chemical reactions. Your body contains many different kinds of enzymes that help perform various tasks like removing toxins from your body, digesting food, and building muscles. Digestive enzymes are enzymes that turn the food you eat into the molecules you use as energy.

There are four primary digestive enzymes. Protease helps breakdown protein. Amylase comes from the salivary glands, pancreas, and intestines to break down starch and carbs. Lactase breaks down lactose or milk sugar. And lipase comes from the intestines and breaks down oils and fats.

Several factors impact your digestive enzymes. Food choices can either help or hinder them, and certain foods like pineapple, papaya, mango, and spinach contain some digestive enzymes.

Unhealthy things we consume like alcohol can alter the stomach and intestines’ pH and reduce the number of digestive enzymes in your system. Some health issues and prescription medications like antibiotics can also reduce digestive enzymes.

Without enough digestive enzymes, your body can’t digest your food correctly, which leads to food intolerances that feel like cramps, uncomfortable bloating, and gas or worse. When the enzymes in your body are affected, or your digestive enzyme production isn’t as good as it should be, digestive enzyme supplements can help.

Digestive enzyme supplements help fortify the enzymes in your stomach and intestines to help improve digestion. Chose a digestive enzyme supplement like Stonehenge Health’s Incredible Digestive Enzymes that contains a complete range of enzymes able to break down the most troublesome foods like dairy and gluten.

Whether you reach for prebiotic or probiotic supplements, digestive enzymes, or all three, it’s well worth the benefits you’ll feel. Boosting your gut health will give you long-term benefits that affect your entire body, get more nutrition from the foods you eat and give you a more robust immune system, and so much more.

Sources:

  1. “Probiotics | American Gastroenterological Association”. 2020. American Gastroenterological Association. https://gastro.org/practice-guidance/gi-patient-center/topic/probiotics/.Bottom of Form
  2. Deng Y, Misselwitz B, Dai N, Fox M. Lactose Intolerance in Adults: Biological Mechanism and Dietary ManagementNutrients. 2015;7(9):8020-35. doi:10.3390/nu7095380
  3. Peyrot des Gachons C, Breslin PA. Salivary amylase: digestion and metabolic syndromeCurr Diab Rep. 2016;16(10):102. doi:10.1007/s11892-016-0794-7
  4. Legette, LeeCole L., WangHee Lee, Berdine R. Martin, Jon A. Story, Jessica K. Campbell, and Connie M. Weaver. 2012. “Prebiotics Enhance Magnesium Absorption And Inulin-Based Fibers Exert Chronic Effects On Calcium Utilization In A Postmenopausal Rodent Model”. Journal Of Food Science77 (4): 88-94. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02612.x.
  5. FDA 101: Dietary supplements. (2015).gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-101-dietary-supplements
  6. Gut reaction: A limited role for digestive enzyme supplements. (2018).harvard.edu/staying-healthy/gut-reaction-a-limited-role-for-digestive-enzyme-supplements
  7. “Probiotics | American Gastroenterological Association”. 2020. American Gastroenterological Association. https://gastro.org/practice-guidance/gi-patient-center/topic/probiotics/
  8. “23 Effects Of Alcohol On Your Body”. 2020. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body#2.

4 Great Reasons to Take Fish Oil and How to Get the Right Dosage

We need to take good care of ourselves, now more than ever. And it’s never too late to start attending to your health, whether that entails quitting smoking, starting an exercise regimen, or eating healthier food. Every little good decision you make adds up and can make a big difference.

Supplements are a good way to boost your health and shore up your immune system, and fish oil is one of the best daily supplements you can take. That’s because fish oil has far-reaching benefits. Here, we look at what fish oil is, why it’s is so good for you, how to choose quality fish oil, and how much to take for the best possible benefits.

 

What is Fish Oil?

Fish oil usually comes from the tissues of fatty fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring. It’s a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for good health and only come from your diet. These long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which primarily come from fish. But you’d need to eat a lot of fish to get the therapeutic doses of omega-3 fatty acids your body needs to thrive. That’s where fish oil supplements come into play.

Four Major Health Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil has several proven health benefits. Here are just a few.

 

1. Brain Health

Sixty percent of your brain is comprised of fats, and omega-3 fats provide a nutritional powerhouse for your brain. Research shows that the fats in fish oil can slow cognitive decline and can help prevent brain atrophy.

A study published in the FASEB Journal found that fish oil may also may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, published a study showing that older adults who took fish oil enjoyed considerably less brain shrinkage and cognitive decline than their counterparts who didn’t take fish oil.

Fish oil has been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive deficits in people with diabetes by preventing brain cells from being destroyed.

Fish oil may also help protect against anxiety and depression, according to a study published in the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience.

 

2. Arthritis Relief

Omega-3 fatty has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation body-wide. A study published in the journal Surgical Neurology found that of 250 people with nonsurgical neck or back pain who took a daily 1,200-mg fish oil supplement, 59 percent were able to quit taking NSAIDs for pain medications, and 60 percent said that their joint pain had improved.

Similar studies have found that fish oil supplements have the same effect in reducing pain associated with arthritis.

 

3. Heart Health

The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil are particularly beneficial for heart function. Studies have shown fish oil to have a positive impact on hypertension, high triglyceride levels, and high LDL cholesterol.

A study published in the journal Circulation found that people who took fish oil for six months after experiencing a heart attack showed improvements in overall heart function and a reduction in systemic inflammation.

 

4. Skin Health

Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve your health, and they can also help improve your appearance. The fats and fat-soluble vitamins in fish oil help your skin stay smooth and elastic, and research shows that they may help prevent wrinkles and, more importantly, dermatitis, among more severe skin issues.

A 12-week study found that a daily fish oil supplement led to a significant reduction in eczema symptoms.

 

The Best Dosage for Fish Oil Supplements

Eating fatty fish is the healthiest way to get your omega-3 fatty acids, but unless you eat an awful lot of fish, you may not get optimal daily amounts your body needs. Recommendations for fish oil dosage ranges from 500 to 2,000 milligrams each day.

For context, one can of tuna plus a small serving of salmon provides 500 milligrams of omega-3s. If you consume a healthy diet low in fast food, fried food, and processed foods containing vegetable oil, 500 milligrams of fish oil could be sufficient. These unhealthy foods contain high levels of omega-6 fats, which contribute to a range of chronic diseases, including arthritis, asthma, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. If you consume a lot of omega-6 fats, opt for a dosage of fish oil closer to 2,000 milligrams.

Always choose a high-quality fish oil supplement from a reputable source that’s been certified by a third party. Stonehenge Health’s Omega-3 Dynamic Fish Oil supplements contain 2,000 milligrams of fish oil, including 800 milligrams of DHA and 400 milligrams of EPA. Our fish oil is certified free of mercury and heavy metals, and third-party laboratory testing ensures the potency and purity of each batch.

Fish oil supplements can help you improve your heart health, reduce pain, and promote healthy brain tissues, among other benefits. As always, in addition to taking a fish oil supplement, strive to consume a healthy diet, and get plenty of exercise for a holistic approach to good overall health.

 

Sources:
 https://www.fasebj.org/doi/full/10.1096/fj.14-264218?sid=0b1e849e-0add-4ead-91fa-b42f9d7f2b9f
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6087692/
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24954371
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16531187

Allergies, Cold, or Flu: How To Recognize the Difference

Coronavirus may be dominating the news, but cold and flu season is also in full swing. And spring allergy season that often leaves you feeling miserable and run down is here. When a runny nose, cough, and congestion come calling, understanding the difference between flu, cold, and allergies can help you treat your symptoms properly and recover more quickly.

Flu

Influenza, or the seasonal flu, is caused by influenza viruses that affect your throat, nose, and lungs. These viruses spread when infected people cough, sneeze, or even talk, sending microdroplets containing the virus airborne. People in the line of fire inhale into their mouths and noses these airborne infections, looking for a warm, moist place to take root.

Flu can also spread by touching surfaces containing the virus and then touching your mouth, nose, and eyes. Having a flu shot each year reduces your risk and may lessen the flu’s severity if you do contract it.

Flu symptoms typically come on quickly, and they last a finite amount of time–at most a week or two. An essential indicator of the flu is a sudden fever that exceeds 101 degrees. Unlike colds and allergies, the flu often produces symptoms like chills, body aches, night sweats, and gastrointestinal problems. The flu can be treated with medications like Tamiflu within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms to reduce the duration and intensity of the illness.

For people with heart disease, diabetes, compromised immune systems, or chronic lung diseases like asthma or COPD, the flu can be very serious, even resulting in death. The influenza virus is highly infectious and can spread to others before an infected person knows they’re sick. Infection spreads a day before symptoms appear and up to seven days after symptoms surface. Young children and people with weakened immune systems can infect others for an even more extended period.

Pneumonia is a dangerous complication of the flu and is caused by the influenza virus or bacteria finding its way into your lungs when your body’s immune system is weak. If you have trouble breathing, have chest pain when coughing, or cough up green, yellow, or bloody phlegm, make an appointment right away to see your doctor.

Cold

The common cold is a mild upper respiratory illness caused by a virus, typically rhinoviruses. They are transmitted the same way as flu, microdroplets containing the virus find their way into eyes, mouth, or nose. But, unlike flu symptoms, which come on quickly, cold symptoms usually come on more gradually.

Cold symptoms generally develop one to three days after exposure to the bug. Symptoms may include a sore throat, runny or stuffed up nose, sneezing, and fatigue. Fever rarely happens with the common cold, which usually goes away on its own after a week or so. Since there’s no cure for the common cold–antibiotics can’t treat it–the best course of action is to use over-the-counter medications and zinc supplements to reduce your symptoms until it runs its course.

A complication of the cold is sinusitis, or a sinus infection, usually caused by bacteria and treated with antibiotics. Sinus infection symptoms include discolored nasal discharge, facial pain or pressure, headaches, fever, and cough.

Allergies

Allergies are a reaction to a substance the immune system interprets as harmful. This over-reacting immune response triggers your body to release chemicals that can cause symptoms similar to those of the cold, including sneezing, a runny nose, a scratchy throat, and nasal congestion. The mucus associated with allergies tends to be runny and clear. Unlike the common cold, allergies often produce itchy eyes, nose, and throat.

Allergic reactions will last as long as the allergen is present, and the best course of action is to take over-the-counter allergy medication or antihistamine.

Whenever possible, avoid the allergen. This may involve staying indoors during allergy season, keeping your HVAC system running so that allergens get trapped in the filter, and keeping your windows closed.

If you have severe allergic reactions, your doctor can test for allergies and treat them with immunotherapy, which involves exposing you to small amounts of the allergen over time to prevent symptoms.

How to Boost Immunity and Protect Yourself Against Cold and Flu

While there’s not a lot you can do to prevent common allergies, aside from avoiding the allergen or undergoing immunotherapy, there are several ways you can protect yourself against cold and flu viruses.

Number one, wash your hands. When you touch things like door handles, money, keypads, grocery carts, and other shared surfaces, your hands easily pick up viruses, including the novel coronavirus that’s currently causing COVID-19 around the world.

When you touch your face–your eyes, nose, or mouth–, the virus enters your body and causes harm. One of the most effective things you can do to protect against any virus or bacteria is to wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.

When handwashing isn’t an option, use hand sanitizer. And never touch your face unless your hands are freshly washed.

Next, wipe down surfaces. Use disinfecting wipes to clean the surfaces you frequently come into contact with at home and work, including your phone, computer, and door handles. Viruses can live on many surfaces for several days, and frequently disinfecting often-touched surfaces reduces dramatically the number of microbes you’ll come into contact with as you move about your day.

And finally, boost your immune system.  A stronger immune system means you’re less likely to experience the full brunt of cold and flu symptoms. Since sound sleep and your immune system go hand and hand, strive for adequate sleep every night. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, which provide nutrients and antioxidants that improve immunity and help reduce the duration and severity of colds and flu.

Eat more fermented foods, and take a daily probiotic supplement Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics. Both promote a healthy gut microbiome by allowing beneficial gut bacteria to flourish, which helps your body’s immune cells respond more robustly to invaders. And according to research, probiotics may reduce virus levels in your nasal mucus, too.

As we age, colds, flu, and allergies can impact us more intensely, and underlying health conditions can make them worse. If you’re suffering from symptoms and aren’t sure whether you have a virus or allergies, visit your doctor. Early intervention can make a flu bout shorter and less intense, and it can help prevent dangerous complications.

 

Sources:

lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/influenza/symptoms-causes-and-risk

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC104573/

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28343401

The 10 Worst Foods for IBS

For many people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), symptoms may be triggered by specific foods. What triggers your symptoms may be different from what triggers the symptoms of fellow sufferers, but these 10 foods are likely culprits for anyone with IBS.

1. Gluten

Although gluten is often unfairly demonized, it’s fair to say that gluten can be a major trigger for IBS. Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Many people who have IBS are also gluten intolerant and may experience symptoms like bloating, cramps, and diarrhea.

2. Fried Foods

Fried foods are high in fat and can be particularly hard on the digestive systems of people who have IBS. Frying food makes it more difficult to digest, so other cooking methods are recommended for people with IBS and other gastrointestinal problems.

3. Caffeine

Coffee and other drinks containing caffeine stimulate the intestines and can cause diarrhea. Instead of consuming drinks with caffeine when you need a little boost, go for a brisk walk.

4. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are found in sugarless gum, candy, and diet drinks. Commonly used artificial sweeteners include acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and sucralose, and since these and other sugar substitutes are difficult for the body to absorb, they can easily trigger IBS symptoms.

5. Alcohol

Many people with IBS have trouble drinking alcohol because of how their body digests it. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are also problematic for people with IBS. If you enjoy drinking alcohol, stick with gluten-free beer, or enjoy a cocktail mixed with soda water.

6. Broccoli and Cauliflower

While broccoli and cauliflower are healthy vegetables, they’re not always ideal for people with IBS. These vegetables are among the hardest for people to digest, and when they’re broken down in the intestines, they produce gas and may cause constipation.

7. Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is that which can’t be digested. Although it adds healthy bulk to your diet, insoluble fiber can make diarrhea worse for people with IBS. Soluble fiber, which is found in grains, root vegetables, legumes, and berries, is a better choice if you have digestive woes.

8. Dairy

Dairy products contain fat, which can worsen diarrhea. They also contain lactose, and since many people with IBS are also lactose intolerant, dairy products may need to be restricted. Suitable dairy substitutes include rice, soy, or nut milks and cheeses.

9. Beans and Legumes

For some people, beans and legumes can help reduce constipation by increasing the bulk in the stool. But they’re also notorious for causing gas, cramping, and bloating, especially in people with IBS. Different varieties can produce different results, so trial and error may help you find which types you can safely eat.

10. Processed Foods

Highly processed foods like bread, crackers, sweets, and chips contain high levels of fat, sugar, preservatives, and other additives that can cause problems with digestion. Choosing mostly fresh, whole foods is the healthiest way to eat whether or not you have IBS.

Everyone’s IBS triggers are different, and once you know what yours are, staying away from those foods will help you remain as symptom-free as possible. Regardless of what you eat, a daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics can help you maintain optimal gut flora balance for better digestion and fewer IBS symptoms.



Sources:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/eating-diet-nutrition
https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-a-to-z

How to Stop Urinary Tract Infections Before They Start

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common in women, especially as we age. Unfortunately, UTIs are commonly over-diagnosed and over-treated with antibiotics, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant organisms.

Urinary tract infections have a number of causes. A UTI may result when urine pools in the bladder due to an obstructed urinary flow, and the pooled urine grows bacteria. It can also occur when harmful bacteria cling to the urethra and make their way to the bladder. Other causes include sexual activity and a lack of estrogen in the lining of the vagina, which helps protect against UTIs.

Symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, an urgency to urinate, and a burning sensation that accompanies urination. In elderly women, confusion is a common symptom of a UTI, and it’s often the only symptom. Left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, which can be very dangerous, even life-threatening.

How to Prevent UTIs

Prevention is best when it comes to urinary tract infections, especially for older women and those who tend to get them often. Here are the best ways to prevent a UTI.

Stay well-hydrated.
Adequate hydration helps you produce plenty of urine to dilute and flush bad bacteria from the bladder and urethra. Avoid sugary drinks and stick to water for most of your fluid intake.

Take vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps make your urine more acidic, which may prevent the growth of bad bacteria. Get vitamin C from citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens, or take a 500-to-1,000 milligram supplement each day.

Eat (or drink) cranberries.
Perhaps one of the most well-known anti-UTI measures is consuming cranberries, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. Eat dried cranberries, add them to salads or rice, or drink a little unsweetened cranberry juice each day.

Wipe from front to back.
Bacteria hang out around the anus and wiping from back to front can introduce them to your vagina, where they can migrate to the urinary tract.

Urinate after sex.
During sex, bacteria are introduced into the vagina. Urinating afterwards helps to flush it out.

Avoid feminine deodorant products.
The best way to stay fresh is to shower often with mild soap and water. Products like douches, deodorant sprays, and powders can cause a UTI and other problems.

Apply estrogen vaginal cream.
If you’ve gone through menopause, you have less estrogen in your body, which can cause vaginal dryness and promote infection in the urinary tract. Estrogen creams help balance your pH so that good bacteria will flourish.

Take a probiotic. Probiotics are live “good” bacteria in your body that are involved in numerous functions to keep you healthy. According to Harvard University Medical School, taking a daily probiotic may help prevent UTIs by preventing bad bacteria from growing in the vagina. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics contains all nine of the most important bacteria strains recommended for women.

If you get a UTI despite preventive measures, treating it early on is the best way to prevent severe symptoms and complications. If you have symptoms of a UTI, pay a visit to your doctor and consider starting a daily probiotic routine.


 

Sources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/stay-a-step-ahead-of-urinary-tract-infections

 

 

Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It

Candida board

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that can affect the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, genitals, and other mucous membranes. Caused by an overgrowth of Candida, a fungus, candidiasis (more commonly known as a yeast infection) isn’t generally serious. However, if you have weakened immunity, it can lead to invasive candidiasis, a serious condition that may affect the blood, heart, or brain. Continue reading “Signs You May Have Candida and What You Can Do About It”

5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function

liver graphic

Your liver works hard to remove toxins from your body and plays a key role in your metabolism, circulation, hormonal balance, and healthy digestion. It detects the presence of toxic substances like heavy metals and by-products from the breakdown of medications and either converts them into harmless substances or releases them into the bowels so they can be expelled from the body. Continue reading “5 Easy Steps to Improve Your Liver Function”

Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat

Woman taking antibiotic

Antibiotics save lives, but they can do a number on your gut microbiota (flora), a complex ecosystem of microbes that helps keep us healthy. In recent years, healthy gut flora has been associated with optimal functioning of numerous body systems, including the nervous and digestive systems, and it promotes a healthy brain and optimal hormonal function.

Continue reading “Taking Antibiotics? Here’s What You Should Eat”