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Usnic Acid Inhibits Viral Respiratory Infection


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2021/02/09/usnic-acid-inhibits-viral-respiratory-infection.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      Fact Checked      February 09, 2021

usnic helps inhibit flu virus

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Usnic acid is a metabolite of lichens and was first isolated in 1844; derivatives have demonstrated activity against influenza virus strains and a derivative modified with valine reduced deaths in infected animals without liver toxicity
  • Usnic acid has not prompted the development of resistant influenza as Tamiflu and other antiviral medications have done. Tamiflu reduces symptoms of flu by less than one day
  • Flu vaccines have not been effective as scientists must predict what strains will be most virulent the coming season and people who are routinely vaccinated shed over six times more virus in the air
  • There are strategies you can use at home to help prevent flu and treat upper respiratory infections if you get one, including optimizing vitamin D, nebulized hydrogen peroxide and taking zinc and quercetin

The influenza virus has a high rate of mutation and can develop drug resistance. Research has found derivatives of usnic acid can effectively inhibit the reproduction of the influenza virus in the lab and animal models.1

The influenza virus causes a contagious respiratory illness better known as flu.2 The virus infects your nose, throat and sometimes lungs triggering disease that can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include fever, cough, muscle or body aches, fatigue and sore throat. Children may experience vomiting and diarrhea with flu infection.

There are four types of influenza virus that are named by letters: A, B, C and D.3 Influenza D is not known to infect people but causes illness in cattle. Influenza A, B and C infect humans. Influenza A is the only type known to cause a pandemic. Influenza A and B can cause epidemics, and influenza C generally causes mild illness.

Influenza A and B cause most human flu illnesses, and each is classified and subclassified based on genetic sequencing.4 Each year experts attempt to match the flu vaccine by estimating the strains of virus expected in the U.S.5

The CDC estimates from 3% to 11% of the population will have symptomatic flu disease each season, although during the 2020-2021 flu season, infections have been almost nonexistent. Typically, however, up to 20% of the population can have asymptomatic or symptomatic illness.6 The estimated number of deaths from flu have ranged from 12,000 to 61,000 annually from 2010 to 2020, depending on the flu season.7

Since the influenza virus can affect millions of people each year, scientists have sought to develop an effective and safe antiviral treatment to reduce the burden of the illness. However, as I discuss below the results have not lived up to the promise.

Usnic Helps Inhibit Flu Virus Without Stimulating Resistance

Usnic acid was first isolated in 1844 and since then has been extensively studied as one of the few commercially available lichen metabolites.8 Lichen has been included in folk medicine from many countries.9 Early studies of lichen biological activity in New Zealand led to the identification of usnic acid “as the main antimicrobial, cytotoxic and antiviral component.”10

Subsequently, this led to a study of usnic acid and its derivatives against the H1N1 pandemic influenza virus.11 Isomers of usnic acid and the derivatives were tested and the results suggested derivatives should be considered for use against the influenza virus.

Usnic acid was also tested against the virulent influenza A virus and researchers found they could boost the activity by modifying the compound with chalcones.12 These are an important class of flavonoids that scientists have used to create derivatives and:13

“… improve pharmacological activity, gain selectivity for a particular receptor or enzyme with simultaneous reduction of certain adverse effects, or even for optimizing the pharmacokinetics of the lead candidate.”

Derivatives of usnic acid modified with chalcones demonstrated biological activity against the influenza virus in the lab and in an animal model.14 The researchers tested a broad range of viral strains and the results demonstrated activity against these strains.

Additionally, one compound modified with valine demonstrated the capacity to reduce the number of deaths in infected animals and did not trigger the development of a resistant strain of influenza. The researchers concluded that this modification increased the antiviral properties and lowered the potential for toxicity to liver tissue.15

Hepatotoxicity is an important consideration when using usnic acid. A patent review from 2000 to 2017 found applications for use were withdrawn secondary to liver toxicity.16 The results of animal studies have suggested the mechanism for injury is oxidative phosphorylation, increased oxidative stress and depletion of glutathione.17

Antimicrobial resistance is a significant challenge to modern medicine, and the influenza virus can also mutate to become resistant to antiviral drugs.18 As research has demonstrated, some usnic acid derivatives address several challenges of fighting flu, namely they are effective against influenza, do not prompt the development of resistant strains and have low hepatotoxicity.19

Click here to learn more

What Is Usnic Acid?

Usnic acid is a secondary metabolite produced exclusively by a variety of lichen species,20 which researchers have discovered has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungicidal and antineoplastic activity.21

Secondary metabolites are organic molecules an organism produces that are not crucial for their reproduction, growth or development, but give a selective advantage.22 For example, secondary metabolites may slow the growth of a competing organism and secondary metabolites from fungi have produced antibiotics such as penicillin.

Usnic acid has strong antibacterial properties and for this reason has been incorporated into toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant and moisturizing creams.23 It is also used as a preservative in cosmetic products. The antibacterial properties include the ability to inhibit staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation on medical devices and potentially inhibit other gram-positive organisms as well.24

Usnic acid has been promoted for weight loss, but the supplements sold are associated with severe liver toxicity. Topical use can also cause an allergic reaction or local irritation.25 Research has demonstrated the compound has environmental effects including antiherbivore and anti-insect properties.26

Studies Cast Doubt on Value, Safety of Flu Drugs Like Tamiflu

Antiviral flu drugs like Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir) are conventional medicine’s go-to option for treating the flu, despite their risk of serious side effects and unproven benefits. In fact, these drugs were stockpiled in many countries, including the U.S.,27 for treating and preventing seasonal and pandemic influenza.

In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) even classified Tamiflu as an “essential” medicine.28 In 2014, Dr. Mark H. Ebell from the college of public health at the University of Georgia published an editorial in The BMJ29 calling the events surrounding Tamiflu a “multisystem failure,” based on decisions by the CDC, WHO and EMA that included the failure to publish and recognize the limitation of the available data.

Subsequently, a Cochrane review was led by Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine professor Tom Jefferson. Jefferson and his team published the only Cochrane review based solely on raw unpublished regulatory data.30,31 Ultimately, the results of the review demonstrated Tamiflu shortened the duration of symptoms from the influenza virus by less than one day.

The struggle to acquire the data was nearly as eye-opening as the results, which I recount in “Remdesivir Is a Scam Like Tamiflu.” In a later editorial published in The BMJ,32 Ebell outlines some of the lessons learned from this multibillion-dollar fiasco.

These lessons included the need for all available data to be made public and available for independent reanalysis. He added the money spent on stockpiling medication is only minimally effective and may be better spent on other public health priorities.33

Flu Vaccine Ineffective and Increases Viral Shedding

During the 2019-2020 flu season, the CDC reported 51.8% of people 6 months old and older had been vaccinated against flu, representing a 3.1% increase from the previous season.34 According to the interim estimates from the CDC, the 2018-2019 flu vaccine overall adjusted effectiveness against infections associated with acute respiratory illness that required medical attention was 47%.35

The same statistics for the 2019-2020 flu vaccine revealed 45% effectiveness.36 However, said another way, the flu vaccine failed to offer any protection more than half the time it was given.

For adults over 50, which is the group most vulnerable to severe flu illness, the 2018-2019 vaccine had a mere 24% effectiveness rate against all influenza and an abysmal 8% effectiveness against influenza A, which is the most virulent type.37

The effectiveness of 2019-2020 flu vaccine was higher for those over 50 years but had dropped to 25% in adults 18 to 49 years.38 The vaccine has three or four type A or B strains. Even if those strains are a perfect match for the circulating viruses during a given flu season, it does not prevent many other respiratory infections. As noted by the Cochrane Collaboration:39

“Over 200 viruses cause ILI (influenza-like illness), which produces the same symptoms (fever, headache, aches, pains, cough and runny nose) as influenza. Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot distinguish between ILI and influenza because both last for days and rarely cause serious illness or death.”

In addition to poor performance, people who are routinely vaccinated shed 6.3 times more of the influenza virus into the air.40 In the study from the University of Maryland, researchers revealed that repeated vaccinations increased the amount of virus released with each breath, noting:41

“Little is known about the amount and infectiousness of influenza virus shed into exhaled breath. This contributes to uncertainty about the importance of airborne influenza transmission. We show that sneezing is rare and not important for — and that coughing is not required for — influenza virus aerosolization.”

This is important, as it means that even someone who’s not actively sneezing or coughing can potentially transmit the influenza virus to others. Further, someone who’s recently received the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) may also potentially actively shed and transmit the virus.

There is little evidence to suggest that getting an annual flu vaccine is a good way to combat influenza. On the contrary, there is mounting literature questioning the validity of this public health measure, which I discussed in “Is the Flu Vaccine Really ‘Working Well’ This Year?

At-Home Strategies to Reduce Risk of Viral Infections

There are strategies you can use at home to help prevent and treat the influenza virus if you are infected. In addition to protecting against flu, optimizing your vitamin D level also helps protect you against COVID-19.42 Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the track record for vitamin D in preventing respiratory infections, including a 2017 scientific review of 25 randomized controlled trials that concluded:43

“Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit.”

As I discuss in a short video in “How Nebulized Peroxide Helps Against Respiratory Infections,” there is absolutely no question in my mind that nebulized hydrogen peroxide is the safest and most effective way to treat an acute upper respiratory infection.

I first wrote about this in the newsletter in April 2020 and have since received impressive testimonials from friends and acquaintances who got severely ill and used it. In the link to the article you can watch an interview with Dr. David Brownstein who has a clinic just outside Detroit.

At the time of the interview, he had successfully treated over 100 patients with nebulized hydrogen peroxide, having one patient hospitalized and no deaths. The treatment typically improves symptoms within hours.

In addition to using nebulized hydrogen peroxide at the first sign of a respiratory infection, I would also start taking quercetin and zinc to help fight the virus outside lung tissue. The earlier you start quercetin and zinc the more effective it will be since late in the course of the illness it is ineffective at inhibiting viral replication.

The key is to have everything you need available before flu season. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. To read more about the relationship between quercetin and zinc, see “Zinc Is Key for COVID-19 Treatment and Prevention.”

– Sources and References

Health WARNING: Prolonged use of a face mask has 4 NEGATIVE health effects

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/health-effects-mask-mandate-3646.html
by:  | December 3, 2020

mask-warning(NaturalHealth365) Let’s be frank about something that the mainstream media doesn’t like to admit: while some people believe that wearing a face mask may help slow the spread of viral illnesses like COVID-19, it doesn’t come without a cost. In fact, there is plenty of evidence revealing the negative health effects of prolonged use of face coverings, from N95s to cloth masks.

So, whether you’re choosing to wear a mask or forced to wear one due to a local or state mask mandate, keep reading to discover how you can avoid “maskne” and other unintended health consequences.

Your face mask could be causing oral health problems plus 3 other issues, scientists say

If you’ve ever gone several hours wearing a face mask, you may notice that your mouth feels unpleasantly dry. Unfortunately, wearing a mask can exacerbate dry mouth by promoting mouth-breathing and reducing humidity in the air you inhale.

And it turns out a dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable and foul-smelling. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofascial Research, persistent dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and oral infections, including an infection with Candida albicans, the bacteria responsible for oral thrush. Masks can trap bacteria inside your mouth, where they can overgrow and irritate your delicate oral tissues.

Wearing your face mask day-in and day-out could also be leading to these other issues, according to experts:

  • Skin irritation. “Maskne” is a trending topic for a reason!  Known clinically as acne mechanica, maskne happens as a result of prolonged use of face coverings, which trap bacteria and debris against your skin, clog your pores, and lead to inflammation and breakouts. Skin irritation caused by face coverings are made even worse if you wash cloth masks with harsh chemicals.
  • Carbon dioxide build-up in the body. According to the American Lung Association (ALA), prolonged use of certain face coverings like N95s may lead to a build-up in carbon dioxide levels in people with pre-existing lung diseases, which, by the ALA’s own count, is as many as 37 million Americans. Excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the body, known as hypercapnea, can cause symptoms including headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath. While you may not experience this issue from your mask, anyone with respiratory illnesses should be speaking to their doctors about what kind of face mask practice is right for them – if any at all.
  •  Increased risk of respiratory illness. A 2015 randomized controlled trial published in BMJ Open revealed that the use of cloth masks, at least in the healthcare setting, may increase the risk of respiratory infections due to a combination of “moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration.”  As a disturbing side note: many ancillary staff members in hospitals are being instructed to wear their own cloth masks at work in order to “preserve” personal protective equpiment for clinical staff.

Ultimately, while some officials may suggest that wearing a mask reduces the risk of respiratory illnesses, it’s important to consider that the evidence on this is weak, at best.  In fact, when you dig a little deeper into the research (for the past 10 years) – wearing a mask does little to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Not too mention all the very real threats that increase our risk of getting sick.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Hopefully, this information will motivate you to optimize your overall health through no-nonsense lifestyle habits like eating more healthy (organic) food, staying physically active and minimizing your exposure to unwanted (chronic) stress.

If you are covering your face, do these three things to reduce your risk of complications

No matter how you feel about wearing a mask, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of unintended health effects while wearing them:

  1. First, avoid touching or fidgeting with your mask. If you do touch your mask, be sure to do so only after washing your hands with soap and water.
  2. Cleanse your face after removing your mask with a gentle product that will remove any built-up bacteria, dirt, oil, and debris.
  3. Avoid using harsh detergents and fabric softeners to wash your cloth masks, as these have been show in research from New York University to irritate your skin.

Remember, your best defense against any bacterial or viral infection is a strong immune system.  Take good care of yourself … it’s worth the effort.

Sources for this article include:

ScienceDaily.com
BMJ.com
LLU.edu
NIH.gov
Lung.org
Lung.org
MIT.edu
Med.NY.edu
HealthAffairs.org
CW.UA.edu
WIRED.com
Hartfordhealthcare.org
Everydayhealth.com

Are Enzymes a Key to COVID Endothelial Injury?


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/11/30/coronavirus-enzymes.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola      Fact Checked      November 30, 2020

coronavirus enzymes

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Studies suggest damage to the endothelium, which are cells covering blood vessels, is contributing to the development of blood clots, or thrombosis, in the blood vessels of severely ill COVID-19 patients
  • Enzymes may turn out to be the missing link in helping to break up clusters of clotting proteins involved in this dangerous thrombosis, which is linked to increased mortality in COVID-19
  • Levels of Von Willebrand factor (VWF), a clotting protein released by endothelial cells, were found to be significantly elevated in COVID-19 patients in advanced stages of the disease
  • Proteolytic enzymes such as lumbrokinase, serrapeptase and nattokinase also act as natural anticoagulants by breaking down the fibrin that forms blood clots

Enzymes catalyze many biological reactions in your body. They regulate the rate of these chemical reactions, speeding them up so necessary functions like digestion, muscle contractions and other aspects of cellular metabolism can occur.1

Enzymes are also emerging as key players in COVID-19, as studies suggest damage to the endothelium, which are cells covering blood vessels, is contributing to the development of blood clots, or thrombosis, in the blood vessels of severely ill COVID-19 patients.2 Enzymes may turn out to be the missing link in helping to break up clusters of clotting proteins involved in this dangerous thrombosis.

Endothelium Damage Found in Critically Ill COVID-19 Cases

After noticing blackened fingers and toes — signs of what appeared to be microvascular thrombosis, or tiny blood clots in small blood vessels — in COVID-19 patients in advanced stages of the disease, physicians at the Yale School of Medicine began running clotting tests on their patients.3

Levels of Von Willebrand factor (VWF), a clotting protein released by endothelial cells, were found to be significantly elevated, which suggested to hematologist Alfred Lee that damaged endothelial cells may be releasing large quantities of VWF, leading to clots.4 This prompted the team to screen for additional markers of endothelial cell and platelet activation in critically and noncritically ill COVID-19 patients.

The study, which was conducted in April 2020, included 68 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and 13 asymptomatic controls. VWF antigen was significantly elevated in COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) compared to non-ICU COVID-19 patients,5 as was soluble platelet selectin (sP-selectin), which is sometimes used as a biomarker for infection and mortality.6

Specifically, mean VWF was 565% among ICU patients and 278% among non-ICU patients while soluble P-selectin was 15.9 ng/mL compared to 11.2 ng/mL.7 “Our findings show that endotheliopathy is present in COVID-19 and is likely to be associated with critical illness and death. Early identification of endotheliopathy and strategies to mitigate its progression might improve outcomes in COVID-19,” the researchers concluded.8

Likely not coincidentally, endothelial dysfunction is also associated with insulin resistance and plays a role in the vascular complications of diabetes,9 as well as being involved in obesity and high blood pressure,10 conditions that raise the risk of severe COVID19.

Even mild obesity may raise the risk of COVID-19 severity — COVID-19 patients with mild obesity had a 2.5 times greater risk of respiratory failure and a five times greater risk of being admitted to an ICU compared to nonobese patients. Those with a BMI of 35 and over were also 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19.11

Another study looking into the impact of coexisting health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes on COVID-19 outcomes found they’re linked to “poorer clinical outcomes,” such as admission to an intensive care unit, a need for invasive ventilation or death.12

It’s possible that the endothelial damage in all of these conditions plays a role in worsening COVID-19 outcomes, but it’s unclear which comes first — endothelial damage or COVID-19.

Endothelial Cells Are the ‘Main Target’ of SARS-CoV-2

Imperial College London cardiologist Thomas Lüscher told The Scientist that the endothelium is the main target of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.13 Under healthy conditions, blood cells can pass through the endothelium lining blood vessels, but when exposed to viral infections and other inflammatory agents, the endothelium becomes sticky and releases VWF.

The end result is a cascade of clotting and inflammation, both characteristics of severe COVID-19. According to a case report published April 8, 2020, “A hallmark of severe COVID-19 is coagulopathy, with 71.4% of patients who die of COVID-19 meeting … criteria for disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) while only 0.6% of patients who survive meet these criteria.”14

Writing in the European Heart Journal, Lüscher argues, “COVID-19, particularly in the later complicated stages, represents an endothelial disease,”15 which may help explain why multiple organ systems, including the lungs, heart, brain, kidney and vasculature, may be affected.

An additional study by Canadian researchers, published in Critical Care Explorations in September 2020, also revealed elevated VWF and soluble P-selectin levels in COVID-19 patients, along with higher glycocalyx-degradation products,16 a sign of damage to the glycocalyx, which envelops the endothelium.17 This can also be a sign of sepsis. Taken together, the research suggests that therapies targeting the endothelium may be useful for COVID-19, which is where enzymes come in.

Enzymes Used to Treat COVID-19

With the role of coagulopathy in severe COVID-19 becoming clearer, researchers have experimented with enzymes in the treatment of the disease. Fibrinolytic therapy, which uses drugs or enzymes to break up blood clots, has been used in a Phase 1 clinical trial that showed the treatment reduced mortality and led to improvements in oxygenation.18 Further, researchers wrote in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis:19

“There is evidence in both animals and humans that fibrinolytic therapy in acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) improves survival, which also points to fibrin deposition in the pulmonary microvasculature as a contributory cause of ARDS.

This would be expected to be seen in patients with ARDS and concomitant diagnoses of DIC on their laboratory values such as what is observed in more than 70% of those who die of COVID‐19.”

The researchers reported three case studies of patients with severe COVID‐19 respiratory failure who were treated with tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), a serine protease enzyme found on endothelial cells that’s involved in fibrinolysis, or the breakdown of blood clots.20

All three patients benefited from the treatment, with partial pressure of oxygen/FiO2 (P/F) ratios, a measure of lung function, improving from 38% to 100%.21 While it should be noted that several of the authors have patents pending related to both coagulation/fibrinolysis diagnostics and therapeutics, the results suggest such treatments deserve further evaluation in certain COVID-19 patients.

An evaluation of organ tissues from people who died from COVID-19 also revealed extensive lung damage, including clotting, and long-term persistence of virus cells in pneumocytes and endothelial cells.22

The findings indicate that virus-infected cells may persist for long periods inside the lungs, contributing to scar tissue. In an interview with Reuters, study co-author Mauro Giacca, a professor at King’s College London, described “really vast destruction of the architecture of the lungs,” with healthy tissue “almost completely substituted by scar tissue,”23 which could be responsible for cases of “long COVID,” in which symptoms persist for months.

“It could very well be envisaged that one of the reasons why there are cases of long COVID is because there is vast destruction of lung (tissue),” he told Reuters. “Even if someone recovers from COVID, the damage that is done could be massive.”24 Dissolving scar tissue is another area where enzymes, particularly proteolytic enzymes, may be useful.

Three Top Enzymes Act as Natural Anticoagulants

Holistic prophylactic alternatives that might be beneficial against blood clots include proteolytic enzymes such as lumbrokinase, serrapeptase and nattokinase, all of which act as natural anticoagulants by breaking down the fibrin that forms the blood clot. Fibrin is a clotting material that restricts blood flow, found both in your bloodstream and connective tissue such as your muscles. Fibrin accumulation is also responsible for scar tissue.

It is important to understand that when using these enzymes for fibrinolytic therapy they need to be taken on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours after meals. Otherwise these enzymes will be wasted in the digestion of your food and will be unable to serve their fibrinolytic purpose.

As noted in Scientific Reports, some of the key mechanisms by which proteolytic enzymes exert their anticoagulant effect include “defibrinogenation, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and/or interference with components of the blood coagulation cascade.”25 Here’s a closer look at these important enzymes, all of which are available in supplement form or, in the case of nattokinase, via the food natto.

1.Lumbrokinase — This enzyme is about 300 times stronger than serrapeptase and nearly 30 times stronger than nattokinase,26 making it my strong personal preference and recommendation if you are using a fibrinolytic enzyme. Extracted from earthworms, lumbrokinase is a highly effective antithrombotic agent that reduces blood viscosity and platelet aggregation27 while also degrading fibrin, which is a key factor in clot formation.

2.Serrapeptase — Also known as serratiopeptidase, serrapeptase is produced in the gut of newborn Bombyx mori silkworms, allowing them to dissolve and escape from their cocoons. Research has shown it can help patients with chronic airway disease, lessening viscosity of sputum and reducing coughing.28 Serrapeptase also breaks down fibrin and helps dissolve dead or damaged tissue without harming healthy tissue.29

3.Nattokinase — Produced by the bacteria Bacillus subtilis during the fermentation of soybeans to produce natto,30 nattokinase is a strong thrombolytic31 comparable to aspirin but without the serious side effects.32

It’s been shown to break down blood clots and reduce the risk of serious clotting33 by dissolving excess fibrin in your blood vessels,34 improving circulation and decreasing blood viscosity. Interestingly, in one in vitro study, the thrombolytic activity of equivalent amounts of nattokinase and TPA were found to be identical35 — TPA, remember, is the enzyme that led to improvement in the three COVID-19 case studies.36

Honey Beats Traditional Treatment for Respiratory Infections


Reproduced from original article:
articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/09/14/honey-beats-traditional-treatment-for-respiratory-infections.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked    September 14, 2020

honey

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • A review of 14 studies showed honey to be superior to the usual treatment of cold symptoms in adults
  • It was as effective as cough medicine in children when compared to two common over-the-counter medications — dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine
  • Most upper respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses that do not respond to antibiotics. Using honey may slow the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • Honey you buy from the grocery store may be adulterated or fake. Seek local producers at farmers markets and test the physical properties, including scent, thickness, taste and stickiness

The medical term to describe the common cold is an upper respiratory infection (URI). This is often caused by a virus that infects your nose, throat and mouth. There are more than 200 different viruses responsible, with rhinoviruses being the most common.1

In one cross-sectional study published in 2016, scientists in India analyzed the incidence of URIs in rural and urban populations.2 There were a total of 3,498 people checked during the study, out of which 287 had an upper respiratory infection at the time. Children were infected more often than adults, especially those younger than 5.

Antibiotic prescriptions are not recommended for children or adults with a common cold because those medications treat bacterial, rather than viral infections. The CDC recommends focusing on symptomatic relief, as:3

“There is potential for harm and no proven benefit from over-the-counter cough and cold medications in children < 6 years. These substances are among the top 20 substances leading to death in children < 5 years.”

Identify Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Many of the symptoms of seasonal allergies, the common cold and lower respiratory tract infections (LRIs) with flu can look similar. Acute LRIs from flu were linked to 34,800 deaths in 2018; that’s why it’s important to be able to understand the symptoms.4

In a review of the literature from 2015, scientists looked at 56 studies and found 124 definitions of upper and lower acute respiratory infections.5 This variability influences the ability to generalize prevention and treatment recommendations.

Doctors from Louisville, Kentucky, say there are signs and symptoms that distinguish seasonal allergies, colds and flu:6

Stuffy nose Common Common Sometimes
Sneezing Common Usual Sometimes
Sore throat Sometimes Common Sometimes
Cough Sometimes Mild to moderate Common, can become severe
Fever No Rare High, 102° F to 104° F for three to four days
Headache Common Rare Often
Fatigue Common Mild Lasts two to three weeks
Aches and pains Never Slight Can be severe

Honey Is Superior Treatment for URIs

Although children are infected more commonly than adults with the cold virus, it continues to be the third-most frequent diagnosis for adults who sometimes get between two and four colds each year.7 The CDC recommends that adults treat their symptoms with decongestants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories.

The use of antihistamines on their own, intranasal corticosteroids and opioids are not supported by scientific evidence. Even though the majority of URIs are the result of a viral infection, acute respiratory tract infections continue to be the most common reason antibiotics are prescribed for adults.8 The Mayo Clinic recommends specific at-home treatments:9

Drinking plenty of fluids Eating chicken soup
Controlling the room temperature and humidity Using saltwater gargle to soothe your throat
Using saline nasal drops to relieve congestion Using over-the-counter cold and cough medications for symptomatic relief
Resting

While over-the-counter (OTC) medications are not regarded as effective for children younger than 6, in a Cochrane Review of the literature it’s noted that although many preparations have only minor side effects in adults, they may not work any better than a placebo.10

The authors of a recent review of the literature sought to evaluate how honey stacked up against usual care and antibiotics for symptomatic relief in adults with upper respiratory infections. The scientists included 14 studies in which cough frequency, cough severity and symptom scores were compared. They concluded:11

“Honey was superior to usual care for the improvement of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. It provides a widely available and cheap alternative to antibiotics. Honey could help efforts to slow the spread of antimicrobial resistance, but further high quality, placebo controlled trials are needed.”

The results of this study support past data with similar results. In one Italian study involving 134 children with a nonspecific cough, researchers compared the use of multiple doses of honey to the use of dextromethorphan and levodropropizine, two the more commonly prescribed OTC cough medications in Italy.12

The children were given either a mixture of milk and wildflower honey or a dose of one of the medications, based on the group they were assigned to. The researchers found that the milk and honey mixture was at least as effective as the medications.

Click here to read more

Honey Reduces Nighttime Cough in Children

In an earlier study, the effectiveness of honey was compared to that of dextromethorphan in 105 children with URIs who had been sick for seven days or less. The researchers found that honey performed the best and parents rated it more favorably.13

Another group of researchers compared the effectiveness of dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine to that of honey. They were interested in whether the treatments reduced coughing associated with URIs that made it difficult to sleep. One hundred thirty-nine children were split into four groups, receiving either honey, dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine or supportive care.

The study team found that a 2.5 ml dose of honey at bedtime relieved more coughs than the other treatments. Interestingly, there was no statistical difference in the effectiveness of dextromethorphan versus diphenhydramine.14

According to the authors of a paper published in the Canadian Family Physician, in a given week, one or more OTC products are used by more than 50% of children who are younger than 12.15 Cough and cold medications account for most of them.

Based on the results of a meta-analysis, scientists demonstrated there was no evidence for or against the use of OTC medications.16 In another clinical trial an Egyptian team enrolled 100 children ages 5 and younger who were coughing because of a URI. The intervention group received cough medicine with a combination of honey and lemon.17

The researchers found that the children who were given honey and lemon experienced greater relief than those who only got the medication. Many OTC medications carry potential risks for children, including both insomnia and drowsiness.

Taken together, the results from all of these studies suggest that honey works as well as dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine. It’s also safer. However, it shouldn’t be used in children younger than 1 year old because it can contain dormant clostridium botulinum, which can lead to infantile botulism.

For this reason, it’s important not to give children younger than 1 year any products that contain honey. The author of a paper published in the Canadian Family Physician says that honey can be recommended “… as a single dose of 2.5 milliliters (one-half teaspoon) before bedtime for children older than 1 year of age with cough.”18

May Help Slow the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

A secondary benefit to using natural products like honey is it helps to slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The overuse of antibiotics is a contributing factor to the growth of superbugs.19 Researchers have suggested that education for parents20 and professionals21 can help reduce antibiotic misuse.

In one retrospective chart review, it was found that 64.2% of people with respiratory tract infections received inappropriate antibiotics, the most common of which were azithromycin, amoxicillin-clavulanate (Augmentin) and moxifloxacin.22 Interestingly, in this review, penicillin allergy and the presence of a cough were significant predictors of the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Some bacteria have developed a resistance to multiple antibiotics. The CDC estimates that “… more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result.”23

Some experts believe the actual numbers could be up to seven times higher.24 An infectious disease specialist from Washington University, Dr. Jason Burnham, along with two colleagues, surveyed data from 2010. They expanded the definition of antibiotic-resistant deaths and concluded that 153,113 deaths could have been attributed to multidrug-resistant organisms.

These reports drive home what experts have warned us about for decades — bacteria are continuing to evolve and mutate so they can survive. As more and more antibiotics are used in health care and in agriculture, they become less and less effective and we become increasingly vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant infections.

Take Care With the Honey You Buy

Honey has been used for centuries for its medicinal value and because people enjoy the taste. Scientists have found that it has antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica.25 It has demonstrated activity against antibiotic-sensitive and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.26

Manuka honey has been used to treat wounds because it inhibits bacterial growth while stimulating a local immune response and suppressing inflammation.27 The benefits of honey are significant, but as I’ve warned in the past, those do not extend to the processed honey you find on grocery store shelves, which is often little more than fructose syrup.

It is especially important the honey from the grocery store is never used on wounds because it can actually increase your risk of infection.

In addition to the challenges of finding quality honey in regular stores, it’s come to light that honey may be adulterated or even faked — presented and sold as honey when in actuality it’s something else — because the bee population is plummeting and not as much real honey is available. You’ll find more information in “Have You Been Eating High-Priced Fake Honey?

Consider getting true, organic honey from local producers at farmer’s markets. Since real honey doesn’t expire, even after opening, it’s safe to buy enough in the summer to last until the following spring.28 It also pays to know how to test your honey at home. Here are some of the physical properties you can look for in quality honey:29

Scent — Your first test is the aroma coming from the jar, which should be reminiscent of the flowers and grasses the bees collect pollen from; industrial honey has an industrial smell.
Thickness — The movement should be slow and dense. Place a droplet on your thumb. If it starts to spread, the honey is not pure. Dense, pure honey will remain intact.
Taste — When eating pure honey, the taste disappears quickly, but adulterated honey is sugary rich.
Dissolving — When added to water, pure honey will form a lump and stick together, while adulterated honey dissolves. Pure honey will not be absorbed into blotting paper or cloth, but adulterated honey will leave stains as it absorbs.
Heat and flame — When heated on the stove, adulterated honey will form bubbles. Try dipping the end of a match in honey and lighting it. If it lights, the honey is likely pure since the added moisture in adulterated honey makes it nearly impossible to light.
Tests — Consider these additional tests:

  • Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a glass of water. Add honey and stir well. Adulterated honey will foam.
  • Spread some honey on a piece of bread; pure honey will solidify the bread while adulterated honey will make it wet and soft.
  • Check for impurities by looking at it through a clear container. Adulterated honey will be clear while pure honey will have particles from pollen or bee parts.

Bradykinin Hypothesis Explains COVID-19 Complexities


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/09/14/bradykinin-hypothesis.aspx
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked    September 14, 2020

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Genetic analysis using the Oak Ridge National Lab supercomputer has revealed an interesting new hypothesis — the bradykinin hypothesis — that helps explain the disease progression of COVID-19
  • The bradykinin hypothesis also strengthens the hypothesis that vitamin D plays a really important role in the disease
  • SARS-CoV-2 not only infects cells that naturally have high numbers of ACE2 receptors but also tricks your body into upregulating ACE2 receptors in places where they’re usually expressed at lower levels, such as your lungs
  • SARS-CoV-2 also downregulates your body’s ability to degrade or break down bradykinin, a chemical that helps regulate your blood pressure and is controlled by your renin-angiotensin system
  • The end result is a bradykinin storm, which appears to be the primary cause behind many of COVID-19’s lethal effects, even more so than the cytokine storms associated with the disease
  • The virus also increases production of hyaluronic acid (HLA) in your lungs. HLA has the ability to absorb more than 1,000 times its own weight in fluid, and when it combines with the built-up fluid in the lungs, it forms a thick hydrogel that makes breathing very difficult

Genetic analysis using the Oak Ridge National Lab supercomputer called the Summit has revealed an interesting new hypothesis that helps explain the disease progression of COVID-19. A September 1, 2020, Medium article1 by Thomas Smith reviewed the findings of what is now referred to as the bradykinin hypothesis.

As reported by Smith, the computer crunched data on more than 40,000 genes obtained from 17,000 genetic samples.

“Summit is the second-fastest computer in the world, but the process — which involved analyzing 2.5 billion genetic combinations — still took more than a week. When Summit was done, researchers analyzed the results. It was, in the words of Dr. Daniel Jacobson, lead researcher and chief scientist for computational systems biology at Oak Ridge, a ‘eureka moment.’”

The Bradykinin Hypothesis

Bradykinin is a chemical that helps regulate your blood pressure and is controlled by your renin-angiotensin system (RAS). As explained in the Academic Press’ book on vitamin D (which has a significant impact on the RAS):2

“The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is a central regulator of renal and cardiovascular functions. Over-activation of the RAS leads to renal and cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension and chronic kidney disease, the major risk factors for stroke, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, progressive atherosclerosis, and renal failure.”

The bradykinin hypothesis provides a model that helps explain some of the more unusual symptoms of COVID-19, including its bizarre effects on the cardiovascular system. It also strengthens the hypothesis that vitamin D plays a really important role in the disease.

The findings3 were published in the journal eLife July 7, 2020. Based on this new hypothesis, the researchers also suggest more than 10 potential treatments, most of which are readily available drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. I’ll review those later on.

As detailed in previous articles, your ACE2 receptors are the primary gateways of the virus, as the virus’ spike protein binds to the ACE2 receptor. As explained by Smith:4

“… COVID-19 infection generally begins when the virus enters the body through ACE2 receptors in the nose … The virus then proceeds through the body, entering cells in other places where ACE2 is also present: the intestines, kidneys, and heart. This likely accounts for at least some of the disease’s cardiac and GI symptoms.

But once Covid-19 has established itself in the body, things start to get really interesting … The data Summit analyzed shows that COVID-19 isn’t content to simply infect cells that already express lots of ACE2 receptors. Instead, it actively hijacks the body’s own systems, tricking it into upregulating ACE2 receptors in places where they’re usually expressed at low or medium levels, including the lungs.

In this sense, COVID-19 is like a burglar who slips in your unlocked second-floor window and starts to ransack your house. Once inside, though, they don’t just take your stuff — they also throw open all your doors and windows so their accomplices can rush in and help pillage more efficiently.”

Click here to read more

Bradykinin Storm Likely Responsible for Lethal Effects

In addition to upregulating ACE2 receptors throughout your body, the SARS-CoV-2 virus also downregulates your body’s ability to degrade or break down bradykinin.

The end result is a bradykinin storm, and according to the researchers, this appears to be an important factor in many of COVID-19’s lethal effects, even more so than the cytokine storms associated with the disease. As bradykinin accumulates, the more serious COVID-19 symptoms appear.

Mounting clinical data suggest COVID-19 is actually primarily a vascular disease rather than a respiratory one, and runaway bradykinin buildup can help explain this.

How SARS-CoV-2 Attacks the Lungs

That said, COVID-19 certainly has a respiratory component, and it appears the virus attacks the lungs in more ways than one. For starters, bradykinin increases vascular permeability, essentially causing your blood vessels to leak fluid. In the lungs, this leads to fluid buildup that can trigger inflammation when immune cells also leak out into the lungs.

But the Summit data also show the virus uses yet another pathway, which raises production of hyaluronic acid (HLA) in your lungs. HLA has the ability to absorb more than 1,000 times its own weight in fluid, and when it combines with the built-up fluid in the lungs, the effect is devastating, as it ends up forming a thick hydrogel that makes breathing near-impossible.

When this happens — in severe cases — even mechanical ventilation becomes ineffective, as the alveoli in the lungs are simply too clogged with this gel-like substance that prevents oxygen uptake.

Note that the HLA produced in your lungs does not mean that using supplemental HLA is a bad strategy. It is only when HLA is produced locally in high concentrations in pathologic conditions like COVID-19 that it becomes problematic. Otherwise it has important physiologic benefits.

How SARS-CoV-2 Attacks Your Heart and Brain

SARS-CoV-2 can also affect heart function, causing arrhythmias and low blood pressure. About 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalizations have experienced damage to their heart. Your heart has ACE2 receptors, so SARS-CoV-2 has the ability to infect your heart directly. Arrhythmias and low blood pressure can also be the result of a bradykinin storm.

In some cases, COVID-19 has also been known to trigger neurological symptoms such as dizziness, seizures, delirium and stroke, and this too can be explained by bradykinin buildup.

At high levels, bradykinin can lead to a breakdown of your blood-brain barrier, thereby allowing harmful compounds to flood your brain. Bradykinin itself also causes blood vessel leakage. Together, these effects can trigger inflammation, brain damage and a variety of neurological symptoms.

SARS-CoV-2 Mimics ACE Inhibiting Drugs

Interestingly, as reported by Smith:5

“Increased bradykinin levels could also account for other common COVID-19 symptoms. ACE inhibitors — a class of drugs used to treat high blood pressure — have a similar effect on the RAS system as COVID-19, increasing bradykinin levels.

In fact, Jacobson and his team note in their paper that ‘the virus … acts pharmacologically as an ACE inhibitor’ — almost directly mirroring the actions of these drugs.

By acting like a natural ACE inhibitor, COVID-19 may be causing the same effects that hypertensive patients sometimes get when they take blood pressure-lowering drugs. ACE inhibitors are known to cause a dry cough and fatigue, two textbook symptoms of COVID-19.

And they can potentially increase blood potassium levels, which has also been observed in COVID-19 patients. The similarities between ACE inhibitor side effects and COVID-19 symptoms strengthen the bradykinin hypothesis, the researchers say.”

Another side effect associated with ACE inhibiting drugs is the loss of smell and taste. This is also an early sign associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and it’s a primary symptom of zinc deficiency too.

Zinc, as explained in “Swiss Protocol for COVID — Quercetin and Zinc,” plays a vital role in immunity as well as in blood clotting, cell division, thyroid health, smell and taste, vision and wound healing, and can effectively inhibit viral replication.

Your body does not store zinc, and it’s poorly absorbed, which appears to be why the combination of zinc and zinc ionophores such as quercetin and hydroxychloroquine are so effective when taken at first symptoms.

Bradykinin Hypothesis Explains Other COVID-19 Symptoms Too

The bradykinin storm also helps explain other odd COVID-19 symptoms such as “COVID toes,” a condition in which your toes become swollen and bruised. This may be due to leaky vasculature in your toes.

As explained by Smith, it can also shed helpful light on the gender differences seen in COVID-19. Women tend to have a lower mortality rate than men, and this may be due to the fact that women have twice the level of certain proteins involved in the RAS system.

bradykinin storm
Image source: Daniel Jacobson et al. via eLife Sciences

Potential Treatments

The good news is that if bradykinin storms are to blame, there are a number of already existing drugs that can help prevent bradykinin storms, either reducing bradykinin or blocking its receptors. As noted in the study:6

“Several interventional points (most of them already FDA-approved pharmaceuticals) could be explored with the goal of increasing ACE, decreasing BK [bradykinin], or blocking BK2 receptors.

Icatibant is a BKB2R antagonist whereas Ecallantide acts to inhibit KLKB1, reducing levels of BK production. Androgens (danazol and stanasolol) increase SERPING1, although the side effects likely make these undesirable, but recombinant forms of SERPING1 could be administered to reduce BK levels.

It should be noted that any intervention may need to be timed correctly given that REN levels rise on a diurnal cycle, peaking at 4AM which corresponds with the commonly reported worsening of COVID-19 symptoms at night …

4-methylumbelliferone (Hymecromone) is a potent inhibitor of HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3 gene expression and results in the suppression of the production of hyaluronan in an ARDS model.

Hymecromone (4-methylumbelliferone) is approved for use in Asia and Europe for the treatment of biliary spasm. However, it can cause diarrhea with subsequent hypokalemia, so considerable caution should be used if this were to be tried with COVID-19 patients … Timbetasin may reduce COVID-19 related coagulopathies by increasing fibrinolysis.”

However, please understand that taking these drugs is absolutely not my recommendation. These are simply the conventional strategies that can be used if this hypothesis is correct.

Why on earth would we use dangerous drugs like these for a disease that they have not been tested on when we have so many other safe, inexpensive and highly effective interventions for COVID-19? Strategies like nebulized peroxide, ozone, molecular hydrogen, exogenous ketones, and quercetin with zinc.

Evidence for Vitamin D Strengthens

The researchers also highlight the usefulness of vitamin D, noting that “Another approach would be the modulation of REN levels via Vitamin D supplementation …” Vitamin D is involved in the RAS system,7,8,9 and can reduce a compound called renin (REN), thereby preventing a deadly bradykinin storm. Renin is an endopeptidase, the function of which is to generate angiotensin 1 from angiotensinogen in your plasma.

If you are vitamin D deficient, your renin expression is stimulated, and based on the latest data, that may render you more prone to bradykinin storm.

Several investigations have highlighted the apparent influence of vitamin D in COVID-19 incidence, severity and mortality, and its effects on RAS further strengthens the idea that vitamin D may be a crucial component in your COVID-19 defense arsenal.

As explained in the 2004 paper,10 “Vitamin D: A Negative Endocrine Regulator of the Renin-Angiotensin System and Blood Pressure,” when the RAS system is inappropriately activated, high blood pressure can result.

One factor that influences your RAS is your vitamin D level, as it suppresses renin biosynthesis. If you are vitamin D deficient, your renin expression is stimulated, and based on the latest data, that may render you more prone to bradykinin storm.

The Evidence for Vitamin D

In a November 1, 2020 commentary11 in the journal Metabolism Clinical and Experimental, JoAnn Manson and Shari Bassuk call for the elimination of vitamin D deficiency to effectively squelch the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that 23.3% of the total U.S. population have insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels, with people of color having disproportionately lower levels than non-Hispanic whites.

They list several types of studies showing vitamin D deficiency is “an important modifiable risk factor for COVID-19,” including:12

Laboratory studies that demonstrate how vitamin D helps regulate immune function and the RAS, and modulate inflammatory responses to infection.

Ecologic studies showing populations with lower vitamin D levels or lower UVB radiation exposure have higher COVID-19 mortality,13,14,15 and the fact that people identified as being at greatest risk for COVID-19 hospitalization and death (people of color, the elderly, nursing home residents and those with comorbidities such as obesity, vascular conditions and chronic kidney disease) also have a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency.

A pilot randomized clinical study16,17 published online August 29, 2020, found hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Spain who were given supplemental vitamin D (calcifediol) in addition to standard of care — which included the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin — had significantly lower intensive care unit admissions.

Patients in the vitamin D arm received 532 micrograms of calcifediol on the day of admission (equivalent to 106,400 IUs of vitamin D18) followed by 266 mcg on Days 3 and 7 (equivalent to 53,200 IUs19). After that, they received 266 mcg once a week until discharge, ICU admission or death.

Of those receiving calcifediol, only 2% required ICU admission, compared to 50% of those who did not get calcifediol. None of those given vitamin D supplementation died, and all were discharged without complications.

Observational studies showing low vitamin D levels are associated with a greater risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and contracting acute respiratory infections.

Most recently, a September 3, 2020 JAMA study20 reported that people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were 1.77 times more likely to be deficient in vitamin D than those who tested negative for the virus.

Randomized clinical trials showing vitamin D inhibits respiratory tract infections, especially in those with lower vitamin D levels at baseline.

REALLY IMPORTANT: Optimize Your Vitamin D Level Now

For years, I’ve stressed the importance of optimizing your vitamin D level, especially in anticipation of flu season, and it seems clear it can go a long way toward protecting yourself against COVID-19 as well.

Aside from what’s already been mentioned, vitamin D also helps Type II cells in your lungs produce surfactant that aids in fluid clearance. When you’re vitamin D deficient, your entire RAS is deranged or dysfunctional, thereby raising your risk of both bradykinin storm and cytokine storm.

In closing, experts have been warning that SARS-CoV-2 may reemerge in the fall when temperatures and humidity levels drop, thereby increasing the virus’ transmissibility.

Now is the time to check your vitamin D level and start taking action to raise it if you’re below 60 ng/mL. An easy and cost-effective way of measuring your vitamin D level is to order GrassrootsHealth’s vitamin D testing kit and learn more about vitamin D and its impact on your health.

Knowledge is empowerment, and that is particularly true during this pandemic. To learn more about the influence of vitamin D on your health in general and COVID-19 in particular, see my vitamin D report.

Your lung function is an important predictor of health and longevity

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/lung-function-predicting-longevity-3550.html
by:  | September 10, 2020

lung-function(NaturalHealth365) Since none of us are immortal, the impulse to estimate how many years we might have left is perfectly natural. But, what is the most accurate predictor of lifespan? Some studies have focused on factors such as telomere length, while others have examined levels of important antioxidants like glutathione. But, it turns out that the biggest clue to longevity is your lung function.

In fact, a peer-reviewed study supports this point of view.  And, with COVID on everyone’s mind, we thought this a very important topic to discuss.  So, today, we’ll focus our attention on how lung health is directly connected to our ability to live a long, healthy life or not!

Health ALERT: Limited lung function can have severe consequences

Lung capacity is defined as the maximum amount of air the lungs can hold, while lung function involves the speed with which you can inhale and exhale. Lung function also involves how efficiently your lungs oxygenate the blood, while at the same time removing carbon dioxide.

Both lung function and lung capacity can be measured by a spirometry test. Also known as a pulmonary function test, spirometry measures the lungs’ forced vital capacity (FVC), which involves lung size and exhalation capability, and the FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) which measures how much air can be exhaled in one second.

When lung capacity and function are limited, less oxygen enters the bloodstream, cells and tissues – resulting in shortness of breath, reduced endurance and decreased cardiorespiratory fitness.

Because limited lung function causes the heart to work harder, this can lead over time to heart failure and heart attacks.  Other adverse effects include impaired metabolic and digestive functions, problems with cognition and memory, increased inflammation and heightened susceptibility to respiratory infections.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Study: Poor lung capacity can double your risk of premature death

In a 29-year study published in Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, researchers assessed the pulmonary function of 1,194 adults ranging in age from 20 to 89.

After adjusting for factors such as age, body mass, blood pressure, education and smoking, the team found that lung capacity was strongly related to all-cause mortality in both men and women.

Men with the poorest lung capacity were a shocking 2.24 times more likely to die from any cause than those with the highest capacity, while women were 1.81 times more likely to die.

Concluding that lung capacity and volume is a “strong and independent predictor of both all-cause and disease-specific mortality,” the researchers suggested that this could be used as an important tool for general health assessment.

By the way, this is not the only study linking lung capacity with lifespan. In an earlier investigation known as the Framingham study, researchers found that people with generous lung volume were healthier and lived longer than those with limited lung capacity.

Warning: Too many people experience poor lung health as early as age 30

As with so many other body functions, lung capacity declines with age. Lung tissue becomes less flexible, the diaphragm muscle becomes weaker, and the rib cage may contract, leaving less room for lungs to expand.

In fact, Dr. Adrian Draper, a respiratory consultant at Spire St. Anthony Hospital, reports that lung capacity at age 60 may be only two thirds of what it was at age 30.  In addition, diseases such as COPD, asthma and pulmonary fibrosis (scarring) take a toll on lung capacity.

Conventionally speaking, lung function can’t be improved. However, the Lung Health Institute reports that lung capacity – the amount of air available to be used – can be.

Increasing lung capacity can provide a wealth of health benefits – including better immune defense against disease, accelerated wound healing, sharpened focus and concentration, improved digestion and more efficient elimination of waste.

Simple lifestyle choices can improve lung capacity

If you still smoke, quitting is the single most important thing you can do prevent and combat COPD and increase lung capacity. If you have tried to quit without success, don’t beat yourself up – but don’t give up. Many ex-smokers report that it took several attempts before they achieved success.

As excess fat can push on the chest and interfere with lung function, it can be helpful to shed pounds if you are overweight or obese.  In addition, you can support healthy lung capacity by avoiding allergens, environmental toxins, secondhand smoke and dust.  Remove dust and vacuum frequently – using a HEPA filter.

The Lung Health Institute recommends jettisoning household objects – such as drapes and tablecloths – that may act as “dust catchers,” and washing bed sheets regularly at high temperature.

Bypass chemical air fresheners in favor of scenting your home with essential oils, and substitute organic cleaning products for harsh cleaners.  And, of course, a good indoor air filtration system is a powerful weapon against toxins and pollutants.

Breathing exercises and techniques – including coordinated breathing, deep breathing and diaphragmatic breathing – can also help restore lung capacity. You can find some suggestions here.

Vitamin D – which is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune system-boosting – can be a boon to pulmonary function. Studies reveal that people with COPD who accompany standard rehabilitation measures with increased vitamin D intake show improvement in their ability to exercise. As always, check with your integrative doctor before supplementing.

Physical exercise can be highly beneficial for improving lung capacity. Experts recommend interspersing low-intensity activities with high-intensity exercise for maximum benefit. However, before beginning any exercise routine, consult your integrative doctor to work out a program that is safe and effective for you. (Note: This is especially important if you suffer from COPD).

Finally, you can promote relaxation and manage stress naturally with techniques such as biofeedback, acupuncture, guided meditation and yoga (which helps with both breathing and relaxation).

The key point is this: with the right lifestyle choices and techniques, you have the power to help your lungs tell the story of a longer, healthier life.  Take action today and enjoy the results.

Sources for this article include:

NIH.gov
LungInstitute.com
Mirror.co.uk

12 Targeted Nutritional Strategies for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-3525.htmlby:  | August 21, 2020

chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-solutions(NaturalHealth365) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 16 million Americans are currently living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a debilitating condition characterized by difficulty breathing and blocked airflow to the lungs. While Western medicine may attempt to treat COPD with drugs such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids, these can feature toxic side effects that can include osteoporosis, pneumonia and even premature death.Fortunately, natural solutions do exist!  Scientific research has shown that certain foods and supplements can markedly improve lung function and help alleviate COPD. Let’s take a look at twelve of the most promising nutritional strategies.

Inflammation and oxidative stress are the twin engines driving chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease encompasses two primary conditions: emphysema (damage to the tiny air sacs in the lungs that allow for oxygen exchange) and chronic bronchitis due to inflamed airways. As the disease develops, narrowing and scarring of the airway may occur.

Common COPD symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent cough, wheezing and the production of sputum.  Oxidative stress, in which harmful free radicals lead to cell and tissue damage, is a major factor in COPD. Inflammation – the presence in the lungs of inflammatory cells such as eosinophils -also plays a role.

Cigarette smoking, which accounts for 75 percent of cases, is the primary cause of COPD. Exposure to other irritants and fumes – such as coal and woodsmoke – can also play a role.

The following nutrients have been shown to help alleviate COPD.  Of course, you should consult your experienced integrative doctor before adding any to your daily health routine.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Turn to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for natural COPD relief

NAC, a supplement derived from the amino acid cysteine, has been credited by researchers with the ability to dissolve mucous, quell coughs and counteract oxidative stress.

Extensive studies have shown that NAC improves symptoms and helps slow declines in lung function. In one influential study, people with moderate-to-severe COPD who were given 1,200 mg a day of NAC improved their performance on post-exercise lung function tests.

But, remember: If you have an organ transplant, stomach ulcer or take any medication like, nitroglycerin – talk to your doctor (and pharmacist) before taking NAC.

Go with glutathione for improved respiratory function

Glutathione, a natural chemical produced in the liver, plays a vital role in boosting the immune system and neutralizing environmental toxins. Plus, its extraordinary antioxidant powers can help it combat COPD.

Glutathione is found in high concentrations in lung epithelial lining fluid and can help improve lung function and reduce inflammation.  You can ramp up your dietary intake of glutathione with fresh avocados, asparagus, cucumbers and tomatoes. Eating cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach and cauliflower, also spurs production of glutathione.

Natural healers typically advise glutathione in dosages of 500 to 1,000 mg a day.  For maximum benefit, opt for a liposomal formulation – and take it with vitamin C.

Good news: Studies suggest CoQ10 improves chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A vitamin-like nutrient that is needed for muscle growth and repair, coenzyme Q10 can play an important role in reversing damage to the smooth muscle cells of the airway.

One influential clinical study showed that CoQ10 had favorable effects on muscular energy metabolism in patients with COPD. Good dietary sources include grass-fed beef liver, poultry, cold-water fatty fish, spinach and broccoli.

Don’t forget fish oil

Fish oil is rich in EPA and DHA, a pair of fatty acids hailed for their anti-inflammatory effects.

Peer-reviewed clinical studies have shown that these beneficial compounds reduce shortness of breath and inflammatory markers in COPD patients. Natural health experts typically advise dosages of 1,000 to 1,200 mg a day.

Research supports the value of resveratrol

Resveratrol, a flavonoid found in grapes, peanuts, cocoa and blueberries, has piqued researchers’ interest for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

In a just-published review appearing in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, the authors noted that resveratrol decreases inflammation and oxidative stress in the lung – and called it a “promising candidate” for decreasing lung injury from COPD.

Utilize the disease-fighting power of zinc

Zinc, an essential trace mineral, is believed to protect the health and function of respiratory cells during lung inflammation or injury.

In a study published in Respiratory Medicine, researchers measured the effect of zinc picolinate on volunteers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The team concluded that zinc supplementation could have favorable effects on the antioxidant capacity of COPD patients.

Significantly, researchers report that zinc deficiencies are linked with increased risk of both cystic fibrosis and COPD.  Good sources of zinc include oysters, grass-fed beef, poultry and pumpkin seeds.

Boswellia serrata – an ancient herbal remedy earns scientific credibility

Also known as Indian frankincense, boswellia has been utilized by herbalists for centuries to treat respiratory problems.

Animal studies have shown that boswellic acids from frankincense help to block the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals, alleviate airway dysfunction and prevent the progression of experimentally induced lung fibrosis (scarring).

These encouraging COPD-fighting results have been reinforced by human studies.  One clinical study showed that boswellia caused substantial improvement in COPD by specifically inhibiting human leukocyte elastase (an enzyme which triggers emphysema and chronic bronchitis).

Boswellia may be recommended in dosages of 300 to 500 mg, two to three times a day.

Quercetin helps put the brakes on inflammation

Quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, has been shown to significantly decrease lung inflammation. And, researchers found in one preclinical trial that it helped to prevent COPD from progressing.

You can increase dietary intake of quercetin with apples, onions, grapes and green tea.

Vitamin D – the “sunshine vitamin” – benefits lung function

Vitamin D, which is produced in the skin in response to sunlight, has been shown to help regulate airway contraction.

Studies have revealed that having low levels of vitamin D raises the risk of COPD – while high-dose vitamin D supplementation has been shown to improve muscle strength and exercise capacity in COPD patients.

Natural health experts advise getting 20 minutes of direct sunlight several times a week to ensure sufficient vitamin D levels. You can also boost dietary intake with cold-water fatty fish, cage-free eggs, mushrooms and almonds.

While individual needs can vary, integrative doctors typically recommend between 5,000 and 8,000 IU of vitamin D a day.  Supplementation is particularly important if you’re deficient. (below 30 ng/mL)

Address COPD with antioxidant vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has potent antioxidant, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects that make it useful in treating COPD.  In fact, studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin C have an increased risk of COPD.

In a 2016 review, the authors noted that dietary vitamin C can lower oxidative stress and restore the proliferation of alveolar cells in the lungs.  Good sources include citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries.

Many integrative doctors recommend supplementation, with liposomal formulations of vitamin C considered the most bioavailable.

Enlist vitamin E to help prevent COPD

Like vitamin C, vitamin E can help reduce the odds of developing COPD.

In a ten-year population-based trial of over 38,000 women, the scientists concluded that taking 600 IU of vitamin E a day significantly reduced the risk of lung disease.  You can ramp up your intake of vitamin E with sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and wheat germ oil.

Scientific review: Proper nutrition linked with milder COPD symptoms

Overall, a healthy diet is associated with lower risk of COPD – along with better outcomes for those who develop the disease.  In research published in European Respiratory Review, the authors noted an association between fruit intake and significantly improved pulmonary function.

Antioxidant-rich fruits (along with vegetables, nuts and seeds) are a virtual treasure trove of micronutrients and flavonoids that are particularly helpful to COPD – including the aforementioned quercetin, zinc and vitamins A, C and E.

And, cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, arugula and broccoli not only trigger production of beneficial glutathione – but also contain sulforaphane, an anti-inflammatory plant compound that may help enhance the therapeutic effects of COPD medications.

If you are living with COPD, you may find that the twelve natural strategies listed above really can help you to “breathe easier.”

Sources for this article:

CDC.gov
LifeExtension.com
LungInstitute.com
NIH.gov
NIH.gov
Chiroeco.com
ScienceDirect.com

Top 10 Natural Cough and Lung Remedies

© 16th July 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/top-10-natural-cough-and-lung-remedies
Posted on:  Thursday, July 16th 2020
Written By:  GreenMedInfo Research Group
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020


If you’re feeling a tell-tale tickle in your throat that signifies a cough may be coming on, it’s time to stock up on the top 10 natural cough and lung remedies. You don’t need narcotic syrups or prescription medicines to start breathing easier today

For decades, the conventional way of managing a low-grade cough has been to take a medicated cough syrup. Whether obtained through a doctor’s prescription or purchased over the counter (OTC), cough syrups can contain potentially habit-forming ingredients that come with strong contraindications for many individuals.

Prescription cough syrups may contain the opiate narcotic codeine, known for its potential for abuse, while OTC cough medicines often use dextromethorphan (DXM) or promethazine as active ingredients, both potentially addictive sedative drugs.[i]

Medicated cough syrups must carry warnings to minors and pregnant or breastfeeding women. In addition, cough syrup labels warn of the dangers of overdose, which can require urgent medical attention.[ii]

As if that weren’t enough reason for pause, a total of 270 drugs are known to interact with dextromethorphan,[iii] and a whopping 683 drugs are known to interact with codeine/promethazine.[iv]

If you’re seeking a safer way to mitigate a scratchy throat and low-grade cough, look no further. We have compiled 10 of the top natural cough remedies that are safe (and even enjoyable) for young and old and everyone in between.

1. Ginger

Ginger root is a traditional medicinal herb that has been widely researched in modern times for treating more than 240 diseases. With natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is known for its ability to soothe nausea. It is also widely used in tribal herbal therapies for treatment of severe cough and cold symptoms.

There are many natural benefits of ginger: it flushes toxins from the body, improves the immune system and boosts energy with more than a dozen vitamins and trace minerals. Research into asthma cures found that ginger “significantly attenuated airway resistance,”[v] illustrating why upping your ginger intake may help you breathe easier.

Another benefit for improving coughs may come from ginger’s effectiveness at reducing stomach acid, a lesser-known precipitating factor in some coughs.

2. Moisture

Symptoms of a dry cough can onset when the weather turns cold and indoor heaters kick on, reducing humidity in the air. Coughs can be precipitated by this drier air as well as by trapped indoor dust particles causing irritation to the lungs.

Those living in warm, arid climates may experience cough symptoms such as these year-round. Rapid relief can come by reintroducing moisture back into your nose and throat through one or more of the following practices:

  • Use a humidifier. There are many sizes and styles of misters and humidifiers for the home, and it’s particularly useful to use one by your bed while you sleep. Moisture helps to open sinuses, allowing you to breathe easier while you rest.

Whether you choose warm steam or cool mist may depend on your climate, the time of year or season, as well as whether your cough is dry (no mucus) or productive (with phlegm). Dry coughs respond to cool or room temperature air, while congestion is often eased with warm steam.

Some misters allow use with essential oil drops, which can provide additional lung and sinus support. Herbs such as thyme, eucalyptus, peppermint and even oil blends specifically for sinuses can be readily obtained at most health food stores and herbal apothecaries.

  • Gargle with salt water. A dry, red throat will be much relieved after a soak with mild salt water. Stir between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon of natural mineral salt into warm, purified water. Gargle gently for up to 30 seconds and spit. Repeat two to three times in a session.
  • Steam bath. Place your head over a steaming bowl of water with a towel covering your head and trapping the steam inside. Inhale deeply for five or six breaths. Uncover your head and sit quietly, breathing normally for a minute or so. Repeat until the water cools down. You can add a few drops of therapeutic essential oils to the water for added support.

Finally, don’t neglect your direct water intake while recuperating. Drinking around 2 liters of purified water each day is a good rule of thumb to follow.

3. Thyme

Besides being a fragrant addition to many kitchen recipes, thyme is a potent aromatic herb that has many useful healing properties. Antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal, thyme has been studied as a therapeutic substance for more than 70 diseases, including bronchitis and asthma.

Thyme is considered a superhero in the world of gut health, but it’s thyme’s antispasmodic effects that make it useful as a cough suppressant.[vi] Studies show that treatment with thyme extract is more effective than placebo at reducing coughing fits due to bronchitis.[vii]

Available as an extract and often blended with oregano, thyme can be added to your regimen by taking it as a supplement or in a tea. Simply crush 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme into a cup, add 6 to 8 ounces of hot water and steep for two to three minutes. Strain and enjoy with raw honey, another wonderful way to soothe a sore throat and cough.

4. Honey

Honey is an ancient healing panacea that is also one of nature’s most perfect foods. When in its raw state, honey has high nutritional value and immense health benefits. Great for feeding beneficial bacteria as well as killing bad bacteria, honey is not only delicious, it’s full of amazing healing properties. And there’s a good chance you have some in your pantry right now.

During cough and flu season, honey is particularly useful to have around. In a double-blind controlled trial, a paste made of honey and coffee was more effective than steroids at treating persistent post-infectious cough, a cough that remains for weeks or months after a cold or upper respiratory infection.

In this study, honey out-performed prednisolone, a common cough prescription, and guaifenesin, the active ingredient in many cough syrup formulas such as Mucinex, Wal-Tussin and Geri-Tussin, among other brands.

If you’re all-in on honey, simply dissolve 1 to 2 tablespoons in hot (but not boiling) water and add your herbs and spices of choice. Coffee, tea and other fresh or dried herbs such as ginger, mint or chamomile can boost honey’s healing effects, not to mention the taste. Don’t forget a squeeze of lemon juice for a boost of vitamin C and extra anti-inflammatory effects.

Procuring local honey is best if you’re using honey to boost resistance to allergies and seasonal pollens. Honey can even boost your immunity to influenza, especially important during flu season. Always purchase honey in its raw state, as some brands contain added glycerin and heating honey can kill the active enzymes that are a vital part of honey’s healing properties.

5. Neti Pot

A neti pot is another useful tool from the traditional medicine cabinet. A neti pot refers to a specific type of container used to cleanse the sinus passages with warm saline solution. Popular in the Far East, the tradition of the neti pot has not been widely adopted in the U.S., although rising rates of seasonal allergy and the resultant irritated nose and throat may encourage more people to try this gentle, hygienic practice.

Neti pots can be purchased online and at most local pharmacies and they generally come with saline packs to add to distilled water (it’s important not to use tap water due to potentially dangerous contaminants). You can also make your own saline solution using around 16 ounces of water to 1 teaspoon of mineral salt.

Per the Mayo Clinic, “To use the neti pot, tilt your head sideways over the sink and place the spout of the neti pot in the upper nostril. Breathing through your open mouth, gently pour the saltwater solution into your upper nostril so that the liquid drains through the lower nostril. Repeat on the other side.”[viii]

6. Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root, which comes from the plant Althaea officinalis, is a lesser known medicinal herb that has a lot of beneficial uses. Both the root and leaf of this perennial herb are used by traditional healers and herbalists to treat wounds and reduce infection, thanks to potent antibacterial properties.

When marshmallow root is processed, a thick, gummy substance called mucilage exudes from the plant, which, when mixed with water, creates a slick gel that has been used for centuries to coat the throat, stomach and skin to soothe irritation.

This sticky gum is also used in, you guessed it — marshmallows. At least, that’s how they were made before modern manufacturers substituted gelatin and other less wholesome substances.

Consumed as a tea, tincture or extract, marshmallow root has been used effectively to treat asthma, bronchitis, colds, sore throats and coughs.[ix] Marshmallow may be the herbal supplement that helps you slide right through cough season without a scratch.

7. Turmeric

One of the most therapeutic herbs available today is the golden-orange powdered spice turmeric. Explored for uses in treating more than 850 disease conditions, turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, are natural medicine’s golden child.

Turmeric has shown promise in treating lung disease and controlling asthma in children,[x] while curcumin has proven effective at attenuating inflamed airways and improving breathing function in both human[xi] and animal studies.[xii]

Besides taking turmeric or curcumin in supplement form, you can prepare a therapeutic beverage called golden milk that’s as delicious as it is soothing for dry, scratchy throats. Simply warm your milk of choice until it’s just below boiling and add a heaping tablespoon of turmeric and honey.

You can boost the flavor and potency of your cup by adding additional anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger, cardamom and black pepper.  We recommend avoiding dairy milk if you have a wet cough; try rice, almond, oat or coconut milk for a delicious plant-based alternative.

8. Eucalyptus

Known for its nose-clearing smell, eucalyptus is revered for its ability to soothe irritated sinuses and ease the lungs. Researched for healing properties such as the ability to reduce inflammation and pain, eucalyptus’s antibacterial properties may be one reason it’s used to treat upper respiratory infections.

A 2011 study tested a throat spray made with aromatic essential oils from five plants, including two types of eucalyptus. Results demonstrated that the eucalyptus spray brought about significant and immediate improvement in symptoms of upper respiratory ailment, including sore throat, hoarseness and cough.

Another great way to benefit from this soothing plant is to add drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a steam bath or home humidifier and breathe in the healing vapors while you sleep. If you have access to fresh eucalyptus leaves, consider crushing a few handfuls and adding them to a warm bath with magnesium-rich Epsom salts. Pure healing luxury!

9. Bromelain

Pineapple is an enzyme-rich tropical fruit with amazing healing properties, many of which are attributed to bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme found in high concentration in pineapples. Extracts of bromelain are available in supplement form and may be highly effective at relieving a dry cough.

A potent anti-inflammatory, bromelain was shown to produce beneficial effects on asthma[xiii] in mice in multiple studies.[xiv] It was also used to good effect in a trial on children with acute sinusitis, with participants receiving bromelain experiencing a “statistically significant” faster rate of recovery from symptoms.

If you prefer the fruit to a supplement, pineapple is anti-mucogenic, which may have a positive effect on coughing symptoms.

10. Spiced Tea

Chai tea has become a popular drink in recent years, something that comes as no surprise to Ayurvedic medicine practitioners. Tea spiced with aromatic herbs and sweetened with honey is a traditional cough and sore throat remedy in India, and it’s a relaxing and delicious way to get relief and comfort no matter where you are.

You can formulate your own spiced tea by starting with a base of green, black or herbal tea, and including any of the following spices that are appealing to you. They all have anti-inflammatory properties, and several of these herbs, such as cloves, ginger and cayenne, have expectorant properties, which can help reduce phlegm associated with a productive cough.

For an extra kick, try adding a dash of cayenne pepper, especially if you want to treat a wet cough. Capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, has been shown to reduce chronic coughing. Don’t forget to add honey for the extra throat coat as well as to soothe the bite off this ultra-spicy therapeutic potion.


References

[i] American Addiction Centers, Codeine Addiction, Cough Syrup, https://americanaddictioncenters.org/codeine-addiction/cough-syrup

[ii] Drugs.com, Treatment Options, Cough, https://www.drugs.com/sfx/cough-syrup-dm-side-effects.html

[iii] Drugs.com, Treatment Options, Cough, https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/dextromethorphan,cough-syrup-dm.html

[iv] Drugs.com, Treatment Options, Cough, codeine/promethazine, https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/codeine-promethazine.html

[v] Effects of Ginger and Its Constituents on Airway Smooth Muscle Relaxation and Calcium Regulation, Townsend et al, Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 Feb; 48(2): 157-163. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0231OC. PMID: 23065130

[vi] Jonas Engelbertz, Tatjana Schwenk, Ute Kinzinger, Detlef Schierstedt, Eugen J Verspohl. Thyme extract, but not thymol, inhibits endothelin-induced contractions of isolated rat trachea. Zentralbl Gynakol. 2000;122(11):561-5. PMID: 18729040

[vii] Kemmerich B. Evaluation of efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of dry extracts of thyme herb and primrose root in adults suffering from acute bronchitis with productive cough. A prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Arzneimittelforschung. 2007;57(9):607‐615. doi:10.1055/s-0031-1296656. PMID: 17966760

[viii] Mayo Clinic, Diseases and Conditions, Common Cold, Expert Answers, Neti Pot, Can it clear your nose? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/neti-pot/faq-20058305

[ix] Penn State Hershey, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Health Information Library, Marshmallow, https://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=107&pid=33&gid=000265

[x] J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Jun 28 ;238:111882. Epub 2019 Apr 13. PMID: 30991137 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/turmeric-ameliorates-asthma-control-children-and-adolescents

[xi] J Clin Diagn Res. 2014 Aug ;8(8):HC19-24. Epub 2014 Aug 20. PMID: 25302215 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/curcumin-has-value-addon-therapy-patients-bronchial-asthma

[xii] Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2015 May ;42(5):520-9. PMID: 25739561 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/curcumin-ameliorates-asthmatic-airway-inflammation

[xiii] Cell Immunol. 2005 Sep;237(1):68-75. Epub 2005 Dec 6. PMID: 16337164 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/bromelain-exerts-anti-inflammatory-effects-ovalbumin-induced-murine-model-alle

[xiv] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Mar;5(1):61-9. PMID: 18317550 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/bromelain-attenuates-inflammation-experimental-mouse-model-asthma

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Eight Reasons to Consume Bee Propolis

© 11th June 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
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Posted on: Saturday, June 6th 2020 at 3:45 pm

Bee propolis, a natural resin sourced from honeybees, hosts numerous health benefits thanks to its antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we’ve outlined eight of the main benefits of consuming bee propolis

Bee propolis, a kind of “bee glue” or resinous substance used by bees to protect against fungus and seal holes or cracks in the hive, is garnering more attention in the health and wellness community thanks to a growing body of research highlighting its therapeutic benefits.[i],[ii]

Composed mainly of resin and wax, bee propolis is full of phenolic compounds, esters and 12 different kinds of flavonoids that contribute to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties.[iii] If you’ve never tried bee propolis, here are eight excellent examples of why you should consider adding bee propolis products into your routine and diet:

1. Bee Propolis Protects Against the Common Cold

Research has shown that due to the antimicrobial properties of bee propolis, it may be useful in relieving symptoms and shortening the duration of the common cold.[iv] Additionally, parents may use propolis as a supplement for preventing colds and flu-like illnesses in children, as it has immune-activating properties and has been shown to reduce the likelihood of colds in children.[v],[vi],[vii]

2. Bee Propolis Fights Upper Respiratory Infections in Children and Adults

The antimicrobial effects of propolis have been shown to effectively fight several strains of bacteria in patients with upper respiratory infections.[viii] Researchers believe that bee propolis could be used as a natural antibacterial therapy to prevent upper respiratory infections in both children and adults.[ix]

3. Bee Propolis Has Antifungal Properties

Researchers have studied the antifungal effects of propolis on onychomycosis, a common nail infection caused by fungus that causes nails to weaken and become brittle or ragged.[x],[xi]

Conventional treatment methods for onychomycosis include medications that often cause severe side effects or interact with other medications, causing the patient to stop treatment.[xii] Because researchers have demonstrated the effective topical antifungal properties of bee propolis, many believe that it could be used as a less expensive remedy for onychomycosis without adverse effects.[xiii]

Researchers have also studied the effects of propolis against 40 yeast strains of the Candida fungus, demonstrating that propolis is effective in inhibiting the growth of these common fungi.[xiv] Common candida infections include oral thrush and vaginal yeast infections, both of which have been shown to benefit from propolis-based topical treatments.[xv],[xvi],[xvii]

4. Bee Propolis May Protect Against Cancer

Propolis contains a substance called caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which activates DNA damage signaling in cancer cells, making it a potent antitumor therapy in the treatment and prevention of cancer.[xviii],[xix]

In fact, some researchers believe propolis may be as effective as chemotherapy or conventional chemopreventative drugs, without the adverse side effects associated with chemotherapy.[xx]

5. Antidiabetic Properties of Bee Propolis

A heterogeneous disease caused by insulin secretion or action defects, diabetes mellitus is one of the more common chronic diseases affecting Americans today.[xxi] In various studies, bee propolis extract effectively reduced hyperglycemic and oxidative stress associated with hyperglycemia and had ameliorating effects on cardiovascular health in diabetic subjects.[xxii],[xxiii]

Royal jelly, a healing secretion of bees intended for their nourishment, also has potent anti-diabetic qualities and significantly lowers blood sugar levels and oxidative stress caused by hyperglycemia.[xxiv]

6. Bee Propolis Offers Neuroprotective Benefits

Propolis has inhibitory effects against neuronal cell death, possibly preventing the onset of several neurodegenerative and ischemic disorders.[xxv] This may be due to propolis’ effects on oxidative stress, which is believed to be the underlying pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.[xxvi],[xxvii]

7. Bee Propolis as a Potential Gastrointestinal Treatment

The cytotoxic and cytostatic effects of CAPE, an ester contained in bee propolis, make it an excellent potential therapy in the treatment and prevention of gastric cancers.[xxviii] Additional gastrointestinal benefits of propolis include treatment and prevention of ulcerative colitis, probably due to its antioxidant, antiulcer and anti-inflammatory properties.[xxix]

8. Bee Propolis for Dermatology and Skin Care

Bee propolis has been studied for its topical effects on a variety of skin conditions, including burn treatment, wound healing, insect bites, UV-induced photodamage, oral infections and sores, and the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory nature of bee propolis makes it a popular ingredient in many natural cosmetic products.[xxx],[xxxi],[xxxii],[xxxiii],[xxxiv]

Propolis has also been tested for its effects on acne. Conventional antibiotic treatments for this follicular skin disease have become less effective due to the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of Propionibacterium acnes, but researchers have demonstrated that natural antimicrobial extracts such as propolis seem to effectively reduce redness and lessen scarring.[xxxv]

Safety Concerns Associated With Bee Propolis

Oral or topical use of bee propolis can cause allergic reactions, especially in individuals allergic to honey bee or other bee stings or to asthmatic individuals, with allergies presenting as contact dermatitis or oral mucositis.[xxxvi],[xxxvii]

Nevertheless, researchers believe that while there is a chance for allergic reaction and the exact dosage of propolis has yet to be determined, there is vast potential for the use of this natural and promising substance for those without allergies.[xxxviii],[xxxix]

For more information and additional research studies, please visit the GreenMedInfo.com research database on bee propolis and other bee products such as honey and bee venom


References

[i] Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017: 1259510.

[ii] J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Jun-Aug; 5(3): 308-311.

[iii] Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017: 1259510.

[iv] Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2013; 2013: 308249.

[v] Rom J Virol. 1995 Jul-Dec;46(3-4):115-33.

[vi] J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Jun-Aug; 5(3): 308-311.

[vii] Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(2):231-40.

[viii] Arzneimittelforschung. 1993 Aug;43(8):921-3.

[ix] J Chemother. 2006 Apr;18(2):164-71.

[x] Version 1. F1000Res. 2019; 8: F1000 Faculty Rev-968.

[xi] Front Microbiol. 2018; 9: 779.

[xii] Front Microbiol. 2018; 9: 779.

[xiii] Front Microbiol. 2018; 9: 779.

[xiv] J Med Food. 2011 Jan-Feb;14(1-2):128-34. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0296. Epub 2010 Dec 4.

[xv] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 287693.

[xvi] Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2005 May;89(2):127-32.

[xvii] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 351062.

[xviii] Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Sep; 17(3): 867-873.

[xix] Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2012 Apr 24;50(1):25-37. doi: 10.2478/18693.

[xx] Integr Cancer Ther. 2018 Sep;17(3):867-873. doi: 10.1177/1534735417753545. Epub 2018 Feb 2.

[xxi] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017: 5439645.

[xxii] Clin Biochem. 2005 Feb;38(2):191-6.

[xxiii] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017: 5439645.

[xxiv] Masataka Nomura, Naomi Maruo, Yoshito Zamami, Shingo Takatori, Shima Doi, Hiromu Kawasaki. [Effect of long-term treatment with royal jelly on insulin resistance in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats]Yakugaku Zasshi. 2007 Nov ;127(11):1877-82. PMID: 17978564

[xxv] J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 8;56(19):8944-53. doi: 10.1021/jf8014206. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

[xxvi] Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017: 7984327.

[xxvii] Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018; 2018: 7074209.

[xxviii] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018; 2018: 2035820.

[xxix] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018; 2018: 2035820.

[xxx] Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; 2016: 8473937.

[xxxi] Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017: 1259510.

[xxxii] Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 May; 8(5): 125.

[xxxiii] Burns Trauma. 2015; 3: 9.

[xxxiv] Molecules. 2020 Jan 28;25(3). pii: E556. doi: 10.3390/molecules25030556.

[xxxv] Clin Pharmacol. 2018; 10: 175-181.

[xxxvi] Drug Saf. 2008;31(5):419-23.

[xxxvii] J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 479-495.

[xxxviii] Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2013; 2013: 308249.

[xxxix] Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017; 2017: 1259510.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

New strain of coronavirus currently “as deadly as the Spanish flu epidemic,” expert warns

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/what-is-coronavirus-3275.html

by:  February 1, 2020

coronavirus(NaturalHealth365) One look at the harrowing images coming out of China is enough to leave all of us with the same question on our minds: what is coronavirus?

mysterious, pneumonia-like illness is spreading around the world, and experts are anticipating this epidemic to be “as deadly as the Spanish flu epidemic” of 1918, which killed an astounding 50 million people.  Stick with us to learn more about this worrisome disease and why you should consider natural remedies like vitamin C and vitamin D as part of your family’s virus prevention plan.

World Health Organization: Wuhan coronavirus epidemic poses a “high” global threat level

In late December 2019, the first cases of a strange and potentially deadly pneumonia-like illness were diagnosed in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The illnesses – signs of which include fever, cough, breathing trouble, and sudden fainting and collapse – were found to be caused by a mutating strain of a virus called coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV. Its origin is hypothesized to be from a wet market in the Asian city of 11 million.

As of this writing, the death toll from 2019-nCoV has climbed to over 300 people, with 14,000 plus confirmed cases in at least 19 countries, including Australia, Cambodia, Philippines, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Vietnam (for real-time updates, check out this resource).

Just note: “Official” numbers are always downplayed for obvious business reasons.

In a heavily criticized move, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently stopped short of declaring this outbreak an international health emergency.  Had they done so, it would be easier for global leaders to launch a concerted effort to prevent an epidemic. Failure to declare an emergency may delay care and put even more global citizens in the path of this potentially deadly illness.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Only time will still tell if the international agency will change their stance on the severity of the outbreak. In the meantime, the WHO has conceded that they made a mistake in its risk assessment of the mysterious illness, and have upgraded the threat level from “moderate” to “high” at both the regional and global level (including “very high” in China).

Protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu with these 3 natural remedies

Reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that deaths from seasonal flu-like illnesses are increasing, and have been for some time. With the outbreak of this new mutating virus, it seems more important than ever to protect yourself and your loved ones from illnesses.

Here are 3 ways to keep your immune system health and strong:

  1. Take vitamin C: We know that a vitamin C deficiency has been linked to pneumonia.  On the flip side, getting a sufficient amount of vitamin C can boost immune health and may help people avoid falling ill with flu-like illnesses.  It’s no surprise that the Cebu City Health Office of the Phillipines recently advised people (after the arrival of a 5-year-old boy into the country who tested positive for coronavirus) to take vitamin C.  According to Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is about 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) a day.  But, that’s way too low to help avoid the threat of viral infections.  In many cases, supplementation is a must … but, foods rich in vitamin C include kale, broccoli, peppers, kiwifruit, and citrus.
  2. Take vitamin D: Studies, including a 2017 study published in BMJ, show that vitamin D supplements can bolster people against colds, flus, and other types of respiratory infections. It’s understood – by many integrative healthcare providers – that vitamin D boosts the levels of antimicrobial substances in the lungs called antimicrobial peptides.  The minimum recommended intake for vitamin D is around 400 – 800 International Units (IU) per day, but most studies show that increasing your intake to 1,000 to 2,000 IU/day (or more) is safe and beneficial.  Keep in mind, to get the best absorption rate, it’s best to take a vitamin D supplement that offers the essential cofactors such as, vitamin K2, boron, zinc and magnesium – to name a few.  In addition, foods rich in vitamin D include wild-caught fatty fish and pasture-raised (organic) eggs.
  3. Get enough sleep: Even just one night of sleep deprivation – getting less than the recommended 6 – 8 hours – has been shown to lower a person’s immune function and increase their risk of falling ill with a communicable disease.  To avoid the threat of viral infections, make a commitment with your loved ones that you’ll all prioritize your sleep and practice good sleep hygiene techniques.

Obviously, it’s always a good idea to minimize your exposure to toxic chemicals, unwanted amounts of mental and emotional stress and eat an organic diet rich in antioxidants to support a strong immune system.

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is an actively developing story. Stay tuned for future updates on this flu-like epidemic and other major health news at NaturalHealth365.

Sources for this article include:

Sun.co.uk
ScienceDaily.com
Worldometers.info
BusinessInsider.com
Mayoclinic.org
Washingtonpost.com
BMJ.com
Sunstar.com
TheGuardian.com
ScienceAlert.com
NYTimes.com