Posts tagged: health facts

Probiotics: A Science-Supported Antiviral “Secret Weapon”

Probiotics - A Science-Supported Antiviral Secret Weapon
Image – Pixabay (PD)

Scientific Studies Have Shown That Probiotics Reduce Pneumonia 25% In Critically Ill Patients. So, Why Is The Media Silent On This Potentially Life Saving Information?

While probiotics – aka the “good bacteria” – are associated by most with restoration of balance to the gastrointestinal system, many studies now support them as antivirals with overall benefits to the immune system.

POTENTIAL LIFE SAVER?? – Actual Human Trial Finds That Probiotics May Prevent Severe Pneumonia: A 2016 human trial (small scale, 150 patients) with Lactobacillus rhamnosus found that probiotics significantly decrease the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and the overall incidence of infection in critically ill patients. It was theorized that probiotics potentially inhibit pneumonia by enhancing intestinal barrier function and reducing the load of pathogenic bacteria. [1]

The 2016 USA and Canada-based human trial found that probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus was beneficial in preventing VAP and other infections in critically ill patients. The report stated that “Probiotics constitute a promising method to prevent infection in critically ill patients.” [1]

More studies: Many other scientists have in fact TESTED probiotics in previous hospital ICU pneumonia scenarios and there have been numerous studies supporting the use of probiotics to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia intensive care unit mortality. A meta-analysis of 23 randomized controlled trials suggested that administering probiotics to critically ill mechanically ventilated patients is associated with a 25% reduction in the incidence of VAP. Probiotics significantly decrease the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and the overall incidence of infection in critically ill patients. The study concluded that “administering certain strains of live bacteria (probiotics) to critically ill patients may restore balance to the microbiota and have positive effects on immune function and gastrointestinal structure and function.” [2]

This could be HUGELY important right now… and nobody is talking about it! We are in the middle of a pandemic where it is KNOWN that cases that turn to pneumonia are those causing most of the fatalities; we have a scenario where the number of intensive care units available is being stretched to the limit, and we have a commonly available supplement that has been associated by numerous studies with significant reduction of pneumonia-associated intensive care (and it’s associated mortality – millions of people per year, not just thousands)… and… nothing is being done. Why?

How Probiotics Can Help Produce More GOOD Bacteria And Help Prevent Viruses

Our tip? Just get some now. While the antiviral effects of probiotics are still not fully researched and understood, there is much encouraging scientific research to support the use of probiotics as general antivirals; a brief summary of this is below.

More Important Science For Probiotics: Probiotics May Lead To Increased Antiviral Response: An important 2017 scientific review reported that there is significant evidence from numerous studies that probiotics enhance immune response. Administration with the well known probiotic strains Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus exert a beneficial effect on mucosal immunity. [3] Other studies have also reported that these probiotic strains have the ability to decrease viral infection. [4]

Scientific evidence suggests that probiotics have the therapeutic potential to shorten the length of common respiratory conditions. A recent meta-analysis reported that, at least in adults administered vaccinations to protect against influenza viruses, the co-administration of probiotics and prebiotics was efficacious. [5] The effect is “perhaps attributed to a fine–tuning of the mucosal barrier and metabolic system”.

Probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri has also been found effective against influenza in mice: A 2014 scientific study reported that this probiotic increased their influenza survival rates by up to 40%: “The body weight losses were lower with the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration after the PR8 virus infection. At 5 days after the infection, the virus titer [amount of the virus present] was significantly decreased, as was the amount of produced IL-6 in the lung tissue, the number of total cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was reduced by the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration. The expression of the Mx1 and Oas1a genes, critical for the viral clearance in the lung tissues was increased by the pre-treatment with [Lactobacillus gasseri]. These findings suggest that the [Lactobacillus gasseri] administration is effective for the protection against influenza A virus infection by the down-regulation of viral replication through the induction of antiviral genes expression.” [6]

Now this is potentially highly relevant in the case of coronavirus also because IL-6, mentioned in the above study, is particularly upregulated by SARS-group viruses as part of the “cytokine storm” that can be potentially fatal. So while noting that this is only an animal trial, lowering IL-6 by the use of probiotics would make sense logically.

Probiotics are widely available – go here to pick up our chosen brand and in “this is not medical advice” fashion I think I can state would be a highly worthy addition to your antiviral protective arsenal!

But the way science works in these cases is SLOW. These studies are beginning to be taken seriously, but it will be years before it gets the official stamp – and this is too slow for the current pandemic. And the media missed them entirely, focusing instead on scaring the hell out of people; rarely do they give people any form of actual measures they can take to protect themselves and boost their own health naturally.

As we know, there are (simplified) two general outcomes from COVID-19. If your immune system is strong, you get a cold/flu type bug for several days, possibly quite intense but you then recover. However the other outcome, associated typically with those who have compromised or weaker immune systems, is that it hits you MUCH harder and that you can quickly end up in ICU with pneumonia symptoms as the filling of the lungs with fluid causes greater and greater difficulty in breathing, potentially causing fatality.

So now tell me: Did you hear ANYTHING from the media lately about how to keep your immune system strong and healthy naturally…..?

I counsel my friends not to look at mainstream media ever again but there they are the next day, at it again. They cannot comprehend that they really could be lied to on such a mass scale. So I say one thing: Read the scientific studies. Just actually read them and learn. If you read the actual studies (not just the ones we link to in our articles, but others too) you will get a different and much more detailed picture to the one the media tells. You will see how the media CHERRY PICK what they want you to know about and what they don’t. Their goal is to terrify you because that makes BANK for them. This scenario is literally their perfect storm.

Youtube, Facebook and the rest in fact have had so much web traffic with everyone staying at home and locked into a sort of trance state, consuming fear-based stories all day long, that they had to downgrade the bandwidth of their video streaming due to the unprecedented demand!

That means the media giants are making unprecedented ad revenue as the rest of the world goes bankrupt.

Don’t rely on the media to guide you to health and safety. Rely on actual science. This Single SUPER-STRAIN Probiotic Could Be The Most Powerful Nutrient For A Faster Metabolism And Ultimate Defense Against Viruses

Note: Most people are fine with probiotics but they may be contraindicated in patients with gut perforation. Other patients i.e. catheterized may need special precautions with probiotic use. Pls check with medical professional.

More research: We recently covered Herbs And Natural Remedies For Coronavirus Infections in full. Our research on that topic led us to probiotics and we felt it was too important not to cover in a dedicated article.

References:

[1] Probiotics: Prevention of Severe Pneumonia and Endotracheal Colonization Trial—PROSPECT: a pilot trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970233/

[2] Probiotics in the critically ill: a systematic review of the randomized trial evidence. (2012) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22975886/

[3] Adjuvant Probiotics and the Intestinal Microbiome: Enhancing Vaccines and Immunotherapy Outcomes (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748616/

[4] Interactions of macrophages with probiotic bacteria lead to increased antiviral response against vesicular stomatitis virus (2007) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17512614

[5] Effect of Probiotics and Prebiotics on Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707647/

[6] Oral administration of Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 is effective for preventing influenza in mice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3982165/

Note – we may make commissions on sales of natural health products linked to in this and other articles on this website.

Death Rate From Alzheimer’s Disease Has Risen By 55%

Death Rate From Alzheimer's Disease Has Risen By 55%
Graphic – herbs-info.com Image sources – see foot of article

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [1] have released very startling data about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The morbidity rate from the neurodegenerative disease posted an astonishing 55% increase between 1999 and 2014. The CDC’s Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report noted that the death rate of people with AD rose from 16.5 to 25.4 deaths per 100,000 during this time.

Symptoms of AD include memory loss, impaired language, confusion, disorientation, and difficulties in decision making.

A fatal form of dementia, AD is now the sixth [2] leading cause of death in the U.S. Almost four percent of deaths in 2014 were attributed to AD which is also one of the top ten causes of death among people ages 65 years and older.

the report, written by Christopher Taylor, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, highlighted AD as a public health problem that affects both the patients and the people who provide care for them. Family members take on the difficult burden of caregiving in almost 25 percent of Americans who died from AD.

According to CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, AD is now affecting millions of Americans. The growing number of aging adults in the U.S. has made the situation even worse. One of the most basic risk factors or AD is age. As more baby boomers age, there is an inevitable increase in deaths from AD. Other factors that have contributed to the increase include greater diagnosis of the disease in its earlier stages, fewer deaths from other causes such as heart disease, and better reporting by physicians.

Recent data from the Alzheimer’s Association [3] revealed that more than five million Americans have AD. By 2050, Americans living with the disease are expected to rise three-fold.

For Keith Fargo, director at the Alzheimer’s Association, the 55 percent rise in AD deaths is just an adjusted number. He insisted that the death rate should be higher, 83 percent when the math on the unadjusted numbers is considered.

The 2017 study is commended for providing county-level rates for deaths caused by AD. The National Vital Statistics System [4] was the source of the CDC report which gathered state- and county-level death certificate data. Researchers identified deaths with AD cited as the underlying cause. Counties in the Southeast, Midwest, and West Coast registered the highest death rates. Forty-one states of the District of Columbia recorded age-adjusted rates of Alzheimer’s mortality.

The CDC stressed the importance of caregivers as AD progresses. The health agency pushed for programs that would benefit caregivers and patients including education about AD, construction of systems of care that suit the patients and their caregivers, and how AD patients could take care of themselves and their loved ones.

While the country has made great strides fighting HIV/AIDS and many cancers, Americans still have a pessimistic view about dementia. [5] Fargo believes that the eradication of AD could be made real if there is a commitment to research, primarily at the federal level.

Health experts are urging the U.S. government to push federal funding into Alzheimer’s that will not only help support families but also support research to discover a cure – which is nonexistent, as of this writing.

References:

[1] Taylor CA et al. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/pdfs/mm6620a1.pdf

[2] Hannah Nichols. 2017. Medical News Today. The top 10 leading causes of death in the United States http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php

[3] Alzheimer’s Association. 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s and Dementia https://www.alz.org/documents_custom/2016-facts-and-figures.pdf

[4] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Vital Statistics System https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/

[5] Levvy B et al. 2016. Pschology and Aging. Negative age stereotypes predict Alzheimer’s disease biomarker http://psycnet.apa.org/psycarticles/2015-54839-001

Infographic photo sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alzheimer%27s_disease_brain_comparison.jpg

Nutrient Deficiency Facts

Nutrient Deficiency Facts
Infographic © herbs-info.com – photos lic under Creative Commons; see foot of article

When Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”, he was absolutely right. This statement still rings true today: It is important to remember that food is not only a source of energy, but also a source of needed nutrients like vitamins and minerals needed by the body to function. When a person is malnourished or experiences nutrient deficiency, he or she can become sick.

Deficient Nutrients And Resulting Diseases

1. Deficient caloric intake causes Marasmus, characterized by severe weight loss and energy loss. [2]

2. Deficient protein intake (basic malnutrition) is typically caused by famine and causes a condition called Kwashiorkor, characterized by severe weight loss and a protruding abdomen. The fluid build-up in the abdomen is caused by deficient albumin, a protein that is responsible for maintaining capillary integrity. Without it, fluid leaks out of the blood vessels, causing the abdomen to enlarge. [3]

3. Vitamin A deficiency causes Xerophthalmia, a disease that affects the eyes and is characterized by night blindness, Bitot’s spots (dryness of the eyes and foamy accumulations on the inner lids), and damage to the cornea, either Corneal xerosis (corneal clouding) or Keratomalacia (softening and ulceration of the cornea). [4]

4. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency causes Beriberi disease, which is categorized into wet or dry. Dry beriberi is characterized by difficulty walking and decreased sensation and loss of function of the arms and legs. Wet beriberi is characterized by shortness of breath while sleeping, tachycardia or heart rate faster than 100 beats per minutes, and edema of the legs. [5]

5. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a form of anemia called pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 contributes to red blood cell production in the body and a lack of it can cause a decrease in RBC, leading to anemia. Because pernicious anemia is also characterized by destruction of the stomach cells, it is even harder for the body to absorb Vitamin B12. [6]

6. Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, which is characterized by collagen deficiency. The symptoms of scurvy include gum bleeding and swelling, joint and muscle pain, easily fatiguability, and red dots on the skin. [7]

7. Calcium deficiency can cause osteoporosis. Without enough calcium in our diet, our bones become very weak and brittle, making them prone to damage. A simple fall can cause a fracture if our bones aren’t strong enough. [8]

8. Potassium deficiency can cause cardiac arrhythmias, because potassium is an electrolyte responsible for regulating the heart rhythm. Hypokalemia or low serum potassium can cause the heart to slow and beat irregularly. [9]

Deaths Due To Malnutrition

Children are the most prevalent victims of nutrient deficiency. In the population of children under five years old, almost half of the deaths can be attributed to poor nutrition. That roughly amounts to 3 million children each year dying because of nutrient deficiencies. A child who is malnourished is extremely immunocompromised, making him or her prone to infections and inability to get well from a mild illness like a cold. [1] But malnutrition doesn’t only affect children. Excess and deficiency in nutrients can also cause illness in adults – from chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease to fluid and electrolyte imbalances.

References:

[1] UNICEF. Undernutrition contributes to half of all deaths in children under 5 and is widespread in Asia and Africa. http://data.unicef.org/nutrition/malnutrition

[2] Rabinowitz, S. (2014). Marasmus. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/984496-overview

[3] Scheinfeld, N. (2015). Protein-Energy Malnutrition. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1104623-overview#a0101

[4] UNICEF. Vitamin A deficiency: Xerophthalmia. http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/training/2.4/5.html

[5] National Institutes of Health (2012). Beriberi. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000339.htm

[6] WebMD (2014). Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/vitamin-b12-deficiency-anemia-topic-overview

[7] National Health Services (2013). Scurvy. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/scurvy/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[8] Mayo Clinic (2014). Osteoporosis. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis/basics/definition/con-20019924

[9] National Institutes of Health (2013). Low potassium level. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000479.htm