Category Archives: Virus and Flu

Side Effects of Vitamin B12

Your body relies on a specific balance of nutrients to perform vital processes, like cell renewal, that keep your body functioning at its best. While B12 is found in many common foods such as meat, eggs and fortified cereals, some of us may not be able to absorb enough of the nutrient for optimum functioning. When a B vitamin deficiency occurs, supplementation is an option for helping to ensure that you get enough of this nutrient each day.

Just be cognizant of the other elements of your diet and how they could interact with Vitamin B12 supplementation.

salmon with lemon and pepper

You Can Take Too Much Vitamin B12

Since Vitamin B is water-soluble, our bodies usually excrete excess amounts, making overdoses rare. If this occurs, the effects of a Vitamin B12 overdose can be unpleasant. Eye pain, abdominal discomfort and unusual fatigue are a few B12 side effects that indicate you may have taken too much. Severe side effects of a B12 overdose can include hives, increased sweating and an irregular heartbeat. If you have unusual symptoms after taking a vitamin, report the supplement you used to your physician.

Beware of Possible Medication Interactions

Tell your doctor about any supplements when you receive a new prescription, as several medications have adverse effects when taken with B12 supplements. Chemotherapy medications, long-term antibiotics and seizure preventatives can all increase your chances of experiencing B12 side effects. Certain over-the-counter medications, including pain relievers and stimulants, could interact with B12 supplements. Always use caution when starting a new supplementation routine and discuss your experiences with your doctor as needed.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

An Overview of B Complex Vitamins: Sources and Benefits

Eight different vitamins comprise the B complex, each serving important functions in our bodies. All the vitamins in the B complex are essential, meaning that our bodies can’t produce them. Fortunately, B vitamins are available in a plethora of delicious foods and supplements are easy to come by.

eggs and spinach

What Are the Different B Vitamins?

The eight main types of B vitamins include the following:

  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Folic Acid (B9)
  • Cobalamin (B12)

Typically, you can find at least one or more of the B complex vitamins in most foods, and a varied diet helps you ensure that you get each of the eight different types each day.

How Do They Work in My Body?

Each of the B complex vitamins serves a different role. For example, thiamin helps your body convert food into energy, and this B vitamin has been associated with promoting a more positive mindset. Currently, research is underway to understand the role that B complex vitamins play in the conversion process of turning homocysteine into methionine, which is one of the components your body uses to create protein. Your body also relies upon B complex vitamins to work with other nutrients such as vitamin C to support your eye, digestive and skin health.

What Are the Best Sources of B Complex Vitamins?

The ideal way to get the most B complex benefits is to include sources of these vitamins in your diet. Under most circumstances, eating a diet that includes a variety of meats, vegetables and fruits is enough for you to get the proper amounts of B vitamins each day. However, some factors can make you susceptible to developing a deficiency. If you have digestive disorders or drink alcohol regularly, you are at greater risk for developing a deficiency that requires supplementation. Since these vitamins are water soluble, your body’s stores may also run low if you hydrate excessively due to sports or other reasons. Milk, eggs, citrus fruits and lean meats are all excellent sources of B vitamins.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

B Complex Benefits: Skin, Hair and Overall Health

Beauty comes from within. Turns out that isn’t just a cliche. A balanced diet — rich in many vitamins — can help you achieve better skin, hair, and other beauty benefits. And when it comes to beauty benefits, think Vitamin B complex. It’s more than alliterative; this group of vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12) supports your body inside and out.

milk and cereal

 

Vitamin B Complex Benefits

B complex benefits range from helping to combat the effects of stress to supporting healthy immune and nervous systems. Additional B complex benefits include:

  • Promotes the normal growth and division of cells
  • Helps maintain healthy muscle and skin tone
  • Helps support the body’s metabolic rate
  • Helps boost your mood
  • Vitamin B12 has been found to help regulate pigment production in the skin (this can help prevent hyperpigmentation, which causes certain areas of the skin to darken)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) can help support healthy metabolism
  • Vitamin B5 helps you digest fats and protein
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) helps maintain strong hair
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) helps the body absorb iron (a mineral that is essential for strong, healthy nails)
  • Helps convert carbohydrates into glucose (this translates into healthy energy levels)
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is an antioxidant

Issues Caused by a Deficiency in B Vitamins

While a diet rich in all forms of Vitamin B can help you look and feel better, a deficiency can have unpleasant consequences. Low Vitamin B levels can lead to stunted hair growth, slow cell division among hair follicles, and even hair loss.

A healthy diet can help ensure you are getting the right amount of B Vitamins, as can adding a Vitamin B Complex supplement. As with any supplement changes, it is always best to check with your physician first.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

How Can Vitamin C Improve Your Skin?

With all these serums on the market and the articles in beauty magazines, the message is clear: Vitamin C can benefit your skin. Here are five ways that Vitamin C — when taken orally — can support the look, feel, and overall health of your skin.

citrus and vitamin c serum

Vitamin C For Skin Care

Natural Sunscreen

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which means it fights the effects of harmful free radicals that form when your skin is exposed to the sun. It also protects against the skin damage that can occur from ultraviolet radiation, including sunburns, pigmentations and redness. If you do get a sunburn, Vitamin C can accelerate the healing process.

Supports Prevention of Skin Discoloration

A study published in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine journal determined that Vitamin C shields your DNA from everyday photochemical reactions that lead to skin discoloration and age spots. If you already have age spots, taking Vitamin C supplements and applying Vitamin C-infused skin creams could help diminish their appearance.

Essential for Collagen Production

Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin and other connective tissues. It helps your skin appear firm, smooth and vibrant. Vitamin C plays an essential role in the production of collagen, regulating its synthesis in your body. If you don’t consume enough Vitamin C, your body’s collagen levels will decrease, making your skin appear looser and more susceptible to wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Maintains Healthy Skin Texture

Collagen is an important structural component of the blood vessels that supply nutrients to your skin. Vitamin C also promotes the rapid renewal of skin cells, a process that helps your skin feel soft and smooth. Without Vitamin C, your skin would lack moisture and nutrients, causing it to become dull, rough and dry.

With the numerous beauty creams and serums lining the skincare aisles, there is a bit of a misconception that Vitamin C must be applied topically for skin support. The reality is that the aforementioned actions occur at a cellular level, meaning you can reap the skincare benefits by taking Vitamin C orally — through diet and supplements. You can get beauty from the inside out. So, before filling your medicine cabinet with expensive beauty products, try stocking your fridge with citrus, leafy green veggies, bell peppers, berries and some top-notch Vitamin C supplements.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Norovirus Outbreak

The norovirus is once again in the news, this time it struck roughly 178 passengers aboard the Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess. The Norovirus, commonly referred to as the stomach flu, can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The virus is highly contagious and can spread from person to person if they do not wash their hands.

The Princess Cruises’ ship became the second cruise shop this week affected by the norovirus. The Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas docked in New Jersey on Wednesday, when 700 crew and passengers fell ill, the highest number of sick people reported on any cruise shop in two decades! Many of you may know that Las Vegas, where LivOn Labs is located, was hit with the norovirus in early December when 100 people staying at the Rio became sick during a youth football tournament.

How can you protect yourself?

What is the norovirus?

The norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone and can be serious for some people, especially young children and older adults. You can become infected by coming into contact with an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. In 2012, a new strain of norovirus was detected resulting in many more cases of the illness. People in many countries have already been infected with the new strain including the United States.

Symptoms of norovirus

The symptoms of norovirus are inflammation of the stomach and/or intestines causing severe stomach distress. This may include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Also known as the stomach flu, it is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis. 

Norovirus Trends and Outbreaks

According to the Centers for Disease Control, norovirus causes 19 million to 21 million illnesses a year, most often in crowded and poorly sanitized environments such as nursing homes, day care centers, and surprise! cruise ships. Over half of all norovirus outbreaks reported in the United States occur in long-term care facilities however cruise ships have a long history with the norovirus.

Last year, there were a total of 9 outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses on cruise ships, which was down from 11 the year before (2012).

The leading cause of norovirus is contaminated food with roughly 50% of all outbreaks. Most common foods involved in outbreaks of norovirus are:

  • Leafy greens such as lettuce
  • Fresh fruits
  • Shellfish

However the CDC warns that any food served raw or undercooked can be contaminated. Approximately, 500 to 800 deaths are caused by the norovirus each year, though there are generally more in years when a new strain develops.

Treatment and Avoidance

Since norovirus is a viral infection it can not be treated with antibiotics. If you have norovirus drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration including sports drinks and other drinks without caffeine or alcohol. Most people will recover from norovirus within days of contamination.

To protect yourself from the norovirus, do not share food or utensils with people who are sick or have just been sick. If you are near someone who is sick be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and wipe down surfaces with a diluted bleach solution. Do not rely on alcohol-based hand sanitizer since it will not destroy the virus. Be careful when coming into contact with linens, which were used by someone who is sick since the virus can also be transmitted this way.

Finally, keep your hands away from your mouth and nose. These are the highways that illnesses like to travel on. Whenever you get that urge to bite your nails or dig for gold, just pretend someone is watching you.

watching you

 

Happy Virus Appreciation Day!

Yup, it’s a real thing.

October 3rd, is recognized as Virus Appreciation Day. Which virus exactly? No one really knows, the creators didn’t specify or identify themselves. So instead let us highlight how to destroy or avoid any virus.

Computer Viruses

Computer viruses have been around since the early 1970’s — before computers were in every home. With the expansion of knowledge, the average person with no formal computer science education can infect computers and networks.

One of the most damaging viruses was the I Love You virus.

In May 2000, a Filipino computer science student used VBScript to infect millions of Windows computers worldwide within a few hours. Considered to be the most damaging worm ever, it was spread using an email message with the subject line “ILOVEYOU” and the attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU-.txt.vbs”. Notice the end of this attachment, .vbs, which stands for Microsoft VBScript. The worm would infect the local machine, overwriting image files and sending a copy of itself to the first 50 addresses in the recipient’s Windows Address Book.

How To Protect Your Computer

It is estimated that the ILOVEYOU worm caused $5.5 to 8.7 billion in damages worldwide and cost an estimated $15 billion to remove the worm.

You can protect yourself by not opening any attachments from unknown sources as well as paying attention to the extension of the attachment. Avoid opening any of the following. These extensions tend to be the most common executable programs.

  1. EXE – DOS based executable file or program
  2. VBS – Visual Basic Scripts that execute a program or function
  3. ADE –
  4. ASP – Microsoft Active Server Page.
  5. BAT – MS-DOS batch file.
  6. HTML – HyperText Markup Language
  7. JS – JavaScript File – A text file containing JavaScript programming code.
  8. XSL – XML style sheet.

Note that there is no set list and these are constantly changing. Also some of these viruses are able to mask the extension or make it seem like a text document. This was the method used by the ILOVEYOU virus which appeared to be a text (txt) document. To learn more, read About Potentially Unsafe File Types.

Human Viruses

There are several tools available to you to protect yourself from viruses and the flu bug.  A good article to read is What Are the Odds of Getting the Flu? In this article the author shares several tools to keep you and your family healthy.  Viruses are spread by human contact. When you see someone coughing or sneezing, protect yourself and keep your distance. Also, remember that germs lurk all around us. On our keyboard at work, door knobs, cabinets, just about anywhere humans interact with objects. Keep your hands away from your eyes and nose. These are the highways that viruses love to cruise on.

Wash your hands frequently and don’t rely on only a bottle of hand sanitizer. Although this can kill some of the germs, the most effective way to keep your hands clean is to wash them with soap and water.

This Virus Appreciation Day, let us raise our awareness about how to protect ourselves and avoid missing work or school. Our health is money and prevention is far more cost efficient than visiting the doctor after you have become sick.