Category Archives: Wellness

What’s Good for Joint Health?

female runner with hand on knee

Our joints are the points of articulation. They’re where two bones meet and instead of crashing against each other, the joint lets them slide, spin, or roll, or — most frequently — a combination of the three. If our joints aren’t working, we may as well be in rigor mortis. While waning collagen production, injuries, and decades of movement can lead to wear-and-tear and joint damage later in life, you can be proactive at any age to mitigate the damage as much as possible. What’s good for joints is a blend of nutrition, exercise, and weight management.

Exercise for Joint Health

The first step to healthy joints is moving them. This can be as simple as rolling your shoulders while sitting at your desk, and standing up from said desk every hour or so. Not only can movement that interrupts long periods spent in single positions help you avoid joint stiffness, but it can also increase the mobility of your joints. And with more mobility comes better use of your muscles.

Think of the squat. It’s a fundamental movement to our daily lives, yet it requires numerous joints that all must have their full range of motion in order to perform the movement safely. If one joint in the chain, say the ankle, is stiff and tight, it can cause you to be unable to drive your knees forward. To counterbalance, you may find yourself leaning forward, placing more pressure on other parts of your body and recruiting the wrong muscles for the movement while neglecting the ones that are supposed to assist. This can lead to long-term problems for those performing functional tasks and immediate injury to a weightlifter squatting a heavy barbell.

If said weightlifter had the full range of motion, the oft-elusive “gainz” would come a lot easier due to allowing the muscles to work at their full capacity. Stretching the muscles themselves, as well as the tendons that connect the muscles to the bones, can also help to extend the joints’ range of motion.

Speaking of muscles, strengthening them is critical to keeping those joints healthy. That helps our joints tolerate the stress of our activities. If your joints are pain-free and have full range of motion, you may be able to meet your muscular strength needs by performing the standard multi-joint strength exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats and deadlifts. If you have a joint that is not functioning properly, a physical therapist may recommend exercises that specifically target the muscles surrounding that joint.

Nutrition for Joint Health

We tend to think of inflammatory foods as only inflaming our digestive system, but the foods we eat are used throughout the body and they can have a profound effect on joints. Inflammation is a crucial step to the body’s ability to heal itself from injury. That’s all it’s meant to be: a step in a process. The problem is when inflammation becomes chronic due to factors like diet. Many experts are now linking certain ingredients in foods to joint inflammation. These include known public health enemies like sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats found in packaged snacks and fast food, omega-6 fatty acids found in various seed and vegetable oils, and additives like aspartame and MSG.

Luckily, experts have deemed many delicious foods anti-inflammatory. Nuts, leafy greens, berries, oranges, and tomatoes are regulars on anti-inflammatory foods lists, as are spices like ginger, garlic, and turmeric. And, for all the inflammation that Omega 6-fatty acids giveth, Omega-3 fatty acids — found in coldwater fish, eggs, and flaxseed oil — taketh away. What’s good for joints from a nutrition standpoint is a diet of anti-inflammatory staples.

Our joints are surrounded by ligaments, the connective tissue that connects bones to bones, stabilizes the body, communicates with the nervous system (which controls movement), and prevents improper joint movement. Ligaments are primarily composed of everyone’s favorite structural protein, collagen, which is also a major component of the cartilage that provides a cushion on the articulating surfaces of our joints, as well as the actual joint bones. Cells in the connective tissue and bones produce collagen at a rate that slows as we age, which is of course, when our ligaments, cartilage, and bones need more of it.

Vitamin C is an essential substance for the enzymes to catalyze the reaction that bonds a hydrogen-oxygen compound to an animo acid that forms collagen. Without adequate Vitamin C, our cells cannot produce collagen. That’s why Vitamin C has become such a hot supplement in the skin care world, as collagen is key to firm skin. Since it’s the same structural protein that makes up the connective tissue that protects our joints, more people are discovering the benefits of Vitamin C for joint health.

The nutrient choline is also essential to this process as it breaks down to the amino acid glycine, which is a crucial component of collagen production. Egg yolks are rich in choline, as are the phospholipids that encapsulate our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C. In a 2000 study, researchers found that Vitamin A treatment stimulated collagen synthesis in skin cells. That’s an easy nutrient to get in a whole bunch of orange foods like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes and apricots.

powerful vitamin c delivery with carton of lypo-spheric vitamin c

Weight Management for Joint Health

If you have the diet and exercise down, this should be falling into line. And it’s the most critical factor in joint health as excess weight puts a massive toll on joints. Let’s take gout as an example. This painful, complex form of inflammatory arthritis has been historically known as the “disease of the kings.” Kings like Henry VIII, who was known for being just as gluttonous with food as he was with wives, suffered from this condition in his later years when a hunting injury sidelined him from his previous sporting pursuits. Gout flareups are triggered by an excess of uric acid. Extra weight makes the kidneys less efficient in removing uric acid than the aforementioned Henry was in removing wives.

Then there’s the day-to-day toll. The force on your knees when walking on level ground is 1.5 times your body weight, and 2–3 times when you’re walking on an incline or decline. According to the Arthritis Foundation, every pound of excess weight puts 4 extra pounds of pressure on the knees. So what’s good for joints? Having less “you” could be number one.

Why Improve Joint Health?

All the joints in our body are linked in what is called the kinetic chain. That phrase means exactly that it says. If a single link is broken, the whole chain suffers. Let’s say you’re Henry VIII. Because stepping down from the throne exerts the weight of your feast-loving bulk plus six wives (with all their heads still attached) on your knees, your body will compensate by taking the pressure off your knees that are taxed more than a bearded nobleman (yes, Henry the 8th imposed a graduated beard tax) and put it elsewhere. This is an altered movement pattern that can lead to overactive and underachieving muscles, which exacerbates the kinetic chain problems.

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, this can put you in what they call the “cumulative injury cycle,” which is also exactly what it sounds like.

What’s good for joints is an active lifestyle and conscious food choices. This includes exercising, building muscular strength, eating anti-inflammatory foods, and supplementing with nutrients like choline and Vitamin C that are critical to the processes that maintain healthy joints.

Doing what’s good for joints now can protect you in the future. Joint pain has a major effect on quality of life for older adults.

How to Get Energy Back When You’re Dealing With Stress

laptop, greens with egg, voodoo doll

Chronic stress can put you into a state of fatigue, making you lack the physical and mental motivation to accomplish all the items on that ever-growing checklist that’s partially to blame for causing the stress in the first place. Everyone is dealing with stress. Why does it seem like some people are thriving in spite of it?

It’s because they’ve figured out how to use other aspects of their lifestyle to put themselves in the best position to mitigate the negative effects of stress.

Optimizing your diet and lifestyle to persist in the face of constant stress can help you keep your energy levels as high as possible when constant stress is threatening to hold you down.

What to Do for Energy

Get a Massage

In a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, researchers found that cortisol decreased while serotonin and dopamine increased following massage. Cortisol is one of the hormones secreted to enable the fight or flight response to stressors. In today’s high-paced, constant-stress lifestyle, the prevailing theory (http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/111609p38.shtml ) is that our bodies are releasing way too much of this hormone, which can wreak havoc on our health. Health and stress experts have labeled this hormone as one of the factors responsible for stress making us tired. Serotonin and dopamine, on the other hand, are associated with feelings of energy and happiness.

Sleep Better, Longer

It seems fairly obvious that adequate sleep will help your energy levels, but quality sleep can be hard to come by when you’re dealing with stress. You know you need sleep, which can cause you to stress out about getting to sleep. In a 1997 study, researchers found that sleep loss causes cortisol levels to elevate the following evening. Higher cortisol levels can contribute to a racing mind, tense muscles, and a rapid heart beat, none of which are conducive to falling asleep. And people who get less sleep at night report more symptoms of stress during the day, including a lack of energy.

To ensure you get a full night’s sleep (between the recommended 7 and 9 hours), you’ll have to put yourself in he relaxed state that leads to falling asleep. That means shutting down devices that emit artificial light and stimulate your mind with a constant barrage of information. It means cutting the night-time caffeine that may seem necessary to power you through the evening hours, but is actually contributing to the cycle of stress-induced tiredness. The National Sleep Foundation recommends breathing and guided imagery exercises that help with relaxation by focusing attention.

Get Some Exercise

When you’re lacking energy, the last thing you want to do is engage in an activity that requires a pretty heavy dose of that depleted energy. Trust us: Getting over that initial motivation hurdle is worth it as exercise is crucial to maintaining an energy levels while dealing with stress.

Per Harvard Health, “Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.” The constant presence of those of stress hormones can lead to depleted energy and feelings of fatigue. Exercise also increases the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which can help the body’s ability to respond to stressors.

Numerous epidemiological studies have shown a strong positive relationship between exercise and energy levels. And it’s no particular type of exercise. 20 minutes of low-intensity stationary biking was shown to increase energy levels in sedentary people while moderate-to-vigorous activity has improved sleep.

Yoga, with its physical and mental demands, has been shown to increase energy levels and reduce cortisol levels in people with depression.

So, it’s not about the type of exercise you choose, but the mere act of engaging in regular physical activity that helps you recharge when you’re dealing with stress.

What to Eat for Energy

Numerous canned beverages purport to enhance your energy levels, but they are a short-term fix that can lead to more long-term problems. Sustained energy comes from a diet of the foods that optimize metabolic function.

Consume Nutrients that Support Metabolism

The B vitamins are crucial to your cells’ ability to convert food to energy. Vitamin B does not give you energy. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein (also known as food) give you energy. B vitamins support your cells in turning these macronutrients into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy your body needs to do just about everything.

The major B vitamins are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. They’re what is called an “essential” nutrient, meaning that our bodies can’t produce them and we need to get them from diet. They’re pretty easy to come by in eggs, legumes, beef, poultry fish, leafy greens, and B complex supplements.

Our digestive system breaks all the food we consume into the simple sugar glucose, which the blood sends to the liver and muscles. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) helps to convert glucose into ATP energy. That means the food we eat is being used for its intended purpose, not sitting as fat around the midsection. ALA is naturally occurring in our bodies, but you can choose to supplement as it isn’t found in high doses in food.

Magnesium is another requirement for the ATP production process. Surveys consistently show that Americans are not getting their recommended daily allowance. That’s likely due to magnesium deficiencies in industrial farm soil and food processing that can strip out some of the magnesium-dense components. You can maximize your intake by opting for unrefined whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, legumes, and supplements.

The coenzyme Q10 is also critical to the energy conversion process. It occurs naturally in our bodies and in high levels in beef, poultry, and fish, so unless you’re taking a medication known to deplete the body of CoQ10 (like statins), supplementing probably isn’t necessary.

Iodine is vital to produce the thyroid hormones that control the body’s metabolism. This mineral is readily available in numerous foods, including fish, dairy, and grains.

Eat Carbs that Provide Long-Lasting Fuel

Eating for energy isn’t just about optimizing your energy production pathways, but also giving them a sustained source of fuel in the form of fats and carbohydrates. It’s important to be mindful of the types of carbs you’re consuming as they break down in varying speeds, which affects whether energy comes in spikes or sustained rates.

Let’s take the aforementioned energy drinks. A 12 oz. can of Red Bull has 37 grams of sugar and 0 grams of fiber. Sugar is the simplest of carbohydrates, so the process of breaking it down to glucose happens quickly. It floods your blood with glucose and causes an increase in the insulin necessary for glucose uptake in the muscles and liver. That’s part of the reason these energy drinks cause a spike of energy and a subsequent crash. Complex carbs contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals in the form of long molecular chains and thus take longer to convert to glucose, giving your body a more sustained fuel source.

Keeping your energy levels up while dealing with stress is critical to, well, dealing with stress. There are no quick fixes, just smart choices that optimize your body’s energy production system and give it the fuel it needs to run.

Can Stress Make You Tired?

man looking tired in bed

Short answer: Yes!

Long answer:

Our bodies have this wonderful function called the “fight or flight” response. It’s regulated by the adrenal glands, and its intention is to equip our bodies for those extreme stress situations in which we must fight or flee. The adrenal glands release stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline to prepare us to react. That’s where we get the alertness, the tension, the rush of energy that lets us do things in high-stress situations of which we didn’t know we were capable.

It’s just as critical for diving off the starting blocks in a 50m butterfly sprint for the gold as it is slamming on the brakes to avoid rear ending that reckless driver who swerved into your lane on the freeway. These hormones elicit the immediate response that lets us react in an instant. These high-stress situations — whether emergencies or competitions — resolve quickly. Your heart rate goes back to its resting level and your adrenal glands get to rest.

The problem is prolonged, chronic stress. The adrenal glands can treat constant stress from work, relationships and other daily worries like a life-or-death situation, constantly releasing the stress hormones and overworking themselves. That’s what’s called adrenal fatigue. It’s a whole system of the body working overtime. It gets tired.

And it’s not just the glands themselves responding to stress that can make you tired. The long-term secretion of stress hormones are also damaging to our energy levels.

The adrenal glands release adrenaline to increase the heart rate, blood pressure, and energy to prepare the body for action. The adrenaline rush can save our lives in a dark alley. It can also cause substantial disruption to our sleep when we’re lying in bed and our bodies are preparing to do battle with an assailant.

Cortisol is one of those stress hormones and it’s gotten a bad rap due to its unintended effects from chronic stress. It’s meant to increase the glucose in the bloodstream so the brain has the supplies it needs to respond in an emergency. Cortisol suppresses bodily functions deemed nonessential during these emergencies, like the immunity, digestion, and reproductive systems. This laser focus on the response to the immediate stressor is what helps us achieve the “life” in “life or death” situation. Again, this is detrimental when it’s on all the time.

As you would assume, being constantly in a state of high alert can disrupt sleep. You may know that your already-heavy workload increasing due to your manager’s upcoming maternity leave is not a life or death situation. Your body doesn’t get that nuance. It’s preparing for a litany of emails like it was a hail of bullets.

All these hormones cause your body to be in a state of mental and physical alertness. Our muscles go under tension to do things like brace for a punch in the gut. When that response doesn’t shut off, it’s as exhausting to the body as holding a plank all day.

Our brains become hyper alert on the response to the stress, working to process the thoughts surrounding the emergency. Again, vital for your survival if you are in a fight to the death on the edge of a cliff. Not so useful when you’re sitting on the couch after a long day at the office.

Chronic stress makes our bodies’ react like we’re constantly under siege. Our adrenal glands and all the body systems that stress hormones affect are convinced that if they don’t shut off, we will die. And that’s an exhausting way to live.

So, can stress make you tired? As much as a never-ending car chase.

What are the effects of Vitamin C on the liver?

Effects-Of-Vitamin-C-On-Liver

The liver is the largest solid organ in the human body, and it performs over 400 important functions. For example, it manufactures and secretes bile, which helps with the absorption of vitamins and fats, and it creates blood proteins, cholesterol and immune factors. It also acts as a detoxifying filter, protecting the body from toxins introduced through the consumption of alcohol and certain drugs.

In order to perform its essential responsibilities, the liver needs the support of certain nutrients, including Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that can protect against the harmful effects of free radicals that build up in the body. This benefit is particularly helpful to the liver, as it is constantly working to clear the body of harmful substances. To give the liver the support it needs, some health experts advocate consuming elevated doses of Vitamin C.

The body cannot make Vitamin C on its own, so it depends on diet and Vitamin C supplements to get what it needs. Vitamin C-rich foods include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red cabbage, cantaloupe, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, kiwi and tomato juice. However, Vitamin C supplements can also help support a healthy liver.

Vitamin C is generally considered very safe at high doses, but exceeding 2,000mg per day may cause nausea and digestive upset in certain individuals. High doses may also interfere with some medications, including drugs used to treat diabetes, cancer and HIV. It is best to consult a physician before taking high doses of Vitamin C or any other nutrient.

Staying Well Through Winter with the Help of Vitamin C

With winter approaching, the majority of us modify our skincare routines, what we wear, and even what we eat in response to the colder, drier air. Including Vitamin C supplement in your winter routine may help prepare your immune system for the season.  

Vitamin C and Its Relationship to Winter

  • Vitamin C, also known as L-Ascorbic Acid, is the most well-known antioxidant and Vitamin C supplements are the most commonly used supplement.
  • During the winter months, Vitamin C rich fruits are typically out of season. This can make supplements especially helpful for reaching the required daily dose.
  • Since it functions as an antioxidant, C is a well-known supporter of a healthy immune system.
  • The minimum recommended dose of this antioxidant is 60mg per day. It is crucial to ensure you are getting this amount through food or supplements.
  • In addition to Vitamin C, Iron and Vitamin B can also be helpful for staying healthy in the winter months.

Final Thoughts

Instead of crossing your fingers that you stay healthy this winter, make sure you reach the dietary requirements for Vitamin C each day either through food or 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.

Your Heart Health and Vitamin C

vitamin c suppliements heart health

Vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid, is one of the most well-known antioxidants. Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, pioneered the majority of research surrounding this powerful vitamin and its numerous health benefits.

More research has been conducted on this antioxidant than almost any other nutrient. For starters, it has been shown to help prolong the onset of cataracts by a decade. It also plays a crucial role in joint, bone, and immune health. Arguably, one of its most important roles is supporting heart health.

Vitamin C and Heart Health

Ascorbic acid provides the heart with a variety of benefits:

  • It enhances the level of natural glutathione in the body and thereby helps prevent coronary artery disease.
  • As a potent scavenger of free radicals, it helps protect arteries.
  • It helps strengthen blood vessels walls by supporting the synthesis of collagen. If collagen is weak, oxidized LDL, heavy metals, and toxins create inflammation in the vascular lining. This is how atherosclerotic plaque begins to form.
  • Vitamin C helps improve vasodilation, the ability of arteries in the heart to widen to accommodate more blood when needed – this is one of the main factors in decreasing the risk of heart disease. It improves vasodilation by increasing Nitric Oxide’s availability. Nitric Oxide is a promoter of vasodilation.

What Does the Research Say?

recent meta-analysis analyzed the effect of antioxidant supplements on arterial stiffness. The results indicated that antioxidant supplements played a significant role in helping to reduce arterial stiffness. However, decreased arterial stiffness was only observed in studies that used ascorbic acid combined with other antioxidants, such as Vitamin E. Additionally, antioxidant supplementation was the most effective in patients that already had low concentrations of Vitamins E and C in their plasma.

How to Obtain It

Vitamin C is classified as an “essential nutrient”. This means it is not manufactured by our body and must be consumed in foods or supplements. Foods rich in this antioxidant include tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, watermelon, and kiwis. Vitamin C supplements are another very effective method in meeting your daily requirements for this key vitamin.

 

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.

Which Organs Benefit from a Boost in Vitamin C?

vitamin c boost

While many of us know that Vitamin C helps support a healthy immune system, it also plays important roles in the health and maintenance of other organ systems. From our heart to our skin, let’s take a look at which of our bodies’ systems benefit from a boost in Vitamin C.

Cardiovascular Health

Vitamin C can be a big part of maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Keeping blood pressure within a healthy range is important to prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of a stroke. In fact, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with higher levels of baseline plasma vitamin C had a 42% lower risk for stroke.

Skin Health

Vitamin C is also a factor when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study revealed that taking liposomal Vitamin C every day can help your skin age gracefully by increasing skin firmness and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.1 This may happen because the body uses vitamin C to produce collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It provides structure to many parts of the body, including bones, skin, tendons and ligaments, and is a key part of connective tissue that helps maintain firm and healthy skin.

Muscular Health

As discussed earlier, Vitamin C is essential to the natural production of collagen, which plays many roles in the muscular system.  Collagen makes up the connective tissue found in tendons and blood vessels, and muscles throughout the body.  Vitamin C may also help reduce the build-up of lactic acid during exercise and promote muscle recovery from normal exercise.

1 LivOn Labs, Princeton Consumer Research (2014) A Double-blind, Home-Use Study in Approximately 45 Healthy Volunteers with Aging, Non-Firm Skin to Assess the Efficacy or Different Treatment Dosages of a Vitamin C Dietary Supplement Compared to a Placebo Control Group.

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.

Benefits of Massage Therapy on Overall Health

massage benefits

“Massage Therapy can reduce the symptoms of your current medical ailments and improve your overall health” – says Susan Stone, Professional Massage Therapist in Las Vegas.

Susan gave us some great tips on maintaining your overall health as well as proper diet and nutrition. Working in Massage Therapy for over 25 years has given Susan the chance to help Las Vegas Tourist and locals with their ailments. Here are some things she shared with us.

Here Are Some Great Benefits of Getting Regular Massages

Relieve Your Anxiety
Those who are seeking a natural way of relieving their anxiety are fortunate because massage effectively serves this purpose according to one study. When people are experiencing stress, the body releases the hormone “cortisol” in larger amounts than it ordinarily does. Massage is known to lower the amount of cortisol in your body, so it can help you cope during these difficult times without having to resort to taking drugs. Massage also helps you relax by lowering your blood pressure.

Decrease Your Depression
Life events can cause depression, but there is a physical component as well. Research has shown that depressed individuals have less dopamine and serotonin than those who are not depressed. Dopamine and serotonin are brain chemicals that directly influence your mood, and massage is known to increase the amount of these chemicals that are circulating within your system. The result is that you feel happier after a massage.

Reduce Your Back Pain
Massage is instrumental in reducing back pain. As a matter of fact, scientists have discovered that massage works just as well as medications in relieving their subjects’ pain. After a massage, people were able to return to their normal activities without experiencing debilitating pain. Those who were stiff noticed that massage also alleviated this symptom. Massage even benefits people with osteoarthritis who discovered that their movements were less restricted after undergoing treatment.

Help You Fall Asleep
When people cannot sleep, they feel tempted to take sleeping aids, but they can grow wary of these medications over time. Scientists have performed research in this area as well and found that massage is directly linked to the body’s delta waves. These brain waves promote deep sleep, and they are the reason that people often fall asleep when they are enjoying a good massage.

Reduce the Symptoms of Medical Treatment
Because massage therapy is excellent for those experiencing the issues listed above, medical professionals often suggest that their patients have a massage. It has been beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of Medical treatment, such as fatigue, depression, anxiety and nausea.

Improve the Functioning of Your Immune System
The immune system is the entity that protects you from disease. When the system works properly, It identifies parasites, bacteria and viruses and destroys them before they can cause harm to the body. Massage therapy has been shown to improve the functioning of your immune system so that you can remain free of disease. It accomplishes this goal by increasing the number of white blood cells that are circulating within your system. In so doing, massage therapy protects your overall health.

Combine this with Liposomal Supplements and you have a winning combination in the fight to maintain your health.

17 Ways Vitamin C Supports a Healthy Immune System

The power of vitamin C is often attributed to its role as an antioxidant. However, no other antioxidant can perform the many additional physiological and biological roles that vitamin C fills. To think of vitamin C as nothing more than an antioxidant would be a great understatement.

Among its many positive effects on the body, vitamin C is a strong supporter of healthy immune function. Here’s how:

  1. Vitamin C supports the production of interferons. Interferons are produced when the presence of pathogens is detected. They facilitate the ability of cells to launch protective cellular defenses.*

  2. Vitamin C enhances the function of phagocytes. Phagocytes are a type of white blood cell that envelop pathogens and other dangerous particles. Once the invaders are captured in this manner, they are enzymatically digested.*

  3. Vitamin C supports the cell-mediated immune response. There are 2 major ways that the body can respond to a pathogen: antibody-mediated immunity and cell-mediated immunity. Cell-mediated response refers to the activation of macrophages, natural killer cells, and antigen-specific T-lymphocytes that attack anything perceived as a foreign agent.*

  4. Vitamin C neutralizes oxidative stress.*

  5. Vitamin C improves and enhances the immune response achieved with vaccination.*

  6. Vitamin C enhances cytokine production by white blood cells. Cytokines are communication proteins released by certain white blood cells that transmit information to other cells, promoting the immune response.*

  7. Vitamin C inhibits various forms of T-lymphocyte death. T-lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. They are an integral part of the cell-mediated immune defense system. Vitamin C helps to keep these important cells alive and viable.*

  8. Vitamin C enhances nitric oxide production by phagocytes. Phagocytes, as discussed in #2, are white blood cells that engulf invading microorganisms. Nitric oxide is produced in large amounts in these cells, and it is one of the agents that will kill captured pathogens.*

  9. Vitamin C enhances T-lymphocyte production. As mentioned in #7, these cells are essential to cell-mediated immune responses, and Vitamin C helps them to multiply in number.*

  10. Vitamin C enhances B-lymphocyte production. These white blood cells make antibodies as part of the antibody-mediated immune response. Antibodies are formed in reaction to the initial introduction of an invading pathogen or antigen.*

  11. Vitamin C inhibits neuraminidase production. Some pathogenic viruses and bacteria create neuraminidase, an enzyme that keeps them from being trapped in mucus, one of the body’s natural lines of defense. Inhibiting neuraminidase helps the body optimize this defensive mechanism.*

  12. Vitamin C supports antibody production and activity. Good antibody function is important to a healthy immune system.*

  13. Vitamin C supports natural killer cell activity. Natural killer cells are lymphocytes that can directly attack cells, like tumor cells, and kill them.*

  14. Vitamin C supports localized generation and interaction with hydrogen peroxide. Vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide can kill microorganisms and can dissolve the protective capsules of some bacteria, such as pneumococci. *

  15. Vitamin C enhances cyclic GMP levels in lymphocytes. Cyclic GMP plays a central role in the regulation of many physiologic responses, including the modulation of immune responses. Cyclic GMP is important for normal cell proliferation and differentiation. It also controls the action of many hormones, and it appears to mediate the relaxation of smooth muscle.*

  16. Vitamin C detoxifies histamine. This effect is important in the support of local immune factors.*

  17. Vitamin C enhances the mucolytic effect. This property helps liquefy thick secretions, increasing immune access to infection.*

  18. Vitamin C makes bacterial membranes more permeable to some antibiotics. *

  19. Vitamin C enhances prostaglandin formation. Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that control many physiologic processes, including regulating T-lymphocyte function.*

  20. Vitamin C concentrates in white blood cells. Some of the primary cells in the immune system concentrate Vitamin C as much as 80 times higher than the level in plasma. This assures extra delivery of Vitamin C to the sites of infection by the migration of these Vitamin C-rich white blood cells.*

References
[1] Siegel B, “Enhanced interferon response to murine leukemia virus by ascorbic acid” Infection and Immunity 1974 10(2):409-410.
[2] Siegel B, “Enhancement of interferon production by poly(rI)-poly(rC) in mouse cell cultures by ascorbic acid” Nature 1975 254(5500):531-532.
[3] Geber W, Lefkowitz S, Hung C, “Effect of ascorbic acid, sodium salicylate, and caffeine on the serum interferon level in response to viral infection” Pharmacology 1975 13(3):228-233.
[4] Dahl H ,Degre M, “The effect of ascorbic acid on production of human interferon and the antiviral activity in vitro. Acta Pathologica et Microbiologica Scandinavica. Section B” Microbiology 1976 84(5):280-284.
[5] Stone I, “The possible role of mega-ascorbate in the endogenous synthesis of interferon” Medical Hypotheses 1980 6(3):309-314.
[6] Karpinska T, Kawecki Z, Kandefer-Szerszen M, “The influence of ultraviolet irradiation, L-ascorbic acid and calcium chloride on the induction of interferon in human embryo fibroblasts” Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis 1982 30(1-2)33-37.
[7] Nungester W, Ames A, “The relationship between ascorbic acid and phagocytic activity” Journal of Infectious Diseases 1948 83:50-54.
[8] Goetzl E, et al, “Enhancement of random migration and chemotactic response of human leukocytes by ascorbic acid” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 1974 53(3):813-818.
[9] Sandler J, Gallin J, Vaughan M, “Effects of serotonin, carbamylcholine, and ascorbic acid on leukocyte cyclic GMP and chemotaxis” The Journal of Cell Biology 1975 67(2 Pt 1):480-484.
[10] Boxer L, et al, “Correction of leukocyte function in Chediak-Higashi syndrome by ascorbate” The New England Journal of Medicine 1976 295(19):1041-1045.
[11] Ganguly R, Durieux M, Waldman R, “Macrophage function in vitamin C-deficient guinea pigs” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1976 29(7):762-765.
[12] Anderson R, Dittrich O, “Effects of ascorbate on leucocytes. Part IV. Increased neutrophil function and clinical improvement after oral ascorbate in 2 patients with chronic granulomatous disease” South African Medical Journal 1979 56(12):476-480.
[13] Anderson R, Theron A, “Effects of ascorbate on leucocytes. Part III. In vitro and in vivo stimulation of abnormal neutrophil motility by ascorbate” South African Medical Journal 1979 56(11):429-433.
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©2014 LivOn Labs. Content adapted from Primal Panacea by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD.

Safe and Natural Green Cleaning Tips

Everything from the food we eat, the supplements we take, and to the air we breathe can contain harmful toxins hazardous to one’s health. Common household cleaning projects are even becoming a great concern for many families. Households with young children, sick family members and pets may be looking for cleaning alternatives to keep their homes safe. Here are some safe and natural green cleaning tips from LivOn Labs courtesy of Green Clean Commercial Services.

What are common toxins found in typical household products?

According to the National Institute of occupational Safety and Health, one-third of all substances that contain fragrances could be considered toxic. Many common, commercial household cleaners pose a threat. Drain and oven cleaners can sometimes contain corrosive chemicals that can severely damage the eyes and skins. If ingested mistakenly, the throat and esophagus can be affected. Classified as having high acute toxicity, products containing bleach with ammonia can lead to inhalation of dangerous fumes. These chemicals cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. Items like detergents and fabric softeners contain fragrances that affect the respiratory system and trigger allergy or asthma symptoms. All-purpose cleaners can have long term effects on a person’s health. Contaminants like diethanolamine and triethanolamine can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. Many of the most common household cleaning products can be substituted for greener alternatives.

What are the top green cleaning products?

Many of the green cleaning ingredients perform on the same level as the leading commercial cleaners. Creating and formulating your own cleaning solutions using these top ingredients listed below will help you meet most of your cleaning needs.

• Distilled white vinegar
• Borax
• Baking soda
• Lemon juice
• Water
• Eucalyptus oil
• Rubbing alcohol
• Ammonia

Green cleaning hacks

Soap scum

White vinegar is mixed with water in a 50/50 combination to remove scum. It is applied to the soap scum, allowed to settle for several minutes, and then it is removed.

Sink stains

Baking soda applied as a thin layer to a porcelain sink, toilet or other surface can fade stains. The application should be allowed to rest for several minutes prior to being wiped off completely.

A new air freshener

Lemon juice and water combined can be used to remove odors. The solution can also be used for other forms of cleaning; some use it as an all-purpose cleaner.

Windows and mirrors

Mix 2 cups of water, ½ cup of white vinegar and 1/5 cup of rubbing alcohol. This solution can include orange or lemon for a great smell.

Oven cleaner

Take ½ cup of ammonia and mix it with water in a one-gallon pitcher. This is a great ways to remove tough grime and grease from grills.

Powerful disinfectant

Add 1.6 ounces of eucalyptus oil to a spray bottle containing water. Use this to clean and sanitize surfaces throughout the home.

Families are safe when exposed to greener cleaning solutions. When proactive family members begin to learn more about the various solutions available to them, they typically find that most, if not all, of their cleaning supplies can be switched out. A cleaner, greener formulation protects the vulnerable most at risk for developing chronic conditions.

If you enjoyed these green cleaning tips, see more commercial cleaning tips.