Vitamin D may be your best defense against respiratory infections, new science finds

Image: Vitamin D may be your best defense against respiratory infections, new science finds
Source: NaturalNews.com
Earl Garcia
April 24, 2017

Vitamin D intake may help keep common colds and flu at bay, British researchers found. Various studies have previously established that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of respiratory infections, and the recent analysis further emphasizes the vitamin’s role in boosting the immune system. To test this, researchers at the Queen Mary University of London pooled data from 25 separate trials with a total cohort population of 11,321 participants.

The research team found that vitamin D supplementation provided a modest protective effect against respiratory infections. Lead researcher Dr. Adrian Martineau said vitamin D supplements helped reduce the risk of developing respiratory illnesses such as colds and flu by 10 percent. Participants suffering vitamin D deficiency were shown to benefit more from supplementation.

According to researchers, vitamin D supplementation may help prevent respiratory infection in one out of 33 individuals. In contrast, flu vaccination may prevent infection in one out of 40 individuals. This suggests that vitamin D supplementation could be a more ideal preventive against respiratory conditions. The findings were published in the British Medical Journal.

Vitamin D’s protective effects seen in more studies

Vitamin D supplementation helped reduce respiratory infections in elderly population, according to a 2016 study. As part of the study, researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus examined 107 patients with an average age of 84 years old. The patients were given either higher monthly vitamin D doses or lower daily vitamin D doses. The study revealed that patients who had higher doses exhibited a 40 percent reduction in acute respiratory diseases after a year. However, researchers stressed that the findings warrant further research.

“This finding requires a confirmatory trial…This is a potentially life-saving discovery. There is very little in a doctor’s arsenal to battle ARI, especially since most are viral infections where antibiotics don’t work. But vitamin D seems able to potentially prevent these infections. If our results are confirmed by a larger trial, high dose vitamin D, ideally using daily dosing to minimize fall risk, has the potential for substantial public health benefit through ARI prevention for the large and growing population of long term care residents,” wrote lead author Dr. Adit Ginde in ScienceDaily.com. The finding were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Another study revealed that higher vitamin D intake may cut the risk of respiratory tract infections. To carry out the study, researchers examined 140 volunteers who were given either vitamin D supplements or placebo. The researchers found that patients in the vitamin D group had a 25 percent decrease in respiratory tract infections at the end of the study period compared with those in the placebo group. The research team also found that patients who took vitamin D supplements reduced their antibiotic use by nearly 50 percent.

“Our research can have important implications for patients with recurrent infections or a compromised immune defense, such as a lack of antibodies, and can also help to prevent the emerging resistance to antibiotics that come from overuse. On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be anything to support the idea that vitamin D would help otherwise healthy people with normal, temporary respiratory tract infections,” said researcher Dr. Peter Bergman in MedicalNewsToday.com. The results appeared in the journal BMJ Open.

A small study published in 2010 also revealed that vitamin D supplementation helped reduce the incidence of influenza A in children. To assess this, Japanese researchers examined more than 3oo children and found that the incidence of influenza-A infection was only 10.8 percent in those who took vitamin D supplements, compared with 18.6 percent in the control group. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources include: 

NaturalHealth365.com

BBC.com

NPR.org

ScienceDaily.com

MedicalNewsToday.com

ScienceNews.org

Cannabidiol (CBD) found to cut seizures in HALF among severe epilepsy patients, scientists find

Image: Cannabidiol (CBD) found to cut seizures in HALF among severe epilepsy patients, scientists find

Source: NaturalNews.com
Russel Davis
April 21, 2017

Taking cannabis-based medicine may significantly reduce the number of seizures by half in children and adults with a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), according to a recent study. Researchers said Lennox-Gastaut syndrome starts in childhood, and that patients with LGS experience multiple kinds of seizures: drop seizures and tonic-clonic seizures.

During a drop seizure, the patients’ muscle tone changes, which then causes them to collapse. On the other hand, tonic-clonic seizures involve loss of consciousness and full-body convulsions. According to researchers, these types of seizures are difficult to manage and usually do not respond well to drug treatments. In addition, patients with LGS usually suffer from impaired intellectual development. Furthermore, researchers noted that drop seizures often lead to injuries and emergency department visits.

To assess the efficacy of cannabidiol, researchers examined 225 patients with LGS who experience 85 drop seizures a month on average. The participants were then given either 20 mg/kg daily cannabidiol, 10 mg/kg daily cannabidiol, or placebo as an add-on therapy to current drug treatment. The study revealed that patients in the high-dosage group had a 42 percent reduction in drop seizure frequency at 14 weeks. Of these patients, 40 percent reported reducing their seizures by half or more.

The study also showed that patients in the low-dosage group attained a 37 percent overall decrease in drop seizure frequency. Of these patients, 36 percent reported reducing their seizures by half or more. In contrast, patients in the placebo group only had a 17 percent overall reduction in drop seizures. Researchers also found that only 15 percent of the controls reported reducing their seizures by half or more

“Our results suggest that cannabidiol may be effective for those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in treating drop seizures. This is important because this kind of epilepsy is incredibly difficult to treat. While there were more side effects for those taking cannabidiol, they were mostly well-tolerated. I believe that it may become an important new treatment option for these patients,” said study author Dr. Anup Patel in ScienceDaily.com.

The findings were slated for presentation at the American Academy of Neurology‘s 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Cannabis found to improve epilepsy in many studies

Multiple studies have shown that cannabis may be a viable treatment for patients with epilepsy. A study published last year revealed that cannabidiol helped reduce seizure load in children and adolescents diagnosed with intractable pediatric epilepsy. To assess this, the researchers monitored 74 patients who were given a formula that contained both cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol. The researchers found that 18 percent of children experienced a 75 percent to 100 percent reduction in seizure load, while 34 percent exhibited seizure load reductions of 50 percent to 75 percent. The study also found that cannabidiol-treated patients displayed significant improvements in behavior and alertness, language and communication. The patients also exhibited better sleep and motor skills, the researchers added. However, researchers noted that further studies are needed to back the findings. The results were published in the journal Seizure.

Two more studies have demonstrated that the compound may help ease seizure frequency in epileptic children. In one study, the researchers examined 120 children with Davet syndrome and found that cannabidiol treatment lead to a 39 percent decrease in seizure frequency in patients after 14 weeks. In comparison, patients in the placebo group only attained a 13 percent reduction in seizure frequency.

In another study, health experts examined 171 children and adults with LGS and found that those who were on cannabidiol therapy had a 44 percent decrease in drop seizure frequency, compared with only 22 percent reduction in the placebo group. The results suggest that cannabidiol may benefit patients who were not responsive to standard epilepsy medications. Both studies were presented at the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources: 

ScienceDaily.com

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

LiveScience.com

Yoga for beginners: 7 poses even newbies can do

Image: Yoga for beginners: 7 poses even newbies can do
Source: NaturalNews.com
Frances Bloomfield
April 17, 2017

The idea of doing those complicated yoga poses during a class can be a scary thought. If you’ve witnessed seasoned yoga practitioners effortlessly pull off the elephant’s trunk or the scorpion, then you might even reconsider a new exercise regiment. Push those niggling doubts aside and just set down your yoga mat. Everyone has to start from somewhere, and you can start off with these beginner yoga poses recommended by the DailyBurn.com.

Before attempting any of these poses, remember to do some stretches first. Preparing your muscles for what’s coming ahead will keep them in good shape during your entire yoga workout. Don’t risk pulling a hamstring by accident. Stretch beforehand.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Stand tall with your feet together and arms at your sides. Ground your feet, straighten your legs, and tuck in your tailbone. Take a deep breath, elongate your torso, and raise your arms, reaching for the ceiling with your fingertips. Straighten your arms as your palms face each other. Exhale and gently lower your arms back to your sides.

Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Assume a kneeling position, tucking your toes under you and sitting on your heels. Exhale and bring down your upper body, extending and stretching your arms forward. Your forehead should be resting on the mat and your stomach should be settled on your thighs. To come back up, lengthen your torso, then inhale and lift from your tailbone.

Marjaryasana to Bitilasana (Cat/Cow Pose)

Place your hands and knees on the floor, making sure that your spine is neutral, and that your abs are engaged. Inhale and, as you exhale, round up your spine and tuck your chin. As you inhale once again, relax your abs and arch your back, lifting your head and tailbone upwards.

Adho Mukha Svanansana (Downward Facing Dog)

Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Spread your fingers and press your palms into the mat as you move your hands forward. Press your hips towards the ceiling and move your chest towards your legs, turning your body into an inverted V-shape. Remember to keep your feet hip-width apart

Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)

From the mountain pose, exhale, and step your left foot back four feet so that you’re in a lunging position. Raise your arms until they’re aligned with your ears and then turn your left foot 90 degrees towards the left wall. Breathe deeply and then slide down, keeping your hips square as you do so.

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Again, begin in the mountain pose and then move your left foot back as you exhale. Turn your back foot 90 degrees. Lift up both of your arms until they’re at the same height as your shoulders, keeping them parallel to the floor. Bend your front knee over your ankle and sink your hips. Line up your eyes with your front-facing arm and look forward.

Shavsana (Corpse Pose)

Lie down, bring legs apart and your arms to your sides while keeping your palms facing upwards. Relax your entire body, including your face. Breathe slowly and gently.

If you’re looking for an exercise that can help you shed pounds and relax you, then you can’t go wrong with yoga. ArtofLiving.org says that doing yoga will allow you to enjoy a number of perks. From giving you a decent workout to boosting your metabolism to rejuvenating your mind, there’s so much this exercise can do for you. All you need is some loose, comfortable clothing, a great yoga mat, and determination to make the most of yoga.

Follow more news on the healing arts at HealingArts.news.

Sources:

DailyBurn.com

ArtofLiving.org

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Dr. Mercola Interviews Belisa Vranich About Breathing

Source: Mercola
Dr. Mercola
April 17, 2017

Natural health expert and Mercola.com founder Dr. Joseph Mercola interviews Dr. Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and author of “Breathe,” about a breathing program she developed that can help improve your physical and mental health in a short amount of time. To read health articles, visit Mercola.com.

Who needs meds? Simple potassium may lower blood pressure more safely than prescription drugs

Image: Who needs meds? Simple potassium may lower blood pressure more safely than prescription drugs

Source:NaturalNews.com
Russel Davis
April 14, 2017

Eating foods high in potassium — such as fruits, vegetables, grains and roots — may help lower blood pressure levels, a recent analysis revealed. According to the review, higher dietary potassium intake was associated with significant reductions in blood pressure regardless of sodium intake. Data also show that high potassium consumption curbs blood pressure by using sodium to closely regulate potassium levels in the blood, which is crucial for normal heart, nerve and muscle function.

“Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure. But evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension…When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water, which increases potassium excretion. Eating a high potassium diet is like taking a diuretic,” said lead researcher Prof. Alicia McDonough, ScienceDaily.com reports. Prof. McDonough is a Professor of Cell and Neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

However, the lead researcher cautioned that increasing dietary potassium intake may be challenging as our ancient ancestors evolved to crave sodium. Modern diets have also shown a drastic change, with food companies adding salt to satisfy this craving.”If you eat a typical Western diet. your sodium intake is high and your potassium intake is low. This significantly increases your chances of developing high blood pressure,” Prof. McDonough added.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology — Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Dietary potassium vs. prescription drugs

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), high blood pressure or hypertension is the cause of 51 percent of stroke-related deaths and 45 percent of heart disease-related deaths worldwide. A vast number of studies have previously confirmed that dietary potassium may effectively regulate blood pressure levels. For instance, a 2015 study showed that higher dietary potassium levels helped maintain a healthy blood pressure level in girls throughout adolescence. “The beneficial effects of dietary potassium on both systolic and diastolic blood pressures suggest that consuming more potassium-rich foods during childhood may help suppress the adolescent increase in blood pressure,” the researchers wrote, JAMA Network.com reports. The results were published in JAMA Pedriatrics. 

A review published in the journal Hypertension also showed that dietary potassium may act as a diuretic and reduce extracellular fluid volume, which in turn may help lower blood pressure levels. The review also found that potassium can influence the activity of the renin-angiotensin system and decrease angiotensin markers on vascular, adrenal, or renal receptors. Researchers also found that dietary potassium helps reduce blood pressure levels by relaxing vascular smooth muscles and curbing peripheral vascular resistance.

In contrast, a 2010 study found that using antihypertensive drugs to lower blood pressure levels may do more harm than good. Researchers said various antihypertensive drugs were found to induce different adverse conditions. Thiazide diuretics were known to cause erectile dysfunction and severe hyponatremia, while angiotension-converting enzyme inhibitors were found to cause severe hypotension, neutropenia, and proteinuria. ACEs were also associated with the onset of renal failure, hyperkalemia and angioedema.

In addition, angiotension II receptor blockers were shown to cause abnormal liver function, lower hemoglobin levels, and renal impairment as well as pharyngitis, muscle cramp and myalgia. More serious side effects such as renovascular hypertension, cardiac failure, and cirrhosis were also associated with the drug. Beta-blockers were linked to diarrhea, bronchospam, hypotension, and altered glucose and lipid metabolism. This type of hypertensive was also associated with heart failure, heart block, abnormal vision, and erectile dysfunction. Calcium channel blockers were linked to pulmonary edema, peripheral edema and worse myocardial ischema. Other side effects associated with calcium channel blockers digital dysesthesia, nausea, and muscle cramps. The results were published in the International Journal of PharmTech Research.

Sources: 

ScienceDaily.com

UPI.com

JAMANetwork.com

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

Sphinxsai.com

iHealth News: Pet Studies & Child Health | Yoga | Nutrition & More

Source: iHealthTube.com
April 14, 2017

Can you eat your way to a healthy blood pressure? Find out what foods can help. Also learn about the benefits of having a pet for your infant and what benefits yoga is now showing for a certain group of men!