In This Issue
- Probiotics for Seasonal Allergies
- IBS Pain? Blame Your Brain
- 5 Immunity-Boosting Foods
- Did You Know???
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Probiotics for Seasonal Allergies
A study was conducted in Japan by JZ Xiao, et al. on forty-four patients (mean age, 36 years) with Japanese cedar pollinosis. They were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, Bifidobacterium longum strain BB536 or placebo for 13 weeks during the pollen season. The dose of the probiotic was 5 x 10 colony-forming units in 100ml of milk twice a day.
- The mean symptom severity was significantly less with active treatment than with placebo.
The mean improvements compared with placebo were as follows:
- Sneezing, 60% (p< 0.003)
- Rhinorrhea, 53% (p< 0.01)
- Nasal Blockage, 53% (p< 0.02)
- Eye Symptoms, 37% (p< 0.09)
- Throat Symptoms, 53% (p<0.03)
- Composite Score, 40% (p< 0.02)
Alan Gaby M.D. tells us that probiotic agents have a number of different effects on immune function. Previous studies have suggested that use of probiotics can prevent the development of allergy-related diseases in infants. The present study is the first to show that treatment with a probiotic agent can relieve allergy-related symptoms in adults.
Source: Xiao JZ, et al. Probiotics in the treatment of Japanese cedar pollinosis: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Clin Exp Allergy. 2006; 36; 1425-1435.
IBS Pain? Blame Your Brain
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may not be just a gastro thing: Your brain may be to blame for some of the pain.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that women with IBS have more-intense brain responses to pain and a higher anticipation of pain, so they feel pain sooner and are more anxious about it. This can lead to more diarrhea, constipation, cramps, and abdominal discomfort. The good news? Cognitive therapy such as hypnosis might help. (www.health.com)
5 Immunity-Boosting Foods
Here are nutritionist Ilyse Simon's top 5 foods she suggests for immune support. The key word is "foods"- not pills or supplements.
When we are sick with a cold, flu, or fever, the most important thing our body needs is fluids. Water, vegetable broths, and herbal teas are optimum nectar for revitalization. Research shows that room- temperature and warm fluids are more beneficial than cold drinks. Herbal and medicinal teas are perfect warm elixirs.
When this warm broth is doctored up with strands of seaweed, silvers of ginger, and small squares of tofu, miso is true flu-season comfort food. Miso is fermented soybean paste and, since it's fermented, it is high in enzymes and supports immunity with its natural probiotics. It's also rich in antioxidants.
Just like carrots and sweet potatoes, pumpkins advertise their health benefits through their radiant hues. Orange veggies are good sources of carotenoids, including beta carotene. This powerful nutrient supports production of infection-fighting cells in our body. Puree, or mash up something orange for a healthy immune system.
- Dark, leafy greens
Florets of broccoli and brussels sprouts are winners for winter-time health. These cruciferous veggies are high minerals like calcium and zinc, which means they are as good for immunity boosting as they are for your bones. Along with bell peppers and tomatoes, these foods are high in vitamin C, which bolsters immune function.
Garlic is the mother of antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral foods. Some diehards, at the first signs of a cold, chew a piece of raw garlic each day. Consumed raw, garlic is pungent and powerful. One tiny clove is packed tight with a army of garlic compounds that help our bodies prevent and fight infections.
Did You Know???
Fight Hot Flashes with Flax
Eating table spoons of crushed flaxseed each day can reduce the number of hot flashes you get by 50%, according to a Mayo Clinic pilot study of 21 post-menopausal women. The seed is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and can help ease constipation.
Kids prefer food in fast-food wrappers.
Recent finding: Children ages three to five who were offered identical food- half in McDonald's packaging and half in similar packaging but without the brand name- strongly preferred the food in McDonald's wrappers. Nearly 60% said McDonald's-branded chicken nuggets were tastier, compared with 18% who preferred the identical unbranded ones. 77% preferred branded French fries, compared with 13% who preferred unbranded ones.
(Thomas Robinson, MD, director, Center for Healthy Weight, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford, and leader of a study of 63 children, published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.)
In Good Health.
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