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Better sleep Liver support Immunity boosters

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September 2020 vol. 16 no. 9

14 departments

16 20 bolster your immunity feature

Supplements can help to prevent and protect.

4 From the Editor’s Desk 7 Health Pulse

Zinc sales are up • Green space lowers disease risk • More

8 Healthy Glow

What to look for when purchasing cosmetics.

10 Herbal Healing

Elderberry is an antiviral powerhouse.

14 Everyday Remedies

Strategies for cholesterol control.

16 Healthspan

Get better sleep, naturally.

25 New Frontiers

CBD may mitigate illness-related inflammation.

26 Supplement Spotlight

Support your liver with fiber, turmeric, and more.

29 Sports Nutrition & Performance  nhance your fitness goals with E superfood powders.

A source for news, information, and ideas for your healthy lifestyle. remedies-and-recipes.com

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@RemediesRecipes September 2020  

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l remedies  3 8/3/20 9:52 AM


from the editor ’s desk

“Normal” might not be so far off

This issue of remedies includes several articles aimed at helping you cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus on strengthening the immune system (page 20), maintaining healthy sleep patterns (page 16), and various other measures throughout the magazine. And here’s some good news for anyone concerned about how the pandemic is affecting mental health: Researchers determined this summer that “the human sense of normalcy is capable of bouncing back a lot faster than we might think.” The study focused specifically on how 122 workers experienced the pandemic. Beginning on March 16, 2020, researchers checked in on the participants twice a day. At first, the workers felt “powerless and inauthentic.” Those two key measures of normalcy improved after two weeks, even as stress levels rose. The researchers said their findings suggest “that humans can establish a new normal even while feeling stressed and worried.” They believe that psychological recovery can begin during an ongoing stressful situation. “Our psychological immune system is so effective that even though we have an ongoing, persisting stressor, we start to fix ourselves almost immediately,” said researcher Trevor Foulk, PhD, a professor of management at the University of Maryland. As the pandemic continues, we’ll see how that finding plays out in the long term. But the results are a welcome reminder of human resilience. The study, “Getting back to the ‘new normal’: Autonomy restoration during a global pandemic,” will be published soon in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Rich Wallace, editor

SOURCE “Sense of normalcy bounces back fast: New study,” University of Maryland, 7/29/20

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Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba Contributing Editor Rich Wallace Assistant Editor Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service customerservice@tasteforlife.com Client Services Director—Retail Judy Gagne 800-677-8847 x128 Client Services Director—Advertising and Digital Ashley Dunk 800-677-8847 x190 Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 603-831-1868 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) National Sales Manager Leanna Houle 800-677-8847 (x111) Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS, professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University; Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director, American Botanical Council, editor/publisher of HerbalGram, senior editor, The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs; C. Leigh Broadhurst, PhD, research geochemist, author, Natural Asthma Relief and Prevent, Treat, and Reverse Diabetes; Steven Foster, photographer, herbalist, and senior author of three Peterson Field Guides, author of 101 Medicinal Herbs, A Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine and more, associate editor of HerbalGram, the journal of the American Botanical Council; John Neustadt, ND, founder of Montana Integrated Medicine, coauthor, A Revolution in Health Through Nutritional Biochemistry; Lisa Petty, RHN, RNCP, holistic nutrition consultant, author of Living Beauty and host of the health talk radio show Lisa Live; Dana Ullman, MPH, author of The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy and other titles on homeopathy; Marc Ullman, partner at Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, chairman, Legal Advisory Counsel, Natural Products Foundation; Amber Lynn Vitse, CN, is certified in Integrative Nutrition, a fusion bodyworker, and an Ayurvedic practitioner, and writes on health issues. remedies is published monthly by Taste for Life, 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); © 2020 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in remedies may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher.

Creative and Sales Offices: 149 Emerald Street, Suite O, Keene NH 03431 603-283-0034 Printed in the US on partially recycled paper.

The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.

Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations.

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zoom in on zinc Zinc is the mineral of choice for many when it comes to treating the common cold. Its popularity has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey shows it to be the biggest seller among supplements since the pandemic began. Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of respiratory virus symptoms may be protective because of its activity against replication of the virus in the nasopharynx and throat. James A. Robb, MD, a molecular virologist who did pioneering work on coronaviruses in the 1970s, has suggested stocking up on zinc lozenges, but also urged caution, saying, “Using zinc lozenges as directed by the manufacturer is no guarantee against being infected by the virus, even if it inhibits the viral replication in the nasopharynx.” Women need only 8 milligrams (mg) of zinc per day, and men, 11 mg. Taking more than 40 mg per day is not advisable, according to the National Institutes of Health. SELECTED SOURCES “Can Zn be a critical element in COVID-19 treatment?” by M.T. Rahman and S.Z. Idid, Biological Trace Element Research, 5/20 l “Coronavirus: To zinc or not to zinc?” by Todd Neff, www.UCHealth.org, 3/25/20 l “Zinc,” www.MayoClinic.org

big steps Taking a brisk 30-minute walk each day will burn more than 1,000 calories a week. Even brief walks are great for the heart. SOURCE “Walk this way: 10 tips to boost your workout,” University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, 7/20

did you know? People who visit parks for 30 minutes or more per week are much less likely to have high blood pressure or poor mental health compared to their peers, according to research from Australia. Regular “doses of nature” of a half hour or more may reduce the risks of heart disease, stress, anxiety, and depression. SOURCE “Dose of nature is just what the doctor ordered,” University of Queensland, 6/23/16

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healthy glow

clean cosmetics

safer choices made easy Makeup can be transformative. It can make us feel confident and beautiful. It can accentuate our best features and disguise the things we’d rather not see. Even those of us who consider ourselves minimalists in the makeup department may still feel “naked” without mascara or lip balm. The not-so-pretty side of cosmetics is that many conventional products are riddled with ingredients that have been shown to harm both human health and the environment. The good news? Once you know what to look for, you can limit your exposure to toxic ingredients. We’ve created a handy chart to help you make safer choices.

INGREDIENT

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL

Carbon black

Acetylene black, carbon black, channel black, D & C Black No. 2, furnace black, lamp black, thermal black

Increased incidence of cancer and negative effects on organs

Carcinogens

Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, coal tar, crystalline silica (quartz), benzene, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, mineral oils, phenacetin

Cause cancer in humans

Heavy metals

Chromium, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, lead acetate, sodium hexametaphosphate, thimerosal

Immune, nervous, and reproductive system toxicity

Mica, muscovite

Lung irritation, scarring

Parabens

Ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl- and isobutyl-parabens.

Endocrine disruption; reproductive and developmental disorders; growth of cancer cells

Phthalates

Diethylphthalate (DEP), dibutylphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), fragrance, parfum; “phthalates” refers to many different chemicals, most of which are not listed on labels

Endocrine disruption

Polytetrafluoroethylene

DEA-C8-18, perfluoroalkylethyl phosphate, polyperfluoro-methylisopropyl ether, PTFE

Developmental effects including delayed menstruation and breast development; cancer

Titanium dioxide, TiO2

Possibly carcinogenic—linked to increased incidence of lung cancer

Mica

—Kelli Ann Wilson SELECTED SOURCES “Carbon black”; “Carcinogens in cosmetics”; “Lead and other heavy metals”; “Mica”; “Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, aka Teflon)”; “Titanium dioxide,” www.SafeCosmetics.org l “Phthalates,” US Food and Drug Administration, www.FDA.gov l “What are parabens, and why don’t they belong in cosmetics?” by Tasha Stoiber, www.EWG.org, 4/9/19

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Titanium dioxide

HEALTH CONCERNS

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herbal healing

elderberry

an ancient remedy for the modern age Humans have had a close relationship with black elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) for centuries. Its use as a medicinal remedy goes way back, at least as far as Hippocrates, the “father of Western medicine,” born in 460 BC. Pliny the Elder, the Roman naturalist born in 23 AD, was also a fan. He coined the wise phrase, “Home is where the heart is,” so he knew a thing or two about a thing or two. The ancients may not have known why elderberry worked so well for fighting cold and flu, they just knew it worked—helping to relieve aches, sinus pain, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and fever. Thanks to modern science, we now know the berries are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral powerhouses that contain high levels of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, and B6, and flavonoids. Clinical trials demonstrate that to reduce the length and severity of cold or flu, people should take “the standardized liquid extract for three to five days starting at the first sign” of symptoms, according to the American Botanical Council.

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Elderberry and COVID-19

Teas, tinctures, and more

Given elderberry’s long history of use against a variety of viruses, it’s natural to wonder whether it might be efficacious in fighting COVID-19. There is no documented evidence that elderberry can thwart or treat COVID-19, but its effectiveness against other viruses—including another human coronavirus called HCoV-NL63—has been noted. A report in the July 2020 issue of Autoimmunity Reviews points to the possible use of elderberry to prevent or treat symptoms of COVID-19. The authors of this study note that the fruit of Sambucus nigra (European elderberry) contains a lectin that may inhibit coronavirus function. Previous research has also identified lectins as anticoronavirus candidates. The researchers conclude that, considering efficacy and any potential adverse effects, over-the-counter elderberry supplements “can be used in those with COVID-19 at an early course of the disease.”

Elderberry can be taken numerous ways. The berries can be dried and made into teas, tinctures, and syrups. These remedies as well as capsules, gummies, and lozenges are readily available. If you’re so inclined, you can buy dried berries and make your own tea. To make a large mug of tea, pour a couple of cups of water into a small saucepan. Add a couple of tablespoons of dried elderberries. Heat to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for five minutes. Pour the tea through a strainer into your mug. To provide more soothing benefits, you can add honey if desired. —Lynn Tryba and Kelli Ann Wilson SELECTED SOURCES “Antiviral activity of Sambucus Formosana Nakai ethanol extract and related phenolic acid constituents against human coronavirus NL63” by J.R. Weng et al., Virus Research, 11/19 l “European elderberry,” Herbalgram, American Botanical Council l “Place of phytotherapy in the treatment of acute infections of upper respiratory tract and upper gastrointestinal tract” by W. Pietruszewska et al., Otolaryngologia Polska, 8/31/18 l “Seven recommendations to rescue patients and reduce the mortality from COVID-19 infection: An immunological point of view” by A. Kronbichler et al., Autoimmunity Reviews, 7/20

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Nature’s Answer Sambucus Immune is made from 12,000 mg of fresh black elderberries, and infused with echinacea, astragalus, vitamin C, and zinc.

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e ve r y d a y r e m e d i e s

cholesterol What is it? There are two types of cholesterol, a waxy substance found in blood: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good” cholesterol). A buildup of LDL cholesterol in the arteries can cause blockages and lead to heart attack or stroke. High LDL cholesterol can be detected by a simple blood test. What causes it? Risk factors include aging, diabetes, family history, lack of exercise, obesity, poor diet, and smoking.

Lifestyle: Choose a diet low in saturated and trans

fats and high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, drink alcohol only in moderation, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and don’t smoke.

Food: Avocados, bananas, barley, beans, berries, citrus fruit, fatty fish (herring, mackerel, salmon, trout, tuna), flaxseeds, garlic, lentils, nuts, oat bran, oatmeal, olive oil, soy products, and whey protein.

Herbs: Artichoke leaf extract, fenugreek, ginger, holy

Supplements: Blond psyllium, fish oil, green tea

Homeopathy: Aconite, Crategus, Digitalis, Kalmia,

extract, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids.

basil, rosemary, turmeric, yarrow.

Spigelia.

SELECTED SOURCES “Alternative treatments for high cholesterol,” www.WebMD.com, 5/20/18 l “Cholesterol-lowering supplements may be helpful,” 8/11/18; “Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers,” 7/17/18; “Top 5 lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol,” 11/20/18, www.MayoClinic.org l Secrets of Homeopathy by Ritu Jain ($29.75, New India Publishing Agency, 2007)

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snooze control

try these strategies for better sleep

16  remedies 

No one sleeps well every night. Many people never sleep well. A session of poor sleep can leave us inattentive and cranky, but a long series of sleepdeprived nights raises the risks for depression, obesity, and chronic illnesses.

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Since we spend about a third of our lives asleep (or at least we try to), it’s no surprise that researchers are constantly studying the effects of poor sleep on our bodies and our psyches. Some of those studies yield clues about how to sleep better. Exercise, proper diet, and certain nutritional supplements are factors that have proven to be effective. According to the National Sleep Foundation, good sleep habits include sleeping for at least 85 percent of the total time spent in bed, falling asleep within 30 minutes, and waking up no more than once a night. Easier said than done, but medical experts have offered some basic steps for achieving better sleep. Here’s a look at some recent findings.

The basics Harvard Medical School offered these tips: Create a sleep sanctuary. Keep TV, computers, and phones out of the bedroom.  Nap only when necessary. And limit naps to 20 or 30 minutes.  Avoid caffeine after noon.  Get regular exercise, but not within three hours of bedtime. Researchers at UCLA echoed some of those options, and identified a few more:  Keep your bedroom cool (around 68 degrees).  Avoid bright lights.  Try an herbal tea such as chamomile as a sleep aid.

Get moving Physical activities such as walking, biking, gardening, running, and yoga are associated with better sleep. Researchers looked at specific types of activities to see how they affect sleep quality. They compared 10 types of activities to walking and to no activity. Several activities were linked to better sleep compared to walking alone: aerobics/calisthenics, biking, gardening, golf, running, weightlifting, and yoga or Pilates. “Not only does this study show that those who get exercise simply by walking are more likely to have better sleep habits, but these effects are even stronger for more purposeful activities such as running and yoga,” said lead researcher Michael Grandner, PhD.

Check your diet Eating fiber-rich foods may lead to deeper sleep. A recent study also found that saturated fat and sugar can have negative impacts on sleep quality. Men and women who ate more fiber spent more time in a stage of deep, slow-wave sleep during the five-night laboratory study. Those who ate more saturated fat had less slow-wave sleep. And those who had a higher sugar intake were roused from sleep more often.

CBD may help Emerging research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive extract of the cannabis plant, may help relieve certain sleep disorders. One study found improvements in both anxiety and sleep, although the authors reported that results “fluctuated over time.” A 2019 review of studies found that cannabinoids, including CBD, may help “improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep onset latency.” CBD is available in many supplemental forms. SELECTED SOURCES “Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series” by S. Shannon et al., Permanente Journal, 2019 l “The use of cannabinoids for sleep: A critical review on clinical trials” by N. Kuthathasan et al., Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 8/19

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Supplements can help A 2019 study linked limited sleep with deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals. People who averaged less than seven hours of sleep per night tended to consume lower amounts of vitamins A, B1, D, and niacin, as well as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus. The authors of the study suggested that supplements of those nutrients could help fill the gaps when a person’s diet is not providing enough of them.

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Put down the phone Several new studies focused on how the use of phones and similar blue-light devices at bedtime led to poor sleep, especially among kids. Self-control issues were seen in some children who relied on the devices in the hour before bedtime, and teenage depression was more prevalent as well. A positive finding is that teenagers’ sleep improved after just one week of limited exposure to the devices. Those teens also experienced reduced fatigue, better concentration, and better moods.

“Sleep disturbances start with minor symptoms of tiredness and poor concentration, but in the long term we know that sleep loss is associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease,” said researcher Dirk Jan Stenvers, PhD. “If we can introduce simple measures now to tackle this issue, we can avoid greater health problems in years to come.” —Cameron Hendrix

SELECTED SOURCES “The ABCs of good Zzzzzs,” National Sleep Foundation, 2/2/17 l “Ask the doctor,” Mind, Mood & Memory, Massachusetts General Hospital, 8/18 l “Bedtime media use linked to less sleep in children who struggle to self-regulate behavior,” Arizona State University, 6/23/20 l “Tips to fall asleep naturally,” Healthy Years, UCLA Health, 2018 l “Sleep problems in teenagers reversed in just one week by limiting screen use,” European Society of Endocrinology, 5/19/19 l Study suggests that what you eat can influence how you sleep,” American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 1/14/16 l “Penn study maps the types of physical activity associated with better sleep,” University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 6/4/15 l “Poor sleep significantly linked with teenage depression,” University of Reading, 6/17/20 l “Study links poor sleep with poor nutrition,” American Society for Nutrition, 6/9/19 l “Women and sleep: 5 simple steps to a better night’s rest,” HEALTHbeat, Harvard Medical School, 1/7/17

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Follow Us On... September 2020  

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By Jane Eklund

bolster your immunity supplements can help What can we do for prevention and protection while we’re waiting for effective treatments for COVID19?

Because the virus is so new, scientists are scrambling to learn everything they can about preventing the disease and lessening its impact. In the meantime, we can take the recommended precautions—mask-wearing, social distancing, frequent handwashing, and staying home when possible—and then do what we can to ensure that our immune systems are working efficiently. One happy side effect: A healthy immune response may also come in handy as the annual flu season approaches.

Scouting the research A group of researchers aiming to find data on enhancing immunity via nutrition studied 43 controlled clinical trials looking at immunological parameters on viral and respiratory infections in humans. “Considering the current pandemic of 20  remedies 

COVID-19 where no effective preventive and curative medicine is available, a healthy immune system is one of the most important weapons,” wrote the scientists, who published their study in July. The results: The study highlights the importance of eating a balanced diet in preventing and treating viral infections, and notes that supplementing with a daily multivitamin/mineral is a good idea for people who find it difficult to get all the nutrients they need from food. The researchers also reported a potential benefit from vitamins A and D, specifically in people who have deficiencies in those vitamins, and from the minerals selenium and zinc. Probiotic supplements that feature Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may be helpful—Lactobacillus has shown efficacy in treatment of viral respiratory tract infections, and

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Bifidobacterium has been linked to increased immune function in the elderly. In addition, certain nutraceuticals, including cranberry polyphenols, aged garlic extract powder, omega-3 fatty acid capsules, and elderberries, have been shown to support immunity or reduce symptoms of viral or respiratory conditions.

Two to consider Melatonin is the go-to hormone for people who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Now scientists are studying whether 2 milligrams daily might protect healthcare personnel who work with COVID-19 patients from becoming infected themselves—and whether it might lead to a milder case for people who become ill with COVID-19. A clinical trial is under way, with results expected by the end of the year. US residents on average get only 10 percent of the potassium they need daily—and low levels of the mineral were found in nearly all the patients in a study of people in China with COVID-19. Additionally, those whose levels were low before they became infected with the virus had more serious cases.

Immunity notables Nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, includes some of the above and more in her list of the 10 best immune support nutrients. Keep these in the family toolkit for fighting infections: nE  lderberry syrup n Echinacea nO  il of oregano nO  live leaf extract nM  onolaurin

Curcumin may thwart COVID-19 complications Curcumin, extracted from turmeric, is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule with notable antiviral activity. A 2020 review examined the potential benefits of curcumin in managing COVID-19 infection. Infection by coronavirus triggers the immune system to secrete a cascade of cytokines (the “cytokine storm”), which can cause multi-organ failure. Curcumin may block the signals leading to these cytokine productions and reduce pulmonary inflammation. The coronavirus enters human cells by attaching to a protein called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE 2), present in the lower respiratory tract. Molecular docking studies in vitro have shown that curcumin can inhibit the interaction between viral spike protein and ACE 2, preventing viral entry. Curcumin’s antiviral effects have been seen in molecular studies that demonstrate its inhibition of viral protease, which is responsible for the survival and multiplication in human cells. By inhibiting protease, curcumin may prevent viral replication. The authors of the new review concluded that curcumin might help manage the novel coronavirus, but stressed that “welldesigned clinical trials are needed.” SOURCE “Potential effects of curcumin in the treatment of COVID-19 infection,” by F. Zahedipour et al., Phytotherapy Research, 5/19/20

America’s Finest product management director Shaheen Majeed, currently serving also as the president, worldwide of Sabinsa (owners of and manufacturer for America’s Finest, Inc.), has served on the board of the American Herbal Products Association. He is continuously looking to educate and bring awareness of products and their science to industry members and consumers.

n Vitamin C n Vitamin D n Iodine n Magnesium n Selenium

And Roy Upton, RH, DipAyu, executive director of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, notes that astragalus root was a helpful preventive for the SARS virus, a close relative of COVID-19. He also suggests taking andrographis and the Chinese herbal formula Yin Qiao San at the first sign of flu. —Jane Eklund SELECTED SOURCES “Boost the immune system,” University of Maryland Medical Center, www.umms.org l “Coronavirus: How to boost your immune system & protect yourself” by Anne Louise Gittleman; “Corona: Natural approaches that can help” by Roy Upton, https://TasteForLife.com l “Efficacy of melatonin in the prophylaxis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among healthcare workers,” www.ClinicalTrials.gov l “Enhancing immunity in viral infections, with special emphasis on COVID-19: A review” by Ranil Jayawardena et al., Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 7-8/20 l “Low serum potassium in COVID-19 and thoughts on interventions” by Kara Fitzgerald, www.drkarafitzgerald.com, 4/20

September 2020  

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new frontiers

Cannabidiol (CBD) supplements are obtainable in much of the US. A nonpsychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is being studied for its effects on many health conditions. Each state has laws regarding CBD with varying degrees of restriction. Learn about CBD’s status in your state at www.CBDCentral.com.

CBD shows promise in COVID-19 cases

Preliminary research has shown that CBD may help reduce the cytokine storm and excessive lung inflammation that has killed many patients with COVID-19. While more work is needed before CBD could become part of the treatment for COVID-19, researchers at the Dental College of Georgia and Medical College of Georgia determined that CBD might help certain patients avoid extreme interventions like mechanical ventilation as well as death from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Clinical trials are still needed to determine optimal dosage and timing. “ARDS is a major killer in severe cases of some respiratory viral infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and we have an urgent need for better intervention and treatment strategies,” said study author and immunologist Babak Baban, PhD. According to co-author Jack Yu, MD, “Our laboratory studies indicate pure CBD can help the lungs recover from the overwhelming inflammation, or cytokine storm, caused by the COVID-19 virus, and restore healthier oxygen levels in the body.” SELECTED SOURCES “CBD may help avert lung destruction in COVID-19,” Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, 7/16/20 l “Cannabidiol modulates cytokine storm in acute respiratory distress syndrome . . .” by H. Khodadadi et al., Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 7/8/20

September 2020  

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supplement spotlight

love your liver give this hard-working organ extra support

Talk about an unsung hero. The liver works day in and day out to clean your blood and clear your body of toxins. “There’s no doubt that the liver is essential to detoxification of the myriad of chemicals you are exposed to every day,” explains naturopathic physician Laurie Steelsmith, author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health (Three Rivers, 2005).

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The liver can even keep functioning after losing three-quarters of its cells and, unlike most other organs, it can regenerate itself. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it. “When the liver is under stress from an overload of toxins, it has a more difficult time processing and filtering harmful substances like alcohol– which is why supplements that support liver function are so critical,” says Manhattan-based physician Fred Pescatore, MD. There is a long list of liver-loving herbs and supplements, but a handful of them really stand out as deserving of special mention.

A surprise Let’s start with one you might not expect: fiber. Eating a fiber-rich diet and, perhaps, supplementing with fiber is a great start. As Dr. Steelsmith notes, “Fiber isn’t what most people think of first when addressing liver health, but it is essential because it helps to escort bile acids out of the body via the stool.” When there’s not enough fiber in your system, your body ends up absorbing certain toxins that would have–with fiber’s assistance– harmlessly left the body through regular bowel movements. When it comes to the many fiber options, Dr. Steelsmith is partial to a liver-loving form of fiber called inulin, which is found in dietary supplements as well as Jerusalem artichokes, globe artichokes, and burdock root. She also recommends the addition of one tablespoon of psyllium fiber to your smoothies as a quick and easy way to boost your fiber consumption.

The superstar Milk thistle offers a long history and solid research as a superstar when it comes to liver enhancement. This

herb both protects the liver from damage and encourages the growth of new healthy liver cells, making this herb the top pick for liver support. A compound in milk thistle called silymarin is the business end of this herb. Dr. Steelsmith recommends silymarin as a standardized extract in the amount of 150 milligrams (mg) per day standardized to 80 percent (or 120 mg) total flavonoids.

New guy Consider a bit of a newcomer to the liver supplement field: Robuvit. This antioxidant comes from a particular French oak tree. Recent clinical studies indicate that it has a role in liver support, namely “protecting the liver from alcohol-related damage,” notes Dr. Pescatore. He suggests 300 mg of Robuvit daily for liver support.

Warming detox Turmeric is the perfect example of the saying “let food be your medicine.” This warm Indian spice promotes healthy digestion and assists the liver in the detoxification process. Turmeric contains the active constituent curcumin, which is a potent antiinflammatory that has antioxidant properties and can help protect the liver from some environmental toxins and chemicals. Of course, you can add turmeric to food, but supplements of a standardized extract can be a more reliable way to garner a significant therapeutic effect. Dr. Steelsmith recommends the supplemental amount of turmeric, for those who want to take it, of 500 mg twice a day. SELECTED SOURCES Personal communication: Fred Pescatore, MD; Laurie Steelsmith, ND l “Purification, preliminary characterization and hepatoprotective effects of polysaccharides from dandelion root” by C. Liangliang et al., Molecules, 8/25/17

Supplement safety If you have liver health concerns, keep in mind that it’s prudent to skip the tincture form of herbal supplements. Tinctures are generally alcohol-based, and although there is only a small amount of alcohol, that can be an extra stressor to your liver. Choose one of the many other supplement forms instead. Liver-supportive herbs and supplements can increase the rate of detoxification performed by your liver. While that is generally positive, a side effect can be that medications you also take break down faster than intended. “This is especially an issue in those who are taking medications for treating seizure disorders,” says Dr. Steelsmith, so do keep that in mind. Which brings up an always-good idea: “Let your physician know if you are taking liver supportive herbs while also on prescription medication. For example, an herb like turmeric can thin your blood, so if you are taking a blood thinner, it could be contraindicated for you to take a lot of turmeric or curcumin,” says Dr. Steelsmith.

Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, a health journalist for more than two decades, is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).

September 2020  

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sports nutrition + performance

superpowered take your nutrition to the next level with superfood powders Are you struggling to get the recommended five to ten portions of fruit and vegetables each day? You’re not alone: Only one in ten Americans is hitting even the low end of the target. Athletes and those exercising to lose weight or maintain weight loss know that the body needs optimal nutrition to perform at its best. Superfood powders—nutritional supplements made from some of the healthiest foods on Earth—may help to close the gap. Superfood powders can be used individually or combined to provide a much-needed nutritional boost. They can be whipped into lattes, stirred into tonics or sauces, blended into smoothies, and baked into healthy treats. Superfood powders come in a rainbow of hues, making it easy to add a fun pop of color—as well as key vitamins and minerals—to milk, oatmeal, or yogurt.

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Barley grass: Boasting an impressive eight essential amino acids, barley grass increases blood flow and aids digestion and detoxification. Beets: Natural sweetness makes beets a tasty addition to smoothies. Beet powder has anti-inflammatory benefits that support the heart and help detoxify the body. Beets are a great option for athletes because they aid muscle recovery and help to build stamina. Blue-green algae: These primitive organisms are made up of components that may lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress. Recent studies have demonstrated that blue-green algae may help protect against heart disease. Chlorella: Rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, chlorella may help control cholesterol and diabetes and protect against lung disease and certain cancers. Matcha: Get an energy boost without the harshness of coffee with matcha, a powder made from green tea. Packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins C and E, matcha can kick-start metabolism, making it easier to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Moringa: Offering a host of nutrients including protein, iron, and vitamins A, B6, and C, moringa powder has been shown to lower cholesterol and beat back inflammation. Athletes will appreciate moringa’s high antioxidant content and its ability to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Wheatgrass: The young shoots of the common wheat plant contain chlorophyll and various vitamins and other nutrients. Lab testing suggests it may help with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, diabetes, and obesity. Spirulina: With its unique composition of proteins and vitamins, spirulina’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities can’t be beat. Spirulina helps battle plaque buildup in arteries, heart-muscle thickening, heart failure, and high blood pressure. Clinical trials have shown it may also prevent exercise-related skeletal muscle damage. Turmeric: Used medicinally in India for centuries, turmeric boasts powerful anti-inflammatory properties and supports the liver, brain, and immune system. Turmeric offers many benefits for athletes including easing joint pain and stiffness, as well as boosting metabolism. Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is an adaptogenic herb used in Chinese medicine to invigorate and increase energy. Eleuthero has also been shown to boost performance and stamina in athletes. Those who exercise frequently may avoid burnout by taking eleuthero periodically. It’s especially helpful for those over age 40 with slowing metabolisms, although those with high blood pressure will want to avoid it. Rhodiola can help ease recovery after intense training. It may help to regulate blood sugar and reduce fatigue during downtimes. —remedies staff

SELECTED SOURCES “The antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory activities of spirulina . . .” by Q. Wu et al., Archives of Toxicology, 6/16 l “Chlorella vulgaris: A multifunctional dietary supplement with diverse medicinal properties” by Y. Panahi et al., Current Pharmacological Design, 2016 l “Get your fill of fall ‘superfoods’” by Jess Amaris, http://MayoClinicHealthSystem.org l “Health benefits of blue-green algae: Prevention of cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease” C.S. Ku et al., Journal of Medicinal Food l “Only 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits or vegetables,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.CDC.gov, 11/16/17 l Super Powders by Katrine van Wyk ($21.95, Countryman Press, 2019) l “Therapeutic potential of young green barley leaves in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases . . .” by L. Lahouar et al., American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 10/15

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