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The Not-So-Common, Common Cold

The “Not-So-Common” Common Cold

Common Colds Shouldn’t be so Common

A recent Wall Street Journal article (March 24, 2014) talked about the common cold.  It stated that the average adult has 2 to 5 colds per year while school children may have up to 7 to 10 colds per year.  It also stated that the average cold lasts 18 days.  And conventional doctors say zinc, echinacea or vitamin C are not the answers–the evidence is not conclusive that any of them help.

Dr. Gardner’s comments:  Although I recognize 2 to 5 colds a year is ‘average,’ having any more than 0 or 1 cold a year is not healthy.  ‘Average’ people do not have healthy immune systems. 

So: How do you build the immune system?

  1. Get off sugar and processed food, which suppress the immune system!
  2. Get proper nutrients—eat real food and high-quality supplements.
  3. Reduce stress—poor sleep, emotional stuff, finances, relationships.
  4. Exercise releases redox signaling molecules which help fight all infections.
  5. There are supplements that specifically build the killer T cells and support the immune system.
  6. And yes, zinc, echinacea, and vitamin C all can benefit our health.

When you get a cold, what should you do?

  1. Get rest, especially if sleep-deprivation is the cause of the stress.
  2. Oil of Oregano has the strongest anti-viral properties of all the essential oils.
  3. High dose vitamin C, 6 grams per day, as it takes that much to replace the vitamin C depletion in the white cells during a viral infection.
  4. Drink plenty of fluids to flush out toxins released as part of the infection.

To your dynamic health and energy,

Stan Gardner, MD, CNS

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Your Nutritional Prescription

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”  Hippocrates

 For years, I have lamented the fact that doctors get very little, if any, nutritional training in their medical school classes.  My own efforts to be current in this very important field of nutrition led me to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist several years ago.  I have felt as though I am swimming upstream, against a strong current filled with tree branches and mud, as I have championed using nutrition as a first choice therapeutic tool.

But I am encouraged!  Why?  On March 15th 2014, an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “A Delicious Prescription.”

Doctors and chefs, along with dietitians and nutritionists, health care practitioners and educators are meeting together in Napa Valley, California, to discuss food and its impact on health.  At the present time, this effort is brought about from the allopathic medicine perspective, but it represents a major leap into the world of nutrition, which has largely been ignored in Western medicine.

A large full-page picture spread of good foods and their benefits are part of the article.  Some even go against the grain of prevailing medical philosophy.  Here are some highlights:

 Healthy fats:

  • anchovies with omega 3 fatty acids and selenium; low in mercury;
  • avocados with monounsaturated fat, potassium, vitamins C and K and folate;
  • eggs as a source of iron, protein, vitamins A and B and folate (notice they left out cholesterol and fats!–which caused eggs to be mislabeled as a “bad” food for years);
  • grass-fed beef with vitamins B and iron;
  • wild salmon with protein, vitamins B and D and omega 3s;
  • olive oil with monounsaturated fat.

Proteins:

  • organic chicken with vitamin B6, iron and protein and omega 3;
  • nuts with protein, magnesium and monounsaturated fat;
  • seeds with folate, fiber, protein and zinc.

Vegetables:

  • carrots with vitamin A, fiber and beta-carotene;
  • dark leafy greens with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, calcium, sulforaphanes and folate;
  • parsley with folate and potassium and vitamins A and C;
  • squash with beta-carotene and other antioxidants and fiber and vitamin A;
  • cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts) with fiber, vitains C, E D and folate;
  • green beans with fiber and regulate blood sugar;
  • onions and garlic with sulfur and folate.

 Fruits:

  • berries with polyphenols and fiber, vitamin C and potassium,
  • coconut with calcium, potassium, magnesium and electrolytes;
  • stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines cherries, apricots) with vitamins C and K, potassium and beta-carotene.

 Whole grains:

  • barley,
  • buckwheat,
  • oats,
  • quinoa,
  • wheat and
  • wild rice with fiber.

Mushrooms with minerals and vitamins B and D.

You might want to place a copy of this list of magical foods in your kitchen to inspire their use in meals you prepare.

Getting in the Swim of Things

With the Wall Street Journal article, I am seeing conventional allopathic medicine start to catch up to the science of nutritional medicine.  (They now have ‘pharmaceuticals’ for fish oil, vitamin D, eye antioxidants, and folate, which are no better than a high-grade supplement but much more expensive).

 If this nutritional trend continues, I might begin to feel as though I’ve joined a pool party!  No more swimming against the current in a muddy, tricky river.  But even this venture into previously uncharted waters is merely dipping conventional medicine’s toe into the pool.

However, my assessment of this ‘big toe in the swimming pool’ of food and health is guarded.  Dr. Harlan is quoted in the article as saying, “Make no mistake.  I am an allopathic physician.  I do not believe in anything other than evidence-based medicine.  As an internist, I prescribe statins and beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors and aspirin.  I believe in them and they have a role.  Diet alone is very good.  Medication alone is very good.  But diet plus medication is synergistic.  It’s another tool in the box that physicians should have available to them.”

I’m really looking forward to the day when not only the big toe or foot is in the science-based nutritional swimming pool, but allopathic medicine takes a giant leap forward.  Maybe in my lifetime, their whole body will jump in and harness the power of nutrition to address health and disease prevention and treatment.  I certainly hope so.  In the meantime, we can all show them the difference it makes to eat wisely, and healthfully.

To your dynamic health and energy!

Dr. Stan

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What’s Really in Your Supplements?

Regulators and Physicians Raise Alarms About Dangerous Ingredients in Many Herbal Remedies

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, September, 8, 2009

Extreme cases of supplement contamination are emphasized—Dan Gerkey tried a supplement that advertised that it would build strength.  The supplement included steroids, which caused Dan to experience Continue reading What’s Really in Your Supplements?

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Side Effects with Epilepsy Drug

FDA Warns About Drug For Epilepsy

Zonegran is another medication for seizures whose post-release findings show that it can cause a metabolic disorder, excessive acidity, which can increase the risks of kidney stones and bone diseases. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Continue reading Side Effects with Epilepsy Drug

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Interesting Stuff About the Bacteria in Your Immune System

Innovative researcher, Margaret McFall-Ngai, a biology and immunology professor at the University of Wisconsin, has announced a discovery that was discussed at length in the Wall Street Journal on August 28, 2008.  She proposes that the immune system’s role is not always one of “killing,” but more importantly, one of “a master regulator” of our microbial menagerie, “working to maintain communities of bacteria in balance.”

This is what we in principle-based medicine have been saying for over 25 years.  Louis Pasteur, who initiated the “germ theory” of disease, upon which our present-day immune system killing theory is based, refuted the importance of his own germ theory just before he died.  Speaking of the body as the “terrain” upon which the germs reside, he said at his deathbed, “The terrain is everything.”  He was referring to the fact that the body’s immune system is what regulates and determines the presence of disease, and not the organism itself.  Unfortunately, that comment was ignored, because it did not fit the prevailing direction of medical care at the time.  How refreshing it is today to see current medical thinking trends starting to shift!