Much Ado about Swine Flu…

Lately, every time we turn on the news, swine flu is the top story of the day. The disease is becoming more widespread and people are concerned for their health and safety. Swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. Normally, people are not affected by swine flu, but human infections can happen and as we have seen recently, have happened.

The symptoms of swine flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting, as well. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warn that people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that the flu is contagious before you even know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

There are many precautions that you can take to decrease your chance of contracting the flu. Practicing good hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of germs. As with any illness, supporting your immune system with healthy diet and lifestyle practices is critical.

Here are some steps to reduce your risk of getting sick:

1. SCRUB! Wash your hands with soap for at least 30 seconds — and wash them often. If you can’t wash, then use hand sanitizer. Use sanitary wipes to clean phone mouthpieces, door knobs, computer keyboards, and other hands-on surfaces.

2. COVER! Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands, where germs will be spread onto everything you touch. Instead, use a tissue or the crook of your elbow.

3. HANDS OFF! Don’t touch your face. Flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. If you travel or are exposed to lots of people, you may increase your resistance by using throat sprays and zinc lozenges.

4. AVOID CLOSE CONTACT with people, especially if they are sick. Skip the hugs and kisses and just say hello.

5. SUPPLEMENT! Keep your immune system strong with a powerful immune formula such as Pathway IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT. New research also strongly supports the role of vitamin D3 in flu prevention. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to lowered immunity. Experts suggest taking at least 2000 IU daily to boost immune function and for its anti-inflammatory activity.

6. STAY HOME! If you are not feeling well, do yourself and everyone a favor and stay home to stop the spread of the flu.

These tips are not meant to take the place of your physician’s advice. If you think you have the flu, please follow the guidelines from the CDC and contact your doctor immediately.

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Not All Supplements Are Created Equal – How Do I Choose?

With the overwhelming amount of nutritional supplements available on the market, it can be a confusing process figuring out which health products are the best for you. When it comes to choosing the most beneficial products, there are four important things to look for:

1. Quality ingredients

    Patented, trademarked ingredients (examples: Ester-C®, Suntheanine®)
    Vitamin and mineral forms that are highly absorbable (examples: calcium hydroxyapatite or calcium citrate, rather than calcium carbonate)

2. Purity

    Products that are free of wheat, gluten, corn, dairy products, eggs, yeast, heavy metals, preservatives, and artificial colors or flavors
    Products that do not contain any unnecessary binders and fillers

3. Scientific Validation

    Ingredients and formulas demonstrated to be effective in clinical trials and research studies
    Independent third-party testing

4. Careful Manufacturing

    Meticulous quality assurance procedures followed
    Products tested to ensure proper breakdown by the body

Different supplement lines have different values regarding these four aspects of product quality. At Village Green Apothecary, it is our passion and commitment to provide our customers with premium products, and to this end, we created the Pathway line, which has over 120 single nutrient and combination formulas. Pathway products meet all of the criteria listed above – they are carefully formulated to contain the finest raw materials in forms that are well absorbed and assimilated into the body, as well as being 100% natural and hypoallergenic, designed with our customers’ health in mind.

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Evidence of the Benefits of Vitamin D

Two meta-analysis studies have been published online demonstrating the benefits of vitamin D on breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

What are meta-analysis studies? Meta-analysis combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses – in this case, the outcome of vitamin D on breast cancer and colorectal cancer. The studies were conducted by a team of cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, as well as by colleagues on both coasts.

The findings showed that taking 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily increased blood levels of vitamin D and reduced instances of colorectal cancer by about two-thirds and breast cancer incidents by half.

Breast cancer research
For the breast cancer meta-analysis, published online in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the data from two previous studies involving 1,760 people were divided into five equal groups, from the lowest blood levels of vitamin D (less than 13 nanograms per millilitre) to the highest (about 52 ng/ml). The data showed conclusively that the higher the amount of vitamin D in the blood, the lower the rate of breast cancer.

Colorectal cancer research
Similarly, the colorectal cancer meta-analysis, published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, pooled data from five studies involving 1,448 people and found that when individuals took 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily (about 46 ng/ml), the rate of colorectal cancer dropped by two-thirds.

Recommended intake of vitamin D
One of the coauthors recommends 2000 IU per day, saying that 400 IU (the current RDA) is not enough to make a difference in cancer prevention. It is currently set at 400 IU to prevent rickets and decrease bone fractures. Research by Reinhold Vieth, director of the Bone and Mineral Laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, has shown that daily vitamin D dosages of up to 10,000 IU are safe.

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Our Bloggers

  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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  • Margo Gladding
    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
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    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
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    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
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    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
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    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
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    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
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    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
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March 2023