IT’S ALLERGY SEASON – Most of us get them – some of our symptoms last all season, or only a few days. Good health and a strong immune system are our most precious possessions in warding off allergic reactions that are plaguing an ever larger percentage of the world’s population. While some allergic responses are little more than a nuisance, others affect the entire body and can develop, if untreated, into more serious problems as we age.
Research indicates that blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, arthritis and other degenerative diseases can develop as a result of untreated allergies. Our immune system is our first line of defense against substances that would otherwise harm us. The cells of the immune system communicate with each other, while acting in concert with the endocrine and nervous system to maintain body homeostasis. The immune system is so intricate and complex that many of its functions are still not fully understood. How an organism triggers, regulates, completes or stops an immune response remains under intense study.
Nutritional Support System
Building a nutritional support program for allergies is a complex matter because our immune system is so complex. However, there are nutritional supplements (vitamins and minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients) which show promise in building and strengthening the whole body and, specifically, the immune system
Some of the most noted are:
- Quercetin (a non-citrus flavanoid) – Quercetin is an organosulfur flavonoid phytonutrient that gives the taste to onions. Quercetin also shows up in tea and red wine, but onions are its richest common food source. This phytonutrient has been making the news recently due to its powerful antioxidant and flavonoid content. Flavonoids appear to function as biological response modifiers. In other words, flavonoids appear to modify the body’s reaction to compounds such as allergens, viruses and carcinogens. Flavonoids have been shown to contain antiinflammatory, antiallergic, antiviral and anticancer properties. Current research suggests that flavonoids may be useful in the support of many health conditions such as allergies. The flavonoid quercetin has a strong affinity for mast cells and basophils. It seems to stabilize their cell membranes, thus preventing them from spilling histamine. It also has been shown to have the power to inhibit two enzymes that regulate the release of leukotrienes, which are implicated in asthmatic-type reactions.
- Green Tea (Camillia/Thea sinensis) – Tea is one of the most ancient and, next to water, the most commonly consumed beverage in the world. From the time that tea was introduced to the west in 1610, the green varieties have been touted as health elixirs. There is a difference between black tea and green tea, even though they originate from the same leaf. Black tea undergoes a fermenting process, wherein most of its polyphenols are lost. Green tea is not fermented and, thus, retains its polyphenols. Polyphenols are phytonutrients that are receiving much scientific study and are believed to be responsible for the antioxidant activity of green tea. Polyphenols are flavonoids that give tea its tart flavor. Catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate and proanthrocyanidins are some of the polyphenols found in green tea. Polyphenols, like other antioxidants, ward off the everyday cellular attacks that cause the body to deteriorate and develop numerous symptoms of disease. Recent scientific research documents the health benefits of the polyphenols in green tea.
- Chelated Selenium – Selenium is an important mineral needed in low quantities. It is often deficient in foods due to selenium deficient soils plus modern refining and processing. It acts as an antioxidant, protecting cell membranes and stimulating immune function. Studies show that it increases B-cell antibody response and is essential for protein synthesis and antibody formation. It enhances the function of vitamin C and is essential to the production of Coenzyme Q10. When combined with quercitin, selenium can help reduce inflammatory responses.
- Pineapple (Bromelain) and Papaya (Papain) – A number of phytonutrients are provided by tropical fruits. Each fruit is known for its unique taste and particular nutrient value. Pineapples contain a digestive enzyme, bromelain, said to be a protein digesting enzyme. Bromelain is also said to have a mild anti-inflammatory action in the body. It also assists and aids in the digestion of vegetable protein in the gastrointestinal tract. Papaya is best known as a digestive aid. It contains the enzyme papain, also a proteolytic enzyme effective in breaking down protein and dead tissue.
- Licorice Extract and Glycyrrhizin Activity (Glycyrrhiza glabra) – Glycyrrhizin is a sapon-like glycoside found in licorice root and licorice root extract. It is sometimes used therapeutically to treat gastric ulcers and inflammation of the skin and has been studied for its antiallergic, antiarthritic, anticholinergic, anti-estrogenic, antihepatotoxic and anti-leukemogenic properties. In Chinese medicine, licorice is said to replenish vital energy, moisten the lungs, strengthen the digestion and modulate the effects of other herbs. Herbalists often suggest licorice teas to help heal gastric ulcers.
- Chelated Copper – Copper plays a role in the immune system. It is, in fact, an essential component of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant made by the body to combat free radical damage to the mitochondria (energy-producing portion of the cell). Without copper, the liver is unable to degrade estrogen. It is crucial to the formation of helper Tcells.
- Chelated Molybdenum – This essential mineral is required in extremely small amounts for nitrogen metabolism. It promotes normal cell function and is a component in the metabolic enzyme xanthine oxidase. This mineral enhances the use of sulfur amino acids by the body. Sulfur is critical to immune system function, to antioxidant activity and to detoxification pathways. It is the component of enzymes that detoxifies sulfites and aldehydes and enhances the cells utilization of vitamin C.
- Chelated Magnesium and Calcium – Magnesium and calcium are the earth’s alkali minerals. However, they play different roles in the body. Magnesium is considered the anti-stress mineral because it acts as a natural tranquilizer, relaxing the smooth muscles of the body, particularly the gastrointestinal muscles. It may also help reduce the broncho-constrictor in asthma by relaxing the muscles around the bronchial tubes.
- Vitamin B15 (Dimethylglycine) – Research from the former Soviet Union indicates that this nutrient can help lessen muscle fatigue and increase endurance. Dimethylglycine combines with gluconic acid in the body to form pangamic acid.
- Vitamin C – Continuing research on vitamin C, an important antioxidant, is revealing its ability to stimulate the immune system. Vitamin C may activate neutrophils, the most prevalent white blood cells that work on the frontline defense. It also seems to increase production of lymphocytes, the white cells important to antibody production, and in coordinating the cellular immune functions. It has been shown to decrease the production of histamine, thereby reducing immediate allergy potential.
- Aller Control: Dr.Bo has an all in one product called Aller Control that contains the important nutrients mentioned above to strengthen the immune system, the ultimate answer to chronic allergic reactions. Contains Quercetin, Green Tea, Bromelain and Papaya Enzymes, Licorice Extract along with Selenium, copper, Molybdenum, Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamins B15 and C.
- Aller-Aid: The plants in Dr. Bo’s® Aller Aid™ liquid Tincture help to lessen the inflammatory response to allergens and support the overworked adrenal glands during excessive defense reactions. Useful for hay fever, eczema, itchy eyes, sneezing, hives, sinus and respiratory reaction. Best to combine with Dr. Bo’s Aller Control. If possible, start two weeks prior to exposure to known allergens.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information contained in this bulletin is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. In all cases, it is recommended that you consult with your healthcare professional before initiating a supplement program.