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07/Nov/2022

According to the CDC, 6.1 million American children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Here in Canada the prevalence of ADHD in children is about 5%-9%. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help them. While there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments that can help your child focus and succeed. Here are 10 natural treatments for ADHD that really work.

1. Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain development and function. There is a lot of clinical research that supports the use of omega-3 supplements for children with ADHD. One study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who took omega-3 supplements had improved symptoms compared to those who didn’t take supplements. Another study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, showed that children who took omega-3 supplements had better focus and attention span. These studies suggest that omega-3 supplementation is a safe and effective treatment for ADHD symptoms. You can give your child an omega-3 supplement or increase their intake of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring.

2. Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that are found in yogurt, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. They help promote a healthy gut by keeping the balance of good and bad bacteria in check. A study published in the journal Nutrients found that probiotics were able to reduce symptoms of ADHD in children. The study found that the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus was able to improve attention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness in the children who took it. Another study published in the journal Pediatrics found that a combination of probiotics and prebiotics was able to improve symptoms of ADHD in children. A healthy gut has been linked to better mental health, so probiotics are a great natural treatment for ADHD.

3. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to release energy and improve focus. It also helps improve sleep, which is often an issue for children with ADHD. A study by the University of Massachusetts found that children who exercised for 30 minutes each day had improved focus and less hyperactivity.

4. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can help improve focus and concentration. However, it should be used in moderation as too much caffeine can cause side effects like anxiety and irritability. A cup of tea in the morning can potentially help your child focus at school or during homework time. Clinical research has shown that caffeine can help improve cognitive function and memory recall. Additionally, caffeine can help increase energy levels and decrease fatigue. For these reasons, caffeine can be an effective tool for improving focus and productivity. However, it is important to note that caffeine should not be used by children under the age of 12.

5. Limit Screen Time

Screen time includes TV, video games, computers, and phones. Clinical research indicates that screen time can worsen symptoms of ADHD by causing restlessness and impulsivity. In one study, children with ADHD who were limited to 2 hours of screen time per day had improved attention and behavior. Another study found that children who exceeded 2 hours of screen time per day were more likely to have problems with inattention, hyperactivity, and aggressiveness. Therefore, it is important to limit screen time to no more than 2 hours per day for children with ADHD.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for focus, concentration, and overall mental health. Children with ADHD often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. Establishing a bedtime routine can help your child wind down before sleep and feel more rested during the day. aim for at least 9 hours of sleep per night for children with ADHD.

7. Eat a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is important for everyone, but it is especially important for children with ADHD. A diet high in sugar and processed foods can worsen symptoms while a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and protein can improve them. Studies have shown that a healthy diet can help to improve ADHD symptoms. One study found that children who followed a healthy diet had improved focus and attention, less hyperactivity and impulsiveness, and better behavior overall.

8. Drink Plenty of Water

Studies have shown that dehydration can contribute to a decline in cognitive function and overall productivity. In one study, subjects who were mildly dehydrated scored lower on tests of mental performance and vigilance than those who were hydrated. Another study showed that dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, both of which can lead to decreased concentration. It is therefore important for children to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay focused and alert.

9. Try Herbal Supplements

Clinical research has shown that some herbal supplements can improve symptoms of ADHD. For example, a study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry found that ginkgo biloba improved attention and processing speed in adults with ADHD. Another study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that green tea improved symptoms of ADHD in children. And a study published in the journal Chemistry & Industry found that lemon balm improved focus and attention in children with ADHD.

10. Consider Neurofeedback Therapy

Neurofeedback therapy is a type of biofeedback that uses brain waves to feedback information about attention levels. This information is then used to train the brain to focus better. Neurofeedback therapy has been extensively researched and has been shown to be an effective treatment for ADHD. One study found that children who received neurofeedback therapy showed significantly better attention and behavior than those who did not receive the therapy. In addition, the benefits of neurofeedback therapy were found to last for up to two years after the therapy ended. This makes neurofeedback a desirable treatment for ADHD, as the long-term results are much better than those of medications.

Conclusion:

If your child has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you’re probably wondering what you can do to help them cope with the condition. Thankfully, there are many natural treatments that can help improve symptoms without the use of medication. By implementing some (or all) of these treatments into your child’s life, you can help them focus better, sleep better, eat better and feel better .

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01/Nov/2022

As a mom or dad, you want what’s best for your children. You want them to be happy and healthy, and you want to do everything you can to help them reach their full potential. When it comes to their health, naturopathic care is one of the best things you can do for your kids. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Holistic Care

Naturopathic care focuses on the whole child, not just the symptoms of whatever condition they happen to be experiencing at the moment. This means that treatment is tailored to the individual child, taking into account all aspects of their health, both physical and emotional.

2. Prevention

Naturopathic care is all about preventing illness before it has a chance to take hold. By teaching kids healthy habits and helping them to develop a strong foundation of wellness, naturopathic doctors can help keep your kid(s) healthy throughout their lives.

3. Natural Medicines

Naturopathic care relies heavily on natural therapies and treatments rather than harsh chemicals or drugs. This is important because it means that there are generally fewer side effects and risks involved with naturopathic care than there are with conventional medical treatments.

4. Safety

Because naturopathic care is so gentle and natural, it’s safe for even very young children. In fact, many parents choose naturopathic care for their babies and toddlers precisely because it is so safe and gentle.

5. Efficacy

Don’t let the gentle nature of naturopathic care fool you—it is highly effective in treating a wide variety of conditions in children of all ages. From colds and flus to chronic conditions like allergies and asthma, naturopathic care can help your child feel better and improve their overall health.

6. Affordability

Because naturopathic care is covered by most insurance plans, it is often more affordable than other forms of medical treatment. This makes it a great option for families on a budget who still want to give their children the best possible care.

7. Convenience

It’s convenient. Naturopathic doctors often offer convenient office hours and locations, making it easy for busy families to get the care they need without having to miss work or school unnecessarily. Additionally, many naturopathic clinics, include ours, offer online scheduling and telemedicine options. This makes access to care even easier!

8. Evidence based

Naturopathic care is based on solid scientific evidence—not just anecdotal evidence or old wives’ tales! This means that you can be confident that the treatments your child receives are backed by research and are proven to be effective in treating a variety of conditions.

9. Education

One of the best things about naturopathic care is that it helps kids learn healthy habits that will last a lifetime. By teaching them how to eat right, exercise regularly, manage stress effectively, and more, naturopathic doctors set kids up for success both now and in the future.

10. Primary Care

In some cases, early intervention with naturopathic care can literally save a child’s life. For example, if your child has a genetic predisposition for heart disease or cancer, starting them on a program of naturopathic prevention could help them avoid ever developing the disease in the first place. Additionally, naturopathic doctors are primary care physicians who can run lab tests and make diagnosis similarly to a pediatrician.

Conclusion

Naturopathic care offers countless benefits for children of all ages. If you’re looking for an alternative to conventional medicine or just want to give your child the best possible chance at good health throughout their life, consider making an appointment with a naturopathic doctor today!
Book a free 15 minute introductory consult 

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14/Oct/2022

The Top 10 Supplements for Kids’ Health

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. When it comes to their health, you want to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, kids don’t get all the nutrients they need from their diet alone. That’s where supplements come in.

Multivitamin:

A multivitamin is a supplement that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s a good way to ensure that your child is getting all the essential nutrients they need, even if their diet is lacking in some areas.
Kids often go through periods where they’re less than eager to eat certain foods. This is a normal stage in the development of taste buds, and starting with a good quality multivitamin will help your child get back on track during this time!
Compliance is the most important thing when it comes to giving kids supplements. If your child will not take their vitamins you might as well throw them in the garbage. It’s important to try a few different brands in order to see if your child has a specific preference. A naturopathic doctor with experience in working with kids can be very helpful in choosing a few options.
Some of my most frequently recommended include: SmartyPants Kids Formula, ND Shake for Kids by Orange Naturals, and Kids Multivitamin Liquid spray by Organika.

Probiotic:

Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for gut health. They can help with digestion and absorption of nutrients, and they can also help boost the immune system.
There are many different strains of probiotics and many of them have specific effects for specific conditions. This is another reason why it is important to consult with a Naturopathic doctor before choosing which product is right for your child. Some of my most recommended brands include: Culturelle, BioGaia, Vita Aid, and Genestra.

Fish Oil:

Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain development and heart health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for many aspects of health, including brain development and heart health. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids may help improve cognitive function in children, as well as protect against certain conditions such as depression and ADHD.
For example, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that children who consumed higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids had better reading comprehension and short-term verbal memory compared to those with lower intakes. Another study published in BMC Public Health reported that children with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were less likely to exhibit symptoms of depression.
Additionally, studies have shown that consuming adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids is important for supporting healthy cardiovascular function in children.
For example, one study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher intakes of fish oil was associated with improved arterial elasticity in adolescents. Overall, there is strong evidence to support the benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids for kids, both for brain development and overall health.
Some brands that I frequently recommend are NutraSea, Honibee, Nordic Naturals and Botanica.

Elderberry Syrup:

Elderberry syrup has long been touted as a natural remedy for fighting off colds and flu in both children and adults. This is due, in part, to the high antioxidant and vitamin content of elderberry. Studies have shown that elderberry can help boost the immune system and shorten the duration of cold or flu symptoms.
For example, one study found that elderberry extract was just as effective at reducing the duration of cold symptoms compared to acetaminophen (a common painkiller). Another study showed that taking an elderberry syrup daily during flu season could reduce the risk of developing illness by up to 58%. Overall, these findings suggest that elderberry may be a powerful tool for reducing the risk and severity of colds and flu in both kids and adults.
I often recommend Sambucol as they have independently researched their product for its efficacy.

Magnesium:

There is a growing body of research demonstrating the benefits of magnesium in certain childhood conditions. In particular, studies have shown that magnesium can help prevent and treat asthma, ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and even reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Additionally, it has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life, which makes it an important supplement for children who are still growing. Overall, magnesium appears to be a safe and effective way to promote healthy development and overall wellness in children.
Magnesium is important for the body and it can be hard to know which type or salt would work best. Consult with your Naturopath as they will have experience in this area!

Zinc:

One study found that zinc supplements may help to prevent and treat diarrhea in children, which is a common cause of weight loss and malnutrition. Another study showed that zinc can be effective in reducing the frequency of respiratory infections in children, such as colds and flu.
Additionally, research has demonstrated that zinc can be beneficial for wound healing, particularly in patients with diabetes and other conditions that impair circulation.
Overall, these studies suggest that zinc plays an important role in protecting against certain diseases and conditions of childhood, as well as supporting growth and healthy functioning of the immune system.
It is important to speak with your naturopath about how best use zinc because it can lead other nutritional deficiencies if taken long term.

Propolis Spray:

Propolis is a substance made by bees that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Propolis has long been known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an excellent tool for boosting immunity and healing wounds.
A number of studies have shown that propolis can be effective in treating a variety of childhood conditions, including colds and flu, ear infections, and skin irritations.
For example, one study found that children treated with propolis showed significant improvement in symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, such as coughing and fever, within just 3 days of treatment. The antibacterial properties of propolis also make it an effective treatment for ear infections by helping to eliminate the bacteria that cause these infections.
Finally, propolis has been shown to be effective in treating minor skin irritations like eczema or rashes by reducing inflammation and speeding up the healing process. Overall, these findings highlight the powerful benefits of propolis for children’s health and well-being.It’s great for boosting immunity and healing wounds.
I often recommend the propolis spray by Beekeepers Naturals for sore throats.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for children because it plays a key role in immunity, tissue repair, and collagen production.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that adequate intake of vitamin C can help protect children from a range of health problems, including common colds and respiratory infections.
Additionally, vitamin C is involved in wound healing, which makes it important for children who are frequently active or injured. Furthermore, vitamin C plays a central role in the production of collagen, which is important for supporting healthy skin and connective tissues throughout the body.
Overall, these benefits make it clear that vitamin C is an important nutrient for childhood development and overall health.
Vitamin C is one vitamin that doesn’t really need to be from a specific brand. The most important thing is to find one your child likes to take.

Vitamin D:

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the many benefits of vitamin D for children. Studies have shown that adequate levels of vitamin D can help to improve bone health and prevent conditions like osteoporosis later in life.
Additionally, this crucial nutrient plays an important role in immune function, allowing children’s bodies to fight off illnesses and infections more effectively. Furthermore, vitamin D is involved in numerous cellular processes, helping to regulate cell growth and development, maintain proper organ function, and support overall metabolic health.
Overall, maintaining sufficient levels of this key vitamin is essential for promoting optimal health and well-being in children.
There is a lot of differing opinions when it comes to vitamin d dosing in kids. Therefore it is important to speak with your healthcare provider about dosing for children.

Melatonin:

Studies have shown that melatonin can be helpful for children who have difficulty sleeping or have jet lag. This is because it helps to regulate the body’s sleep cycles, allowing kids to fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer.
Additionally, there is some evidence that melatonin may help reduce the severity of conditions like ADHD and autism, though more research is needed in this area.
Overall, melatonin is considered a safe and effective option for treating sleep disturbances in children, though it should only be used as directed by a healthcare professional.
I have found that melatonin works best when started at a low dose. When choosing your product try to find one that is a maximum of 1mg per dose.

Conclusion:

As parents, we want what’s best for our children. When it comes to their health, we want to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Sometimes, however, kids don’t get all the nutrients they need from their diet alone. That’s where supplements come in. A multivitamin, probiotic, fish oil, elderberry syrup, magnesium, zinc, propolis spray, vitamin C, vitamin D, or melatonin can help fill in any gaps in your child’s nutrition and keep them healthy and happy!

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04/Oct/2022

Introduction:

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. You want them to be happy and healthy, and you’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen. But sometimes, figuring out “what’s best” can be tricky.
Take food sensitivity testing for kids, for example. You may have heard that it’s something you should do, but you may not be sure why or how. Don’t worry – I’m here to help! In this blog post, I’ll answer all of your questions about food sensitivity testing for kids so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for your family.

What is food sensitivity testing?

Food sensitivity testing is a way to determine if your child is sensitive or allergic to certain foods. It’s important to note the difference between a sensitivity and an allergy – a food allergy is an immune system reaction that can occur after eating even a small amount of the offending food, and it can be life-threatening. A food sensitivity is less severe, but can still cause uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, eczema and headaches. If your child has any of these symptoms after eating certain foods, they may have a sensitivity to those foods.

Why is food sensitivity testing important?

If your child is sensitive to certain foods, it’s important to avoid those foods for a period of 12 weeks so that their immune system can clear the problematic antibodies Sometimes, even small amounts of the offending food can trigger symptoms. By identifying which foods your child is sensitive to, you can help them avoid those foods, feel their best, reset the immune system and perhaps reintroduce those foods in the future.

How is food sensitivity testing done?

There are several ways to test for sensitivities to specific foods. The most common method is a blood test. Your naturopathic doctor can give you a requisition for food sensitivity testing at your local lab. A small amount of blood is taken from either a vein or finger tip. This blood sample is sent for testing to detect IgG antibodies associated with particular foods. When the result is ready foods will either be identified as normal, borderline or elevated. At this point your Naturopathic Doctor will be able to recommend a dietary protocol to help reduce the antibodies. If there is an unusual amount of sensitivities, this can be a sign of Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that can be caused by food sensitivities. It occurs when the lining of the intestines becomes damaged, allowing bacteria, food particles and toxins to leak into the bloodstream. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue, joint pain, skin problems, and digestive issues.
Treatment typically focuses on removing trigger foods from the diet and healing the gut lining with supplements and probiotics. In some cases, leaky gut syndrome can resolve on its own with time and supportive care.

Conclusion:

If you’re wondering whether or not your child should get food sensitivity testing done, we hope this blog post has helped clear things up for you! Testing can be a helpful way to identify which foods your child should avoid in order to feel their best every day. If you have any further questions about food sensitivities or allergies, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’ll be more than happy to help!

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20/Sep/2022

What is a healthy lunch for school kids?

You want your kids to have a healthy lunch, but you’re not sure what that looks like. You know they need protein, carbs, phytonutrients and fibre, but how much of each? And what are some good sources of each? Here’s a quick rundown of what a healthy lunch for school kids looks like.

Protein

Kid’s need about 5-6 ounces of protein per day. As a parent, it can be difficult to ensure that your child is getting enough protein in their diet. The good news is that there are plenty of great sources of protein available, including lean meats, tofu, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
However, one challenge parents may face is finding ways to work around common nut and seed allergies. If your child or a classmate is allergic to nuts or seeds, be sure to check with your naturopath or pediatrician for suggestions on alternate sources of protein. There are plenty of good options available, including lean meats, tofu, beans, lentils and plant-based protein powders.

Carbs

Carbs are the body’s main source of energy. Kids need about 3-5 ounces of carbs per day. Complex carbs are the body’s main source of energy. They are made up of long chains of sugar molecules that the body can slowly break down and use for energy. Simple carbs are made up of short chains of sugar molecules and the body can break them down quickly for energy. Good sources of complex carbs include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Some examples of complex carbs that kids would enjoy include:
-Oatmeal
-Quinoa
-Brown rice
-Sweet potatoes
-Fruits like apples, bananas and berries
-Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are important for kids because they help protect against disease and promote good health. Phytonutrients include antioxidants, which are important for helping to protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells, leading to diseases such as cancer. Antioxidants help to counteract the effects of free radicals, preventing or slowing down cell damage. Some good sources of phytonutrients for kids include fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Some examples of antioxidant rich foods that kids would enjoy include blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach. These foods are packed with nutrients that are good for kids’ growing bodies.

Fibre

Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. It helps the body feel full and can help with weight loss and maintenance. Kids need about 25 grams of fibre per day. Fibre comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Good sources of soluble fibre include oats, legumes, apples and berries. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and helps with bowel regularity. Good sources of insoluble fibre include whole grains, vegetables and fruits with skins.

Conclusion

A healthy lunch for school kids should include a variety of protein, carbohydrate and fiber-rich foods to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need to stay energized and focused throughout the day. While nuts and seeds are healthy sources of protein, fat and fiber, there are other healthy alternatives for those whose schools do not allow them. Parents should always consult with their pediatric naturopath, pediatrician or dietician to create a healthy lunch plan that meets their child’s specific needs.

 


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17/Sep/2022

What can I do beyond steroids?

If your child has eczema, you are not alone. Eczema is a common skin condition affects about 10 to 20 percent of infants and about 3 percent of adults and children. While there is no cure, eczema can be managed with medical treatments and home care. The goal is to reduce inflammation and itchiness, and to prevent new flare-ups. When using steroidal creams for treatment, many parents wonder if there are natural ways to soothe their child’s eczema flare-ups?
The good news is that there are! When used alone or together with steroids, these natural treatments can help manage your child’s eczema flare-ups:

Food Sensitivity Testing

With eczema, the skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside the body – specifically in the gut. A food sensitivity test can help assess intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and inflammation. Once problem foods are identified, they can be eliminated from the diet, which can help reduce inflammation and improve gut health.

Probiotics

Probiotic strains may help balance the immune system and reduce inflammation. Probiotics can be taken orally in the form of supplements or food (such as yogurt).

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

These healthy fats promote a healthy lipid bilayer, which helps keep skin hydrated and supple. Omega 3 fatty acids can be taken orally in supplement form or applied topically as part of a natural eczema cream.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is a natural anti-inflammatory vitamin that helps boost the immune system. It can be taken orally in supplement form or applied topically as part of a natural eczema cream.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in immune function and tissue repair. It can be taken orally in supplement form or applied topically as part of a natural eczema cream.

Conclusion

While there is no cure for eczema, it can be managed with medical treatments and home care. When used alone or together with steroids, these natural treatments can help soothe your child’s eczema flare-ups: food sensitivity testing, probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, zinc.

Book an appointment today!


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22/Sep/2018

Cold and Flu season is here! Now that kids are back to school and the season is changing we should start thinking about preventing colds and flu. As a Naturopathic Doctor part of my job is counseling parents on safe and effective ways to treat and prevent colds and flu for the whole family. Here are 5 things that will help prevent colds and flu and can even help to ameliorate symptoms and shorten duration of an active infection.

 

Probiotics

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics help boost the immune system – Studies have shown that probiotics affect immune cells throughout the body. When certain strains of probiotics are introduced into our intestine they help to repair intestinal cells and they boost production of antimicrobial substances. In one study, 326 children aged 3-5 years were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, probiotic supplementation. Treatments were given twice per day in divided doses for 6 months, including the winter season. Compared with placebo, the probiotic group had the following results; fever reduction 53-73%, cough reduction 41-62%, decreased runny nose 28-59%, decreased need for antibiotics 68-82%, reduced absence from school 28-32%.

Elderberry

  1. Elderberry

Elderberry extracts inhibit bacteria and viruses – Not only does elderberry syrup taste great, studies have shown that it inhibits the bacteria and viruses associated with common colds and the flu. One study demonstrated that an elderberry liquid extract possesses antimicrobial activity against both streptococci bacteria and influenza viruses. Another study looked at 312 air travellers flying from Australia to an overseas destination.  Those travellers who took an elderberry extract before, during and after travel had fewer colds, less sick days and less symptoms.

Vitamin C

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C supports immune cells – Vitamin C is very important for optimal immune system functioning. Vitamin C helps immune cells get to where they need to be, kill pathogens effectively, protect the body from damage and clean up after battling infections. Studies have shown that adequate vitamin C in the blood helps prevent infections, is necessary to fight infections and helps with recovery. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 100-200mg/day; however during active infection, the metabolic demand increases and therefore the requirement for vitamin C is likely to be higher. Even in this day and age, vitamin C is the fourth leading nutrient deficiency in North America. Poor diet and increases in free radical exposure due to an unhealthy lifestyle may be contributing factors. Excellent sources of vitamin C are Broccoli, Citrus Fruits and Berries.

Zinc

  1. Zinc

Zinc is essential for immune system communication – The importance of zinc for proper immune function has been well established. Zinc deficiency undoubtedly causes immune system malfunction.  The cells of our body are in constant communication. During infection there is a need for effective communication between immune cells in order to get rid of the “bad guys”.  Communication happens in the form of chemical messengers and enzymes. Zinc is an essential component of these chemicals and enzymes. As with vitamin C, during active infection our requirement for zinc is likely to increase. Studies have shown that Zinc supplementation during infection can shorten the duration of the illness. Excellent dietary sources of zinc include: Meat, Shellfish, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds. Supplementation may be important with a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Vitamin D from Sunlight

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the supervisor of the immune system –Vitamin D has many functions in the body, and receptors for vitamin D can be found on many different tissues. One important function for vitamin D is in the modulation of our immune system. Studies have suggested that vitamin D is able to both calm down and rev-up the immune system according to what our body needs it to do. This is why Vitamin D is thought to be as important in autoimmune disorders as it is in infections.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause the immune system to behave erratically. Unfortunately in Canada we have one of the highest incidences of vitamin D deficiency in the world. Our primary source of vitamin D is from sunlight and therefore supplementation becomes important especially during the winter months. Studies have shown that there is a higher incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in athletes who are deficient in the vitamin and who train in the wintertime. Supplementation had preventative and symptom reducing effects. Aside from sunlight, some dietary sources of vitamin D are: fortified foods, fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolks and cheese.

 

Even vitamins and minerals at high dosages can be dangerous, especially in children. It is always recommended to consult with a health care professional, such as a Naturopathic Doctor, before supplementing on your own.

 

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Leyer, GJ et al. Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence and duration in children. Pediatrics 2009; 124-179. Walker, WA. Mechanisms of action of probiotics. Clin Infect Dis. 2008; 46 (Suppl2): S87-91.

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2011 October ; 27(6): 496–501. doi:10.1097/MOG.0b013e32834baa4d.  Probiotics and immune health Fang Yana and D.B. Polkb,c,d

Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration

and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized,

Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial Evelin Tiralongo 1,2, *, Shirley S. Wee 2,3 and Rodney A. Lea 4 Received: 8 February 2016; Accepted: 18 March 2016; Published: 24 March 2016

 

Krawitz et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:16

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/11/16

Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry

liquid extract against clinically-relevant human

respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A

and B viruses Christian Krawitz1†, Mobarak Abu Mraheil1†, Michael Stein2, Can Imirzalioglu1, Eugen Domann1, Stephan Pleschka2*,

Torsten Hain1*

 

Vitamin C and Immune Function Anitra C. Carr 1, * and Silvia Maggini 2

1 Department of Pathology, University of Otago, Christchurch, P.O. Box 4345, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

2 Bayer Consumer Care Ltd., Peter-Merian-Strasse 84, 4002 Basel, Switzerland; silvia.maggini@bayer.com* Correspondence: anitra.carr@otago.ac.nz; Tel.: +643-364-0649 Received: 21 September 2017; Accepted: 31 October 2017; Published: 3 November 2017

 

Biofactors. 2014 Jan-Feb;40(1):27-40. doi: 10.1002/biof.1114. Epub 2013 Jun 27.Zinc signals and immune function. Haase H1Rink L.

 

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 18;(6):CD001364. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub4. Zinc for the common cold.

Singh M1Das RR.

 

Vitamin D3 Supplementation Reduces the Symptoms

of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection during Winter

Training in Vitamin D-Insufficient Taekwondo

Athletes: A Randomized Controlled Trial Hyun Chul Jung 1 , Myong-Won Seo 2  , Sukho Lee 3 , Sung Woo Kim 2  and Jong Kook Song 2, * 1 Department of Kinesiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Louisiana at Monroe, 700 University

Avenue, Monroe, LA 71209, USA; jung@ulm.edu

2 Department of Taekwondo, College of Physical Education, Kyung Hee University, 1732 Deokyoungdaero, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 17014, Korea; smilly1004@khu.ac.kr (M.-W.S.); kswrha@khu.ac.kr (S.W.K.)

3 Department of Counseling, Health, and Kinesiology, College of Education and Human Development,Texas A&M University-San Antonio, One University Way, San Antonio, TX 78224, USA; slee@tamusa.edu* Correspondence: jksong@khu.ac.kr; Tel.: +82-31-201-2708 Received: 2 August 2018; Accepted: 10 September 2018; Published: 14 September 2018

 

Mechanisms Underlying the Regulation of Innate and

Adaptive Immunity by Vitamin D Ran Wei and Sylvia Christakos *

Received: 25 June 2015 ; Accepted: 15 September 2015 ; Published: 24 September 2015 Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 185 South Orange Ave, Newark, NJ 07103, USA; weira@njms.rutgers.edu

* Correspondence: christak@njms.rutgers.edu; Tel.: +973-972-4033; Fax: +973-972-5594


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09/Aug/2018

Do you give your kids probiotics?

Every year it seems like the back to school commercials start to pop up earlier and

earlier in the summer months. Although these commercials are aimed at bringing

parents into office supply and clothing stores in prep for their kids returning to

school, as parents we can also use this time to implement nutritional strategies to

help our kids excel during the school year.

Besides the obvious beneficial lifestyle approaches like eating a balanced nutrient

rich diet and daily exercise, there are a few specific recommendations that may help

your kids have the edge when it comes to starting school.

Probiotics Kids Back to School

[banner ]Probiotics[/banner]

Probiotics are live bacteria cultures that seem to have varying health benefits when

introduced into our gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics are naturally found in many

fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut and kombucha. It is

believed that as a species, fermented foods played a larger role in our diet as we

evolved and our bodies have grown to rely on these bacterial cultures for optimal

health and wellbeing. Our modern “western” diet has been relatively low in these

fermented foods and there have been hypothesis relating many chronic diseases of

the gastrointestinal tract and immune system back to imbalanced gut bacteria.

Subsequently we have witnessed a surge in probiotics being offered in supplemental

form as a way to help restore this balance. It is important that I stress the fact that

probiotics alone are not the complete picture with regard to a healthy

gastrointestinal and immune system but research has suggested that they do play a

part.

 

Probiotics help boost the immune system – with kids heading back indoors and

spending large amounts of time in classrooms with each other (including daycare),

there is a dramatic increase in germ exposure and potential for kids to fall prey to

illness. In one study, 326 children aged 3-5 years were randomly assigned to

receive, in double-blind fashion, probiotic supplementation. Treatments were given

twice per day in divided doses for 6 months, including the winter season. Compared

with placebo, the probiotic group had the following results; fever reduction 53-73%,

cough reduction 41-62%, decreased runny nose 28-59%, decreased need for

antibiotics 68-82%, reduced absence from school 28-32%.

 

Probiotics help with allergies – Heading back indoors can trigger many kids who

are especially allergic to dusts and molds. With regard to asthmatic children with

allergic rhinitis, studies have shown the use of probiotics resulted in a significant

reduction in the inflammatory immune chemistry produced by peripheral blood

mononuclear cells. Further studies have shown specific down-regulation of T cells

(immune cells), which beneficially alter the balance of pollen specific antibodies in

seasonal allergic rhinitis. In short – probiotics lower the allergic load and decrease

inflammation.

 

Probiotics help with mood – Recent research is showing new gut-brain

connections as happy gut ecology seems to make for happier brains. In one

particular study, anxious mice dosed with probiotics showed lower levels of anxiety,

decreased stress hormones, and even increased brain receptors for

neurotransmitters vital in curbing worry, anxiety and fear. With better mood comes

greater ease and ability to learn in school settings and beyond.

Stay tuned for part 2 which will focus on cold/flu prevention and treatment.

Book a consultation with our Naturopathic Doctor Shawn Meirovici for

more information on child-friendly probiotic strains and dosages.

[button size=”btn-large” link=”https://www.doctorshawn.ca/contact-us/” target=”_blank” ]Book Now[/button]

Leyer, GJ et al. Probiotic effects on cold and influenza-like symptom incidence

and duration in children. Pediatrics 2009; 124-179.

Walker, WA. Mechanisms of action of probiotics. Clin Infect Dis. 2008; 46 (Suppl

2): S87-91.

Yang, G et al. Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis with Probiotics: An alternative

approach. N Am J Med Sci. Aug 2013; 5 (8): 465-68.

Javier, AB, Forsytthe, P & Cryan, J. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates

emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in mice via the vagus

nerve. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Sep 20, 2011; 108(38): 16050-55.


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