Nov 2, 2009

Defense Against Flu

Hi everybody, this is our November newsletter which I want to dedicate to Defense against Flu and More.

The body‘s first line of defense against disease causing toxins are liver’s Phase I and Phase II enzymes. These two enzyme systems are central to the body’s ability to protect itself against microbes and toxic chemicals that may enter through diet and environment. Nutrition has profound effect on activity of these enzymes. Usually, these two-enzyme systems work together, but under some circumstances they may work against each other. When Phase I enzyme are activated they seek out toxins and make them more activated, more water -soluble and easier for the body to dispose.

When Phase II enzyme are activated by compounds in the diet, they are able to reactivate toxins, produced by Phase I enzymes. They can attack toxins directly and remove them from the body. Problems arise when one of the system is out the balance. One possible outcome of activating Phase I enzymes is production of highly reactive molecule-free radicals that can create genetic damage without enough Phase II enzymes ready to detoxify them.

So, what can we do about it? Eat cruciferous vegetables! Compounds found in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, and broccoli have been linked to a stronger, heightened immunity and reduced risk of cancer. Laboratory studies show that sulforaphane and other two compounds-indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and diindomethane (DIM) help regulate the complex system of bodily enzymes (Phase I and Phase II) that defend against oxidative stress, invading microbes and even cancer.

These compounds stop growth of cancer cells in various cells, tissues, and animal models. The additional discovery that cruciferous indoles, DIM and I3C, promote healthy estrogen metabolism, this fact expands their usefulness as dietary supplements for many hormone-related conditions in men and women.

More then 300 studies point to Sulforaphane.

The antimicrobial compound sulforaphane boost the immune system by replenishing nutrients in the dendritic cells of the nose, mouth, bladder and gut membranes. Sulforaphane also boost the activity of Phase II enzymes and produces a broad army of antioxidants, which are able to eliminate many types of free radicals. More then 300 studies point to sulforaphane as a factor in reducing the risk of cancer and many diseases, including high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and macular degeneration. A study from the Japan Institute for the Control of Aging shows that this naturally occurring antioxidant may reduce high cholesterol in matter of days. It’s ability to activate Phase II enzymes, and to reduce oxidative stress, makes sulforaphane beneficial for overall health and well-being and for some specific conditions including:

Hypertension-decreased oxidative stress correlates with endothelial relaxation of the aorta and significantly lower blood pressure. 
Elevated cholesterol- may reduce overall cholesterol and increase beneficial cholesterol-HDL in as little as one week. 
Atherosclerosis-decreases oxidative stress in cardio-vascular and kidney tissues. 
Inflammation - decreases the number of activated macrophages, indicative of inflammation. 
Infection- increases Phase II activity that will lead to increased body’s ability to fight microbes and toxins. 
Aging- decreases oxidative stress, which is the main cause of aging. 
Stomach ulcers-inhibit antibiotic resistant strains of Helicobacter pylori- bacteria responsible for the stomach ulcers formation. 
I3C – another naturally occurring compound from cruciferous family can regulate healthy estrogen metabolism by promoting good estrogen-estrodiol, effecting endogenous estrogens-produced by the body, exogenous estrogens we can get from the diet and environment. 
Both compounds- I3C and DIM can modulate activity of Phase I and II enzymes; they promote healthier estrogen ratio- good to bad.

In women, unbalanced estrogen metabolism can cause symptoms such as PMS, cramping, heavy bleeding, endometriosis, and uterine fibroids. High level of testosterone (which is associated with good estrogen ratio) are usually associated with lean body mass, efficient fat burning, and low abdominal obesity. Also it is associated with better mood, better physical condition and greater interest in sex. To help liver detoxification and stimulate the regeneration of liver cells, Milk Thistle was used for more then 2,000 years with great results. Also, in your line of defense against flu do not forget Vit D! There are good reason to believe that Vit D supplementation can prevent influenza better then flu shots, containing thymerosol, aluminum and formaldehyde. Besides this information, I strongly recommend to everybody to have at home some herbs that can be used in case of flu, such as Boneset, elderberry, peppermint, thyme, and garlic in capsules, we have it in the office. From now on we will have an open house in the office, every 3d Monday, and I will explain what can be done in the office to new patients. Everybody is welcome with questions and friends, and also I will recommend some recipes –healthy cooking tips and sampling.  Defend yourself from the flu!

Dr. Natalie,

Expert in defending the flu


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