B’s Block Smog’s Damaging Effects

B’s Block Smog’s Damaging Effects

Air pollution is bad for you, and while most of us think in terms of coughing, wheezing, and watery eyes; the effects go way beyond this. In fact, exposure to high levels of air pollution are associated with significantly increased rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, dementia, and cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) air pollution kills approximately 3 million people per year and is considered the greatest environmental risk to health.

While we may not know how air pollution does all its damage on the cellular and molecular levels, we are beginning to understand how it does some of its dirty work – and we’re finding ways to fight back!

A case in point is a new study just published by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. It showed that at least some of pollution’s harmful effects are the result of inflammation and oxidative stress induced by epigenetic changes made to genes involved in mitochondrial oxidative energy metabolism. (Epigenetics refers to the “turning on and off” of specific genes through the methylation process, and not the mutation, or changing, of the underlying DNA.)

Basically, they exposed ten healthy adults to three different levels of air quality for 2-hour stretches of time while also giving them sham or vitamin B supplementation. First, the subjects breathed clean air and received supplementation placebos. Next, they were exposed to “hazardous” levels of polluted air and again given supplementation placebos. Lastly, the subjects were instructed to breathe polluted air, but this time were given supplements containing three different B vitamins – folic acid, B6, and B12.

So, what did they find out? First, they confirmed that breathing polluted air increased epigenetic changes to the genes controlling mitochondrial oxidative energy metabolism. It seems that compromising mitochondrial function in this way leads to inflammation and oxidative stress. Second, they discovered that giving B vitamins was an effective way to prevent and, in fact, reverse this epigenetic damage.

What does this mean for you?

While it’s certainly true that most of us don’t live in areas with hazardously high levels of pollution, over 90% of the world’s population lives in areas where pollution exceeds the WHO’s recommended level for healthy air. We start from a base of bad quality – Southern California is no exception – and things get worse. If you get stuck in traffic on the freeway, if your office building (or your children’s’ school) backs up to a highway, if you fire up the grill this summer, or if you decide to visit cities in India, China, or Iran (just to name a few); you’re probably way over the limit of safe exposure.

What should you do?

While the best advice is to eat a healthy diet with lots of B vitamins – leafy green vegetables and beans are rich in folic acid, B6 can be found in fish, beef liver and starchy vegetables, and B12 is abundant in fish, meat, eggs and milk – sometimes this isn’t enough. To be on the safe side, especially if you have genetic issues with methylation – you may want to take a high-quality B vitamin supplement. Check with us to see which one suits your specific needs best.

Veggies and Fruits are Magical!

It’s been scientifically proven a significant number of times – vegetables and fruits are magical! They contain an array of amazing ingredients which perform amazing things for our bodies and our health.

The magical phytonutrients found in these plants can turn on and off genes, as do hormones, and do special things to help our microbiota, the trillions of bacteria within our colons and intestines, to thrive. In turn, the healthy microbiota, known collectively as the gut microbiome, can perform their magic to optimize our health.

Autoimmune disease has been reversed, cancers placed into remission, and Alzheimer’s Disease reversed, solely with lifestyle programs. The foundational ingredient of each program is and must be – nutrition. So aim to eat a dozen vegetables daily and 2-3 fruits … and see your body truly thrive!

Read more: High Fruit and Vegetable Intake Linked to Reduced Risk for CVD, Cancer, and Mortality

Helpful Hints to Ward Off the Flu: Your Flu Shot Alone Isn’t Going to be Enough to Keep You Healthy

It’s here—flu season. Scientists do their best job trying to anticipate which variants of influenza will strike and they create the flu shots for the upcoming onslaught of germs. However, they don’t know how effective it is until the first cases of flu start showing up and they can compare reality to their predictions. The statistics are in, and the vaccine has been deemed 48% effective.

Don’t despair, however, there are additional measures you can take to boost your immunity and help keep you healthy.

Take N Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) daily in the dose of 600-900 mg twice a day, and three time a day if you’re exposed! NAC has been repeatedly shown to assist in preventing flu by reducing the virus’ ability to replicate inside of your body. Additionally, NAC also reduces an inflammatory response once you are exposed. This results in less severe symptoms should you become ill.

Be sure to eat a whole foods diet with lots of vegetables! Get enough sleep! Try a diffuser with orange oil; it is quite useful at killing airborne viruses. As always, wash your hands if touching surfaces which may be contaminated. (Door handles, light switches, countertops, etc) And think positive thoughts!

If you do get sick – come see us right away for additional therapeutic modalities!!

We’ve many suggestions to help you recover faster!

Flu Vaccine 48 Percent Effective This Year, CDC Says

Bloomberg News (2/16, Cortez) reports the flu vaccine has been 48% effective so far this season, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s influenza division, said, “The 48 percent overall is not as good as we would like to see for flu vaccine, but the protection we see is significant.”

       Medscape (2/16, Brooks) reports CDC officials said that “elevated” influenza activity is expected to continue for several more weeks in some parts of the US. Lenee Blanton of the CDC’s Influenza Division said in the report that influenza activity began to pick up in mid-December and has been “elevated” since February 4.