Boost Immune System with Elderberry, Pregnancy Chiropractic Info

Even though flu season doesn’t last all year, It is looking like the covid-19 virus is not being confined to a season and will be a continuous year-long problem.  Being proactive is much better than reactive.  If you wait until you are sick to help yourself to prevent getting sick, you are obviously too late.  The latest trends in health care point to rising statistics that many people are looking for ways all year long to boost their immune system function naturally without drugs or medications. One of the most effective natural supplements in the news for its ability to fight the flu  and other viruses like the SARS-CoV-2 is the elderberry (Sambucus nigra).

According to a 2019 Herb Market report, sales of elderberry grew by 138.4% between 2017 and 2018 alone.  Elderberry contains zinc5 and antioxidants, including vitamin C and anthocyanin, both known for their ability to boost immune function and inhibit cold and flu.  One 2004 study found taking 15 milliliters (just under 1 tablespoon) of elderberry syrup when sick four times a day for five days eased symptoms of influenza four days quicker than a placebo (sugar pill, fake medicine). According to the authors, "Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza."  A 2019 study, “showed that compounds from elderberries can directly inhibit the virus's entry and replication in human cells, and can help strengthen a person's immune response to the virus.  Elderberry inhibits the early stages of an infection by blocking key viral proteins responsible for both the viral attachment and entry into the host cells.'"

 

Interestingly, the elderberry juice extract not only was able to prevent the virus from entering and infecting the cells in the first place, but it also inhibited late-stage spread of the virus in cells that had already been infected. What's more, this late-stage inhibition was even stronger than its action during the initial infection stage.  According to the researchers of the study, the results were surprising and rather significant because blocking the viral cycle at several stages has a higher chance of inhibiting the viral infection.

The elderberry also promoted the release of certain chemical messengers, which allow your immune system to mount a more efficient response.  Here is even better news.  We have cells in our body called macrophages.  Macrophages are a critical cell in our immune system. Macrophages act like scavengers, scanning our body for dangerous bacteria. Elderberry was shown to enhance macrophage activity."

As far as colds and flu goes taking elderberry supplements was found to substantially reduce upper respiratory symptoms.. These findings present an alternative to antibiotic overuse and misuse for upper respiratory symptoms due to viral infections, and gives people a  potentially safer alternative to prescription drugs for routine cases of the common cold and influenza.

With all the hubbub as the whether or not we should wear a mask when traveling by air, studies show that the risk of contracting a cold or flu tends to be heightened when flying, and research published in 2016 found elderberry supplementation can offer air travelers much-needed support as well  y cutting down the duration of illness that is picked up on the airplane.

Elderberry also offers other health benefits such as reducing your risk of diseases rooted in inflammation, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, thanks to its anti-inflammatory activity, soften skin and treat acne3 (oral and/or topical), soothe sunburn (topical), promote healing of sprains and bruises (topical).

This is one supplement that is in my medicine cabinet and has helped my family immensely.

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:  I would be remiss in my writings on immune system health if I did not mention the overall benefits of having your spine adjusted on a regular basis by your chiropractor.  Chiropractic research has shown that spinal adjustments have an indirect impact on the immune system.  Whenever the middle back is adjusted (think of our hug adjustments), there is an immediate increase in white blood cell production.  White blood cells are infection fighting immune cells. Regular chiropractic care 1x per month has shown that patients have a higher level of resistance enzymes.  Spinal adjustments also increase the rate at which the DNA cells in your body repair themselves.  This is an important marker for immune system health.  Lastly, studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments increases T-cell production.  T-cells are cells produced by the thymus gland that are extremely active in immune system function.

Chiropractic Prenatal Pregnancy Care Info:  Up to 8% of women who are pregnant have asthma.  Asthma causes a narrowing of the airways and makes it difficult to breathe, with wheezing and coughing. If this happens during pregnancy, not only does the mother-to-be have breathing problems, but it can have a major effect on the baby as well, by reducing its oxygen supply. This can lead to Low birth weight, premature birth and an increased need for cesarean delivery. For some women, asthma can worsen during pregnancy.. For some women, there is no change in asthma, while other women, oddly may even see their asthma improve.  It is very important to keep you asthma under control during pregnancy and avoid your asthma triggers.  If you have asthma, you should include your pulmonologist as part of your pregnancy health care team.  Chiropractors who are certified in obstetric prenatal pregnancy care are also very helpful with pregnant women who have asthma.  The nerves in the upper back control lung function.  When the chiropractor adjusts the upper spine of the mid back region, they are able to increase neural impulse flow to the lungs which can help with lung function and performance.  This is another reason why prenatal chiropractic care during pregnancy is so important.

 

Author
Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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