Tag Archives: Immune system

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Studies Prove Your Child Needs Vitamin D

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From 2000 to 2014 there was an increase in the rate of vitamin D deficiency diagnosis among children, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in Pediatrics.

The researchers found that from 2008 to 2014 there was a 15 fold increase in rate of vitamin D deficiency diagnosis. Diagnosis rates were higher in boys versus girls aged <5 years, while rates were higher in girls aged ≥10 years. “There has been a marked increase in diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency in children over the past decade,” the authors write.

Now, the next question should be: Why is this important? The reason is that Vitamin D is an essential genetic requirement for human wellness and prevention. It aids in proper function of the immune system, cardiovascular health, bone growth and repair and for overall wellness.

While it’s true that there are dietary sources of Vitamin D, they are NOT sufficient. We were designed to get our Vitamin D from sun exposure. This poses another problem as studies have also shown that children are spending less time outdoors than ever before.

This is why we recommend children (and adults) supplement with Vitamin D3 – the same form of Vitamin D that is produced by sun exposure. Ask us about the Vitamin D drops we carry on your next visit to our office.


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7 Ways to Stay Well This Winter

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The key to staying well in the winter is treating your body well and feeding it what it needs to fight off invaders and not let them get a toehold. Remember, your body is an incredible complex of systems, and your behaviors and choices will determine the health and vitality of those systems, especially the immune system. Here’s a roundup of my favorite, easy-to-incorporate wellness tips to help keep your defenses strong all winter long:

1. Eat (or Drink) Your Greens

The more dark, leafy greens you can work into your diet, the better. All that good green stuff is filled with fiber, which is exactly what your good gut bacteria love to feast on. And, when our good bacteria are well-fed, they’re armed and fortified to help keep your immunity high. Greens also supply you with nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients so you can power through the day without a caffeine or sugar drip. Add fresh leafy greens to breakfast, lunch and dinner, drink smoothies and keep a supply of high-quality greens powder in your fridge or at the office so you can stir up a glass of immunity-supporting greens anytime.

2. Be Well Adjusted

Chiropractic care helps us to stay well by impacting our immune system. In our bodies there are numerous modes of communication between the nervous system and the immune system. The nervous system has a direct effect on the immune system due to the nerve supply to the important immune system organs. As chiropractors, we have a direct influence over the nervous system. We now know through research that chiropractic care has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes (white blood cells), pulmonary function and other immune system processes.

3. Stay Hydrated

This is an easy one to follow in the summer, but come winter, you may not feel as parched. However, staying hydrated is still crucial to keeping your body running at its best. Keeping yourself well-watered throughout this season is equally important. Staying well-hydrated helps thin the mucus in your lungs and sinuses, making it easier for your body to clear the sludgy stuff out of your system — so in addition to lots of water cozy up to soothing herbal teas, hot water with lemon and hot, healthy beverages until the warmer weather returns.

4. Listen To Your Mom

Frequent hand-washing, using soap and hot water and rubbing vigorously for about half a minute, is crucial. Virtually any shared item – such as printers, copy machines, the office fridge handles, restroom door knobs, pens and touch screens at the grocery store, elevator buttons and so on – are excellent places to pick up whatever ills may be going around, so wash hands frequently  – not with the antibacterial stuff – and keep your paws away from your nose and mouth until you’re able to wash up.

Keep surfaces clean, wiping them down frequently with non-toxic green cleaners. That goes double if you’ve got school-aged kids bringing home tons of germs every day. Also make sure the kids get into the hand-washing groove as soon as they cross the threshold.

5. Fill in the Gaps

When it comes to fighting off seasonal ills, I believe in stacking the immunity deck and giving your body a helping hand. My go-to winter wellness arsenal includes: A daily, high-quality probiotic: Packed with billions of organisms to keep your gut — which houses most of your immune system — in top form. Vitamin D3: Vitamin D plays a vital role in our immune system and its ability to fight off pathogens. Here in New England- from October to April we recommend supplementing Vitamin D-3 from a whole food source. It is important to use a bioavailable whole food form of vitamin D, complete with the amino acids and sterols, because this will help catalyze mineral utilization and absorption. Elderberry extract: Elderberry is the winter season go-to for all ages, especially children as it tastes great. It’s an antiviral herb that supports immune function with an affinity for the respiratory tract and is rich with Vitamin C and packed with flavonoids.

6. Get Outside

Granted, you’ll need to bundle up, but take a few minutes every day when the sun is visibly shining to have a brief wintertime sunbath. Doing so will help regulate your circadian rhythms (a.k.a. your sleep/wake cycle) — which impacts everything from your body temperature to your hormones to your weight — and help lift your spirits (improved mood helps boost immunity). You’ll also boost your Vitamin D levels.

7. Keep Moving in the Cold

You don’t have to go outside to move more throughout the day. Try fashioning a DIY standing desk or workstation or simply do a few laps around the office when you can as the weather cools. Try a workout at home, have a dance party, play with your kids, anything to get your body moving in the winter.

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True Health Food Rules

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TRUE HEALTH Food RulesSomewhere along the line we lost track of the idea that our food should be our medicine. In fact today, it’s quite the opposite – our modern eating habits are polluting our bodies, making us more susceptible to many preventable illnesses and diseases. We are no longer getting the nutrients from our food that are necessary to function at our optimal level. The water we drink and the food we eat are loaded with toxins, robbing us of our innate self-healing abilities.

It can be extremely confusing to attempt to keep up with the latest fads in diet or what you should or should not eat. The war on fat led to the explosion of empty (“fat-free”) carbs, food which is heavily processed and stripped of any nutritional benefits. This fat-free lifestyle has resulted in sky rocketing obesity rates. Our diet today is leading to increases in chronic degenerative diseases, and even more alarming, they are occurring at a younger age. Our lifestyle choices are pointing us directly to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune, inflammatory and neurological diseases.

It is a shame that modern medicine has largely ignored one of the best weapons against disease- nutrition. By utilizing these 10 food “rules”, we hope to guide patients to regain control of their health by eating well and by eating clean, health promoting foods.

1. Eat REAL Food

This means Grass-fed Meats/Butter and Wild Fish and Game/Free Range Eggs. Increase Colorful Fruits and Vegetables (Polyphenols = antioxidants / anti inflammatory)

2. Minimize GRAINS (including whole grains)

An excess of breads, pastas, cereals can lead to leaky gut syndrome which can lead to unwanted inflammation.

3. Add NATURAL FATS (coconut/avocado/olive oil, butter)

These natural fats help to provide immunity, development of the nervous system, and protection from micro-organisms. Avoid industrial vegetable and seed oils (soy, corn, canola, sunflower).

4. No LOW FAT or FAT FREE Processed Foods

None. Most low fat or fat free foods add sugar and chemicals to make up for the loss in taste.

5. Re-think BREAKFAST (Protein/Fat not Carbs)

No cereals, toast, or sugary yogurts. Instead, aim to fill up on protein. Better choice: Smoothies.The 3 main ingredients should be plants, fat, and protein. Any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit will work. (When smoothies have no protein, they’re just fructose)

6. Cut Out Unnecessary SUGAR

Go plain whenever you can and sweeten it naturally, you’ll use a lot less. Eliminate any sugary beverages, stick with water with lemon and teas. Use dark chocolate as your go to treat.

7. SATURATED FATS and CHOLESTEROL are Vital for Optimum Health

Cholesterol helps babies and children develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Saturated fats promote the body’s use of essential fatty acids, enhance the immune system, protect the liver and contribute to strong bones.

8. Modern SOY Products are Dangerous

Modern soy foods, such as soy protein powders and soymilk, block mineral absorption, inhibit protein digestion, cause endocrine disruption, depress thyroid function and contain potent carcinogens.

9. Organic Does NOT Equal Healthy

Organic pasteurized milk, breakfast cereal, chips, cookies, crackers and fruit juice are highly processed, refined convenience foods lacking vital nutrients. Organic meat and milk may still come from animals in confinement and therefore lack vital nutrients for growth and immune function.

10. A VEGAN Diet Can Lead to Nutritional Deficiencies

Vital nutrients found exclusively in animal foods include complete protein, cholesterol and vitamins A, D, B6 and B12. We can’t get sufficient true vitamin A from plant foods, and most of us get enough vitamin D from the sun alone. Vitamin B12 is not absorbed from plant sources, and modern soy products actually increase the body’s need for B12. Those who do not eat meat can have a healthy diet by consuming eggs and  dairy foods from animals on pasture, and by avoiding modern soy foods.

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Eat. Sleep. Poop. Repeat.

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eat poop sleep repeat

If your baby is having difficulty with any of these, chiropractic care can help.

Chiropractic care is concerned with the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Since the nervous system mediates all development and regulation in the body – when the spine shifts and obstructs the nervous system – it can prevent the body from working normally and contribute to many issues. In this post, we’re discussing issues I commonly seen in newborn and toddlers.

Most parents of newborns know that their days seemed to be filled with a constant cycle of eating, sleeping and pooping. However, for some children – an issue can occur with one or more of these daily functions. Fortunately, chiropractic care can often help resolve these disturbances. The most common secondary conditions we see in children are broken down below:

  •  EAT: difficulty breastfeeding, spitting up/acid reflux
  • SLEEP: irritability, colic, difficulty sleeping
  • POOP: gas, constipation

The first question parents usually ask is, “How can my baby/child need chiropractic care already?” The primary reason is that the birth process is physically demanding for babies. The forces during birth can cause subtle shifts in the alignment of the spine or pelvis, creating tension in the nervous system. By correcting these shifts, we can and do see improvement in function and quality of life for patients suffering with these conditions.

In our office, we’re fortunate to have referrals from some excellent pediatricians and midwives who pick up on these symptoms and choose to recommend a safe, non-drug approach. We use very gentle corrections which help the child be more comfortable, typically after a handful of visits.

It’s our experience that children who get adjusted often nurse better, are more comfortable, have regular bowel movements, sleep better, and have a stronger immune system.

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Is Gluten Really That Bad?

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By now, we’ve all seen the countless articles on the dangers of gluten and the ever increasing shelves of gluten-free items at every store. You have probably asked yourself – is gluten really that bad for you?

Lets start at the beginning. What is gluten? Gluten, latin for “glue,” is the group of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, triticale, malt, brewer’s yeast, wheat starch, and wheat derivatives like wheat berries, durum, semolina, spelt, and farina.

Why Is It Bad?

We know that the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine of those who suffer from celiac disease. However, gluten is capable of causing illness even in people who do not have celiac disease.

Gluten causes gut inflammation in the majority of the population. This inflammation can cause the pores in the small intestine to expand – causing leaky gut syndrome. These expanded pores allow bacterial proteins and other toxic compounds to get in the blood stream, which can also lead to autoimmune attacks on the body. Another problem which may occur is that food may not be digested properly and nutrients are not absorbed fully, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

There is also evidence that links gluten sensitivity to a variety of health problems that include type 1 diabetes, allergies, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders.

So, now you may be thinking – “I get it, I’ll just look for ‘gluten-free’ items in the grocery store.” – NOT so fast. Read on.

“Gluten Free” Does NOT Equal Healthy

While it’s true that many people will notice a significant improvement in their health by going “gluten-free”, it’s wise to point out that just because something is labeled as gluten free doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.

Gluten-free eating is an extremely healthy way to eat when you rely on fruits, vegetables, pasture raised proteins and gluten-free whole grains AND avoid the overly processed gluten-free snack foods, pastas, breads and desserts. This is because the majority of gluten-free versions of traditional wheat-based foods are actually just junk food without gluten.

The Bottom Line

There is no denying the risk of gluten causing damage, regardless of the research or your personal feelings. There is also no risk to removing it from your diet –  BUT there may be a large reward from doing so. So why not aim to eat as little gluten as possible? After all, most foods that contain gluten are not very nutrient dense and should not be eaten on a regular basis anyway.

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