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Six Steps To Boosting Your Immune System! October 20, 2016

Posted by Dreamhealer in Healing, immunity, vitamins.
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Cold & Flu Season is Here!
Six Steps To Boosting Your Immune System

Written By Dr. Kaleigh Coolsaet, ND

With fall officially here, it’s now time to prepare ourselves for the inevitable cold and flu season. With back to school and fall routines back in place we tend to spend more time indoors and in close quarters with others, which can easily lead to picking up the latest cold or flu virus.

The good news is we can support our immune systems early to keep healthy, and reduce the severity and duration of the common cold. Follow these six steps in order to keep your immune system in tiptop shape for this fall and winter season.

Six Steps to Enhancing your Immune System

1. Eat a balanced diet with reduced sugar intake

  • Sugar is known to wreak havoc with our immune system, so best to avoid any unnecessary sugar. Make sure to eat lots of colourful fruits and vegetables full of vitamins and minerals to support your immune system.
    Tip: Root vegetables are in season and are full of vitamins and minerals – try them roasted or in a delicious warming soup.

2. Reduce and Manage Stress

  • When we are stressed we produce a hormone called cortisol which helps us adapt to stress, but over the long run it can suppress the immune system leaving us vulnerable to picking up every virus we come across. Managing your stress and cortisol levels goes a long way in supporting your immune system. Read more about stress & your immune system here. 
    Try: Yoga, Meditation, Breathing Exercises

3. Obtain sufficient sleep

  • Proper sleep routines help with repair and regeneration of the body and improving the immune system.
    Tip: Get into a routine of sleeping and waking at the same time each day. Make sure your room is quiet and dark.  Try meditation or breathing exercises before bed to improve sleep quality.

4. Regular Exercise

  • Getting adequate exercise is a great way to boost the immune system and also great for overall general health. Whether its brisk walking or going to your favourite exercise class, keeping up this routine throughout the fall and winter season is going to help you stay healthy and improve your immune system.
    Tip: Set time aside each week for exercise so you don’t accidentally overbook yourself. Try exercising with a friend to increase your accountability.

5. Immune Support Naturally

  • There are lots of natural remedies to help support your immune system including but not limited to: garlic, echinacea, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, and zinc.  Best to see your Naturopathic Doctor to ensure these remedies are safe for you and when is the best time to take them.

6. IV Therapy and Immune Boosting Injections

  • IV Therapy is a great way to get a high dose of Vitamin C and other immune supporting vitamins and minerals straight into your system. These can be administered as a preventative measure and/or when you are actually sick to help your recovery time.
  • Immune Boosting Injections are another great preventative measure and best taking at the beginning of the cold/flu season to help boost your immune system before you come in contact with a virus.

Now that you have some great tips in supporting your immune system, make some time to implement at least one or more of these to help get you through this upcoming cold and flu season.

Best in Health,

Dr. Kaleigh

When is high dose IV Vitamin C indicated? June 22, 2014

Posted by Dreamhealer in Cancer, Chemotherapy, Health, Integrative Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, vitamins.
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High dose IV Vitamin C is emerging as a powerful cancer therapy

By: Dr. Adam McLeod, ND

High dose intravenous Vitamin C has gained a lot of attention in the media lately as an anti-cancer therapy. There is no doubt that when used appropriately this can be an effective integrative cancer therapy1. As the evidence mounts, mainstream medicine is slowly beginning to embrace high dose IV Vitamin C.

Oncologists will frequently tell their patients to fear antioxidants because they will neutralize the effects of the chemotherapy. The rationale is that chemotherapy works by adding oxidative stress to cancer cells and antioxidants will neutralize this effect. On an intuitive level this makes sense but the majority of the scientific evidence indicates that when used appropriately antioxidants protect healthy cells without interfering with the effects of the chemotherapy2,3.

It is important to point out that Vitamin C is not an antioxidant when given at high doses intravenously4. When taken orally at low doses Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant and it has many positive benefits. At high doses Vitamin C switches roles and acts as a potent oxidative molecule, which is the complete opposite of its antioxidant role at lower doses. Studies show that at high doses Vitamin C is very toxic to cancer cells6. In this cellular context it is a potent oxidative molecule that works synergistically with most conventional therapies.

Patients who undergo this therapy tend to experience less significant side effects from the chemotherapy7,8. IV Vitamin C can vastly improve quality of life by increasing appetite, raising platelet counts, easing fatigue and reducing pain. When patients are supported by the appropriate nutrients and supplements, the side effects from chemotherapy are less intense. Studies consistently show that at these high doses, Vitamin C is toxic to cancer cells while protecting healthy cells from the effects of chemotherapy. The evidence indicates that IV Vitamin C is effective when used in conjunction with chemotherapy rather than as a stand alone therapy.

There are several different situations where high dose IV Vitamin C is not safe. Although it is safe to use with most chemotherapies, it is not safe to use with Velcade (Bortezomib)5. There are a number of studies that show a negative interaction between this particular drug and Vitamin C. When injecting Vitamin C there is a significant amount of sodium that is in the infusion and this can add a significant burden to the kidneys. This stress to the kidneys is only a concern in patients that have significantly compromised kidney function. There is also a rare genetic condition known as G6PD and in these patients it is not safe to give them high doses of Vitamin C. You need an experienced health care professional to assess your health history and ensure that you do not have any contraindications to this therapy.

I regularly run IV Vitamin C on my patients at the clinic and it is a very effective cancer therapy when used appropriately. On a regular basis I see patients improve significantly when they use this therapy as part of a comprehensive integrative cancer therapy. Contact Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic to see if this is the right therapy for you.

Dr. Adam McLeod is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), BSc. (Hon) Molecular biology, First Nations Healer, Motivational Speaker and International Best Selling Author. He currently practices at his clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia where he focuses on integrative oncology. http://www.yaletownnaturopathic.com

 

References:

1) Vollbracht, Claudia, et al. “Intravenous vitamin C administration improves quality of life in breast cancer patients during chemo-/radiotherapy and aftercare: results of a retrospective, multicentre, epidemiological cohort study in Germany.” in vivo 25.6 (2011): 983-990.

2) Suhail, N., et al. “Effect of vitamins C and E on antioxidant status of breast‐cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.” Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics 37.1 (2012): 22-26.

3) Tabassum, A., R. G. Bristow, and V. Venkateswaran. “Ingestion of selenium and other antioxidants during prostate cancer radiotherapy: a good thing?.” Cancer treatment reviews36.3 (2010): 230-234.

4) Carr, Anitra, and Balz Frei. “Does vitamin C act as a pro-oxidant under physiological conditions?.” The FASEB Journal 13.9 (1999): 1007-1024.

5) Perrone, G., et al. “Ascorbic acid inhibits antitumor activity of bortezomib in vivo.” Leukemia23.9 (2009): 1679-1686.

6) Riordan, N. H., et al. “Intravenous ascorbate as a tumor cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent.”Medical hypotheses 44.3 (1995): 207-213.

7) Weijl, N. I., et al. “Supplementation with antioxidant micronutrients and chemotherapy-induced toxicity in cancer patients treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” European Journal of Cancer 40.11 (2004): 1713-1723.

8) Takemura, Yukitoshi, et al. “High dose of ascorbic acid induces cell death in mesothelioma cells.” Biochemical and biophysical research communications 394.2 (2010): 249-253.

7 Steps to A Flu-Free Winter Without Relying On A Flu Shot January 13, 2014

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Big Pharma, Colds, Diet, Dreamhealer, Healing, Health, Healthcare, Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathy, Research, vitamins.
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Dreamhealer flu-shot

By: Dr. Frank Lipman

While it’s become popular in the last decade to rely on vaccines to protect us from the flu, there are a number of problems with this that are rarely discussed. First is the fact that the effectiveness of flu shots has yet to be proven. In fact, many studies show that getting vaccinated has no impact on the likelihood of catching the flu for babies, adults, or the elderly.

Then there’s the question of the toxic ingredients used to manufacture flu vaccines – and it’s not mandatory to disclose such ingredients to recipients of the vaccines. While this entertaining video pokes fun at the topic, it’s definitely worth considering whether you’re willing to inject substances like mercury and formaldehyde into your body, especially for a practice with unproven results.

You may be wondering how such a highly recommended “solution” could be so ineffective. The answer lies in the biology of the flu virus. Vaccines are made from disabled strains of the flu from past seasons, which trick the body into producing antibodies to fight against them.

Ideally, the body should then be better able to defend against the virus if/when it encounters the same strain again. However, the reality is that flu viruses mutate very quickly, so the strain you encounter mid-season may be unrecognized as the strain you were vaccinated against, or worse it may have adapted into a strain that is more resistant than the version you were vaccinated against.

Either way, the result of the vaccine is rendered useless, and your body is likely to succumb to the virus. Luckily, there are lots of ways to protect yourself from the flu without relying on a flu shot.

Here are my top 5 super simple recommendations:

1. Stock up on Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that keeps the body functioning optimally, and especially supports the immune system. Some studies have shown it to be a flu fighter. Interestingly, flu season corresponds with winter – the time of year when we are least able to take in adequate levels of Vitamin D from the primary source: sunshine! I recommend having your Vitamin D checked and ideally, you want your level between 50 and 80 ng/ml. Your best bet is probably to take a Vitamin D3 supplement daily.

2. Take a probiotic every day.

A strong immune system relies heavily on having a healthy, well-functioning gut (as 70% of your immune system is in the gut), and probiotics help keep your gut engine humming. Look for a probiotic with at least 10-20 billion organisms and take daily.

3. Avoid sugar, gluten, and processed foods.

These dramatically decrease immune function. Instead load up on nutrient-rich whole foods. Start your day with a smoothie full of goodness in the form of healthy fats (almond or coconut milk, avocado, almond butter), some frozen berries, chia seeds and a good protein powder. Lunches and dinners of nourishing soups, colorful salads, and dark greens and veggies are packed with flu-fighting phytonutrients.

4. Give your body an easy antiviral boost.

Antiviral herbs boost your immunity and help protect you without creating resistant viral strains. Four great antivirals are

  • Andrographis
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Grapefruit seed extract
  • Elderberry extract

You can also dig into garlic, which has antiviral properties and is a known immunity booster.

5. Don’t skimp on sleep.

Getting enough sleep is a key component to a flu-free winter! There’s no better time for the body to restore and repair itself than while you rest. Shoot for at least 7 hours a night and try taking a 20-minute power nap if you’re falling short. If sleep is not your strong suit, check out my top tips for improving your sleep.

6. Chillax.

Reducing stress is particularly important during flu season. Exercise helps to keep your immune system healthy, but don’t overdo it – your workout shouldn’t be a stress to your body! Light strength training, breathing exercises, yoga, or simply taking the time for things you enjoy will relieve tension and enhance physical and mental resilience.

7. Lay off the antibacterial soap & hand sanitizers.

The antibacterial craze has created harsh products loaded with toxins that increase the risk of creating resistant bacteria. They also over-dry and crack the skin, making transmission of viruses that much easier. Instead, wash your hands frequently with good, old-fashioned hot water and chemical-free soap. When you feel the need for an on-the-spot cleaning, try a few drops of lavender essential oil for a natural hand sanitizer.

With these tips, staying flu-free this winter should be a breeze.

 

For more information on Alternative medicine check out http://www.dreamhealer.com

Low Omega-3 Could Explain Why Some Children Struggle With Reading October 12, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Healing, Integrative Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Research, vitamins.
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An Oxford University study has shown that a representative sample of UK schoolchildren aged seven to nine years had low levels of key Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. Furthermore, the study found that children’s blood levels of the long-chain Omega-3 DHA (the form found in most abundance in the brain) ‘significantly predicted’ how well they were able to concentrate and learn.

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Oxford University researchers explained the findings, recently published in the journal PLOS One, at a conference in London on 4 September.

The study was presented at the conference by co-authors Dr Alex Richardson and Professor Paul Montgomery from Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention. It is one of the first to evaluate blood Omega-3 levels in UK schoolchildren. The long-chain Omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) found in fish, seafood and some algae, are essential for the brain’s structure and function as well as for maintaining a healthy heart and immune system. Parents also reported on their child’s diet, revealing to the researchers that almost nine out of ten children in the sample ate fish less than twice a week, and nearly one in ten never ate fish at all. The government’s guidelines for a healthy diet recommend at least two portions of fish a week. This is because like vitamins, omega-3 fats have to come from our diets — and although humans can in theory make some EPA and DHA from shorter-chain omega-3 (found in some vegetable oils), research has shown this conversion is not reliable, particularly for DHA, say the researchers.

Blood samples were taken from 493 schoolchildren, aged between seven and nine years, from 74 mainstream schools in Oxfordshire. All of the children were thought to have below-average reading skills, based on national assessments at the age of seven or their teachers’ current judgements. Analyses of their blood samples showed that, on average, just under two per cent of the children’s total blood fatty acids were Omega-3 DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and 0.5 per cent were Omega-3 EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), with a total of 2.45 per cent for these long-chain Omega-3 combined. This is below the minimum of 4 per cent recommended by leading scientists to maintain cardiovascular health in adults, with 8-12 per cent regarded as optimal for a healthy heart, the researchers reported.

Co-author Professor Paul Montgomery said: ‘From a sample of nearly 500 schoolchildren, we found that levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood significantly predicted a child’s behaviour and ability to learn. Higher levels of Omega-3 in the blood, and DHA in particular, were associated with better reading and memory, as well as with fewer behaviour problems as rated by parents and teachers. These results are particularly noteworthy given that we had a restricted range of scores, especially with respect to blood DHA but also for reading ability, as around two-thirds of these children were still reading below their age-level when we assessed them. Although further research is needed, we think it is likely that these findings could be applied generally to schoolchildren throughout the UK.’

Co-author Dr Alex Richardson added: ‘The longer term health implications of such low blood Omega-3 levels in children obviously can’t be known. But this study suggests that many, if not most UK children, probably aren’t getting enough of the long-chain Omega-3 we all need for a healthy brain, heart and immune system. That gives serious cause for concern because we found that lower blood DHA was linked with poorer behaviour and learning in these children. ‘Most of the children we studied had blood levels of long-chain Omega-3 that in adults would indicate a high risk of heart disease. This was consistent with their parents’ reports that most of them failed to meet current dietary guidelines for fish and seafood intake. Similarly, few took supplements or foods fortified with these Omega-3.’

The current findings build on earlier work by the same researchers, showing that dietary supplementation with Omega-3 DHA improved both reading progress and behaviour in children from the general school population who were behind on their reading. Their previous research has already shown benefits of supplementation with long-chain omega-3 (EPA+DHA) for children with ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and related conditions. The DHA Oxford Learning and Behaviour (DOLAB) Studies have now extended these findings to children from the general school population.

‘Technical advances in recent years have enabled the measurement of individual Omega-3 and other fatty acids from fingerstick blood samples. ‘These new techniques have been revolutionary — because in the past, blood samples from a vein were needed for assessing fatty acids, and that has seriously restricted research into the blood Omega-3 status of healthy UK children until now,’ said Dr Richardson.

The authors believe these findings may be relevant to the general UK population, as the spread of scores in this sample was within the normal population range for both reading and behaviour. However, they caution that these findings may not apply to more ethnically diverse populations as some genetic differences can affect how Omega-3 fatty acids are metabolised. Most of the children participating in this study were white British.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:

  1. Alexandra J. Richardson, Jennifer R. Burton, Richard P. Sewell, Thees F. Spreckelsen, Paul Montgomery.Docosahexaenoic Acid for Reading, Cognition and Behavior in Children Aged 7–9 Years: A Randomized, Controlled Trial (The DOLAB Study)PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (9): e43909 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043909

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Self-Prescribing Natural Supplements February 17, 2013

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Healing, Health, Healthcare, Integrative Medicine, Medication, Misdiagnose, vitamins.
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Article written by: Adam McLeod

Our society has rapidly changed over the last decade due to the internet by allowing everyone to easily access information. This freedom of information has led to many positive changes around the world. The internet has changed the doctor patient relationship significantly because the patient often comes to the appointment informed about their health. This is a very positive change that has empowered people to take responsibility for their own health. It encourages patients to do the research and take the initiative to understand what is happening in their body. It is very important that everyone becomes actively engaged in their own healing by making positive changes with lifestyle and with focused intentions. Your intentions are a powerful tool that can complement any healing modality. The bottom line is that a patient who is focused and engaged with their own healing is much more likely to heal.

Although this is a positive step in the right direction, patients doing their own research brings up new challenges which can sometimes be harmful. It is now a common occurrence to have a patient come in very distressed because they read on a blog that a random symptom they are experiencing means that they have a serious health condition. The doctor must then spend time reassuring the patient that the information which they came across is simply not relevant to their case.

More commonly and, in my opinion, more concerning is when patients start taking supplements based on their own research, especially when they are taking these supplements to fight a serious illness. Patients often come into the clinic with a big bag of supplements that they are taking and very often they don’t even know why they are taking each supplement. They will cite a news story or a website that says zinc is good for you so the patient buys zinc thinking it is helping. Before you know it the patient is taking a mish mash of low quality supplements that are simply not helpful. In some cases zinc might be helpful but in reality it is not specific to that health concern.

The media often simplifies a study and writes a story with a headline that gives the reader the wrong impression. People will read that article and think that the supplement is proven to help every health condition and that everyone should take it. The reality is that the study is not saying that at all! The story gets so distorted in the brief summary that it makes it very difficult to sift through all the health information presented in the media.

This is where Naturopathic doctors can be of great assistance to patients. They are extremely knowledgeable about supplements and they know how to design a treatment plan that is specific to your health condition. Medical doctors simply do not get the training with these different supplements whereas Naturopathic doctors receive extensive training in this area. A Naturopathic physician can also make sure that you are getting quality supplements that will help to optimize your healing. The quality of a supplement makes a huge difference and only a trained professional will be able to help you pick quality supplements that are specific to your healing. Take the initiative and get engaged with your own healing but do so with the proper guidance. A Naturopathic doctor can give you guidance on your healing and provide you with all the tools necessary to promote the healing process.

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Legumes May Aid Glycemic Control, Cut Lipids October 23, 2012

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Alternatives, Diabetes, Diet, Dreamhealer, Energy Healing, exercise, Healing, Health, Healthcare, Integrative Medicine, Longevity, naturopathic, Research, Skeptics, vitamins.
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By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: October 22, 2012

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Eating more legumes such as beans and chickpeas helped improve  glycemic control and lowered total cholesterol and triglycerieds in patients with type 2 diabetes, researchers found.

In a randomized controlled trial, patients who ate at least an additional cup of legumes per day had a greater reduction in HbA1c than patients who increased their insoluble fiber consumption for 3 months (-0.5% versus -0.3%, P<0.001), David Jenkins, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto, and colleagues reported online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) have been shown to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, and legumes — such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils — were among the first foods recognized to have low GI values.

They’ve been recommended in many nutrition therapy guidelines for diabetes, but their effects on glycemic control and other parameters still remain controversial, researchers say.

So Jenkins and colleagues randomized 121 patients with type 2 diabetes to one of two diets for 3 months: a low-GI legume diet that required them to eat at least a cup of legumes per day, or to a diet that increased their intake of insoluble fiber via consumption of whole wheat products.

The primary outcome was change in HbA1c, with a secondary endpoint of calculated coronary heart disease risk.

The difference they found in HbA1c reduction remained significant after adjustment for body weight change, they reported (P=0.005).

In terms of cardiac parameters, they found that the legume diet significantly lowered mean total cholesterol (-8 mg/dL, P<0.001) and triglycerides (-22 mg/dL, P<0.001), without any changes in HDL cholesterol levels.

The insoluble fiber diet increased average HDL cholesterol levels (2 mg/dL, P=0.004), although the reasons for this are unclear, given that such an association hasn’t been seen before in the literature, the researchers noted.

And the legume diet reduced blood pressure and heart rate relative to the high insoluble fiber diet, they added.

Thus, the legume diet overall reduced heart risk significantly more than the insoluble fiber diet (-0.8%, P=0.003), and the researchers concluded that incorporating legumes into a low-GI diet can help improve glycemic control and reduce heart risk.

In an accompanying editorial, Marion Franz, MS, RD, questioned whether the modest benefits come from the dietary components or from a reduced energy intake overall.

She warned that low-GI diet has been controversial, with some smaller studies showing a benefit in terms of improved glycemic control but larger studies showing no such benefit.

Franz conceded that legumes are part of a healthy diet for diabetics and the general population, but “whether people with diabetes can eat the amount necessary to improve glycemic control is debatable, and, if legumes do improve glycemia, is it because of their low GI or high soluble fiber content?”

She concluded that nutrition therapy for diabetes is effective but “just as there is no one medication or insulin regimen appropriate for all persons with diabetes, there is no one nutrition therapy intervention.”

Action Points

  • Eating more legumes such as beans and chickpeas may help improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes, a study has found.
  • Note that the legume diet significantly lowered mean total cholesterol and triglycerides, without any changes in HDL cholesterol levels.

Article retrieved from: http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/DietNutrition/35491

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Vitamin D deficiency may increase risk of heart disease April 13, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Heart, vitamins.
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Los Angeles (Xinhua): Chronic vitamin D deficiency may be a culprit in heart disease, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome, a new study has suggested.

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Vitamin D Experts’ “Call to Action” Urges Major RDA Increase to 2000 IU April 8, 2009

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Anthony Norman, PhD – whose discoveries shape what is known today about vitamin D – has joined a group of 18 experts in urging the US government to increase its recommended daily vitamin D intake dramatically, to 2000 IU. At the same time they issued a joint statement “in support of the use of vitamin D for reducing incidence of several types of cancer, type 1 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.” Read More…. 

Ten Ways to Spot Anti-Vitamin Biases in a Scientific Study April 8, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Research, vitamins.
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Has anyone noticed that there have been a flurry of studies which try to discredit vitamin pills? Before accepting them as face value you should understand who the studies were funded by and why the studies were done. In most cases the research is sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. To find out how to spot Anti-Vitamin Biases in scientific studies click here…

Lack of vitamin D linked to multiple sclerosis March 23, 2009

Posted by Dreamhealer in Alternative medicine, Multiple Sclerosis, vitamins.
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Children later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis had far lower levels of vitamin D than other youngsters, Canadian researchers reported yesterday in studies showing more links between the “sunshine” vitamin and disease. Read More….

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