Giving Yourself and Those You Love the Gift of Immuno-suppressants?

Just say no to Bugs!

By Jon P. Frieda, MBA
Vice President of Marketing
and Sales for Neels Pharmacy

The strength and resiliency of the immune system can be dramatically altered in response to stressors like diet and lifestyle choices. Interestingly, stress can influence diet. What you put into your body through your mouth in the form of nutrition can influence mood, healing, detoxification, neurotransmitter production, sleep, energy and more, both in the short term and especially if left unchecked over time.

Diet: Food
62% of American diet consists of processed foods. Greasy, fatty, fried, high sugar, macronutrients.

The average American consumes around 150 pounds of sugar per year.
“No man today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health”. Statement made before the 74th Congress of the United States way back in 1936 by a scientist testifying on the subject of soil mineral/nutrient depletion.

So, we start with nutritionally deficient food, and then we process out enzymes, nutrients/minerals, fiber in favor of creating a longer shelf-life.
By some estimates, from garden to gullet, we lose 90% of the phytonutrients, fiber, and digestive enzymes in our conventionally grown produce due to processing, preparing, and cooking. Plus we add, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides that are nerve toxins.

Diet: Drink
75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Water is essential for digestion, absorption of nutrients, and detoxification elimination.

Mild dehydration will slow a healthy individual’s metabolism by 3% over a 24 hour period.

A University of Washington study concluded that one 8oz glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for 100% of participants.
The majority of Americans favor soda, coffee, tea, alcohol. All are liquid concentrates and influence dehydration and mineral/nutrient depletion.

Holiday Immuno-suppressants:
Halloween initiates a period of concentrated sugar and corn syrup consumption which lasts two weeks or more leading up to Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving initiates a three to five day period of excessive food consumption. Pies, potatoes, pastas, rolls, candied meats, on Thanksgiving and again for leftovers. Look at your plate, how many servings of macronutrients/carbohydrates are you about to consume. Do you have a second or third helping?
Christmas initiates Christmas cookies, popcorn variety tins, eggnog, candy canes, etc.
With gift giving stress and end of the year deadlines, many individuals get sick and end up taking an antibiotic to get well. Antibiotics are “anti-life”, do not discriminate, but kill off good and bad bacteria, taking care of the “bug” and further suppressing the gastrointestinal immune system in the process.

Spring/Summer Diet:
With a suppressed immune system we enter into spring/summer. We take the cover off the grill, cook burgers, brats and hotdogs, take out the coolers and ice up the beer.
Animal protein antibiotic levels, as well as processed meats yield meals that the body does not recognize as real food, and is not all that good at digesting and metabolizing.
Beer is the number one component of uric acid production and B Vitamin/Vitamin C/Magnesium/Zinc depletion in the body. Vitamin C deficiency can increase alcohol cravings, a testament to the fact that the things that we crave the most are the things that we are most toxic/allergic to the body.

With more sun and longer days, many people tend to sleep less. This is a double whammy!
What you eat before bedtime as well as the amount of sleep that you get directly effects your immune system.

Sleep and the Bad Bacteria/Good Bacteria Correlation:
The gut is known as the body’s “second brain”, and pathogenic bacteria do not forget. During sleep the brain instructs the body to scavenge free radicals, detoxify pathogenic bacteria, and reduce blood sugar and blood pressure. With shorter sleep duration, the body has less time to do repair, and hormones like ghrelin and leptin begin to effect the energy balance.

Bad bacteria know that the body in which they live wages this war, otherwise known as the “Quest for Homeostasis” every night. Every evening, communicating with the brain through the neurotransmitter pathways, these “bad” bacteria sound off, “Feed us sugar, we grow and thrive on sugar!” And so, many of us eat ice cream, cereal, cookies, potato chips, or whatever craving is triggered in response to the bad bacteria war cry. The body becomes agitated or uneasy, but once craving is satisfied, the body settles down and can fall asleep. The bad bacteria now have the ammunition that they need to fight the body during sleep.

At the other end of the spectrum, taking probiotics on an empty stomach at bedtime gives the body the tools/ammunition that it needs to efficiently conquer the opportunistic pathogens. In addition, it is important to go to bed hydrated. If you go to bed dehydrated, and sleep through the night without drinking any water, not only will your brain/gut axis be inefficient at repairing your body while you sleep, you will wake up even more dehydrated, feeling like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, with stiff muscles and joints, brain fog, and even an underlying feeling of stress and anxiety. Does this sound like you or someone that you love?

In short, try to get eight hours of sleep, take probiotics with a full glass of water at bedtime, and make a contentious decision to dial it back a bit when indulging in the seasonal delights. Be mindful, your body deserves these gifts all year round.

For Questions or more information, please give us a call at Neels Pharmacy 314-849-3123.