Thursday, 22 March 2012

Beta Glucans & The Immune System - Gareth Zeal

Video posted to YouTube by Nutricentre, Jan 2011.

Summary notes:

Gareth Zeal is a nutritionist who has a high proportion of athlete clients.

Makes a number of recommendations and cites a lot of 'trivia' grabbers related to various nutrients.

Get sunshine. Sunblock hinders the absorption of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to have impressive health effects in TB patients. TB becomes more easily expressed in low-sun climates. Breast-feeding and pregnant women should take vitamin D supplements. There is a re-emergence of rickets in infants in the UK because of vitamin D deficiency. Lack of vitamin D is also associated with schizophrenia, aspergers, and diabetes. Elderly patients who have been in vitamin D supplement studies showed a decrease in fractured bones. In the UAE, you can get enough vitamin D through the eyes. In an average diet, you might get only 10% of required vitamin D intake, so supplements are essential in most parts of the world.

Quality sleep is important for a good immune system. Shift workers often have compromised immune systems. Melatonin is recommended in such cases. In studies, blind subjects who have been given melatonin have been shown to display improved sleep patterns. Children's night lights also compromise the quality of their sleep.

Junk food is detrimental to the immune system. A varied diet is important. Potatoes are the most common source of vitamin C in the UK, but the vitamin C is in fact only in uncooked potatoes, so we essentially don't get any vitamin C from them at all. Humans are unable to make vitamin C in the body by themselves. Zeal recommends taking 2gr of vitamin C supplement every two to three hours during a cold. However, vitamins often don't effectively process by themselves. Bromelain is an enzyme in pineapple that helps to process vitamin C. Dr. Cathcart did a study in which he found supermarket oranges containing as little as 0mg of vitamin C. You would need to eat at least 10 oranges per day to get adequate vitamin C.

In reality, we are not getting all the nutrients we need from food sources. In addition, some food is hampering the nutrient intake. For example, sugar.

75grams of glucose can reduce immune system function. Exercise can also temporarily compromise the immune system. Resting after exercise is important. Increasing levels of personal happiness can improve the immune system.

Zeal recommends starting the day with some fresh fruit or vegetable that is bitter, such as cress. A bitter taste in the mouth stimulates gastic juices and sees a spike in immune responses.

Fatty acids also have to come from a source outside the body.

In the past, the UK diet was quite different. Brown field mushrooms were common. They are rich in beta glucans. Shitake mushrooms are also a good source of beta glucans. Beta glucans stimulate the innate immune system - the immune system we are born with, not the acquired immune system. The innate immune system is more important than the acquired immune system for fighting infection. The ideal consumption of beta glucans is 2-3grams per kilo of body weight. Beta glucans can fight against the likes of candida, since the protein that triggers candida growth is removed. Surgery patients have been shown to be less likely to get post-op infections if they took glucans before surgery. Zeal recommends getting formula milk with beta glucans. He says it is very safe to fetuses and infants.

Vitamin C. A study showed that Australian aboriginal children were less likely to die when they received a routine childhood vaccination. Their bodies had no in-built immune response to the types of antibodies that Western doctors exposed them to. Zeal also points to the over-use of many vaccines, convinced that the risk of actually contracting many diseases is very small. Vitamin A has been shown to stop measles in its tracks, and suggests that this is preferable to getting a measle vaccine. However, the vitamin A needs to be from a straight, direct source, rather than in the beta carotene form, which is the form used in most supplements.

Zeal suggests avoiding St. John's wort, tumeric, brocoli, watercress, and cabbage at the time of taking any synthetic drug. Those foods typically cleanse out the liver, thus removing the drug from the liver before it can take maximum effect.

Over-sanitation in anti-bacterial products and anti-biotic traces found in meats can also contribute to weakened immune systems.

Fibre intake is also important to help cleanse the bowels from toxins that can be re-absorbed into the body.

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