Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

In this new and largest echinacea study to date, 755 healthy people took echinacea or a placebo. The dose was 800 mg of echinacea liquid extract three times per day, or during colds, five times per day. After four months, compared to placebo, the echinacea group had 20 percent fewer colds with symptoms clearing up 20 percent quicker, and 35 percent fewer recurrences. Those taking echinacea also had fewer flu-type viral infections and needed less over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. To reduce and prevent colds and flu, doctors said this study adds evidence that echinacea can help.

Reference: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; 2012, ID 841315

From the February 2013 newsletter

Van's Health on March - 7 - 2013
categories: Supplements

In this study, 175 adults flew in coach class over a one to five week period, from Australia to America, Europe, or Africa, on flights lasting from 15 to 25 hours, with stopovers of less than 12 hours. Starting two weeks before flying, and continuing two weeks afterward, the travelers took a placebo or 600mg of echinacea angustifolia root, 675 mg of echinacea purpurea root, plus 4.4 mg of echinacea alkylamides, twice per day. Participants doubled the dose while flying, and could triple or quadruple the dose for a short time when cold or flu symptoms occurred.

Researchers measured cold and flu symptoms before and immediately after travel, and again four weeks later. Upper respiratory symptoms increased for everyone during long-haul flights, but symptoms in the echinacea group were half as severs as symptoms were for placebo.

Reference: Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the September 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on November - 7 - 2012
categories: Supplements

What is COPD?

The lungs contain air tubes that branch into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes that end in bunches of tiny round air sacs. Small blood vessels run through the walls of the air sacs, transferring oxygen from the lungs to the blood, and exchanging carbon dioxide for the lungs to exhale. In COPD, the air tubes and sacs lose elasticity, become damaged, inflamed or destroyed and vulnerable to upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD.

Echinacea plus micronutrients

In this study, 108 men and women with COPD and URTI, average age 66, took the antibiotic ciprofloxacin for seven days and then added a daily dose of echinacea, zinc, selenium, and ascorbic acid; or a placebo. After 14 days, compared to placebo, those who took echinacea plus micronutrients had far less severe and much shorter COPD flare-ups. Some participants reported sleep disturbances, which doctors said may be due to COPD.

Vitamin D improves lungs

Doctors said that people with COPD typically are deficient in vitamin D because they don’t get outdoors much and exercise little, and that there is a link between low vitamin D and weak muscles. In this lung rehabilitation study, 50 people, average age 67, with a history of COPD flare-ups took 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month, or a placebo. After three months, while the placebo group did not change, the vitamin D group saw levels of vitamin D increase from 22 to 53 ng/mL. The vitamin D group utilized more oxygen while the placebo group utilized less, and walking distance increased 118 feet in six minutes for vitamin D compared to increasing 36 feet for placebo.

Reference: Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics; 2011, Vol. 36, No. 5, 568-76

From the December 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on February - 12 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins