Do Multivitamins Curb Kids Allergy Risk?

STOCKHOLM – Giving multivitamins to kids 5 to 8 years old does not seem to alter their overall likelihood of having allergies, hint findings of a study from Sweden.

However, starting multivitamins at the age of 4 or younger may curb the risk of food allergies and seasonal or inhaled allergies, the study found.

Dr. Anna Bergstrom, at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues questioned parents of 2,423 8-year-old boys and girls about their children’s multivitamin use, lifestyle, environmental exposures, and history of asthma and allergies.

They also measured the kids’ blood for antibodies to inhaled allergens such as tree pollens, or foods commonly consumed in Sweden.

Overall, slightly fewer than 8 percent of the children had asthma, about 15 percent had respiratory allergies, and almost 18 percent had dry, itchy skin allergies — percentages similar to those of Swedish kids in general.

About 40 percent of the kids took some sort of vitamin supplement during the previous year, most of which were multivitamins with and without minerals.

The investigators found no association between use of multivitamins in the previous year, or use between 5 and 8 years of age, and any allergic disease in analyses that allowed for other factors potentially linked with allergies.

In contrast, skin prick tests hinted that the 8-year-olds who began taking multivitamins at age 4 or younger were less likely to be sensitive to inhaled and food allergies than were kids who never took multivitamins or began taking them at age 5 and older.

For example, inhaled and food allergies were evident in 45 of the 180 kids (25 percent) who took multivitamins when 4 or younger, but in 185 of the 502 kids (37 percent) who were 5 and older when they began taking multivitamins. Of the 1380 kids who never took multivitamins, 471 (34 percent) had similar allergies.

Bergstrom and colleagues suggest the current findings “be interpreted with caution.”

While it is biologically plausible that vitamins may lessen allergic disease, they note that scientific evidence regarding the benefits of these supplements remains contradictory.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2009

Nanotechnology and Resveratrol

BEVERLY HILLS – Resveratrol is certainly the powerhouse of what nutritional supplements can offer with a mind-boggling cornucopia of across-the-board, high-end benefits to improve health dramatically. Yet these remarkable benefits have been somewhat elusive owing to extremely limited bioavailability when resveratrol is taken orally. Not only has it been difficult to enhance its solubility and increase absorption owing to acids and digestive enzymes in the stomach, intestines, and liver but it has also been a challenge to inhibit resveratrols metabolism to other substances and sustain high plasma levels. Moreover, delivering them in adequate amounts to the most important tissue targets has been virtually unachievable.  Until now.

Nanospheres are about to change all that, because they embrace and embody state-of-the-art nutrient-delivery technology that can defeat the pitfalls of the oral delivery route.

A product of nanotechnology, as the name implies, nanospheres are very small particles, measured in nanometers (nm), or billionths of a meter. These particles, with dimensions in the range from 1 to 1000 nm, are now burgeoning into the field of drug- and nutrient-delivery systems with diameters as small as 50 nm or even lower. The ones starting to show particularly great efficacy are made of natural lipids, in which lipophilic compounds, such as resveratrol and curcuminoids, can readily dissolve. Their purpose is to improve the bioavailability of such compounds by exploiting their own special size range and unique properties.

Long under development, nanospheres typically consist of a central, spherical core of a natural, plant-based lipid, such as a solid triglyceride (fat), encased by a shell consisting of a natural phospholipid, such as phosphatidylcholine. The latter acts as an emulsifying agent during the production process; thereafter it serves a protective function, its chemical properties playing a vital role in stabilizing the nanospheres in their aqueous environment.

Resveratrol dissolves into the lipids as the nanospheres form during the fabrication process; it winds up being dissolved primarily in the core or in the shell. There, it’s protected from its environment until the nanospheres are destroyed by lipases, which are enzymes that break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. The resveratrol  is then released.

Aligning Your Chakras

What Are Chakras?

Chakras are our energy centers. They are the openings for life energy to flow into and out of our aura. Their function is to vitalize the physical body and to bring about the development of our self-consciousness. They are associated with our physical, mental and emotional interactions. There are seven major chakras. The aura is often referred to as the eighth chakra. The first chakra (root) actually hangs outside of your body. It is located between your thighs, about halfway between your knees and your physical body. The seven chakra (crown) is located on the top of your head. The remaining chakras, (sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, and third eye), are aligned in sequence along your spine, neck, and skull. Individually, your chakras look similar to funnels with petal-like openings. Chakras are invisible to the human eye, but they can be perceived intuitively by trained energyworkers.

Evaluating the Health of Your Chakras

Having your chakras evaluated by a trained practitioner is a good way to get a better understanding of how your body functions on an energetic level. An energyworker trained in reading chakras will be able to tell you which chakras are functioning poorly and which chakras are working overtime. When one or two chakras are performing at a reduced level, the remaining chakras have to pick up the slack. Having a non-functioning chakra can effectively “blow out” an otherwise healthy chakra. Not good.

Keeping Your Chakras in Proper Alignment

When your back or hip gets out of alignment you will make a trip to the chiropractor’s office for a spinal adjustment. Similarly, a healer trained in manipulating the energy flow of energy can assist you in getting misaligned chakras back to functioning properly. It may take one or more appointments with a practitioner to get your energy levels up to par. Afterwards, there are a variety of healthy actions you can take to help keep them open, allowing your energy to flow naturally.