A Narrow Miss with a Nasty Bug
It’s that season again. No, not the holiday season – I mean the cold, flu and nasty bug season.
Fall and winter is the time when low vitamin D levels, kids going back to school and lots of holiday travel create the perfect storm for seasonal bugs to flourish and spread. And the risk is not just limited to the common cold and flu viruses. As the number of people traveling and shopping increase, so does the risk of catching community infections like MRSA, Strep, E. coli, norovirus and other germs.
Where Germs Hang Out
Before I tell you about my own narrow miss, here’s a few travel tips that will help you stay safe. This time of year with people on the go and traveling for the holidays, there’s some high-risk surfaces and objects you’ll want to be aware of.
The DNA of many GMO foods have been tampered with to create organisms that cannot naturally occur in nature, including merging bacterial and plant DNA.
Genetically modified foods have been widely touted as the foods of the future, or foods that will feed the world. As my last blog post reveals, Genetically Modified Organism (GMO or GM) foods have many potential health risks that you may not be aware of. Notably, GMO foods are linked to altering gut flora and disrupting the G.I. tract. The G.I. tract is the foundation for preventing and recovering from infections such as Staph, MRSA, or C. difficile.
There are enough studies and scientific evidence to raise major red flags about the safety and environmental effect of GMO foods. Unfortunately, there is also heavy resistance to evidence supporting the dangers of GMOs in both government and industry circles. Fortunately, you can reduce your exposure to these foods with a little knowledge and a few simple tips.
The main ingredient in popular commercial herbicides and garden weed killers may lead to disruption of healthy G.I. flora in people
Foods made from Genetically Modified (GM, or GMO) crops are at the center of a heated political battle in the United States. Regardless of your opinions on GMO food safety, nobody can deny that the heavy use of herbicides and insecticides goes hand-in-hand with growing GMO crops. Perhaps the most troubling thing about GMO foods has nothing to do with the food itself, but rather what is sprayed on it.
The herbicide glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup® and other popular weed killers, is used heavily on GMO crops. In fact, “Roundup-Ready” crops are genetically modified to survive being sprayed with glyphosate, so that the spray only kills the weeds. The trouble is, glyphosate cannot be easily removed from foods after it is applied. And mounting evidence suggests that this popular herbicide negatively alters the balance of the microbiome, the healthy flora in the human gut.
Your liver plays many important roles to keep you alive and healthy, especially after an infection. The liver helps flush bacterial toxins from your body following an infection. It also removes toxins you pick up from the environment, from foods you eat and from taking antibiotic drugs. The nourishment you get from eating food enters your blood by way of the liver, making it a key link in feeding your body’s immune system.
With flu season in full swing, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself, especially in public places. If you have MRSA or Staph, then it’s that much more important to do what you can to ward off the flu.
Yesterday a young man emailed a question about diet and recurring Staph infections. His first infection was 8 months ago. Fortunately, the antibiotics he took stopped his infection. He also began to eat better too: more foods that support the immune system, less foods that weaken it. But lately, he’s been eating the same old diet again, including cola, lots of red meat, alcohol and hardly any fruits or vegetables. In other words, he slipped back into the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), which really is not helpful when it comes to recurring infections.
The shorter and cooler days of Fall mean less time spent outdoors in the sun. Spending more time indoors will certainly make you lose your tan. But there’s a much more important thing you risk losing that can leave you more prone to winter colds, flu, other infections and possibly even MRSA colonization.
One of the most crucial nutrients your body needs to fight and resist infections is vitamin D. This vitamin plays a big role in helping you avoid and recover from infections. Not only does vitamin D contain antibacterial properties, it also mediates infection-fighting responses in your body’s immune system.
A July 2012 article in BBC Health News shed more light on the amazing number of beneficial bacterial living on and inside your body and the crucial role they play in keeping you healthy. The Human Microbiome Project has been finding and genetically testing bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that live intimately with and on us.