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Deceptions in the Food Industry: What You Don’t Know About Products Labeled “No MSG”

www.mypicshares.com

You may have seen labeling on food products which read “no added MSG” or simply “no MSG”?  If so, you should know that many of these foods likely contain MSG anyway.

This is because food companies have changed the wording on their products to other names you may not recognize, and are still including this toxic and brain-cell destroying substance in the food.

Why do food companies use MSG?

MSG is added to foods to enhance flavor.  These substances, called excitotoxins by Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D. and other reputable health authorities, are included in the food for one purpose and one purpose alone: to get consumers addicted to the products.

The chemical makeup of this ingredient makes it very dangerous to consume.  Many people have allergic reactions to it, and some have life-threatening problems as a result of consuming it.

MSG is a poison

Some people seem to consume foods with MSG and experience no side effects. The problem is that you could consume these substances a thousand or ten thousands times with seemingly no ill effects, but then one day you consume it and your body says “enough”.

Symptoms could be something mild such as a headache or fatigue, depression, mood swings, or something more noticeable such as nausea or numbness.

But, it could also be a severe: neurological disruptions, seizures, blockage of airway or even a life-threatening reaction such as cardiac arrhythmia or sudden death.

Those with a weakened immune system and who are more toxic such as those with childhood allergies, frequent illness and infection, asthma, skin disorders such as eczema, and known food allergies are at higher risk for experiencing an an anaphylactic reaction to toxins such as MSG. Anaphylactic refers to the body’s systemic or whole response to a poison or toxin.

To say that someone is “allergic” to MSG is simply not identifying the substance properly. MSG is not an allergen, it is a poison. By definition, an allergen can be something that is benign to the body, but to which the body has developed a super-immune response.

How companies get around labeling MSG on products

Some years ago, MSG was identified on packages and containers simply as “monosodium glutamate”.  That has all changed. Today, without further knowledge of what food ingredients really mean, the only recognizable way you’ll be able to know that MSG is actually in a food product is the use of this term.

Currently, FDA regulations allow food manufacturers to include MSG in foods under a variety of different names, even though it is technically the same substance: an isolated glutamate that has been engineered in a laboratory.

Because there are now so many different substances which contain processed free glutamic acid, the FDA now has a requirement stipulating that each one be called by its unique name. So now instead of merely labeling the food as containing MSG, now you see many different terms on packages.

Let’s not forget, the FDA – which is supposed to “protect us” from dangerous substances in our food and other products is the same organization which allowed genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) to enter our food supply in 1996, and be purchased and consumed by consumers without their knowledge ever since.

Big corporations and government interests have helped to promote the idea that toxins and chemicals in our food supply, drugs, personal care products, commercial and agricultural products and many others are not dangerous substances. Because of the wealth and influence these entities hold, they are able to affect the minimization of these reports in medical and scientific research – particularly to large scientific laboratories, universities, and medical and pharmaceutical companies. As a result, doctors and practitioners are largely unaware of the dangers and serious effects these substances have on human health, and also that they are a large culprit in many chronic illnesses and disease.

Even when the package specifically states “No MSG“, making you believe the food or product is safe: that is usually a false claim. Terms such as “flavors” or “flavorings” may contain MSG in ingredients besides “monosodium glutamate” and many other common terms such as “hydrolyzed proteins”  (i.e., soy, vegetable, wheat or other or without actually disclosing the presence of MSG).

Even claims made on meat packages that there are “no nitrites or nitrates” are soon followed by the phrase in fine print, “except from those naturally occurring in…” and the ingredient is usually celery root powder, celery juice powder, or some other “plant” source that is assumed by the consumer to be “all natural”.

The problem is that with celery root and celery juice powders, the glutamic acid in the product has been isolated from how it occurs in nature with co-factors, enzymes, and nutrients, and has been compounded (meaning it is in many times larger the amounts than it would actually occur from the natural source) and engineered in a lab, and that is nothing like how it actually occurs in nature.

You can also find MSG in non-food products such as shampoo, soap, hair conditioner, personal care products and and cosmetics. The terms used in the ingredients list will often appear as things such as “hydrolyzed,” “protein” or “amino acids”.

Here is a partial list of products that will likely contain MSG by other names:

  • Soda or carbonated beverages
  • “Juice” drinks
  • Aspartame, neotame and other artificial sweeteners used not only in food but also medications and other products
  • Candy and chewing gum
  • Protein powders and protein “drinks”
  • Low-fat and skim milk often contain forms of MSG under the names of carageenan, locust bean gum, or guar gum
  • Vaccines.  The manufacturer of Varivax–Merck chicken pox vaccine (Varicella Virus Live), states that this vaccine  contains hydrolyzed gelatin and L-monosodium glutamate, both contain processed free glutamic acid (MSG).  It is likely that most live viruses which are included in vaccines include some some ingredient(s) that contain MSG.
  • Some commercial waxes on some fruits and vegetables
  • Pesticide or fertilizer products used in farming, including some that are organic.
  • Infant formula
  • Kosher foods
  • Enteral products used for intravenous feeding in hospitals and other medical facilities (fluids and tube feeding products)
  • Certain plastic wraps used to contain food and other products have been found to contain MSG – one such product is Cryovac
  • Various ingredients such as yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, textured soy protein, and anything hydrolyzed are just a few ingredients that can be derived from organic produce, but still contain MSG (refer to list below of other names MSG goes by on packages).

Here are some commonly used names for MSG that you may not recognize (not an exhaustive list):

  • Yeast extract or almost any type of ingredient with the word “yeast”
  • citric acid
  • natural flavors
  • organic flavors
  • autolyzed yeast or yeast extract
  • organic autolyzed yeast or yeast extract
  • hydrolyzed soy protein
  • hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • anything using the word “hydrolyzed”
  • textured vegetable protein
  • caseinate
  • soy lecithin
  • soy protein
  • soy protein isolate
  • natural smoke flavor
  • carageenan
  • soy protein concentrate
  • soy sauce
  • malt extract
  • wheat starch
  • modified food starch
  • whey protein concentrate
  • glutamates
  • chicken, pork or beef stock
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • chicken, pork, or beef base
  • non-fat milk solids
  • corn syrup solids
  • Disodium inosinate
  • Disodium guanylate
  • cheese cultures
  • vinegar
  • any type of “powder”
  • Pasteurized part-skim milk
  • gelatin (unless from a known, sustainable source)
  • Monoammonian glutamate
  • malt flavoring
  • chicken, beef, cheese, pork, fish, or other flavoring
  • spices
  • pectin
  • broth stock
  • bouillon
  • maltodextrin
  • corn

How does MSG harm your health?

MSG and other ingredients like artificial colors or flavors, and preservatives act as excitatory neurotransmitters in the brain. Glutamate from MSG and artificial ingredients cause reactions in the body that bring on various symptoms such as  hyperactivity, migraine headaches, joint and bone pain, obesity, and general inflammation.  When we eat MSG, this triggers glutamate receptors in the brain.

Ingesting these chemicals leads to the brain signaling an opiate-like “high” in the body, and causes an addictive responses similar to those who use alcohol or drugs. It leads to preferences toward certain food brands and the avoidance of real, healthy foods.

Natural News featured an important interview with Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D.,expert on the dangers of neurotoxic, brain-damaging MSG. And here is a live interview:

Here are some foods I’ve randomly come across containing MSG. In addition to containing many other toxic ingredients, I’ve placed in bold those ingredients including MSG (some are organic):

Best Foods Real Mayonnaise

Ingredients: Soybean oil, water, whole eggs and egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality), natural flavors.

Cascadian Farm Fruit Spread

Ingredients: Organic sugar, organic apricots, water, fruit pectin, organic lemon juice concentrate, citric acid.

Chex Honey Nut Cereal

Ingredients: Whole Grain Rice, Sugar, Corn Meal, Rice Flour, Corn Starch, Honey, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Barley Malt Extract, Brown Sugar Molasses, Iron and Zinc (Mineral Nutrients), Color Added, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Natural Almond Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) and BHT Added to Preserve Freshness.

Imagine Organic Chicken Stock

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Concentrated Organic Chicken Stock, Sea Salt,Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Onion Powder, Natural Flavor,Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Turmeric.

Kirkland Signature Frozen Vanilla Yogurt, Non-fat

Ingredients: Cultured and pasteurized skim milk, sucrose, corn sweeteners, non-fat dry milk, whey, natural and artificial vanilla flavors, pure vanilla extract, stabilizers (modified milk proteins, cellulose gum, guar gum, mono- and diglycerides), egg yolk, annatto extract. Also contains S. Thermophillus, L. Bulgaricus and L. Acidophillis active cultures which are required to create yogurt.

Martinelli Mulling Spices, organic

Ingredients: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Orange Peel, Organic Cloves, Organic Allspice and Natural Flavor.

Muir Glen Organic Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients: Chicken broth (water, chicken stock, sea salt)*, carrots*, cooked chicken meat*, wild rice*, rice*, celery*.

Contains less than 1% of: corn starch*, sea salt, water, chicken flavor (natural flavor, sea salt)*, chicken fat*, onion powder*, soy protein concentrate*, onion*, natural flavor*, black pepper*, chives*, garlic powder*, yeast extract*, cane juice*, parsley flakes*, turmeric*, natural flavor, tomato paste*, thyme*, rosemary*, carrot powder*, potato flour*, canola oil* *certified organic ingredients

Contains soy ingredients.

Nestle hot chocolate mix

Ingredients: Sugar, corn syrup solids, vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated coconut or palm kernel and hydrogenated soybean), dairy product solida, cocoa processed with alkali, and less than 2% of cellulose gum, nonfat milk, salt, sodium caseinate, sodium citrate, dipotassium phosphate, sodium aluminosilicate, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, artificial flavors.

Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade

Ingredients: sparkling filtered water, organic evaporated cane juice, organic lemon juice concentrate, organic lemon juice, organic natural lemon flavor.

It is important to note that some of these companies opposed Proposition 37 Right to Know Initiative in CA for mandatory labeling of GMOs on food packages: Best Foods (owned by Unilver Foods) Nestle, Santa Cruz Organic, Muir Glen (owned by General Mills which opposed the measure), and Cascadian Farm.

Here’s a list of other companies who opposed mandatory labeling of GMOs on food labels. By coincidence, many of these companies also use MSG in their products.

“Organic” foods are not exempt from using MSG. Many packaged, canned, and other similar “organic” products contain these ingredients.

The best way to avoid MSG and its many aliases is to avoid processed foods and prepare your own at home from real, sustainable food sources.

Learn why homemade broth is so beneficial to your health and how to make it: 9 reasons to make bone broth

Many “whole” foods such as meat, dairy, and other foods like soy and corn are from GMO sources. Finding good local sources of animal foods from farmers who raise their stock on pasture and without chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides/herbicides, or GMOs, and who grass-feed their cattle is important.

For more information on finding safe food from your local, sustainable food community, read Questions to Ask Your Farmer – Know What’s in Your Food!

More information:

Truth in Labeling: source of info about MSG

Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry Weston A. Price Foundation

Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Dr. Russell Blaylock

More Deceptions in the Food Industry posts:

Omega 3s

Lean meats

Low-fat foods

All Natural

Whole grains

Low sodium and no salt added

 

Healthy Living Real Food Toxin Alert!

11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Healing Despite “Eating Well”

www.mypicshares.com

So you’ve transitioned away from processed foods and started eating healthier. That’s great!

You’re becoming more mindful of organic – maybe you’re buying more fruits and vegetables, and maybe even meat, poultry, and dairy products from sustainable sources.

Or, maybe you’ve made an effort to eliminate toxic vegetable oils and other artificial fats like margarine, shortening, or fake butter spreads.

You thought you were making some headway, but you’re not seeing as many improvements as you’d like.  You’re still  tired, have brain fog and inability to focus, or you’re short-tempered and have no patience.  Maybe the weight is just not coming off like you wanted, or you are still having blood-sugar crashes and problems sleeping.

How could this be? Surely all the changes you’ve made should be making a difference and eliminating your health issues.

Don’t despair, there may simply be some very basic things you are missing. Here are some possible reasons why you may not be seeing the full benefits you’ve been hoping for:

1. You’re buying organic, but processed foods are still finding their way to your kitchen.

Just because the package says “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean it’s not highly processed and full of non-food and toxic substances. If you are buying soups, salad dressings, marinades, sauces, macaroni and cheese, crackers, cookied, breads, chips, cereals, and other packaged carb foods, you aren’t doing your health any favors.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying foods at the store which are labeled “organic” but really might not be better for you because they are still high in sugar, contain foods that are subjected to high-heat or deodorization, contain modern, rancid oils like canola, soybean, or corn oil, There are other not-so-healthy ingredients in organic foods too such as various sweeteners like evaporated cane juice, dehydrated cane juice, brown rice syrup, oat, rice, and potato flours, “organic” and “natural” flavorings (which are just other names for MSG, by the way), “natural” colors and other ingredients that seem perfectly okay, but are highly processed and not natural at all.

Real foods made at home from scratch are what will help your body to heal and improve, but these highly processed foods, labeled organic or not, are just like conventional, processed foods and aren’t much better.

For more information, read Organic is Only Part of the Story and Deceptions in the Food Industry: “All-Natural”.

2.   Maybe you are cheating more often than you should.

Okay, no one can be perfect all the time, and you’re doing much better than the past. You’ve started reading labels and being more mindful of organic and sustainable foods. But…maybe you are still eating out several times a week, or are still taking short cuts by buying processed foods, foods with pesticides/herbicides (commercially-grown produce, legumes, nuts, grains, etc.), or commercial meats/animal products that might have antibiotics/hormones? Eating healthy does cost more, but think of the cost savings you are doing for yourself buy eating better now for the future.

Read Is Cheap Food Really Cheap? The Hidden Costs of Industrial Food.

3. You’re skipping meals or not eating enough.

One of the biggest enemies of normal weight balance, normal blood sugar levels, consistent energy, and even moods is skipping meals or not eating enough. To keep your metabolism going strong, weight normal, and blood sugar even, regular meals are a must.  Many degenerative diseases can be caused or made worse simply by not eating regular, nutritious meals such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other problems.

Try to make certain you eat at least three meals a day, and if you are battling adrenal fatigue, diabetes, weight issues, hormone, or blood sugar problems, you will probably need to eat more meals daily until those are ironed out…and with plenty of real, healthy fats.

4.  Your digestive tract may need some assistance.

Like most people, you probably have some type of digestive issue. It’s also likely that at some point in your life you avoided real fats because mainstream health told you to do so. This has likely led to chronic digestive issues (and overall health issues too). Maybe  you are now eating more full-fat foods than ever before, but are still experiencing digestive problems such as nausea or a feeling of indigestion, bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort, or diarrhea and  constipation.  But don’t give up! Real fats are critical to healing your body, so don’t make the mistake of returning back to low-fat and artificial fats.

If you are just starting to eat real fats again after many years of consuming modern, artificial fats or low-fat foods, it is beneficial to ease back into eating real fats again slowly to give you body a chance to adjust.

A dietary protocol like GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride) can also be very helpful to heal digestive issues and help you to digest fats properly again.

In general, I try to stay away from supplements. But some people need even more support because of failing health, and sometimes supplements are necessary. If after you have tried a healing protocol like GAPS and you find that you need something in addition to this, there are a few options available.

Good quality digestive enzymes can help. Our bodies need living enzymes to digest our food. When we’ve abused our bodies for years, enzyme production goes down significantly. Not any enzyme on the market will do. Many of these are expensive and the enzymes are not living. Taking dead enzymes will not only waste your money, but won’t heal your body.

I take Enzyme Formulations by Loomis Enzymes. Dr. Loomis, a chiropractor, was the original creator of enzyme for human beings. These are live digestive enzymes that everyone needs (and many are lacking in due to poor lifestyle and diet), and are accompanied by healing herbs. The blend of these two substances together combines a powerful healing action in the digestive tract and helps you to be able to absorb the nutrients in fats you eat while healing your gut at the same time.

To find out which enzymes are right for your body, it’s a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable practitioner who can test to find out what you need. The link provided above can tell you about practitioners in your area.

Another good choice is Swedish Bitters. Some people find that these are a great help to digesting fats, and that they only need to take them for a period of time until their digestion is healed. Read this helpful post from The Healthy Home Economist about Swedish Bitters.

Probiotics are really important too…that is, friendly bacteria. We have trillions upon trillions of cells in our bodies, and we need a good supply of beneficial bacteria to support the life of those cells. Most foods we eat are dead, and even those which are living are still probably lacking enough healthy flora for our guts and digestive systems. There is a lot of debate about probiotics, but from what I have researched, I understand that it is best to get as many of these little critters into your system as you can, EVERY DAY. That means eating fermented and cultured foods as often as possible, and a variety of them to create a diversity of bacteria. Home-made versions of these foods are superior to what you can buy in the store. And for some, that also means taking a therapeutic grade probiotic that will boost your numbers of good bacteria. Here are my picks:

For more information on the importance of friendly bacteria, read All Probiotics Are NOT Created Equal.

5.   You are still avoiding meat and animal products.  

Meat, dairy products, and cheese have received a bad reputation for many years. The real culprits of disease and bad health are the commercial versions of these foods. Grass-fed meats & poultry, eggs from hens on pasture, and raw dairy foods from healthy cows provide critical fat-soluble vitamins not found elsewhere in our food supply. These are Vitamins A, D, E, and K2, also Omega 3s, a variety of minerals, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, an important antioxidant).

Fat-soluble activators A, D, and K2 allow the absorption of minerals into the body. Avoiding these foods will continue to lead to nutritional deficiencies over time, which will only get worse. So if you are still on the low-fat track, all bets are off that you’ll be able to overcome health challenges.

A diet that includes low-fat foods is not healthy. Those foods are still processed and don’t contain all the nutrients, enzymes, and co-factors you need to help you absorb and reap the benefits of what you are eating. So even if it’s organic, if it’s low-fat or reduced fat milk or cheese, or lean meat, all bets are off about it really giving you health benefits.

Dr. Weston A. Price discovered in his travels that all healthy populations he encountered consumed TEN TIMES the amount of fat-soluble vitamins than populations from developed countries. These groups of people enjoyed robust health and the presence of many modern diseases we are now very familiar with such as heart disease, obseity, cancer and diabetes were virtually unheard of. It was very common to see individuals living well into old age with no health problems, ease in conception and pregnancy, the ability to resist infectious and chronic disease and tooth decay, and children that were healthy without the chronic health issues we see today such as autism, ADD, obesity, frequent colds, ear aches, flus and other infections, tooth decay, and crooked teeth.

If you want to see big improvements in your health, increase your intake of healthy fats – butter, cream, sour cream, yogurt, kefir, lard, tallow, olive oil, coconut, palm oil, and fatty cuts of meat and poultry, bone broths, and organ meats from sustainable sources you trust.

Try buying meats and animal products from a local farmer that uses safe practices with raising their animals and birds.  Here’s a helpful post about Questions to Ask Your Farmer.

Here is more information on the health benefits of real, grassfed meat: The Grassfed Meat Challenge: Busting Myths About Meat.

6. You are still eating grains (maybe even properly prepared), but your body is not doing well on them.

Many people in the real food community have advocated sprouting, soaking, and fermentation or souring as a way to prepare grains for consumption, as our ancestors did. Dr. Weston A. Price did find evidence of populations who consumed grains prepared this way.

Despite what has been written and postulated about eating grains properly prepared, there are reasons why even doing this may not render grains healthy to eat. There are various factors occurring in modern times which were not present during the time of Weston A. Price:

  • Lectins, found in grains, are often linked to auto-immune disorders, which are prevalent and becoming more common in modern society.
  • Since the inception of GMO foods, digestive and auto-immune disorders have began to skyrocket (1996).  Digestive disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, Leaky Gut, various forms of colitis, chronic abdominal issues such as cramping and bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. The poor state of the average person’s digestive health is reason enough alone to abandon grains for at least a period of time. When you eat foods and cannot digest them, it causes further damage to the intestinal and digestive tract. Grains contain phytic acid and will actually cause leaching of minerals in the body.

GMOs are produced with a pesticide originating inside the DNA of the plant (which is inserted into the seed in the lab).  When insects eat this substance, it causes their internal organs to rupture. In the movie, Genetic Roulette, Jeffery Smith from the Institute for Responsible Technology talks about how these substances are causing irritation and are punching small holes in the intestinal linings of those consuming them (not just grains, but soy, corn, cottonseed oil, etc.). Monsanto and other seed companies who produce these crops have not yet officially approved GMO grains for the U.S. market. But they have test plots in varying locations around the country. Contamination of non-GMO grains is eminent and likely has already occurred. If you are eating wheat, even organic wheat and other related crops such as kamut or spelt, you have likely consumed contaminated grains.

Read this informative post by Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple which discusses misconceptions about grains and why they may not be as healthy for us as we are taught by mainstream health and nutrition experts: Top 8 Most Common Reactions to Your Grain-Free Diet (And How to Respond).

7.  Your foods may be coming from a GMO source.

You may be buying farm-fresh eggs and locally-raised meats, but have you checked to see if your farmer is using GMO (genetically-modified substances) in the feed given to animals or birds?

Foods grown or fed with genetically-modified substances – commonly soy, corn, cottonseed, salmon, dairy foods, and some other foods can cause serious health issues for those consuming them – the animals, birds, and human beings too. Animals are experiencing higher rates of miscarriage and infertility than those who don’t, and human infertility rates have been on the increase dramatically over the last two decades. There are other issues as well:

  • Food allergies – according to the Institute for Responsible Technology: ”Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced. A human subject showed a skin prick allergic-type reaction to GM soy, but not to natural soy. The level of one known soy allergen is as much as 7-times higher in cooked GM soy compared to non-GM soy. GM soy also contains an unexpected allergen-type protein not found in natural soy”.
  • Liver problems – according to the Institute for Responsible Technology:  ”Rats fed GM potatoes had smaller, partially atrophied livers. The livers of rats fed GM canola were 12-16% heavier. GM soy altered mouse liver cells in ways that suggest a toxic insult. The changes reversed after they switched to non-GM soy.”

For more ideas about how to avoid GMOs, read 4 Ways to Avoid GMOs in the Foods You Buy.

8.  Other factors might be affecting you besides what you are eating or not eating.

What about a toxic environment in your home or place of business? Do you have a lot of chemicals or toxic substances near you? What about carpets, paint, cleaning solutions, air fresheners, personal care products such as deodorant, toothpaste, hair sprays, shampoo, conditioner, clothing and dishwashing detergents, dryer sheets, perfumes, etc.?

Read Your Toxic Load – How Does it Affect Your Health?

What about toxic relationships or situations with people in your life? Are you in a situation where you continually feel guilt or accountability for something that isn’t your responsibility? All these things can affect your health adversely, and should be taken into consideration. These can contribute to stress and strife that is very depleting of nutrients and especially valuable minerals your body needs.  At all costs, absolve yourself of obligations or connections to toxic people, whenever possible. They are not doing you or your health, any good.

9. You aren’t getting outside enough and exposing yourself to the sun. 

If you are trapped behind a desk in front of a computer or work in some other industry requiring you to be inside every day, or are in the house doing chores, etc. you are probably not getting enough sun exposure. The sun provides Vitamin D in its most elemental and well-absorbed form. Contrary to popular belief, sun exposure is critical to our health and if you don’t get it, your immune system is probably getting weaker every day.

Have you ever wondered why people seem to get sick during the winter? It’s no coincidence that when we are lacking in Vitamin D, our immune systems are vulnerable to bacteria and viruses that make us sick. Some years ago, Dr. R. Edgar Hope-Simpson confirmed this during decades of research and believed there is a reason for flu outbreaks that comes in the form of a “seasonal stimulus”. But it is also true that not everyone comes down with the virus.

As research has continued through others such as John  Cannell of the Vitamin D Council, it is now apparent that low levels of Vitamin D are indeed this “seasonal stimulus” which is not only triggered by a weakening in the immune system, but also greatly impacts our susceptibility to infection. Vitamin D has extremely powerful influence over the immune system, and the presence of it can prevent sickness. When we are exposed to a virus, our immune system produces broad-spectrum antimicrobial elements – antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). We also have this ability in our skin cells and the cells lining internal openings and passageways, and also a varying amount of immune cells to produce AMPs after exposure to harmful microbes. But in order for this response to happen, there must be sufficient Vitamin D in the body.

In Nature Immunology, a study was produced discusses how Vitamin D must be present for proper signaling and activation of T-cells, our immune system’s guard against damage by foreign pathogens. T-cells cannot activate without Vitamin D. Vitamin D is actually a precursor to our bodies’ ability to produce a natural antibiotic which are responsible for protecting us against pathogens – bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

For more information, read Get Your Sunshine While You Still Can – Prevent Flus and Colds!

Vitamin D Crucial to Activating Immune Defenses - Science Daily

10. You’re not getting enough rest/moderate movement or exercise/stress relief. 

Never underestimate the positive effects of getting enough rest – which means going to bed by 10 or 10:30 most nights and sleeping a full 8 hours or more – and making sure you aren’t over extending yourself in terms of obligations and tasks. These are both instrumental in healing.

If you stay up late regularly and don’t allow your body the rest and recharge it needs…or if you are constantly on the go and being pulled every which way, you can expect your body to be worn out, tired, and not capable of handling the demands of your day-to-day life.  Your immune system will not be strong and you can easily fall prey to chronic health issues, colds, flus, and infections.

Getting outside and moving is important too, but over exercising (which many people in our culture do) without proper rest, nutritional, and lifestyle support is a recipe for adrenal exhaustion and body burnout.  Dr Mercola talks about how too much cardio can actually damage your heart.  Dr. Lawrence Wilson says that too much exercise can lead to severely damage the adrenal glands and damage your health. When this happens, your hormone levels are not normal and your immune system becomes overwhelmed. Then you are vulnerable to disease and illness.

Cortisol levels which are normally released only on occasion for helping your energy levels and appetite to increase and keying down allergic and inflammatory responses in the immune system. It also maintains and releases energy in the body to allow it to overcome negative effects of illness and disease, trauma, extreme temperatures, and also helps maintain balanced moods and emotions.

Cortisol goes out of balance when used too often. This is what happens when the body is dealing with too much stress or demand without proper support. When cortisol levels in your body stay high for too long a period of time, the results are: weight gain, a decrease in bone density, loss of muscle mass, decreased ability to produce protein which leads to kidney damage, retention of fluids, thinning of the skin, up and down blood sugar levels, and increased susceptibility to viruses, bacteria,  fungi, allergic response, yeast overgrowth, parasites, and cancer.

Stop doing so much, avoid working over time whenever you can, and in general do less.  Most things can wait until tomorrow, and if they can’t, it may be time for re-evaluation of your priorities.

For more information, read What is Adrenal Fatigue and Do I Have It? Keeper of the Home

11. Healing takes time. Be patient.

We often want progress much sooner than it actually happens. The reality is, our bodies became sick over a period of years, probably decades of time. Healing can take months to years to accomplish, and if we slide back too often, longer.  But if we are on a steady course, we can notice improvements and signs healing in a fairly short amount of time – days, weeks, or months.

Less fatigue, more energy, better sleep, less pain in the body. These are all things we can expect if we stay on a regular effort of eating well and treating our bodies with care and kindness. But don’t give up if you feel like you have plateaued and aren’t progressing. It may just take more time than you believe it should, and with lifestyle changes you will eventually see a difference and reap the rewards of your careful attention to your body and what it needs.