With ingredients from Nutraceuticals, you can enjoy the falling leaves – not suffer from a cough and a sneeze!

All the heralds of Autumn are now in evidence – scurrying acorn-burying squirrels, stunning golden forests and bonfire smoke on the breeze. But not all the seasonal changes are quite so welcome.

The fading of the last of the summer rays can also bring a cacophony of sniffs, croaks and groans of discontent as the flu takes a grip on the throats, noses and chests of the population.

According to Public Health England, between November and February, the number of cases of flu-like illnesses dealt with by GPs is higher than at any other point in the year 

Influenza is a viral illness that affects the respiratory tract including your nose, throat, lungs and bronchial tubes (the airways that lead to the lungs). Although mild cases of the flu can be confused with the common cold, the flu usually causes more serious illness. The NHS identifies several characteristics that distinguish the flu from a standard cold. Whilst a cold develop gradually, flu will appear quickly (within a few hours). Additionally, the classic cold symptoms affecting your nose and throat might make you feel unwell, it is possible to carry on pretty much as normal. The severity of the infection caused by the flu will manifest themselves as more than just a sniffly nose and sore throat, and can lead to an exhausting systemic response which prevents the sufferer from normal daily functioning. In the worst cases, the flu can cause pneumonia or a secondary bacterial infection that can be fatal, particularly among those at high risk of flu-related complications — for example, people who are pregnant, have asthma, or suffer from other chronic conditions. With such risks associated, it makes good sense to avoid and mitigate infection from this nasty viral contagion.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

The concept that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, was popularised by Benjamin Franklin in 1736, but the quote can be dated back to the 13thC. Particularly with regard to the flu, this adage is still as relevant today as it was 800 years ago. The first line of defence against infection is to avoid the risk of exposure. Common sense actions, such as keeping your distance from flu ‘victims’ and observing good hygiene practices like effective hand washing and antibacterial cleaning of communal surfaces, can mitigate against the chance of picking up the virus.

Treating yourself with TLC by getting adequate sleep, managing stress and taking regular exercise also helps to keep the immune system in top condition and equipped to resist possible assault. However, the struggle with the work/ life balance sometimes means that we don’t treat ourselves with as much care as we should. Thankfully, for times when life is more taxing or when your diet is lacking in the good stuff, Nutraceuticals can offer a boost to keep your immunity at an optimal level.

Whilst including a good quality Multivitamin in your daily routine can provide an insurance policy against viral and bacterial infections, there are some vitamins, minerals and botanicals which are recognised champions at supporting the immune system. 

A cause and effect relationship exists between the dietary intake of vitamin C and functioning of a normal immune system

Across the globe and for several generations, Vitamin C has been the first choice supplement for sufferers of colds and flu. In 2015 the European Food Safety Authority Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergy establish a cause and effect relationship exists between the dietary intake of vitamin C and functioning of a normal immune system. Due to the fact that the human body does not store vitamin C (it dissolves in water, and any excess leaves the body in urine) this nutrient needs to be taken on a daily basis. At Nutraceuticals, we offer a range of products that provide a bounteous amount of this powerful vitamin.

Exciting new players in the vitamin arena are products such as Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid (Liposomal) Powder (~68% Ascorbate) and Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid 25% Food State On Yeast. Both Liposomal and Food State vitamin products offer cutting edge ways to realise and optimise nutritive benefits. Our botanical origin range of products extends to the Vitamin C rich fruits of the Rose, Rosehip (Rosa canina); Camu Camu, Camu Camu berry (Myrciaria dubia); and Acerola, Acerola Cherry (Malpighia glabra). This range of products is available as powders or extracts with a variety of assays of Vitamin C.

Supplementing food with vitamin D would prevent millions of cold and flu cases, and possibly save lives

A relative newbie in the immune health conversation, Vitamin D has been generating much interest – within the health industry and also the wider community – as a rival to Vitamin C’s dominance. A study published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal, which took into account data from 25 previous studies and involved more than 10,000 people, researchers determined that supplementing food with vitamin D would prevent millions of cold and flu cases, and possibly save lives. The studies explored the effect of vitamin D in preventing acute respiratory tract infections including flu and pneumonia. Nutraceuticals range includes both Ergocalciferol and Cholecalciferol products and a has Vegan options.

Echinacea is extracted from the Coneflower, a member of the daisy family, and has long been used as a herbal remedy for the common cold

The beauty of the bloom of Echinacea is eclipsed only by its potency against cold and flu. It has been shown to have the dual benefit of both decreasing the incidence of infection and making the suffering more short-lived when an infection does occur.

Researchers from the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff University found that taking three daily doses of Echinacea for four months reduced the number of colds and duration of the illness by an average of 26 per cent. The treatment also cut the number of recurrent colds suffered by people with weak immune systems or a history of catching several bouts each year by 60 per cent. University of London researcher Dr Margaret Richie, further supported the efficacy of this botanical,  with her declaration that ‘Echinacea supports low-running immune systems but does not overstimulate well-supported ones’. Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea  can be found in the Nutraceuticals portfolio.

From ancient Ayurveda tradition to the modern day, ginger, lemon and honey are a potent combination to alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu

Should you succumb to a seasonal bout of illness, some of the most reliable supplements for easing the symptoms for cold and flu, are ingredients that may well be found in your fridge or store cupboard at home. Shopping list items such as honey, garlic and ginger all have a centuries long reputation for strengthening natural defense mechanisms and immune function, in addition to offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Another kitchen staple that many are unaware of as an adjunct to building a resilient immune system is the mushroom.

A research project conducted by Ulleval University Hospital, Oslo in 2008, determined that the mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill (AbM) activated the branch of the immune system that elicits both anti‐infection and even antitumour effects. This study was carried out on mouse models and has prompted further investigation with human subjects.

Though the Chaga mushroom has the appearance of something rotten rather than something restorative, it is exceptional for fighting inflammation and infection. In animal and test-tube studies, this material has been shown to promote the formation of beneficial cytokines — specialized proteins that regulate the immune system. The research, undertaken in 2011 in Korea, has also shown that Chaga stimulates white blood cells, which are essential for fighting off harmful bacteria and viruses. 

So, If you are a one of the FLU FIGHTERS, join our band and we can advise you about the best Nutritional Ingredients to stay in optimal health this autumn and winter. 

We would love to discuss your seasonal needs – whether they are single ingredients; a selection of vitamins, minerals and herbals or a bespoke immune-boosting blend.