How Flu Remedies HELP The Virus Breed Faster (And Spread More Easily To Other People)

Published on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 22:57
Pic from from and flu remedies may make you feel better but your friends and colleagues won’t thank you for taking them.

Scientists say that while aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen make the person taking them feel better by lowering their temperature, they may also make the bug easier to spread.

As a result, more people will catch it.

The Canadian researchers calculated that tablets taken to ease the sweats and chills of flu are to blame for at least one in 20 cases of the illness – and many deaths.

They say that rather than taking pills to lower their temperature, people with flu should stay at home, get plenty of rest and have some hearty soup.

However, British experts questioned their sums.

The researchers, from McMaster University in Ontario, first gathered together studies on the biology of flu.

This included one which showed that ferrets release more of the flu virus and are infectious for longer after being given drugs to lower their temperature.

It is thought that the high temperature of a fever triggers the immune system into fighting the infection.

Without it, the amount of the flu virus in coughs and sneezes increases, making it easier for the bug to spread.

Although ferrets may seem an odd choice of animal to study, their flu symptoms are most similar to those in people.

The researchers then added in figures on use of paracetamol and other drugs to estimate how much they affect the spread of flu.
They calculated that in a typical winter in North America, the pills are to blame for 5 per cent of cases and more than 1,000 deaths.

If same held true for the UK, it would equate to some 200 deaths a year.

Lead researcher, David Earn, said: ‘When they have flu, people often take medication that reduces their fever.
‘No one likes to feel miserable but it turns out that our comfort might be at the cost of infecting others.

‘Because fever can actually help lower the amount of virus in a sick person’s body and reduce the chance of transmitting the disease to others, taking drugs that can reduce fever can increase transmission.

‘We’ve discovered that this increase has significant effects when we scale up to the level of the whole population.’

The journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B reports that factoring in the impact of people who take the medicines feeling well enough to go back to work means the impact is likely even greater.

Professor Earn said: ‘People often take – or give their kids – fever-reducing drugs so they can go to work or school.

‘They may think the risk of infecting others is lower because the fever is lower.

‘In fact, the opposite may be true: the ill people may give off more virus because fever has been reduced.’

Co-researcher Dr Paul Andrews said the same could be true when the pills are used to ease the symptoms of a heavy cold.

He said: ‘Don’t take anti-fever drugs; stay home and avoid contact with others; get plenty of rest and eat chicken noodle soup.’

David Price, professor of family medicine at McMaster, said: ‘As always, Mother Nature knows best.

‘Fever is a defence mechanism to protect ourselves and others.

‘Fever-reducing medication should only be taken to take the edge off discomfort, not to allow people to go out into the community when they should still stay at home.

‘People are often advised to take fever-reducing drugs and medical texts state that doing so is harmless.

‘This view needs to change.’

However, British experts said that while the Canadians may have a theoretical point, the spread of flu is much more complex than their calculations allowed for.

Professor Ian Jones, a Reading University flu expert, said: ‘This may be one factor that influences influenza spread but there are so many factors overall it is difficult to imagine people stopping taking cold cures because of it.’



-Daily Mail

Vitamin D Supplements Can Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain


Vitamin D Supplements Can Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain
Mon, 01/20/2014 – 10:11am
Calcium dietary supplement tablets. (Source: Wikimedia/Kham Tran)Calcium dietary supplement tablets. (Source: Wikimedia/Kham Tran)Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) typically have widespread chronic pain and fatigue. For those with low vitamin D levels, vitamin D supplements can reduce pain and may be a cost-effective alternative or adjunct to other treatment, said researchers in the current issue of PAIN.
In addition to pain and fatigue, individuals diagnosed with FMS may experience sleep disorders, morning stiffness, poor concentration, and occasionally mild-to-severe mental symptoms such as anxiety or depression. The condition can have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life, resulting in loss of employment and/or withdrawal from social life. There is no cure, and no treatment will address all of the symptoms, but some symptoms may be alleviated by physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, temporary drug therapy (such as amitriptyline, duloxetine, or pregabaline) and multimodal therapies.
Calcifediol (also known as calcidiol, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, or 25-hydroxyvitamin D (OH)D) is a prehormone produced in the liver by the enzyme cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Calcifediol is then converted to calcitriol (1,25-(OH)2D3), which is the active form of vitamin D. The concentration of calcifediol in blood is considered the best indicator of vitamin D status.
Researchers hypothesized that vitamin D supplementation would reduce the degree of chronic pain experienced by FMS patients with low levels of calcifediol and also might improve other symptoms. “Low blood levels of calcifediol are especially common in patients with severe pain and fibromyalgia. But although the role of calcifediol in the perception of chronic pain is a widely discussed subject, we lack clear evidence of the role of vitamin D supplementation in fibromyalgia patients,” said lead investigator Florian Wepner, of the Department of Orthopaedic Pain Management, Spine Unit, Orthopaedic Hospital, Speising, Vienna, Austria. “We therefore set out to determine whether raising the calcifediol levels in these patients would alleviate pain and cause a general improvement in concomitant disorders.”
In a randomized controlled trial, 30 women with FMS with low serum calcifediol levels (below 32ng/ml) were randomized to a treatment or control group. The goal for the treatment group was to achieve serum calcifediol levels between 32 and 48ng/ml for 20 weeks via oral cholecalciferol supplements. Serum calcifediol levels were reevaluated after five and 13 weeks, and the dose was reviewed based on the results. The calcifediol levels were measured again 25 weeks after the start of the supplementation, at which time treatment was discontinued, and after a further 24 weeks without supplementation.
Twenty-four weeks after supplementation was stopped, a marked reduction in the level of perceived pain occurred in the treatment group. Between the first and the 25th week on supplementation, the treatment group improved significantly on a scale of physical role functioning, while the placebo group remained unchanged. The treatment group also scored significantly better on a Fibromalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) on the question of “morning fatigue.” However, there were no significant alterations in depression or anxiety symptoms.
“We believe that the data presented in the present study are promising. FMS is a very extensive symptom complex that cannot be explained by a vitamin D deficiency alone. However, vitamin D supplementation may be regarded as a relatively safe and economical treatment for FMS patients and an extremely cost-effective alternative or adjunct to expensive pharmacological treatment as well as physical, behavioral, and multimodal therapies,” said Wepner. “Vitamin D levels should be monitored regularly in FMS patients, especially in the winter season, and raised appropriately.”
Date: January 17, 2014
Source: Elsevier

Omega-3s are incredibly potent anti-inflammatory supplements

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Omega-3 fatty acids are “incredibly potent” anti-inflammatories, which may explain why they have been linked with lowered rates of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California-San Diego and published in the journal Cell.

In an experiment conducted on mice, the researchers examined how omega-3s interact with specialized white blood cells known as macrophages, which digest harmful molecules and cellular debris. As part of their operation, macrophages naturally secrete chemicals that produce an inflammatory response.

The researchers found that macrophages contain an omega-3 receptor, GPR120, that causes them to stop producing these inflammatory chemicals. Continue reading

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