Tag: flu

Bacteria or Virus? Express Yourself!

Bacteria or Virus? Express Yourself!

As this year’s flu and cold season wanes down a bit, I found it heartening to read that science is focusing on a way to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections to help limit over-prescribing of antibiotics. Over the last decades doctors have been far too willing to offer a sad and miserable patient antibiotics, resulting in killing off many…

Back to School Health Tips

Back to School Health Tips

Goodbye to summer! I hope yours was enjoyable and relaxing. Here in Florida, we’re hoping that the heat will lift soon. The kids are headed back to their classes and with the new school year comes the inevitable increase in colds and flu. Lots of excited little human beings in an enclosed space together, laughing, touching and generally sharing their bacteria…

Childhood Obesity Linked to Early and Frequent Antibiotic Use

Antibiotic overuse during childhood is rampant. Most physicians, often at the parent’s urging, will prescribe an antibiotic for colds, flu, and ear infections even though antibiotic prescription is not indicated in such cases. Antibiotics are unnecessary for these common childhood ailments, and their overuse has far-reaching negative effects. In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical…

Probiotics and Vitamin C Reduce Colds and School Absences

Research continues to show that probiotics promote immune health. In particular, they have been found to have a beneficial effect on upper respiratory tract infections, which include cold and flu. Up to 80 percent of your immune system resides in the gut, so it’s not surprising that gut bacteria play a major role in immune health. A recent study published…

Antibiotics Overprescribed for Sore Throats and Bronchitis

As we gear up for the winter season we are reminded of the usual increase in cold and flu that runs through our communities, work places, and schools. Along with more sniffles and coughs come more visits to the doctor and, unfortunately, more prescriptions for antibiotics—often at the urging of the patient. But cold and flu are viruses, which are…

Did You Take Antibiotics for a Cough this Season?

This past winter I noticed a lot of people were sick with a cold, flu, or cough (or a combination). Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that a lot of people take antibiotics unnecessarily for such illnesses. I’d like to share an interesting study that will hopefully help educate us on this important topic. The Annals of Family Medicine journal…

Vitamin D Helpful for Colds, or Not?

  Vitamin D is one of those nutrients that I highly recommend for just about everyone. Vitamin D levels are being found to be insufficient or deficient in people all over the world, including in the United States. By conventional medical standards, a vitamin D level (25-hydroxy vitamin D) of less than 12 ng/mL is considered deficient, and 20 ng/mL…

Raise Your Children’s Vitamin D Levels for Winter

Vitamin D is one vitamin I recommend often. Insufficient levels of vitamin D lave been linked to a wide range of chronic diseases, and most Americans have insufficient levels—two eye-opening facts that have made vitamin D the star vitamin of the last decade. From infants to the elderly, insufficient vitamin D levels are taking their toll. On the flip side,…

Antibiotics are Altering our Guts—Likely Permanently

  Antibiotics are overused for conditions they do not treat, such as viral infections like cold or flu. Antibiotic overuse is leading to antibiotic resistance, one of the major challenges facing medicine today. But antibiotic resistance is not the only consequence of the average 10 – 20 courses of antibiotics children receive by the age of 18. An under-appreciated negative…

Synthetic Bacteria? What Will It Mean?

The television news magazine 60 Minutes recently aired a piece about the creation of the first synthetic cell. The scientist at the head of this research, J. Craig Venter, is also responsible for mapping the human genome. Over the past 15 years, $40 million and his team of researchers have created a self-replicating bacteria with synthetic DNA. The synthetic cell…