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Snot: Spit or Swallow?

January 4, 2016

The season for colds is here. Although it initially may sound a little gross, the first article gives us some useful information. Mucus has a defense purpose. The concept here is that we need to learn to survive with microbes. So production of mucus is a mechanism to get rid of the germs. I pay attention to the color of snot—this gives some direction as far as treatment, such as if antibiotics may be helpful. Many healthy foods stimulate the immune system. Glutathione is frequently mentioned and comes from sulfur-based foods. Then there is garlic (allicin is the active chemical) with its direct antimicrobial properties. Olive oil, as well as ginger, have bactericidal activity. We continue to hear about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in helping treat the common cold, probably by modulating the inflammatory response. From scratch chicken or beef soup with bone provides some basic nutrients for healing. Lean beef is high in zinc. Speaking of which, what about the benefit of zinc in allergies and fighting acute infection? George Eby summarizes the history of zinc and its usefulness in the common cold over the past 30 years. Observation led to trial showing the benefit in decreasing the number of symptomatic days with the common cold. The real controversy in the literature about the usefulness of zinc is directly related to the type of zinc used. As Eby points out, some zinc formularies work better than others. The real key is the source of the zinc. Zinc acetate lozenges, for instance, release more zinc ions than any other zinc preparation. These ions, in turn, cause slight changes in electrical potential between the cells. At certain levels, this stimulates the immune system, thus the potential use in treating the common cold. An important aspect here is that zinc in a nasal spray can affect smell. This is called anosmia. Zinc lozenges can be absorbed through the mouth and the absorption pattern runs through the nose. This markedly decreases the incidence of anosmia using zinc acetate lozenges. Now, the big question. Do you spit or do you swallow? I don’t know. I prefer to spit (handkerchief) unless I am in a social setting that discourages this. We have already been exposed to the microbes. The production of mucus not only is fighting the infection but is also getting rid of toxins. Getting rid of the toxins is why I tend to prefer spitting. I emphasize again that what we go back to is the basics such as a Paleo concept in your diet and rely more on fats and protein as a calorie source. Although I have given this to you previously, I will repeat it again here. In my opinion, the key to longevity is: 1. Maintaining an ideal body composition with the android fat less than 25%. 2. Maintaining or increasing muscle mass. 3. Being able to reach and maintain your maximum heart rate with short bursts of very intense exercise. 4. Detoxifying from the daily environmental exposure.

Posted in Blog by jbosiljevac

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