MakeWell - preventive medicine

More often than not, medicine falls on the treatment side of things. This means that many people deal with illnesses once their bodies and lives have already been affected. This type of healthcare can have a negative impact on communities, because it doesn’t address health until it’s too late.

Preventive medicine, on the other hand, operates under the technique of avoiding health issues before they start. It’s an approach that targets healthy living over treatment; the prevention of diseases as opposed to finding cures and new ways to cope with symptoms; and the avoidance of ill health altogether.

How does preventive medicine work?

Preventive medicine is a medical specialty designed to act as a prophylaxis. Instead of waiting for people to fall ill and be treated, medical professionals are now actively pushing towards wellbeing approaches. The professionals behind preventive medicine have a range of specialties and use their knowledge in those areas to work toward the common goal of a healthy community.

There are five types of preventive healthcare. They include:

Primal

This type of prevention occurs in vitro and is focused on epigenetic healthcare practices by improving the health of the parent, thus improving the health of the child.

Primordial

Prior to the development of disease, certain steps can be taken to avoid bad habits such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and unsafe sex practices.

Primary

By targeting pre-existing condition factors such as genetic disposition or obesity, primary preventive medicine targets areas where a disease could develop if a person remains on the same health path.

Secondary

For existing diseases that go into remission or become asymptomatic, secondary preventive medicine uses screenings to determine whether or not a disease or worsening of a pre-existing condition could develop.

Tertiary

In those who do suffer irreversible and chronic conditions, tertiary prevention is practiced. This is done by reducing the progression of the disease and managing symptoms.

 

MakeWell - nutrition
Image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash: Widespread nutrition programs could help keep communities healthier for longer.

Is preventive medicine effective?

Due to the increasing age of the UK population, it has been found that many people have a higher life expectancy. This can be chalked up to better healthcare technology, but the system is generally still only treating people only after they fall ill. The efficacy of preventive healthcare has been found to reduce both overall deaths as well as debilitating disabilities across the region.

This is due in large part to the ability to keep people healthy for longer periods of time, thus reducing the risk of premature death and chronic illness.  The economic impact, however, doesn’t change much, and the cost of preventive healthcare is on par with the cost of the current reactive system.

Are chronic illnesses fuelled by reactive medicine?

Reactive medicine has been designed to treat the person only after they’ve developed the disease, and many chronic illnesses could be avoided if better health systems were in place. Things such as smoking, obesity, or lack of knowledge about the prevention of certain chronic illnesses can all lead to grave repercussions on a person’s health.

There are many ailments and illnesses that could be prevented in many cases with a healthier lifestyle. Some examples of lifestyle diseases include:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Cancer (lung, colon)
  • Cirrhosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

In a new era where preventive medicine reigns supreme, many of these health issues could be circumvented.

How can preventive medicine help those who suffer from Lyme disease?

When the community is well-equipped with both the knowledge and the tools to prevent chronic conditions, people are much more likely to avoid contracting illnesses that could have otherwise been avoided.

However, knowledge of certain things such as Lyme disease safety practices may not be available to everyone. Also, the dangers that lie in the transmission of Lyme disease may not be as well-known as other diseases, making vital prevention seem much less serious. But if more people are made aware of safety practices in areas where tick populations are high, this could lead to a significant drop in cases.

 

MakeWell - pandemic
Image by Mauro Mora on Unsplash: The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the attention of world leaders towards preventive medicine.

The future of preventive medicine

Community medicine has been at the epicentre of the media lately due to the coronavirus outbreak. Being a community-transferable virus, it’s no surprise that preventive medicine has been brought to the forefront. In terms of communities and transmission, world leaders have been looking toward preventive medicine as a way to limit the devastation the pandemic could cause. If more people are living healthily, it’s more likely illness would be better coped with.

Things such as widespread nutrition programs are being developed to give people a fighting chance at fuelling their body with things that can help them ward off disease. There is also the case of social medicine, a field dedicated to the understanding how health can be directly related to both social and economic conditions. A healthier society is one that everyone can benefit from, and preventive healthcare can help create that new level of wellbeing.

Featured image by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Make Well - fasting

People who suffer from Lyme disease often have a hard time battling chronic symptoms, such as:

  • joint aches
  • fatigue
  • issues with regular and restful sleep
  • inflammation in the body
  • cognitive disfunction, including memory loss and trouble concentrating.

These symptoms often take a while to develop after the onset of the infection, but they are tough to get rid of, since the bacteria that causes Lyme disease can often go dormant within the body for years.

The only way to treat Lyme disease is through a course of antibiotics, and even then it can be difficult to rid the body of lasting symptoms. When it comes to further treatment, symptoms are primarily focused on to help improve quality of life for those with late-stage or chronic Lyme disease. Some treatments include medications for specific ailments, dietary and lifestyle changes, and over-the-counter pain relief medications. But does fasting benefit Lyme patients as a type of treatment? Let’s investigate.

What is fasting, and can fasting be used to treat Lyme symptoms?

Fasting is denying the body of food for a certain period of time. Some fasting is done for days on end, while other types, including intermittent fasting, involve eating food only during a short window each day.

People adopt fasting lifestyles for many different reasons. According to some studies, fasting can:

  • lower insulin resistance and control blood sugar
  • fight inflammation
  • boost cognitive function
  • increase hormone secretion, which can lead to healthier muscles
  • increase the efficacy of other medications.

As people with Lyme disease often suffer from an onslaught of different symptoms, including

decreased cognitive function, inflammation and muscle and joint aches, fasting is said to have positive effects when used in the treatment of long-term Lyme disease symptoms. There has also been a direct correlation of fasting to damage repair and the reduction of oxidative stress throughout the body – both of which play a huge role in advancing chronic disease and the symptoms that often go hand in hand with it.

 

Image by Laurynas Mereckas on Unsplash: Intermittent fasting and Lyme disease: Can you do it while taking medication? Only with a doctor's guidance.

Intermittent fasting and Lyme disease

As mentioned above, there are different types of fasting. Intermittent fasting is more lenient in that a person can eat, but only for a set number of hours each day. Although it is often hailed as a kind of ‘miracle diet’ for those looking to shed a few pounds, fasting has also been observed to have a positive effect on chronic disease symptoms that often ail Lyme disease patients.

There are some downsides to intermittent fasting, though. Those who partake are told to eat whatever they want as long as they stay within the allotted time window to keep true to the fast; this can often lead to overeating unhealthy foods, which can exacerbate symptoms of Lyme disease such as inflammation. When the diet isn’t in check, inflammation can wreak havoc on a body with a chronic illness.

Fasting has the potential to be dangerous as well, so it’s important to be mindful of personal health considerations when deciding whether or not it is right for you. Speaking with your doctor about how many calories you can limit your diet to per day, as well as taking daily medications that are required to be taken with food into account, will help you get on the right path when it comes to fasting.

Is fasting safe if you have Lyme disease?

During a fast, many changes take place in the body. The food you eat is what gives you energy, and the energy is released throughout the body from the liver and muscles in the form of glucose. When you fast, this process changes.

When deprived of glucose, our body uses alternative pathways, such as gluconeogenesis, or produces ketone bodies from fatty acids, to sustain energy supply for vital organs like the brain. This state can contribute to reduction of tiredness and inflammation.

The digestive system also gets a break when you deny the body food for a certain amount of time, and since that energy is no longer being used for digestion, it allows for the immune system to lessen its workload. This can make the immune system stronger to fight off further infection.

Fasting has also been a method used in the detoxification and cleansing of the body. It gives the body the chance to rid itself of anything it doesn’t need. When it comes to Lyme disease sufferers, a build-up of toxins can hinder recovery – another reason fasting may be beneficial for Lyme patients.

 

Make Well - pain
Image by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash: Chronic Lyme disease can cause widespread inflammation and pain throughout the body in people of any age. But is fasting beneficial to Lyme patients?

Is fasting beneficial to Lyme patients?

Although the benefits of fasting and intermittent fasting depend highly on a case-by-case basis, fasting does offer some help in the way of battling chronic Lyme disease. Giving the body a break from digestion can allow it to repair some damage done by the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, and also help curb inflammation caused by eating certain foods (as long as the diet is full of wholefoods, fruits and vegetables while in the eating phase of the fast).

Fasting is generally a safe method of encouraging healthy recovery from chronic Lyme disease symptoms, but should be approached in a knowledgeable and controlled way. The best way to start a fast to help treat chronic symptoms of Lyme disease is to speak with your doctor and decide on a course of action that will be beneficial to you.

Featured image by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Unsplash

MakeWell - pineapple

Packing a big punch of essential vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants, pineapples help to boost the immune system, build strong bones and aid digestion. 

Try our light and fluffy mediterranean couscous salad with lemon oil dressing for a sweet and satisfying summer snack or side.

Ingredients (4 portions):

For the salad:

  • 250g organic couscous
  • 1 ½ cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 1 pomegranate, peeled and kernels removed
  • 1 handful fresh mint, chopped
  • 8-10 dried dates, sliced
  • 100g organic pine nuts
  • 50g hazelnuts, minced

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons native olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 organic lemon, juiced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Cook the couscous as instructed on the package, fluff and leave to cool. Meanwhile, dry roast the pine nuts and hazelnuts in a small saucepan for 2-3 minutes or until golden and fragrant (watch closely and keep the pan moving as pine nuts can burn easily).

For the dressing, simply whisk all ingredients together and adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Once the couscous has fully cooled, add all ingredients together (dressing included) in a bowl and toss thoroughly.

Decorate with a few extra mint leaves and serve as a light main or sweet side.

Enjoy!

Tip: Top the salad with fresh dairy or dairy-free unsweetened yoghurt for an added bit of flavour and tang or use pistachios instead of pine nuts for a lovely pop of colour!

 

Featured image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

MakeWell - resveratrol

Living with a chronic health condition can be an uphill battle. Day-to-day activities such as cleaning, working, or taking care of oneself can all become difficult to accomplish. Certain chronic conditions are worse than others, but they all have one thing in common: they drastically lessen a person’s quality of life.

When taking medication for chronic conditions, it’s often hard to find something that works. No medication is a one-size-fits-all and people with the same illness can respond differently to the same course of treatment. What works for one may not for another because of different body processes, the efficacy of the medication, and the onset of unwanted side effects.

Resveratrol is a compound that has gained attention with the promise of treating many conditions. But what is resveratrol, exactly?

What is resveratrol?

Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol that can be found in a wide variety of plant species. Most notably, resveratrol is found in the skin and seeds of red grapes.

Resveratrol has been hailed as a promising addition to the treatment for things such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Fungal diseases
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Arthritis
  • Oxidative stress
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Low oestrogen
  • Neurological deficits

These conditions vary in severity and in how they affect the overall health of the body. For some, promising studies on resveratrol are available, whereas for others we lack the data to support several claims.

 

MakeWell - heart health
Image by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash: Resveratrol has shown to have excellent health benefits in the area of heart health. Wondering what foods contain resveratrol? You might have some sitting in your fridge.

What are the benefits of using resveratrol?

Depending on the specific condition, the benefits of using resveratrol will differ. In the case of chronic inflammation, resveratrol has the ability to reduce or inhibit the production of certain proteins or enzymes that drive inflammation.

One publication found that the most profound health effects of using resveratrol could be found in those with chronic heart conditions. Resveratrol preserved the function of cell compartments within the heart and induced healing on the ventricular artery.

That same publication mentioned other benefits of resveratrol, such as:

  • Reduced blood glucose levels in diabetic cases
  • Lowered body weight
  • Improved mitochondrial function caused by oxidative stress
  • Inhibition of the overgrowth of bad bacteria within the gut

Another publication claims resveratrol could have dramatic effects on both weight and the build-up of plaque and fats in major arteries, leading to the improvement of cholesterol, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The sirtuin system is said to be the leading cause of improvements in this category.

What are the different forms of resveratrol?

Resveratrol can be made up of two very specific isomers: cis and trans resveratrol. Trans resveratrol is the superior isomer, and is generally attributed to having a more stable and potent reaction when it comes to bioavailability. Cis resveratrol doesn’t have as much of an ability to inhibit proliferation of cells, such as cancer cells, thus it was found to be the lesser of the two forms.

What is the best source of resveratrol?

Since resveratrol is a naturally occurring phytoalexin polyphenol, it is found in many plants. These plants are not always edible, but you can find resveratrol in high concentrations in foods such as:

  • Berries (including cranberries/blueberries)
  • Grapes (grape seeds and skin)
  • Peanuts (including skin)
  • Polygonum cuspidatium (Japanese knotweed)

If it’s difficult to consume these foods, or you can’t in high amounts, there are a wide array of resveratrol nutritional supplement options to choose from.  Many companies have developed their own formulas. One well known and high quality ingredient is Veri-TeTM Resveratrol. It is completely free from harmful substances, but full of all the health benefits of trans-resveratrol.

 

MakeWell - red wine
Image by Kym Ellis on Unsplash: Turns out that a nightly glass of red wine could pack a health punch due to its high levels of resveratrol.

 

There are a range of different types of resveratrol supplementation products available to choose from, including:

  • Capsules
  • Tablets
  • Softgels
  • Liquid Shots
  • Powder sticks
  • Film strips
  • Chocolate
  • Chewing Gum
  • Serum
  • Creams
  • Cosmetics

The bottom line

Although more research is needed on the efficacy of resveratrol on healing at a cellular level, many of the current studies have shown that it is a potential powerhouse when it comes to treating a wide variety of conditions. It has shown to have a positive effect on the healthy function of mitochondria within the cells, which leads to a healthier you.

Featured image by Hari Nandakumar on Unsplash

MakeWell - blueberries

Finding the key to a healthy lifestyle has been the cornerstone of many health food and supplement ad campaigns for ages. But eating healthy food isn’t just a fad. Providing your body with everything it needs gives you the tools to live life fully, and feel healthy doing it.

Things like eating a diet full of nutrients and vitamins, getting enough sleep and exercise, and supplementing where needed can help ward off chronic inflammation, disease, and deterioration caused by lifestyle as opposed to ageing. These tools, or lifestyle choices, can also assist in keeping oxidative stress at bay.

What is oxidative stress?

The human body contains both free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals can be oxygen and nitrogen species that are incomplete as they lack one or more of their electrons. The electrons then need to seek out a second electron to pair up with. Antioxidants protect you from these free radicals by giving them the electron they need to help stabilise the molecule. When there are too many free radicals and not enough antioxidants, it causes oxidative stress.

The overabundance of free radicals then roam through the body, damaging fat tissue and fatty acids, cell membranes, proteins and even DNA. Since the body is made up mostly of these elements, this damage can be detrimental to the function of every bodily system, eventually contributing to chronic disease.

 

MakeWell - pollution
Image by Henk Mul on Unsplash: Breathing in high amounts of pollution regularly can lead to oxidative stress.

What are the causes of oxidative stress?

The causes of oxidative stress vary and can include exposure to ionising radiation, heavy metal toxicity, and pollution. When oxygen levels become compromised, it leads to stress. Unhealthy lifestyles combined with the aforementioned pollutants can lead to high numbers of free radicals and low numbers of the antioxidants that stabilise them.

Symptoms of oxidative stress can vary from person to person, but often include chronic inflammation and neurodegeneration. Chronic inflammation often causes symptoms such as widespread pain, fatigue and mood disorders. Oxidative stress can also lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Other conditions where oxidative stress can be involved include:

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Stroke

Because the number of free radicals can lead to the damage of cell membranes, even causing the death of cells, it is vital to protect oneself against oxidative stress.

Lifestyle factors and nutritional oxidative stress

Oxidative stress can be brought on by living an unhealthy life. This can include eating a poor, highly processed diet with little to no nutritional value, and failing to do enough exercise. Consuming high amounts of sugar and alcohol can also induce oxidative stress.

Other risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Some medications
  • Obesity
  • High and continued exposure to certain chemicals including industrial cleaners, pesticides and others

Getting enough antioxidants, especially if you are exposed to one or more of the aforementioned risk factors, is a key to encouraging the proper stabilisation of the free radicals. This is generally done through diet.

What can you do to combat oxidative stress?

In the fight against oxidative stress, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that you eliminate (or, at the very least, reduce) the number of free radicals within your body. Eating a balanced diet is the first step to battling oxidative stress. It’s recommended that you eat at least 20–30 different fruits and vegetables each week to get a well-rounded level of antioxidants.

Foods that are high in antioxidants include:

  • Pecans
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Artichokes
  • Goji berries
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkin
  • Collard greens
  • Squash
  • Avocados
  • Beetroot
  • Sweet potatoes

Another lifestyle change that can help reduce oxidative stress is exercise. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to enter a new routine with ease. Intense exercise can sometimes be counterintuitive and bring on free radical production, so starting small and working your way up is the best way to incorporate exercise into your new lifestyle. Good forms of exercise to start with include walking, yoga, swimming and tai chi.

Other ways to help combat oxidative stress include quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and reducing stress through activities such as meditation.

 

MakeWell - healthy diet
Image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash: Eating the rainbow will be a great help in getting the perfect amount of antioxidants to help combat the overabundance of free radicals within the body.

What supplements are good for oxidative stress?

Antioxidants are the first line of defence when it comes to battling oxidative stress. Studies suggest supplementing a good diet full of wholefoods and fruits and vegetables is great in overcoming oxidative stress.

Some supplements that can help to reduce oxidative stress include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Beta-carotene
  • Turmeric
  • Milk thistle
  • Grapeseed

 

Are there any health benefits of oxidative stress?

Although oxidative stress is primarily bad for the body, physiological functions of reactive oxygen species are well known, such as being an important factor in immune defence. For example, recent research has additionally shown that it can assist in the treatment of some chronic conditions. One publication found that it can actually be a helpful assistant in some cases; increasing levels of oxidative stress in the body in a controlled way could actually lead to the death of cancer cells.

More research needs to be done for this to be considered a sure-fire treatment, but it does seem promising as a helpful option in the future.

Featured image by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

MakeWell - everyday nutrition

The body needs essential vitamins and minerals to function at its best. Every bodily system requires different levels of these vital nutrients to assist in its job. When all systems are running smoothly and every organ has the right tools to do its job, the body is healthy and happy.

A lack of these nutrients can contribute to chronic disease, widespread inflammation, and even grave and irreversible conditions. Antioxidants are an essential part of the proper processes that the body needs to accomplish in order to function optimally. So what are antioxidants? And where can we find antioxidants in everyday nutrition?

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants fight free radicals within the body. Free radicals are a type of incomplete molecule. They need antioxidants to donate an electron so that they are no longer wandering around the body looking for cells to steal one from. When antioxidant levels are depleted, free radicals can build up, damaging cells, contributing to chronic disease and leading to other detrimental health defects such as oxidative stress.

Free radicals are either reactive oxygen species (ROS) or reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Both the ROS and RNS are reactive, but they contain oxygen and nitrogen, respectively. They search the body for other cells to steal their electrons to help complete themselves, and cause damage to cells in the process which can ultimately result in a chain reaction.

What role do antioxidants play in the body?

Antioxidants are designed to help limit the amount of damage caused by free radicals. For example, they can give electrons to both ROS and RNS molecules so that they don’t have to harm other cells on their hunt for completion and hence, protect other cells from the process called oxidation.

Antioxidants work mainly in three very distinct ways:

  1. Catch and curb. Antioxidants catch free radicals to complete the molecule, forming a less reactive radical that has less ability to damage other cells.
  2. Regenerations. Some antioxidants replenish the stores of the antioxidants that are designed to catch reactive radicals. They can also increase the efficacy of already existing antioxidants so that they have more power against free radicals.
  3. Oxidation. Some antioxidants are more likely to be oxidised, thus leading to less oxidation of other cells and compounds.

 

MakeWell - doctor exam
Image by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash: The build-up of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which causes chronic inflammation and fatigue, among other debilitating conditions.

What are the most common antioxidants?

Antioxidants can either be produced by our bodies (endogenous antioxidants) or need to be taken up with the diet (exogenous antioxidants). Examples of endogenous antioxidants include:

  • Glutathione
  • Enzymes such as the superoxide dismutase

Exogenous antioxidants are both natural and synthetic, but are created outside the body and then consumed. Their role is to stimulate the regeneration of cells. Examples of exogenous antioxidants include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Carotenoids such as lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin

While both sources of antioxidants are important to the overall removal and management of free radicals, they play different roles and come from different sources. Other examples of chemical compounds that can act as antioxidants include bromelain and oligomeric proanthocyanidins.

What are the foods highest in antioxidants?

Many foods contain antioxidants, but some are far superior when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, so to speak. Fruits and vegetables will contain the highest level of antioxidants, but the type of antioxidant will range from food to food.

The foods that contain the highest overall level of antioxidants include:

  • Nuts like walnuts and pecans
  • Berries like bilberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, goji berries, etc.
  • Plums
  • Artichoke
  • Apples
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • Fresh herbs like dill, estragon (tarragon), basil, mint, etc.
  • Ginger
  • Dark chocolate

This is not an exhaustive list; however, the foods mentioned above are among those with high levels of antioxidants measured.  Generally speaking, a diet rich in whole foods and colourful fresh vegetables and fruit gives you the best supply of antioxidants.

How can I increase antioxidants in my body?

From the list above, it’s safe to assume that one of the best ways to get antioxidants every day is simply by adding a little spice to your dishes. Seasoning vegetables with various spices will also bring out a whole new flavour profile while increasing the level of exogenous antioxidants you have.

There are also ways to increase the levels of your endogenous antioxidants, specifically glutathione. Eating foods rich in sulphur, such as beef or poultry, will help build stores of glutathione.

Other foods that are beneficial and can possibly aid glutathione production include:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Watercress
  • Mustard
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Onions

You can also help boost glutathione levels by increasing other vitamin and supplement intake such as N-acetylcysteine, a cysteine donor or glutathione itself.

 

MakeWell - spices
Image by Calum Lewis on Unsplash: Where can we find antioxidants in everyday nutrition? Almost everywhere. Spicing up your cuisine can introduce helpful antioxidants into your diet.

What else can antioxidants do?

Aside from ensuring that the number of free radicals within the body doesn’t get out of control, some recent research has suggested that antioxidants and oxidative stress can potentially influence neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Although more research needs to be done on the potential role that antioxidants play in the role of an overall level of health, it’s clear that they are a much-needed part of everyday nutrition.

Featured image by Ja Ma on Unsplash

Lyme disease can be a debilitating and unrelenting condition. When caught early, it can be treated with antibiotics. However, the bacteria that causes the chronic illness can stick around in the joints, tissues and lymph nodes, waiting for its chance to wreak havoc all over again. When managing a Lyme disease infection, it’s important to get treatment promptly, lead a healthy lifestyle when it comes to diet and exercise, and add in some helpful supplementation.

MakeWell’s OPC Plus supplement is a great addition to a Lyme disease recovery treatment plan. It acts as a supportive treatment of Lyme disease when used in conjunction with other methods of recovery.  This nutritional supplement for Lyme disease uses four powerful plant-based ingredients that can be beneficial with issues such as oxidative stress and inflammation.

Bromelain

Bromelain is most commonly found in pineapples. The enzymes that make up bromelain work to digest proteins within the body. It has been used and/or studied for different applications in the past, such as:

  • Topical burns
  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Asthma
  • Chronic sinusitis

Bromelain also has analgesic and anticoagulant properties that can help battle blood clot formation and chronic pain. It is not a medicine, but it can be an additional support.

 

MakeWell - bromelain pineapple
Image by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash: Bromelain (most commonly found in pineapples) has a plethora of health benefits when added to a nutritional supplement for Lyme disease.

Grapeseed Extract

Grapeseed extract is derived from the seeds of grapes. Although many grapes now come seedless at the request of consumers, the seeds are a great addition to MakeWell’s OPC Plus supplement because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.

There are two specific compounds in grapeseeds that make them a holy grail when it comes to supplementation:

Polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant metabolites that give fruits and vegetables their health benefits. They are micronutrients that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, and can aid in digestion, weight management, the cardiovascular system and brain health.

Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC)

OPC is a subgroup of flavanols. It has been used to aid in the treatment of ailments including diabetes and joint swelling, and also can have a direct and positive impact on vein function and blood flow.

Together, these elements can improve the symptoms of Lyme disease and help supplement ongoing treatment plans.

Curcuma Extract

Curcuma extract is derived from the turmeric plant. Turmeric has been used medicinally for centuries to help with inflammation, cognitive dysfunction, heart disease and arthritis. The curcuma extract is the part of the turmeric plant that holds all these medicinal properties and acts as both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It contains high levels of curcuminoids and is able to alter NF-kB, a factor involved in inflammation and gene regulation throughout the body.

In the case of Lyme disease, inflammation can be a huge problem; the brain, heart, joints and muscles can all be rendered dysfunctional because of inflammation. Curcuma extract can help to combat this. It isn’t a cure-all for the debilitating symptoms of Lyme disease, but studies have shown positive outcomes regarding inflammation.

Knotweed Extract

Used popularly in Chinese medicine, knotweed extract has a centuries-old reputation for assisting indifferent areas of health care. For example it is a plant rich in resveratrol, making it perfect for a supplement that helps fight Lyme disease.

Knotweed helps to as an addition in chronic illness because of its high levels of resveratrol. Resveratrol is a powerful polyphenol that has been used most notably in the cosmetic industry as a way to help halt the signs of ageing. When it comes to chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease, resveratrol contains properties that help neutralise oxidative stress in the body, minimising cell damage.

 

MakeWell - Japanese Knotweed
Image by HOerwin56 from Pixabay: Knotweed gets its beneficial properties from a high resveratrol content.. Resveratrol is also commonly found in red grapes

MakeWell’s OPC Plus combination benefits

The combination of the aforementioned ingredients is what gives MakeWell’s OPC plus supplement its potency and efficacy in aiding an existing treatment plan for Lyme disease. Like all other

MakeWell supplements, OPC Plus is lab-tested and free from any pesticides, heavy metals or residues that could lower its ability to help treat chronic disease. All ingredients mentioned above are also plant-based and pure quality.

When it comes to battling Lyme disease, treatment can be an arduous journey. There is help to be found, though. For more information on MakeWell’s OPC Plus and how it can help you in your battle with Lyme disease, contact us and we’ll get back to you with more information as soon as possible.

Featured image by Volodymyr Hryshckenko on Unsplash

 

References and further literature

Ghanim, Husam, et al. "An antiinflammatory and reactive oxygen species suppressive effects of an extract of Polygonum cuspidatum containing resveratrol." The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 95.9 (2010): E1-E8.

Itokawa, Hideji, et al. "Recent advances in the investigation of curcuminoids." Chinese Medicine 3.1 (2008): 11.

Rao, M. N. A. "Nitric oxide scavenging by curcuminoids." Journal of pharmacy and Pharmacology 49.1 (1997): 105-107.

Saptarini, Nyi M., Driyanti Rahayu, and Irma E. Herawati. "Antioxidant activity of crude bromelain of pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr) crown from Subang district, Indonesia." Journal of Pharmacy & Bioallied Sciences 11.Suppl 4 (2019): S551.

Seligman, Bert. "Bromelain: an anti-inflammatory agent." Angiology 13.11 (1962): 508-510.

Yilmaz, Yusuf, and Romeo T. Toledo. "Health aspects of functional grape seed constituents." Trends in food science & technology 15.9 (2004): 422-433.

MakeWell - Black Cumin

Skin irritation can occur for a variety of different reasons, and it doesn’t discriminate. Anyone can develop skin irritations throughout their lifetime. Some can be temporary, caused by allergic reactions to certain products. Chronic skin conditions, however, can require extensive care to help restore a healthy balance.

Chronic and temporary skin conditions include:

  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Keratosis Pilaris
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Morgellons disease
  • Hives
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Vitiligo

The majority of these are generally temporary and can often clear up on their own without any extensive treatment. Other conditions, such as Morgellons disease, will require a treatment plan that will be ongoing. Depending on the type, chronic skin conditions can lead to bumps, sores, pimples or other rashes.

For many who are diagnosed with skin conditions, finding treatment can be a long and arduous path – but it doesn’t have to be.

What can a supplement for skin irritation do?

There are supplements for many common ailments or deficiencies. They are designed to give the body a little extra help when fighting off infection or the debilitating symptoms of a chronic condition. When it comes to skin irritation, many plant-based remedies have traditionally been used as a topical treatment, but some can also be ingested to support healing from the inside out.

 

Make Well - psoriasis
Image by Hans on Pixabay: Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes red, itchy scaly patches.

The MRG Derm Supplement

MakeWell’s MRG Derm supplement is formulated with a well-researched mixture of three main ingredients. The supplement is made without the use of fillers, scents or any extra colourants so that the ingredients consumed are in the purest form.

Black cumin extract

Black cumin extract is a part of a plant family known as the Runculaceae. In one study, black cumin was said to have been used in ancient medicine for a  wide variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Asthma/Bronchitis
  • Cough
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastric upset
  • Hypertension
  • Rheumatism
  • Skin diseases

Otherwise known as black cumin seed, the black cumin plant is rich in vitamins and minerals that help the body run at its best. With high levels of zinc, chrome, manganese, selenium and B vitamins, it was hailed the ‘gold of the pharaohs’ because of its rich medicinal properties.

Gotu cola extract

Gotu cola extract comes from the Centella asiatica plant. This extract is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Due to its high medicinal properties, it has been a popular ingredient in many different treatments.

The reason gotu cola extract has been successful in the treatment of certain medical conditions is because of its active compounds. The plant is high in essential oils and asiaticosides, both of which have been proven to help with skin irritation. It has also been used in cosmetic surgery to help reduce the appearance of ageing skin as well as in the healing of wounds.

Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)

Another ingredient in Make Well’s skin care supplement is pantothenic acid, otherwise known as vitamin B5. The main job of vitamin B5 is to help the body synthesize certain coenzymes, specifically coenzyme A. The body relies heavily on coenzyme A to synthesize fatty acids to help regulate energy storage. When it comes to the skin, pantothenic acid plays a huge role in healing.

Vitamin B5 helps keep skin cells healthy, leaving skin soft and hydrated. It does this by encouraging repair when needed and taking moisture from the body and the air.

 

Make Well - mushrooms
Image by Cocoparisienne on Pixabay: Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin B5, but it’s hard to get enough through diet alone.

 

Using the above ingredients with no added fillers is what makes Make Well’s MRG Derm supplement so effective and a good addition to support skin health.

If you require more information, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Featured image by GOKALP ISCAN from Pixabay

 

References and Further Literature

Abu-Al-Basalc, Mariam A. "In vitro and in vivo anti-microbial effects of Nigella sativa Linn. seed extracts against clinical isolates from skin wound infections." American Journal of Applied Sciences 6.8 (2009): 1440.

Azis, H. A., et al. "In vitro and In vivo wound healing studies of methanolic fraction of Centella asiatica extract." South African Journal of Botany 108 (2017): 163-174.

Ghonime, Mohammed, et al. "Evaluation of immunomodulatory effect of three herbal plants growing in Egypt." Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology 33.1 (2011): 141-145.

Shukla, A., et al. "In vitro and in vivo wound healing activity of asiaticoside isolated from Centella asiatica." Journal of ethnopharmacology 65.1 (1999): 1-11.

Yang, Michael, et al. "A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a novel pantothenic acid-based dietary supplement in subjects with mild to moderate facial acne." Dermatology and therapy 4.1 (2014): 93-101.

MakeWell - artichoke

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that can cause debilitating symptoms. The illness starts in many cases much like the flu, but if left untreated or ignored because of the common flu-like symptoms, it can progress to something much worse. The bacteria that causes Lyme disease can lead to:

  • Arthritis
  • Cognitive disfunction
  • Impaired sleep
  • Nerve damage
  • Lowered immune function
  • Carditis
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Antibiotics are the first line of defence against Lyme disease. However, Lyme disease bacteria can lay dormant within the body for years, making it hard to treat. It can also mimic many other conditions, which can lead to misdiagnosis, thus prolonging the start of treatment. For those diagnosed with Lyme disease in the later stages, managing symptoms after an antibiotics course is the only way to recover.

Nutritional guidance for Lyme disease patients

Many of the problems caused by Lyme disease can be helped through diet. The average industrial diet is full of processed foods, foods high in sugar, and other unhealthy additives. When it comes to treating chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease, a diet rich in wholefoods, fruits and vegetables is a principal part of treatment.

Foods that fight inflammation can help lower chronic pain levels by providing the body with important nutrients. These foods include:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Grapes
  • Green tea
  • Avocados
  • Ginger

Another way diet can improve symptoms of Lyme disease is by giving the body the vital nutrients it needs to help ward off other chronic symptoms. Foods that will lead to a heightened immune system are advised for patients suffering from chronic Lyme disease, because the immune system will help ward off any further infection if it’s functioning properly.

Supportive treatment for Lyme disease

Other than antibiotics and dietary suggestions, treatment plans for Lyme disease often come with other supportive tools. Exercise can help increase immune function, so it is suggested that Lyme patients participate in light daily exercise to help the body recover from the debilitating disease. It can also assist in the management of symptoms such as arthritis and muscle aches and pains.

Additionally, drinking an average minimum of 2.5 litres of water (or other unsweetened drink) per day contributes to detoxification of the body. In many Lyme patients, increased levels of heavy metals or bacterial endotoxins can be problematic, which means detoxification is an important factor during treatment.

Make Well’s DTC Plus supplement

Taking supplements can also help in the battle against Lyme disease. Make Well’s DTC Plus supplement was designed to aid Lyme patients with all-natural ingredients free of any additives, pesticides, or other heavy metals that could lead to further toxicity and a harder recovery.

Chlorella pyrenoidosa

This microalgae is considered to be a superfood. Superfoods are hailed as being significant helpers in the fight against infections as well as overall health. Chlorella pyrenoidosa is found in fresh water, and is full of chlorophyll. According to some reports, chlorophyll can aid in the detoxification of  the body.

Cranberry

Cranberry is used as an aid in urinary tract health because of its ability to inhibit bacteria’s ability to stick to the walls of the bladder. Cranberries are also full of antioxidant properties and contain high amounts of many essential compounds:

  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper

The health benefits of cranberry are vast. For example, cranberries can have an antibacterial effect and are famous for beneficial secondary plant metabolites.

 

Make Well - cranberries
Image by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash: Cranberries are hailed a cure for UTIs, but can they help treat symptoms of Lyme disease?

Stinging nettle

This flowering plant has been used in traditional medicine due to its diuretic properties. It’s usually ingested in tea form, and can help to detox the body, thus may help with a speedier recovery and with symptoms that linger after antibiotics are taken.

Bilberry

The bilberry (or European blueberry) is a powerful antioxidant. It has high anti-inflammatory properties. As Lyme disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, this addition to the Make Well DTC Plus supplement is helpful in the fight against the symptoms of the disease. The bilberry has also shown to inhibit bacteria’s ability to attach itself to cells in the body.

Lingonberry

Another berry that has an antibacterial effect is the lingonberry. Although they are not as popular as blueberries, their health benefits are still profound when mixed together with the other ingredients in this nutritional supplement for Lyme disease.

Artichoke

Artichoke isn’t just for cooking. The plant is used in many different dishes due to its unique taste and texture, but it also harbours plenty of health benefits.

The artichoke acts as a tool to help preserve healthy liver function and prevent further damage. It also aids in detoxification and helps to lower levels of unhealthy cholesterol. Because a lot of Lyme disease recovery is centred around diet, the addition of artichoke can be a great help.

Sage

Although sage is generally used in the medicinal world to help with respiratory diseases, it also acts as a powerful phytotherapeutic. The herb is used to help prevent further advancement of disease within the body.

 

Make Well - sage
Image by Phillip Larking on Unsplash: Sage is more than just a flavourful plant used in cooking. It’s also a key ingredient in Make Well’s nutritional supplement for Lyme disease.

Wild garlic

Wild garlic has medicinal properties that can act as an antibiotic. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and calcium.

The addition of wild garlic in Make Well’s DTC Plus ensures that the body is getting even more of the essential nutrients it needs for improved immune function and to rid the body of the Lyme disease bacteria.

Turmeric

Turmeric is widely used in Indian cuisine, but many studies have concluded that the spice can do more than just add flavour to food. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, which leads to lowered levels of the painful inflammation caused by Lyme disease. It can also reduce symptoms of arthritis in cases where the illness affects the joints.

The sheer number of studies on turmeric show that it is a superfood all in its own right when it comes to fighting off chronic disease and obtaining optimal health.

The above ingredients combined in MakeWells DTC plus may help with  decrease of debilitating symptoms. For more information on our Lyme disease supplement, contact us.

Featured image by Anne Allier on Unsplash

References and further literature

Araujo, C. A. C., and L. L. Leon. "Biological activities of Curcuma longa L." Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 96.5 (2001): 723-728.

Bomser, J., et al. "In vitro anticancer activity of fruit extracts from Vaccinium species." Planta medica 62.3 (1996): 212-216.

Burdulis, Deividas, et al. "Comparative study of anthocyanin composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activity in bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) fruits." Acta poloniae pharmaceutica 66.4 (2008): 399-408.

Caillet, Stéphane, et al. "Antimicrobial effects of fractions from cranberry products on the growth of seven pathogenic bacteria." Food Control 23.2 (2012): 419-428.

Cuvelier, Marie Elisabeth, Claudette Berset, and Hubert Richard. "Antioxidant constituents in sage (Salvia officinalis)." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 42.3 (1994): 665-669.

Gülçin, İlhami, et al. "Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.)." Journal of ethnopharmacology 90.2 (2004): 205-215.

Kyung, Kyu Jang. "Antimicrobial properties of allium species." Current opinion in Biotechnology 23.2 (2012): 142-147.

Ley, Beth M. Chlorella: The Ultimate Green Food: Nature's Richest Source of Chlorophyll, DNA & RNA: a Health Learning Handbook. Bl Publications, 2003.

Marakis, G., et al. "Artichoke leaf extract reduces mild dyspepsia in an open study." Phytomedicine 9

Murphy, Kathleen. "Bilberry against liver damage." Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism 22.3 (2010): 100-102.

Riehemann, Kristina, Bert Behnke, and Klaus Schulze-Osthoff. "Plant extracts from stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), an antirheumatic remedy, inhibit the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-κB." FEBS letters 442.1 (1999): 89-94.

Štajner, D., et al. "Antioxidant and scavenger activities of Allium ursinum." Fitoterapia 79.4 (2008):303-305.

Make Well - hydration

Water is the key to life. Without it, nothing on the planet would be sustainable. Plants need water to help transport nutrients, and humans and animals use water in the regulation of all bodily functions. To say that hydration is the number one key to health would be an understatement.

The history of clean drinking water dates back as far as the 9th century B.C., when Hippocrates developed a cloth bag that could help filter impurities from boiled water. In the decades that followed, the Greeks and Romans began building their own filtration systems. It wasn’t until later in the 18th century that clean filtration systems began to take precedence in most communities. Later in the century, it was shown that cholera cases began to decrease in areas with filtration systems. Finally, in the 19th century, the importance of filtering water took hold around the world.

Not all water is good, though. It can harbour dangerous illnesses, such as the aforementioned cholera, and this can lead to illness or even death if the water isn’t purified of these deadly bacteria.

What does proper hydration do for your body?

Proper hydration is of the utmost importance when it comes to overall health. Every cell in the body needs water to complete its job properly. When it comes to specific functions that benefit from hydration, the list is vast.

Keeping your body hydrated helps to:

  • Regulate temperature
  • Lubricate joints
  • Deliver nutrients to cells throughout the body
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve cognitive function
  • Keep the organs running the way they should
  • Prevent infection
  • Keep the circulatory system running properly
  • Allow muscles to repair
  • Flush out bacteria and other harmful substances
  • Ensure proper digestion

The aforementioned bodily functions wouldn’t occur without proper hydration. A dehydrated body can lead to illnesses and side effects such as:

  • Kidney failure
  • Kidney stones
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Cognitive decline (memory, mood, focus, motor skills)
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Heat stress caused by deregulation of temperature
  • Fainting
  • Low blood volume shock
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Muscle damage
  • Gastric upset

 

Make Well - drinking water
Image by Studio-Fritz on Pixabay: There are many reasons why water quality matters.

Does water quality matter?

Quality of water has been a hot topic for decades. However, many people live in areas where the quality of the tap water is high enough to drink, so they don’t get a good glimpse of what it’s like to live in areas where drinking water is unavailable, scarce, or full of diseases.

Flint, Michigan is just one of the many places experiencing an ongoing water crisis. The water in Flint was found to contain high levels of lead, which can lead to the build-up of toxins in the body. When this happens, illnesses can occur, such as:

  • Anaemia
  • Brain damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Death

Although it’s rare, further contamination of a public water source can occur. According to the CDC, the illnesses that are most commonly found during a contaminated water outbreak include:

  • Norovirus
  • Shigella
  • Copper poisoning
  • Salmonella
  • Hepatitis A
  • coli
  • Excess fluoride
  • Giardia
  • Legionella

 

Mineral water

One of the most revered types of water is mineral water. Mineral water comes from mineral springs and contains essential minerals that the body needs. Recent research has noted that drinking mineral water can help to maintain healthy mineral levels. A good mineral water should contain approximately 200 mg calcium, 100 mg magnesium and 1000 mg hydrogen carbonate per litre. Additionally, some mineral waters are high in sulphur (<200 mg/L).

Calcium

Due to the levels of calcium, drinking mineral water can assist in the healthy development and maintenance of bones. One study even showed that calcium in mineral water is more easily absorbed by the body than the calcium from dairy products, as it is already available as an ion.

Magnesium

The levels of magnesium in mineral water will vary depending on the type, but it has been found that with so many people deficient in the mineral, drinking water with any level of magnesium can help. Magnesium is an essential mineral that can assist the body in variety of functions, including:

  • The regulation of nerve and muscle function
  • Managing blood sugar levels
  • Assisting in the production of proteins
  • Maintaining healthy brain function
  • Regulating heartbeat

 

Zinc and sodium

Zinc leads to improved immune function by assisting cells in the battle against infection, and sodium is in charge of keeping enough water in and around your cells.

The catch, though, is that many other types of bottled and tap water may also contain levels of the minerals in mineral water.

Tap water

Many people disregard tap water, because advertising has gone a long way to make people think that they need bottled water to ensure they’re getting the highest quality. Due to many places having to filter their water, though, tap water can be just as healthy as mineral or bottled water.

Tap water in most places is filtered to the point where it’s unlikely that disease will linger unless an outbreak occurs, making it just as safe as bottled or mineral water. One study also showed that tap water contains levels of the aforementioned nutrients, just in lower amounts due to the filtration system in place to remove toxins. This means that although tap water isn’t unsafe to drink, if you’re using tap water as a place to get your calcium and magnesium, you may need to drink a lot more of it. Additionally, it is important to know what kind of pipes are used in the place you live. Many buildings, especially old houses, might have old metal pipes that can contaminate the water in rare cases.

 

Make Well - charcoal water
Image by Callum Shaw on Unsplash: Charcoal water has been hailed for its health benefits, but is there any truth to the hype?

Healing water/charcoal water

Activated charcoal has long been used by doctors to assist in the recovery of overdosing patients. It has the ability to pull toxins from the body, removing them from the system in a rapid manner. The prevalence of charcoal as a health tool in other situations is widely speculated, though.

Charcoal water has been used for a variety of different purposes, some health-based, others cosmetic. It’s even used in some water filtration systems. The ‘healing’ properties of charcoal water are said to aid in the detoxification of harmful radicals in the body, and it has been purported to:

  • Treat gastrointestinal issues
  • Improve kidney health
  • Whiten teeth and improve oral health
  • Improve overall skin health
  • Treat skin infections

The research on the above conditions is scarce, so using charcoal water as a cure-all is not in your best interest. Many nutritionists do believe in its detox abilities, but also know that there is no research to confirm just how often it can be used, or the validity that it can be a long-term solution to health issues.

The bottom line

Drinking water goes hand in hand with a balanced diet and lifestyle for optimal health. Without enough water, the body can experience a variety of different symptoms and illnesses. There are a few differences between the various types of water on offer, but one thing remains the same: hydration influences health more than people may know.

Image by Congerdesign on Pixabay