Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc.
Experts predict the number of stress-related illnesses to reach an all-time high this year due to the terrorist acts on September 11 and the usual anxiety that comes with the holidays.
James Rouse, M.D., an immunologist specializing in stress management in Denver, says healthcare professionals should expect to see a record number of patients with allergies, colds, flu, upper respiratory problems, and inflammatory disease symptoms this winter. Post-traumatic stress and holiday stress can suppress the immune system making the body vulnerable to disease.
To help prevent disease, experts recommend the following steps:
· Exercise regularly
· Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and increase intake of essential fatty acids from fish
· Drink plenty of water and decrease alcohol intake
· Take nutritional supplements with plant sterols and sterolins. These are essential plant nutrients in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and soy products.
One of the world’s leading experts on natural plant molecules, Patrick Bouic, Ph.D., from Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, says, “More than two decades of clinical research shows that phytosterols play an important role in optimizing the immune system.”
Several studies of the role of phytosterols were examined in a recent issue of the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. The findings indicate phytosterols play a role in the immune system of patients with inflammation or cancer. Other studies also link phytosterols with a reduced risk of several diseases.
Dr. Bouic concludes, “There is now clear evidence that plant sterol molecules can possibly be used to combat life-threatening diseases where the immune system needs modulation such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, HIV and pulmonary tuberculosis.”
SOURCE: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 2001;4:471-475 and Essential Phytosterols, Inc, 2001
© 2001 Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. All Rights Reserved.