Tag Archives: Disease Prevention

vine vera banner presents Don't Let Sand Rub You the Wrong Way

Don’t Let Sand Rub You the Wrong Way

Ah, the beach! That salty air! That beach smell! Don’t you wish you could just take it home with you? Many of us wish we could capture the essence of the beach, but when it comes to bringing it your house, there may be certain elements better left at the shore. Sand fleas can feast on human flesh, carrying diseases and transmitting viruses, and you certainly don’t want them making your body their home. Read on to find out little more about these pests and how you can make sure they don’t get in the way of your summer fun.

Sand Fleas On Humans
Don’t judge them by their size. They may be quite small, but sand fleas can cause big problems. Because they are so close to the ground, your ankles, feet, and legs, are their most convenient targets, and they can’t jump more than 20 to 40 centimeters, so unless you’re lying in the sand, your upper body should be relatively safe. These creatures are nocturnal, so you’re most likely to get bitten in the evening, at night, or at dawn.

There are two types of sand fleas bites to look for. The first resembles a mosquito bite. You’ll get these when the flea bites and sucks your blood and they move on to another host. As they do this, they leave behind saliva which prevents blood clotting, and this clotting that may cause an allergic reaction. The second type of bite is inflicted by breeding females. These fleas will burrow themselves into the skin and stay there until their eggs hatch. The bites of the female breeding fleas are characterized by a swollen area with black spots in the middle. The black spots are the fleas.

Both types of bites can cause symptoms like pain, discomfort, and itching. If you have an allergy to sand flea bites, these symptoms can be more severe. When breeding fleas burrow into your skin, you may experience fever and infection, which may develop into tungiasis, which is an inflammatory skin disease that needs treatment to prevent further infection.

vine vera banner presents Don't Let Sand Rub You the Wrong Way

Treatment
If you are bitten by and fleas, here is some advice for treatment

  • Don’t scratch the bites. This will only increase the chance of infection.
  •  Examine the bite for breeding sand fleas who can live under your skin sucking blood for weeks.
  •  Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to control itching, and take painkillers for pain and swelling. See a doctor if treatments worsen. He or she may suggest the use of an antihistamine cream.
  •  A combination of baking soda and water may prove soothing. Just apply to the area and let it work.
  •  Soak in a lukewarm (not hot) oatmeal bath to reduce itching.
  •  Aloe vera may provide relief from itching and help bites heal.
  •  Essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, and cedar wood, may all relieve discomfort

Preventing Further Attacks
Prevention is, of course, the best treatment. Here are some suggestions for those who want to avoid sand flea bites.

  • Stay away from the beach in the morning and evening, and when it has recently rained. Sand fleas are more active when the air is moist and cool. If you do visit the beach during any of these weather conditions, bring insect repellant.
  • Cover yourself when lying down or sitting to avoid bites on your legs, back, and feet.

Have you ever provided a home for a sand flea? Let us know your experiences and how you rid yourself of these bloodsucking parasites.

The Many Benefits of Vitamin A

In history, there have been many noteworthy firsts: the first baseball player to hit 50 home runs in a season, the first man to walk on the moon, the first talking movie, the first female Supreme Court justice, and the first vitamin to be discovered.

The first suspicions of Vitamin A’s powers were recognized by the ancient Egyptians, who realized night blindness could be treated by eating liver. But it wasn’t until its formal discovery in 1913 that it officially claimed the first letter of the alphabet for its name.

Since then, Vitamin A has been delighting acne-prone teens, wrinkle prone ladies, and fighting to protect humans from all sorts of symptoms of malnourishment and cancer. So, as we do with all famous firsts, let’s take a moment to commemorate. Here are some of the many benefits of Vitamin A.

 Eye Health

Vine-Vera-Healthy-Eyes
Beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A in plants, plays a vital role in the prevention of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. An Age-Related Eye Disease Study sponsored by the National Eye Institute found that people at high risk for eye disease had a 25% reduced risk of macular degeneration when they took a daily multivitamin containing Vitamins A and C, zinc, and copper over a six-year period. Another showed that vitamin A drops were an effective treatment for dry eyes and that OTC eye drops containing vitamin A were as effective as expensive prescription formulas.

Immune Support
Vitamin A regulates genes involved in immune responses, which means it is a crucial component in fighting everything from the common cold to autoimmune diseases and cancer.

A London-based study showed that Vitamin A supplements reduced child mortality rates by 24% in low to middle-income families, while the deficiency in the vitamin made children more vulnerable to infections like the measles and diarrhea.

Fights Inflammation
The antioxidant properties in vitamin A can help fight free radicals in the body that causes cellular and tissue damage. Vitamin A prevents cells in the immune system from becoming overactive to food proteins, creating food alleges and inflammation.

Vine-Vera-Vitamin A-Fights

Intake of the vitamin can also reduce the risk of certain food allergies altogether. The decrease levels of inflammation have been linked to lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Supports Health and Growth of Skin cells
Vitamin A is needed for skin regrowth, wound healing and plays a powerful role in skin cancer prevention. It is also necessary for a good complexion, fight acne and improve the overall health of the skin. Vitamin A produces collagen, which can keep lines and wrinkles from appearing as well as contributing to healthy hair.

 Prevents Cancer
A study at the University of York showed the intake of vitamin A can treat several forms of cancer because it is able to control malignant cells in the body. Retinoic acid (a vitamin A derivative) plays a significant role in cell differentiation, development, and treatment of cancer.

It has been credited with suppressing breast, lung, prostate, bladder, ovarian, and cystic cancer and has been linked to the reduction of melanoma and hepatoma. Most recently, researchers have discovered evidence suggesting that the molecular mechanisms found in the acid may have an effect on the fates of cancer cells.

Where do you get your vitamin A from? Tell us what supplements, foods, or topical treatments provide you with nature’s first vitamin.

Three Ways to Benefit from Resvertrol

Woman having red wine

Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds derived from plants called polyphenols. It is found abundantly in the skin of red grapes, as well as in berries and peanuts and is the reason why consuming red wine is often touted as having numerous health benefits. Advertisements for resveratrol claim it can do virtually anything from promoting weight loss to extending people’s lives. Here we detail three ways you can benefit from taking this wonder-drug.

Anti-Aging
Every day, our bodies are exposed to environmental factors such as pollution or even just stress that lead to the formation of free-radicals. Excessive amounts of free radicals are known to cause premature aging which can also lead to disease. Resveratrol works as an antioxidant and scavenges these free-radicals keeping our bodies healthier and our skin looking younger. In the past few decades, there have been literary thousands of studies conducted on resveratrol which have highlighted how the compound prevents oxidative stress in our blood vessels and helps promote normal cell replication. All in all. this means supplementing it will ensure you stay in tip-top condition throughout your life.

Disease Prevention
Phytochemicals like resveratrol are known to reduce individual’s risk of developing major diseases. Resveratrol has shown itself to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent the oxidation of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol preventing the formation of clots that can lead to heart attacks. The supplement has also shown to limit the spread of cancerous cells and help promote their apoptosis or death. Additionally, the compound prevents insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, keeping the effect of the blood-sugar hormone insulin working as best as it can. Resveratrol has also shown to increase levels of the hormone leptin which regulates fat storage and therefore assists with weight loss and prevention of over-eating.

Mental Health and Cognitive Decline
By improving cellular support, resveratrol has also shown to boost mental health and help prevent cognitive decline. One study in Germany involving 56 healthy volunteers found the use of resveratrol led to an increased ability in simple tasks such as remembering words. Additionally, those who took the supplement had an increase in functional connectivity of the hippocampus, an area of the brain used for the organization of memory, compared to those who took placebo. Preliminary studies have also shown that resveratrol may prevent nerve damage and the buildup of plaque in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

Dosage
Dosages used in studies are typically higher than those found in supplements today with the amount shown to be beneficial being around 2000mg and most supplements containing anywhere between 250-500mg. Generally speaking recommended maximum doses lie around 500mg/day. However, even though resveratrol is present in much smaller amounts in red wine, at around 2mg per glass, nations that consume red wine in abundance such as France have shown to have far reduced the risk of numerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. This means supplementing even just 250mg/day is likely to yield numerous benefits.