The quality of the air we breathe has a direct influence on our health. High levels of air pollutants are linked with a variety of respiratory conditions from a basic cough to bronchitis, and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and ischemic heart disease1. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that in 2012 approximately 7 million deaths occurred globally as a result of exposure to air pollution1 (double previous estimates!)
Now, even though the air quality in Australia is better than that of other countries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reports that between 2005 and 2010, the number of fatalities resulting from air pollution went from 882 to 1483 (a 68 percent rise)(2). In comparison, China, for example, has been experiencing many years of heavy air pollution due to the large use of coal for generating electricity and the increased number of vehicles on roads. Chen Zhu, China’s former health minister, recently stated that between 350,000 and 500,000 people die each year here as a result of air pollution (3).
Physical Activity and Lung Health
Even though we don’t have much control over environmental pollutants, we do have control over our lifestyle. Given that physical activity is one of the most important factors in preventing disease (4), Australians are encouraged to do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise per week. Combining this with resistance/strength training 2-3 times per week can improve aerobic capacity, weight status and body strength (5). Studies support this, as results have shown that exercise leads to improving respiratory capacity (6).
Suggestion: Avoid outdoor activity during times of rush hour, when there is higher than normal pollution or choose places that are away from main roads.
Food for Health
We also have control over our food intake and the products we use. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods from the 5 food groups every day, in addition to plenty of water (7).
- Include berries. Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants (8). Antioxidants play an important role in preventing and repairing damage caused by reactive molecules within the body, therefore enhancing the immune system and lowering the risk of disease (9).
- Eating cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and kale) has been linked to a lowered lung cancer risk (10).
- Include fish twice a week. Fish is an excellent source of polyunsaturated fat, omega 3. Studies have shown consumption of omega 3 fatty acids reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart disease (11, 12).
- Breakfast: an omelette with a plate of green leafy vegetables, avocado, cherry tomatoes and a slice of toasted grain bread.
- Lunch: a plate of salad with grilled breast chicken and a slice of wholegrain bread.
- Dinner: grilled tofu/stir fried beef with sautéed vegetables and brown rice.
Traditional remedies for treating respiratory conditions from a basic cough to bronchitis, and cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes are plenty.
Below are a few natural and traditionally used remedies for managing some of today’s chronic diseases.
- Gingko biloba is a commonly used herb for the treatment of conditions such as asthma, memory improvement and arterial insufficiency by promoting better circulation around the body (13-16).
- Cinnamon is used for respiratory, digestive and gynaecological ailments (17).
- Ginseng is a well known immune modulator18. Studies have also shown ginseng to manage the symptoms and the progression of inflammatory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma (19-21).
- Hawthorn has been long used for its multiple health effects. Studies have shown that it possesses antioxidant activity and efficacy in conditions such as chronic heart failure (22-24).
Wealthy Health Supplements
At Wealthy Health, we make sure that each and every single dose contains the all goodness you need to boost your health. The three supplements below are excellent choices for your protection against the harmful effects of air pollution.
PM Lung Support*
Factors such as air pollution and cigarettes can increase free radical levels in the body and the potential for oxidative damage. ‘PM Lung Support’ tablets contain antioxidants, which assist in protecting the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Specially formulated to counter PM air pollution effects on lung health, taking 1-2 tablets twice per day (with meals) helps manage mild upper respiratory tract infections, support the health and function of the lung as an expectorant, and assists in the relief of catarrh as well as the symptoms of hay fever.
The plants used in this complex have special anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, antipyretic (fever reducing) and antiseptic qualities which combat respiratory tract related problems such as treating: Boils, cough, flu, asthma, hay fever, swollen tonsils, bronchitis, and allergies.
They are also used as a means to strengthen the heart, lung, spleen, liver and the kidney, by acting as a tonic and promoting blood circulation.
Propolis with Olive Leaf and Manuka Honey Liquid Spray*
Propolis is a resinuous substance collected by bees with varying therapeutic benefits. It carries anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The included olive leaf extract additionally contains compounds which demonstrate potent antioxidant activity, protecting the body from the harmful effects of free radicals in polluted air. Just spray (8 times) and swallow once or twice daily with meals or even spray directly on to minor wounds, and you will have yourself feeling more refreshed than ever!
Super Age Rew B Multi Plus*
Eating a balanced diet can provide your body with the essential nutrients required to stay healthy. However, not all Australians follow the recommended dietary requirements, which is why taking a multivitamin tablet can help. ‘Super Age Rew B Multi Plus’ is formulated in such a way that the tablet, taken twice daily with meals provides adults with their nutritional needs and compensates for inadequate intake of nutrients due to poor diet and food processing methods. The easy to swallow tablet also contains some of the above mentioned herbal medicines for enhanced benefits.
*All products are Australian made, scientifically tested and manufactured in compliance with the Australian Code of Good Manufacturing Practices for Medicinal Products. Seek health professional advice if unsure about use.
- World Health Organization (WHO). (2014). News release: 7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution’. Available: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/air-pollution/en/. Last accessed 6th Jan 2015.
- Gareth Hutchens. (2014). Air pollution takes toll on Australian lives, economy: OECD report. Available: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/air-pollution-takes-toll-on-australian-lives-economy-oecd-report-20140522-38rre.html. Last accessed 12th Jan 2015.
- Oliver Wainwright . (2014). Inside Beijing's airpocalypse – a city made 'almost uninhabitable' by pollution. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/dec/16/beijing-airpocalypse-city-almost-uninhabitable-pollution-china. Last accessed 12th Jan 2015.
- Mathers C, Vos T, Stevenson C. 1999. The Burden of disease and injury in Australia. AIHW Cat. No. PHE 17. Canberra: AIHW
- The Department Of Health. (2014). Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines: 'Make your Move – Sit less – Be active for life!' brochure . Available: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines. Last accessed 9th Jan 2015
- Chanavirut R et al. (2006). Yoga Exercise Increases Chest Wall Expansion And Lung Volumes In Young Healthy Thais . Thai Journal of Physiological Sciences. 19 (1), 1-7
- Australian Government: National Health and Medical Research Council. (2013). Eat For Health: Australian Dietary Guidelines:Summary. Available: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n55a_australian_dietary_guidelines_summary_131014.pdf. Last accessed 12th Jan 2015.
- American Chemical Society. (2004). Largest USDA Study Of Food Antioxidants Reveals Best Sources. ScienceDaily. Available: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/06/040617080908.htm. Last Accesesed 11th Jan 2015
- Valko M, Rhodes CJ, Moncol J, Izakovic M, et al. Free radicals, metals and antioxidants in oxidative stress-induced cancer. Mini-review. Chem. Biol. Interact.2006;160:1–40
- Feskanich D, Ziegler RG, Michaud DS, et al. Prospective study of fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of lung cancer among men and women. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2000;92(22):1812-1823
- Marik P.E, Varon J. Omega-3 Dietary Supplements and the Risk of Cardiovascular Events: a Systematic Review. Clin Cardiol. 32 2009: 365:372
- Geleijnse J.M, Giltay E.J., Grobbee D.E., Donders A.R., Kok F.J: Blood Pressure Response to Fish Oil Supplementation: Metaregression Analysis of Randomized Trials. J Hypertension. 20 2002:1493-1499.
- MEMORY J. Polich and R. Gloria, “Cognitive effects of a Ginkgo biloba/vinpocetine compound in normal adults: systematic assessment of perception, attention and memory,” Human Psychopharmacology, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 409–416, 2001.
- Park JW, Kwon HJ, Chung WS, Kim CY, Seong GJ: Short-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on peripapillary retinal blood flow in normal tension glaucoma. J Korean Ophthalmol Soc 2011;25:323–328.
- Ritch R: Potential role for Ginkgo biloba extract in the treatment of glaucoma. Med Hypotheses 2000;54:221–235.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2013). Drugs and Supplements: Ginko (Ginkgo Biloba). Available http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/ginkgo/evidence/hrb-20059541. Last accessed 12th Jan 2015.
- Ranasinghe et al. (2013). Medicinal properties of‘true’cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13:275. Available http://www.biomedcentral.com. Last accessed 12th Jan 2015.
- Choi KT. Botanical characteristics, pharmacological effects and medicinal components of Korean Panax ginseng C A Meyer. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2008;29:1109–1118
- Ahn JY, Song JY, Yun YS, Jeong G, Choi IS. Protection of Staphylococcus aureus-infected septic mice by suppression of early acute inflammation and enhanced antimicrobial activity by ginsan. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2006;46:187–197.
- Kim DY, Yang WM. Panax ginseng ameliorates airway inflammation in an ovalbumin-sensitized mouse allergic asthma model. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;136:230–235.
- Oyagi A, Ogawa K, Kakino M, Hara H. Protective effects of a gastrointestinal agent containing Korean red ginseng on gastric ulcer models in mice. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010;10:45
- Bahourun T, Trotin F, Pommery J, et al. Antioxidant activities of Crataegus monogyna extracts. Planta Med. 1994;60:323-328.
- Brehm M, Schiller E, Zeller W. Comparable antitumor activity of coxorubicin plus two radical scavenging plant extract preparations (Ginkgo biloba, Crataegus oxyacantha) and of doxorubicin alone. Contrib Oncol. 1995;48:48-52.
- Pittler M, Schmidt K, Ernst E. Hawthorn extract for treating chronic heart failure: meta-analysis of randomized trials. Am J Med. 2003; 114(8):665-674.