Zinc May Ward Off Viruses But There Are Dangers
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With at least two flus and plenty of colds, coughs and sore throats circulating this season, some Americans are turning to zinc to ward off viruses.
Lozenges, supplements and nasal sprays that contain the mineral claim to boost immunity, and there is some evidence that they might do so. In an effort to stay well, though, we might be making ourselves sick. Consistently taking excessive
FOR THE RECORD: Zinc: An article in Mondays Health section on the dangers of excess zinc incorrectly spelled the name of dietitian Ruth Frechman as Ruth Frenchman.
amounts of zinc, according to early evidence, could lead to learning and memory problems, nerve damage, urinary tract problems and other negative effects.
With supplements that provide many times the recommended daily intake, cold medicines that are loaded with zinc and an abundance of fortified foods — on top of the zinc already in a healthy diet — overdoing it might be easier than you think.
Everyone pays attention to zinc deficiency, and we need to get the story out that thats there, but that doesnt mean we need to gobble up boatloads of this stuff, says Jane Flinn, a psychologist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., who specializes in the effects of metals on learning, memory and Alzheimers disease. Working with mice, she was one of the first to spot zincs potential dangers. You can fortify too much.
Link to cancer
Key Points About Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary tract infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. These infections can affect any part of the urinary tract.
- Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
- The most common symptoms of UTIs include changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or burning urine looks dark, cloudy, or red and smells bad back or side pain nausea/vomiting and fever.
- Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. Other treatments may include pain relievers, and drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Other things that can be done may help reduce the likelihood of developing UTIs.
Trying To Power Through And Let It Pass Without Going To The Doctor Can Be Dangerous And Risky
That said, trying to clear the infection on your own by “flushing” it out with excessive liquid intake isn’t a good idea, according to all of our experts.
“It is important to seek treatment by your gynecologist or primary care doctor if you think you have a UTI,” Dr. Fleming told INSIDER. Delayed treatment can result in a worse infection, requiring more and/or stronger antibiotics. It can also cause a more serious kidney infection, possibly requiring hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.”
“If symptoms are escalating or have the signs of going into the upper urinary tract and kidney such as fever and back pain a patient needs to seek medical attention,” Dr. Yvonne Bohn, OB/GYN at Los Angeles Obstetricians & Gynecologists told INSIDER. “Not everything that burns or causes symptoms of a UTI is a UTI. Vaginal infections, pelvic tumors, and herpes infections can mimic a UTI, so it’s best to see a doctor to be sure that your symptoms are really from a UTI and not something else.”
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
These are the most common symptoms of a UTI:
- Frequent urination
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Urine looks dark, cloudy, or reddish in color
- Urine smells bad
- Feeling pain even when not urinating
- Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Despite an strong urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
- Women may feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone
The symptoms of UTI may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see a health care provider for a diagnosis.
Other Ways To Prevent Bladder Infections
- Make sure to drink plenty of liquid to effective rinse the bladder
- Always empty your bladder completely
- Wipe from front to back to avoid transferring bacteria from the anus to the vagina
- Drink water before sexual intercourse and empty your bladder right after
- Intimate barrier protection creams regulate the pH value and have a soothing and protective effect
- Unsweetened cranberry juice often helps prevent coli bacteria from attaching to the bladder mucosa
- Get plenty of vitamin C that strengthens the immune defense and regulates the pH value of the urine
- Supplement with lactic acid bacteria that regulate the gut flora and the pH value of the mucosa
If the pH value is low or acidic it helps displace harmful bacteria such as coli bacteria
Claudia J Stocks et al. Uropathogenetic Escherichia coli employs both evasion and resistance to subvert innate immune-mediated toxicity for dissemination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019
Jennifer Hiizen. Seven ways to treat a UTI without antibiotics. MedicalNewsToday 2018
Anette Paulin og Jens Ole Paulin. Naturlig Hormonterapi du har et valg. 2015
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Can Zinc Be Used To Treat Utis
07/22/2019 / By Melissa Smith
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common bacterial infections worldwide. If left untreated, they can lead to serious conditions like kidney infection and sepsis. They are often treated with conventional medicine and antibiotic drugs, which come with adverse side effects and may even result in antibiotic resistance. Therefore, scientists continue to look for ways to beat UTIs without using pharmaceutical drugs.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Queenslandin Australia suggest the use of zinc for treating UTIs. They looked at how the immune system uses zinc to fight uropathogenic Escherichia coli , which is the primary cause of UTIs.
Prior to the study, the researchers already knew that zinc was toxic to bacteria. Using direct visualization, they confirmed that macrophages deploy zinc to fight bacterial infections.
Additionally, they found that UPEC had a two-pronged approach to surviving the bodys immune response. They saw that unlike non-pathogenic bacteria, UPEC could avoid the zinc toxicity response of macrophages. These bacteria also exhibited enhanced resistance to the toxic effects of zinc.
The researchers explained that these findings can shed light on how the immune system fights infections. They noted that these give clues on potential avenues to develop treatments, including blocking UPECs evading strategy to make it more sensitive to zinc.
New Research Determined How The E Coli Bacteria That Cause Urinary Tract Infection Evade And Resist The Bodys Defence Mechanisms The Researchers Further Evaluated If Zinc
Urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection in the human body. Although they are more common in women, UTIs can affect men too. An estimated 150 million people develop UTIs each year making it a matter of significant public health and economic concern.
A UTI is usually easily treatable. However, there are certain complicated cases of UTIs that can lead to kidney infection and sepsis. Most cases are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli . Among the most common bacteria, the uropathogenic E. coli is the primary cause of the disease.Over the years, these bacteria have become resistant to many types of antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a cause of growing concern globally and researchers are trying to find other ways of treating infections caused by these bacteria.
How does E.coli cause urinary tract infections?
To find alternative UTI treatments, researchers first need to understand how uropathogenic E.coli cause infection. A team of researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia conducted a study to understand the mechanisms by which the uropathogenic E.coli evade and resist the bodys immune response and cause UTIs.
The study was recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA . With an aim to find alternate strategies for UTI treatment, a team of scientists examined how our bodys immune system uses zinc to fight against bacterial infections.
The bodys immune cells use zinc to poison and kill bacteria
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How A Urinary Tract Infection Is Treated
Urinary tract infections are often mild and can sometimes resolve if you drink enough fluids. Sometimes taking a mild over-the-counter pain reliever can help relieve discomfort while the infection is resolving. Sometimes UTIs lasting for more than two days need to be treated with a course of antibiotics. You can develop serious complications if the infection has moved from your bladder to your kidneys. In instances like these, home remedies and analgesics are unlikely to provide relief and may increase your risk of complications.
What The Vitamin C Research Tells Us
Vitamin C studies:
What was tested:
- Whether the nitrate-reducing ability itself is necessary to bring about bacterial death. This was an in vitro study .
- Whether the addition of vitamin C to nitrate-reducing bacteria kills them. This was an in vitro study.
- Whether vitamin C for urinary tract infection helps reduce symptoms and prevents positive results in urine culture tests, in pregnant women. This was done in real humans.
- Whether vitamin C enhances the ability of a bacterium to damage the protective chemicals found in the bladder wall. This was an in vitro study using live bacteria isolated from humans.
What was found:
- Nitrate-reducing bacteria were killed by the addition of vitamin C in vitro. Vitamin C made conditions more acidic, and this caused the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide caused the death of these bacteria. Mutant bacteria were not vulnerable to vitamin C/acid attack.
- Allowing the bacteria to grow in an acid-free, nitrate-rich environment before vitamin C was added, enhanced the killing.
- Vitamin C appeared to be effective in reducing symptoms and positive results in urine culture tests, in pregnant women.
- In one in vitro study, vitamin C appeared to increase the ability of a particular bacterium to damage the bladder wall.
What you need to know:
Summary of the science:
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
- How old you are
Treatment for UTIs may include:
- Other medications to ease pain
- Heat to ease pain
You may also need to make lifestyle changes such as:
- Drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract
- Avoiding coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods
- Quitting smoking
Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .
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Vitamin C As An Essential Nutrient For Chronic Infection Support
Whether vitamin C can directly help treat or prevent UTI has little impact on its role as a crucial vitamin for bodily functions.
There is an established link between vitamin C and immune system function. While a healthy vitamin C intake is essential for fighting infection, we also know that for many with inflammation in the bladder, certain types of vitamin C supplements can trigger bladder symptoms.
In speaking with recurrent UTI specialists, the primary recommendation around supplemental vitamin C is that it should be taken in a buffered form, to minimize possible irritation.
Its important to ensure any vitamin C is in a buffered form. One product I like for this purpose is Ultimate Protector. In addition to its potent antioxidant properties, Ultimate Protector activates Nrf2. Several studies have demonstrated that Nrf2 contributes to the anti-inflammatory process as well as increased cysteine production . This is especially important for those who genetically tend to make more ammonia and less cysteine. Ruth Kriz, APRN, Chronic UTI and Interstitial Cystitis Expert
Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamin C
Its fairly common knowledge that vitamin C is essential in the human diet. A prolonged deficiency is otherwise known as scurvy.
And no, scurvy is not limited to pirates and sailors, but it was way back in 1747 that James Lind deduced through a trial on sailors , that oranges and lemons treated this mysterious illness.
It wasnt until 1933 that the chemical structure for vitamin C was identified, and since then science has come a long way in discovering the benefits of it.
The National Academy of Sciences and the NIH suggest the following Recommended Daily Amount of vitamin C in adult females:
|Female Life Stage|
Although scurvy is rarely seen today, its best to ensure youre getting the amounts above at a minimum. And its important to note that any recommended daily amount includes both food and supplement sources.
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The Mineral That Might Replace Antibiotics To Treat Utis
Urinary tract infections are one of the most common bacterial infections in the world. About 150 million occur each year. And 60 percent of women will have a UTI in their lifetime.
So, chances are youve had a UTI before. And if you have, you know how theyre treated antibiotics.
For many women, UTIs become chronic which means taking antibiotics does too. This combined with the number of UTIs that occur on a global scale, make UTIs one of the top contributors to antibiotic resistance.
Now, in case you need a refresher, antibiotic resistance refers to the fact that bacteria have gotten wise to all the antibiotics weve been taking for years, and theyve developed resistance to them.
This means many bacterial infections that were once easily treated with common antibiotics wont be soon. Well need to find new treatments or else face serious consequences like losing a good chunk of the human population.
But even if all this antibiotic resistance stuff doesnt bother you, you probably know that taking antibiotics frequently is bad for your health. They kill the good bacteria in your gut, leading to an unbalanced microbiome. This imbalance can trigger everything from chronic digestive issues to serious autoimmune diseases.
So, there are two fantastic reasons to find a new treatment for UTIs. And researchers from the University of Queensland may have done just that
Zinc Could Help As Non
New details about the role of zinc in our immune system could help the development of new non-antibiotic treatment strategies for bacterial diseases, such as urinary tract infections . UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections worldwide with about 150 million cases each year, and can lead to serious conditions such as kidney infection and sepsis.
A team of cross-institutional University of Queensland researchers led by professor Matt Sweet, professor Mark Schembri and Dr. Ronan Kapetanovic examined how our immune system uses zinc to fight uropathogenic Escherichia coli – – the major cause of UTIs.
Kapetanovic, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience , said researchers already knew that zinc was toxic to bacteria.
“We confirmed by direct visualisation that cells in our immune system known as macrophages deploy zinc to clear bacterial infections,” Kapetanovic said.
They also discovered that UPEC has a two-pronged strategy to survive the body’s immune response.
UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Dr. Minh Duy Phan said the study also identified the full set of UPEC genes that provide protection against zinc toxicity.
“This knowledge provides another potential avenue for developing antimicrobial agents for the treatment of UTIs,” Phan said.
IMB PhD student Claudia Stocks said the methods the team used could be applied to the study of other bacterial diseases, not just UTIs.
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Vitamin C May Cause The Death Of Certain Bacteria
Many of the bacterial species that cause UTIs are known to convert nitrate into another chemical called nitrite. You might recognise this if youve used urine dipstick tests .
|I used to use those home urine dipstick tests but they always said I didnt have a UTI because there were no nitrites in my urine. I later found out that not all UTIs cause there to be nitrites present, so I stopped using them.|
Nitrate can be ingested in the foods we eat, but it is also produced within our own bodies, so its not something to worry about or try to avoid.
In an acidic environment, these nitrate-reducing bacteria take the nitrate found in our bodies and use it to produce nitric oxide, a very reactive chemical. The creation of this reactive nitric oxide also brings about their own death.
This is where vitamin C for UTI comes in. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is believed to create an acidic environment, triggering the production of nitric oxide, and thereby causing the bacteria present to end their own existence.
Although this is pretty cool to think about bacteria being responsible for their own death UTIs are also caused by a variety of other microorganisms that are not nitrate reducing.
Many of these may show a different response to vitamin C, so without knowing which organism is causing your UTI, you cant be sure whether vitamin C will help or hinder.