Supplements for Nasal Allergy and Sinus Infection Patients

Nasal allergy is a quite common illness that everyone can have it. It is caused by the exposure of the individual to the various types of allergens such as pollen, fungus, mold, dust mites, certain foods, latex, animal dander, volatile chemicals and others. When allergens were inhaled into the nasal cavity, it penetrated mucosal membrane and came to contact with blood serum. Individual with Immunoglobulin-A antibody deficiency will easily let the allergens penetrate mucosal barrier because of immunoglobulin-A antibody increases the mucosal permeability. Macrophages are the first type of cells that will come in contact with the allergen particles and after processing the allergens; it will pass information about the invasion of the allergen particles into the body to B-lymphocyte cells (one type of the white blood cell). This will stimulate B-lymphocyte cells and cause them start to multiply and transform into plasma cells. Stimulation of the B-lymphocyte is controlled by T-lymphocyte cell (the other type of white blood cell). The plasma cells that have been formed will produce IgE antibodies, which after that bind with the mast cells and basophil cells around nose and cause itching and hypersensitive. Subsequently, histamine chemical will be released from the mast cells when the mast cells started degranulating

What we know that why an individual's nose easily becomes allergy is due to the deficiency of Immunoglobulin-A antibody, which is one of our defense components in our body. Its function is scavenging of exogenous material, which is coming in contact with the mucosal membrane. Apart from this, T-lymphocyte cells, which are developed in bone marrow, work as helper and suppressor to the secretion of immunoglobulin by the B-lymphocyte cells. Malfunction or deficiency of these cells will cause over secretion of immunoglobulin-E antibodies. This may exacerbate the nasal allergy illness. All this malfunction and deficiency may due to the genetic disorder inheriting from our parent. However, it may also cause by our irregular lifestyle, unhealthy eating habit and environmental factor such as not enough sleep, eat too much fried food, smoking, alcoholic, exposure to hazardous chemicals and so on. Infection with certain virus such as HIV or utilized certain steroid or chemotherapy medicines may also cause this problem. In other words, deterioration of the body immune system will make nasal allergy illness become more critical. Due to this, in order that one can relieve from the nasal allergy torturing, he or she must have a strong immune system to defend the foreign derivatives that will enter into their body.

Deterioration of immune system mostly due to the attack by the free radicals that have formed in our body. Free radical is a very reactive molecule and has a strong tendency to oxidize lipid, protein and DNA in our body. Everyday, a lot of free radicals are produced in our body. Although our body itself can generate antioxidant to protect ourselves, it is still not enough. That's why, we are all aging. Free radicals that have been generated in our body can weak our body immune system by attacking to the white blood cells. Changing the DNA in a white blood cell is the most critical point because it causes irreversible mutation of the cell. Due to this, white blood cells can not function properly and become malfunctioned. When this happens, nasal allergy sickness will emerge in our body. To protect our body from radical and maintain our body immune system, we need to take enough antioxidant supplements to neutralize the excess free radicals that have been produced in our body everyday.

Vitamin C is the most common antioxidant that can relieve nasal allergy symptom. But the doses that we need to take to stop the nasal allergy are around five to eight gram. This is quite a large amount and it may cause stomach and intestinal upset. To prevent this, we should use ascorbate form of vitamin C. Until now, there is no solid evidence to show how vitamin C can stop the nasal allergy reaction. But scientists figured out that it may due to its antioxidant capabilities, which prevent cell damage. Research had been carried out in the department of obsterics at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn to study vitamin C and histamine levels in the blood of 400 people. They found out that, people with high levels of vitamin C in their blood have lower histamine levels. When 1000mg vitamin C supplement was given daily to those with low levels of vitamin C and high levels of histamine, their hay fever improved remarkably within three days. [Journal Nutrition, April, 1980]. When large amount of vitamin C is taken, just make sure you take calcium supplement. This is because; vitamin C in the blood will bind with the calcium in the bone and attract them out into the blood. This calcium will be discarded from the body through urination. This is because vitamin C is an organic acid that can dissolve mineral in bone. To avoid this, we should take calcium ascorbate, which is a mineral form of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is very soluble in water. Therefore, high levels of vitamin C in the blood may not be easily achieved. This is because vitamin C easily excretes from the body through urination. More frequent you urinating; less vitamin C can be retained in your body. Therefore, although we take a lot of vitamin C, the actual amount retaining in the body in very little. You may relief the nasal allergy for a while and if you want to continuously keep relief from nasal allergy, you may need to continuously take vitamin C. This situation can be seen after we have taken the vitamin C. The urine that we excrete after one hour taking the vitamin C is yellowish color. The color is due to the presence of the vitamin C in the urine. The following urine may still yellowish. After the urine no longer shows any yellowish color; that means the vitamin C levels in the blood has gone down already. Due to this, a lot of vitamin C has been wasted. To save cost, we need to take citrus bioflavonoids and pantothenic acid. Both of them are vitamin B complex substances. Citrus bioflavonoids alter the body's metabolism of vitamin C and raising the concentration of vitamin C in certain tissue [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August, 1979]. Whereas, pantothenic acid can help our body absorbs vitamin C more easily.

Apart from vitamin C and B, the second supplement that can boost our immune system is zinc. Zinc is a transitional metal that is indispensable in our body. Biochemical functions in our body that involves zinc are protein synthesis, spermatogenesis, platelet reaction and the main one is maintaining cellular immunity. Apart from these, zinc also can prevent certain type of cancer. Zinc deficiency mostly due to malnutrition, alcoholism, malabsorption, liver cirrhosis, chronic renal disease, extensive burns, use of chelating agents and genetic disorders. Our meats that contains high amount of zinc are chicken and beef. People who try to avoid red meat due to its high cholesterol have the highest potential not enough zinc in their body. Zinc deficiency can cause growth retardation, male testosterone deficiency, delayed wound healing, bullous dermatitis, diarrhea and intercurrent infection. Zinc can inhibit replication of several viruses such as herpes simplex virus, foot and mouth disease virus, poliovirus and rhinovirus. Zinc is very effective to treat common cold because it causes rhinovirus (cold virus) from binding to the tissue surface and stabilizes the cell membranes. Subsequently, it is also inhibiting prostaglandin metabolism and inducing production of interferon gamma, which is a natural chemical that help body to fight infections. Study that had been published in the Annals Internal Medicine in 1996 showed that if an individual starts taking zinc gluconate glycine within 24 hours of the common cold symptoms, it can significantly reduced the illness duration.

The third supplement that has antioxidant function is virgin coconut oil. The difference between ordinary coconut oil and virgin coconut oil is that the later is extracted by wet process directly from the coconut milk or meat under a control temperature typically is 50 oC, whereas; coconut oil is obtained from the copra by dry process, which involves high temperature or sunlight exposure for several days. Due to the exposure to sunlight and application of high temperature, most of the minor components such as tocopherols, tocotrienols and polyphenols will be destroyed. This is because all these components are unstable in high temperature. Sunlight can destroy there components because sunlight contains a few percent of UV light, which is a high energy wave that can break the chemical bonding in an organic substance. Recently, study had been carried out in University Kerala in India to determine the effectiveness of the virgin coconut oil as antioxidant enzymes in male rat [Food Chemistry, 2006]. They found out that virgin coconut oil has more effect as an antioxidant and prevents peroxidation of lipids compared to the groundnut oil and copra oil. Study also had been taken in the same University to determine the beneficial effect of the virgin coconut oil to lipid components in male rat [Clinical Biochemistry, 37, 2004]. The finding that they got is that virgin coconut oil can reduce the levels of lipid in serum and tissues. Also, it also can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increased high-density lipoprotein in the blood. This effect may due to its high polyphenol content.

Finally, what we know immunoglobulin-A (IgA) antibodies are the main antibodies that can prevent allergens from entering our body through nasal mucosal membrane. Therefore, nasal allergy and sinus infection can be preceded by increasing this antibody level in our body. Nutrients that can boost this antibody level in our body are monounsaturated oleic acids and vitamin A. Monounsaturated oleic acids can be found in cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut or filbert oil (or the whole nuts), green and ripe olives, and almonds. Whereas, vitamin A can be found in cod liver oil, pumpkin, cooked carrots, sweet potatoes / yams, squash and other yellow or orange vegetable