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Staying Well During Cold And Flu Season

It’s finally Fall! Season of the Pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice ice cream, hey, you even think you saw some pumpkin spice potato chips the other day! Not only that but fall also means you can let that bikini bod slide just a little bit, maybe relax the intensity on the treadmill a little, cut the routine from 5 times a week to 3. Trade in those Daisy Dukes for some classic fall sweaters and jackets. And, best of all, you get to cuddle with your new significant other while looking at decorative gourds.

There’s only one catch; you’re sick. Your throat hurts, your nose is stuffed and doesn’t feel like leaving your bed. Worst of all, the thought of pumpkin spice is turning your stomach. What can you do?

1.Flu shot
Get a flu shot. The flu shot is the most effective way of flu prevention. They are available at most pharmacies.

2.Wash your hands
There is no such thing as washing your hands too much. No matter what professional environment, you are in, you run the risk of being exposed to contagion. Doctors and nurses constantly keep soap and water in the close vicinity. To completely rid skin of viruses, scrub for at least 20 seconds. Dr. Alan Pocinki,MD recommends singing “The Birthday Song” twice while thoroughly washing under nails and between fingers, although you may get strange looks if you do this in public.

3. Hand Sanitizer
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can kill germs from cold and flu.

4. Avoid Close Contact with Sick People
Tery Remy, MD, director of Medical Associates at Beauregard in Alexandria VA gives advice on how to politely turn down a handshake. “Just explain, ‘To keep transmission of colds and flu down, I’m not shaking hands. But hello! Nice to meet you!’ They understand.”

5. Keep Your Environment Clean
If you want to stay well, roll up those sleeves and get scrubbing! Paramedic Beth Geoghegan starts every day by cleaning her office with germ-killing soaps. If her day has included visits with flu bearing patients, she, “takes her uniform off the minute I get home, put it in the wash, and get right in the shower.” Geoghagan advises, “looking at your environment and thinking, ‘What could be contaminated? All it takes is a tiny droplet. It may already look clean, but it might not be.”

6.Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Keeping up a strong immune system is one of the most important ways to avoid sickness. Low protein diets can deplete your immune system. Stick to high protein options like fish, yogurt, and eggs. In addition, make sure to get enough rest, don’t smoke, and keep allergies under control. Allergies cause inflammation of the upper respiratory system which sets the body up for getting a virus.

7.Drink Tea
Ah, steaming tea with milk and honey. Just mention it and you start to feel better. Inhaling steam helps the cilia to move germs out of the nose more efficiently. Honey gets rid of bacteria and lemon helps to thin mucus. So, start getting better so you can join the pumpkin explosion!

Woman holding a collagen drink in her hand.

What You Need to Know About Collagen Drinks

The beauty and skincare world never stops evolving and new products are introduced daily. While having options is awesome, sometimes it can also get overwhelming. How do you decide what products or ingredients are actually worth the money. Popular in Asia and Europe, collagen drinks are one of the most buzzed about beauty products right now.

What are Collagen Drinks?
Collagen drinks are essentially a collagen supplement in a liquid form. When it comes to the ingredients found in collagen drinks, that varies widely based on the manufacturer. Typically, either animal extract collagen or fish extract collagen are the source of collagen in drinks. Animal extract collagen generally comes from cows, chickens or pigs, so vegetarians will want to steer clear of supplements containing animal extract collagen. Fish extract collagen is regarded as the superior type of extract because it is believed that fish extract collagen is better absorbed by the body. The majority of collagen drinks are flavored to avoid an unpleasant taste.

Do Collagen Drinks Work?
In a word, maybe. There are differing opinions when it comes to the effectiveness of collagen drinks. Drinking a collagen supplement seems like a great way to add necessary collagen to your body. The general skepticism by experts is due to the fact that the collagen protein contained in the supplement will be broken down during the digestion process, which makes it impossible for that collagen to get to your skin. California based cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Katie Rodan says, “[y]our body will break it down and use it for energy. Digestive enzymes are powerful, so the collagen won’t be absorbed into your bloodstream, meaning they won’t make it to your skin.”

While the general consensus seems to be that these drinks aren’t anything more than hype, there are some that truly believe collagen drinks can work. Dr. Stefanie Williams, medical director at European Dermatology London, was once a non-believer, but has since changed her mind. “Like many others, I thought the collagen would simply be digested and broken down before it entered the bloodstream and never reach the skin.” After reviewing data regarding collagen drinks, she was a believer. “After the molecule is broken down, the fragments are absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed through the entire body, including the skin, where small fragments remain for up to 14 days. [C]ollagen drinks…actually work by persuading our bodies to synthesize new collagen.”

Should You Sip Your Way to Better Skin?
While Dr. Williams was definitely persuaded by research, most dermatologists and other skin experts say that collagen drinks are not worth the money, but that doesn’t mean that you should discount all collagen supplements. A study published by the Natural Medicine Journal, proved that women who took collagen for six months had improved hyperpigmentation and percentages of pores.

Ultimately, more research is required before definitively saying one way or the other whether collagen drinks are effective or not. The data thus far is certainly promising and may eventually change the way aging skin is treated, but for now, it’s safer to stick with a healthy diet and taking great care of your skin, including remembering sunscreen every day. If you want to boost your collagen production, add fish, dark green vegetables, red vegetables and berries to your diet.

It’s always difficult to determine what new beauty and skincare trends actually work and which ones are completely bogus. For collagen drinks the jury is still out as to whether or not these are more hyped up than helpful. Increasing collagen does lead to healthier, more supple skin and diminished fine lines and wrinkles but collagen drinks may not be the most effective way to do so.


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