Add as bookmark

Letters to the Editor Issue 283

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 283 - January 2023

Manuka Honey Could Help Clear Deadly Drug-Resistant Lung Infection

Manuka honey could help to clear deadly drug-resistant lung infection – research

  • Scientists develop a potential nebulisation treatment using manuka honey to clear a drug resistant lung infection that can be fatal in cystic fibrosis patients;
  • Aston University researchers combined the antibiotic amikacin with manuka honey as a novel treatment for Mycobacterium abscessus;
  • Using the manuka honey combination resulted in an eight-fold reduction in the dosage of the antibiotic

A potential new treatment combining natural manuka honey with a widely used drug has been developed by scientists at Aston University to treat a potentially lethal lung infection and greatly reduce side effects of one of the current drugs used for its treatment.

The findings,  published in the journal Microbiology,[1] show that the scientists in the Mycobacterial Research Group in the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University were able to combine manuka honey and the drug amikacin in a lab-based nebulisation formulation to treat the harmful bacterial lung infection Mycobacterium abscessus.

Manuka honey is long known to have wide ranging medicinal properties, but more recently has been identified for its broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. Now scientists have found that manuka honey has the potential to kill a number of drug resistant bacterial infections such as Mycobacterium abscessus – which usually affects patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) or bronchiectasis.

According to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, CF is a genetic condition affecting around 10,800 people - one in every 2,500 babies born in the UK -and there are more than 100,000 people with the condition worldwide. The NHS defines bronchiectasis as a long-term condition where the airways of the lungs become widened, leading to a build-up of excess mucus that can make the lungs more vulnerable to infection.

In the study, the researchers used samples of the bacteria Mycobacterium abscessus taken from 16 infected CF patients. They then tested the antibiotic amikacin, combined with manuka honey, to discover what dosage was required to kill the bacteria.

As part of the study the team used a lab-based lung model and nebuliser - a device that produces a fine spray of liquid often used for inhaling a medicinal drug. By nebulising manuka honey and amikacin together, it was found they could improve bacterial clearance, even when using lower doses of amikacin, which would result in less life-changing side-effects to the patient.

In the UK, of the 10,800 people living with CF, Mycobacterium abscessus infects 13% of all patients with the condition. This new approach is advantageous not only because it has the potential to kill off a highly drug resistant infection, but because of the reduced side effects, benefitting quality of life and greatly improving survival chances for infected CF patients.

Mycobacterium abscessus is a bacterial pathogen from the same family that causes tuberculosis, but this bug differs by causing serious lung infections in people (particularly children) with pre-existing lung conditions, such as CF and bronchiectasis, as well as causing skin and soft tissue infections. The bacteria is also highly drug resistant.

Currently, patients are given a cocktail of antibiotics, consisting of 12 months or more of antimicrobial chemotherapy and often doesn’t result in a cure. The dosage of amikacin usually used on a patient to kill the infection is 16 micrograms per millilitre. But the researchers found that the new combination using manuka honey, required a dosage of just 2 micrograms per millitre of amikacin - resulting in a one eighth reduction in the dosage of the drug.

Until now, Mycobacterium abscessus has been virtually impossible to eradicate in people with cystic fibrosis. It can also be deadly if the patient requires a lung transplant because they are not eligible for surgery if the infection is present.

Commenting on their findings, lead author and PhD researcher Victoria Nolan said:

"So far treatment of Mycobacterium abscessus pulmonary infections can be problematic due to its drug resistant nature. The variety of antibiotics required to combat infection result in severe side effects.

"However, the use of this potential treatment combining amikacin and manuka honey shows great promise as an improved therapy for these terrible pulmonary infections.

“There is a need for better treatment outcomes and in the future we hope that this potential treatment can be tested further.”

Dr Jonathan Cox, senior lecturer in microbiology, Aston University said:

“By combining a totally natural ingredient such as manuka honey with amikacin, one of the most important yet toxic drugs used for treating Mycobacterium abscessus, we have found a way to potentially kill off these bacteria with eight times less drug than before. This has the potential to significantly reduce amikacin-associated hearing loss and greatly improve the quality of life of so many patients – particularly those with cystic fibrosis.

“I am delighted with the outcome of this research because it paves the way for future experiments and we hope that with funding we can move towards clinical trials that could result in a change in strategy for the treatment of this debilitating infection.”

Dr Peter Cotgreave, chief executive of the Microbiology Society said:

"The Microbiology Society is proud to support the scientific community as it explores innovative solutions to overcome the growing global challenge of antimicrobial resistance. This study demonstrates one of many ways in which microbiologists are pioneering new methods to tackle drug-resistant infections, by incorporating natural products, like manuka honey, into existing therapies."


  1. Victoria C. Nolan, James Harrison, Jonathan A. G. Cox, PhD. In vitro synergy between manuka honey and amikacin against Mycobacteria abscessus complex shows potential for nebulisation therapy. Microbiology 168: (9). DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.001237. 7 Sept 2022.

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions,, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. For more information about the School of Biosciences, please visit

Contact and Further Information

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager, on Tel: (+44)7557 745416;



Health Data Research UK's Black Internship Programme 2023 is Open for Applications

From Friday 1 November, Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) is taking applications from interns and host organisations for its Health Data Science Black Internship Programme for 2023.   The programme, run in partnership with the UK Health Data Research Alliance and 10,000 Black Interns, is helping to tackle the underrepresentation of Black people within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing opportunities to work on health data science projects with some of the UK’s leading health, research and academic organisations.

The UK has an urgent need for new health data scientists in this rapidly expanding field which has the potential to transform the future of health and care for all. A report commissioned by The Royal Society states that for the years spanning 2007/08 to 2018/19, just 3.5% of Black STEM academic staff held a professor post compared to 6.6% of Asian staff and 11.9% of White staff.

This programme, shortlisted for CorpsComms Magazine’s Best diversity and inclusion initiative awards event on 17 November, is just one of HDR UK’s schemes which supports our belief that health data science should be as effective as possible in serving and reflecting the needs of the entire UK population. 

HDR UK’s internship programme provides interns with hands-on experience, using real-world data and host organisations with motivated students and graduates ready to use their skills. 

Shaun Cochrane, Deputy Director of Biomedical Research Centre Operations at St Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:  

"It was fantastic to host the interns within our facility. Their experience included working with world-class research teams such as King’s College, London. They also learnt coding and programming using Python, as well as health data analysis using NumPy and Pandas.” 

Sarah Cadman, Director of Talent and Training at Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) said: 

"Following the success of last year's programme where 100% of participants said they would recommend the programme, we are delighted to welcome interest from both interns and host organisations for 2023! It is incredibly exciting to once again be supporting the next generation of health data scientists." 

Organizations interested in finding out how to become a host can register for a webinar taking place on Tuesday 29 November at 13:00.  To register their interest in the programme, prospective host organisations simply need to complete a 2-min pledge form. Interns should read the information for applicants before completing an application form by 9 January 2023. 

 HDR UK’s Black Internship Programme is aimed at Black people who are either studying an undergraduate degree or who have recently graduated from any UK university. The internship will be for 8-weeks from Monday 3 July – Friday 25 August 2023.

About HDR UK

Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) is the national institute for health data science. HDR UK’s mission is to unite the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives. HDR UK is funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Department of Health and Social Care in England and equivalents in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and leading medical research  @HDRUK

Contact and Further Information

Please contact Clare Leahy Communications Lead at HDR UK on Tel: 07748016062

Black Internship FAQs 



4 Simple Changes can Halve your Risk of Dementia Shared At International Conference

“Less sugar, more activity, fish oil and B vitamin supplements may halve dementia risk”

A global conference of leading world experts in dementia prevention has today identified four easy ways that could reduce risk of dementia by half and eight that could cut your risk by two thirds.  The research was shared, for the first time, at the Alzheimer’s Prevention Conference, organised by the charitable foundation Food for the Brain. 

The new research showed that there are four easy ways to cut your risk of dementia in half:

  1. Supplementing omega-3 fish oils. According to a new study of almost half a million participants of the UK’s Biobank supplementing fish oils cuts dementia risk.[1] This new research was presented at the conference by China’s leading dementia prevention expert from Shanghai’s Fudan University, Professor Jin-Tai Yu,
    “Our current research, using data from the UK Bio Bank, shows that having a higher blood levels of omega-3, and supplementing fish oils, is associated with less risk of dementia.”

Other studies reported by Dr Simon Dyall, clinical neuroscientist at the University of Roehampton, showed that a higher intake of fish was associated with cutting risk of Alzheimer’s disease by a third.[2] “Half your brain is fat, and a type of omega- 3 called DHA has a very important role in the communication between brain cells.” said Dyall.

  1. According to Professor Yu, another very promising prevention treatment is B vitamins.[3] “Lowering blood homocysteine levels, an established indicator of Alzheimer’s risk, with B vitamins is a most promising treatment.” Raised homocysteine is found in one in two people over 70.

In a trial at Oxford University by Professor David Smith, who was presenting at the conference, giving high dose B vitamins versus placebos, resulted in 52% less brain shrinkage and little further memory loss.[4]

Combining omega-3 and vitamin B. The discovery of the synergistic role of omega-3 led the Oxford Professor to reanalyse blood samples taken at the start of the trial for omega-3. They found that those with low omega-3 DHA blood levels, one of the main nutrients found in fish and fish oil supplements, had no benefit from the B vitamins, while those with high omega-3 DHA had 73% less shrinkage and almost nine times less shrinkage of the Alzheimer’s related areas of the brain.[5]

Furthermore, another study in Sweden, that had given omega-3 fish oil supplements, reanalysed their results and found those with good B vitamin status substantially reduced their dementia risk.[6]

A third study in the US, called ‘B proof’, that had given B vitamins with marginal improvements, reanalysed their results and found that those with higher omega-3 levels also had a much greater improvement.[7]

“Research shows that you get impressive results if you give omega-3 and B vitamins together rather than on their own.” Says Professor Smith.

While US National Institutes of Health researchers attributed 22% to lack of seafood or omega-3 and another 22% to the B vitamin factor they also attributed 32% of risk to inactive lifestyle.[8]

“For many people the worst thing they can do for their brain is to retire”

  1. Keeping your brain active. Another expert at the conference, Tommy Wood, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, showed that your muscle mass predicts brain volume. “Exercise, especially resistance exercise, is important because it makes the brain do things that keep it healthy, such as growth and repair.” he says. “When they aren’t stimulated, the health of brain tissues deteriorates, with a knock-on effect on memory and thinking.”

And it’s not just physical exercise that does this, we also benefit from the mental exercise involved in activities like solving puzzles or learning a new language. “For many people the worst thing they can do for their brain is to retire”, says Wood. “They lose much of the stimulation that kept it healthy.”

“Sugar levels at age 35 predict Alzheimer’s risk later in life”

  1. While it has long been known that diabetics have a much higher risk for dementia, a recent study at Boston University School of Medicine, found that higher blood sugar levels at age 35, but still in the ‘normal’ non-diabetic range, predict Alzheimer’s later in life.[9] Talking at the conference Professor Robert Lustig, from the University of California, said, ”A high level of sugar and insulin in the blood – linked with a high carbohydrate diet – is definitely a driver for Alzheimer’s.”

The conference, hosted by the UK charity, identified eight domains of risk, in other words, four more actions you can take to reduce your risk of dementia: eating antioxidants from fruit and veg; having a healthy gut; sleeping well; and controlling stress.

Targeting all eight risk factors earlier in life may reduce risk by two thirds.

But how do you know what your risk is and what and how to change to reduce your risk? That’s what the charity, the Food for the Brain Foundation has been working on for a decade. On their website,, you can do a free Cognitive Function Test. Almost 380,000 people have taken the test and, according to research by NHS and University College London researchers, 88% find it useful. You then complete a questionnaire that works out your future dementia risk index. It also tells you exactly what’s driving your risk up and what to do about it. By downloading the COGNITION app you can tack your progress, get advice on how to reduce your risk further, and get support to help you dementia-proof your diet and lifestyle.


The references for studies referred to are below. For further statements and studies see Alzheimer’s is Preventable: A Manifesto for Change

Study References

  1. Yu JT et al, Circulating polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish oil supplementation, and risk of incident dementia: a prospective cohort study of 440,750 participants, BMC medicine (pending publication)
  2. Wu S, Ding Y, Wu F, Li R, Hou J, Mao P. Omega-3 fatty acids intake and risks of dementia and Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2015 Jan;48:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.11.008. Epub 2014 Nov 21. PMID: 25446949.
  3. Yu JT, Xu W, Tan CC, Andrieu S, Suckling J, Evangelou E, Pan A, Zhang C, Jia J, Feng L, Kua EH, Wang YJ, Wang HF, Tan MS, Li JQ, Hou XH, Wan Y, Tan L, Mok V, Tan L, Dong Q, Touchon J, Gauthier S, Aisen PS, Vellas B. Evidence-based prevention of Alzheimer's disease: systematic review and meta-analysis of 243 observational prospective studies and 153 randomised controlled trials. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2020 Nov;91(11):1201-1209. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2019-321913. Epub 2020 Jul 20. PMID: 32690803; PMCID: PMC7569385.
  4. Smith, A.D. et al., ‘Homocysteine-lowering by B vitamins slows the rate of accelerated brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial’, Public Library of Science ONE, 5(9) (2010)
  5. Jernerén F, Elshorbagy AK, Oulhaj A, Smith SM, Refsum H, Smith AD (2015). Brain atrophy in cognitively impaired elderly: the importance of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and B vitamin status in a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):215-21
  6. Jernerén F, Cederholm T, Refsum H, Smith AD, Turner C, Palmblad J, Eriksdotter M, Hjorth E, Faxen-Irving G, Wahlund LO, Schultzberg M, Basun H, Freund-Levi Y. Homocysteine Status Modifies the Treatment Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Cognition in a Randomized Clinical Trial in Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease: The OmegAD Study. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;69(1):189-197. doi: 10.3233/JAD-181148. PMID: 30958356.
  7. van Soest, A.P.M., van de Rest, O., Witkamp, R.F. et al. DHA status influences effects of B-vitamin supplementation on cognitive ageing: a post-hoc analysis of the B-proof trial. Eur J Nutr (2022).
  8. Beydoun MA, Beydoun HA, Gamaldo AA, Teel A, Zonderman AB, Wang Y. Epidemiologic studies of modifiable factors associated with cognition and dementia: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health. 2014 Jun 24;14:643. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-643. PMID: 24962204; PMCID: PMC4099157.
  9. Zhang X, Tong T, Chang A, Ang TFA, Tao Q, Auerbach S, Devine S, Qiu WQ, Mez J, Massaro J, Lunetta KL, Au R, Farrer LA. Midlife lipid and glucose levels are associated with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2022 . doi: 10.1002/alz.12641. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35319157.


The Food for the Brain Foundation is a UK based charitable foundation that developed a fully validated Cognitive Function Test in 2012 and has so far tested 380,000 people. The test is available at

Social Media

Social media images and 1 minute animations showing ‘how to build the brain’ ‘how to fuel your brain’ and ‘how to protect your brain’ are available for use on request. A short animation explaining COGNITION, the brain upgrade app, is viewable here:

Further Information

For more details and to take the test visit

Patrick Holford, Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Project and many of the speakers at the conference, who are all experts on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Alzheimer’s Prevention Project ( ) are available for interview and comment. The conference details are at  Journalists are invited to take the test at

For media enquiries please contact Sophie at Panpathic Communications –   / 01323440998 / 07815 860 082

Contact and Further Information

For media enquiries please contact Sophie at Panpathic Communications on Tel: 01323440998; Mob:  07815 860 082



Defending Against Post-Infection Cardiovascular Disease

by Michael Passwater MT(ASCP) SBB,DLM; CSSGB(ASQ)


Originally published at:


One of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that viral infections increase the risk of life-threatening cardiovascular disease. A prospective study in the United Kingdom involving 17,871 patients with COVID-19 and 35,742 controls showed an increased risk of cardiovascular disease following illness from viral infection. The 14,304 mild cases that did not require hospitalization were 2.7 times more likely than controls to have a venous thromboembolism (VTE), and 10.2 times more likely to die during the follow-up period which averaged 141 days. The 2,701 cases with Covid-19 as the primary reason for hospitalization were 27.6 times more likely than controls to suffer a VTE, 21.6 times more likely to develop heart failure, 17.5 times more likely to suffer a stroke, and 14.6 times more likely to die. 866 cases hospitalized with Covid-19 as a secondary diagnosis also experienced increased cardiovascular events. The increased risks in all groups were greatest during the first 30 days following infection. [1] These numbers are striking, but also consistent with data from sepsis patients showing increased risks of cardiovascular disease and death during the "recovery phase" following sepsis. [2,3]

Nutrient Deficiencies and Disease

Nutrient deficiencies increase the body's susceptibility to infectious diseases. Furthermore, invading viruses and bacteria and the body's response to them increase the consumption of vital nutrients. [4-6] Vitamins C, D, E, K2, magnesium, glutathione, and selenoproteins (proteins in which selenium has been substituted for sulfur in a cysteine amino acid) are needed to support rapidly dividing and increasingly active immune cells. [7-11] Covid-19 has been shown to break down selenoproteins and disrupt antioxidant recycling processes and other vital cellular metabolism pathways. The exacerbation of nutrient deficiencies, including essential amino acids such as lysine, and pathogen-induced metabolic dysfunction, increases inflammation, susceptibility to coagulation (blood clotting or bleeding) problems, calcium metabolism and storage problems, and cardiac rhythm problems. [12-16]

Restoring health is more than eliminating pathogenic microbes. Nutrient levels and biochemical pathways must also be restored. Vitamin C, vitamin K2, vitamin E, and selenoproteins have important roles in maintaining healthy endothelial structure and function (blood vessel walls), and anticoagulation - coagulation balance. [8,14,17] Vitamin K2 and vitamin D also have major roles in calcium regulation. [18] The amino acid lysine, along with vitamin C, is also established as an important part of the Orthomolecular Medicine protocol for cardiovascular disease. [19,20] Lysine also has complex roles in coagulation. Tranexamic acid (TXA) is an antifibrinolytic medication often used in critical care medicine due to its association with increased survival and decreased bleeding in obstetrics, trauma, and major surgery. TXA is an analogue of lysine (a patentable version of an essential natural molecule). [21]

Lysine and vitamin C are also important for the production of collagen which provides structure to arteries. And at high concentrations, free lysine in the blood can saturate the lysine binding sites of lipoprotein(a) preventing the Lp(a) molecules from sticking to blood vessel walls.

Rutin, specifically quercetin-3-rutinoside, is another natural substance of importance for the prevention of thrombosis (blood clots). A decade ago, a Harvard report drew attention to rutin as a leading member of new class of anticoagulants. It is one of the few substances known (synthetic or natural) that can both help prevent clots and help break down unwanted clots. Rutin also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and ease arthritis pain. [22-24] Rutin, along with catechins, are bioflavonoid phytochemicals found in apples. The rutin content of apples can vary from 12 to 484 mcg/g of apple. [25] A therapeutic dose of 250-500 mg of rutin would take 5-10 apples, but it is also available as a dietary supplement. Rutin is also found in figs, asparagus, buckwheat, and black or green tea.


Following a serious viral illness, an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, venous thromboembolism, and death may persist for months. These risks are especially prominent following Covid-19 infections, and may exist even when the acute phase of the illness is mild. During and after illness, it is important to restore the spectrum of nutrient levels to assist with the complete elimination of the infectious agent and to replenish biochemical pathways for optimal wellness. Additional cardiovascular support including vitamin C, lysine, and rutin may be indicated throughout recovery.

Recommended adult doses to reduce risk of serious infection:

  • Vitamin C, 500-1000 mg, 3 times daily (more to bowel tolerance if sick)
  • Vitamin D, 5,000 IU (125mcg)/day to achieve and maintain vitamin D blood levels in the
    40-80 ng/mL range
  • Vitamin E, 400-800 IU/day (start with low dose, increase over weeks)
  • Vitamin K2, 100 mcg/day
  • Niacin / niacinamide 200 - 2,000 mg/d (in divided doses, start with smaller doses, increase over weeks)
  • Magnesium 400 mg/d (in malate, citrate, chelate, or chloride form)
  • Zinc, 20 mg/day
  • Selenium 200 mcg/day as selenium yeast or Se-methyl-L-selenocysteine

Covid infection recovery (in addition to the above):

1st month -

  • Rutin 250 mg twice per day,
  • Lysine 3,000 mg twice per day

Months 2-4 – consider reducing Rutin to 250 mg per day, and Lysine to 1,000 mg twice per day in the absence of pre-existing cardiovascular disease.

In his book How to Live Longer and Feel Better Linus Pauling developed a similar protocol for a healthy life. [26] His basic approach was to provide the body with the essential vitamins - first and foremost vitamin C - and other micronutrients in the therapeutic amounts it needs to heal. He recommended vitamin C in a dosage of 6-18 g (6,000-18,000 mg in divided doses) per day, or until the bowel tolerance limit is reached, and lysine in a dosage of 5-6 g (5,000-6,000 mg in divided doses) per day. The high doses of vitamin C and lysine he recommended, along with adequate doses of other essential nutrients, allow the body's biochemistry to function at a high level, purge viral infections, and prevent and reverse cardiovascular disease.


  1. Raisi-Estabragh Z, Cooper J, Salih A, et al. (2022) Cardiovascular disease and mortality sequelae of COVID-19 in the UK Biobank. Heart heartjnl-2022-321492.
  2. Lai CC, Lee MTG, Lee WC, et al. (2018) Susceptible period for cardiovascular complications in patients recovering from sepsis. 190:E1062-E1069.
  3. Wang HE, Moore JX, Donnelly JP, et al. (2017) Risk of acute coronary heart disease after sepsis hospitalization in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort. Clin Infect Dis. 65:29-36.
  4. Penberthy WT (2022) Niacin for COVID: How niacin, niacinamide, and NAD can help with Long COVID-19. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.
  5. Passwater M (2022) Fueling the Immune System for the 21st Century. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.
  6. Polonikov A. (2020) Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients. ACS Infect Dis. 6:1558-1562.
  7. Carr AC, Maggini S (2017) "Vitamin C and Immune Function". Nutrients 9:1211;
  8. Passwater, M (2021) Vitamin C Levels in Critically Ill Covid-19 Patients. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.
  9. Horowitz RI, Freeman PR, Bruzzese J (2020) Efficacy of glutathione therapy in relieving dyspnea associated with COVID-19 pneumonia: A report of 2 cases. Respiratory Medicine Case Reports 30:101063.
  10. Ganga HV, Noyes A, White CM, Kluger J (2013) Magnesium adjunctive therapy in atrial arrhythmias. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 36:1308-1318.
  11. Wong A-P, Mohamed A-L, Niedzwiecki A (2015) The effect of multiple micronutrient supplementation on quality of life in patients with symptomatic heart failure secondary to ischemic heart disease: a prospective case series clinical study. Am J Cardiovasc Dis. 5:146-152.
  12. Vavougios GD, Ntoskas KT, Doskas TK. (2020) Impairment in selenocysteine synthesis as a candidate mechanism of inducible coagulopathy in COVID-19 patients. Med Hypotheses 147:110475.
  13. Moghaddam A, Heller RA, Sun Q, et al. (2020) Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19. Nutrients, 12:2098.
  14. Berenjian A, Sarabadani Z (2020) How menaquinone-7 deficiency influences mortality and morbidity among COVID-19 patients. Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology. 29:101792.
  15. DiNicolantonio JJ, O'Keefe JH. (2021) Magnesium and Vitamin D Deficiency as a Potential Cause of Immune Dysfunction, Cytokine Storm and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation in covid-19 patients. Mo Med. 118:68-73.
  16. de Baail JHF, Hoenderon JGJ, Bindels RJM (2015) Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease. Physiological Reviews 95:1-46.
  17. Glynn RJ, Ridket PM, Goldhaber SZ, et al., (2007) Effects of Random Allocation to Vitamin E Supplementation on the Occurrence of Venous Thromboembolism: Report From the Women's Health Study. 116:1497-1503.
  18. Shioi A, Morioka T, Shoji T, Emoto M (2020) The Inhibitory Roles of Vitamin K in Progression of Vascular Calcification. Nutrients 12:583.
  19. Cheng RZ (2022) Reversal of Cardiovascular Diseases with Orthomolecular Medicine: Two Case Reports and Literature Review. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.
  20. Diel HW (2022) Lipoprotein(a): The biggest risk factor for heart attack and stroke? My self-experiment with the Pauling therapy and vitamin C. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.
  21. Franchini M, Mannucci PM (2020) The never ending success story of tranexamic acid in acquired bleeding. 105:1201-1205.
  22. Jasuja R, Passam FH, Kennedy DR, et al. (2012) Protein disulfide isomerase inhibitors constitute a new class of antithrombotic agents. J Clin Invest. 122:2104-2113.
  23. Gudrais E (2012) Curbing Clots. Harvard Magazine, September-October 2012
  24. Gotter A, Wilson DR (2017) The Potential Health Benefits of Rutin. Healthline.
  25. Shafi W, Mansoor S, Jan S, et al. (2019) Variability in Catechin and Rutin Contents and Their Antioxidant Potential in Diverse Apple Genotypes. Molecules 24:943.
  26. Pauling L. (1986) How to Live Longer and Feel Better. (2006 Revised Ed) OSU Press. ISBN-13: 978-0870710964.

Additional Reading

Borrelli E, Roux-Lombard P, Grau GE, et al. (1996) Plasma concentrations of cytokines, their soluble receptors, and antioxidant vitamins can predict the development of multiple organ failure in patients at risk. Crit Care Med,24:392-397.

Buehler PW, Alayash AI (2005) Redox Biology of Blood Revisited: The Role of Red Blood Cells in Maintaining Circulatory Reductive Capacity. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 1755-1760.

Wang Y, Zhao N, Xiong Y, et al. (2020) Downregulated Recycling Process but Not De Novo Synthesis of Glutathione Limits Antioxidant Capacity of Erythrocytes in Hypoxia. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2020:7834252.

Wang Y, Huang J, Sun Y, et al. (2021) SARS-CoV-2 suppresses mRNA expression of selenoproteins associated with ferroptosis, endoplasmic reticulum stress and DNA synthesis. Food and Chemical Toxicology 153 :112286.

Thomas T, Stefanoni D, Dzieciatkowska M, et al. (2020) Evidence of Structural Protein Damage and Membrane Lipid Remodeling in Red Blood Cells from COVID-19 Patients. J Proteome Res. 19: 4455-4469.

Miller R, Wentzel AR, Richards GA. (2020) COVID-19: NAD+ deficiency may predispose the aged, obese and type2 diabetics to mortality through its effect on SIRT1 activity. Med Hypotheses 144:110044.

Taylor EW. (2010) The oxidative stress-induced niacin sink (OSINS) model for HIV pathogenesis PMID:19857540. Toxicology. 278:124-130.

Taylor EW, Radding W (2020). Understanding selenium and glutathione as antiviral factors in COVID-19: Does the viral Mpro protease target host selenoproteins and glutathione synthesis? Front Nutr. 7;143.

Misialek JR, Lopez FL,Lutsey PL, et al. (2013) Serum and dietary magnesium and incidence of atrial fibrillation in whites and in African Americans-atherosclerosis risk in communities (ARIC) study. Circ J. 77:323-329.

Markovits N, Kurnik D,Halkin H, et al. (2016) Database evaluation of the association between serum magnesium levels and the risk of atrial fibrillation in the community. Int J Cardiol,205:142-146.

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you:

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Albert G. B. Amoa, MB.Ch.B, Ph.D. (Ghana)
Seth Ayettey, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D. (Ghana)
Ilyès Baghli, M.D. (Algeria)
Ian Brighthope, MBBS, FACNEM (Australia)
Gilbert Henri Crussol, D.M.D. (Spain)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Ian Dettman, Ph.D. (Australia)
Susan R. Downs, M.D., M.P.H. (USA)
Ron Ehrlich, B.D.S. (Australia)
Hugo Galindo, M.D. (Colombia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael J. Gonzalez, N.M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Claus Hancke, MD, FACAM (Denmark)
Tonya S. Heyman, M.D. (USA)
Patrick Holford, BSc (United Kingdom)
Suzanne Humphries, M.D. (USA)
Ron Hunninghake, M.D. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Dwight Kalita, Ph.D. (USA)
Felix I. D. Konotey-Ahulu, MD, FRCP, DTMH (Ghana)
Jeffrey J. Kotulski, D.O. (USA)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Alan Lien, Ph.D. (Taiwan)
Homer Lim, M.D. (Philippines)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Pedro Gonzalez Lombana, MD, MsC, PhD (Colombia)
Victor A. Marcial-Vega, M.D. (Puerto Rico)
Juan Manuel Martinez, M.D. (Colombia)
Mignonne Mary, M.D. (USA)
Jun Matsuyama, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Joseph Mercola, D.O. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Tahar Naili, M.D. (Algeria)
Zhiyong Peng, M.D. (China)
Isabella Akyinbah Quakyi, Ph.D. (Ghana)
Selvam Rengasamy, MBBS, FRCOG (Malaysia)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, D.O. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Han Ping Shi, M.D., Ph.D. (China)
T.E. Gabriel Stewart, M.B.B.CH. (Ireland)
Thomas L. Taxman, M.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Garry Vickar, M.D. (USA)
Anne Zauderer, D.C. (USA)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor-In-Chief
Associate Editor: Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Editor, Japanese Edition: Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)
Editor, Chinese Edition: Richard Cheng, M.D., Ph.D. (USA)
Editor, Norwegian Edition: Dag Viljen Poleszynski, Ph.D. (Norway)
Editor, Arabic Edition: Moustafa Kamel, R.Ph, P.G.C.M (Egypt)
Editor, Korean Edition: Hyoungjoo Shin, M.D. (South Korea)
Editor, Spanish Edition: Sonia Rita Rial, PhD (Argentina)
Contributing Editor: Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Contributing Editor: Damien Downing, M.B.B.S., M.R.S.B. (United Kingdom)
Contributing Editor: W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Contributing Editor: Ken Walker, M.D. (Canada)
Assistant Editor: Helen Saul Case, M.S. (USA)
Technology Editor: Michael S. Stewart, B.Sc.C.S. (USA)
Associate Technology Editor: Robert C. Kennedy, M.S. (USA)
Legal Consultant: Jason M. Saul, JD (USA)

Comments and media contact: OMNS welcomes but is unable to respond to individual reader emails. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

Click here to see a web copy of this news release:



Airborne Dangers In Our Homes Threatening Respiratory Health

Research reveals nearly 8 in 10 Brits believe poor air quality in their homes can affect their health and wellbeing. Outdoor pollution has rightly received a lot of attention in recent years – with concerns raised about town centre particulates – but what about the hidden pollutants in our own homes posed by cleaning products, aerosols and cooking fumes?

New research[1] from Puressentiel – the brains behind a range of 100% natural, evidence-backed essential oil solutions for everyday health and wellness – has found that nearly eight in 10 Brits (78%) believe that the air quality in their home can impact health and wellbeing, including our immune system – which protects our body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins. In addition, nearly four in 10 (37%) say they are worried specifically about their own home’s air quality while 63% are generally more aware of respiratory illnesses as a consequence of the pandemic. There is good reason for this concern, as revealed in a report from the European Lung Foundation, which identifies more than 900 different compounds found in indoor pollution, with some irritants occurring at levels two to five times higher than the air outside.[2]  

The Toll of Indoor Pollutants

“One of the lasting legacies of the pandemic has been much greater awareness of the importance of indoor air quality,” says Neurobiologist and an advisor to Puressentiel, Professor Robert Pickard.

“Seeing the damage an invisible airborne pathogen can wreak has been a real wake-up call for public health experts and members of the public, alike.

“It has also been a stark reminder that our immune health is inextricably linked to air quality and the viral and bacterial load in the air we breathe.

“A fact also borne out of the Puressentiel’s research poll which found that 61% of respondents recognise that poor air quality in homes can affect breathing problems and more than half believe it increases the risk of colds and other common infections (55%) as well as coughs (52%). GP, Dr Nisa Aslam, and a member of the Puressentiel Expert hub notes further:

“Some indoor pollutants which affect our air in the home are obvious — tobacco smoke, cooking fumes and chlorine-based cleaning materials. These are all instantly noticeable, even if we don’t actually realise how much damage they can do to the airways.

“But even more insidious are indoor pollutants, such as moulds, which are present in 10 to 50% of houses, and common allergens, such as house-dust mites. These irritants often go unnoticed – until they trigger wheezing and other respiratory symptoms, as well as attacking our immune health.[3]”

Many Home Air Quality Fixes Ineffective

The Puressentiel research found that most people try to manage the air quality in their homes – by opening windows, avoiding drying washing indoors or using natural cleaning products. Almost a quarter use essential oil diffusers to improve air quality in their homes.

However, common air quality fixes are ineffective, for example 38% use air fresheners to try to keep indoor air ‘clean’ and 46% burn candles. Wellbeing expert and a member of the Puressentiel Expert Hub, Dr Tim Bond, says:

“These cosmetic measures only add to the problem by dumping more pollutants into the air. It’s far more important to address the root causes by improving air flow and adopting measures which remove or neutralise these indoor pollutants.”

The Power of Plant Essential Oils

An evidence-backed method is to harness the power of plants which have been shown in groundbreaking studies by NASA in the 1980s to naturally reduce levels of indoor air pollutants.[4]

Essential oils can tackle respiratory symptoms on several fronts as explained by Professor Olivier Malard, an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Nantes University Hospital.

"The inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane and the super-infections associated with it lead us to consider the possibilities of using essential-oil-based solutions. Through their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, these essential oils make it possible to act directly on the structures and mechanisms in question.”

A clinical trial of Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray, with 53 volunteers with a history of wheezing and other breathing issues, found improvements in two key measures of lung function – forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume – in just four weeks. Scientists conducted the trial concluded:

“The spray exerted a slight broncho-dilating effect documented by the respiratory function tests and improved the quality of life of the volunteers.”[5]

Laboratory tests also found that Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray reduced the number of viable cells of four common bacteria, including staphylococcus and E-coli, by a factor of 100,000.[6] Viable cells of candida and Aspergillus niger were reduced by a factor of 10,000.[7] 

In another laboratory test, the Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray was shown to kill house-dust mites – a common cause of allergic wheeze and asthma – in less than an hour and have a repellence rate of 97% seven days after spraying.[8]

Dr Nisa Aslam adds:

“Research by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health[9] revealed that 7% to 14% of childhood asthma can be directly attributed to damp housing, while higher levels of air CO2, caused by overcrowding of houses or classrooms, has been linked with childhood rhinitis and coughing, as well as poor school attendance. Resulting data like this, coupled with the fact our homes are just as polluted inside, as the pollution on the outside, means we really have to tackle indoor air pollution fast.

“Puressentiel’s Purifying Air Spray ticks all the boxes when it comes to busting indoor pollutants.  With 41 essential oils, all borne out of plants, research shows how this smart, natural wellness product combats airborne bacteria and viruses, fungal spores, and house-dust mites all in one go.[10] Plus clinical trials in patients with mild to moderate asthma confirm Puressentiel’s Purifying Air Spray is well tolerated and causes no inflammation of the airways. That’s why Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray gets my recommendation as a GP.”

  • Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray: Combines 41 essential oils – including two species of lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, and geranium (pelargonium) – to combat airborne bacteria and viruses, fungal spores, and house-dust mites.[11] Clinical trials in patients with mild to moderate asthma confirm it is well tolerated and causes no inflammation of the airways;
  • Puressentiel Air Purifying Blend for Diffusion: Delivers a steady, sustained release of aromatic essential oils and is ideal for bedrooms, poorly ventilated wet rooms, and toilets. This blend contains 18 oils, including lemon, pine and niaouli – a close relation of eucalyptus and tea tree. Niaouli shares many of their properties and is the main ingredient in the branded medicine Gomenol, which is used to treat upper respiratory tract and bronchial congestion.[12]

Supporting Respiratory Health

  • New Puressentiel Respiratory Nasal Hygiene Hydrating Spray: Combines soothing calendula and sea-water to deliver a three-in-one action – cleansing, hydrating, and clearing the nasal cavity – to prevent ear, nose and throat issues and strengthen the nasal lining’s defence. Also effective at eliminating pollen and pollutants. Licensed as a medical device;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Decongestant Nasal Spray: Combines a 100% natural sterile saline solution which softens blocked nasal mucosa with organic rosemary floral water plus the soothing and decongestant essential oils of eucalyptus radiata, rosat geranium, niaouli, ravintsara, as well as propolis; An intervention trial using New Puressentiel Respiratory Decongestant Nasal Spray in 31 adults with a history of nasal congestion caused by allergic rhinitis confirmed benefits across five measures after eight days of use;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Massage Balm: Combines 19 essential oils including two species of lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and clove to produce a clinically proven decongestant balm. A 20-day trial[13] in 25 children aged eight to 17 with rhinitis or bronchitis showed a 96% improvement in respiratory symptoms and sleep after seven days;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Cough Syrup: Helps soothe sore throats and supports the body’s natural defences, with three aromatic honeys, propolis, marshmallow and elderberry. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the use of honey to treat coughs over antibiotics and other conventional medicines, elderberry has antiviral activity and marshmallow can ease dry cough;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Soothing Syrup: Combines plant extracts including propolis, marshmallow root and Echinacea with seven essential oils and soothing ingredients, such as honey and lemon, to deliver proven relief from day one;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Lozenges With Three Aromatic Honeys: Provides relief when you’re on the move, with the honey forming a barrier to soothe and protect the throat;
  • Puressentiel Respiratory Mint/Eucalyptus Drops: Composed of acacia gum, combined with essential oils of field mint and Eucalyptus globulus with a soothing effect on the throat, pharynx, and vocal cords. No sugars, with stevia plant extract. 100% plant-based active ingredients;
  • Puressentiel Resp OK inhaler: The pocket solution for winter coughs and congestion, containing 18 essential oils – including eucalyptus, peppermint and oregano – enriched with menthol and camphor to ease breathing;
  • Puressentiel Resp Ok® Air Spray: Combines a unique blend of essential oils which should be used at the first signs of winter discomfort or seasonal sensitivities. It contains 19 essential oils which help soothe the airways and ease congestion: anise, St Thomas Bay, cajuput, atlas cedarwood, lemon, clove, cypress, eucalyptus, Lavandula officinalis, Lavandin grosso, peppermint, niaouli, oregano, Sylvestris pine, ravintsara, rosemary, sage officinale, tea tree and thyme;
  • New Puressentiel Respiratory Nasal Hygiene Baby Unidoses: With a unique blend of Brittany sea water and Calendula extra, Puressentiel’s Respiratory Nasal Hygiene Baby Unidoses offer a quick and easy solution, naturally. They help assist with ear, nose, and throat infections such as colds, allergic rhinitis including hayfever, and nasopharyngitis; a throat disease that’s prevalent in young children. Puressentiel Respiratory Nasal Hygiene Baby Unidoses can be used 1 to 6 times a day, depending on the severity of symptoms. With a rounded tip, each 5ml unidose provides optimal safety as part of Puressentiel’s Baby Pure® commitment.


  1. Perspectus Global; 1,109 consumers questioned; Summer 2022
  5. Data on file (GB cahier aroma page 8&9)
  6. Bactericidie PURESSENTIEL 2009 Spray Assainissant. On file
  7. Conclusion fongicidie PURESSENTIEL Spray Assainissant On file
  8. Data on file BAT PAO 21.12.2015_16h50_PURESSENTIEL_GB.PDF
  10. Data on file General Practitioner’s Journal review (BAT PAO 1.12.2015_16h50_PURESSENTIEL_GB.PDF page 5)
  11. Data on file General Practitioner’s Journal review (BAT PAO 1.12.2015_16h50_PURESSENTIEL_GB.PDF page 5)

Further Information and Enquiries

Nicky Smith; Hannah Carter,;

Pally Kaur,; Paula Figgett 




  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Letters


  • Supercoherence-System

    Supercoherence master code can restore each human to their pristine pure state at the speed of light

  • College of Ayurveda UK

    Diploma in Āyurvedic Medicine, 4-year self-paced distant learning program in Āyurvedic medicine.

  • Super Patch Wellbeing

    Super Patches – a most revolutionary advance in wellbeing strategies in the history of medicine

  • radical spirituality

    UK publisher of rejected knowledge in areas of esoteric thought and radical streams of spirituality.

  • Liposomal Nutrients

    Optimum system for nutrient delivery to cells - fully bioavailable vitamins absorbed and metabolised

  • Beginner's Guide to ME

    Essential reading for people/carers with ME/CFS serious debilitating illness. Counteracts bad advice

  • health & fitness books

    Massage, sports injury, holistic, healthcare and specialists books written by leaders in their field


    Aromatherapy creams & candles. Heal naturally No side effects. Holistic treatments, powerful courses


    The FLEXXICORE exercise revolution: transform your fitness regime with 2 exhilarating exercisers

  • June Sayer Homeopathy

    Training Academy Homeopathy Nutrition Reiki, Distant Learning. Diet, Health Screening, Detox, Stress

  • nutrition and cancer

    by Sandra Goodman PhD The latest scientific research regarding Nutrition and Cancer. Full details at

  • Flower essences online

    Fine quality flower essences international ranges to help promote vitality and emotional well-being.


    Professor Sheik Imam is a famous professional leading African Healer who works with powerful spirits

  • Ultimate Body Detox

    Immune system support & heavy metal detox - 3 powerful products: ACS 200, ACZ Nano & ACG Glutathione

  • Seaweed as Superfood

    Comprehensive nutrient balance found in no other natural food but seaweed: colon health, weight loss

  • Water for Health

    Specialist online health store focused on hydration, body pH balance and quality nutrition.

  • mycology research MRL

    MRL markets mushroom products food grade US & Netherlands GMP standards. Health Professional Videos

top of the page