As the COVID 19 crisis unfurls, I have been paying close attention to the research and words of advice from a few well respected functional medicine doctors in the field.
Recently I watched Dr Ben Lynch, an author and well known methylation and nutrigenomics specialist, loose his cool in a video he put out on social media pertaining to why so many older people are dying of COVID 19. Dr Ben Lynch emphatically stated that one of the main reasons why both people with fragile immune systems and older people seem to be getting sicker is tied to the inability to regulate pro-inflammatory chemicals or cytokines. This is especially evident with the COVID 19 pandemic and its effects on the lungs.
As most people are aware at this time COVID 19 has a propensity for lung tissue and can create a perfect storm leading to pneumonia. Given this information, it would make great sense at this time to put in place nutritional support for your lungs and respiratory health as we make our way through this uncharted terrain.
Studies and peer reviewed articles suggest that there are several nutrients that can be taken to support lung health to help regulate the inflammatory cytokines for the long term.
One critical nutrient that will support lung health to regulate this inflammatory process is glutathione.
Glutathione is a amino acid combination that acts as a major antioxidant and cellular protector. It is found throughout the body in high concentrations in the liver lining of the respiratory tract and nasal cavities. Glutathione is especially beneficial for protection against lung oxidant stress, injury and inflammation.
How does Glutathione Work?
Our bodies use glutathione to regulate our innate immunity and inflammation and without it in proper amounts, the inflammatory cascade can become overwhelming to the body. In general, lung conditions and diseases are characterized by chronic inflammation and oxidant /antioxidant imbalance. This amino acid combination is used in the body to help regulate the inflammatory process.
In essence, glutathione comes to the aid of tissues needing repair and protection and will call off the gaurds (immune system) to help keep a situation( inflammation) from getting out of hand.
Given the fact that younger and healthier people tend to have higher glutathione stores, they are going to be receiving a level of protection from their immune system that older and immunocompromised people are not.
Studies show people with normal levels of glutathione will be better able to regulate the pro-inflammatory cytokines which will regulate the inflammatory response in the body. Without that regulation switch, your body is more likely to undergo unchecked inflammation and this is where people start to get really sick, really fast.
Other nutrients that support to calm and regulate the immune response with specific lung benefits include:
This vitamin supports the immune system through various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Specifically in regards immune lung health, Vitamin C stabilizes mast cells. When mast cells are upregulated they create more of an immune response. Ie. Fluid in the lungs. 2000 mg 2x a day for a preventative strategy.
This micronutrient helps to control infections by inhibiting a protein that prevents excess inflammation. ZInc supplementation is also used to shorten the duration of upper respiratory infections. Zinc is helpful for preventing the docking and replication process of a viurs. Zinc chelate is ideal for absorption and 30 mg on an empty stomach is ideal.
Fat soluable vitamins
Vitamin A plays a large role in innate immunity and a Vitamin A deficiency is linked with the lung and GI infections. While there is controversy around the correct form of Vitamin A to take and how much, I use both a food based form through spirulina powder ( which is loaded with A as well as many other vitamins and minerals) as well as liquid fat soluable when immune system function is lower.
This fat soluable vitamin modulates the immune system by reducing the expression of inflammatory cytokines. It also stimulates the expression of potent antimicrobial peptides in the body. Vitamin D levels naturally go down in winter and with chronic inflammation and disease processes. Vitamin D occurs in fatty fish, cold liver oil, egg yolks and beef liver. 2000-5000 IU daily
Note on Self Care
Please take time to care for your self during this extremely challenging time. With so much change in the air, it is difficult to stay grounded and feel safe. I am encouraging all those experiencing this strain to take time to ground out. I now get up in the morning to meditate or walk by myself. I also recommend gardening if at all possible. If you cannot get outside, spend a few minutes in meditation to clear your head. Mantras may be helpful if your thoughts are running the show. Warm baths can be helpful also. These ideas may sound basic, but if there was ever a time to get back to basics it would be now.
Due to the financial strains of the time, I am offering 15% discounts for all Fullscript supplements sold through the store on my site. Contact me if you have any dificulty logging on and I will send you a direct link.
I am also offering zoom video telemedicine calls and phone calls for nutritional consults specific for your immune system needs. Please visit radiantrealitynutrition.com for more details.
Wishing you a Radiant Reality!
NCBI (Article) Role of glutathione in immunity and inflammation in the lung
Dovepress (Article) Role of glutathione in immunity and inflammation in the lung