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:
Vitamin C- 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.
ZInc- 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- 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.
Vitamin D3- 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!
This past week has been surreal. Watching our economy and school system grind to a halt, I have come to realize that the Corona virus pandemic is something much greater than I ever anticipated.
At this point in time, social distancing is probably the most important factor in whether or not we will be forced into a crisis like Italy’s or not.
I have three children at home with me and am dedicated to commit to social distancing as long as necessary with the hope and prayer that the “curve will go down”. While social distancing gets exponentially more difficult with kids, it is critical to do so at this time.
For me, this is a time to practice self care, nourish my family with food and immune supportive supplements while also take time to check in with others who are in need. I have listed support systems that I think are extremely important at this time.
Note* A lot of the leaders in the functional / traditional medicine realm are covering the basics of immune system health at this time. This is something that cannot be overlooked. If you are not taking every opportunity to strengthen your immune system then you are really missing the boat. Methods of self care include: eating an anti inflammatory diet, cutting out alcohol and sugar and any other inflammatory substances, while practicing extreme care for self and others with acts of kindness.
I would like to also note that due to the panic, a lot of immune supplements are selling out online. The panic that pushes people to hoard supplies started with hand sanitizer and toilet paper and now is moving into food and supplement territory . A week ago, the platform I use for recommending supplements to clients was almost completely sold out of professional grade immune support. I am fortunate that due to my work, I have my own apothecary, but I realize that many people are severely lacking support during this crisis and this is concerning. We must all do what we can to offer support to those who are lacking at this time and do not take more than you need!
Given the recent information relating to the cytokine (inflammation) storm that the COVID 19 virus is responsible for in the body, I wanted to offer up both foundational and specific forms of support for both situations. While most health care practitioners have foundational support down, the cytokine support is not as well known.
Please note*- This is not medical advice. These are nutritional and lifestyle suggestions that are recommended to improve general health and well being. Please consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID 19
Medicinal mushrooms are loaded with beta-glucans. Beta glucans are essential for strengthening the immune system. They act by increasing the immune defense by activating systems that macrophage and natural killer cell function. The strains ( maitake, chaga, reishi and cordyceps) are specific for preventing and fighting off viral infections. I will put some bottles together in my drop box this week for those who don’t have access online currently. Contact me if needed.
You need zinc to help the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Zinc plays an essential role in immune system health and effects how the immune system responds to inflammation. Many people are deficient in zinc so this is a critical mineral to have in place. I recommend a minimum of 22 mg daily.
This essential nutrient for healthy immune system response. Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immune function. I had my kids on 5000 mg 3x a day last week as they both had a cold/ flu that ran its course. You can take Vitamin C to bowel tolerance if necessary.
4. Vitamin D
This essential vitamin is often depleted during the winter months and you need Vitamin D3 to modulate the innate and adaptive immune response in the body. Deficiencies lead to an increased susceptibility to infection. Ideally you would get this from the sun but right now I would recommend daily use of D in supplement form. It is helpful to know where you are at with your levels for dosage but due to the health crisis, I would recommend 3000IU daily at the lowest dosage, some people are moving up to higher doses at this time but work with a trusted health care provider on dosage. Using a liposomal form is best for absorption
This potent antiviral herbs reduces the cytokine storm in the body (which seems to be a big problem with COVID 19). Skullcap is also a nervine tonic which calms the central nervous system and helps to decrease anxiety and stress. This can be taken in tincture form 60-90 drops 3x a day.
Turmeric is anti inflammatory and inhibits inflammatory cytokines. Turmeric is very protective for respiratory tissue. I highly recommend TurmeroXL which is turmeric in a liposomal liquid by Apex for its anti inflammatory support.
Known as the “king of bitters”, this herb has been used for its antiviral effects and also regulates cytokine activity to prevent a cytokine storm. If you are dealing with a viral infection I would begin the use of this powerful herb if you have access.
8. Black cumin seed oil
Antiviral, antibacterial, anti inflammatory and immune supporting herb. Black cumin seed oil contains Crystalline nigella which is well researched for its beneficial effects on respiratory immune system health.
9. Infrared Sauna Therapy
Sauna therapy raises body temperature and stimulates the immune system. 20 minutes in an infrared sauna is known for killing viruses in the body. If you have the fortune of owning a sauna, this would be the time to use it. Daily if at all possible. Everyone in my family is now using the sauna daily to keep our immune systems function strong during this time.
*Halotherapy is the use of himalayan salt bricks in a sauna to help with respiratory health. I added bricks to my sauna a year ago and have noticed the respiratory benefits.
For more of the benefits of infrared see article below.
10. Walking/ Running in Nature daily
This activity will help your lymph to detoxify and will also help the stress response. Exercise is absolutely essential for proper immune function and stress relief. If you are fortunate to live in nature, get out with your children whenever possible! If you are inside, you can still do yoga, and exercise your body daily as it will help to decrease stress and oxygenate tissue.
11. Bone broth soup
Nourishing and loaded with amino acids, gelatin and marrow for your immune system and GI health. You can make this at home with organically fed or grass fed bones. I have a recipe here:
Currently, the news is predicting that the US is 11 days away from the situation in Italy. We must take every precaution and stay away from others by practicing social distancing while simultaneously caring for ourselves and our families in whatever ways we can.
Please stay safe and keep others safe by practicing social distancing!
Wishing you a Radiant Reality!
If you have questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tennee | February 22, 2020
Have you endured a deep level of emotional or physical stress for a long period of time? Has it affected your mental or physical health? Have those stressors left you feeling depleted and exhausted?
If your answer to any of these questions is yes, I wrote this blog for you. Actually, I wrote it for me also, as a reminder that we all fall off the self-care wagon from time to time.
I feel like a broken record when I say most of us are living our lives at an unsustainable speed, in a world that does not encourage rest and homeostasis. I see it on a daily basis in my practice. We are working longer hours, not getting enough sleep, eating food that is over processed and devoid of nutrients, often while caring for others when we are not at work. Without proper self-care, this level of stress alone is a burden to the body that will leave us exhausted and strained. If the universe adds on a double whammy in the form of a job change, divorce, injury, death of a loved one, etc., you better believe that you are going to need some serious self nurturing to keep your super human head above water!
Tennee | December 1, 2019
Your gut is your gateway to
health or illness and what you put
in your body is the key.
You house an incredible 25 feet of intestines! This is where you absorb your nutrients from food, make your feel good neurotransmitters and where a vast network of immune cells and nerve cells reside. When your gut isn’t working properly, it affects every system in the body from your brain to your hormones and immune system.
Tennee | November 11, 2019
Every year, people go to their health care provider to get their annual checkup and along with that checkup comes a CBC/CMP/blood workup. These are the panels that your health care provider uses to screen for health issues and its what I see the most frequently when meeting with new clients.
It’s quite common for people in my office to note that they don’t "feel like themselves" and yet they had their annual blood workup done and their doctor said everything appears within the “normal” range.
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