Lung Rescue with Glutathione
From wildfire smoke to a pandemic virus….our lungs are under attack from all angles. Whether or not you’ve been feeling the effects on your breathing and your chest, there’s still a chance that you might in the near future.
So listen up. Airborne irritants (like cigarette smoke or pollution or wildfires) create free radicals and oxidative stress in your lungs that cause inflammation and damage. Infections do a similar thing. Your body’s best defense?
Antioxidants….and especially glutathione!
Glutathione is called the “master antioxidant” because it not only fights free radicals directly but also recycles other antioxidants—like vitamins C and E, alpha-lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10.
Our cells can make glutathione, but individuals differ in their ability to do so. Some people have genetic variations that compromise glutathione production. Others may just be under so much toxic stress that they can’t keep up. Alcohol depletes glutathione, so if you’re a drinker, you may be at a disadvantage here.
That’s when supplementation can help.
But don’t just grab any glutathione off the shelf. Glutathione is not easily absorbed when taken orally, so be sure to look for liposomal glutathione if taking a pill.
Another option is to load up on glutathione’s precursor—n-acetylcysteine (NAC). It’s not as direct as taking glutathione, but it’s a more economic option.
Vitamin D and COVID-19 Risk
✨New information on Vitamin D✨
The first-ever study to examine the association between vitamin D status and testing positive for COVID-19 was just published in the esteemed medical journal JAMA!
Now that’s something to take seriously. Here’s what the study found…
👉 The study looked at 489 patients who had been tested for vitamin D levels within the last year and were tested for COVID between March 3 and April 10 of 2020
👉 25% of the patients were categorized as “likely deficient” in vitamin D
👉 15% of the patients tested positive for COVID-19
👉 In those who had sufficient vitamin D status, 12% tested positive for COVID
👉 In those who were likely deficient in vitamin D, 22% tested positive for COVID
The bottom line was this. The risk of testing positive for COVID was significantly greater in those with likely deficient vitamin D status than in those with likely sufficient status.
Testing your vitamin D levels is as easy as a simple blood test. If your levels are low, you can boost your vitamin D production by spending more time with the sun on your skin. You can also take a supplement. Vitamin D is inexpensive and generally considered safe to supplement up to 4000 IU per day for adults.
Protective Effect of Blood Type O?
There was some chatter earlier in the pandemic that blood type might influence the risk of COVID-19 infection, but no definite conclusions ever came of it.
Now the genetics company 23andMe has studied the DNA of more than 1 million people and concluded that Blood Type O may lower the risk of developing COVID-19.
💉 Beginning in April of 2020, 23andMe started surveying its customers to ask if any had tested positive or been hospitalized for the pandemic virus.
💉 Similar to what other studies have reported, they found that men and people of Hispanic or Black descent were more likely to test positive. They also found that obesity increased the risk of hospitalization.
💉 The new information was that those with Type O blood were less likely to test positive than other blood types (which appear to have equal risk).
Researchers at 23andMe suggest several reasons why Type O blood might be protective, but all of them are still only theory. Also, it’s important to note that these study results have yet to be peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal, so time will tell if the results hold true!
Regardless of blood type, let’s all take precautions to boost our immunity and stay safe as we move into the winter months. Book an appointment to get personalized recommendations for your own health and wellness. We’re here to help!
Boosting Immunity with Supplements and Herbs
October marks a transitional time as we move into the fall and winter months. Every year at this time, we start to worry about the spread of germs, but this year will be a special version of the cold and flu season!
Once we add the seasonal flu to the mix of what’s already going on, some people are calling the upcoming months a potential “twindemic.”
Along with all the usual precautions (like wearing masks, keeping your distance, washing your hands, etc.)…what about being proactive to actually support your body’s resilience and immune function?
As a (nutritionist / naturopathic doctor / functional medicine practitioner), this is exactly what we are trained to do. PLUS—a team of 12 leading experts in functional medicine recently published a review of herbs and supplements that should be top considerations when it comes to supporting immune health this season.
Here’s a glimpse of some of the supplements they reviewed:
👍 Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from Green Tea
👍 N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
👍 Vitamin D
👍 Vitamin C
👍 And more!
This is NOT to say that taking these supplements will protect you from falling sick this season. But there is solid research and evidence that these nutrients ARE supportive of immune function.
Every person is unique. We’re here to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of health and wellness. If you’d like a personalized assessment and recommendations on ways to boost YOUR immunity this season, give us a call!
Green Light Therapy for Migraines
Migraines can be absolutely debilitating, and the sad truth is that medications aren’t enough to help a lot of people. Natural approaches are often a better option, and now we may have a new tool in our migraine prevention toolkit!
✨ Green light ✨
In a study at the University of Arizona, 29 people with episodic or chronic migraines were exposed to white light for 1-2 hours per day for 10 days. Then after a break for 2 weeks, they were exposed to green LED light for 10 days. Here’s what they found:
👍 Overall, green light exposure reduced the number of headaches per month by 60%.
👍 Green light also decreased the intensity of pain from an average of 8 down to 3.2 on a scale of 0-10.
The participants were very happy with the light therapy. Even though they were told at the beginning of the study that they would need to return their green light at the end, they were then given the option to keep it. 28 out of 29 said yes!
Antibodies in Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?
How many people here don’t eat gluten?
People can have issues with gluten for different reasons. Gluten is most dangerous for people who have celiac disease (an autoimmune response that destroys the intestinal lining). Wheat allergy is another reason to avoid gluten because wheat is the most common food source. .
There are tests to confirm whether a person has celiac disease or wheat allergy, so we want to check for these possibilities in anybody we suspect may not do well with gluten.
But there’s another category of people who don’t feel well when they eat gluten. They might have digestive problems or any number of symptoms that come on after eating gluten—but no medical tests can figure out why. We call this non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).
New research suggests that we MAY be able to test for NCGS!
Researchers analyzed blood from 40 patients with celiac disease, 80 with NCGS, and 40 with no sensitivity to gluten. Here’s what they found:
👉 Those with celiac disease produced high levels of anti-gliadin IgG antibodies of types IgG1 and IgG3 (with some elevation of IgG2).
👉 Those with NCGS produced elevated levels of IgG4 and IgG2
This new information suggests that people who have NCGS are mounting an immune reaction to gluten that is different from the immune reaction of celiac disease but still real and detectable!
Before we get too excited and start running in for blood tests, let’s be clear. This is very early research and only observational. It cannot prove a cause-and-effect, so there’s more we need to know.
But it’s exciting to see tangible evidence that NCGS is NOT made up and not just in your head. Gluten can cause subtle problems that are finally being detected by science.
Bring on the Pumpkin!
October means pumpkin season! I love incorporating pumpkin into my diet all year round but especially at this time of year. Pumpkins are like powerhouses for your health. They’re high in…
✨ Beta-carotene (an antioxidant and precursor for vitamin A)
✨ Vitamin C (to support immune health)
✨ Lutein and Zeaxanthin (for better eyesight)
✨ Potassium (for heart health)
✨ Fiber (for detox and digestive health)
PLUS—pumpkins are low in calories, making them a nutrient-dense food to add to your diet. Pumpkins are great added to smoothies, soups, baked goods, and even pizza 😂
What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin?
What are your plans for Halloween 2020? As much as we all love being spooked and afraid, the biggest fear this year might be the spread of germs!
If your family or neighborhood is grappling with how to do Halloween this year, you need to check out Halloween2020.org. Harvard Global Health Institute has created an interactive map to determine the level of risk for trick-or-treating in YOUR county.
Based on your local score (green – yellow – orange – or red zone), there are lists of super fun and safe ways to celebrate. Ever think of a neighborhood candy hunt? Or trick-or-treat in reverse?
Go check out Halloween2020.org and then circle back here. Drop your plans in the comments below. Have fun and stay safe!