Tag Archives: Nutritional Supplements

STOP COVID COLD

This is how the risk of getting Covid-19 is usually explained: in terms of EXPOSURE.

In fact, there’s a much better way to assess your likelihood of getting Covid – and whatever other bugs are going around: THE HEALTH OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM.

This is an important difference in perspective. In the first view, there’s nothing you can do to stay healthy except avoid exposure. In the second view, you can do lots to stay healthy by taking specific measures to strengthen your immune system. And, since 80% of your immune system resides in your gut microbiome, improving the health of your gut microbiome will also protect you against most of the diseases and conditions usually considered just part of aging.

Clearly a huge win-win for you with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

GOOD HEALTH = HEALTH OF THE ENTIRE BODY AS A SYSTEM

The second perspective is how Functional Medicine practitioners approach healing – not as a series of symptoms to be modified but as seeking the root causes of those symptoms and repairing those underlying imbalances.

YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM: THE GUT MICROBIOME

This video gives a brief explanation of the relationship between the health of your gut microbiome, where 80% of your immune system lives, and what’s going on with your overall health.

Covid and other viruses spread among people whose immune systems aren’t working properly, making them vulnerable to pathogenic bugs. We often hear people express surprise that someone in ‘good health’ got Covid, a Clostridium difficile infection or some other nasty illness.

At issue here is how we think of ‘good health’. If you define it as not having been diagnosed with a disease, then you’re missing the important role of the gut microbiome. Modern conventional medicine tends to focus on and treat the symptoms of chronic poor gut immunity, dividing the various organs up into medical specialties. Functional medical practitioners view the body as an integrated system and treat the whole system by helping people correct the underlying causes of their various symptoms.

An example from my life. My husband suffered from autoimmune conditions starting early in his childhood: frequent, severe migraines and rheumatoid arthritis. In his 40’s, some of his liver functions were off. I went with him to his doctor’s appoint and heard the doc commend him for his good health because he had such low blood pressure. We were told not to worry about the liver imbalance. My husband went on to develop other autoimmune conditions, including, eventually, life-threatening myesthenia gravis, which caused him great suffering.

This doc was a very nice guy. He surely had gone into medicine to help people stay healthy but his way of understanding health was sorely lacking.

How autoimmune problems develop:    

Chronically poor condition of the gut microbiome (gut dysbiosis) ––> leaky gut ––> chronic low level inflammation in the body, which eventually ––> autoimmune diseases and conditions

ASSESS YOUR COVID-19 RISK & IMPROVE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

To this end, a group of scientists have created a way for you to assess your real risk of getting COVID and provided clear information on what you can do to build up your immune system so you don’t get it – while also improving your overall health at the same time.

Go to their #STOP COVID COLD site to calculate your Covid risk. After you’ve submitted your answers to the quiz, you’ll see your score and can learn what you can do now to keep from getting the virus and also improve your general health picture.

The video by Dr Mercola at the top right of the page explains it well as do the two Stealth Strategies to Stop Covid Cold e-reports you’ll find near the bottom of the page to download. (#StopCovidCold, 2020)

You can also download one or both of the Stealth Strategies to Stop Covid Cold reports here.

See the About page on the Stop COVID Cold site for bios for the coalition of experts and organizations who provided the information on the site.

NOTES ABOUT THREE OF THE QUESTIONS ON THE QUIZ

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is highly protective in preventing and achieving overall health. A 25-hydroxyvitamin D test is the usual way to measure its level in the blood.

For more information on why an adequate amount of Vitamin D is necessary for a healthy immune system and achieving overall good health, see Vitamin D Benefits Bones, Immunity, Skin & More (Levy, 2020)

Lymphocyte Value

Lymphocytes are white blood cells that are one of the body’s main types of immune cells. They are made in the bone marrow and found in the blood and lymph tissue.

A high lymphocyte blood level indicates your body is dealing with an infection or other inflammatory condition. Severe or chronically low counts can indicate a possible infection or other significant illness.

Neutrophil Value

Neutrophils are the most plentiful of the white blood cells in the body’s immune system, making up 55-70% of the white blood cells.

INFORMATION ON IMPROVING OUTCOMES FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS (emphasis added):

  • Researchers with the Singapore General Hospital and Duke-NUS Medical School set out to determine if a combination of vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B12 would improve outcomes among COVID-19 patients aged 50 and older
  • Seventeen of the patients received oral vitamin D3 (1,000 IU), magnesium (150 milligrams (mg)) and vitamin B12 (500 mcg) — together known as DMB — upon admission for a median of five days while 26 patients who did not receive DMB served as the control group
  • Significant benefits were seen among the DMB group, with only 17.6% requiring initiation of oxygen therapy during their hospitalization, compared to 61.5% of those in the control group
  • Vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B12 may present a unique three-pronged approach for tackling COVID-19 by modulating the hyper-inflammation often seen in the disease

– Midlands Directory. (8/24/2020)

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS I LIKE

In case your risk of getting Covid is high and you need to supplement with the vitamins and mineral mentioned in the previous section about improving outcomes for Covid patients – also important for preventing getting Covid, here’s a list of the supplements I like and use in case my diet isn’t providing adequate amounts. These amounts work for me. You should check with your own health care provider:

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 5,000 (Metagenics). I take 1 gel cap daily and 2 every 3rd day during the pandemic – and have 25-hydroxyvitamin D blood tests every three to six months to check my D blood serum level. It was 63 in early March 2020 (good) and I’d gotten it up to 90 by September 2020 (very good).

Magnesium

Magnesium Glycinate Chelate  (Nested Naturals). I take 2 capsules in the morning.             

Neuro-Mag (l-threonate) (Designs for Health). I take 1 capsule after lunch + 2 in the evening.                    

Vitamin B Complex

Dr Mercola’s Vitamin B-Complex (I take 2 capsules each morning)

Keep your gut microbiome healthy so the rest of you can be healthy too.

REFERENCES

Levy, J. (2020). Vitamin D Benefits Bones, Immunity, Skin & More. Dr Axe. See: https://draxe.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-benefits/

Midlands Directory. (8/24/2020). Dr. Mercola Introduces Stop COVID Cold. See: https://www.midlandscbd.com/articles/dr-mercola-introduces-stop-covid-cold

#StopCovidCold.(2020). Stealth Strategies to Stop Covid Cold. See: https://www.stopcovidcold.com

#StopCovidCold.(2020). Stealth Strategies to Stop Covid Cold. See: https://www.stopcovidcold.com/covid-research.html

#StopCovidCold. (2020). About. See: https://www.stopcovidcold.com/about-us.html

© Copyright 2020. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Climate Change Impacts Allergies and Asthma

 

 

images

 

 

Extreme weather events, from coastal flooding, intense heat, record amounts of rainfall in some areas and historic droughts in others, are becoming increasingly common as the Earth’s average temperature rises. The World Meteorological Organization has linked some of 2013’s most extreme weather events – think back to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as well as flooding in central Europe and record high temperatures in Australia, Asia and Africa to human-induced climate change. “There’s been a general disruption of nature,” says Kim Knowlton, a senior scientist in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s health and environmental program. In may, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (GCRP) released a comprehensive report on the impacts of climate change. It bluntly states: “Over the last 50 years, much of the United States has seen an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, and in some regions, more severe droughts.”

– Claire Cagne, Wild Weather & Our Allergies, Allergic Living, Summer 2014

 

This is very bad news for people with allergies and asthma – more moisture and higher temperatures mean increased levels of mold, pollen and air pollution.
Temperatures across the U.S. are projected to increase anywhere from 5-10  degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century so the challenges we encounter from climate change are likely to get worse. (Gagne, 2014)

 

 

 

 

allergies

 

AIR-BORNE ALLERGENS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE

According to the EPA’s report on climate change and air-borne allergens, A Review of the Impact of Climate Variability and Change on Aeroallergens and Their Associated Effects (EPA, 2011):
  •  Aeroallergens include pollens, which can be produced by weeds, grasses and trees,   as well as molds, dust particles, ash and indoor allergens.
  • Aeroallergens such as dust, ragweed, pollen and molds impact half of all Americans.
  • Treatment for allergies in the US costs $21 billion annually.
  • Three major allergic diseases have been associated with exposure to aeroallergens: hay fever, asthma and eczema.  Collectively, these three allergic diseases rank sixth for annual expenditures among chronic health conditions in the United States.
  • Beyond the direct cost of medical care are the indirect, but substantial, costs associated with lost time at work, school and play.
  • Increases in temperature, carbon dioxide and precipitation will cause the proliferation of weedy plants that are known producers of allergenic pollen.  Higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere act as a fertilizer for plant growth.  Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation will cause some plants to grow faster, bloom earlier and produce more pollen.
  • Climate-related temperature changes are expected to increase the potency of airborne allergens, increasing the concentration of pollen in the air, the length of the allergy season and the strength of airborne allergens.
  • Climate change will allow allergen-producing plant species to move into new areas.
  • Wind-blown dust, carrying pollens and molds from outside of the United States, could expose people to allergens they had not previously contacted.  Exposure to more potent concentrations of pollen and mold may make current non-sufferers more likely to develop allergic symptoms.

 

 

Wildfires in Colorado, 2012
Wildfires in Colorado, 2012

 

 

Drought in California, 2014
Drought in California, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

HEAVIER, MORE FREQUENT RAINS PRODUCE MORE MOLD

 

 

Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012
Flooding from Super Storm Sandy, 2012

 

Molds can cause serious health problems in susceptible individuals. Here’s information from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on the city’s health crisis following Hurricane Sandy (RebuildAdjustNY.org, 2013):
  • Toxins produced by mold, known at myotoxins, can cause headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, inability to concentrate and memory loss.
  • Chronic exposure to mold can lead to permanent lung disease
  • According to the Institute of Medicine, “There (is) sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.”
  • According to a World Health Organization-cited study, building dampness/mold increases the occurrence of respiratory and asthma-related health incidents by 30-50%.
  • A second study estimated that 21%of the cases of asthma in the United States could be attributable to dampness and mold in housing, for a total annual national cost of $3.5 billion.
  • Sandy-impacted neighborhoods are especially vulnerable to health effects from mold.
  • According to then Mayor Bloomberg, 70,000 – 80,000 homes suffered water damage due to Hurricane Sandy.
  • About 180,000 – 210,000 New Yorkers could be currently exposed to Sandy-related mold.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for 45,000+ children under the age of 5 and senior New Yorkers who are considered highly vulnerable to mod-related ailments.
  • Mold is especially dangerous for individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments.
  • Sandy-affected neighborhoods reported more than 30,000 asthma-related emergency room visits between 2008 and 2010.
  • Children and seniors comprise about 25% of the population in Sandy-affected neighborhoods.
  • Asthmatics comprise more than 25%of the Sandy-affected neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

 

 

Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy
Mold growth inside a home after Hurricane Sandy

 

Mold damage is not always as easy to detect as in the photo above. It can be growing inside walls or behind wallpaper so not necessarily be visible.

Mold growing behind wallpaper
Mold growing behind wallpaper

And dead mold spore can still cause allergic reactions in some people so killing the mold may not be sufficient – it must also be removed. (EPA, 2012)

 

 

 

 

SO HOW CAN WE REDUCE OUR CHANCES OF INCREASED SUFFERING FROM ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA?

 

 

immune-response

 

We know that 80-90% of our immune system resides in the mucosa of our guts. An unbalanced, impaired gut microbiome produces chronic inflammation in the body. Over time, this inflammation produces autoimmune conditions (such as allergies and asthma) – as well as gum disease, repeating UTIs, heart disease, nail fungus, some cancers, and much more.
Mast cells located in our skin, connective tissues, and the mucosal linings of our stomachs and intestines, are an essential part of our immune defenses. These unique cells are tasked with activating the immune system to defend us from harmful invaders.
In people with allergies, the immune system misidentifies innocuous substances as dangerous pathogens and sends out mast cells to combat them – as if Attila’s Huns were at the gate and needed to be attacked at all costs, even to the point of destroying the body in the process.
The real solution for both allergy and asthma sufferers isn’t just treating the symptoms but working to restore the health of the friendly bacteria living in the gut with the goal of normalizing the immune system. A healthy, balanced gut immune system will stop producing inflammation and allow a return to health.
As climate change exposes us to increasing numbers of molds and other allergens, we’re all going to need immune systems that are up to dealing with the challenge.

 

 

Boost-Immunity-Healthy-Smoothies

 

 

 

For more information on allergies, asthma, autoimmune conditions, the role of inflammation in these problems, and how to strengthen your immune system, see:

GUT SYMBIOSIS VS DYSBIOSIS

INFLAMMATION

ALLERGIES

AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS

ASTHMA

SUPER IMMUNITY

PREBIOTICS & PROBIOTICS

SACCHAROMYCES BOULARDII

KEFIR

THE STANDARD AMERICAN DIET (SAD)

HOW TO REVERSE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

ADDICTIONS – GLUTEN

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS – OUR FOOD

TRANSFER FACTOR

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Cagne, C. (2014). Wild Weather & Our Allergies. Allergic Living, 4:2, 32-37.

EPA. (2012). A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home: Hidden Mold. See:  http://www.epa.gov/mold/hiddenmold.html

RebuildAdjustNY.org. (2013). Mold: NYC’s Health Crisis Post-Sandy. See:  http://www.rebuildajustny.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Resource-Post-mold-remediation-Sandy-Mold-Health-Fact-Sheet2.pdf

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Allergies Getting Worse? See: http://www.epa.gov/research/gems/scinews_aeroallergens.htm

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.