As we start to open up our country we will venture out more and more. We will eventually be exposed to COVID-19. How prepared do you think your body is to create antibodies against it?
As we just moved across two state lines we were in many public places. We didn’t worry as we have done our job of supporting our immune systems with good food, sleep, ideal weight, and specific nutritional supports. Stress was probably the biggest concern, as moving is stressful!
Let’s discuss you…
I want to spend the next few months (with small breaks of fun in between 🙂 discussing YOU! If a “second wave” hits in the fall (which is more than likely will, as all flu viruses do come back every year), now is the time to be proactive. Now is the time to get very serious about your health.
I can take my email list and then look at the “average” American and determine how many of you still struggle with things like excess weight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar numbers, inflammation, diabetes, and even more severe things like auto-immune diseases. All of these put you into a higher risk category for COVID-19 and other flu viruses, but not only that, higher risk for age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline.
What I want to do is keep helping you to know what is going on behind the scenes with scientific testing in the field of nutrition and how it relates to this virus. A couple of weeks ago I discussed the role Glutathione (read more here) plays in supporting the body to handle the COVID-19 virus. As the weeks and months go by, I will keep you up to date on what we are learning.
The scientific world is rushing to understand what drives the stark differences in how individuals experience COVID-19. Clearly metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities play a major role, but they don’t explain the whole picture.
I’ve discussed Vitamin D before, and you no doubt have read much yourself. We must realize by looking at scientific studies are the “nuances” of the study. Sometimes you see conflicting studies on the same topic!
Unfortunately, for example, Vitamin D studies don’t generally acknowledge the shift in the body from the 25-OH to the 1,25-OH forms of Vitamin D during certain types of inflammation. And we’ve only recently started measuring free vs. bound Vitamin D (only free can fit into receptors on our cells). And of course, in the end, it’s the behavior of Vitamin D receptors that drives actual cellular response and endocrine effects. A great reminder that Vitamin D is really a hormone and thus behaves like one vs. a simple nutrient.
It’s easy to get caught up in the “take more Vitamin D” mantra without looking at the nuances.
Just taking Vitamin D doesn’t necessarily mean it get’s “in you.” You have to digest and absorb Vitamin D and that requires a good stomach and small intestine digestion. A good example is a Diabetic who has a 30% (+/-) reduction in pancreatic enzymes that impairs the digestion of fats (vitamin D is a fat.) Or the person who takes antacids such as Prilosec or Zantac, they have impaired digestion that inhibits the breakdown of proteins, carbs, and fats as well as minerals.
For some of you this is going to be an “ah-ha” moment.…..have you had trouble getting your Vitamin D numbers up? The most common reason is a magnesium deficiency. Optimal Magnesium is essential for optimal Vitamin D absorption. If you start using or increasing dosages of D3 and have surprising symptoms appear (e.g. headache, muscle cramp/spasm, acid reflux, anxiety, trouble sleeping), you may blame the Vitamin D, however, these are symptoms of insufficient magnesium. As you add in more vitamin D you will use up more magnesium.
Another co-factor in utilizing Vitamin D, and for it to do its job, is vitamin K. Vitamin K1 is what is found in leafy greens but vitamin K2 is found in foods we have shied away from over the last forty years. Foods such as butter (but only if it’s grass-fed), cheeses, fatty red meats (e.g. ribeye steak), liver, and egg yolks. This is the form that helps you build bone. Animals that can easily convert K1 to K2 but humans are not as efficient. Also, unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, the body does not store vitamin K. I typically recommend a combination of MK-7 and MK-4 Forms of Vitamin K2 in supplement form (Pure Encapsulations Synergy K found in my Wellevate online dispensary) especially if someone has osteopenia or osteoporosis you want to have Vitamin D, Vitamin K1, K2, magnesium, and calcium all present.
Whew! That’s a deep dive on Vitamin D and it’s co-factors but it’s so important to understand that vitamins and minerals do not work in isolation. They don’t come that way in food, that might give us a hint!
Before we head into the fall season and before you start raising your vitamin D supplement level, I would highly recommend you get your labs done and see where your vitamin D level is. This will definitely be a crucial “tool” in your toolbox to protect you from COVID-19 and any other flu or cold virus floating around.
Stay well, my friend!
P.S. If you need help with stubborn weight-loss please contact me. I am now recommending a program that has helped many who want to take the weight off quickly but in a healthy way!