COLD, FLU, and COVID SEASON - Ask for these 2 laboratory tests as part of your risk-reduction plan.
Do you have a plan to reduce your risk of COVID-19 complications? In addition to measures that reduce your risk of virus exposure (hand washing, face coverings, and proper social distancing), nutrient supplementation may provide an extra measure of immune system support to reduce the risk of COVID-19 illness and complications.
How do you know what you need? In certain cases, laboratory testing can provide insight into your body’s nutrient status and help to direct supplementation needs and dosing.
WHAT IS YOUR VITAMIN D LEVEL?
Vitamin D is known to activate and modulate many key aspects of the immune system involved in fighting viral and bacterial infection. Vitamin D is anti-inflammatory, and in many viruses Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the progression from exposure to illness and reduce the severity and duration of acute symptoms and complications. Evidence suggests Vitamin D supplementation may prevent upper respiratory infections.
Evidence has shown a significant crude relationship between Vitamin D levels and both the number and mortality of COVID-19 cases. A small study in Spain of 76 patients showed that giving Vitamin D to hospitalized COVID-19 patients, otherwise given similar treatments, reduced ICU admissions from 50% to 2%.
Exposure to sunshine is a great way to boost Vitamin D levels. For that reason, most of my Northern Michigan patients (myself included) need to supplement in order to achieve optimal levels.
Laboratory test: Serum 25 OH Vitamin D
Optimal level: 50-80 ng/mL
Supplementation: 2000-5000 IU Vitamin D3 daily with food
CHECK YOUR GLUTATHIONE.
Glutathione is an antioxidant “powerhouse” in your body. Glutathione prevents oxidative stress and inflammation and helps boost your immune function in a number of other ways. Glutathione deficiency is associated with accelerated aging, many chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease) and cancer.
There is mounting evidence of the role of Glutathione deficiency and COVID-19 complications. Glutathione has been shown to protect against the severe inflammatory response triggered by COVID-19 infection, and some researchers have hypothesized that Glutathione deficiency may serve as the most likely cause of serious complications and death in COVID-19 patients.
You can boost the production of glutathione in your body by eating more sulfur-rich foods. The main ones in the diet are garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc). Whey protein consumption and moderate exercise can also boost glutathione production. Supplementation is often given in the form of N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutathione precursor. You can also supplement glutathione directly if levels are very low.
Laboratory Test: Whole Blood Glutathione level
Optimal levels: Aim for the upper quartile of your laboratory reference range.
Supplementation: N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), a glutathione precursor, 600-900mg twice daily, or Liposomal Glutathione 2-4 pumps twice daily.
Please note: Due to the novelty of COVID-19, no peer-reviewed research has been published regarding the effectiveness of dietary or lifestyle interventions for its prevention or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare provider prior to use of any nutraceutical.
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