Optimum Immune Maintenance

Previously on my Supplement Sunday postings I carefully selected and highlighted certain vitamins and health protocols that act as “superstars” in our bodies natural fight against viruses, especially the ones considered to be Covid Combatants.

I’m not interested in talking about Covid anymore as everyone is sick of being bombarded with news and information about it every single day for more than a year now.  With more vaccines popping up, and more people getting them, we will hopefully be able to get back to regular news of the day, other than you know what?

So in the next historical chapter to come, how do we maintain our immune systems for doing so will certainly be key to getting back on track…

I’m very picky when it comes to ingredients in supplements, so I became intrigued when I learned about a new clinically-tested plant sterol/antioxidant supplement designed to help regulate our immune systems.

Celt Immuno-Care is a proudly Canadian patented supplement formulation that “up-regulates” the immune system when it’s under-performing, as so often occurs just before we get sick, while also “down-regulating” when it over-reacts, as occurs when we suffer from allergies.  I’ve suffered from allergies my whole life but I can honestly say that since I started taking Immuno-Care just over a month now, I’ve noticed I’ve had fewer allergy symptoms.

As far as maintenance of good health goes, it apparently also works as an overall super anti-oxidant.

The company states that taking only one delayed-release gel capsule a day is guaranteed to help fight: seasonal Allergies, Fibromyalgia, Eczema & Psoriasis, Chronic Colds & Flu, Painful Joints & Muscles, Chronic Fatigue, Rheumatoid Arthritis,…and more!

While those are some pretty bold up-front claims, one should not automatically dismiss them out-of-hand without investigating the product further. So to know more, visit their website below. There you will find a breakdown of the ingredients – namely their blend of plant sterols (it’s the only “delayed release” plant sterol supplement available) along with their unique blend of a broad spectrum pine bark derived antioxidant combined with an essential fatty acid complex (Cellasate™).  Here’s an excerpt:

THE CELT NATURALS IMMUNO-CARE® STORY: “STACKING THE ODDS”

The founders and developers of Celt Naturals Immuno-Care®, Alan Fergusson and Jack Davidson, have always had a personal interest in healthy living, maintaining a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and having a spiritual component in their lives to appreciate the beauty around them.

Alan Fergusson, Founder of Celt Naturals, Calgary, Canada, was a downhill skier for most of his life and an avid proponent of living a healthy lifestyle, having spent many years hiking in back country. He participated in 5 and 8K races and ran on most days to keep fit. Originally developed for Alan, the ingredients in Immuno-Care® have been shown to have a remarkable capacity to alleviate many symptoms related to immune system disorders.

Jack Davidson, Co-Founder of Celt Naturals, is an avid long-distance runner of many years.  He has participated in marathons, enjoys cross-country skiing, and participates in most outdoor sports. Jack’s personal interest in health and nutritional supplements began decades ago, when he too used various supplements for the maintenance of good health and overall wellness.

With the ever-increasing number of viruses, and their ability to mutate at a much faster rate than in the past, it has become increasingly important to maintain a strong immune system. Celt Naturals Immuno-Care® is an all-natural daily supplement that supports and maintains a healthy immune system.

While Immuno-Care® was originally developed to assist with serious illness, Celt Naturals emphasizes that it is not a cure.  However, it is a natural and effective immune system regulator that can help you “stack the odds”… in your favor by accessing available resources, whether traditional, alternative, physical or spiritual. It all begins with taking control. While the road of natural and alternative treatments is much less travelled than of conventional approaches, more and more people believe a natural approach to healing is an option well-worth exploring.  

Healthy Choices

Making Good Choices in the Time of COVID-19

For this post I’ve collaborated with Pyure Brands who have a blog of their own called “Sweet Talk Blog” (link below). As you may know, Pyure is a line of plant-based, sugar substitutes for people who insist on the best for themselves and those they love. This post is in keeping with my Sunday Supplement which incorporates ways to improve and maintain an overall healthy immune system which includes everything from taking the best vitamin supplements to wise healthy food and lifestyle choices.

At the peak of the pandemic, there were new guidelines seemingly every day to help us stay safe and lower our risk of catching and transmitting COVID-19. Today, the advice is clear. Wash your hands regularly, wear a mask (where required) and keep your distance from others.

There are other ways you can make healthy choices beyond virus prevention: changes to your diet, exercise and mindset. These lifestyle changes may not completely prevent your risk of catching coronavirus, but they can boost your immune system, help keep your spirits high and make your body stronger for whatever life throws at you. Here are some simple changes you can make to stay fit and healthy in the midst of a pandemic.

Focus on good nutrition

There are many reputable research studies that have found a link between a well-balanced diet and a strong immune system. Pandemic aside, it’s useful to start building healthy nutrients into your diet so your body is ready to ward off everything from the common cold to COVID-19. Here are some simple changes you can make to your diet.

Switch to sugar alternatives

We know sugar can have negative consequences for our long-term health and is a contributing factor for diabetes and obesity. But some studies have shown that sugar can also decrease the effectiveness of white blood cells – a critical part of our immune system that fights infection. Eating lots of sugar can actually decrease your body’s ability to ward off the bad stuff.

That doesn’t mean you should stop production on all that quarantine comfort baking! There are plenty of better-for-you sugar alternatives that can make your tasty treats even better. Stevia is one sugar alternative that we love – and Pyure Organic Stevia is one of the only organic stevia brands out there. Stevia is a sweetener that’s zero glycemic (meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar), zero-calorie and free from any of the chemicals used to create artificial sweeteners.

Add in a few supplements

In addition to cutting out the bad stuff, you can also add in some minerals and probiotics to make your immune system even stronger – and able to fight off threats. We get most of these minerals through eating a balanced diet, but many of us are deficient in the so-called “Big Four” that help our immune system:

  • Zinc: This mineral is critical for the development and function of immune cells, yet 79% of us are deficient in zinc. Studies have shown that “80–92 mg per day of zinc may reduce the length of the common cold by up to 33%.”
  • Magnesium: This so-called “master mineral” is involved in processes like producing energy and building important proteins. Your body needs magnesium to function properly, and most people should aim to take 400 – 450 mg per day.
  • Selenium: This mineral acts as an antioxidant to reduce inflammation in the body and improve immunity. You can get selenium through foods like fish, eggs and mushrooms.
  • Iodine: This mineral boosts your thyroid gland, which produces hormones that directly impact your immune system. Too much iodine can be a bad thing, so be sure to consult with a doctor before adding in an iodine supplement.

The more proactive you can be about building a healthy immune system, the better! Luckily, many of these minerals can be found by adding some new ingredients to your grocery list.

Eat your leafy greens

Feeding your body with the good stuff is an easy way to keep out the bad stuff. We’ve all heard that citrus is full of Vitamin C and can help ward off the common cold – these foods can also make a big difference in your health:

  • Red bell peppers: These veggies contain almost 3 times as much Vitamin C as a Florida orange.
  • Broccoli: It’s packed with Vitamins A, C, and E, fiber, and many other antioxidants.
  • Spinach: rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene
  • Plain yogurt: Look for the unsweetened kind, which is packed with Vitamin D to help regulate the immune system (and add a little Pyure on top to make it taste great!).
  • Kiwi: These little green guys are high in folate, potassium, Vitamin K and Vitamin C.

These are just a few foods that are great additions to your diet – there are many more out there that can give your immune system a little extra power.

Stay active, even at home

With many gyms closed and workout classes canceled, it can be difficult to find ways to stay active – but every little bit counts. “Inactivity is an important risk factor similar to high blood pressure, smoking or high cholesterol,” reports the American Society for Nutrition.

Regular physical activity supports your immune system and your mental health (more on that in a minute). It’s also a big part of protecting your health from long-term, chronic issues like heart disease and high blood pressure.

If you’re not sure where to start with an at-home workout, think about what it is you would like to improve. Do you want stronger arms? Better flexibility? More aerobic capacity? From there, you can find a workout plan that works for you. Aim for 15 to 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise and build from there. Check out YouTube and Instagram for free at-home yoga classes, circuit workouts and bodyweight strength-training to keep your routine varied and interesting.

Don’t ignore your mental health

Mental stress can put your body in physical distress, as anxiety takes a big toll on the body. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and taking care of your mental health. Immune system activation alters sleep, and sleep in turn affects the innate and adaptive arm of our body’s defense system. Many of us are juggling working from home, caring for family and many other parts of life, but getting a good night’s sleep – that’s seven to eight hours for adults – should be a priority.

There’s also evidence to support the idea that meditation can improve your immune system. Meditation can not only improve your sleep, but it can also help you manage stress and anxiety. Take 20 minutes out of your day to do some deep breathing, relax and calm down your nervous system. Your body will thank you!

Check out some of our favorite recipes that use Pyure Organic Stevia for some healthier at-home baking inspiration.

Sweet Talk Blog:

https://pyureorganic.com/sweet-talk/

Red and Near InfraRed Light Therapy

Is Red Light a Missing Nutrient for our Health?

This Sunday addition to my blog is about more than how specific vitamins can help support our immune system, especially during Covid.  It’s also about improving overall health in general.  Because we can’t get every nutrient our body needs from food alone, we supplement with… specific supplements.  Vitamin D is getting recognized by mainstream doctors as a preventative for viruses and the dosages are being properly upped.

Which brings me to another light-associated nutrient worth discussing, namely Red and Near Infrared Light. Yet unlike Vitamin D, this nutrient isn’t available in pill form. It’s something I’ve been curious about and it’s something I’ve been using for back massage for several years, but now I’m trying it on my face.  I’ve been using a device from Melbourne, Australia called the “Hive” by BLUBlox (link below). 

Peer-reviewed scientific research has shown Red Light & Near Infrared Light therapy has anti-aging effects on our skin, it can help combat a number of neurological diseases, help fight depression and anxiety, it can help increase fat loss, speed recovery from exercise, improve your sleep, increase muscle strength and endurance, combat some autoimmune conditions, fight hair loss, and speed healing from injury, and all with few to no negative side effects.

I just listened to a podcast with Dr. Michael Hamblin; a recently retired dermatology professor at Harvard Medical School. He gets into all of the therapeutic applications, among which are skin burn therapy, beauty salon applications in skin rejuvenation and hair regrowth on thinning scalps. It is used in physiotherapy to help speed the healing of injured or inflamed tendons, ligaments, and muscles as a result of exercise. And to my surprise, the interviewer spoke about red light as a nutrient.

But what I liked most about the interview was Hamblin’s comments about Red and Near InfraRed Light being used to treat both Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Diseases, which have no other significant treatment options; and his comments about the 4th state of water, which he called nano-structured water (@ ~27:38).

The link to this interview is below with a few other reputable links should you want to check them out.  I personally find this very fascinating.  The light also feels pleasingly warming on the skin.

Link to podcast interview with Dr. Michael Hamblin, a Harvard dermatologist and one of the world’s leading researchers on the topic: https://blog.humanos.me/red-light-missing-nutrient-for-health-podcast-michael-hamblin/ 

Link to a peer-reviewed science paper on the topic: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066074/

this is the device

Link to the Hive Near-Infrared and Red Light unit that I’ve been using:  https://www.blublox.com/collections/red-light-device 

Of course there are other device makers, such as Joov and VieLight that you can check out.

Send me your thoughts on this.  Have you tried it?

Sunday Supplement: Humic and Fulvic Acids

I kept the best for last

Turns out that I’m not quite finished with my supplemental Covid combatants.  Also recognized as supplement “warriors” in our natural fight against deadly viruses. 

If you haven’t heard of Humic and Fulvic Acid before, don’t worry, you’re not alone, however these organic acids—millions of years in the making—happen to be some of nature’s most powerful immune allies.  

Whether or not you have already gotten, or are planning to get the Covid mRNA vaccine (which some experts still consider an experimental gene therapy) you might want to consider taking extra immune boosting/modulating supplements.  After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You may actually get healthier!? And besides, it’s next to impossible to get all these nutrients from food alone. As the father of modern medicine (Hippocrates) once said; Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.

Humic and fulvic acid are very rare deposits found in a handful of locations around the globe, that were once thriving organic matter (think ancient tropical rain forests). The decomposed organic matter from this prehistoric vegetation is called humic deposits (primarily comprised of Humic and Fulvic Acid). Instead of turning into coal and oil, humic deposits formed because they weren’t exposed to the same tremendous pressures, and were much closer to the surface where there was enough microbial activity to interact with. Humic and fulvic acids contain all the genetic information from the plants they come from.

So what does all this have to do with your immunity?

Recent studies indicate that humic and fulvic acids stimulate the production of T-lymphocytes and white blood cells (neutrophils), thus enhancing immune system function. By increasing T-cell and white blood cells, humic and fulvic acid may be able to significantly reduce your risk of viral infections.  

A compromised or weakened immune system means the body has fewer T-cells and white blood cells to find and eliminate potential threats.  T-cells, also known as T-lymphocytes, play a vital role in defending your body against common diseases.  T-cells are actually attacked by viruses, which disables the immune system, leaving it vulnerable to common colds, flus and bacterial infections.  So in reality, victims of many viral diseases rarely die from the disease itself but more from the vulnerability of an immune system that is left exposed to opportunistic agents. 

Humic and Fulvic Acids – the Immune Connection

Humic and fulvic acids are comprised of powerful biochemicals, supercharged antioxidants (more powerful than anything ever seen before), vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, probiotics, prebiotics and carbon. Numerous studies show that humic and fulvic acids have the ability to help modulate our immune system, protect the body from fungal and bacterial infections, lower excess inflammation, increase the absorption of beneficial nutrients, help support optimal detoxification—especially where heavy metals are concerned, support cellular energy and even block viruses.

The most important thing to understand is that humic and fulvic acids are completely natural, are the end breakdown products from plant material, and are 100% organic in nature – even though they contain most, if not all the trace minerals. By consuming natural, organically-bound minerals, the body is able to recognize them as a food source and instantly utilize them to enhance all cell life.

Due to the rarity and multitude of these organically-bound trace minerals, consuming a humic and fulvic acid supplement purely for the organic trace minerals, would be reason enough, but as mentioned above, there are so many more reasons to consume humic and fulvic acids.

So as you can see, a viable humic and fulvic acid supplement can prove to be most useful as a strong preventative agent, as well as a powerful but safe therapeutic one. In a world where we are bombarded by viruses, microbes, fungi and food that is all but void of nutrients essential to health, humic and fulvic acids may just be what the body has been screaming out for.

My recommendation is an award-winning (2018 and 2019 Natural Product-of-the-Year) Canadian product (I take myself) called LeafSource® (see below).

For more information on LeafSource® please visit: www.leafsource.com  

DISCLAIMER: I am not getting paid to write or talk about any of these supplements.  Aside from talking to those I believe to be “in the know” I’ve done my own research and decided to strengthen my immune system as naturally as possible.  For a solid year I’ve taken the supplements I’ve mentioned here on my blog and have not so much as gotten a common cold or asthma (touch wood) since that time.  Very unusual since every year, for at least a few days I get a common cold or bout with asthma where I must use an inhaler. I have not used my inhaler for over a year.  I have also socially distanced myself from most people and have recently started going to my gym again to practice yoga.  It is important to note that during yoga practice masks are not worn.  We are at a 6 ft. distance from one another though during that time.

REFERENCES:

Vaskova J, et al. Effects of humic acids in vitro. In Vitro Call Dev Biol Anim. 2011 Jun;47(5-6):376-82.

Ansorg R, Rochus W. Studies on the antimicrobial effect of natural and synthetic humic acids. Arzneimittelforschung. 1978;28(12):2195-8.

Iubitskaia , NS . “Sodium humate in the treatment of osteoarthritis patients.” Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult, 1999; Issue 5, 22-24.

Gisela, K J, et al,  “An In Vitro Investigation of the Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Potassium Humate,”  Journal Inflammation,  2004, Vol 28, No 3, Pages169-174.

Janeway, C, et al (2001). Immunobiology ; Fifth Edition. New York. 

Joone, GK, et. al. J Biosci.  2002, 58(3/4), 263-267.

Sunday Supplement: Learning about Lactoferrin

Antivirals and nutritional supplements have been proposed as potentially useful against severe acute respiratory syndromes that cause Covid-19, yet you never hear any public health official mention anything about them.  Not even Vitamin D.  I wonder why?

It was brought to my attention that taking Lactoferrin capsules might be another great immune boosting factor and preventative to getting covid.

Not just any MILK

Like I said before, my general health is very good and I eat well.  However since I first heard about Covid I’ve decided to add a few more proactive supplements to my vitamin regime. Only those that I cannot get sufficient amounts from food alone. Because a healthy immune system is the best defense for fighting a virus. 

Once covid is under control in the general population and over time, I’ll go back to my vitamin basics. I’m fully aware that vitamins alone do not a healthy body make.  However, after doing some research myself, it appears that these extras cannot hurt and at the very best can help improve immunity.  So far, so good.

Lactoferrin’s Anti-Viral effects

Lactoferrin is considered an essential in providing an increased defense for our immune systems. Lactoferrin deprives unwanted bacteria in the body from the nutrients they need to continue spreading. Lactoferrin is able to boost your body with beneficial antioxidants, enhance oxygenation of the tissues and improve white blood cell health. It seems to protect against bacterial infection, possibly by preventing the growth of bacteria by depriving them of essential nutrients or by killing bacteria by destroying their cell walls.

There are many new products on the market promoting their inclusion of lactoferrin as a healthy ingredient, but what exactly is lactoferrin? Lactoferrin is a protein found naturally in cow and human milk, and it is especially abundant in colostrum. It is also found naturally in our tears and saliva, and possesses a wide variety of healthy benefits for our bodies. 

As an iron-binding milk glycoprotein, it promotes the growth of selected probiotic strains. It acts as an antimicrobial agent largely by binding the iron needed for growth of the microorganisms. 

Lactoferrin has been found to both directly and indirectly inhibit several viruses that cause disease in humans. It directly inhibits viruses by binding to viral receptor sites, thus preventing the virus from infecting healthy cells.

The importance of lactoferrin in viral infections warrants a great deal of further research and use by clinicians. There is little doubt that lactoferrin is a key molecule for the body and the immune system in the fight against viruses and other microbes, and could be an effective supplement for people with viral infections.

Maybe most promising and interesting, there is research that points to lactoferrin being able to improve the efficiency of antibiotic treatments in the fight against pathogenic microbes. Considering the out of control use of antibiotics and the rise in antibiotic resistant strains of “bad bugs,” this is very good news. Would the combination of lactoferrin and antibiotics be the knockout punch to certain bacteria that are not being killed by antibiotic treatments alone? More research is needed, but the evidence is very compelling.

Conclusion

There is little doubt that lactoferrin is a major find and a potential breakthrough as a natural nontoxic treatment in an array of human ailments. Though a handful of companies are able to produce lactoferrin at this time, there is only one company producing the apolactoferrin (iron depleted) form in large quantity. Studies suggest that the superior form to supplement with is apolactoferrin.

Disclaimer

As with everything else, take time to do your own research as there can be pros and cons to taking too much or too little of any one supplement.  The ones I’ve mentioned are supposed to help strengthen your immune system to oncoming viruses.  Having said that, depending on your overall health and what medications you may already be taking, it’s always best to check with your health provider.

This is the last of a series of natural Covid Combatants.  I’ll continue to post about other “healthy habits” in the upcoming weeks ahead.  

Sources:

Chang, R. (2020) Re: Lactoferrin and COVID-19https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32738305/

Life Extension Magazine

Symbiotics.com

Word of Mouth from a few knowledgeable individuals

 

 

 

Sunday Supplement – ZINC About it

In my quest to find optimum immune boosting combatants to fight Covid-19, I discovered that zinc is indeed crucial for the development and function of immune cells.

Foods Highest in Zinc. Healthy eating.

So I’ve added it to my current kill-Covid health regime. I don’t have Covid, but I feel extras like these are helping to reduce my risks of getting a severe or even life-endangering case of the virus.  Hell, it might even help fight the flu…although we never hear about anyone getting the flu since Covid (what’s up with that?).  While I may omit some of these extras and go back to my “basics” when the virus finally is under widespread control, my add-on extras right now will remain extra D3, Zinc, NAC and Lactoferrin – which I’ll talk about next week.

Zinc is an essential mineral that your body uses in countless ways but does not make on its own. It aids growth, DNA synthesis, immune function and more. Because your body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, you must obtain it through food or supplements.

Keep in mind that routine zinc supplementation is not recommended without the advice of a healthcare professional.  You can definitely take too much.  The recommended daily intake of zinc ranges between 3 mg and 16 mg.  But have a look at the links provided below and/or ask your local pharmacy or health food store specialist for more information before making up your own mind. Yet as there’s an over-abundance of information I could talk about in great length, I’ll only touch on a few key elements. 

An article in sciencedirect.com had this to say: Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had significantly low zinc levels in comparison to healthy controls. Data in their study clearly showed that a significant number of COVID-19 patients were zinc deficient. These zinc deficient patients developed more complications, and the deficiency was associated with a prolonged hospital stay and increased mortality.

Amongst COVID-19 patients, 57.4% were found to be zinc deficient.

Given findings like these, supplementation with zinc is increasingly recommended in the management of COVID-19 patients.

Under physiological conditions, zinc is essential for cellular growth and the maturation of immune cells, particularly in the development and activation of **T-lymphocytes (**part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer.) Studies have shown that around 10% of our body proteins utilize zinc and that zinc is a cofactor in at least 200 immuno-modulatory and antioxidant reactions. Prolonged deficiency is associated with immune system dysfunction, sterility in males, neurosensory disorders, and decreased body mass. Studies have also shown increased viral infection in patients with zinc deficiency.

Foods that contain Zinc: Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.

Gives us all something to zinc about right?  I always urge others to do their own research and use this only as a basic outline.  Like I was saying…there’s way too much info out there.  I try to narrow down as much as humanly possible so hope this little bit of info. helps.

*My Vitamin basics aside from trying to eat as healthily as possible: a high-potency 2-daily vitamin/mineral supplement, Super Omega-3, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C-1000, Magnesium Citrate, Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes, Leaf Source which is a humic-fulvic acid complex and Melatonin at night.

Important Sidenote:  The WHO has said not to take Ibuprofen as it has been contra indicated for Covid.  If you’ve got to take a headache or pain relief remedy use regular aspirin or tylenol instead.  But do not take even these for fever reduction. It’s been shown that fever is a necessary response of the immune system if you get it.  Of course you can google about this on your own.

Source:

MedRXiv – how low zinc levels at clinical admission associates with poor outcomes in COVID-19

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.07.20208645v1

Science Direct:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S120197122030730X

Sunday Supplement: NAC

To someone reading this for the first time: this new addition to my overall site started as I decided to take stock of whatever vitamins/supplements would be the most beneficial to help strengthen our immune systems, especially during Covid. I refer to them as Covid Combatants… although taking vitamins alone is not enough of a prevention for getting the virus, and it’s meant for generally healthy people to begin with. I also believe that during this time we may all benefit from boosting our intake of superfoods/vitamins/minerals that we otherwise might not have needed so much of in our pre-pandemic world.

As I’m no authority on the subject (although my brother *Brad King is a leading health expert, and my science writer boyfriend is a supplement enthusiast), I urge you to do your own research and/or check with your health practitioner before starting a new regimen. There can be upsides and downsides to taking too much or too little of anything.  So having said all that…here is a narrowed down version of a supplement I knew little about until recently. 

It’s called NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine) – and it helps support cardiovascular and respiratory health, as well as alleviate asthma-related symptoms.  Whenever I begin to get run down I develop a low-grade asthma and have to use an inhaler.  This usually happens once a year during cold/flu season.  Since taking my extra supplements for almost a year now, I have luckily (and thus far) not experienced any asthmatic symptoms.  

NAC is popular among athletes, and anyone who wants to improve their physical performance. It can help lengthen the time to fatigue, meaning that you don’t get tired as fast due to NAC’s ability to manage lactic-acid build-up. NAC seems to be most effective for medium-intensity exercises.

Protecting Our Cells – means protecting ourselves.

Because NAC has been used for decades as an aid to boost athletic performance, and to help improve lung health, it has become a popular supplement with an excellent safety record with a large body of research behind it. So, it’s easy to see why many better-informed health practitioners are recommending daily NAC supplementation to help safeguard folks from developing severe cases of Covid-19, which are known to cause serious respiratory distress issues. 

Your body uses NAC as a precursor in making Glutathione, one of the more potent antioxidant nutrients that help quench free radicals thereby preventing oxidative stress in cells.

Glutathione is also thought to have neuro-protective properties and operate like a neurotransmitter, thus potentially contributing to the promotion of mood and overall mental health.

While the components that give rise to L-Glutathione can be found in various foods, especially particular meat and dairy products, taking NAC will help your body produce it in larger amounts. NAC is especially recommended for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

NAC is known to help protect the liver from the effects of certain toxins. NAC is so effective in protecting the liver from damage that it is sometimes given to patients in acetaminophen (paracetamol) overdose cases. NAC may also be useful in preventing damage to the kidneys, and it’s often used in conjunction with medications that may harm the internal organs.

If you happen to be searching for NAC to help you improve immunity or respiratory health, remember it is a safe amino-acid that can be taken in combination with other nutraceuticals.** 

NAC is available on prescription for specific conditions, but you can also buy it over-the-counter as a food supplement.

*Brad King – is an award winning nutritional formulator and was honored with the Best in Canada Award for Health Motivator/Educator and Public Speaker in 2010, was inducted into the Canadian Sports Nutrition Hall of Fame in 2003 and sits on the board of Directors for CHI the premiere sports nutrition education center.

Brad is the author of 10 books including the international best seller, Fat Wars 45 Days to Transform Your Body and the award winning Beer Belly Blues: What Every Aging Man and the Women in His Life Need to Know .  He’s been interviewed on numerous TV shows some of which include “The Today Show”, “Canada AM” and “Balance TV” and featured in many magazines articles.

**Caveat: Some recent research has raised questions about NAC’s ultimate safety, so some cautions are warranted.  For more on these reservations, see: “N-Acetyl Cysteine: A Warning Shot”, Derek Lowe 4 October, 2019. Science Magazine

Source: 

How Long Does It Take for NAC Supplements to Work?

Life Extension is a preference of mine – available in the USA – can order online into Canada.  However there are many companies that provide NAC, e.g. AOR.

Sunday Supplement: Magnificent Magnesium

My main purpose in adding this health section to my site was brought on by the Coronavirus. I took an interest in researching whatever extra protection might prevent me and those I care about from getting a serious case of Covid.  I’ve been learning a lot in the process and realize that there are many components to overall health.  Having said this, I’m not a fanatic in any sense about taking high dosages of just anything and everything I see on the shelves.  I’m only sharing what I deem to be the most important missing pieces of a complicated puzzle.  Of course, our bodies are very complex propositions, but what I know for sure is what you know too – those of us with a weakened immune system are the first to get knocked down.  I started with Vitamin D last week. Now let’s check out several more Covid Combatants starting with…

Foods containing natural magnesium. Chocolate, banana, cocoa, nuts, avocados, broccoli, almonds.

MAGNESIUM may be the MOST important mineral/electrolyte in the body.  Indeed, if you were forced to only take one nutritional supplement, Magnesium would likely be your best bet. That’s because no other single nutrient plays as many roles as Magnesium as it’s essential to 300+ (some claim the numbers to be much higher) enzymatic reactions.

(Health Secrets) After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be one of the most important elements needed by our bodies.  It is vital for heart health, bone health, mental function and overall body maintenance.

Magnesium is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium, and it regulates all three of them. Contrary to popular misconceptions, it is magnesium that is actually most important in building strong bones and preventing bone loss. Recent research has revealed that lack of this mineral may put your heart and your overall health at significant risk.  This research also found that a deficiency may be linked to cognitive dysfunction and mental decline.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium for adults is 420 milligrams (mg) per day. Yet that’s an average amount since it depends on a number of other factors such as one’s body weight, level of physical activity and the amount of sugar one consumes. Generally speaking, the heavier you are, the more active you are, and the more sugar you consume, the more your body needs on a daily basis.

So what are the best food sources of Magnesium? High-fiber foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts and beans. Yet since so many North American diets are lacking in this regard, it should come as no surprise that most diets are 40-80% deficient.  Most people can get enough magnesium by eating the right foods but If you’re concerned about low magnesium, ask your doctor for a blood test, preferably an RBC (red blood cell) magnesium test.

*Magnesium is needed for many cellular metabolism tasks. It’s involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Muscles need this mineral to contract; nerves need it to send and receive messages. It keeps your heart beating steadily and your immune system strong.

However, low magnesium intake is relatively common.

It’s primarily found in people who follow a typical Western diet, one containing lots of processed foods and refined grains while lacking in leafy green vegetables and legumes, which provide magnesium and other important nutrients.

**The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium for adults is 310–420 mg depending on age and gender.

I eat exceptionally well and supplement with an additional 300 (sometimes less) mg of  Magnesium Citrate daily.

But every individual is different. The table below shows the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or adequate intake (AI) of magnesium for adults, infants, and children.

Age Male Female
Birth to 6 months (AI) 30 mg 30 mg
7–12 months (AI) 75 mg 75 mg
1–3 years (RDA) 80 mg 80 mg
4–8 years (RDA) 130 mg 130 mg
9–13 years (RDA) 240 mg 240 mg
14–18 years (RDA) 410 mg 360 mg
19–30 years (RDA) 400 mg 310 mg
31–50 years (RDA) 420 mg 320 mg
51+ years (RDA) 420 mg 320 mg
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency:
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually subtle unless your levels become severely low.  If you believe you may have a magnesium deficiency, your suspicions can be confirmed with a simple blood test.
You may have a deficiency if you feel the following…
Muscle spasms, cramps or pain, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, heart arrhythmia, osteoporosis, nausea, weakness, decreased appetite.
  • As magnesium deficiency worsens, symptoms may include: numbness and tingling.

Here’s an excellent book on the subject written by a medical doctor and researcher who is considered to be the world’s leading expert on the actions and uses of this vital mineral.

Source:

*Harvard Medical:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium2

** Healthline.com (for different types of Magnesium Supplements):

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-dosage#recommendations-by-age

 

Sunday Supplement: Vitamin D

Welcome to my new weekly supplemental. Every Sunday I’ll be featuring an important vitamin and the reasons why it may be vital to your health. 

Vitamin D: Immune System Superstar

I’m not pretending to be an authority on the subject – that I’ll leave for the experienced professionals.  Although I have an interest in health, I can at least share some knowledge I’ve gained from these experts. Some of them I know personally, and all agree that Vitamin “D” is of ultimate importance, especially right now with Covid.  I’ve done my own research too. What I’ve found out is that most people are deficient in Vitamin D and even if you eat really well, there are some vitamins (D being one of them) that you cannot create enough of from food alone.

D boosts the immune system and protects against respiratory infections. However, it is found in few foods and the body only replenishes its stocks through sunlight on the skin.

Vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a primary risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection and death. Higher vitamin D levels have even been shown to lower your risk of testing positive for the virus in the first place.  According to a Spanish study, 82.2% of COVID-19 patients tested were found to be deficient in vitamin D.

Dark skin color, increased age, pre-existing chronic conditions and vitamin D deficiency are all features of severe COVID disease. Of these, vitamin D deficiency is the only factor that is modifiable. As such, it would be foolish to ignore, especially since vitamin D supplements are readily available and low cost.

*The Scottish Government is giving out free vitamin D supplements to the most vulnerable to help boost their immune system.  People who have been shielding are to be sent a four-month supply to compensate for a lack of natural sunlight. (see link below).  

So I’ve upped my intake to 5,000 UIs a day in the winter months (some take more).  In the summer I take 1000 – 3000 UIs depending on how sunny it is.  Most medical doctors will suggest 400 UIs is enough.  However over a dozen research studies completed in 2020 alone show that we need at least ten times that amount to get optimum immune system benefits.

We already know that Vitamin D is good for a variety of illnesses and disorders such as depression (no surprise here – sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.  Oh; you too?), hypertension, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, oral health, inflammation…

The point being there’s tons and tons of research out there. I’ve narrowed it down to some choice statements taken from various sites.

  • **Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues studied blood samples of more than 190,000 Americans from all 50 US states and found those with deficient levels of vitamin D had 54% higher COVID positivity compared to those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D. The study was published in PLoS (the Public Library of Science One) peer-reviewed journal. Many people are vitamin D-deficient because there are only small amounts in food, Holick said.

For the Top 25 Vitamin D Publications in 2020 go to:

*Sunday Times UK – Coronavirus in Scotland: Vulnerable will receive vitamin D supplements:

 
Out of curiosity, how much Vitamin D do you take regularly?
 

2021 here we come

Okay let’s be real; 2020 sucked Big time!

Leap Year
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves –  Bill Vaughan (American columnist and author).  Is it possible to be both an optimist and a pessimist?  I think in this case it is.

 It’s already 2021 Somewhere

Here are some things to consider as we get ready to close the door on one of the most horrible years of our lifetime:

The dumbest thing we could have ever bought was a 2020 planner.

The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!

Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas should be reserved for quarantine and bedtime (even though I’ve actually worn mine under a coat – but only on occasion.  I  mean, who’s looking?).

This virus has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home!

I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!

I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.  You too?

I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard. I’m getting tired of the Living Room.

Never in a million years could I have imagined going up to a bank teller wearing a mask to ask for money.

While we’re on the subject…

Regardless of whether you are FOR or AGAINST masks, FOR or AGAINST social distancing, FOR or AGAINST shutting down the entire economy, FOR or AGAINST the vaccine, FOR or AGAINST being able to meet with a few healthy friends or even healthy family members, FOR or AGAINST the mainstream media, our governments and even the medical establishment not even uttering a single word about the importance of maintaining a robust immune system through proper diet, supplementation (hello vitamin D), exercise, stress-reduction, etc., we are quickly falling down a rabbit hole with no end in sight.

My brother Brad King (health + nutritional expert) added…

You are the only ones who can make a difference in your overall health – YOU! Stop living in a constant state of reaction and start becoming proactive. If you sit on your behind and expect your health to be taken care of for you, you are sadly mistaken.

Wake up, move your body, eat some healthy food, stop watching so much negative news, smile more (yes even with a mask on), breath some fresh air (please don’t say you wear a mask when you’re out hiking or taking a walk outside), expose your skin to real sunlight (obviously never get burned), sleep deeply and love with all your heart.

Here’s to a much, much better 2021 and beyond. Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!