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: 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?
 

Vitamins to help boost your Immune System

In light of all this pandemic panic we can use a little humour:

sometimes we dogs have to laugh

However on a more serious note:

I, like countless others am staying put right now.  Of course I’m still walking my dogs outdoors and I have gone to yoga (with my own mat) but for the most part avoiding social  interactions as much as humanly possible.  Taking the COVID-19 situation more seriously now especially since I’m still in California, planning to make my way back to Vancouver very soon. So many events are cancelled.  It takes something really major to cancel popular sporting events, parties and music festivals.  Many businesses have already begun to suffer.  Hope we get back to some normalcy soon.  Only time will tell, for better or for worse. 

Until then, trying to stay healthy with a morning tea concoction of fresh squeezed organic lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, apple cider vinegar + organic raw honey.  It’s delicious. Followed by a cup of coffee with added cinnamon to the grounds. This incorporates some of the super spices. Mid morning I usually make a smoothie using frozen organic blueberries or açaí, half a banana, fresh (or frozen) ginger, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, topped with organic unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 3 Tbsp. of organic whey protein (grass fed bought at market) + a little turmeric powder. It’s the best! Taking lots of vitamins too and trying to get plenty of restEmphasis on trying. 

My lineup includes Super Omega-3, Ester-C, Advanced Turmeric (because I broke 2 fingers), Mega B complex, Vitamin D3, L-Lysine, Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes, Probiotic (has Prebiotics from Inulin), Extend-Release Magnesium. Layla + Jia Jia are stress releasers (sometimes not so).  Not shown: *Leaf Source + **Samuraw Organic complete but only because I’m out.

Other recommended supplements to help boost your immune system: QuercetinN-A-C (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) to treat respiratory issues such as bronchitis – an amino precursor to glutathione, and 2 grams of Vitamin C per day.  

What’s the difference between an Epidemic and a Pandemic

An epidemic is defined as “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.” A pandemic is a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. While a pandemic may be characterized as a type of epidemic, you would not say that an epidemic is a type of pandemic.

Epidemic is a term that is often broadly used to describe any problem that has grown out of control such as an event in which a disease is actively spreading. In contrast, the term pandemic relates to geographic spread and is used to describe a disease that affects a whole country or the entire world.

Even so, it doesn’t do much good to panic….unless of course, you test positive for the virus. And even then, your survival rate depending on factors of age and overall health are not dire.

Wishing you a weekend of wellness.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed (and washed) that this terrible virus will go away in short order. 

I recommend the two products below available online and in select health stores.  Full disclosure: both are formulated by my brother Brad King.  Aside from him being my brother, you should know that I believe these are excellent quality products and would take them regardless.

*Leaf Source: The world’s cleanest + most powerful humic – fulvic acid complex.  Find out more at:  https://leafsource.com/

**SAMURAW NUTRITION: the very first truly natural 100% whole food derived multi-vitamin/mineral/probiotic.  Available at:  https://www.samuraw.com/

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

 

 

Health Supplements – what’s good for:

Okay; super relatively short post.  I haven’t abandoned my health posts entirely it’s just that I must feel excited, a little curious or at least inspired to post anything since that is the whole point of this blog. I think we’re being inundated with too much info.  healthy2

There’s information overload and tons of stuff on health food store shelves so in a nutshell (speaking of nuts,  nuts are good for you) what supplements are good to take for:

Heart Health: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, niacin
Increased Energy: vitamin B12, acetyl glutathione, ginseng
Improve Skin: probiotics, idebenone, black currant oil
Strengthen hair and nails: biotin, iron, vitamin C
Toning and helping muscles: calcium, magnesium, B vitamins
Weight loss: alpha lipoic acid, chromium picolinate, green tea extract
Sleeping better: cQ10, magnesium, melatonin, L-tryptophan
Bone strength: manganese, vitamin D3, curcurmin
Anti-aging: selenium, Imedeen Prime Renewal, glucosamine, DHEA

So there you have it. Seems that supplements can really be great, but super important to work with your doctor on that, instead of just following trends!healthy1People jump on the bandwagon for the next miracle cure.  Not everything is created equal but at least we have many options which is a good thing.

Oh one more thing…..

My Morning Routine: drinking warm water with lemon has racked up serious buzz in recent years—celebrities from Naomi Campbell to Gwyneth Paltrow are doing it, which is good enough reason for us all (but I swear that is not what started me on this – it was on account of having organic lemon trees on a property rented a year ago and I’ve been doing it ever since). Sipping on this combo is said to help balance your body’s pH levels, wake up your digestive tract and liver, and detox the body. While the claims it helps aid weight loss are dicey, at the very least it can serve as a healthy alternative to a sugary morning latte. I add cayenne, a little honey and sip it through a straw because I’m told the lemon can erode tooth enamel over time.

My Advice
Advice from a KING

Health MATTERS – Navigating The Vitamin Aisle

On a recent trip to California I paid a visit to an amazing vitamin store but was bewildered trying to decide which of the supplements in question would be right for me. vitamin2 I’m familiar with the basic ABC’s of vitamins but wanted to experiment with two new products that we’ve been hearing a lot about (namely Garcinia HCA and Green Coffee Bean Extract).  It was difficult to decide amongst all the countless choices and confusing even when consulting the store health expert.   Which is the safest and most effective to help shed a few pounds? Then I saw this timely post taken from Goop.com – Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly online publication which offers first looks at exclusive collaborations, delicious recipes, personal travel notes, shopping ideas, wellness tips and much more.

Here’s the vitamin aisle—crowded, confusing, and overwhelming in its promises. Some of these are empty, and some are too powerful to be tested without guidance. After all, what is L-Theanine? Do I need it? And, at what dose? For answers, we decided to turn to frequent goop contributor, Dr. Frank Lipman, who distilled the offerings down to a handful of vitamins and supplements he frequently prescribes. He counts some as no-brainers—and others as little-known trade secrets—but all pack a veritable punch.

Q: We often hear that if you eat well, you shouldn’t need supplements. What’s your take?

A: “Supplements are essential health-boosters that can help fill in nutritional gaps and protect your body against the occasional diet slip-up. While I recommend everyone eat whole, preferably organic foods, I also believe that high-quality supplements are important as well. While they won’t make up for a bad diet, think of them as your nutritional pit crew, standing at the ready to make those quick adjustments, tweaks and fixes to your internal engines to get you back out on the road.”

Q: Is it possible to take too many vitamins?

A: “While it is possible to take too many vitamins, it’s extremely rare. One should be careful with fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. Almost all of the vitamins I recommend taking regularly are safe and hard to take too much of. However, because most people are deficient in Vitamin D, and since it’s easily measurable, I do often recommend taking that with the supervision of a doctor.”

THE VITAMIN & SUPPLEMENT KEY

FAB FOUR

1.  Multivitamin
2.  Vitamin D3
3.  Fish Oils
4.  Probiotics

*Dr. Lipman’s top recommendation for everyday use, covering our most basic health bases.

Stressed Out

1.  B Complex
2.  Magnesium
3.  Acetyl Glutathione
4.  L-Theanine

Sleep Deprived

1.  Acetyl Glutathione
2.  CoQ10
3.  Magnesium

Feeling Low

1.  B Complex
2.  Powdered Greens
3.  Acetyl Glutathione

Living in a Cold Climate*

1.  Magnesium
2.  Powdered Greens
3.  B Complex*It’s also essential to have your Vitamin D levels checked in case you are deficient.

Missing The Sun*

1.  Powdered Greens
2.  Acetyl Glutathione
3.  CoQ10

Trying to Lose Weight

1.  Acetyl Glutathione
2.  MCT Oil
3.  Alpha-Lipoic Acid

AGING

1.  Acetyl Glutathione
2.  CoQ10
3.  Alpha-Lipoic Acid
4.  B complex

VEGETARIAN

1.  B Complex
2.  Acetyl Glutathione
3.  CoQ10

BACKED UP

1.  Powdered Greens
2.  Magnesium

IMMUNITY BOOSTING

1.  Acetyl Glutathione
2.  Probiotics
3.  MCT OilINFLAMMATION
1.  Turmeric
2.  Fish Oil
3.  Vitamin D3

While on the subject of health:

Don’t miss listening to “TRANSFORMING HEALTH” with host BRAD KING for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – LIVE every WEDNESDAY @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.

Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

Link for incredible vitamins:  http://transforminghealthinc.com/

The best vegan protein & wild greens at: http://www.ultimatevegan.com/

B well – B WILD!

face1EAT WILD GREENS + choose the right vitamins & minerals.  B Green in Mind and Body for good skin and optimum overall health.

YOUR SKIN is a reflection of your inner being. Aside from lifestyle and genetics, what you eat plays a role in your skin health. Eating the right foods will not only enhance your natural beauty, it will help minimize wrinkles, acne, inflammation and other skin-related conditions. Most people treat their skin with chemical-ridden products, but don’t address the root cause, which may lie within. Your best-kept beauty secrets are sitting right there in your grocery store! Be sure to eat foods that include these nutrients often, and you’ll reap the benefits of having a beautiful, glowing and healthy skin.

 Vitamin C

Like vitamin E, vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C helps to reduce oxidative stress to the body and may lower cancer risk. Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of collagen, an important protein for making your skin supple. Many fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamin C, so be sure to include them in your diet. Food sources high in vitamin C include: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, bell peppers, guava, acerola, beet greens, grapefruit, strawberries, red and green bell peppers, parsley, collard greens and turnip greens.

Selenium

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant trace mineral that is responsible for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity. This mineral not only prevents acne but also aids in skin cancer prevention. It promotes absorption of vitamin E and enhances the antioxidant function of vitamin E, which is mainly stored in the skin. The end result is glowing skin and less deterioration to the skin’s collagen. Food sources high in selenium include: brazil nuts, walnuts, red snapper, tuna, liver, wheat germ, herring, onion, seafood, whole grains, brown rice and poultry.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the key vitamins for skin health. When combined with vitamin A, vitamin E is especially effective at preventing certain skin cancers. Because of vitamin E’s antioxidant properties, it helps fight free radicals caused by pollution, smoking, processed foods and sun exposure. Free radicals are the catalyst for premature skin aging such as wrinkles. Food sources high in vitamin E include: almonds, eggs, walnuts, avocados, asparagus, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, spinach, oatmeal, and olives.

 Omega-3s

These essential fatty acids (EFAs) offer healing benefits in various inflammatory conditions such as eczema. Omega-3s also manage overexposure of cortisol levels, which in turn helps keep skin supple and guard against wrinkle formation. EFAs are also responsible for skin repair, moisture content and overall flexibility. Since the body doesn’t produce these fatty acids, they must be obtained through your diet. Food sources high in omega-3s include: walnuts, salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. You can also supplement with a fish oil pill.

 Vitamin A + Beta-Carotene

Vitamin A is critical for skin repair and maintenance. If you suffer from flaky or dry skin, it could be a sign you’re deficient in vitamin A. Beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is an antioxidant found in brightly colored foods. This antioxidant helps to reduce free radical damage that occurs due to skin damage caused by sun overexposure. Foods sources high in vitamin A and beta-carotene include: liver, collard greens, asparagus, peaches, beet greens, kale, spinach, eggs, sweet potato, cantaloupe, and red peppers.

 Zinc

Zinc is an important trace mineral that helps repair damaged tissue and heals wounds. Another important use for zinc includes protecting skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. If you suffer from acne, it may be as a result of a zinc deficiency. Zinc may help prevent acne and regulate the production of oil in the skin. Foods sources high in zinc include: oysters, pecans, poultry, pumpkin seeds, ginger, legumes, seafood, mushrooms and whole grains.

I promise you will notice a big difference in the way your skin looks as you feed your body the nutrients it needs!

Brad King's ULTIMATE WILD GREENS - PURE & RAW.
Brad King’s ULTIMATE WILD GREENS – PURE & RAW.  Vegan supplement for natural energy.  AMAZING!

 Taken from Mind, Body, Green

 **Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.

Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health