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Covid-19

Coronavirus – Protect yourself

Last updated: 07.07.2020

This is an unprecedented time, a once in 100-year pandemic. A time for us to be level-headed, open-hearted, and focused on what we can do to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country, and be kind to each other.
Control the host

Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm" by
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

It is best to act as if you have the infection and act to protect others!

This is also an opportunity to spend time with family, to take care of ourselves, to cook and cherish the people and things we love. The more we can face the threat to our health and to our economy with calm and kindness, the better able we will be to survive and thrive.

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COVID-19: The Quintessential Example of a Planetary Lifestyle Disease

Read this fascinating article written by 
Jeffrey Bland, PhD,  known to many as the “father of Functional Medicine”. 

The virus stays 12 hours alive on shoes. Keep your shoes outside!

The question is “What can we do”? The answer is a lot, both to reduce our own risks and reduce the spread. 

What is the Coronavirus?

Coronavirus Quotes

The WHO has produced this very easy to understand video which explains the basics. 

How big is the problem? 

Risk of Contracting Covid-19

Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm"
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

COVID-19, the viral disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is a global pandemic. Scientists estimate that 40% to 70% of our population will be affected. Those with a chronic disease will face a greater threat. In some cases, they will be affected ten times more than the rest of the population, underscoring the need to protect this vulnerable group. Additionally, the mortality rate estimates range from 0.6% to 4% percent and is much higher in people over 75 years old. 

Patients who do better are under the age of 70 and have a BMI < 26. 


No doubt you will hear/see daily updates of the number of infected patients in your country. However, the number of true cases is likely a lot higher than the number of documented cases. This is due to [lack of] testing. If you don't test, you don't know. 

A moderate case scenario, according to the Department of Health and Human Services predicts for US 38 million needing medical care, 1 million requiring hospitalization, and 200,000 needing ICU care. A severe case scenario would lead to 2.9 million needing ICU beds (the US has currently only 64,000).

It will get worse before it gets better and we will be dealing with it for the next 12-18 months. It may die down over the summer but could roar back in the fall It is easily transmissible and can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours, some say longer. People are infectious and can transmit the virus from 2 days to 14 days after exposure.

The most at risk are those with a chronic disease, those over 70 years old, health care workers, and those on immunosuppressive medicine (commonly used for autoimmune disease, cancer, and transplant rejections).

Up to 80% of people infected have mild or no symptoms and up to 96% to 99% recover from the infection.

The virus affects cells located deep in the lungs, heart muscle and kidneys. This makes it especially potentially dangerous for patients with related health issues. 

The John Hopkins University provides this very useful chart of the current reported cases of COVID-19. The numbers are - obviously - only as good as the testing performed in each country and real numbers are likely higher. .

The Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team posted this update on the expected severity of cases:

Covid-19 estimated severity
Risk factors Covid-19

Source: NPR 22.03.2020

How does the Covid-19 infect us?

This is a so-called RNA virus. Think it is just packed genetic information in a box. The genetic information enters one of our cells and hijacks these cells to multiply the virus. Once the cell has made the viruses, it dies and releases the newly made viruses into the body.

To make this happen, a certain enzyme is needed, a so called Polymerase. This enzyme seems to be very sensitive to zinc. The higher the zinc content in the cell, the less active this enzyme is and therefore the less infective the virus is for the cell, making less viruses. 

A lack of Vitamin D and C makes us also more "attackable". 

What is Incubation?

Incubation is the time in which the infection is active, but might not show symptoms. It is currently thought that the Covid-19 has an incubation time of up to 14 days.

Dr Adriana Radler-Pohl

Dr. Adriana Radler-Pohl

It is best to act as if you have the infection and act to protect others!


The virus and survive up to 2 days on surfaces [steel, plastic, cardboard]!

Source: Immunabwehr Kongress 03,04,2020 (online, in German)

 For this reason it is advised to self-isolate for at least 14 days and WASH YOUR HANDS whenever you touch something outside of your home!

How long are affected people infectious?

If you have the infection (whether diagnosed or not) you can pass it on to others. The current thinking is that this might be up to 22 days!

Source: Immunabwehr Kongress (online, in German) Dr. Adriana Radler-Pohl 

Are there any studies to explain why people might be at higher risk?

It is always worth asking the WHY question. Why does the vast majority people have very little symptoms and others end up in hospital or even intensive care?

Surely, there is not a single [simple] answer to this question and many different factors will contribute: Diet, nutrition, supplements, lifestyle, general immunity will all play a role. 

A recent military study "Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season" might shed some light on one of these factors. 

The study showed that military personnel who received the flu vaccine had a 36 percent Increased Risk for coronavirus infection. 

The flu vaccine is routinely given on the NHS to:

  • adults 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2019
  • children in primary school
  • frontline health or social care workers

But we should not forget that the "flu" is causing many deaths and having the flu vaccine might be the right choice for high-risk people.

Why Is It Called “Novel Coronavirus”?

Basically, the term “novel” means that we have never seen anything like this before. The rise and rapid spread of COVID-19 is still something we don’t know a lot about. The human population has no native immunity which means we are all susceptible.

While scientists, researchers, politicians, and the public try to learn more, we need to think about the ways that we can prevent it and what we can do to treat the possible spread of the virus throughout the world.

What I want to provide you with is the latest information, knowledge, news, and studies powering our discussion of COVID-19. That way you can know what to do, what to watch out for, and what matters when it comes to your health.

What Are The Symptoms?


What you should do now

Based on advice gathered from previous coronavirus outbreaks, the WHO offers general guidance about how to prevent Wuhan virus infection:

  • Extensive Social Distancing - see below
  • Keep your hands clean frequently with either soap and water or an alcohol-based rub. The virus is easily killed with antibacterial cleaning agents including alcohol, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Cover your mouth anytime you cough or sneeze. Throw away used tissues.
  • Avoid spending time around people who have a fever or cough.
  • If you show symptoms of Wuhan virus (cough, fever, shortness of breath), tell your doctor right away, and fill your doctor in on your recent travel history.
  • If you visit an animal market where a coronavirus outbreak is suspected, avoid animals and any surfaces they may have touched.
  • Make sure any animal product you use in meals is fully cooked. Handle raw meat carefully.

In addition, the CDC recommends you avoid visiting areas where there is an outbreak of this infection and to avoid any close contact with anyone who has visited the outbreak area or shows signs of the infection in the last 14 days..

When Should You contact medical services?

You shouldn’t immediately rush to the doctor or hospital! 

If you or your child has flu-like symptoms, right now chances are that you have a cold or the flu. It’s really as simple as that.

When your health is rapidly declining or you need urgent attention, then you should CONTACT your medical services, but DON'T just turn up as you could expose others to the virus, 

In the UK call 111/999 depending on urgency, in the EU 112. 

How is the COVID-19 treated?

There are currently no approved treatments other than supportive care with fluids, symptomatic care, and ventilators, if needed. 

There is NO GOOD TREATMENT available at the moment!

Although there’s no direct evidence that ibuprofen is harmful, some experts say not to use it to treat COVID-19 because it can make symptoms worse. This might be due to making the virus more sticky to the receptors and damaging the gut lining. 

However, many are hard at work looking at various treatment options. Here are the most promising. 

  • Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine): a medication used for autoimmune disease. It is widely available as a generic medication, low in cost, and low in side effects. The recommended dose is 200 mg twice a day for 10 days. 
  • Remdesivir: an antiviral drug developed for Ebola, given only intravenously. Studies are underway and medications promise faster approval than vaccines. 
  • Convalescent plasma therapy: means taking the blood of a recovered patient, extracting the antibodies from their blood, and giving it to those who are sick. 
  • Cytokine blocking drugs (tocilizumab, sarilumab, etc.): can reduce the inflammatory storm that leads to death. Cytokines are inflammatory messenger molecules that can spin out of control with COVID-19. 
  • Interferon B.: In Cuba, they have developed a drug that can calm down an out of control inflammatory response. More data is needed but seems promising. 
  • Vaccines: will likely take 12 to 18 months to progress with human trials for safety and efficacy. 
  • Theoretically beneficial medically supportive therapies: Some therapies are being suggested based on their mechanism of action such as theophylline (bronchodilator), ARB medication (blood pressure medication), amantadine (anti-viral), and sodium bicarbonate (like Alka Seltzer Gold, to increase the pH making it harder for a virus to thrive).
  • High dose intravenous vitamin C: In Wuhan doctors have been using high dose intravenous vitamin C for those who are sick and for those in the hospital. Nearly all patients with symptoms received 50-100 mg/kg/day for mild symptoms and 100-200 mg/kg/day for severe forms. 

The aim of this study was to examine several medicinal plant-derived compounds that maybe used to inhibit the COVID-19 infection pathway.

Kampherol was found to be the best amongst the tested medical plant compounds. Quercetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, demethoxycurcumin, naringenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, curcumin, catechin, and epicatechin-gallate were the most recommended compounds found in medicinal plants that may act as potential inhibitors of COVID-19 Mpro. However, further research is necessary to investigate the potential uses of the medicinal plants containing these compounds


Medicinal Plants Covid-19a
Medicinal Plants Covid-19b

Quercetin

Quercetin is found in many fruits and vegetables, with apples and onions contributing most to the typical UK diet. Each 500mg tablet provides significantly more quercetin than 1 kilo of apples. Quercetin is probably the most researched bioflavonoid as it is recognised as being more active in the body than most others.

Quercetin

Prevention is better than cure! 

There are many potential approaches from proven to experimental to ensure you, your family, and your community remain safe. These fall into two categories.

  1. The first is how to not get it in the first place and reduce spread
  2. The second is how to support your immune system so you are more resilient to infection.

This pandemic can bring out the best in us or the worst. It is a time for kindness, for calling friends, for FaceTimes with family, or hunkering down with loved ones and family in your home, cooking meals from scratch, and for finding ways to help those who are in need.  

Here are evidence based recommendations that you can and should implement straight away: 

extensive social distancing

In order to get ill, you need to have the infectious organism AND you have to be receptive. So, the first step is to avoid contact with the organism, in this case COVID-19. This is best done - and now practised in more and more countries - via Extensive Social Distancing. You don't need to wait until your government asks you to do so!

This is among the most effective way to prevent spread. Don’t shake hands. Keep a 6-foot radius from others (unless they are healthy, uninfected people who live in your home). Cancel vacations, business trips. Restaurants, bars, schools, yoga classes, fitness clubs and more are shutting down. Work from home if you can. 

Extensive Social Distancing is the most effective way to reduce the spreading of the virus. The Washington Post posted a BRILLIANT simulation that shows this. Go on, click on the LINK and check for yourself!

Stop the Virus Spread

sick people, healthy people, recovered people. NB:The simulation missed the fatalities!

Self-quarantine means avoiding contact with other people as much as possible by staying at home or in your hotel.

You can still go outside for walks, runs or cycles on your own. But you should not spend time in close contact with other people.

Practice Good Hygiene. Wash your hands for 20 to 30 seconds with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is ok but not necessary.  If you are out and about, do your best to wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face (hard to do).  

Protect Those At Risk. People over 60 should stay home and avoid unnecessary contact.  If you have elderly parents find ways to support them with food and supplies. If you have an autoimmune disorder, cancer, or are on transplant medication be especially careful. 

DON'T

  • Do not go to school, college or work
  • .Do not use public transport.
  • Do not go to meetings, social gatherings, group events or crowded places.
  • Do not have visitors at your home.
  • Do not go shopping - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off.
  • Do not VISIT older people, people with chronic health problems and pregnant women
  • .Do not travel 

.You can find further practical information HERE

Strengthen your Immune System

Let Food Be Your Medicine! Proper food = proper immunity

Food to support immune system

* SMASH fish: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, Hering

* EVOO: Extra Virgine Olive Oil

Avoid certain foods: Gluten, Processed Foods, Sugar. 

  • It has never been a better time to be[come] gluten free: No one food trigger!
  • 300 kcal sugar decreases immune system by 50% for 2 hours!
  • No dairy - makes mucous, one of the 3 top food triggers
It is a great time to check for food sensitivities!

Eat a whole foods, nutrient-dense diet. Our immune system relies on nutrient-dense whole foods to function well. Death from infections in the developing world is often not due to the infection itself but the body’s inability to fight it because of nutrient deficiencies.

We can all improve the quality of our diet. This is a great opportunity to cut sugar and starch which suppress the immune system.

Cut out sugar and refined starches. Now has never been a better time for a sugar and junk food detox.  Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after ingesting. Limiting starch and sugar will help your immune system function better and your overall health improves. 

Ensure adequate protein intake. Protein is critical for immune function and protein malnutrition is a big risk factor for death from infections. Eat approximately 1 gram/kg or about half your body weight in grams of protein a day, Plant-based proteins (legumes, nuts/seeds) are adequate if consumed in enough quantity. Try tofu and tempeh from non-GMO soy for the highest protein concentrations.  

Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric, rosemary) to your meals! Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties. 

Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. Aim for 2 servings of fruits and 8 or more servings of vegetables! A serving is half a cup. 

Eat fermented foods to support your microbiome and immunity. Eat sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, miso, tempeh, unsweetened yogurt, kefir. They also keep well. 

Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids. Consuming adequate fluids supports all your bodies’ functions including the immune system. Make soups and broths (from scratch with fresh vegetables is always best) and have them throughout the week. Drink herbal teas like ginger and turmeric tea. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times. Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for the immune system. 

Get sufficient sleep! We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible! Get in a better rhythm and head to bed earlier. Aim for seven to eight hours a night. Incorporating various relaxation and breathing techniques throughout the day to help with stress and allowing the mind to rest is also very helpful! 

Get regular exercise. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost the immune system. Avoid overexertion such as training for endurance events when you are feeling run down. This will lower your immune defenses. If you are able to exercise outside in less populated areas, great. If not find workouts and yoga classes online. Try the 7-minute workout app. 

Practice meditation and yoga.  The data are clear. Increased levels of stress increase susceptibility to viral infections. In one study volunteers had cold viruses injected into their nasal passages. Only the ones who scored high on the stress questionnaire succumbed. Now is the time to learn meditation, double down on your practice, do yoga, take hot baths, do deep breathing, practice home massage with your loved ones. 

Start a garden. If you live in an area with a lawn or some access to land, grow some of your own food. 

If you haven't got a garden,here is a simple way to make your own one. 

Manage your stress!

Our immune system is tied back to our stress response. As it happens, our stress response is worsened when we are in isolation. Whilst we do need to practise extensive social distancing, we can’t simply become hermits and expect to stay healthy and thrive.

Engage in real-time communication with loved ones. Those that are both with you in isolation and in your immediate network. Pick up the phone, call your mom, your sister, your cousin, anyone. 

Supplements 

Supplements for immune system

There is an increasing number of health claims and the promotion of supplements has also increased in the coronavirus frenzy.  There is a lot we don’t know and a lot we do.  It’s important not to go overboard and be sensible. 

Immune Supporting Supplements

Source: Webinar "Health and Immunity: A Natural Perspective for a New Paradigm"
Robert G. Silverman, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, CCN, CNS, CSCS, CIISN, CKTP, CES, HKC, SASTM

This is a link of the recommended supplements from the Institute of Functional Medicine.

Just starting with a multivitamin, vitamin D3, vitamin C, zinc and fish oil is a great start. 

Our supplement recommendations

  • Due to restrictions, we cannot deliver Lamberts supplements to Estonia. You might be able to source the supplements via their Estonian distributor, but the prices are considerably higher!
  • Stock is running low or out for some supplements which is out of our control.

An All Rounder Multivitamin

This is the foundation for any health support regimen. It’s a good way to cover the basic vitamins and minerals your body needs for day-to-day functions. If you aren’t on a good multivitamin you should get and stay on one. Look for a high-quality, broad-spectrum multivitamin and mineral.

Multiguard Advanced

Echinacea

Echinacea is known as both antiviral and preventive. In addition, it has been shown as effective against the avian virus. 

We know that it works through immune modulation and not simple immune stimulation. It is also known to be safe and effective for long-term use. 

There is concern that Echinacea should not be used for children under the age of 12 - but these studies are not very strong. 

In our experience, not all echinacea products work. We recommend this product. 

Viral infections can lead to "leaky gut". The well-studied probiotic yeast S. boulardii plays a crucial role in the preservation and/or restoration of intestinal barrier function - being effective in the prevention and treatment of gut disorders. Another study confirms that probiotics "are a rational adjunctive options for the treatment of various viral diseases."

Secretory IgA is known as the respiratory and GI tracts’ first line of defense. It can prevent the adhesion of viruses and other pathogens from our respiratory and gut lining. Numerous studies have shown improved outcomes in various infections, as well as cancers and gut issues.

People with Hashimoto’s tend to have low secretory IgA (SIgA). This could be partially genetic (if you’re a non-secretor like I am), or due to infections you may have, or lifestyle factors (like stress and sleep deprivation).

S. Boulardii can help to boost Secretory IgA. 


Omega-3 fatty acids

People's viral infections typically start and settle in the respiratory tract, where B cells (and T cells) form the first line of defense.

Results from a study from 2017 suggest that omega-3 DHA enhances a key aspect of immune function, in unique, previously unknown ways (Guesdon W et al. 2017). In this study, 0.5g EPA and 2.0g DHA per day showed enhancements in B cell responses, including higher production of immune-system messenger molecules.

Recommended intake: 3 capsules daily of Pure Fish Oil 1100 mg.

In the early literature, vitamin C deficiency was associated with pneumonia. A total of 148 animal studies indicated that vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Three controlled trials found that vitamin C prevented pneumonia. Two controlled trials found a treatment benefit of vitamin C for pneumonia patients. Two controlled trials found a statistically significant dose–response, for the duration of common cold symptoms, with up to 6–8 g/day of vitamin C. [Find the study from 2017 HERE]

 I recommend 500-2000 mg per day with meals and snacks. 

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 and K2

I recommend to start with 2000 IU per day for an adult  and 1,000 IU for children.  and you may want to test your levels every 3-6 months to ensure you are getting adequate amounts.

Adequate vitamin D status is critical for optimal immune function and this cannot be achieved without supplementation during the winter months. Studies have shown that people with vitamin D deficiency are 11 times more likely to get a cold or flu, while supplementing with vitamin D can reduce colds and flu by 42%.

The possible interactions between viral infections and vitamin D appear to be more complex than previously thought. Vitamin D, seems to induce a transient antiviral state by regulating the immune system. Cell culture experiments support the thesis that vitamin D has direct antiviral effects particularly against enveloped viruses.

It is best to get your levels of 25-OH vitamin D checked for accurate dosing. Many need 5,000 IU or more of vitamin D3 a day in the winter. Start with 2,000 IU for adults, 1,000 IU for children.  

For this intervention to be effective, it should be done continuously, before the respiratory tract infection starts.

A poor Vitamin D Receptor [VDR] restricts Vitamin D from getting in the cells. It appears that 30% of the population has a poor VDR. Vitamin D Receptor activation can be increased by any of: Resveratrol, Omega-3, Magnesium, Zinc, Quercetin, non-daily Vit D, Curcumin, intense exercise, and Ginger.

Zinc is an essential trace element that is crucial for growth, development, and the maintenance of immune function. Its influence reaches all organs and cell types and hundreds of key enzymes.

Seafood—especially oysters—red meat, and pumpkin seeds are the best food sources. 

Zinc deficiency is strikingly common, affecting up to a quarter of the population in developing countries, but also affecting distinct populations in the developed world as a result of lifestyle, age, and disease-mediated factors.

Consequently, zinc status is a critical factor that can influence antiviral immunity, particularly as zinc-deficient populations are often most at risk of acquiring viral infections. An abundance of evidence has accumulated over the past 50 y to demonstrate the antiviral activity of zinc against a variety of viruses, and via numerous mechanisms. 

The NIH notes that children and the elderly with zinc deficiency have been shown to be more vulnerable to pneumonia and other infections. The agency reports zinc allows the body to produce and activate T-cells (t-lymphocytes), which are some of the white blood cells that respond to infections.

study from 2010 established that "Zinc Inhibits Coronavirus Activity and Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture". Importantly, the amount of ionic zinc present at the site of infection (oral and nasal mucosa) is highly correlated to the study outcome.and is dependent on the zinc formulation. At a physiological pH and 37°C, zinc gluconate for example, releases high amounts of ionic zinc, whereas zinc aspartate releases none. One study showed that zinc citrate is as well-absorbed as zinc gluconate but has a less bitter, more appealing taste.

Zinc 15 mg

I recommend taking up to 30 mg per day.for 2 weeks, then 15 mg per day. Too much Zinc can deplete your body of copper. 

Probiotics

Probioguard

A healthy gut flora supports a healthy gut, a major barrier against pathogens and integral to the immune system. Look for brands that offer several species of good bacteria and contain at least 5-10 billion organisms per capsule. Lactobacillus plantarum and spore forms of Bacillus are the best for immunity. 

Beta Glucan Complex

Research has shown that these compounds up-regulate the function of the innate immune system. This part of your immune system is the first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. It helps your white blood cells bind to and kill viruses and bacteria.

Note: Patients with autoimmune diseases should not take this.

Beta Glucan

N-Acetyl Cystein

Most people who are hospitalized due to COVID-19, seem to experience breathing challenges. N-Acetyl Cysteine, is a mucolytic agent — which means that it can break down and thin mucus, allowing us to clear up congestion. It may also benefit other respiratory-related conditions. Additionally, it can support glutathione levels, which can block the replication of some viruses.

Take 1 capsule daily with a meal 

 Garlic

Source: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Garlic is a plant has been used as a flavor, and anti-microbial and anti-diarrheal agent. Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is a coronavirus. A study from 2016 found that garlic extract had inhibitory effects on IBV. 

Need some inspiration how to use garlic? Check out THIS WEBSITE

Herbal remedies

Many extracts of plants acted against IBV prior to and during infection, but the most effective were those of Peppermint [Mentha piperita], Thyme [Thymus vulgaris] and Desmodium canadense.

Sauna therapy

Picture: harvia.fi

It has been studied that high temperatures and especially moist heat with water vapor can deactivate viruses effectively. Even at a temperature of 55-70 ° C (moist heat), the virus can be countered within a few minutes and thus there is a loss of infectivity via the destruction of the virus outer layer.

A study from 2016 found that the effect of Short-Term Heat Shock, e.g. Sauna therapy as a stressful condition,could induce the expression of heat shock proteins that function as molecular chaperones to protect cells against multiple stresses, increasing the survival rate of influenza-infected mice. 


Please note: the strategies above are meant to be combined with any of the other common sense and personalized recommendations you may get from your healthcare providers or local public health authorities,

This article is not intended to provide medical advice and any changes should be done in consultation with your healthcare provider.

We hope that this information helps you to 

Stay Safe and Healthy!

Read More

Leptin and Leptin Resistance: Everything You Need to Know

Obesity is usually not caused by greed, laziness or a lack of willpower.

Leptin resistance may be one of the main reasons people gain weight and have such a hard time losing it.

If you’re concerned you may be resistant to leptin, there are several steps you can take to live a healthier lifestyle — and possibly improve or reverse your resistance.

Many people are told that "eat less - exercise more" is the answer to losing weight. 

Scientists discovered already over 25 years ago that a hormone called leptin is involved in obesity - and even breast cancer.  

When our body does not respond to Leptin - called leptin resistance - we have a leading driver of fat gain in humans

What is Leptin?

Leptin is a hormone that is produced by your body's fat cells. It is often referred to as the "satiety hormone" or the "starvation hormone." It works directly on the brain — particularly an area called the hypothalamus. The more body fat we carry, the more leptin we produce

Its main role is regulation of energy, like the number of calories we eat and expend, as well as how much fat we store in your body. Leptins job is to tell your brain that — when you have enough fat stored — we don't need to eat and can burn calories at a normal rate when our fat storage is full.

Apart from this Leptin also has many other functions related to fertility, immunity and brain function.

Leptin is a hormone produced by the fat cells in our body. Its main role is to regulate fat storage and how many calories we eat and burn.

Impact on Our Brain

High levels of leptin tell our brain that we have plenty of fat stored, while low levels tell our brain that fat stores are low and that we need to eat  When we eat, our body fat goes up and leptin levels go up, so we eat less and burn more.

Conversely, when we don’t eat, our body fat goes down, our leptin levels drop, telling us toeat more and burn less.

What Is Leptin Resistance?

People who are obese have a lot of body fat in their fat cells - and very high levels of leptin. Logically, obese people should now naturally limit their food intake as leptin tells them via their brain to do so. 

However, their leptin signaling may not work - the brain doesn't seem to see it and erroneously thinks that our body is starving — even though it has more than enough energy stored. This is known as leptin resistance and now believed to be one of the main biological contributors to obesity. 

If you have leptin resistance your Resting Metabolic Rate [RMR] is likely to be below normal, making you burn 500 to 600 calories less each day than someone of equal body mass.

Our brain then encourages us to:

  • Eating more: We must eat in order to prevent starvation.
  • Reduced energy expenditure: In an effort to conserve energy, our brain decreases our energy levels and makes us burn fewer calories at rest.
Thus, eating more and exercising less is not the underlying cause of weight gain but rather a possible consequence of leptin resistance, a hormonal defect. Willing ourselves to overcome the leptin-driven starvation signal is next to impossible. 

Impact on Dieting

Leptin resistance may be one reason that many diets fail to promote long-term weight loss. 

If you’re leptin-resistant, losing weight still reduces fat mass, which leads to a significant reduction in leptin levels — but your brain doesn't necessarily reverse its leptin resistance.

When leptin goes down, this leads to hunger, increased appetite, reduced motivation to exercise and a decreased number of calories burned at rest Our brain then thinks that we are starving and initiates various powerful mechanisms to regain that lost body fat.

This could be a main reason why so many people yo-yo diet — losing a significant amount of weight only to gain it back shortly thereafter.

What Causes Leptin Resistance?

Several potential mechanisms behind leptin resistance have been identified. These include 

  • Inflammation: Inflammatory signaling in our hypothalamus 
  • Free fatty acids: Having elevated free fatty acids in our bloodstream 
  • Having high leptin: Having elevated levels of leptin in the first place seems to cause leptin resistance.

Most of these factors are amplified by obesity, meaning that we might be "trapped" in a vicious cycle of gaining weight and becoming increasingly leptin resistant over time.

Can Leptin Resistance Be Reversed?

The best way to know if you are leptin resistant is to look in the mirror.

If you have a lot of body fat, especially in the belly area, then you are almost certainly leptin resistant.

There are several things you can do:

  • Avoid processed food: Highly processed foods may compromise the integrity of your gut and drive inflammation
  • Eat soluble fiber: They can help improve your gut health as food for the microbiome. 
  • Exercise: Physical activity may help reverse leptin resistance
  • Sleep: Poor sleep is implicated in problems with leptin 
  • Lower your triglycerides: The best way to lower triglycerides is to reduce your carb intake 
  • Eat protein: Eating plenty of protein can cause automatic weight loss, which may result from an improvement in leptin sensitivity

Though there is no simple way to eliminate leptin resistance, you can make long-term lifestyle changes that may improve your quality of life.

Test your Leptin Levels

If you want to know how high your leptin levels are - and to monitor the effect of changes you are making to your lifestyle, you can test them.

Blood - venous - NOT a finger prick test!

7 days turnaround time

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Roundup and its potential links to coeliac disease, obesity, autism and many more

Almost every week we identify patients in our practice with gluten intolerance, coeliac disease and autoimmune conditions. Our aim is always not only to identify and treat health conditions, but to search for root causes. By doing so we found research linking these and many other health conditions to Roundup®

Roundup is the brand name of a systemic, broad-spectrum glyphosate-based herbicide originally produced by the U.S. company Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in 2018, and contains the active ingredient glyphosate. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the USA. Monsanto also produced seeds which grow into plants genetically engineered to be tolerant to glyphosate, which are known as Roundup Ready crops. 

According to a paper published in 2013 Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®, is the most important causal factor for Coeliac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance. Coeliac disease is associated with an increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

Another paper from the same year described glyphosate as potentially a key contributor to the obesity and autism epidemic in the United States, as well as to several other diseases and conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, infertility, depression, and cancer.

Glyphosate has been shown to disrupt gut bacteria in animals, preferentially killing beneficial forms and causing an overgrowth of pathogens. Coeliac disease is associated with a reduced presence in the gut of commensal [healthy] bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, which are known to be preferentially killed by glyphosate, and with an overabundance of C. difficile, which is known to be promoted by glyphosate exposure.

Glyphosate leads to chelation [binding] of minerals such as iron - which might be causative to widespread iron deficiency. It has further been found to decrease the activity of the digestive enzymes protease [for protein digestion], lipase [for fat digestion], and amylase [for starch digestion] in the gastrointestinal tract. Evidence from this effect suggests that glyphosate may interfere with the breakdown of complex proteins in the human stomach, leaving larger fragments of wheat in the human gut that will then trigger an autoimmune response.

Glyphosate is associated with an overgrowth of pathogens along with an inflammatory bowel disease in animal models.

Several countries have responded to these concerns and either restricted or banned the use of glyphosate:

• Belgium: In 2017, the Flemish government banned individual use of glyphosate and voted against re-licensing glyphosate in the EU. The country was one of six EU member states to sign a letter to the EU Commission calling for "an exit plan for glyphosate." 
• Bermuda: The island outlawed the private and commercial sale of all glyphosate-based herbicides.
• Colombia: In 2015, the country forbid the use of glyphosate to eliminate illegal plantations of coca, often used to make cocaine, due to concern that the herbicide causes cancer. However in 2017, the country re-instituted its controversial fumigation program. But instead of using aerial fumigation, glyphosate is now sprayed manually, from the ground.
• Netherlands: Dutch officials have banned all non-commercial use of glyphosate.
• Sri Lanka: In 2014, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa mandated an all-out ban on glyphosate, following a study linking Roundup to Fatal Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the second-leading cause of death among males in the country. Sri Lanka was the first country to issue a nationwide ban on glyphosate.
• El Salvador: Passed a law banning glyphosate, citing the same study linking fatal chronic kidney disease to Roundup.
• Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi ArabiaKuwaitQatarBahrainOman and the United Arab Emirates, have stopped glyphosate use.
• France: President Emmanuel Macron announced in November 2017, an outright ban on glyphosate, to take effect "within three years."

References:

  • Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013;6(4):159-84.
  • Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate's suppression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino acid biosynthesis by the gut microbiome: Pathways to modern diseases. Entropy. 2013;15:1416–1463.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundup_(herbicide)
  • https://www.politico.eu/article/monsanto-glyphosate-pesticide-is-here-to-stay-in-eu-at-least-for-now/
  • Risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in celiac disease. Catassi C, Fabiani E, Corrao G, Barbato M, De Renzo A, Carella AM, Gabrielli A, Leoni P, Carroccio A, Baldassarre M, Bertolani P, Caramaschi P, Sozzi M, Guariso G, Volta U, Corazza GR; Italian Working Group on Coeliac Disease and Non-Hodgkin's-Lymphoma. JAMA. 2002 Mar 20;287(11):1413-9.
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Food Matters 2018

CountryHealth spent two busy days at this years food matters LIVE in the London ExCel We made several excellent contacts.

Many of our clients have food intolerances, especially to gluten. We were on the look-out for clever solutions and found two companies who can offer our clients an excellent alternative to bread, pasta and even waffles.


BEST gluten free bread in the world ...

We met the team from Davina Steel who has been winning prices for the BEST gluten free bread in the world for several years running - even in the gluten bread category. 

Not only are the breads the best we tasted, we can even offer a 10% discount to our clients. 

You can also make yummy and easy pizza ...


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Thyroid Awareness week 20.-26.10.2018

Thyroid Awareness Week is held to raise awareness of thyroid disease.

Thyroid disorders are relatively rare in infants and children. Nevertheless, being aware of their symptoms is vital to allow early diagnosis and treatment.

We found this very engaging child-friendly video from Thyroid Aware to look into thyroid problems in children:

 

It is also available as a little e-book: Storybook for Children

Resources: https://www.thyroidaware.com/en/resources/child_disorder.html

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