Being Your Own Health Advocate
Everyone who receives my newsletter understands this concept to some degree. Basically, it means being responsible for your own health journey. One of my main passions is sharing education so others can better take care of themselves. While I’m not a doctor, the latin word “docere” means “to teach.” The more we learn about how to take care of our health, the more empowered we are.
The research is pouring in on the benefits of vitamin D and the protective effect from COVID-19. Those with high vitamin D levels have been found to have 20 times less chance of experiencing a critical outcome. One study showed that 98.9% of individuals with COVID-19 related deaths were vitamin D deficient. This is a major finding, so it’s critical to supplement with this vitamin. However, since vitamin D is fat soluble, it’s important to be dosed appropriately as too high a dose for too long can create problems. Testing blood levels can be done to find optimal levels.
Zinc is another important nutrient for immune health. Zinc helps prevent viral replication in cells and is important for the development of immune cells. Even a slightly low zinc level can impede immunity.
Having adequate selenium is also an important factor in how our immune system responds to viral infections. Selenium is a trace mineral that we require in very small amounts. If you take a multi-vitamin, that is likely adequate. If not, Brazil nuts are a good option as they contain the highest amount of selenium, so much so that you could develop selenium poisoning if you ate too many. The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of selenium for adults 19 years and older is 55mcg with an upper tolerable limit of 400mcg. Each Brazil nut contains an average of 96mcg so I recommend a maximum of 1 – 2 per day.
Fish Oil and Inflammation
Fish oil, a source of omega 3 fats, helps keep inflammation down in the body. There is some evidence that points to DHA playing a potential role in managing how the body responds to COVID-19. Most people lack adequate omega 3 fats in their diet. I generally suggest boosting omega 3 status through eating wild salmon, walnuts, flax seed and supplementing with a high quality fish oil supplement. (Contact our office if you need one.)