HEALTH4GODS https://health4gods.com A passion for better life Sat, 15 Aug 2020 12:04:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://health4gods.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/cropped-HEALTH4GODS-1-32x32.png HEALTH4GODS https://health4gods.com 32 32 The PR Firm Behind WHO’s Celeb Endorsements https://health4gods.com/the-pr-firm-behind-whos-celeb-endorsements/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-pr-firm-behind-whos-celeb-endorsements https://health4gods.com/the-pr-firm-behind-whos-celeb-endorsements/#respond Sat, 15 Aug 2020 12:04:43 +0000 https://health4gods.com/the-pr-firm-behind-whos-celeb-endorsements/ While the United States halted funding to the World Health Organization mid-April 2020,1 and terminated its relationship altogether at the end of May,2 the WHO is still seeking to influence Americans about pandemic responses to COVID-19. In the Corbett Report3 above, investigative journalist James Corbett discusses Event 201, a pandemic tabletop exercise to illustrate preparedness […]

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While the United States halted funding to the World Health Organization mid-April 2020,1 and terminated its relationship altogether at the end of May,2 the WHO is still seeking to influence Americans about pandemic responses to COVID-19.

In the Corbett Report3 above, investigative journalist James Corbett discusses Event 201, a pandemic tabletop exercise to illustrate preparedness hosted by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in October 2019.

At the time, they discussed ways to limit and counter the spread of expected “misinformation” about the pandemic. In addition to outright censorship, this also included the use of “soft power.”

Soft Power Plays for Hard-to-Swallow Dictates

Soft power is a term that refers to stealth influencing using celebrities and other social media influencers. Corbett presents the case of Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who both reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 early on in the pandemic.

They dutifully “modeled” the desired behavior to get tested, self-quarantine and submit to continued observation for as long as necessary to ensure they didn’t spread it to anyone else. That’s one example of soft power.

Celebrities also put on a virtual “One World Together at Home” benefit concert to raise money for the WHO and rally the citizens of the world around the idea that we can get through this if we all just follow instructions and stay home.

In May, celebrities and social media influencers agreed to “pass the mic” by allowing the WHO and other pandemic response leaders, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, to use their social media accounts to share their messages.

If you thought all of these things occurred more or less organically, you’d be wrong. The Daily Caller spilled the beans in the July 17, 2020, article4 “World Health Organization Hired PR Firm to Identify Celebrity ‘Influencers’ to Amplify Virus Messaging.” According to The Daily Caller:5

“The World Health Organization hired a high-powered public relations firm to seek out so-called influencers to help build trust in the organization’s coronavirus response.

WHO paid $135,000 to the firm Hill and Knowlton Strategies, according to documents6 filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act … The contract earmarked $30,000 for ‘influencer identification,’ $65,000 for ‘message testing,’ and $40,000 for a ‘campaign plan framework.’

Hill and Knowlton … proposed identifying three tiers of influencers: celebrities with large social media followings, individuals with smaller but more engaged followings, and ‘hidden heroes,’ those users with slight followings but who ‘nevertheless shape and guide conversations.’”

Hill and Knowlton Has Sold Us Other Lies

As noted by Corbett, Hill and Knowlton Strategies was also the PR company responsible for crafting a powerful enough campaign to get Americans to rally together in support of the war against Iraq.

The ensuing propaganda campaign even included the fake testimony of “Nayirah” before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, October 10, 1990, in which she claimed she’d witnessed Iraqi soldiers coming into the Kuwaiti hospital where she was volunteering and taking babies out of the incubators, leaving them to die on the floor.

As noted by Corbett, “It’s difficult today to understand just how important this testimony was in setting the tone of the debate about whether America should commit military forces in Kuwait.”

What we do know is that in the lead-up to the war, her testimony, which was eventually revealed to be entirely untrue, was repeated on the evening news, in presidential speeches, and by Congressional and Senatorial leaders.

In 1992, it was revealed Nayirah’s gut-wrenching speech had been written for her by Hill and Knowlton Strategies, which had been hired by Citizens for a Free Kuwait, a Kuwaiti government astroturf organization, to help them sell the Gulf War and enlist American support. Even the “Congressional Human Rights Caucus” was found to be a Hill and Knowlton creation.

Hill and Knowlton Connection With the Tobacco Industry

As early as the 1950s, there was a powerful consolidation of scientific evidence showing smoking led to serious respiratory and cardiac diseases. Yet it took 50 years before health concerns about smoking became pervasive enough for smoking rates to drop significantly. How did we stay in the dark for so long?

The tobacco companies’ guiding light through it all was the very same public relations firm they hired in the 1950s: Hill and Knowlton Strategies. Rather than play the losing game of simply denying facts, Hill and Knowlton proposed brilliant strategies. It is revealing to review the bullet points below from a leaked document outlining the objectives of tobacco company Brown & Williamson at the time:

  • Objective No. 1 — To set aside in the minds of millions the false conviction that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases; a conviction based on fanatical assumptions, fallacious rumors, unsupported claims, and the unscientific statements and conjectures of publicity-seeking opportunists.
  • Objective No. 2 — To lift the cigarette from the cancer identification as quickly as possible and restore it to its proper place of dignity and acceptance in the minds of men and women in the marketplace of American free enterprise.
  • Objective No. 3 — To expose the incredible, unprecedented and nefarious attack against the cigarette, constituting the greatest libel and slander ever perpetrated against any product in the history of free enterprise.
  • Objective No. 4 — To unveil the insidious and developing pattern of attack against the American free enterprise system, a sinister formula that is slowly eroding American business with the cigarette obviously selected as one of the trial targets.

Do People Actually Care What Celebs Think?

So, the PR company that sold us the lie about babies being ripped from incubators in order to get us to back Kuwait’s war against Iraq, and convinced us smoking was harmless, is also responsible for the WHO’s celebrity-backed COVID-19 fear-mongering campaign. And, this is likely only a small portion of the propaganda machine.

There are bound to be many other PR contracts and campaigns that we’ve not become privy to as of yet. We can also be sure that these types of propaganda campaigns will get even “bigger and better” once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available.

The silver lining, if there is one, is that people are starting to get wise to the fact that they’re being manipulated, and by whom. For example, Gal Gadot’s A-List-packed viral video in which everyone sang “Imagine,” experienced a surprising backlash.7

Social media followers branded the celebs as “out of touch” with reality, singing about “no possessions” from their multimillion-dollar mansions while millions of hard-working Americans were losing their jobs and family businesses.

The hypocrisy did not go over well. Sure, it’s easy to tell people to “just stay home” when you have a financial safety net that allows you to be out of work for years on end without putting a significant dent in your quality of life.

Not All Voices Are Equal

The Hill and Knowlton prospectus points out that while the pandemic has dominated discussions, “not all voices are equal and not all are cutting through and being listened to.” The question is, who should be listened to? And, have we been listening to the best, most knowledgeable voices?

Of course, it’s become abundantly clear that the WHO thinks it should be the final arbiter of “facts” as far as the pandemic response is concerned, and social media platforms have dutifully obliged by banning, “fact-checking,” removing and deplatforming anyone presenting a different view.

I believe an argument can be made that we have not been hearing from many who truly deserve to be heard from — front-line doctors, nurses, researchers, virologists and scientists who have tried to present important data and feedback about the novel illness, its treatment, and the world’s response to it.

Many conventional doctors have gotten a rude wake-up call, as they’ve had their views and work censored and banned from the web, simply because it does not conform to the WHO’s messaging.

One recent example is that of Sen. Scott Jensen, a medical doctor. In a July 6, 2020, video, Jensen said he is being investigated and is facing disciplinary action and, possibly, loss of his medical license after an anonymous individual or individuals filed a complaint against him with the Minnesota medical board, accusing him of “spreading misinformation” and “giving reckless advice” about COVID-19. “My God, if this can happen to me, it can happen to anybody,” he says.

UN Enlists Army of Internet Trolls to Control Discussions

WHO isn’t the only organization trying to control the narrative, of course. Many other organizations are involved, all working toward the same end. The United Nations, for example, recently enlisted 10,000 “digital volunteers” to rid the internet of what they consider “false” information about COVID-19 and to disseminate what they say is “U.N.-verified, science-based content.”

The campaign, dubbed the Verified initiative,8 amounts to an army of internet trolls engaging in censorship in an attempt to shut down opposition and opinions that run counter to the status quo.

The major red flag to the U.N.’s campaign is a lack of detail about what constitutes a “conspiracy theory” or “cure with no evidence to back it up.” Some of the information Verified is aiming to share simply states, “If you come across a post online that makes you really angry or frightened, it’s a sign you might be looking at misinformation.”

In a statement released by the Republic of Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, countries are called on to step up and support the U.N.’s mission to counter the “infodemic” that they claim is “as dangerous to human health and security as the pandemic itself:”9

“Among other negative consequences, COVID-19 has created conditions that enable the spread of disinformation, fake news and doctored videos to foment violence and divide communities.

It is critical states counter misinformation as a toxic driver of secondary impacts of the pandemic that can heighten the risk of conflict, violence, human rights violations and mass atrocities.”

Ironically, in outlining the “crucial need for access to free, reliable, trustworthy, factual, multilingual, targeted, accurate, clear and science-based information,” they call on countries to take steps to stop the spread of information they deem to be false and to spread information from “trustworthy sources,” which is the U.N.’s Verified campaign.

Who’s in Charge of Truth?

The U.N.’s verified campaign is reminiscent of another self-appointed internet watchdog, NewsGuard, which claims to rate information as “reliable” or “fake” news, supplying you with a color-coded rating system next to Google and Bing searches, as well as on articles displayed on social media.

If you rely on NewsGuard’s ratings, you may decide to entirely skip by those with a low “red” rating in favor of the so-called “more trustworthy” green-rated articles — and therein lies the problem. NewsGuard is in itself fraught with conflict of interest, as it’s largely funded by Publicis, a global communications giant that’s partnered with Big Pharma, such that it may be viewed more as a censorship tool than an internet watchdog.

For example, NewsGuard announced that my site has been classified as fake news because we have reported the SARS-CoV-2 virus as potentially having been leaked from the biosafety level 4 (BSL4) laboratory in Wuhan City, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. But NewsGuard’s position is in direct conflict with published scientific evidence suggesting this virus was created in a lab and not zoonotically transmitted.

By slapping a “fake news” label on this site, they’re not only doing a disservice to people looking for trustworthy information, but they also spread misinformation themselves. By enlisting an army of trolls to spread their own rhetoric, the concern is that the U.N.’s Verified campaign will do more of the same.

Ultimately, most adults are fully capable of choosing what information they deem credible to share with their social networks, family and friends, without the need for an overreaching Big Brother telling them what’s credible and what’s not.

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The Health Benefits of Sprouts and Microgreens https://health4gods.com/the-health-benefits-of-sprouts-and-microgreens/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-health-benefits-of-sprouts-and-microgreens https://health4gods.com/the-health-benefits-of-sprouts-and-microgreens/#respond Sat, 15 Aug 2020 07:05:07 +0000 https://health4gods.com/the-health-benefits-of-sprouts-and-microgreens/ woman at drive thruSprouts of certain seeds and nuts are an inexpensive and simple way to add extra nutrients to the diet. They are easy to grow at home and the ultimate local superfood. Even if you don’t have room for a garden, you can grow a jar of sprouts on your kitchen counter! I’ve made different types […]

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Sprouts of certain seeds and nuts are an inexpensive and simple way to add extra nutrients to the diet. They are easy to grow at home and the ultimate local superfood. Even if you don’t have room for a garden, you can grow a jar of sprouts on your kitchen counter! I’ve made different types …

Continue reading The Health Benefits of Sprouts and Microgreens

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What Are the Effects of Masking Facial Expressions? https://health4gods.com/what-are-the-effects-of-masking-facial-expressions/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-are-the-effects-of-masking-facial-expressions https://health4gods.com/what-are-the-effects-of-masking-facial-expressions/#respond Sat, 15 Aug 2020 07:05:06 +0000 https://health4gods.com/what-are-the-effects-of-masking-facial-expressions/ woman at drive thruPoor air quality and the use of face masks have been a daily fact of life for many living in China. Since the 1950s, some in Japan, China and Taiwan have worn masks as a means of protecting themselves against air pollution. They also wear them for other reasons, specific to culture.1 In Japan, people […]

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Poor air quality and the use of face masks have been a daily fact of life for many living in China. Since the 1950s, some in Japan, China and Taiwan have worn masks as a means of protecting themselves against air pollution. They also wear them for other reasons, specific to culture.1

In Japan, people wear masks when they feel sick and women wear them when they go out without makeup. Bradley Sutton is an American who lived in Japan. He told a reporter from VOA News that wearing a mask in Asia is ingrained in their culture, so doing it for reasons other than air pollution is easier.2

Despite the problem with air quality before the first SARS outbreak in China in 2002, masks were not a regular part of every Asian’s life. It was only after SARS that they were used consistently. Manufacturers in East Asia are now producing up to 20 million masks each month. Before SARS, people living in Taiwan believed masks marked them as being severely ill.

Since then, the Taiwanese have embraced the use of a mask. In a commentary in China Under the Radar, the writer believes young Chinese are wearing them to build a “social firewall” and avoid being approached by others, “just as sunglasses or headphones would.”3 While real-world testing indicates that masks used for air pollution vary widely in their effectiveness, they have become a staple in Asian life.4

After the World Health Organization declared SARS-CoV-2 a global pandemic, masks have become more commonplace around the world. Since science and testing has not yet caught up, many are choosing to wear a mask in public to allay others’ fears. Whether or not they are effective, it’s important to recognize the communication problems they introduce and to know how to address those problems.

Decoding Facial Actions Helps Categorize Emotion

Masks have removed a crucial way in which people use visual cues to communicate and understand each other. Smiles, cheek twitches and lip movements are all lost under a mask. These visual perceptions of expression are part of how people recognize and understand communication.

In a paper published in Current Opinions in Psychology, one professor from The Ohio State University hypothesized that to interpret emotion, the visual system, including the eyes and brain, attempts to identify muscle activation in the face.5

Based on computational, behavioral and imaging evidence, he believes humans are able to effortlessly infer an emotional state by reading facial expressions. This is different from the categorical model that proposes there are six distinct and universal emotions that are communicated across cultures. These are happiness, anger, disgust, sadness, surprise and fear.6

The second theory is related to a dimensional model that suggests there are varying dimensions across emotions that are not distinct. Researchers have found evidence that supports the use of more than one way to categorize expression. While this may be highly interesting to psychological researchers, what does it mean in terms of our ability to communicate, when we can’t see most facial expressions?

When adults were tested, they did not have to acknowledge they had seen a face for their brain to recognize the expression.7 While this is a good indication of how quickly the visual system communicates with the brain, when facial expressions are not fully visible, this recognition is hampered.

Rebecca Brewer from the Royal Holloway University of London points out that humans process a person’s whole face rather than paying attention to a singular feature, such as the eyes, nose or mouth. “When we cannot see the whole face, such holistic processing is disrupted,” she says.8

Brewer adds that this happens even in countries where the women wear veils in public. Children and adults learn to interpret information from the whole face; expressions on others’ faces, even furrowed brows, are used in several cognitive processes.9

Your Face Is an Effective Communication Tool

Aleix Martinez is the researcher from The Ohio State University. He has been studying the recognition of facial expressions while programming machine learning algorithms.

He believes that relying on facial expressions can also be misleading and explains that the key to interpretation is the study of the entire body posture, motion and context.10 Yet, your face communicates more than what’s coming out of your mouth. The authors of one paper described it this way:11

“One of the richest and most powerful tools in social communication is the face, from which observers can quickly and easily make a number of inferences — about identity, gender, sex, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical health, attractiveness, emotional state, personality traits, pain or physical pleasure, deception, and even social status.”

In countries where facial coverings are new, many are struggling with the ability to communicate and find it hard to breathe. While this may be difficult for lots of people, it can be overwhelming for those with communication difficulties or psychological trauma. For example, people who are deaf can no longer read lips, which severely hinders communications with a person who doesn’t know sign language.12

Masks Can Trigger a PTSD Episode

Yet another concern with widespread mask-wearing is related to people who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and those who may be traumatized from the pandemic. Yuval Neria of the New York State Psychiatric Institute runs the institute’s PTSD program and told the American Heart Association that mental health professionals are in uncharted territory in predicting the effects of this pandemic:13

“I don’t think the mental health consequences will be limited to PTSD only. In fact, I think we should expect other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and potentially increase in suicide. They are already there and kind of showing themselves.

Disasters are usually limited to space and time. And there is an onset of a disaster – which may take some time – but there is an end. But I think viruses have their own way to inflict adversities on us. The threat is ambiguous. (It) is everywhere and nowhere. It’s ongoing. It may take a long time.”

There is concern that the pandemic is also affecting those who have a history of trauma. PTSD is not limited to people who served in the armed services. Men and women who are victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault may have significant difficulty wearing masks.

In 2018, the number of self-reported rapes or sexual assaults of people older than 12 doubled from 2017.14 In 2015, 1 in 5 U.S. women reported having experienced a completed or attempted rape at some time in their life. Physical violence from an intimate partner has affected 33% of women and 25% of men, and 14.3% of women have been injured.15

When these experiences involve choking, smothering or the attacker wearing a mask, it can be even worse. Psychiatric nurse practitioner Adam Barkeloo spoke with Channel 9 News, expressing concern about how this can trigger a PTSD episode:16

“The one we worry about the most is trauma. Sexual trauma, an attack. What might not seem like a big deal to you or I might be a really big deal to a kid or an older person or a female.”

Dawn Nau told her story to a reporter from the Altoona Mirror. She had been a bank teller during a robbery during which a man wearing a bandana pointed a gun in her face. The reporter wrote:17

“Last week, Dawn Nau of Williamsport went to the grocery store for the first time since wearing a mask became mandatory in her state. For someone with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, this was a huge task.

‘To be honest, I thought I was being brave,’ she said. ‘The first time I came up an aisle, there was a man there with a mask on.’ Dawn had to tell herself to breathe. She went into the next aisle and took her mask off.

‘I was in the store maybe five minutes before I had to take my mask off,’ she said. ‘It feels like I’m suffocating, like I can’t breathe. It panics me.’ She wasn’t in the store long, but by the time she left, she was soaked from sweat.”

Dawn’s story is not unique. It is similar to that of Lori Perkins18 and thousands of others who live with anxiety related to PTSD that was caused by traumatic events in their lives.

Still Face Experiment Demonstrates Early Facial Recognition

Children are also experiencing distress from adults wearing masks. This short video demonstrates the role that facial expression plays in infant interaction. It’s called the “Still Face” experiment, which was first performed in 1975 by Edward Tronick, Ph.D., who continues to conduct research on how a mother’s stressful behavior may affect the emotional development of infants and children.19

The study may be one of the most often-cited in developmental psychology. Further investigations into infants’ abilities to differentiate emotional expressions have revealed that within the first six months, babies learn to recognize emotion and distinguish physical characteristics associated with those emotions.20

In one study, scientists found that babies spend more time looking at the mouth of an angry face just after hearing a happy voice. The researchers believe this is a reaction to hearing something different from what they’re seeing and that it may demonstrate the ability at an early age to understand emotional information based on what is heard and seen.21

Educators have long known that many young children have difficulty when masks are worn. At some elementary schools masks aren’t allowed during Halloween, as the children become stressed. Kang Lee, Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, says that children don’t have full facial recognition abilities until they’re about 14 years old.22,23

Until that time, children see individual features rather than the entire face. When adults and children use masks, it becomes more difficult for children to recognize individuals and understand emotional signals. This is especially difficult for children on the autism spectrum who often have trouble understanding and reading nonverbal cues.

Young children also look to their parents and caregivers to interpret new situations. This reliance on facial expressions and even tone of voice is distorted by a mask, and may make it challenging for them to regulate their response. Psychologists call this “social referencing” and it develops in children through the early preschool years.24

How Can You Adjust to Public Communication?

Interpreting nonverbal cues and communicating while wearing a mask in public can be challenging. However, there are several strategies you can use to help yourself and your children. Consider these tips from Brookings:25

Introductions — Before going into a public place, show your children a face mask. Allow them to handle it and play with it. Explain that you’ll be wearing a mask in public and others will be wearing them too. Put it on your face in front of your child. Children may have less anxiety when they can anticipate events.

Games — Play “peek-a-boo” by covering and uncovering your mouth with your hand and mask. Tell them you’ll be smiling under the mask, even if they can’t see it. Use “guess-my-expression” to help them look for clues for expressions. Wearing a mask, ask them to watch your eyes and eyebrows and guess what expression you’re making. Take off the mask to let them see if they got it right.

Talking — Talk with your child through the mask at home. Adjust your tone and pitch so they can hear you.

Many adults are having difficulty wearing a mask in public. While simple strategies may not be useful to completely allay anxiety, there are some things you can do to improve the situation:26,27,28

Nonverbal cues — Since facial expressions are much more difficult to read, using other cues, such as a hand wave, laughing when you smile and showing more of your emotions can help others understand what you’re saying. Making eye contact and being more expressive than normal can also help.

Voice volume — The mask will muffle your voice somewhat, so be sure you are speaking loud enough for the other person to hear you. They may stop asking you to repeat yourself after several times and just give up.

Relaxation techniques — Since your nervous system doesn’t often listen to reason, it’s helpful to have a few techniques you can use in public if you feel anxious while wearing a mask.

Breathing deeply, listening to music or adding a few drops of lavender to the front of your mask may help. You can activate the vagus nerve, which helps calm the nervous system, by using your facial muscles to chew gum, sing or hum.

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Fast Food Makes an Unhealthy Comeback Among Kids https://health4gods.com/fast-food-makes-an-unhealthy-comeback-among-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fast-food-makes-an-unhealthy-comeback-among-kids https://health4gods.com/fast-food-makes-an-unhealthy-comeback-among-kids/#respond Sat, 15 Aug 2020 07:05:05 +0000 https://health4gods.com/fast-food-makes-an-unhealthy-comeback-among-kids/ woman at drive thruThe data, from before the beginning of the pandemic, shows that after a period of improvement, U.S. kids are eating as much fast food as they were in the early 2000s.

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woman at drive thru

The data, from before the beginning of the pandemic, shows that after a period of improvement, U.S. kids are eating as much fast food as they were in the early 2000s.

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Mental Health Issues Soaring During COVID Pandemic https://health4gods.com/mental-health-issues-soaring-during-covid-pandemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=mental-health-issues-soaring-during-covid-pandemic https://health4gods.com/mental-health-issues-soaring-during-covid-pandemic/#respond Sat, 15 Aug 2020 07:05:04 +0000 https://health4gods.com/mental-health-issues-soaring-during-covid-pandemic/ mental health crisisThe findings, based on surveys conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from June 24-30, also show that “one quarter of [survey] respondents reported symptoms of trauma- and stressor-related disorder.”

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mental health crisis

The findings, based on surveys conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from June 24-30, also show that “one quarter of [survey] respondents reported symptoms of trauma- and stressor-related disorder.”

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Parents Turn to 'Pods' for School During Pandemic https://health4gods.com/parents-turn-to-pods-for-school-during-pandemic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=parents-turn-to-pods-for-school-during-pandemic https://health4gods.com/parents-turn-to-pods-for-school-during-pandemic/#respond Sat, 15 Aug 2020 07:05:02 +0000 https://health4gods.com/parents-turn-to-pods-for-school-during-pandemic/ coronavirus on demand pod“Podding” is garnering increased attention given the uncertainty of the upcoming school year. Many districts have opted out of in-person learning, or are offering a choice of virtual or in-school instruction as people grow increasingly concerned about health risks at schools.

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coronavirus on demand pod

“Podding” is garnering increased attention given the uncertainty of the upcoming school year. Many districts have opted out of in-person learning, or are offering a choice of virtual or in-school instruction as people grow increasingly concerned about health risks at schools.

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6 Reasons Why You’re Experiencing Food Cravings https://health4gods.com/6-reasons-why-youre-experiencing-food-cravings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=6-reasons-why-youre-experiencing-food-cravings https://health4gods.com/6-reasons-why-youre-experiencing-food-cravings/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2020 16:06:10 +0000 https://health4gods.com/6-reasons-why-youre-experiencing-food-cravings/ Stress Management & The Guide to Chilling Out | Nutrition StrippedFood cravings can happen to all of us. Cravings are one of the many ways your body communicates to you, and using mindful eating, we can uncover why you’re experiencing cravings and how you can adjust to give your body what it needs. The more you understand your cravings and determine where they’re stemming from, […]

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Food cravings can happen to all of us. Cravings are one of the many ways your body communicates to you, and using mindful eating, we can uncover why you’re experiencing cravings and how you can adjust to give your body what it needs.

The more you understand your cravings and determine where they’re stemming from, the better you’ll be able to care for your body and its needs and the more ease you’ll have with your food choices.

6 Common Causes of Food Cravings

Although they may appear to be random and without rhyme or reason, there are quite a few well-supported causes of cravings.

While each individual may experience them differently, many of the reasons for why we’re experiencing cravings can be explained through science.

1. Inadequate Nutrient Intake

In order for the body to function properly and efficiently, we need to supply it with energy through food. The major food groups that we need to ensure intake of are protein, starchy carbohydrates, non-starchy carbohydrates, and healthy fat.

When consumed in adequate amounts for your body’s individual needs, you should feel satiated and energized. Yet when some of these items are lacking in the diet, it’s not uncommon for you to experience intense cravings in response.

For example, if you’re maintaining a diet that is consistently low in starchy carbohydrates, you may experience intense cravings for refined sugars and potent sources of carbohydrates. This is your body’s way of telling you that you are not consuming enough starchy carbohydrates.

2. You’re Stressed, Sad or Anxious

Feelings of stress, anxiety and sadness often result in cravings.

When we’re feeling particularly stressed, our body releases a hormone called cortisol that can lead to an increased appetite and therefore cravings as well.

Additionally, research has shown that those with chronic stress often experience cravings due to increased motivation for rewarding substances and behaviors (1).

Stress eating and emotional eating are well-known phenomenons, and cravings play a big role in each of them. Many studies have shown that in the increase of emotional and even physical stress can lead to an increased intake of foods high in fat and sugar (2).

3. Food Rules Can Cause Cravings

When we restrict ourselves from certain food items, it’s human nature to want and crave them even more.

If you’ve ever decided to remove a certain food group or abide by a strict diet, this sensation should feel familiar to you. When you tell yourself that you can have something, then you’re presented with said food item or group, cravings will generally ensue.

The craving is brought on by having a mental list of foods to avoid, so this may be your only opportunity to have it.

We call this the lack mentality, which causes you to want to overindulge in that food and experience a heightened craving for it because you don’t know when you’ll be able to have it again since you’ve labeled it “off-limits”, rather than being able to enjoy a serving whenever you please and be fully satisfied.

4. Dehydration

When we’re dehydrated, the body will do whatever it can to increase fluid intake. While thirst is one sensation that leads to this, food cravings are another.

Sometimes it can simply be difficult to differentiate between the two sensations. Cravings as a result of dehydration are general experienced through non-selective hunger, where instead of craving one item in particular, we instead have an extreme craving for food in general.

While non-selective hunger is often a result of real hunger and low blood sugar, it can be a result of dehydration as well.

5. Lack of Sleep

A good night’s sleep allows the body to replenish, reenergize and recuperate for the following day. One poor night of sleep won’t do much harm, but a perpetual lack of sleep can start to wreak havoc on the body.

When sleep-deprived, the hunger and satiety hormones ghrelin and leptin can get out of whack (3). This can result in excessive cravings, hunger cues and an increased appetite over time.

6. Old Habits

Are there certain places that remind of you particular food items?

We have external and internal cues that remind us of habits we have pertaining to food. For example, have you ever walked into a movie theatre and automatically craved popcorn?

This is a food craving that occurs as a result of a habit. In this scenario, you probably made it a habit of always getting popcorn at the movie theatre, therefore the movie theatre became an external cue for your popcorn craving.

How to Manage Your Food Cravings

Once you’ve identified that you’re experiencing unwanted food cravings, it’s time to put some new habits and practices in place to help manage them.

1. Uncover Why You’re Experiencing Food Cravings

Reading the above-mentioned list is a great start, but how do you really know which ones really apply to you?

Start with a reflective food journal. It shouldn’t be  rigid, strict or constant. Instead, simply record the times when you’re experiencing cravings, and the details surrounding them. You can find a reflective food journal prompt in my free guide for creating healthy eating habits!

For example, how have you been sleeping lately? Have you had any water? How have you been feeling emotionally? Have there been any major stressors in your life?

Use a lens of curiosity to dive into your day-to-day habits and pinpoint any possible causes for your cravings.

2. Take A Look At Your Nutrient Intake

Take a look at your typical meals, is anything missing?

You can use our Foundational Five format to help with this. Make sure you have a combination of protein, healthy fat, starchy carbohydrates, non-starchy carbohydrates and flavor in each and every one of your meals. This helps give your body everything it needs to feel its best.

If you aren’t eating the Foundational Five at most meals, cravings maybe your body’s way of telling you it’s missing the nutrients it needs.

3. Practice Stress Management

Stress is a part of each and every one of our lives. While a bit of stress here and there can actually be healthy, chronic or perpetual stress is something we want to get under control.

Stress management looks different for everyone — whether it’s a daily walk in nature, evening journaling,  an exercise class or even meditation, practicing stress management can help to significantly reduce unwanted food cravings.

Stress Management & The Guide to Chilling Out | Nutrition Stripped

4. Develop A Healthy Relationship With Food

A healthy relationship with food is one that is unique to you and your needs. One that nourishes, energizes and supports you and your life.

Removing and restricting food items from your diet can not only lead to extreme food cravings, but also unhealthy, unsustainable relationships with food.

Having a healthy and balanced approach to food helps you nourish yourself well and create long-term healthy eating habits.

5. Hydrate And Sleep

We’re taking it back to basics with this one!

As far as water goes, a good rule of thumb to start with is to ensure you’re getting about half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water daily. Individual needs will vary depending upon specific disease states, activity levels and more.

In regards to sleep, it’s generally recommended that adults aim for anywhere from 6-9 hours per night.

Maintaining healthy hydration and sleep schedule will keep your hormones in line and prevent any unnecessary spikes in cravings.

6.  Identify Your Habits And External Cues

Identifying your eating habits and external cues for certain cravings is the first step to diminishing them. Once you know when they usually occur, you can properly prepare.

For example, if you know you almost always get an extreme craving for popcorn at the movie theatre, going into the situation prepared with knowledge already sets you up for success. In addition, if you prepare in advance by having a well-balanced meal before getting to the theatre, the chances of your craving taking control are much slimmer.

Navigating Food Cravings in Your Daily Life

Now that you know a few of the common causes of food cravings and a few tools you can start using right away, which practice is resonating the most with you that you could give a try this week?

The key is to start taking a small action with the knowledge you have just gained to align with what you want to be experiencing.

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Why Aren't We Promoting Health to Combat COVID? https://health4gods.com/why-arent-we-promoting-health-to-combat-covid/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-arent-we-promoting-health-to-combat-covid https://health4gods.com/why-arent-we-promoting-health-to-combat-covid/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2020 16:06:08 +0000 https://health4gods.com/why-arent-we-promoting-health-to-combat-covid/ It’s an unfortunate fact that health officials and pandemic response authorities, by and large, are completely ignoring the role a healthy lifestyle plays in the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing instead, almost exclusively, on the necessity for a vaccine. According to Reuters,1 the U.S. government is planning to launch an “overwhelming” COVID-19 vaccine campaign come November. An […]

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It’s an unfortunate fact that health officials and pandemic response authorities, by and large, are completely ignoring the role a healthy lifestyle plays in the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing instead, almost exclusively, on the necessity for a vaccine.

According to Reuters,1 the U.S. government is planning to launch an “overwhelming” COVID-19 vaccine campaign come November. An unnamed “senior White House administration official” is quoted saying:2

“The fine line we are walking is getting the American people very excited about vaccines and missing expectations versus having a bunch of vaccines in the warehouse and not as many people want to get it. You may not hear a lot about promoting vaccines over the airwaves in August and September but you’ll be overwhelmed by it come November.”

But is a vaccine really going to be the answer people are hoping for? For example, many have bought into the mainstream narrative that masks are here to stay until or unless there’s a vaccine, and getting vaccinated would mean the end to mask mandates.

Considering the fact that neither masks nor vaccines offer significant protection against the virus, chances are such hopes will get dashed. Maria Elena Bottazzi, a COVID-19 vaccine developer at Baylor College of Medicine, recently warned3 that social distancing and face masks will likely still be required even after a vaccine becomes available, as the vaccine will not offer 100% protection against infection.

So, don’t be fooled. Vaccines will be in addition to what we are told to do now, not a replacement. Even Moderna’s CEO Stephanie Bancel stated4 that if the vaccine reaches 90% effectiveness, which is a beyond overly optimistic projection, people with high-risk health conditions will need to continue wearing masks.

In addition to not necessarily removing the “need” for masks and social distancing mandates in the future, the novel mRNA vaccines being developed against COVID-19 may also be an autoimmune disorder disaster in the making, as explained in “The Well-Known Hazards of Coronavirus Vaccines” and “Gates Tries to Justify Side Effects of Fast-Tracked Vaccine.”

SARS-CoV-2 Is Here to Stay

The Atlantic succinctly stated the truth of the matter in the August 4, 2020, article, “The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away”:5

“If there was ever a time when this coronavirus could be contained, it has probably passed. One outcome is now looking almost certain: This virus is never going away … We will probably be living with this virus for the rest of our lives …

What does the future of COVID-19 look like? That will depend, says Yonatan Grad, on the strength and duration of immunity against the virus. Grad, an infectious-disease researcher at Harvard, and his colleagues have modeled6 a few possible trajectories.

If immunity lasts only a few months, there could be a big pandemic followed by smaller outbreaks every year. If immunity lasts closer to two years, COVID-19 could peak every other year …

In SARS, antibodies … wane after two years. Antibodies to a handful of other coronaviruses that cause common colds fade in just a year. ‘The faster protection goes away, the more difficult for any project to try to move toward eradication,’ Grad told me.”

Many who have steadfastly isolated themselves for months on end and dutifully wear a mask everywhere they go probably do not want to hear this. If the virus isn’t going away no matter what we do, then there are only two choices: Continue social distancing and mask-wearing for the remainder of our days, or return to life as it was pre-COVID, when influenza seasons were met with blasé equanimity.

Post-COVID World Needs to Focus on Health

For many, neither of these options is satisfactory. They are, however, reality. COVID-19 is unlikely to be eradicated, and if you haven’t contracted it already, you likely will at some point.

At present, it’s still unclear whether you can contract it more than once, but if that’s the case, then flu season will likely include the possibility of COVID-19 outbreaks as well.

Facing reality head-on is the best way forward, if you ask me, and that means your best bet is to get yourself into good shape through diet and exercise. You simply cannot hide from this virus, for the simple reason that you cannot stop breathing.

At this point, it may be worth reminding yourself that life involves the risk of illness and death. Every day of every year of your life, you face the possibility of illness, be it an infectious disease or chronic illness.

Each year of your life you’ve faced the possibility of influenza, for example. Maybe a mild case, maybe a really serious one. Regardless, you’ve probably never considered isolating yourself for months each year and giving up on doing the things you love for fear you might get the flu and die.

Despite the fact that uptake of seasonal influenza vaccines has seen an uptick thanks to various mandates, the flu continues to circulate and affects large numbers of vaccinated individuals every year. Influenza has not been eradicated, and the flu vaccine has consistently been shown to provide very little in terms of protection against it.

In all likelihood, that’s where we’ll be with COVID-19 as well. The good news is that, much like with influenza, your chances of staying well, or only getting a mild case, are primarily dependent on your immune function, and this is something you can do something about.

Obesity Is a Significant Risk Factor for Severe COVID-19

We now have a significant amount of data showing that certain comorbidities raise your risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death. Among the top ones is obesity, so addressing excess weight will go a long way toward lowering your risk.

In the U.K., obesity is now being targeted as part of the country’s coronavirus prevention strategy.7 In a recent announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he intends to ban TV junk food advertising before 9 p.m. and limit in-store promotions. Online ads for unhealthy foods may also be banned.8

Johnson’s decision was in large part influenced by his own bout with COVID-19, which he believes was made more serious by his excess weight. Several studies support his suspicion. As noted in the July 13, 2020, issue of the Journal of Virology:9

“Over the years, humans have adopted sedentary lifestyles and dietary patterns have shifted to excessive food consumption and poor nutrition. Overnutrition has led to the constellation of metabolic abnormalities that not only contributes to metabolic reprogramming but also limits host innate and adaptive immunity.

Impaired immune responses and chronic inflammation in metabolically diseased microenvironments provide the ideal conditions for viral exploitation of host cells and enhanced viral pathogenesis.”

Huntington Officials Urge Residents to Lose Weight

In the U.S., few officials have addressed the proverbial elephant in the room. The town of Huntington in New York stands out as a rare exception. As reported by Bill Maher in the featured video, Huntington officials have urged all 200,000 residents to “go on a diet because [with] COVID-19, you’re twice as likely to have a poor outcome if you’re obese.”

As noted by Maher, obesity has always killed us, albeit slowly. “Mixed with COVID, it kills you fast,” he says, adding:

“Why not an all-out campaign to educate the public on the dangers of a diet of sugary, chemical-laden crap? … Why not campaign to get decent food into poorer neighborhoods? Why not for every PSA for masks, a PSA for a recipe of a healthy meal?

I think so many lives could have been saved if at the very beginning of this crisis the medical establishment had made a more concerted effort to tell Americans, ‘While you’re in lockdown, getting free money for not working, you need to do something too.’ Even the poorest person could switch out soda at meals for water …

A national campaign to improve health could have improved our chances against this disease [and] made us feel better about ourselves to boot. But it was never even mentioned … We cannot have body positivity be a third rail anymore … This issue is too fundamental to who lives and who dies.”

Food Industry Needs to Do Better Moving Forward

Hopefully, the U.S. will eventually follow in the U.K.’s footsteps and take action against junk food advertisements. Clearly, advertising works, and it’s not helping anyone make the right choices for their health. In the meantime, you’d be wise to take matters into your own hands.

There’s little doubt that processed foods, junky snacks and soft drinks are key culprits in the rise of obesity and chronic diseases that also inflate the risk of death from COVID-19. As such, they should be the first to be eliminated from your diet moving forward.

If anything good is to come of this pandemic, it would be the widespread recognition of the impact obesity has not just on chronic diseases, but also on viral contagions such as SARS-CoV-2. A recent editorial published in the BMJ highlights the importance of diet and the significant yet hidden influence the processed food industry has had in the COVID-19 pandemic:10

“It is now clear that the food industry shares the blame not only for the obesity pandemic but also for the severity of COVID-19 disease and its devastating consequences.

During the COVID-19 pandemic an increase in food poverty, disruptions to supply chains, and panic buying may have limited access to fresh foods, thus tilting the balance towards a greater consumption of highly processed foods and those with long shelf lives that are usually high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat.

Moreover, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the food industry has launched campaigns and corporate social responsibility initiatives, often with thinly veiled tactics using the outbreak as a marketing opportunity (for example, by offering half a million ‘smiles’ in the form of doughnuts to NHS staff).”

They not only call on the food industry to immediately stop promoting unhealthy food and drinks, but also call on governments to force reformulation of junk foods to better support health. With research showing that being obese doubles the risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19,11,12 the authors noted:13

These findings suggest that modification of lifestyle may help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and could be a useful adjunct to other interventions, such as social distancing and shielding of high risk.”

Johns Hopkins University researchers have also suggested obesity might eventually shift the burden of COVID-19 onto younger patients, as a dataset of 265 COVID-19 patients showed younger individuals admitted to the hospital were more likely to be obese.14

Even Mild Obesity Raises COVID-19 Risks

According to recent research, even mild obesity can influence COVID-19 severity. Researchers from the Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna in Italy analyzed 482 COVID-19 patients hospitalized between March 1 and April 20, 2020,15 concluding “Obesity is a strong, independent risk factor for respiratory failure, admission to the ICU and death among COVID-19 patients.”

Using body mass index (BMI) to define obesity, the researchers found an increased risk for more severe COVID-19 infection started at a BMI of 30, which is considered “mild” obesity (a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight). Lead study author Dr. Matteo Rottoli said in a news release:16

“Health care practitioners should be aware that people with any grade of obesity, not just the severely obese, are a population at risk. Extra caution should be used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients with obesity, as they are likely to experience a quick deterioration towards respiratory failure, and to require intensive care admission.”

Specifically, patients with mild obesity had a 2.5 times greater risk of respiratory failure and a five times greater risk of being admitted to an ICU compared to nonobese patients. But get this, those with a BMI of over 35 were 12 times more likely to die from COVID-19.17

“Whereas a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 identifies a population of patients at high risk for severe illness, a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2 dramatically increases the risk of death,” the researchers explained.18

Risk of Death Increases Along With Weight

A July 2020 report19 by Public Health England also reviews research demonstrating how excess weight affects COVID-19 outcomes. For example, one systematic review found that, compared to healthy weight patients, patients with a BMI above 25 were:

  • 3.68 times more likely to die
  • 6.98 times more likely to need respiratory support
  • 2.03 times more likely to suffer critical illness

The report also highlights data showing the risk of hospitalization, intensive care treatment and death progressively increase as your BMI goes up. As for how obesity raises risks during viral infections, the chronic, low-grade inflammation it causes is a likely factor.

Inflammation triggered by obesity is also thought to be responsible for the threefold greater risk of pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) seen in obese COVID-19 patients.20,21 Obesity-related dysregulation of lipid synthesis can also aggravate lung inflammation, thereby contributing to increased disease severity in viral respiratory infections specifically.22

In addition to that, excess body weight and fat deposition around the internal organs put pressure on your diaphragm, which makes it more difficult to breathe when you have a respiratory infection.23 Other mechanisms by which obesity may increase COVID-19 severity, include:24

  • Increasing leptin resistance and lipotoxicity, as the accumulation of lipids may be exploited by viruses to enhance viral entry and replication
  • A combined effect of chronic systemic inflammation and the induction of a cytokine storm

Losing Weight Will Lower Your COVID-19 Risk

The take-home message here is that if you are obese, even if only mildly so, focusing on getting down to a healthy weight may help you ward off viral illnesses, including COVID-19. Losing weight will also help you avoid other obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease — all of which, by the way, raise your risk of COVID-19 complications and death.

According to a study by The Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy’s national health authority,25 more than 99% of fatalities from COVID-19 occurred among people who had underlying medical conditions. Among that 99%, 76.1% had high blood pressure, 35.5% had diabetes and 33% had heart disease either alone or as comorbidities.26

One of the most powerful strategies to optimize your weight is to restrict your eating window to six to eight hours each day, making sure to eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. This is known as time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting, and is a powerful intervention to reduce insulin resistance and restore metabolic flexibility.

With respect to diet recommendations, my experience is consistent with a cyclical ketogenic diet being highly effective to restore metabolic flexibility and reduce insulin resistance.

This involves radically limiting carbs (replacing them with healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein) until you’re close to or at your ideal weight, as this will allow your body to start burning fat as its primary fuel and to increase the sensitivity of your insulin receptors.

Most people use carbs as their primary fuel source (thanks to excessive and frequent carb intake). They have lost the ability to effectively burn fat for fuel, which in turn leads to metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance and weight gain. Once you have regained your ideal body weight, then you can cycle carbs back in a few times a week.

One of the best books written on this subject is my classic “Fat for Fuel.” If you haven’t read it, then you are in for a treat, as COVID-19 is the catalyst that will motivate you to not only read the book but apply its radical metabolic benefits.

Additionally, get regular exercise each week and increase physical movement throughout your waking hours, with the goal of sitting less than three hours a day. Making sure you’re getting sufficient sleep (typically eight hours for most adults) and tending to your emotional health are also important factors that can influence your weight, general health and immune function.

Chronic stress, for instance, may increase your risk for visceral fat gain over time,27 which means addressing your stress levels is imperative for maintaining your ideal weight. Taking steps to lead a healthy lifestyle overall will have a snowball effect, helping you to reach a healthy weight while also bolstering your resilience against infection and disease.

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Glutathione Deficiency May Be Associated With COVID Severity https://health4gods.com/glutathione-deficiency-may-be-associated-with-covid-severity/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=glutathione-deficiency-may-be-associated-with-covid-severity https://health4gods.com/glutathione-deficiency-may-be-associated-with-covid-severity/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2020 16:06:07 +0000 https://health4gods.com/glutathione-deficiency-may-be-associated-with-covid-severity/ Coronaviruses were identified in the mid-1960s and so named for the crown-like spikes on the surface of the cell. Until the first SARS-CoV arrived in 2003, there were four common coronaviruses.1 The CDC’s list of symptoms for these viruses shows that they are the same as those of the common cold.2 They include a runny […]

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Coronaviruses were identified in the mid-1960s and so named for the crown-like spikes on the surface of the cell. Until the first SARS-CoV arrived in 2003, there were four common coronaviruses.1 The CDC’s list of symptoms for these viruses shows that they are the same as those of the common cold.2 They include a runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever and cough.

However, from what scientists have discovered since the start of the global pandemic, the symptoms and long-term effects are far different for SARS-CoV-2. Initial symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and loss of taste or smell.3 However, unlike a natural coronavirus, the additional complications can affect the cardiovascular system, kidney, liver and lungs.4

One of the identified underlying dysfunctions that trigger shortness of breath and severe lung complications is hypercoagulability. In one study, patients who were admitted to Padova University Hospital in Italy for acute respiratory failure showed “markedly hypercoagulable thromboelastometry profiles.” The researchers said:5

“In conclusion, COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory failure present a severe hypercoagulability rather than consumptive coagulopathy. Fibrin formation and polymerization may predispose to thrombosis and correlate with a worse outcome.”

Clot formations throughout the body may be associated with other complications arising after the illness has resolved. It appears that the difference between people who have a mild or severe illness may be related to the body’s ability to reduce the hypercoagulability and the hyperimmune response that leads to a cytokine storm.

How Glutathione Works — A ‘Master Antioxidant?’

An antioxidant is a molecule that keeps other molecules from oxidizing. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that may play a significant role in the COVID-19 illness process. There are 20 amino acids that can bind together in different formations to create a protein molecule.6

However, glutathione is a tripeptide, which means there are only three amino acids that line up to form a glutathione molecule. These are cystine, glycine and glutamate. Together they help use and recycle other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and CoQ10.7,8

This means your body uses glutathione to increase the effectiveness of these antioxidants and it helps to recycle the molecules. Without glutathione, the antioxidant capacity is significantly reduced. This function may be what earned glutathione the nickname “master antioxidant.”9

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) plays a role as a precursor to glutathione.10 Clinical evidence has also demonstrated the effects NAC has, independent of its role with glutathione, including a thrombolytic effect. It also improves oxidative stress and the inflammatory response.11,12,13,14

In late March 2020, one medical student put this theory to the test when his mother, 48-year-old Josephine Bruzzese, was diagnosed with pneumonia at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn. Without an available COVID-19 test, they sent her home as a suspected case. She was prescribed hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which helped improve some symptoms, but not her breathing.

When she was unable to stand, and had severe respiratory problems,15 her son contacted Dr. Richard Horowitz, a specialist who was treating his sister for Lyme disease, who suggested using glutathione to help reduce the inflammation and protect Bruzzese’s lung tissue. The results were dramatic.

Within one hour after receiving a 2,000 mg dose of glutathione, her breathing was better, and she could stand. She continued to take glutathione for five days and has not had a relapse. Speaking to a reporter from the New York Post, Horowitz shared that he is working to design an extensive clinical trial to prove the effectiveness of what he calls “an easy treatment that is not expensive.”

May 5, 2020, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center posted a trial to Clinicaltrials.gov announcing a study involving the use of NAC in patients with COVID-19. In this first-of-its-kind research, the study team plans to enroll patients with severe disease: One group in the study will receive 6 grams of NAC intravenously each day in addition to other treatments.16

Scientists Propose Deficiency Is Linked to Severe COVID-19

About the same time the study was announced by Memorial Sloan Kettering, a Russian scientist published papers proposing that glutathione plays a crucial role in a person’s ability to respond to a COVID-19 infection and the resulting severity of disease.17,18,19 In this short video, Dr. Roger Seheult explains the science.

Additionally, Dr. Alexey Polonikov, from Kursk State Medical University, theorizes glutathione can be used as a preventive against, and treatment of, the illness. Polonikov studies human molecular genetics and oxidative stress.20

Based on the exhaustive literature analysis he conducted, he later said he believes glutathione deficiency is a plausible reason for serious illness with COVID-19:21

“(1) oxidative stress contributes to hyper-inflammation of the lung leading to adverse disease outcomes such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure and death;

(2) poor antioxidant defense due to endogenous glutathione deficiency as a result of decreased biosynthesis and/or increased depletion of GSH is the most probable cause of increased oxidative damage of the lung, regardless which of the factors aging, chronic disease comorbidity, smoking or some others were responsible for this deficit.”

As Polonikov writes22 and Seheult describes in the video, oxidative damage from reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a significant role in severe disease with COVID-19. In another video, Seheult explains how COVID-19 sets the stage for significantly increasing oxidative stress by increasing superoxide, a damaging ROS.23

Importantly, this raises superoxide in people who start with high levels due to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. As the virus uses the ACE2 enzyme, it generates angiotensin II, which in turn generates more superoxide.

The virus also attracts a type of neutrophil (polymorphonuclear leukocytes) that can also raise the production of superoxide. The superoxide then produces other hydroxyl radicals, including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).

These ROSs, which cause cellular damage, can be reduced with glutathione peroxidase as it oxidizes glutathione in the process of reducing H2O2 to water. As you can see, a deficiency of glutathione would create a build-up for ROS as Polonikov describes.

Comorbid Risk Factors Linked to Glutathione Deficiency

Antioxidant defense against ROS damage is crucial for whole body homeostasis. Polonikov believes a higher rate of severe illness from the virus in older adults and those with comorbidities suggests there are related biological processes that make these specific individuals more sensitive. He writes:24

“Specifically, impaired redox homeostasis and associated oxidative stress appear to be important biological processes that may account for increased individual susceptibility to diverse environmental insults.”

In one evaluation of COVID-19 patients from six hospitals in Atlanta, researchers found independent factors that raised the risk of hospitalization. These included smoking, having Type 2 diabetes, being male, being Black, being of advanced age and being obese.25 Polonikov found evidence that a glutathione deficiency may be implicated in these comorbidities.

In his paper he identifies the progressive reduction in endogenous glutathione with aging. This, he believes, makes “the elderly more susceptible to oxidative damage caused by different environmental factors compared to younger individuals.”26 He points out that deficiencies in endogenous glutathione are also found in people who have other comorbid conditions.

He proposes these decreased levels with chronic disease could begin a shift toward oxidative stress and exacerbate pulmonary inflammation, ultimately leading “to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure and death.”27 Some men and some smokers also have lower levels of glutathione, which increases their risk.

In another ongoing study on the genetics of redox homeostasis and Type 2 diabetes, four patients from the control group contracted COVID-19. Blood samples were collected and used to measure ROS and glutathione levels.28

All four were female nonsmokers without chronic disease who had a confirmed positive PCR test. In cases of individuals who recovered quickly, the ROS-to-glutathione ratio was 2.075-to-0.712 or less.

In patients with more significant disease, the ratio was 3.677-to-0.531 in one patient and as high as 2.73-to-0.079 in the second. In the first patient with significant disease the ratio was more than double that in patients who recovered quickly. In the second patient the ratio was more than 11 times greater.

Glutathione and Vitamin D Relationship

In terms of vitamin D, Polonikov proposes the relationship between vitamin D and severe disease may have more to do with a glutathione deficiency. He points to several studies that correlate glutathione levels with vitamin D29,30 and another in which scientists found that lower levels of l-cysteine, a glutathione precursor, correlated with lower vitamin D levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.31

In a recent animal study researchers also looked at whether glutathione deficiency could induce changes that impaired the metabolism of vitamin D.32 They found the deficiency could alter the biosynthesis and explained the mechanism for vitamin D deficiency that occurs with a glutathione deficiency.

The researchers suggest there’s a potential benefit to supplementing with glutathione in order to reduce vitamin D deficiency. Polonikov writes that this study supplies information on the importance glutathione plays in the control of endogenous vitamin D biosynthesis and demonstrates the benefits of treatment in reducing vitamin D deficiency.

I believe both nutrients are vital for protection against severe disease. While a glutathione deficiency may impact your ability to synthesize vitamin D, this is applicable only when you have enough sun exposure or supplements to raise your vitamin D level.

However, we know it is difficult to get enough sun in the Northern Hemisphere, especially during the winter months. Additionally, most people use copious amounts of sunscreen or avoid the sun altogether, which can make the deficiency problem worse.

Strategies to Support Optimal Glutathione Levels

Your glutathione levels can be optimized using food, supplements and exercise. Polonikov believes that NAC taken orally may be a preventive strategy to help support your levels. In his paper he concluded:33

“Therefore, oral administration of N-acetylcysteine as a preventive measure against viral infections, as well as intravenous injection of NAC or reduced glutathione (GSH is highly bioavailable) in patients with serious illness may be effective options against novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

As he discusses in the video, Seheult believes there is more to the damage by COVID-19 than oxidative stress.34 He points out that the clots removed from patients with confirmed COVID are rich with platelets, indicating another mechanism involving disulfide bonds. He goes on to explain:35

“And, as we’ve already talked about N-acetylcysteine and reduced glutathione will break these disulfide bonds and cause them to lyse and potentially relieve the obstruction and the hypoxemia with COVID-19. Again, this is all a hypothesis, but it looks as though it’s fitting together.”

Foods that have had a positive impact on glutathione production include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, green tea, curcumin, rosemary and milk thistle.36 Getting quality sleep may also help.37,38

Different types of exercise can influence your levels. In one study researchers enrolled 80 healthy but sedentary volunteers to measure the type of exercise that may have the greatest effect.39 They found that aerobic training in combination with circuit weight training showed the greatest benefit.

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COVID-19 Supply Crunch Means More Testing Delays https://health4gods.com/covid-19-supply-crunch-means-more-testing-delays/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covid-19-supply-crunch-means-more-testing-delays https://health4gods.com/covid-19-supply-crunch-means-more-testing-delays/#respond Fri, 14 Aug 2020 07:04:23 +0000 https://health4gods.com/covid-19-supply-crunch-means-more-testing-delays/ photo of scientist testing coronavirus in labThe demand for COVID-19 testing is exploding as schools and businesses try to reopen and as hospitals begin bringing patients back for elective procedures.

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photo of scientist testing coronavirus in lab

The demand for COVID-19 testing is exploding as schools and businesses try to reopen and as hospitals begin bringing patients back for elective procedures.

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