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Majority Are Already Immune Against SARS-CoV-2

Reproduced from original article:
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     Fact Checked     October 14, 2020

herd immunity coronavirus


  • Several studies suggest immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection is far more widespread than anyone imagined, and that the threshold for herd immunity is far lower than previously estimated
  • German research shows that even among unexposed individuals, 81% were resistant or immune to SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • Common colds caused by the betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 might make you more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection
  • If a majority already have some measure of immunity against COVID-19 due to previous exposure to other coronaviruses, then we’ve probably already reached the threshold for herd immunity and vaccinating every human on the planet is unnecessary
  • Several studies suggest the herd immunity threshold is well below 50%, according to one study, as low as 9%. Meanwhile, a mathematical model suggests immunity against SARS-CoV-2, globally, might be as high as 80%

The more data becomes available about SARS-CoV-2, the more obvious it becomes that the response to this pandemic has been grossly overblown. Fatality statistics1,2,3,4,5,6,7 from multiple sources, calculated in a variety of ways, show the risk of dying from COVID-19 is lower than your risk of dying from conventional influenza, at least if you’re under the age of 60.

Overall, the data8,9 also show that the overall all-cause mortality has remained steady this year and doesn’t veer from the norm. In other words, COVID-19 has not killed off more of the population than would have died in any given year anyway.

Several studies also suggest immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection is far more widespread than anyone imagined, and that the threshold for herd immunity is far lower than previously estimated.

Most Are Already Immune to SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Studies supporting the claim that widespread immunity against SARS-CoV-2 already exists include:

Cell, June 202010,11  This study found 70% of samples from patients who had recovered from mild cases of COVID-19 had resistance to SARS-CoV-2 on the T-cell level. Importantly, 40% to 60% of people who had not been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 also had resistance to the virus on the T-cell level.

According to the authors, this suggests there’s “cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.” In other words, if you’ve recovered from a common cold caused by a particular coronavirus, your humoral immune system may activate when you encounter SARS-CoV-2, thus rendering you resistant to COVID-19.

Nature Immunology, September 202012  This German study was initially posted on a preprint server in June 2020 under the title, “SARS-CoV-2 T-cell Epitopes Define Heterologous and COVID-19-Induced T-Cell Recognition.”13

It’s now published in the September 2020 issue of Nature Immunology with the slightly altered title, “SARS-CoV-2-Derived Peptides Define Heterologous and COVID-19-Induced T Cell Recognition.”14 Much like the Cell study above, this investigation also found that that:

Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 peptides revealed pre-existing T cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals and validated similarity with common cold coronaviruses, providing a functional basis for heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

In other words, even among those who were unexposed, 81% were resistant or immune to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The term “heterologous immunity” refers to immunity that develops against a given pathogen after you’ve been exposed to a nonidentical pathogen.

Typically, this occurs when viruses are sufficiently similar or from closely related species. In this case, SARS-CoV-2 appears to be sufficiently similar to coronaviruses that cause the common cold, so that if you’ve been exposed to any of those coronaviruses, your immune system is also able to combat SARS-CoV-2.

The Lancet Microbe, September 202015,16  This study found that rhinovirus infection, responsible for the common cold, largely prevented concurrent influenza infection by triggering the production of natural antiviral interferon.

The researchers speculate that the common cold virus could potentially help protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection as well. Interferon is part of your early immune response, and its protective effects last for at least five days, according to the researchers. Co-author Dr. Ellen Foxman told UPI:17

“Infection with the common cold virus protected cells from infection with a more dangerous virus, the influenza virus, and [this] occurred because the common cold activated the body’s general antiviral defenses.

This may explain why the flu season, in winter, generally occurs after the common cold season, in autumn, and why very few people have both viruses at the same time. Our results show that interactions between viruses can be an important driving force dictating how and when viruses spread through a population.

Since every virus is different, we still do not know how the common cold season will impact the spread of COVID-19, but we now know we should be looking out for these interactions.”

Nature, July 202018,19,20  Originally posted on a preprint server in May 2020,21 this Singaporean study was published in the July 2020 issue of Nature.22 Here, they found that common colds caused by the betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1 might make you more resistant to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that the resulting immunity could potentially be long-lasting.

Patients who recovered from SARS infection back in 2003 still had T cell reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV now, 17 years later. These patients also had strong cross-reactivity to the N protein of SARS-CoV-2.

The authors suggest that if you’ve beaten a common cold caused by a OC43 or HKU1 betacoronavirus in the past, you may have a 50/50 chance of having defensive T-cells that can recognize and help defend against SARS-CoV-2. According to the authors:

“These findings demonstrate that virus-specific T cells induced by infection with betacoronaviruses are long-lasting, supporting the notion that patients with COVID-19 will develop long-term T cell immunity.

Our findings also raise the possibility that long-lasting T cells generated after infection with related viruses may be able to protect against, or modify the pathology caused by, infection with SARS-CoV-2.”

Cell August 202023,24  This Swedish study, initially posted on a preprint server in June 202025 and now published in the October 2020 issue of the journal Cell,26 found that SARS-CoV-2-specific memory T cells likely provide long-term immune protection against COVID-19. According to the authors:27

“Acute-phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells displayed a highly activated cytotoxic phenotype that correlated with various clinical markers of disease severity, whereas convalescent-phase SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were polyfunctional and displayed a stem-like memory phenotype.

Importantly, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells were detectable in antibody-seronegative exposed family members and convalescent individuals with a history of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19.

Our collective dataset shows that SARS-CoV-2 elicits broadly directed and functionally replete memory T cell responses, suggesting that natural exposure or infection may prevent recurrent episodes of severe COVID-19.”

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Innate and Adaptive Immunity

It’s important to realize you have two types of immunity. Your innate immune system is primed and ready to attack foreign invaders at any moment and is your first line of defense. Your adaptive immune system,28 on the other hand, “remembers” previous exposure to a pathogen and mounts a response when an old foe is recognized.

Your adaptive immune system is further divided into two arms: humoral immunity (B cells) and cell mediated immunity (T cells). The B cells and T cells are manufactured as needed from specialized stem cells. The graphs below are from my vitamin D report and will help you understand the components of these systems and their timing.

immunity diagram
immunity graph

If you have never been exposed to a disease but are given antibodies from someone who got sick and recovered, you can gain humoral immunity against that disease. Your humoral immune system can also kick in if there’s cross-reactivity with another very similar pathogen.

As you can see from the list above, in the case of COVID-19, evidence29 suggests exposure to other coronaviruses that cause the common cold can confer immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

On the flip side, there’s a phenomenon known as viral interference, where exposure to one virus makes you more susceptible to another virus. Importantly, research30 has found that those who received the influenza vaccine were 36% more susceptible to coronavirus infection.

Mathematical Models Add Support for Widespread Immunity

If it’s true that a majority already have some measure of immunity against COVID-19 due to previous exposure to other coronaviruses, then we’ve probably already reached the threshold for herd immunity, and vaccinating every human on the planet (or close to it) will not be necessary.

Added support for the idea that herd immunity may already have been achieved in most countries comes from statisticians working with mathematical models. In June 2020, Freddie Sayers, executive editor of UnHerd, interviewed31 professor Karl Friston, a statistician who claims immunity against SARS-CoV-2, globally, might be as high as 80%, as reviewed in the video interview above.

Friston is credited with inventing a statistical parametric mapping technique that is now the standard for understanding brain imaging. As the pandemic erupted, he began applying this method of analysis (which he refers to as “dynamic causal modeling”) to COVID-19 data, coming up with a model that predicts far lower mortality rates than earlier models.

The reason for this is because the “effective susceptible population,” meaning those who are not already immune to COVID-19 and therefore at risk of infection, was never 100%. At most, it was 50% and most likely only around 20%.

Friston’s model effectively vaporizes claims that social distancing is necessary, because once sensible behaviors such as staying home when sick are entered into it, the positive effect of lockdown efforts on “flattening the curve” simply vanish. In all likelihood, the global lockdowns were completely unnecessary, and certainly should not continue, now or in the future.

Signs of Herd Immunity Emerge in Sweden

One country that bucked the global lockdown trend was Sweden, and they now appear to be head and neck ahead of most other countries in terms of herd immunity, while having a death toll that is very similar to nations that destroyed their economy and sacrificed the population’s mental health in the name of infection control.

Anders Tegnell, the chief epidemiologist in charge of Sweden’s coronavirus response, has stated32 he does not believe Sweden will see a second wave with widespread contagion as the country is seeing a rapid decline in positive tests, indicating herd immunity has been achieved.33

He told The Guardian34 that the primary goal was always merely to slow the spread to avoid overwhelming medical services. The intention was never to prevent infection from spreading altogether, which has indeed proven impossible.

This was in fact the original plan just about everywhere. But while Sweden stuck to the original goal, and by mid-September boasted all-time low infection rates,35 other nations have twisted response plans to prevent infection transmission altogether, even among those for whom the risk of such an infection is vanishingly minor, such as school-aged children.

The two graphs from The Guardian,36 below, show Sweden’s infection rate and deaths per million, compared to other countries that enforced stricter lockdown rules.

sweden's infection rate and deaths per million
swedens infection rate april

Herd Immunity Threshold Likely Below 50%

As reported in “Herd Immunity ‘Ahead of Schedule’” experts initially estimated that 70% of the population or more would need to be immune before herd immunity would be achieved. Now, more than a dozen scientists claim the herd immunity threshold is likely below 50%.

As stated earlier, if this is true — and as you can see by the studies reviewed, it appears a majority do have some level of immunity — then the need for a vaccine more or less vanishes.

Herd immunity is calculated using reproductive number, or R-naught (R0), which is the estimated number of new infections that may occur from one infected person.37 R0 of below 1 (with R1 meaning that one person who’s infected is expected to infect one other person) indicates that cases are declining while R0 above 1 suggests cases are on the rise.

It’s far from an exact science, however, as a person’s susceptibility to infection varies depending on many factors, including their health, age and contacts within a community. The initial R0 calculations for COVID-19’s herd immunity threshold were based on assumptions that everyone has the same susceptibility and would be mixing randomly with others in the community.

“That doesn’t happen in real life,” Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, told The New York Times.38 “Herd immunity could vary from group to group, and subpopulation to subpopulation,” or even zip code. When real-world scenarios are factored into the equation, the herd immunity threshold drops significantly, with some experts saying it could be as low as 10% to 20%.

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to coronavirus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. ~ Great Barrington Declaration

Researchers from Oxford, Virginia Tech and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are among those that found39,40 when individual variations in susceptibility and exposure are taken into account, the herd immunity threshold dips below 10%.

Independent news source Off-Guardian also cited41 data from Stockholm County, Sweden, which shows a herd immunity threshold of 17%,42 as well as an essay by Brown University professor Dr. Andrew Bostom, who noted:43

“Lead investigator Dr. Gomes, from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and her colleagues concluded: naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune.44

Separate HIT [herd immunity threshold] calculations of 9%,45 10-20%,46 17%,47 and 43%48,49 — each substantially below the dogmatically asserted value of ~70%50 — have been reported by investigators from Tel-Aviv University, Oxford University, University College of London, and Stockholm University, respectively.”

Declaration Urges Implementation of Herd Immunity Approach

All in all, there are many reasons to suspect that continued lockdowns, social distancing and mask mandates are completely unnecessary and will not significantly alter the course of this pandemic illness, or the final death count.

As reported by British Sky News,51 October 7, 2020, many respected scientists are now calling for a herd immunity approach to the pandemic, meaning governments should allow people who are not at significant risk of serious COVID-19 illness to go back to normal life. According to the article:52

“The so-called Great Barrington declaration, signed by leading experts from the universities of Oxford, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Cambridge, Sussex and York, suggests herd immunity as a way forward.

The declaration states: ‘The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to coronavirus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this focused protection.”

The declaration points out that current lockdown policies are having “devastating effects on short and long-term public health” that will result in excess mortality in the future, primarily among younger people and the working class.

– Sources and References

Unique Glucosinolates Found in Moringa

Reproduced from original article:
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola     Fact Checked     October 08, 2020



  • Glucosinolates are phytochemical compounds that are found in cruciferous vegetables and Moringa, a plant recognized for its medicinal purposes for centuries
  • Glucosinolates are metabolized into bioactive isothiocyanates. The primary isothiocyanate in Moringa is moringin. Like sulforaphane in broccoli, moringin has powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects
  • Researchers recently discovered a novel type of glucosinolate in wild forms of Moringa oleifera dubbed 4GBGS. Domestic forms of Moringa oleifera, or those specifically grown for human consumption, also had some levels of 4GBGS, but in much lower concentrations
  • Moringa also contains all nine essential amino acids and has been shown to lower blood pressure, modulate immune function and protect the health of your organs
  • Moringa leaves are often available in a dried, powder form that you can use to make tea or add to your smoothies

Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing phytochemicals most notably found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. But research shows that Moringa, also known as the drumstick tree or the horseradish tree, is also high in these health-promoting compounds.

According to a May 2018 report published in Scientific Reports,1 Moringa not only contains high levels of glucosinolates, but also has unique glucosinolates that are responsible for many of its medicinal properties.

Glucosinolates, which are inert, are metabolized into bioactive isothiocyanates by an enzyme called myrosinase.2 The primary isothiocyanate in Moringa responsible for many of its health benefits is moringin,created by hydrolysis of glucomoringin.4

Moringin is also known as 4RBITC (after its chemical name, 4-(alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy)benzyl isothiocyanate). Like sulforaphane in broccoli, moringin has potent anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective effects.5

According to Jed Fahey, a nutritional biochemist and assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, moringin is just as potent as sulforaphane, and in some assays actually more potent.

What Is Moringa?

Before diving into the specific health benefits of Moringa and why glucosinolates are important, it’s helpful to know what Moringa is. Moringa is a tree native to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.6

There are 14 different species of Moringa, but the most common and most widely consumed is Moringa oleifera, sometimes referred to as the “miracle vegetable.” If you live in a subtropical area and decide to plant this tree, be careful, as it is one of the fastest growing trees I have ever seen.

I planted a few to have as shrubs that I can harvest for my salad. I stopped using it when I switched to carnivore and six months later, these trees were 25 feet tall, blocking my solar panels, and the trunks had a 12-inch circumference.

For centuries, Moringa oleifera has been used in Ayurvedic and natural medicine as a remedy for inflammation, infectious diseases and chronic conditions such as heart disease, blood diseases and digestive disorders.7

While Moringa oleifera is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and several phenolic compounds, many of the health benefits of the plant come down to its glucosinolates and the isothiocyanate moringin. Interestingly, recent research has revealed a previously unknown glucosinolate in wild Moringa.

Previously Unknown Glucosinolate Found in Moringa

Glucosinolates are a class of sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, also called the Brassica family of vegetables, and Moringa, but Moringa oleifera contains several members of the glucosinolate family that aren’t found anywhere else. The most concentrated glucosinolate in Moringa oleifera is glucomoringin (GMG), which has antioxidant and anticancer benefits.

Researchers recently discovered a novel type of glucosinolate in wild forms of Moringa oleifera dubbed 4-(-L-glucopyranosyloxy)benzyl GS (4GBGS).8 Domestic forms of Moringa oleifera, or those specifically grown for human consumption, also had some levels of 4GBGS, but in much lower concentrations.

The researchers speculate that this may be due to the manufacturers’ desire to improve the naturally bitter taste of Moringa. Since glucosinolates contain sulfur, they have a distinct, sometimes off-putting flavor.

In addition to GMG and 4GBGS, Moringa oleifera also contains at least 10 other glucosinolates that work together to provide many of the health benefits of Moringa.

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Moringa Has Powerful Antibiotic Effects

Moringa has also been shown to have potent antibiotic activity against a wide variety of pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Candida and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).9 According to Scientific Reports:10

“ … (4RBITC), the isothiocyanate created by hydrolysis of ‘glucomoringin’ … from M. oleifera is a potent and selective antibiotic against H. pylori.

Other studies have shown that the antibiotic activity of 4RBITC from M. oleifera is selective and potent against other important human pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. It also appears to be effective in controlling certain manifestations of both ALS and multiple sclerosis in mouse models.

A growing number of epidemiologic, animal, and clinical studies link dietary glucosinolates and their cognate isothiocyanates to protection against chronic diseases including a variety of cancers, diabetes, and autism spectrum disorder …”

A 2005 study11 in Planta Medica compared the effectiveness of several different isothiocyanates to see which offered the most potent protection against H. pylori. Of the isothiocyanates tested, sulforaphane and moringin (4RBITC) were the most effective.

In another study,12 researchers collected bacteria samples from fecal matter that was supplied by a hospital in Portugal. A total of 18 aerobic bacterial strains, including Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, E. coli (two strains) and Salmonella typhi, were isolated.

The samples were then exposed to three different glucosinolates and three isothiocyanates. While the intact glucosinolates had no effect on the bacteria, the isothiocyanates, specifically SFN, BITC and PEITC, had high antimicrobial activities. In some cases, the isothiocyanates were actually more effective than antibiotics.

Moringa Contains All of the Essential Amino Acids

Moringa is also a source of high-quality protein. Just 2 teaspoons of dried Moringa powder contain 1 gram of protein13 and the total mean protein content of domesticated Moringa oleifera is 30.24%.14 Perhaps most important is the fact that Moringa contains all of the nine essential amino acids, something that many other sources of plant protein fall short on.

Amino acids are important because they’re the building blocks of protein. Conversely, when your body breaks down or digests the proteins you eat, amino acids are what’s left behind. Your body uses amino acids to make new proteins that carry out a variety of different functions, from growth and repair to wound healing to food metabolism.

There are 20 different amino acids that are classified as either essential or nonessential. Your body can make the nonessential amino acids itself, but it cannot make the essential amino acids. That’s why you need to get them from food.

The nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine and valine. Three of these essential amino acids — leucine, isoleucine and valine — are also categorized as branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) because they have a branched molecular structure.

While your liver breaks down most amino acids, it can’t break down BCAAs. Because of this, BCAAs are broken down primarily in your muscle. As such, they help improve exercise performance and reduce the breakdown of muscle.15

There aren’t a lot of plant foods that contain all of the essential amino acids, but moringa does. According to the African Journal of Biotechnology, moringa has a total of 19 amino acids,16 including all nine essential amino acids.17 As detailed in several research articles, including the journal Amino Acids, the nine essential amino acids have important biological roles, including the following:18

Isoleucine19 — Helps stabilize your blood sugar and is required, along with leucine and valine, for muscle synthesis, repair, energy and endurance.
Leucine20 — Helps lower blood sugar that is elevated and triggers the production of growth hormone. Along with isoleucine and valine, leucine promotes the growth of muscle, bone and skin.
Valine21 — Helps maintain muscle metabolism and nitrogen balance. It’s also used in tissue repair and energy production.
Lysine22 — Is needed in the production of hormones, collagen, enzymes and antibodies. It also helps combat viruses and plays a role in calcium assimilation and protein construction in bones and muscle.
Methionine23 — Is converted into homocysteine and vice versa, based on the needs of your body. It’s also a primary source of sulfur in your body, which is required for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Tryptophan24 — Aids in the production of niacin (vitamin B3), which is required for serotonin and melatonin production.
Phenylalanine25 — Plays a role in memory formation and nervous system function and helps reduce inflammation.
Threonine26,27 — Important for healthy cardiovascular system, central nervous system, immune system and liver function. It also plays a role in the digestion of fats, and promotes healthy collagen, muscle tissue, skin and bones.
Histidine28 — Required for red and white blood cell production, and aids in tissue repair. Importantly, histidine helps protect your nerves by maintaining the myelin sheath around them.

In addition to essential amino acids, Moringa contains beneficial fatty acids (44.57% being a-linolenic acid29), beta-carotene, phenolics, zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, kaempferol,30 flavonoids and isothiocyanates.31 Two teaspoons of dried Moringa powder also offers32 0.999 grams of fiber, 80 mg of calcium and 200 IU of vitamin C.

Other Health Benefits of Moringa

In addition to the previously mentioned health benefits, other studies report that Moringa also:

Helps protect diabetes patients from retinopathy — Retinopathy is caused by the inflammation of the blood vessels in the eyes, which may lead to fluid leakage. If left untreated, retinopathy may advance into complete blindness.

Moringa may help stop retinopathy by regulating blood sugar in diabetes patients and protecting the retina from inflammation. This is usually attributed to moringa’s high antioxidant content.33

May ease asthma — One study34 found Moringa oleifera can decrease the severity of symptoms in people with asthma and improve lung function parameters, including forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume and peak expiratory flow, without any negative side effects. Moringa oleifera was also shown to reduce the severity of asthma attacks.
Helps protect liver, kidney, heart, testes and lung health35
Has analgesic properties36
Has antiulcer activity37
Helps lower blood pressure38
Protects against radiation39
Helps modulate immune function40
Has anti-inflammatory41 and antiviral activity, thanks to quercetin42,43,44

How to Include Moringa in Your Diet

Similar to matcha, most Moringa is available in powder form. The Moringa leaves are dried and then ground to form a concentrated powder that’s rich in all of the beneficial compounds, vitamins and minerals that moringa has to offer.

Consuming Moringa this way may be especially beneficial because the leaves are never cooked, only dried. Cooking can denature the myrosinase enzyme, reducing the amount of glucosinolates that get converted to the active isothiocyanates and the amount of isothiocyanates that your body absorbs.45

You can also purchase Moringa in oil or capsule form. When deciding on a source, consider one made from wild Moringa. Wild-harvested Moringa may be more bitter than domesticated versions, but ensures that you’re getting all of the beneficial glucosinolates and the health benefits that come with them.

Moringa supplements can contain a large range of Moringa leaf powder, anywhere from 500 to 2,000 mg, depending on the size of the capsule. The recommended amount for adult supplementation is two capsules per day, one in the morning and one at night.

However, it would be best that you consult a doctor or health practitioner before taking the supplement. This will ensure that the dosage is advisable for you or that the supplement will not interact with any medications you may currently be taking.

While moringa offers impressive health benefits, it’s also important to be aware of the possible side effects moringa supplementation may cause. For pregnant mothers, it’s best that you avoid the use of Moringa oleifera supplements, as there are insufficient studies that show Moringa is safe for pregnant women. There are also a few studies that suggest Moringa, when taken during the early stages of pregnancy, may cause miscarriage due to its ability to cause uterine contractions.46

You can also harvest the seeds, sow them and harvest them like microgreens, i.e., while they’re small, like sprouts. For guidance on how to grow Moringa trees in general, see my previous article, “How to Grow Moringa Tree.”

Other Sources of Glucosinolates

It’s true that Moringa contains unique glucosinolates, like glucomoringin that you can’t find anywhere else, but they’re not the only source of glucosinolates in the diet. If you want to increase your intake of these beneficial plant compounds in other ways, you can do so by including these foods:47

Brussels sprouts Broccoli Watercress
Garden cress Mustard greens Turnip
Savoy cabbage Kale Turnip greens
Red cabbage Horseradish Cauliflower
Bok choy Collard greens Kohlrabi

– Sources and References

Vitamin D Cuts SARS-CoV-2 Infection Rate by Half

Reproduced from original article:
Fact Checked    September 28, 2020

coronavirus infection rate vitamin d


  • Based on data from 191,779 American patients, people with a vitamin D level of at least 55 ng/mL (138 nmol/L) had a 47% lower SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate compared to those with a level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L)
  • Based on data from 7,807 Israelis, those with a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) had a 58% to 59% lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to those with a vitamin D level below 29 ng/mL (74 nmol/L)
  • Having a vitamin D level below 30 ng/mL also approximately doubles your risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19, Israeli researchers found
  • Spanish researchers found giving hospitalized COVID-19 patients supplemental calcifediol (a vitamin D3 analog) in addition to standard of care lowered ICU admissions from 50% to 2% and eliminated deaths
  • An August 2020 study found patients who had a vitamin D level below 12 ng/mL (30 nmol/L) had a 6.12 times higher risk of severe disease requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, and a 14.7 times higher risk of death compared to those with a vitamin D level above 12 ng/mL

Evidence showing vitamin D lowers your risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, severe complications and death continues to mount. Most recently, a September 17, 2020, paper1 in PLOS ONE found people with lower vitamin D levels in their blood had a significantly higher risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Higher Vitamin D Lowers Risk of Positive SARS-CoV-2 Test

The lead researcher in this study was Dr. Michael Hollick, who is widely recognized as one of the leading vitamin D experts in the world. I have interviewed him twice in the past. He and his team used retrospective observational analysis of SARS-CoV-2 tests to determine whether vitamin D blood levels impacted positivity rates.

Based on vitamin D results from the preceding 12 months and SARS-CoV-2 test data from mid-March through mid-June 2020 from 191,779 patients from 50 U.S. states, people with a vitamin D level of at least 55 ng/mL (138 nmol/L) had a 47% lower SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate compared to those with a level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L).2 As noted by the authors:

“The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was 9.3% and the mean seasonally adjusted 25(OH)D was 31.7 [ng/mL]. The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was higher in the 39,190 patients with ‘deficient’ 25(OH)D values (<20 ng/mL) (12.5% …) than in the 27,870 patients with ‘adequate’ values (30–34 ng/mL) (8.1% …) and the 12,321 patients with values ≥55 ng/mL (5.9% …) …3

The risk of SARS-CoV-2 positivity continued to decline until the serum levels reached 55 ng/mL. This finding is not surprising, given the established inverse relationship between risk of respiratory viral pathogens, including influenza, and 25(OH)D levels.4

SARS-CoV-2 positivity is strongly and inversely associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, a relationship that persists across latitudes, races/ethnicities, both sexes, and age ranges. Our findings provide impetus to explore the role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.”5

The graph below, obtained from GrassrootsHealth,6 shows how the rate of positive SARS-CoV-2 results declines as vitamin D levels go up. Again, as you increase your vitamin D level from 20 ng/mL to 55 ng/mL, your risk of having a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result decreases by 47%.

Even after adjustment for gender, age, ethnicity and latitude, the risk of having a positive test result was 43% lower among those with a vitamin D level of 55 ng/mL compared to those with a level of 20 ng/mL. I understand that the COVID-19 test may be worthless and counterproductive with its false positives, but it is the only metric we currently have to assess interventions.

positive SARS-CoV-2 results declines as vitamin D levels go up

Vitamin D Lowers Infection and Hospitalization Rates

That higher vitamin D levels lower the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection (i.e., getting a positive test result) was also confirmed in an Israeli population-based study7,8 published in July 2020. This paper examined data from 7,807people tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection between February 1 and April 30 of 2020 who also had vitamin D test data available.

Here, those with a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) had a 59% lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to those with a vitamin D level between 20 ng/mL and 29 ng/mL (50 to 74 nmol/L), and a 58% lower risk compared to those with a vitamin D level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). The graph below, from a GrassrootsHealth report,9 illustrates the findings.

covid-19 infection risk by vitamin d level

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Vitamin D Lowers Hospital and ICU Admissions

Seeing how higher vitamin D levels lowers your risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the first place, it’s no surprise then that other data show higher vitamin D also lowers hospital and intensive care admissions.

The Israeli analysis10 above, for example, found that among individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, those who had a vitamin D level below 30 ng/mL also had a 1.95 times (crude odds ratio) to 2.09 times (odds ratio after adjustment for demographics and psychiatric and somatic disorders) higher risk of being hospitalized for COVID-19.

In other words, having a vitamin D level below 30 ng/mL about doubled the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19. Vitamin D, when administered to hospitalized patients, can also lower their risk of needing intensive care.

This was demonstrated by Spanish researchers in a small randomized clinical study11,12,13,14 published online August 29, 2020. They found hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were given supplemental calcifediol (a vitamin D3 analog also known as 25-hydroxycholecalciferol or 25-hydroxyvitamin D) in addition to standard of care — which included the use of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin — had significantly lower intensive care unit admissions.

Patients in the vitamin D arm received 532 micrograms of calcifediol on the day of admission (equivalent to 106,400 IUs of vitamin D15) followed by 266 mcg on Days 3 and 7 (equivalent to 53,200 IUs16). After that, they received 266 mcg once a week until discharge, ICU admission or death.

Of those receiving calcifediol, only 2% required ICU admission, compared to 50% of those who did not get calcifediol. None of those given vitamin D supplementation died, whereas 7.6% in the standard care group perished.

icu admission and death among hospitalized covid 19

Vitamin D Lowers COVID-19 Mortality

Other studies have also confirmed that higher vitamin D levels lowers your risk of complications and death from COVID-19. Among them is an August 2020 study17,18 published in the journal Nutrients, which found patients who had a vitamin D level below 12 ng/mL (30 nmol/L) had a 6.12 times higher risk of severe disease requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, and a 14.7 times higher risk of death compared to those with a vitamin D level above 12 ng/mL.

need for invasive mechanical ventilation

An Iranian study19,20 published online in mid-July 2020 also found that patients with vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) had better clinical outcomes and a far lower risk of death. Among COVID-19 patients over the age of 40 who had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/mL, 20% died, compared to 9.7% of those with levels at or above 30 ng/mL. Among those with a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/mL, only 6.3% died.

Low Vitamin D Is a Risk Factor for Respiratory Failure

Yet another study, published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation in August 2020, found vitamin D deficiency was a common factor among hospitalized patients in Italy who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 related respiratory failure.

These considerations support the recommendation that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider vitamin D supplementation to raise their 25(OH)D concentrations above 40-60 ng/mL, and that treatment of patients infected with influenza and/or COVID-19 includes higher vitamin D doses. ~ Journal of Endocrinological Investigation August 2020

As reported by GrassrootsHealth:21

“Vitamin D levels were measured for each patient and were defined as insufficient (20-29 ng/ml or 50-74 nmol/L), moderately deficient (10-19 ng/ml (25-49 nmol/L), and severely deficient (<10 ng/ml or <25 nmol/L). A normal vitamin D level was defined as 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L) or higher.

81% of the patients with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L); and 24% had severe vitamin D deficiency (≤10 ng/ml or ≤25 nmol/L).

When looking at mortality rates after 10 days of hospitalization, it was found that those with severe vitamin D deficiency had a 50% probability of death, compared to 5% among those with a vitamin D level greater than 10 ng/ml (25 nmol/L).

This is a 10 times higher risk of death among patients with severe vitamin D deficiency compared to patients with vitamin D levels >10 ng/ml (>25 nmol/L) at 10 days of hospitalization.”

survival rate among covid 19 patients

According to the study authors:

“Altogether, these considerations support the recommendation that people at risk of influenza and/or COVID-19 consider vitamin D supplementation to raise their 25(OH)D concentrations above 40-60 ng/mL, and that treatment of patients infected with influenza and/or COVID-19 includes higher vitamin D doses.”

How and Why Vitamin D Lowers COVID-19 Risks

In “Bradykinin Hypothesis Explains COVID-19 Complexities,” I reviewed how vitamin D lowers your risk of COVID-19 complications and death by inhibiting both cytokine22 and bradykinin storms.23 Vitamin D also:

Lowers viral replication24
Boosts your overall immune function by modulating both innate and adaptive immune responses
Reduces respiratory distress25
Improves overall lung function
Helps produce surfactants in your lungs that aid in fluid clearance26
Lowers your risk of comorbidities associated with poor COVID-19 prognosis, including obesity,27 Type 2 diabetes,28 high blood pressure29 and heart disease30

All of these factors make it an important component of COVID-19 prevention and treatment. As temperatures and humidity levels drop — two factors that influence the viability of SARS-CoV-2 in air and on surfaces — it’s quite likely we’ll see a reemergence as we move into fall and winter.

My #StopCOVIDCold campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of vitamin D optimization to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. The two reports, which you can download free of charge on the #StopCOVIDCold website, provide in-depth information about the biological mechanics behind vitamin D’s protective effects.

Now, as the northern hemisphere heads into autumn, is the ideal time to check your vitamin D level and start taking action to raise it if you’re below 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L). Experts recommend a vitamin D level between 40 and 60 ng/ml (100 to 150 nmol/L). An easy and cost-effective way of measuring your vitamin D level is to order GrassrootsHealth’s vitamin D testing kit.

Once you know your current vitamin D level, use the GrassrootsHealth vitamin D calculator31 to determine how much vitamin D you might need to reach your target level.

To optimize vitamin D absorption and utilization, be sure to take your vitamin D with vitamin K2 and magnesium. As explained in “Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation,” taking magnesium and vitamin K2 can lower your oral vitamin D requirement by as much as 244%.

Lastly, remember to retest in three to four months to make sure you’ve reached your target level. If you have, then you know you’re taking the correct dosage. If you’re still low (or have reached a level above 80 ng/mL), you’ll need to adjust your dosage accordingly and retest again in another three to four months.

– Sources and References

Herd Immunity ‘Ahead of Schedule’

Reproduced from original article: Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola    Fact Checked    September 08, 2020

herd immunity threshold for COVID-19


  • In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, some experts estimated that 70% of the population or more may need to gain immunity before COVID-19 would be under control
  • Now, more than a dozen scientists said the herd immunity threshold (HIT) for COVID-19 is likely 50% or lower, with some experts saying it could be as low as 10% to 20%
  • The initial calculations for COVID-19’s HIT were based on assumptions that everyone has the same susceptibility and would be mixing randomly with others in the community; when real-world scenarios are factored into the equation, the HIT drops significantly
  • In Sweden, where strict lockdown measures were not implemented, it’s been suggested that herd immunity has “almost certainly” been achieved, and the covid-19 epidemic is essentially over

If a novel virus is introduced to a population, eventually enough people acquire natural immunity so that the number of susceptible people declines. When the number susceptible is low enough to prevent epidemic growth, herd immunity is said to have been reached.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, some experts estimated that 70% of the population or more may need to gain immunity before COVID-19 would be under control. Now, experts are suggesting the percentage may be far lower, and some areas may already have reached what’s known as the herd immunity threshold (HIT).

Scientists: COVID Herd Immunity Threshold Lower Than Thought

According to The New York Times, more than a dozen scientists said in interviews that the HIT for COVID-19 is likely 50% or lower. “If that’s true, then it may be possible to turn back the coronavirus more quickly than once thought,” the Times reported,1 and perhaps without the need for a vaccine.

Herd immunity is calculated using reproductive number, or R-naught (R0), which is the estimated number of new infections that may occur from one infected person.2 R0 of below 1 (with R1 meaning that one person who’s infected is expected to infect one other person) indicates that cases are declining while R0 above 1 suggests cases are on the rise.

It’s far from an exact science, however, as a person’s susceptibility to infection varies depending on many factors, including their health, age and contacts within a community. The initial R0 calculations for COVID-19’s HIT were based on assumptions that everyone has the same susceptibility and would be mixing randomly with others in the community.

“That doesn’t happen in real life,” Dr. Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, told The Times. “Herd immunity could vary from group to group, and subpopulation to subpopulation,” or even zip code.3

When real-world scenarios are factored into the equation, the HIT drops significantly, with some experts saying it could be as low as 10% to 20%. In fact, as the Times suggested, it’s possible that herd immunity for the pandemic is “ahead of schedule.”4

Herd Immunity Threshold for COVID-19 Could Be Under 10%

Researchers from Oxford, Virginia Tech and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine5 are among those that found when individual variations in susceptibility and exposure are taken into account, the HIT declines to less than 10%.6

Independent news source Off-Guardian7 also cited data from Stockholm County, Sweden, that showed an HIT of 17%,8 as well as an essay by Brown University professor Dr. Andrew Bostom, who explained:9

“… [A] respected team of infectious disease epidemiologists from the U.K. and U.S. have concluded: ‘Naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune.’”

And, in an article he wrote for Conservative Review, Bostom said:10

“… Naturally acquired herd immunity to COVID-19 combined with earnest protection of the vulnerable elderly — especially nursing home and assisted living facility residents — is an eminently reasonable and practical alternative to the dubious panacea of mass compulsory vaccination against the virus.

This strategy was successfully implemented in Malmo, Sweden, which had few COVID-19 deaths by assiduously protecting its elder care homes, while ‘schools remained open, residents carried on drinking in bars and cafes, and the doors of hairdressers and gyms were open throughout.’”

The findings have implications for vaccination as well. Tom Britton, a mathematician at Stockholm University, told the Times that because viral infections naturally target the most susceptible during the first wave, “immunity following a wave of infection is distributed more efficiently than with a vaccination campaign that seeks to protect everyone.”11

It’s also suggested by Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University, that, if herd immunity is obtained during “superspreader” events, vaccinating groups that are most likely to be exposed during such events may be sufficient to induce herd immunity, without the need for universal vaccination.12

Click here to read more

Herd Immunity Likely in Some Regions

It’s likely that certain areas of the world have achieved herd immunity already, and all eyes are on the fall and winter to see whether or not COVID-19 reappears. “I’m quite prepared to believe that there are pockets in New York City and London which have substantial immunity,” Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told the Times. “What happens this winter will reflect that.”13

Some data also suggest that up to 80% of people tested at clinics had COVID-19 antibodies, and while rates may be lower among the general population, it’s possible that herd immunity may already exist among certain populations. In a survey of random households in Mumbai, up to 58% of residents in poor areas had antibodies, compared to up to 17% in the rest of the city.14

What’s more, one study even found that 81% of people not exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, were still able to mount an immune response against it, which “suggests at least some built-in immune protection from SARS-CoV-2 …”15

Sweden, a country that handled the pandemic differently than most of the globe, may also be close to reaching herd immunity. While high schools and universities closed and gatherings of more than 50 people were banned, elementary and middle schools, shops and restaurants have remained open during the pandemic,16 in contrast to many other countries, which instituted strict lockdowns.

Dr. Gilbert Berdine, an associate professor of medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, used data on daily mortality rates for COVID-19 to track the course of the pandemic in Sweden, New York, Illinois and Texas, which each used different pandemic responses.

Sweden, which serves as the control group since it did not implement required lockdowns, hit a peak of 11.38 deaths per day per million population on April 8, 2020, and again on April 15, but deaths have declined since.

“Daily mortality has been less than one death per day per million population for the previous eighteen days. Cases are very low. For all practical purposes, the covid-19 epidemic is over in Sweden. Almost certainly herd immunity has been achieved in Sweden irrespective of any antibody test results,” Berdine wrote for the nonprofit think-tank Mises Institute.17

Lockdowns the ‘Greatest Policy Error of This Generation’

In New York City, the mortality rate from COVID-19 reached beyond 50 deaths per day per million in April 2020, despite a full lockdown being implemented in March. The state ordered nursing homes to accept COVID-19 positive patients from hospitals until May 10, when the order was reversed, but by then the virus was already ravaging nursing homes’ elderly residents — the most vulnerable.

“By facilitating the transmission of the virus from hospitals to nursing homes, the rate of spread within the elderly population was maximized, and any possible benefit from lockdown of the young and healthy population was rendered moot,” Berdine explained.18

In Illinois, meanwhile, a strict lockdown was also implemented and daily mortality rates increased more slowly, reaching a peak of more than 15 deaths per day per million on May 17, 2020.

However, mortality rates have also been slower to decline and death rates have remained higher than in other areas. While the lockdowns appear to have succeeded in flattening the curve and slowing transmission among healthy populations, they also may have lengthened the time that young people could transmit the virus to the elderly.

“The lockdown appears to have made more deaths from covid-19 in Illinois than would have occurred without it,” according to Berdine.19 “Almost certainly herd immunity has not been achieved and will not be achieved until the schools and economy are reopened.”

Texas fell somewhere in the middle, with a looser lockdown than Illinois and New York, although nonessential businesses were closed March 31 and schools were also closed. Daily mortality hit a peak of more than 10 deaths per day per million population on July 31, 2020 — approaching Sweden’s mortality peak while their economy has yet to be reopened. Berdine wrote:

“Although the overall covid-19 mortality is lower in Texas (293 deaths per million population) than in Sweden (570), the current daily mortality in Texas is much higher than in Sweden, so covid-19 mortality in Texas may catch up to Sweden over the next 30–60 days. Furthermore, the situation in Texas will likely get worse when the schools and economy are reopened, as they eventually must be.”20

It’s another example that Sweden appears to have gotten it right in their pandemic response, while other regions’ lockdowns may have backfired. At best, Berdine says, lockdowns may have only deferred death for a short time and, at worst, may have caused more deaths than would have occurred if people were left to choose how to manage their own risk.

“After taking the unprecedented economic depression into account, history will likely judge these lockdowns to be the greatest policy error of this generation,”21 she said.

When Will the Pandemic Be Over?

With herd immunity potentially progressing ahead of schedule, and some areas possibly already immune, when will the pandemic end? The World Health Organization has predicted within two years,22 but the dropping fatality rate is no longer a cause for hysteria.

Data show that the COVID-19 fatality rate for those under the age of 45 is “almost zero,” and between the ages of 45 and 70, it’s somewhere between 0.05% and 0.3%.23 Data from the CDC also shows a stark drop in COVID-19 deaths based on provisional death counts, which are based on death certificate data received and coded by the National Center for Health Statistics.24

The fact remains, however, that COVID-19 may never fully disappear. “Covid-19 is not going to be defeated; we will have to learn how to coexist with it,” Berdine said.25 “The only way we can learn how best to cope with covid-19 is to let individuals manage their own risk, observe the outcomes, and learn from mistakes.” Toward that end, take action now to bolster your immune system against infectious diseases of all kinds.

Top Six Benefits of Selenium

© 6th September 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here
Reproduced from original article:
Posted on: Saturday, August 29th 2020 at 5:15 pm
Written By: Dr. Diane Fulton
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2020

Did you know that selenium, an essential mineral, has the ability to protect your health in multiple ways and is abundant in Brazil nuts?

Selenium is an important mineral for your body and only a small amount is needed (the recommended daily intake is 55 micrograms (mcg)).[1] Due to poor soil,[2] taking certain pharmaceutical drugs such as statins[3],[4] and the normal aging process,[5] selenium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies in the world.

Selenium is linked to many healthy outcomes, including protection from diseases and reduction of disease symptoms. An easy way to help ensure your selenium level is optimal is to eat several Brazil nuts every day.

Six Top Benefits of Selenium

1. Antioxidant and Reduces Oxidative Stress

As an antioxidant, selenium is even more beneficial than vitamins A, C, D and E and helps to decrease oxidative stress, which is the result of an imbalance in the body between free radicals and antioxidants.[6]

Oxidative stress contributes to a variety of diseases such as diabetesatherosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels), inflammatory conditionshigh blood pressureheart diseaseneurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) and cancers and contributes to aging.[7]

Supplementing with selenium was reviewed in 13 studies showing significant impact on three antioxidant markers, thus reducing oxidative stress.[8]

Eating Brazil nuts (approximately three per day for 12 weeks) was found to increase plasma selenium, increase enzymatic antioxidant activity of glutathione peroxidase and reduce oxidation in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in a study of 91 patients with high blood pressure and problematic lipid profiles.[9]

2. Boosts Skin Health

In a meta-analysis of 27 studies with a total of 1,315 patients and 7,181 healthy controls, selenium levels were found to be low in patients with four skin diseases: psoriasis, acne vulgaris, chloric acne and atopic dermatitis.[10]

Another research study of DNA reprogramming  of inflammatory cells confirms that higher selenium levels may instill protective properties for genes important for psoriasis prevention and treatment.[11]

Selenium was also found to be beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis in a systematic review of research.[12] In addition, selenium has been related to improvements in skin aging (skin elasticity and skin roughness).[13]

Blood glutathione peroxidase (low levels indicate increased damage to cell membranes due to accumulation of free radicals and signify low selenium levels)[14] was measured in 61 healthy subjects and 506 patients with various skin disorders (i.e., psoriasis, eczema, atopic dermatitis, vasculitis, mycosis fungoides and dermatitis herpetiformis, pemphigoid, acne conglobata, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and systemic lupus erythematodes) and supplementation with selenium and vitamin E restored the skin’s balance.[15]

3. Benefits Asthma

Asthma (a condition with breathing difficulties, coughing and sneezing) is a complicated disease to treat and is associated with increased inflammation, oxidative stress and abnormal immune system function. In a meta-analysis of 40 studies, asthma patients showed significantly lower levels of selenium compared to healthy subjects, suggesting lower selenium intake could be a risk factor for the disease.[16]

As mentioned, selenium, as an antioxidant, has been found to lower oxidative stress. This,in turn, seems to reduce allergic asthma.[17] In addition, dietary selenium as an antioxidant therapy may be important in optimizing asthma treatment and prevention.[18]

In a study of 25 asthmatic patients and 25 healthy subjects, asthmatics had lower concentrations of selenium, increased oxidative stress markers and inflammation and decreased antioxidant glutathione peroxidase activity and lung function.[19]

Nutritional supplement therapy including selenium balanced oxidant stress, inflammation and immune system responses, pulmonary function and health-related quality of life in patients with mild to moderate allergic asthma.[20]

4. Helps Prevent and Improve Thyroid Diseases

Selenium is an essential micronutrient for your body and readily found in the thyroid. As a supplement, it can help prevent immune-mediated thyroid disorders by reducing anti-thyroperoxidase antibody levels and improving thyroid ultrasound features.[21]

The prevalence of pathological thyroid conditions (hypothyroidism, subclinical hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroiditis, enlarged thyroid) was significantly lower in the adequate-selenium group than in the low-selenium group (18% versus 30.5%) in a sample of 6,152 subjects in China.[22]

Selenium administration (200 milligrams per day) significantly improved quality of life, reduced ocular involvement and slowed progression of 159 patients with mild Graves’ orbitopathy (also called thyroid eye disease).[23]

5. Promotes Heart Health

The combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity and high cholesterol is called metabolic syndrome and when these conditions occur together, they dramatically increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes.[24]

In a study of 2,069 patients, dietary selenium intake had a moderate negative association with metabolic syndrome.[25] In a study of 501 British volunteers aged 60 to 74 years, supplementation with selenium (100 mcg, 200 mcg, 300 mcg) showed progressive decreases in total cholesterol profiles for those with low selenium levels, but cautions that those with already high selenium intake might be adversely affected by extra selenium supplementation.[26]

In a 12-year follow-up of a group of healthy elderly participants who were supplemented with selenium and coenzyme Q10 for four years, there was a significantly reduced risk for cardiovascular mortality in the treatment group (28.1%) compared to the placebo group (38.7%).[27]

6. Brain Boosting

Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating brain disorder, is characterized by two pathological protein deposits, the senile plaques of amyloid-β and tangles of protein tau. In addition, oxidative stress and neural signal transmission disorders also impact Alzheimer’s.

A large body of studies suggests that selenium (Se), either as Se-containing compounds or as selenoproteins, is involved in most of the molecular pathways that are important in the progression of dementia and therefore have the potential to help prevent or improve Alzheimer’s.[28]

In a mouse model, selenium yeast showed several benefits for Alzheimer’s subjects; it decreased the generation of amyloid-β and enhanced autophagic clearance (old cells are recycled and cleaned out to make room for new cells in the brain), which reduced the burden of amyloid-β accumulation.[29]

Another animal study confirmed that selenium (sodium selenite) significantly decreased tau-positive neurons and reversed Alzheimer’s-like memory and neuropsychiatric symptoms in mice with advanced dementia.[30] Additionally, selenium induced protective effects against experimental dementia-induced brain inflammation and oxidative stress by enhancing the antioxidant system in rats.[31]

In 79 Alzheimer’s patients, probiotic and selenium co-supplementation for 12 weeks improved cognitive function and some metabolic profiles such as lipid, antioxidant and insulin levels.[32]  Selenium and zinc are essential trace elements and an inadequate dietary intake has been implicated in the decline of immune and cognitive functions in aged persons and influences age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes.[33]

Selenium and Health

Selenium, a widely researched essential mineral, is beneficial to your health due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, immunomodulatory (regulates immune functions) and cardioprotective properties. See more research about the effects of selenium deficiency and selenium supplementation on overall well-being at



[1]  Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, Factsheets, Selenium.

[2] Gerrad D. Jones, Boris Droz, Peter Greve, Pia Gottschalk, Deyan Poffet, Steve P. McGrath, Sonia I. Seneviratne, Pete Smith, Lenny H. E. Winkel. Climate change affects selenium deficiency risk Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Mar 2017, 114 (11) 2848-2853; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1611576114

[3] Andrea Kromer, Bernd Moosmann. Statin-induced liver injury involves cross-talk between cholesterol and selenoprotein biosynthetic pathways. Mol Pharmacol. 2009 Jun;75(6):1421-9. Epub 2009 Mar 30. PMID: 19332511

[4] Bernd Moosmann, Christian Behl. Selenoprotein synthesis and side-effects of statins. Lancet. 2004 Mar 13;363(9412):892-4. PMID: 15031036

[5] Cai, Zhonglin & Zhang, Jianzhong & Hongjun, Li. (2018). Selenium, aging and aging-related diseases. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. doi.10.1007/s40520-018-1086-7.

[6] Best Medicine Book. info, Top 5 Health Benefits of Selenium

[7], Health, Oxidative Stress.

[8] Motahareh Hasani, Shirin Djalalinia, Maryam Khazdooz, Hamid Asayesh, Maryam Zarei, Armita Mahdavi Gorabi, Hossein Ansari, Mostafa Qorbani, Ramin Heshmat. Effect of selenium supplementation on antioxidant markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Hormones (Athens). 2019 Dec ;18(4):451-462. Epub 2019 Dec 10. PMID: 31820398

[9] Grazielle V B Huguenin, Glaucia M Oliveira, Annie S B Moreira, Tatiana D Saint’Pierre, Rodrigo A Gonçalves, Alessandra R Pinheiro-Mulder, Anderson J Teodoro, Ronir R Luiz, Glorimar Rosa. Improvement of antioxidant status after Brazil nut intake in hypertensive and dyslipidemic subjects.  Nutr J. 2015 ;14:54. Epub 2015 May 29. PMID: 26022214

[10] Jun Lv, Ping Ai, Shuying Lei, Faqiong Zhou, Shangzhou Chen, Yang Zhang. Selenium levels and skin diseases: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2020 May 20 ;62:126548. Epub 2020 May 20. PMID: 32497930

[11] Hristina Kocic, Giovanni Damiani, Bojana Stamenkovic, Michael Tirant, Andrija Jovic, Danica Tiodorovic, Ketty Peris. Dietary compounds as potential modulators of microRNA expression in psoriasis. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2019 ; doi: 10:2040622319864805. Epub 2019 Aug 7. PMID: 31431821.

[12] Janelle R Ricketts, Marti J Rothe, Jane M Grant-Kels. Nutrition and psoriasis. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Nov-Dec;28(6):615-26. PMID: 21034986.

[13] D Segger, F Schönlau. Supplementation with Evelle improves skin smoothness and elasticity in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with 62 women. J Dermatolog Treat. 2004 Jul;15(4):222-6. PMID: 15764035.

[14] Mayo Clinic Labs, Clinical and Interpretive.

[15] L Juhlin, L E Edqvist, L G Ekman, K Ljunghall, M Olsson. Blood glutathione-peroxidase levels in skin diseases: effect of selenium and vitamin E treatment. Acta Derm Venereol. 1982 ;62(3):211-4. PMID: 6179360

[16] Meng Chen, Yongye Sun, Yili Wu. Lower circulating zinc and selenium levels are associated with an increased risk of asthma: evidence from a meta-analysis. Public Health Nutr. 2019 Nov 5:1-8. Epub 2019 Nov 5. PMID: 31685060

[17] Norton RL, Hoffmann PR. Selenium and asthma. Mol Aspects Med. 2012 Feb;33(1):98-106. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2011.10.003 Epub 2011 Oct 15. PMID: 22024250; PMCID: PMC3246085.

[18] Riedl MA, Nel AE. Importance of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis and treatment of asthmaCurr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;8(1):49-56. doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3282f3d913, PMID: 18188018

[19] Chih-Hung Guo, Po-Jen Liu, Simon Hsia, Chia-Ju Chuang, Pei-Chung Chen. Role of Certain Trace Minerals in Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, CD4/CD8 Lymphocyte Ratios and Lung Function in Asthmatic PatientsAnn Clin Biochem. 2011 Jul;48(Pt 4):344-51. PMID: 21546427, doi: 10.1258/acb.2011.010266. Epub 2011 May 5.

[20] Guo CH, Liu PJ, Lin KP, Chen PC. Nutritional supplement therapy improves oxidative stress, immune response, pulmonary function, and quality of life in allergic asthma patients: an open-label pilot study. Altern Med Rev. 2012 Mar;17(1):42-56. PMID: 22502622.

[21] Liliana R Santos, Celestino Neves, Miguel Melo, Paula Soares. Selenium and Selenoproteins in Immune Mediated Thyroid Disorders. Diagnostics (Basel). 2018 Oct 4 ;8(4). Epub 2018 Oct 4. PMID: 30287753

[22] Qian Wu, Margaret P Rayman, Hongjun Lv, Lutz Schomburg, Bo Cui, Chuqi Gao, Pu Chen, Guihua Zhuang, Zhenan Zhang, Xiaogang Peng, Hua Li, Yang Zhao, Xiaohong He, Gaoyuan Zeng, Fei Qin, Peng Hou, Bingying Shi. Low population selenium status is associated with increased prevalence of thyroid disease. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Aug 25, doi: 10.1210/jc.2015-2222, Epub 2015 Aug 25. PMID: 26305620.

[23] Marcocci C, Kahaly GJ, Krassas GE, Bartalena L, Prummel M, Stahl M, et al. Selenium and the course of mild Graves’ orbitopathy. N Engl J Med 2011;364:1920-31. PMID: 21591944, doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1012985

[24]  Mayo Clinic, Diseases – Conditions, Metabolic Syndrome.

[25] Wei J, Zeng C, Gong QY, Li XX, Lei GH, Yang TB. Associations between Dietary Antioxidant Intake and Metabolic Syndrome. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 22;10(6):e0130876. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130876. PMID: 26098747; PMCID: PMC4476578.

[26] Margaret P Rayman, Saverio Stranges, Bruce A Griffin, Roberto Pastor-Barriuso, Eliseo Guallar Effect of Supplementation With High-Selenium Yeast on Plasma Lipids: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2011 May 17; 154(10): 656-665. DOI: 10.7326/0003-4819-154-10-201105170-00005. PMID: 21576533.

[27] Urban Alehagen, Jan Aaseth, Jan Alexander, Peter JohanssonStill reduced cardiovascular mortality 12 years after supplementation with selenium and coenzyme Q10 for four years: A validation of previous 10-year follow-up results of a prospective randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial in elderly. PLoS One. 2018 ;13(4):e0193120. Epub 2018 Apr 11. PMID: 29641571

[28] Du Xiubo, Wang Chao, Liu Qiong. Potential Roles of Selenium and Selenoproteins in the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Curr Top Med Chem. 2015 Aug 26. Epub 2015 Aug 26. PMID: 26311427

[29] Guo-Li Song, Chen Chen, Qiu-Yan Wu, Zhong-Hao Zhang, Rui Zheng, Yao Chen, Shi-Zheng Jia, Jia-Zuan Ni. Selenium-enriched yeast inhibitedβ-amyloid production and modulated autophagy in a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Metallomics. 2018 Jul 25. Epub 2018 Jul 25. PMID: 30043821

[30] Ann Van der Jeugd, Arnaldo Parra-Damas, Raquel Baeta-Corral, Carlos M Soto-Faguás, Tariq Ahmed, Frank M LaFerla, Lydia Giménez-Llort, Rudi D’Hooge, Carlos A Saura. Reversal of memory and neuropsychiatric symptoms and reduced tau pathology by selenium in 3xTg-AD mice. Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 24 ;8(1):6431. Epub 2018 Apr 24. PMID: 29691439

[31] Kadir Demirci, Mustafa Nazıroğlu, İshak Suat Övey, Hasan Balaban. Selenium attenuates apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress in the blood and brain of aged rats with scopolamine-induced dementia. Metab Brain Dis. 2016 Sep 15. Epub 2016 Sep 15. PMID: 27631101

[32] Omid Reza Tamtaji, Reza Heidari-Soureshjani, Naghmeh Mirhosseini, Ebrahim Kouchaki, Fereshteh Bahmani, Esmat Aghadavod, Maryam Tajabadi-Ebrahimi, Zatollah Asemi. Probiotic and selenium co-supplementation, and the effects on clinical, metabolic and genetic status in Alzheimer’s disease: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Clin Nutr. 2018 Dec 10. Epub 2018 Dec 10. PMID: 30642737

[33] Holger Steinbrenner, Lars-Oliver Klotz. Selenium and zinc: “antioxidants” for healthy aging? Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2020 May 28. Epub 2020 May 28. PMID: 32468295


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

What are the health risks of low glutathione levels

Reproduced from original article:
by: | August 18, 2020

health-issues(NaturalHealth365) Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, chronic disease continues to exert a lethal toll in the United States. Close to 650,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, while the CDC reports that cancer is expected to claim over 600,000 lives in 2020 alone. In addition, 5.7 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the number one form of dementia among older adults (and the sixth leading cause of death). Now, peer-reviewed research reveals a common thread connecting these illnesses – virtually all people suffering from these health issues exhibit low levels of glutathione.

Clearly, glutathione – famously referred to as, the “master antioxidant” – plays an important role in health and longevity.  Today, we’ll focus on how to renew and replenish stores of this wonderful substance.

Warning: Glutathione shortfalls linked with virtually all chronic health issues

Scientists credit glutathione with the ability to attack viruses and bacteria, neutralize harmful free radicals, boost the immune system, fight inflammation, arrest the growth of cancer cells and combat heart disease.

Unsurprisingly, having low glutathione can have serious health consequences.

In fact, there are many integrative healthcare providers that warn the public about the health dangers associated with low glutathione levels.  Simply put, if you’re dealing with blood sugar imbalances, autoimmune disorders or poor brain function, being low in glutathione could be the reason for your health challenges.

In a study published in The Lancet, researchers reported that elderly people demonstrated lower glutathione levels than younger individuals.  And, levels declined with age and state of health.

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In people who were both ill and elderly, levels were even lower – and were at the lowest in the hospitalized elderly.

Warning: Glutathione deficiency is a massive threat to cellular health

In a 2013 review published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, scientists concluded that Alzheimer’s disease may be triggered by oxidative stress in the brain resulting from decreased levels of glutathione.

Research has also shown that low levels of glutathione can set the stage for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

A review published in PLOS One reported that diabetic patients had lower levels of glutathione when compared to a control group. And, abnormal glutathione metabolism was more pronounced in patients with microvascular complications from diabetes.

As with the Alzheimer’s disease study, the scientists concluded that glutathione plays a key role in preventing health issues and reducing oxidative stress.

Significantly, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology found that elderly subjects with diagnoses of arthritis, diabetes or heart disease had significantly lower glutathione levels than subjects who were healthy.

Natural ways to build up your glutathione levels

Obviously, deficiencies should be avoided at all costs.  But, a wide variety of factors can drain stores of precious glutathione, leaving us at risk for health problems.

Glutathione-robbing culprits include poor nutrition, exposure to environmental toxins, alcohol use, smoking, infections, sedentary lifestyle and chronic stress.

In addition, common pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs – including acetaminophen and antibiotics – can contribute to low glutathione.

What can we do to restore levels?

The subject of oral glutathione supplementation is somewhat controversial, as some scientists maintain that the compound is broken down too quickly in the digestive tract to be of real benefit. If you do choose to supplement with glutathione, a liposomal formulation is probably your best bet.

Natural health experts typically recommend glutathione dosages of 500 to 1,000 mg a day. As always, check with your integrative doctor before supplementing, especially if you’re not feeling well.

You can boost glutathione levels by consuming foods that are high in cysteine, one of glutathione’s “building blocks.”  These include cruciferous vegetables like kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, as well as allium vegetables such as garlic, onions and leeks.

Other foods that can raise glutathione include asparagus, avocados and bioactive whey protein made from non-denatured proteins.  In addition, in terms of helping to replish glutathione levels, you may want to consider taking milk thistle, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin C.

Remember: in these challenging times, it’s important to keep antioxidant levels “fully charged.”  There is no better way to accomplish this than by optimizing your glutathione levels.

Sources for this article include:

Are they serious? Reports suggest a flu virus with “pandemic potential”

Reproduced from original article:
by:  | July 10, 2020

pig-flu-virus(NaturalHealth365) While the COVID pandemic isn’t owning the headlines quite as forcefully as it was in the first half of the year, it’s still a major issue on many people’s minds. But just when some of us felt a lull in the media’s fear-mongering campaign, we’re now hearing reports of yet another newly discovered flu virus that is able to jump from animals to humans – the same route of transmission we saw with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

According to the BBC, breaking news out of China suggests that the new flu virus emerging in pigs has the potential to launch yet another pandemic in the near future.  The big question is how the public will respond to this latest global health concern.

What should we do with this latest flu virus concern?

On June 29, 2020, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published an article written by a team of researchers from Beijing, China. The paper announced that a new “Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus with 2009 pandemic viral genes” has been identified in pigs. In other words, the virus is similar to the one which caused the 2009 swine flu epidemic, but has some genetic differences.

Pigs, the researchers note, “are are considered as important hosts or ‘mixing vessels’ for the generation of pandemic influenza viruses.” It’s a sad statement that brings to mind the kind of animal cruelty practices observed in the now-infamous wet markets throughout Asia.

This virus, which the Chinese researchers refer to as G4 EA H1N1, can and indeed has already appeared to infect humans. After analyzing the blood work of 338 swine workers who have “occupational exposure”, the scientists determined that 10.4 percent of them tested positive for it.  Workers aged 18 to 35 had the highest infection rate, with 9 out of 44 of them from the sample testing positive.

As the BBC notes, the researchers are worried this virus could continue to mutate in such a way that it could spread easily from person to person and lead to a new global outbreak.  At this time, officials say that the newly discovered H1N1 virus is not of immediate concern, but that it exhibits classic indicators of being highly adaptable and therefore will need to be closely monitored.

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As possibility of future pandemics loom, many feel there is more to be concerned about than just newly emerging viruses – including control hungry global leaders and public health officials

Positive reinforcement 101: if you get rewarded for doing something, you’re more likely to do it again.

The “reward” in this case, at least for government officials, is mass control over the publicfueled by hysteria and the idea that you can “shame” people into complying with your demands to wear masks, close down your businesses, and get vaccinated – because if you don’t, you’re “selfish” and putting innocent lives at risk, right?

We say this tongue and cheek, of course. But we certainly will be a bit more hypervigilant and closely watching as this news story develops over the coming weeks, and will be looking out to see if and how public health officials use this as another opportunity to implement heavy-handed control measures.

Sources for this article include:

Security ALERT: Immunity passport technology gaining traction and raising serious ethical concerns

Reproduced from original article:
by:  | July 7, 2020

immunity-passport(NaturalHealth365) Is the Orwellian future really here? We are seeing the frightening spread of technology that will allow businesses and officials to ask people for “proof” of immunity from COVID and “other relevant health information.” While a dream for the likes of Bill Gates and other proponents of mass vaccinations, it’s sounds like nothing more than the beginning of a nightmare for the general public.

As many as 15 countries so far are preparing to adopt this baffling “show me your papers” type of mass tracking and surveillance under the guise of public health and safety. The question is: how far will officials go to control individuals’ liberty … and at what point will the public finally stand up against this insane violation of privacy?

Will your rights be violated with this NEW immunity passport?

A British cybersecurity company recently launched a new patented technology called COVI-PASS™. Their claimed objective is to promote a safer “return to work and social interactions” in the wake of a global pandemic.

Here’s some more information from their website:

“COVI-PASS™ is a secure Digital Health Passport which displays your COVID-19 test history and immunoresponse and other relevant health information … this ensures confident return to work and life.” It appears to function like a smartphone app.

Reading between the lines here, we can easily infer that this type of technology will also be used to prevent you from being able to go anywhere or do anything if you are not able to “prove” that you have antibodies against the novel coronavirus, whether by a prior infection or a vaccine (both of which are yet to be proven to offer immunity, according to officials).

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

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In other words:

If you’re unwilling to comply with mass tracking measures, you may need to prepare yourself for serious infringements of your rights, such as not being able to get on a plane, go to a restaurant, or even work at your job. All is within the realm of possibility if this type of technology is made widely available.

Buckle to the pressure, or lose your freedom. Many fear this is the future we are facing.

Officials poised to lull public with the promise that immunity passports will be “optional” … but, can we really believe this in the long run?

Remember that saying, “If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile?”  It’s hard to think of a more appropriate aphorism for this sobering news. And there’s no question that these apps and “ePassports” will be first sold to us as a “voluntary” idea.

But, how long can we expect that to last?

Like many other critics, our main contention with these immunity passport advances is the extremely dangerous precedent they set.  What is to stop this technology from threatening an individual’s right to privacy and liberty?

There are so many questions.  For example, what will stop people from “purposefully” getting COVID-19 or finding a way to “buy” proof of immunity?

What is to happen if and when hackers and cyber-criminals steal this kind of protected health information?  Will health officials move the goal posts and start grasping for even more control over our rights, all in the name of “safety?”

It’s not alarmist to ask these kinds of questions. With greater advancements in technology comes greater areas of vulnerability and opportunities for malfeasence.  And given the preponderence of drastic measures already taken in the COVID-19 pandemic – from contact tracing and forced quarantine to mandated mask use even while walking outside in some states – it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to envision this type of draconian enforcement.

Bottom line: Immunity passports and other similar technology cannot and should not be normalized. It is wrong for anyone to demand access to your protected health information lest you wish to be prohibited to work, travel, or seek medical care.

We’re hopeful it won’t come to this, ever, and encourage individuals to contact their political representatives and make their voices heard.

Sources for this article include:

Magnesium and K2 Optimize Your Vitamin D Supplementation

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

  • June 15, 2020
vitamin d3 k2 and magnesium


  • If you take supplemental vitamin D3, you also need to be mindful of taking extra vitamin K2 and magnesium
  • It’s important to increase your vitamin K2 intake when taking high-dose supplemental vitamin D to avoid complications associated with excessive arterial calcification
  • You need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day
  • Vitamin D improves magnesium absorption, but taking large doses of vitamin D can deplete magnesium, as magnesium is required in the conversion of vitamin D into its active form
  • Combined intake of both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2 has a greater effect on vitamin D levels than either individually. You need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not concomitantly taking magnesium and vitamin K2

Optimizing your vitamin D level is ideally done through sensible sun exposure. However, many simply are unable to obtain sufficient levels from the sun alone and need supplemental vitamin D. In this case, nutritional synergies become an important factor.

According to research by GrassrootsHealth,1 “combined intake of both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2 has a greater effect on vitamin D levels than either individually,” and “those taking both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2 have a higher vitamin D level for any given vitamin D intake amount than those taking either supplemental magnesium or vitamin K2 or neither.”

You Need 2.5 Times More D if Not Taking Magnesium and K2

GrassrootsHealth is a nonprofit, independent public health research institute that has been conducting large-scale population-based nutrient research since 2007.2 While a significant focus is on vitamin D, the organization has also branched into other nutrients.

Its D*action project includes a global cohort of over 10,000 self-subscribed individuals who, anonymously, provide information about their supplement use and overall health status.

GrassrootsHealth research shows blood levels in the range of 40 nanograms per milliliter to 60 ng/ml (100 nanomoles per liter to 150 nmol/L) are safe, effective and will lower overall disease incidence and health care costs.3

That said, other nutrients have been shown to work synergistically with vitamin D, and being deficient in them can significantly influence your vitamin D status as well. Importantly, data from nearly 3,000 individuals reveal you need 244% more oral vitamin D if you’re not also taking magnesium and vitamin K2. As reported by GrassrootsHealth:4

“… 244% more supplemental vitamin D was needed for 50% of the population to achieve 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) for those not taking supplemental magnesium or vitamin K2 compared to those who usually took both supplemental magnesium and vitamin K2.”

What this means in practical terms is that if you take all three supplements in combination, you need far less oral vitamin D in order to achieve a healthy vitamin D level.

Vitamin D Dose-Response

How Magnesium Affects Vitamin D

I’ve previously written about the importance of taking vitamin K2 when you’re taking high-dose supplemental vitamin D to avoid complications associated with excessive calcification in your arteries. In fact, relative vitamin K2 deficiency is typically what produces symptoms of “vitamin D toxicity.”

That said, magnesium is also a crucial part of the equation, as it is a component necessary for the activation of vitamin D. Without sufficient amounts of it, your body cannot properly utilize the vitamin D you’re taking.5,6,7,8

This actually helps explain why many need rather high doses of vitamin D to optimize their levels — it could be that they simply have insufficient amounts of magnesium in their system to activate the vitamin D. As noted by Mohammed Razzaque, professor of pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania:9

“People are taking vitamin D supplements but don’t realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, vitamin D is not really useful. By consuming an optimal amount of magnesium, one may be able to lower the risks of vitamin D deficiency, and reduce the dependency on vitamin D supplements.”

According to a scientific review10,11 published in 2018, as many as 50% of Americans taking vitamin D supplements may not get significant benefit as the vitamin D simply gets stored in its inactive form, and the reason for this is because they have insufficient magnesium levels.

Research published in 2013 also highlighted this issue, concluding that higher magnesium intake helps reduce your risk of vitamin D deficiency by activating more of it. As noted by the authors:12

“High intake of total, dietary or supplemental magnesium was independently associated with significantly reduced risks of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency respectively.

Intake of magnesium significantly interacted with intake of vitamin D in relation to risk of both vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency … Our preliminary findings indicate it is possible that magnesium intake alone or its interaction with vitamin D intake may contribute to vitamin D status.” 

Similarly, GrassrootsHealth has found13 you need 146% more vitamin D to achieve a blood level of 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) if you do not take supplemental magnesium, compared to taking your vitamin D with at least 400 mg of magnesium per day.

Vitamin D Dose-Response by Supplemental Magnesium Intake

The interplay between magnesium and vitamin D isn’t a one-way street, though. It goes both ways. Interestingly, while vitamin D improves magnesium absorption,14 taking large doses of vitamin D can also deplete magnesium.15 Again, the reason for that is because magnesium is required in the conversion of vitamin D into its active form.


Click here to learn Dr. Mercola's ultimate guide to combating coronavirus

Vitamins D, B12 and Magnesium May Affect COVID-19 Outcomes

While vitamin D and magnesium are important for overall health year-round, they may be of particular importance right now, as we’re still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in many areas of the world, and a second wave is expected in the fall.

According to preliminary research,16,17 that is still undergoing peer review, older COVID-19 patients given a combination of vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B12 fared significantly better than those who did not receive the supplements:

“Between 15 January and 15 April 2020, 43 consecutive COVID-19 patients aged ≥50 were identified. 17 patients received DMB [vitamin D, magnesium and B12] and 26 patients did not. Baseline demographic characteristics between the two groups were similar.

Significantly fewer DMB patients than controls required initiation of oxygen therapy subsequently throughout their hospitalization (17.6% vs 61.5%). DMB exposure was associated with odds ratios of 0.13 … and 0.15 … for oxygen therapy need and/or intensive care support on univariate and multivariate analyses respectively.

Conclusions: DMB combination in older COVID-19 patients was associated with a significant reduction in proportion of patients with clinical deterioration requiring oxygen support and/or intensive care support. This study supports further larger randomized control trials to ascertain the full benefit of DMB in ameliorating COVID-19 severity.”

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

The idea that vitamin D might play a role in COVID-19 severity makes sense considering its importance in infections, including viral infections, in general. Vitamin D helps regulate your immune function, and deficiency is associated with more frequent infections and inflammation-related illnesses of all types. Other common signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:18

  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain, as well as fractures
  • Depression
  • Impaired cognition and headaches
  • Slow wound healing

Long-term deficiency can also contribute to more chronic health problems, including rickets, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disease.19 Risk factors for vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Rarely spending time outdoors and/or always wearing sunscreen
  • Having darker skin
  • Being over the age of 50
  • Obesity
  • Having gastrointestinal problems

Optimize Your Vitamin D Before Fall

Aside from age and comorbidities such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, vitamin D deficiency has also been identified as an underlying factor that significantly impacts COVID-19 severity and mortality. I discuss this in “Vitamin D Is Directly Correlated to COVID-19 Outcome.”

The following graph is from a May 18, 2020, letter20 to the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, from retired biochemist Bernd Glauner and Lorenz Borsche, in which they highlight studies21 showing a clear correlation between COVID-19 mortality and vitamin D levels.

correlation covid 19 death rate

It’s important to note that experts are already warning SARS-CoV-2 may reemerge in the fall when temperatures and humidity levels drop, thereby increasing the virus’ transmissibility.

To improve your immune function and lower your risk of viral infections, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a level between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL by fall. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 nmol/L and 200 nmol/L. Optimizing your vitamin D is particularly important if you are older or have darker skin.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of measuring your vitamin D level is to participate in the GrassrootsHealth’s personalized nutrition project, which includes a vitamin D testing kit, either alone or in combination with the omega-3 test. This is done in the convenience of your home.

To make sure your vitamin D level and immune system function are optimized, follow these three steps:

1.First, measure your vitamin D level — Once you know what your blood level is, you can assess the dose needed to maintain or improve your level. The easiest way to raise your level is by getting regular, safe sun exposure, but if you’re very dark-skinned, you may need to spend about 1.5 hours a day in the sun to have any noticeable effect.

Those with very light skin may need only 15 minutes a day, which is far easier to achieve. Still, they too will typically struggle to maintain ideal levels during the winter. So, depending on your situation, you may need to use an oral vitamin D3 supplement. The next question then becomes, how much do you need?

2.Assess your individualized vitamin D dosage — To do that, you can either use the chart below, or use GrassrootsHealth’s Vitamin D*calculator. To convert ng/mL into the European measurement (nmol/L), simply multiply the ng/mL measurement by 2.5. To calculate how much vitamin D you may be getting from regular sun exposure in addition to your supplemental intake, consider using the DMinder app.22

Vitamin D - Serum Level

3.Retest in three to six months — Lastly, you’ll need to remeasure your vitamin D level in three to six months, to evaluate how your sun exposure and/or supplement dose is working for you.

Not only will optimizing your vitamin D be an important strategy for you and your family, but it would be really helpful to start thinking about your community as well.

If you can, speak to pastors in churches with large congregations of people of color and help them start a program getting their congregation on vitamin D, and if you have a family member or know anyone who is in an assisted living facility, meet with the director of the program and encourage them to get everyone tested or at least start them on vitamin D.

I am currently in the process of writing a comprehensive resource book to help you in this effort. We really need an army of people to make a difference and build up the immune resiliency of the population before the next wave hits in the fall. This will work FAR better than any unsafe and untested vaccine that will most likely never be ready by the fall anyway.

Why take glutathione and vitamin C together?

Reproduced from original article:

by:  | June 13, 2020

glutathione-and-vitamin-c(NaturalHealth365) According to the National Health Council, a troubling 50 percent of American adults suffer greatly with their health.  Thankfully, recent research has shown that a pair of natural substances – glutathione and vitamin C – can help to increase the body’s natural antioxidant defense system.  This, in turn, helps to reduce the risk of excess oxidative stress – which leads to a diminished quality of life.

Researchers have found that these natural compounds work in concert, with each helping to replenish and recycle the other. Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits that are obtained by taking these two natural substances together.

Glutathione and vitamin C: Two “superstar” antioxidants join forces

Glutathione – one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body – is also its premier detoxifying molecule, working to neutralize pathogens, environmental toxins and carcinogens.  In addition, it boosts the immune system, increases strength and endurance and encourages the body to form lean muscle rather than fat.

In fact, so strongly tied is glutathione to health and well-being that scientists can use glutathione levels to predict longevity – quite a testament to its influence in the body!

Unfortunately, glutathione levels can be threatened by toxic drugs, environmental toxins and chronic stress – as well as by normal aging.  Unsurprisingly, healthy young people have the highest levels of glutathione, while elderly, hospitalized patients have the very lowest.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Like glutathione, vitamin C can help to boost immune system function.  In fact, studies have shown that vitamin C increases production of life protective antibodies and promotes the function of phagocytes, the body’s scavenger cells.

In addition, vitamin C – which has potent antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties – can protect fragile cell membranes and prevent damage to cell DNA, as well as to important proteins and enzymes (including glutathione).  It is also a cofactor in the production of collagen – which is essential to arterial and heart health.

So, it’s clear to see: insufficient stores of glutathione and vitamin C can cause serious health issues.

Stronger together: Glutathione and vitamin C empower each other

Together, these two antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals.  This is important, because free radicals cause the unhealthy peroxidation of cell membrane lipids, leading to eventual cell death and increased likelihood of sickness.

Noted functional physician and author Dr. Mark Hyman uses the “hot potato” analogy to explain the antioxidant actions of glutathione and vitamin C.  Free radicals get bounced like a “hot potato” from one antioxidant to another, shuttling from vitamin C to vitamin E – then on to lipoic acid, and finally, glutathione.

Glutathione “cools off” the free radicals while recycling the other antioxidants, sacrificing itself in the process. However, the process ends with the regeneration of more glutathione.  In other words, glutathione and vitamin C function as a “buddy act,” in which each has the other’s back.

Vitamin C also helps to protect glutathione in the tissues, while glutathione coverts worn-out vitamin C (dehydroascorbic acid) back into its active form.  In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that glutathione can actually alleviate vitamin C deficiency.

Research sheds light on the effects of glutathione and vitamin C on oxidative stress

In one study involving 200 healthy young adults and published in Preventive Nutrition and Food Science, the team found that low dietary intake of vitamin C caused increased oxidative stress, while reducing levels of glutathione.

Even though the subjects were young and relatively healthy, only 38 percent of them had sufficient intake of vitamin C.  Significantly, the low intake group had higher levels of markers of oxidative stress, such as malondialdehyde, nitrites and nitrates. The higher-intake group had fewer markers of oxidative stress, and more life protective antioxidant capacity.

A separate study yielded evidence of the benefits of combining quercetin and vitamin C.

In a placebo-controlled study conducted in 2012, a group of healthy young men were given either 250 mg a day of vitamin C, 500 mg of quercetin, vitamin C and quercetin together, or a placebo for eight weeks.

And the results were eye-opening.

The researchers found that the most pronounced improvements to inflammation levels and cell health occurred in the group that took both supplements. Participants experienced a dramatic 50 percent decrease in levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein – compared to 35 percent in the vitamin C-only group and the quercetin-only group.

Other research has demonstrated vitamin C’s ability to promote the creation of glutathione in the body.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that two weeks of supplementation with vitamin C, in amounts ranging from 500 mg to 2,000 mg, increased glutathione production by 50 percent – significantly more than increases conferred by high-dose N-acetyl-cysteine.

This is impressive, because NAC has such potent glutathione-restoring abilities that it is used in hospitals to replenish depleted glutathione in the liver resulting from acetaminophen overdose.

Boost glutathione and vitamin C with diet and proper supplementation

You can help your body increase its glutathione production by eating sulfur-rich foods, such as garlic, onions and cruciferous vegetables including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and arugula.

And, bioactive non-denatured whey protein is rich in cysteine, one of the “building blocks” of glutathione.  Supplements such as N-acetyl-cysteine, milk thistle and alpha-lipoic acid help the body produce, recycle and replenish glutathione.

When it comes to ramping up vitamin C intake, red bell peppers, kiwi fruit, strawberries and citrus fruits are among the best sources.

If you would like to take glutathione in supplementary form, many natural health experts advise liposomal glutathione as the most bioactive.  Integrative healthcare providers typically recommend between 250 mg and 500 mg of glutathione a day – but check first with your own doctor before making any changes to your supplement routine.

While the National Institutes of Health lists 65 to 90 mg per day of vitamin C as the recommended daily amount, most experienced healthcare providers will suggest much greater amounts to obtain true health protective results.  Your integrative doctor can help advise an amount that is right for you.

Bottom line: when it comes to protecting your health, glutathione and vitamin C are “on the job.” Maybe it’s time to put this dynamic duo to work for you?

Sources for this article include: