Monthly Archives: April 2020

Covid-19 and Immunity- Protect Ourselves

Covid-19 and Immunity – Can We Build our Defences to Protect Ourselves?

Covid-19 and Immunity – What can we do to protect ourselves?  I have specialized for years showing people we have to dig deeper, get past the superficialities about health. We have to think about the health of our cells. Most of all, we must calm the flames of chronic inflammation.  All of our efforts might look good on the outside, but are we fanning the flames of inflammation. Please read on, open  the many research articles in this blog.

  • Having a strong immune response during the incubation period can prevent the infection taking hold, reduce the actual quantity of virus in the body and prevent it from getting to the lungs.
  • Yet an excessive immune response can actually cause so much inflammation it can be fatal. Chronic Inflammation ……

Our immune system is divided into 2 categories:

Our  innate immunity is the immune system we are born with, and functions to keep foreign threats out – bacteria, viruses, toxins…..

Our adaptive immunity, the body identifies a threat, and the immune system creates antibodies specifically designed to that threat.  The threat is neutralized, and the adaptive immune system “remembers” it, so hopefully future responses to the same threat are also neutralized.

We often hear people talk about “strengthening our immune system”.  What we really need is a balanced immune system. When out of balance, the immune system not only fails to protect us,  but it can even turn against us, mistaking our own cells for invading pathogens, resulting in debilitating chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases.   Lupus , rheumatoid arthritis, allergies are all examples of autoimmune disease.

We do not want to always boost our immune system, we want to balance it.

Please review the many articles here oxidative stress, leading to chronic inflammation, leading to disease.  Here we present many research studies which show the effect of ROS  on our immune function.  Impact of ROS on lung function, critical in our response to Covid-19.

Let’s look at some of the current research on Covid-19 and immunity – Can a balanced immune system protect us from this deadly virus that cripples our lungs?

Why Some COVID-19 Patients Crash: The Body’s Immune System Might Be To Blame

Scientific American April 24, 2020: ” Many of the people dying in the novel coronavirus pandemic appear to be harmed more by their own immune system than by the virus itself.”

Science Daily, research from the University of Melbourne:    “a robust immune response across different cell types was associated with clinical recovery”

Covid-19 and Immunity…..Balanced Immunity

Science now refers to something called a cytokine storm. Albeit still under a great debate,  a cytokine storm is an over active immune response and inflammatory responses out of control.  An uncontrolled release of proinflammatory cytokines. There are a number of articles, featuring hundreds of studies on the diseases linked to chronic inflammation.

Covid-19 and Immunity A cytokine stormDoctors and researchers are increasingly convinced that in at least some cases of Covid-19, the body’s own immune system is overreacting to the virus with a cytokine storm. The immune system has an extreme response that causes more damage than the virus itself. Some doctors are now using powerful anti-inflammatory drugs.

Obviously, we should NEVER try and treat ourselves. Any concern of Covid-19, or any other medical issues – contact your medical professionals immediately.

More on fighting Covid-19 with anti-inflammatories.

Research on Covid-19 is very recent. The entire world has put other research on hold, scrambling to save lives.  There is so much we do not know, however, we do not have the luxury of time. We all have to do our very best to protect ourselves, and we all have a social responsibility to do our utmost to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Self testing for Covid-19 with physician supervision is also readily, affordably, available. Protect yourself, your loved ones and be socially responsible. Especially as we start to re-open our world, our economies, self testing is even more important.

Chronic inflammation and those cytokine storms, are linked with more chronic diseases, and death as research deepens.

Ex: hand sanitizers are a fact of life now. Control the long term consequences ….There is always another side to every coin

Hand sanitizers – Toxicity and oxidative stress. 

Research is showing us that there is a relationship between  Covid-19 and immunity, more directly, our levels of inflammation. We do not have the luxury of decades to understand this virus, we all need to do what we can to stop the spread of this global pandemic. Let’s all follow the rules set out by our medical institutions to stop the spread, and research.

 Book a consult, provide employees with our OS assessment, a very different approach to corporate health! We can also arrange for employee Covid-19 testing – keep a Covid Clean workplace

Convenient diagnostic testing for many issues from  Covid-19, Diabetes, Vitamin D, STDs, fertility, Flu, HIV, gluten sensitivity….let us put you in touch with reliable at home testing,  hundreds of diagnostic tests with physician supervision & full privacy!

Lower oxidative stress, Redefine Your healthy Lifestyle, from your DNA! Once again, we seeCovid-19 and Immunity the data – oxidative stress and chronic inflammation is at the root of disease. Lower oxidative stress, lower chronic inflammation – Calm the cytokine storm. …..

Are you worth $40/month?

Happily explain.

Recommended & Researched by: American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, Harvard, Louisiana State, Colorado State, Université de Montréal, NIH, NIA,  Washington State University, ……+ hundreds more.  11 patents worldwide and referred to as the “greatest medical therapeutic discovery”…….

Please refer to the many articles here on Best In Corporate Health on the health hazards of living with chronic inflammation, and the importance of lowering our levels of oxidative stress. Again, many of us think we are choosing a healthy lifestyle, but we are actually increasing our levels of oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic inflammation.

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, BSc, Corporate Wellness Specialist, Chronic Care recovery, medical exercise, holistic nutrition, addiction recovery

In Health,

Shira Litwack

Shira has been in chronic care management and prevention for 30 years, researcher,  specializing in lifestyle habits including holistic nutrition, medical fitness and oxidative stress reduction. She has created and provided oxidative stress assessments, to help clients identify potential health risks. Lowering chronic inflammation for disease prevention and management is the focal point of BICH.

She partners with companies that  provide immediate, affordable, accessible, reliable solutions for populations.

Articles featured in:  Corporate Wellness Association, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio, Medical Fitness Network

NRF2 Pathway Defining Proactive Health

NRF2 Pathway – Tapping Your Greatest Inner Defense

Our NRF2 pathway is our inner unsung hero. Here, we are presenting research so that we all optimize & celebrate our unknown gift. Let’s make activating our NRF2  pathway #1  on our bucket list.  How many of the other items on our wish lists are feasible without our health?

Harvard Health on Inflammation: A unifying theory of disease. Research is showing that chronic inflammation may be the common factor in many diseases”

What is the NRF2 Pathway?

NRF2 pathway to prevent disease Best In Corporate Health

The Nrf2 pathway, or signaling system  controls the expression of many antioxidant and detoxification genes, by binding to antioxidant response elements (AREs) that are DNA sequences that respond to dietary antioxidants. In simple terms, NRF2 is a system from within that helps lower chronic inflammation by providing cells access to an abundance of antioxidants, to extinguish the flames of oxidative stress and inflammation.

 

NRF2 turns on our production of the 3 main antioxidants ( catalase, glutathione and SOD) having a 1 million to one advantage over ingesting individual antioxidants.

Washington State University 2015: “NRF2 may well become the most extraordinary therapeutic and most extraordinary preventative breakthrough in the history of medicine”

Research on Covid-19, Immune response & lung function

Why we want to activate our NRF2 Pathway:

Pubmed studies oxidative stress and diseases

Free Radicals, Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants in Human Disease

Are there Possible implications  of the NRF2 pathway for Covid-19?  2018 study from Oxidative Medicine & Cellular Longevity:

Therapeutic Modulation of Virus-Induced Oxidative Stress via the Nrf2-Dependent Antioxidative Pathway

Inflammation and Recovering from Covid-19

NRF2 pathway Inflammation in lungs from Covid-19
chronic lung inflammation in Covid-19

“After any severe case of pneumonia, a combination of underlying chronic diseases and prolonged inflammation seems to increase the risk of future illnesses, including heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease”  Sachin Yende, epidemiologist and critical care physician, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death: NRF2 and heart disease

NRF2 and metabolism

The Role of Nrf2 in Cardiovascular Function and Disease 2017 

Nrf2 as a Potential Mediator of Cardiovascular Risk in Metabolic Diseases 2019

Nrf2 at the heart of oxidative stress and cardiac protection

NRF2 and Depression:

Live a Healthy Lifestyle activating your NRF2 pathway

NRF2 and mood disorders 

PsychoNeuroEndocrinology

The Role of Oxidative Stress in Anxiety Disorders

 

Arthritis

Osteoarthritis and NRF2 activation

 

 

Cancer & Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress, inflammation, and cancer: How are they linked?

Correlation between Oxidative Stress, Nutrition, and Cancer Initiation

 

NRF2 and Alzheimer’s

NRF2 and Neurodegenerative Disorders

NRF2 Autism

NRF2 Activation Protective effects on the lung disorders, pathogenesis of respiratory diseases 2019

Respiratory Complications with HIV

Potential Protective and Therapeutic Roles of the Nrf2 Pathway in Ocular Diseases: An Update 2020: (Eye health)

OK…You get the idea…..Oxidative stress leading to chronic inflammation is at the root of our chronic illnesses, mental and physical.

There are thousands of more studies available on the importance of lowering oxidative stress and activation of the NRF2 pathway.

I urge everyone to examine their choices. As we study oxidative stress and inflammation, we realize that sometimes, our best intentions with our health, can actually increase oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

 Book a consult, provide employees with our OS assessment, a very different approach to corporate health!

Lower oxidative stress, Redefine Your healthy Lifestyle, from your DNA! 

Are you worth $40/month?

Happily explain.

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, BSc, Corporate Wellness Specialist, Chronic Care recovery, medical exercise, holistic nutrition, addiction recovery

In Health,

Shira Litwack

Shira has been in chronic care management and prevention for 30 years, researcher,  specializing in lifestyle habits including holistic nutrition, medical fitness and oxidative stress reduction. She is frequently called upon by the media, has her own podcast bringing current research to the public.

She has created and provided oxidative stress assessments, to help clients identify potential health risks. From these, she designs appropriate exercise and physical activity protocols, nutrition ideas for lowering inflammation and to fall in love with fitness.

Articles featured in:  Corporate Wellness Association, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio, Medical Fitness Network

Convenient diagnostic testing for many issues from  Covid-19, Diabetes, Vitamin D, STDs, fertility, Flu, HIV, gluten sensitivity….let us put you in touch with reliable at home testing,  hundreds of diagnostic tests with physician supervision & full privacy!

Access Hundreds of Self Tests, rapid diagnostics. Get Tested at Home! Stay at Home!
self diagnostic tests

Oxidative Stress Leading to Inflammation

Oxidative Stress Leading to Inflammation

Oxidative stress leading to Inflammation, next stop, disease.

Going bigger, is not necessarily better.

Many of us have the very best intentions with our health. We try to eat right, exercise, take supplements,  make choices we deem to be healthy. However, we frequently think more is better:  more restrictive with our food choices,  more intense workouts, more supplements. Let’s all examine our choices from the perspective of inflammation. First a background to

Genetics vs. Epigenetics 

Genetics: The genes within our DNA we get from Mamma and Papa. These do not change.

Enter a BIG However:

Oxidative stress leading to inflammationEpigenetics: Tags on our DNA – which dramatically influences the way our DNA function, for better or for worse. This is where lifestyle exposures affect our gene expression, our health. This explains why identical twins, born with the same genetic material, can age very differently, based on their environment and lifestyle. 

Our epigenome comprises all of the tags (epigenetic changes)  that have been added to our genome regulating the expression of the genes within our genome. 

Epigenetic modifications remain as cells divide and can be inherited through the generations

Point to ponder…The role of epigenetics in our evolution as a species?

Epigenetics influences which genes are switched-on, or expressed, passing on the way the genes are used. 

Lifestyle can modify epigenetics;  diet, obesity, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, EMF, psychological stress, shift work, chemicals in diet……

Let’s look at the BRCA genes. These genes, associated with breast and other cancers, are genes that produce a tumor suppressing protein. This protein protects the cell by repairing any damages to the DNA. When there is a mutation in the BRCA genes, this protein does not function properly. The cell is now more susceptible to alterations that may lead to cancer. Epigenetics is a strong determinant over the development of cancer. The good news here: Epigenetic modifications are a central focus in researching  prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. “Epi-drugs” are now be researched. 

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress has been my field of research for 30 years. Shortly after I got into fitness, I was intrigued on why exercise and nutrition influence our health so greatly. I knew it wasn’t just in the size jeans we wear, but in our genes. I have been blessed to work with a number of researchers over the years in the field of oxidative stress and the development of disease. Many years ago I evolved my fitness business into medical fitness and encompassed lifestyle habits to lower oxidative stress leading to inflammation. 

Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Simply summarized, oxidative stress is electron thievery. Electrons are stable when coupled. oxidative stress leading to inflammationSingle electrons, called free radicals, scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can couple. Really is a wicked dating scene inside our cells!  The electron thievery causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA. Oxidative stress happens when our redox state, is tipped with free radicals outnumbering available antioxidants. 

Learn more on Pubmed about oxidative stress leading to inflammation and disease.

Sources of Oxidative Stress (OS): 

OS has both endogenous (from within) and exogenous (from our world) sources.

Endogenous: Cellular metabolism. Now start thinking carefully here for the rest of the article. Energy production happens in the mitochondria of our cells. Our currency or energy is ATP. OS is a natural by-product of ATP. ……When do we produce more ATP?

The body’s natural immune response can also trigger oxidative stress temporarily.

 

Exogenous: No coincidence, the same list we have above for lifestyle influences on epigenetics. 

Long-term oxidative stress damages the body’s cells, proteins, and DNA. OS strongly  contributes to aging and is accepted to be at the root of many of our chronic conditions including diabetes, cancers, heart and vascular disease, depression, neurodegenerative disease,  arthritis, Alzheimer’s, insulin resistance, IBD……More and more of our chronic issues are being linked to oxidative stress as it can lead to chronic inflammation. 

Inflammation – Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s means of fighting against invaders, such as infections, injuries, and toxins, to self repair. Chronic inflammation puts the body in a constant state of alert.

Inflammation triggered by oxidative stress is the cause of many chronic diseases, as summarized above. 

CRP is an inflammatory marker. It is valued as the most clinically useful and the best marker of inflammation and is respected as a valuable tool in the prediction of cardiovascular risk.

Chronic Diseases continues to be on the Rise

Our bodies inner antioxidant system was not designed “back in the day” to manage our current barrage of OS fire from our environment and lifestyle choices. We evolved with an inner antioxidant system to manage our endogenous OS, which weakens with age and exhaustion!

According to the WHO, chronic disease is on the rise worldwide. An aging population, obesity-induced oxidative stress and changes in our environment and our lifestyle choices are contributing to this steady increase.

Digging Deeper…..We talk about obesity being an issue in disease. At the cellular level, adipocytes produce ROS. But we have a chicken or the egg issue. There are many researchers suggesting that oxidative stress causes obesity……the plot thickens……

Suffice it to say, controlling oxidative stress is paramount to a “healthy lifestyle.”  What we need to do, is discover the many hidden cause of oxidative stress and extinguish the fires of chronic inflammation, best we can. 

NRF2 Activation  to lower oxidative stress

Oxidative stress leading to inflammation,  perhaps the most unknown cause of chronic illness outside the research world. Yes, many people know to eat their rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Fabulous!  How many people know about the NRF2 pathway inside the body?  The NRF2 pathway produces our own homegrown antioxidants, which lower oxidative stress at a 1,000,000:1 ratio relative to eating antioxidants. Taking antioxidant supplements  can have dangerous side effects. We are far safer to activate our NRF2 pathway.

Contact me to take our oxidative stress assessment, and learn how to activate your NRF2 pathway.

“Nrf2 may well become the most extraordinary therapeutic and most extraordinary preventative breakthrough in the history of medicine.” Washington State University

 

Healthy Lifestyle?

Exercise: This section is difficult, but needs to be discussed.  I am NOT the Grinch that maligned exercise.  I am a major exercise and physical activity enthusiast. The gym is my play ground, I have a gym in my home, and yes, we do not need a gym to get exercise, the world is our gym. Especially in the current times of social distancing, we can get physical activity in a number of fun, invigorating ways. 

Bottom line:

Bottom line: Too much exercise in terms of intensity and duration is proven to increase oxidative stress. Yes, exercise and physical activity are a necessity for every aspect of health. Exercise has been proven to lower oxidative stress, cardio vascular risk, but the mechanisms of this are still being studied. 

  • It has been proven that starting “on an exercise program”, then quitting abruptly increases OS. Slow and steady wins the race. 
  • Diet plus exercise is far more effective in lowering OS, than exercise alone. 
  • Exercise has better control on lowering oxidative stress in people who have higher levels of CRP (inflammatory marker). 
  • Exhaustive and prolonged exercise promotes the generation of ROS, depletion of antioxidants and vitamins,  induces oxidative stress, renal impairment and inflammation.
  • Prolonged aerobic exercise is linked to dramatic increases in oxidative stress
  • Less studied thus far, intense hypertrophy training (heavy weight lifting) has been shown to increase oxidative stress….
  • Muscle mass is imperative for healthy aging, balanced training is key.  

More exercise in terms of duration and intensity could lose the beneficial effects of exercise. It is very important for those engaging in stressful exercise to support their antioxidant supply to combat OS. 

 

Pedantic Diets: 

There are many examples here.

Our body needs  a variety of amino acids to function efficiently. Bioavailability of these amino acids varies amongst food sources.

There are a number of benefits to particularly picked on foods such as dairy and red meat. We need to feed out bodies the nutrients, amino acids it needs.   Let’s look at some research on a few popular diets. 

  • Keto diet: Ketogenic diets have shown to increase inflammatory markers.
  • Paleo diet: can be good in some respects by eliminating sugar, alcohol, but if not done carefully Paleo-ers have been shown to be deficient in fiber and certain minerals and vitamins which is hurtful to gut health, and yes pro inflammatory.
  • Vegan diets: Again, proceed with intense caution. Vegan diets tend to be very carb heavy. Our grains are not what they used to be. Genetic modification and toxins abound, and our soil is not what it used to be as a source of minerals.  Very sorry: The digestibility and bioavailability of protein in plant foods is inferior to meat, fish and dairy products.  What no omega 3s in fish????
  • A 2018 study showed that long term diets excessively low, or high in carbohydrates are both linked with a shorter lifespan.
  • Orthorexia: Very few orthorexic people will admit to this disorder. Orthorexia is the obsessive fixation on healthy food and healthy eating, excessive exercise.  People with orthorexia are often on a restrictive diet. There are many chronic conditions associated with orthorexia, yes, including being pro inflammatory. 

There is NO utopian diet.   Our diet, exercise & lifestyle choices need to be reassessed and evolve as we age.  Examine lifestyle decisions from the perspective of inflammation. The scale, a ripped physique, skinny jeans  are not the omnipotent indicator of health.  We need to examine what we are identifying as our markers of health.  Maybe our good intentions  are weakening our inner defences. Be healthy and balanced. Balance is strength!

 Book a consult, provide employees with our OS assessment!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, BSc, Corporate Wellness Specialist, Chronic Care recovery, medical exercise, holistic nutrition, addiction recovery

Shira Litwack

Shira has been in chronic care management and prevention for 30 years, specializing in lifestyle habits including holistic nutrition, medical fitness and oxidative stress reduction. She is frequently called upon by the media, has her own podcast bringing current research to the public. 

She has created and provided oxidative stress assessments, to help clients identify potential health risks. From these, she designs appropriate exercise and physical activity protocols, nutrition ideas for lowering inflammation and to fall in love with fitness. 

Articles featured in:  Corporate Wellness Association, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio