By this time, unless you are completely off the grid and living in the wild, you’ve heard all about Vitamin C, D, Zinc, and potentially some outliers like Vitamin A or the need for Magnesium. Each of these plays a significant role in supporting and boosting your immune system.
As the shelter in place begins to relax in parts of the country, there is still a lot of fear being expressed as people reintegrate with society. Debates about the efficacy of masks, how to protect the most vulnerable, and how to get kids back into fully functioning schools rage across social media. The shift needs to move into tangible actions people can take versus the moral high ground, which can be endlessly argued from any perspective and does little to help us pave our way forward.
This leads us to share some essential vitamins and minerals that do not get a lot of headlines but can have a significant impact on creating an internal environment that is not conducive to hosting a virus. The key to bringing ‘normal’ back, or at least moving forward in a way that doesn’t require hibernation, missing the celebrations of life events, and the severing of friendships over differing opinions is to create a health-focused nation.
We could talk about the need to have an alkaline environment within the body because viruses like to live in acidic environments, and the Standard American Diet is very acidic. Lots of bread, fast foods, sugar is added to almost every packaged, prepared, or processed food we can buy. We are a nation that loves a sugary beverage, whether that’s sweetened tea, soda pop, or wine. Have a look in your pantry and see how many types of sugar are listed in the ingredients are your favorite snacks and meals?
Vitamins and Minerals Your Liver Needs
While you contemplate the idea of those hidden sugars, let’s move on to the vitamins and minerals that might be missing from your arsenal of immune-boosting, virus busting tool kit.
Your Liver plays a critical role in your ability to detox from the variety of chemicals we come into contact with daily, working as the ultimate filter in what will be absorbed into the body and what is considered waste. Therefore, supporting your Liver is one of the most important aspects of building your immunity.
Glutathione (gloota-thigh-own) is a molecule made by your body, and it’s your Liver’s best friend. The Liver is the ultimate ‘ride or die’ friend, taking on, and processing as many toxins as possible and will continue to do so with the little complaint until it’s in dire straits.
Therefore, supporting your body bestie should be high on your personal health list. Glutathione works in the GI tract by neutralizing toxins before they can be absorbed, and in the Liver and kidneys to help the breaking down of toxins. Glutathione fights free radicals and provides the greatest assist to free radicals in the Liver, repairing damage to cells and strengthening other antioxidant nutrients like Vitamin C and E.
Unfortunately, as we age, we create less glutathione, similar to how we produce less stomach acid as we age. You can promote your glutathione production by eating sulfur-rich foods, like brussels sprouts and cauliflower, as well as grass-fed meats.
Keep in mind that cooking those veggies depletes the usable glutathione. When working with clients, we often have them do coffee enemas. The coffee stimulates the creation of glutathione in the Liver. If you chose to take a supplement, make sure it is high quality. Y
2. N-Acetyl Cysteine
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is a precursor to glutathione and can be used to upregulate glutathione. Understanding NAC functions in protecting cells against oxidative stress and contributes to important bodily reactions. As such, it is a part of the defensive mechanism toward potential carcinogens, as well as against DNA damage.
3. Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a powerhouse super antioxidant that assists in repairing liver damage, reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, but it is believed to slow the aging process. There is a fantastic book by Burt Berkson that dives into the research around Alpha Lipoic Acid. ALA recycles glutathione and helps to restore sufficient levels in the -.
Phosphatidylcholine is a component of lecithin, but it is not the same as lecithin, even if you see the terms used interchangeably even though they should not be. This is another nutrient that plays a vital role in the health of your Liver.
A simple explanation of one of its functions is its ability to push fat from your cells, and from your Liver and have it removed through your colon like a bouncer removes a ‘bad actor’ from a bar. Suzy Cohen wrote a wonderful article(1) on the virtues of Phosphatidylcholine. Not only does Phosphatidylcholine support your Liver, it also feeds your brain and helps reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s and general brain fog.
We specifically selected Liver supporting supplements that you may not have heard of in the past or known exactly what they do or why they are important. It is always a good idea to have your blood chemistry done during your annual physical.
We strongly urge you to follow up with a functional medicine practitioner versed in blood chemistry. The information you receive is personalized and can identify what is trending in your body. The best way to head off a chronic illness, is to understand your vitality. A virus, or chronic illness, needs a host. Creating a healthy internal environment prevents illness from taking root and providing you the energy and vitality to a fruitful life.
About the Author:
Kristina Cole is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner ( FDN-P ) is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and wellness educator who teaches how to slow down, observe what is happening in our body and how our choices impact how we feel.