Why hydrotherapy might work in COVID-19

Coronaviruses don’t like the heat. In fact at 38 deg C they have a massive drop in replication and infectivity. [1]  In the lab they are grown at 34 deg C. [2]

Coronaviruses inhibit the innate immune system: the first line of the body’s defence against viruses.  In particular they directly impair the release of the “distress beacon” cells send out to say they are infected (Interferon Type 1 “IFN Type 1”) and (either consequently or directly) inhibit the cell lines (eg monocytes and natural killer cells) in the innate immune system. [3,4] These messages and cells are essential to switch on a normal, healthy, adaptive immune response rather than the late, overactive and damaging immune response seen in hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

Cold temperatures impair the immune system’s ability to release IFN Type 1 when infected with a virus (in mice). [5]

So being cold both improves the growth of coronaviruses and impairs the body’s distress signal to show it is under attack, which is already being directly inhibited by the coronavirus.

Older people, and those with obesity (with or without the diseases associated with carrying extra weight) have impaired innate and adaptive immune systems, including a decreased ability to mount a fever to an infection. They also have decreased numbers and activity of cells such as natural killer cells and monocyte function [6-8].

So older and unwell/obese people are hit doubly hard by their own weakened innate immune response and the active attack of that area of the immune system by the virus that causes COVID-19.

Fever is a broad based stimulant to the whole of the innate and adaptive immune system [9].   In particular, in respect to COVID-19 infection, fever or hyperthermia increases the release of INF Type 1 and monocyte function [10-12] and directly inhibits viral replication [9]. There are similar results to the immune system if the body temperature is raised by external means eg sitting in a hot bath, as by internal means such as infection [9].

So inducing mild hyperthermia by water (also known as “hydrotherapy”) could directly

  • inhibit replication and activity of coronaviruses
  • overcome coronavirus inhibition of IFN Type 1, likely increasing the chances of normal immune resolution of COVID-19
  • Enhance immune function in those most vulnerable to immune complications of COVID-19

Hydrotherapy was used widely in Adventist hospitals in the Spanish Influenza pandemic with a mortality rate of 1% compared to 13% in the army-run “open air” hospitals considered state of the art at the time. Average mortality was 40% for hospitalised patients in traditional hospitals [13-15]. (NB these are old figures and not subject to the academic standards of research and trials of today. Nonetheless they are interesting to note.)

Hydrotherapeutic treatments have received little study since the advent of vaccination and effective antibiotic therapy.  Consequently there are no randomised controlled trials to support their use in coronaviruses of any sort, let alone COVID-19, but for the above reasons it is plausible to think it should be useful.   Early preparations are underway for a trial in Australia. In other cities around the world there is more urgency. 

It makes sense to use the time at home after diagnosis of COVID-19 to support the immune system to clear the virus, and increase the chance of a good resolution.  It feels like a better  alternative than to just cross your fingers and hope you are not one of the 20% who need to go to hospital, 5% who need ICU or 2.5% who do not survive.  There are multiple drugs and immunotherapies being trialled but most of these are being focused on the late stages of the illness and are not readily available now.  Besides hydrotherapy it makes sense to eat nutritious food, get enough rest, and manage stress. Quitting smoking and limiting your alcohol intake (if you do drink) are also great ideas for this time.

Hydrotherapy is a medical treatment like any other with risks and benefits. Please read the advice about contraindications and safety precautions carefully, and DO NOT USE HYDROTHERAPY INSTEAD OF APPROPRIATE MEDICAL CARE.  You should use the treatments outlined on this website only with the support of your local doctor, who can help you determine if it is safe for you, or help you modify them to make them safer for you.

(Written 10/04/20 by Dr Emma Campbell, BMed FRACGP)

Bibliography

(If you have little time, focus on numbers four and nine).

  1. Chan KH, Peiris JS, Lam SY, Poon LL, Yuen KY, Seto WH. The Effects of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Viability of the SARS Coronavirus. Adv Virol. 2011;2011:734690. doi: 10.1155/2011/734690. Epub 2011 Oct 1. PubMed PMID: 22312351; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3265313.
  2. 2.Kaye M. SARS-associated coronavirus replication in cell lines. Emerg Infect Dis. 2006 Jan;12(1):128-33. doi: 10.3201/eid1201.050496. PubMed PMID: 16494729; PubMed Central PMCID: 
  3. R, Fehr AR, Zheng J, Wohlford-Lenane C, Abrahante JE, Mack M, Sompallae R, McCray PB Jr, Meyerholz DK, Perlman S. IFN-I response timing relative to virus replication determines MERS coronavirus infection outcomes. J Clin Invest. 2019 Jul 29;130:3625-3639. doi: 10.1172/JCI126363. eCollection 2019 Jul 29. PubMed PMID: 31355779; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6715373.
  4. Prompetchara E, Ketloy C, Palaga T. Immune responses in COVID-19 and potential vaccines: Lessons learned from SARS and MERS epidemic. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2020 Mar;38(1):1-9. doi: 10.12932/AP-200220-0772. Review. PubMed PMID: 32105090.
  5. Prow NA, Tang B, Gardner J, Le TT, Taylor A, Poo YS, Nakayama E, Hirata TDC, Nakaya HI, Slonchak A, Mukhopadhyay P, Mahalingam S, Schroder WA, Klimstra W, Suhrbier A. Lower temperatures reduce type I interferon activity and promote alphaviral arthritis. PLoS Pathog. 2017 Dec;13(12):e1006788. Doi:
  6. Poland GA, Ovsyannikova IG, Kennedy RB, Lambert ND, Kirkland JL. A systems biology approach to the effect of aging, immunosenescence and vaccine response. Curr Opin Immunol. 2014 Aug;29:62-8. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2014.04.005. Epub 2014 May 13. Review. PubMed PMID: 24820347; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4119552
  7. Rao DV, Watson K, Jones GL. Age-related attenuation in the expression of the major heat shock proteins in human peripheral lymphocytes. Mech Ageing Dev. 1999 Feb 1;107(1):105-18. doi: 10.1016/s0047-6374(98)00143-2. PubMed PMID: 10197792.
  8. Parisi MM, Grun LK, Lavandoski P, Alves LB, Bristot IJ, Mattiello R, Mottin CC, Klamt F, Jones MH, Padoin AV, Guma FCR, Barbé-Tuana FM. Immunosenescence Induced by Plasma from Individuals with Obesity Caused Cell Signaling Dysfunction and Inflammation. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Sep;25(9):1523-1531. doi: 10.1002/oby.21888. Epub 2017 Jul 14. PubMed PMID: 28707376
  9. Evans SS, Repasky EA, Fisher DT. Fever and the thermal regulation of immunity: the immune system feels the heat. Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Jun;15(6):335-49. doi: 10.1038/nri3843. Epub 2015 May 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 25976513; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4786079
  10. Postic B, DeAngelis C, Breinig MK, Monto HO. Effect of temperature on the induction of interferons by endotoxin and virus. J Bacteriol. 1966 Mar;91(3):1277-81. PubMed PMID: 5929756; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC316024.
  11. Manzella JP, Roberts NJ Jr. Human macrophage and lymphocyte responses to mitogen stimulation after exposure to influenza virus, ascorbic acid, and hyperthermia. J Immunol. 1979 Nov;123(5):1940-4. PubMed PMID: 489966.
  12. Knippertz I, Stein MF, Dörrie J, Schaft N, Müller I, Deinzer A, Steinkasserer A, Nettelbeck DM. Mild hyperthermia enhances human monocyte-derived dendritic cell functions and offers potential for applications in vaccination strategies. Int J  Hyperthermia. 2011;27(6):591-603. doi: 10.3109/02656736.2011.589234. PubMed PMID: 21846195.
  13. Hobday RA, Cason JW. The open-air treatment of pandemic influenza. Am J Public Health. 2009 Oct;99 Suppl 2:S236-42. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.134627. Epub 2009 May 21. PubMed PMID: 19461112; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4504358.
  14. WEAPONS AGAINST INFLUENZA. Am J Public Health (N Y). 1918 Oct;8(10):787-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.8.10.787. PMID: 18009972; PMCID: PMC1362349
  15. W.A. Ruble, MD, Sanitarium Treatment of Influenza, Life & Health, 34 (5);114-115. May 1919. Graphics: Applied Physiology Lab WLCH ’09. BEB ibid.Accessed at: https://adventistdigitallibrary.org/adl-373944/life-and-health-may-1-1919 pg 20

 

High Blood Pressure: The ‘Silent Killer’


I learned about high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, at a surprisingly early age. My grandmother has had high blood pressure for as long as I can remember. I remember asking my parents about it at a young age, but I never really understood what it was. I grew up with two misconceptions. First, I believed that high blood pressure didn’t seem that bad. Despite my parent’s concerns, it didn’t seem like my grandma’s blood pressure was affecting her much. She was thin, active, mentally sharp, and had a bubbly personality. Second, I had the impression that you couldn’t really do anything to get rid of high blood pressure. I knew that grandma took medicine for it, but the medicine didn’t seem to do anything. If it was really working, why were my parents still discussing it? As I grew up, I kept these (false) thoughts about hypertension with me. It just didn’t seem important. I’m sure my experience is not unique. Many of us still hold on to misconceptions about health stemming from misunderstandings and simply being misinformed. Today, let’s do our part to correct this.

The Truth about High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is known as the ‘silent killer’. It can cause damage to the body in many ways. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, aneurism, and kidney failure. If left uncontrolled, it can even cause blindness or heart failure. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly 400,000 deaths are attributed to hypertension each year.

Worldwide, over thirty percent of adults have high blood pressure. The proportion of the population affected increases with age. This means older generations are affected particularly harshly. Once someone enters their 50s, they have about a 50% chance of having high blood pressure. Perhaps the saddest thing about this is that awareness is lacking. About half of the people who have high blood pressure don’t know that they have it. It truly is a silent killer.

That was the bad news, but don’t stop reading yet. There’s good news as well…great news actually. Hypertension is not only treatable, but it is preventable—and that’s not all. This can be accomplished through natural means. You don’t need to rely on drugs or expensive treatments; simple lifestyle changes can have substantial effects.

Here is a list of some things you can do:

Reduce your salt intake. Salt is the major source of sodium in our diets. (Remember, salt is called ‘sodium chloride’.) High sodium intakes are known to raise the blood pressure. By reducing your intake of salt, your blood pressure levels can start to drop after only a matter of days.

Right now, the average American is consuming about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. This is far more than we need. The CDC recommends that adults should consume no more than 2,300 mg a day. However, that recommendation drops to 1,500 if you are over the age of 50, are African American, or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease (combined, these groups constitute 50% of the adults in the United States).

Reducing your salt intake is not as hard as most people think. In fact, I can give you one tip that, if followed, will drastically reduce your salt intake: stop eating processed foods. Processed foods, including a majority of meals served at restaurants, are sodium bombs—there is just no other way to describe it. A landmark study on the sources of sodium in the diet found that processed foods contributed to 77% of Americans’ daily sodium intake.

Avoiding processed foods is by far the most important thing you can do to lower your sodium intake. If you do eat something that’s processed, be sure to read the nutrition label carefully. Also, be aware that salt goes by many different names including: monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium phosphate, baking soda, and a host of other names that begin with ‘sodium’ (e.g. sodium citrate).

Eat a balanced diet. One of the best things you could do to lower your blood pressure is eat a balanced diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Besides lowering your salt intake, diets like this will keep your fat and cholesterol intakes low. Over time, fat (especially saturated fats and trans fats) and cholesterol will clog your arteries and raise your blood pressure.

Studies have shown that minerals such as potassium and magnesium help to lower blood pressure. What foods are high in potassium and magnesium? You guessed it; fruits and vegetables are great sources. In addition to this, eat whole grains instead of refined products. And you know what? Eating a handful of nuts every day will help too.

Be physically active. Exercise is an important factor in lowering blood pressure. You don’t need to sweat hours away at the gym or have impressive athletic ability. Simply go for a walk or light jog during your lunch break or after work. You’ll have time to contemplate your day or talk with family or friends. Incidentally, exercise (as well as diet) will help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, which is another factor in lowering blood pressure.

Also remember that even minor changes in our daily routines can have measurable results. Make choices that encourage you to move. Take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Choose a parking space that is far away from the store. (The walking won’t take you any longer than driving around looking for that perfect space anyway). Or simply walk over to a coworker instead of emailing them or shouting across the room.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Tobacco products are known to raise blood pressure in two ways. First, tobacco causes a temporary raise in blood pressure after using it. After a while, the blood pressure will drop again. However, because tobacco use is almost always habitual, it’s not likely to stay down for long. Secondly, tobacco also contains chemicals that damage the lining of your arteries. This damage can cause the arteries to narrow, which is another cause of high blood pressure. The CDC offers succinct advice to people seeking to ‘take control’ of their blood pressure: “If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.”

Alcohol is another substance that should be avoided. If you are seeking to lower your blood pressure, many health organizations, (including the WHO and the Mayo Clinic,) advise you to abstain from drinking. Over time, drinking too much has the potential to damage your heart (not to mention your liver). For women of any age, just one drink a day is enough to raise blood pressure levels.  Besides this, alcohol has a high caloric content and can contribute to weight gain. As we mentioned earlier, this is another risk factor for high blood pressure.

Manage your stress. Have you ever been so stressed that you felt your head was going to explode? I recently fiddled around with my cell phone software and almost lost several years of data. Boy was that a high-stress experience. I can testify that I could really feel the pressure building up inside. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that high stress levels can raise the blood pressure quite dramatically. Although the increase is only temporary, for individuals who lead stressful lifestyles, this is cause for concern. Further complicating the problem is the fact than many people manage stress by comfort eating, smoking, or drinking. As discussed above, these things may only serve to raise the blood pressure even further.

The Results

This year, the World Health Organization is focusing on raising awareness about hypertension. What’s really cool is that they are advocating lifestyle changes, similar to those we detailed above. Why? Because pursuing a healthy lifestyle is the real solution to the problem (not only for high blood pressure, but for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer). Think about it, do we really want to put 1/3 of the world’s population on medication for their high blood pressure when it can be treated and prevented naturally? In addition, this is something that anyone can do regardless of nationality or socio-economic standing. Now, that’s great news!

If you’re looking for more information on reversing hypertension naturally, be sure to check out this excellent resource: Reversing Hypertension Naturally, with Dr. David DeRose.

[1] “CDC Data & Statistics | Feature: Americans Consume Too Much Sodium (Salt).”[2] “CDC – Salt Home – DHDSP.”[3] Mattes, R. D., and D. Donnelly. “Relative Contributions of Dietary Sodium Sources.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 10, no. 4 (August 1, 1991): 383–393.[4] “CDC – High Blood Pressure Facts – DHDSP.”[5] Sheps, Sheldon G. “Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Blood Pressure?” Mayo Clinic.

by Jonathan Ewald

https://lifeandhealth.org/nutrition/high-blood-pressure-the-silent-killer/23292.html  

How to Lower Your Sodium Intake

Reduction of salt consumption by just 15 percent could save the lives of millions. If we cut our salt intake by half a teaspoon a day, which is achievable simply by avoiding salty foods and not adding salt to our food, we might prevent 22 percent of stroke deaths and 16 percent of fatal heart attacks—potentially helping more than if we were able to successfully treat people with blood pressure pills. As I discuss in my video Salt of the Earth: Sodium and Plant-Based Diets, an intervention in our kitchens may be more powerful than interventions in our pharmacies. One little dietary tweak could help more than billions of dollars worth of drugs.

What would that mean in the United States? Tens of thousands of lives saved every year. On a public-health scale, this simple step “could be as beneficial as interventions aimed at smoking cessation, weight reduction, and the use of drug therapy for people with hypertension or hypercholesterolemia,” that is, giving people medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. And, that’s not even getting people down to the target.

A study I profile in my video shows 3.8 grams per day as the recommended upper limit of salt intake for African-Americans, those with hypertension, and adults over 40. For all other adults the maximum is 5.8 daily grams, an upper limit that is exceeded by most Americans over the age of 3. Processed foods have so much added salt that even if we avoid the saltiest foods and don’t add our own salt, salt levels would go down yet still exceed the recommended upper limit. Even that change, however, might save up to nearly a hundred thousand American lives every year.

“Given that approximately 75% of dietary salt comes from processed foods, the individual approach is probably impractical.” So what is our best course of action? We need to get food companies to stop killing so many people. The good news is “several U.S. manufacturers are reducing the salt content of certain foods,” but the bad news is that “other manufacturers are increasing the salt levels in their products. For example, the addition of salt to poultry, meats, and fish appears to be occurring on a massive scale.”

The number-one source of sodium for kids and teens is pizza and, for adults over 51, bread. Between the ages of 20 and 50, however, the greatest contribution of sodium to the diet is not canned soups, pretzels, or potato chips, but chicken, due to all the salt and other additives that are injected into the meat.

This is one of the reasons that, in general, animal foods contain higher amounts of sodium than plant foods. Given the sources of sodium, complying with recommendations for salt reduction would in part “require large deviations from current eating behaviors.” More specifically, we’re talking about a sharp increase in vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, and lower intakes of meats and refined grain products. Indeed, “[a]s might be expected, reducing the allowed amount of sodium led to a precipitous drop” in meat consumption for men and women of all ages. It’s no wonder why there’s so much industry pressure to confuse people about sodium.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend getting under 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, while the American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg/day. How do vegetarians do compared with nonvegetarians? Well, nonvegetarians get nearly 3,500 mg/day, the equivalent of about a teaspoon and a half of table salt. Vegetarians did better, but, at around 3,000 mg/day, came in at double the American Heart Association limit.

In Europe, it looks like vegetarians do even better, slipping under the U.S. Dietary Guidelines’ 2,300 mg cut-off, but it appears the only dietary group that nails the American Heart Association recommendation are vegans—that is, those eating the most plant-based of diets.

Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM

Source: https://nutritionfacts.org/2019/11/19/how-to-lower-your-sodium-intake/

The 7 Keys To A Long And Healthy Life: Sleep

Sleep is such an integrated part of our lives that we tend to not give it much thought. Some people get just a few hours of sleep, and some are able to function on even less. What’s the big deal, anyway? We all get at least a bit of sleep, right? Does sleep really matter? If so, what’s considered “enough” sleep and is it possible to get too much?

In a previous article, we discussed the seven keys to longevity found by the Alameda County Health Study. The keys were:

  1. Sleeping seven to eight hours per night
  2. No eating between meals
  3. Eating regular breakfasts
  4. Maintaining a proper weight
  5. Exercising regularly
  6. Moderate or no drinking of alcohol
  7. Not smoking

Let’s start with number one: sleep.

How much sleep do you need?  

Studies have shown that it is possible to get too little and too much sleep, but in general, six to nine hours of sleep tend to be ideal for most people. It was shown that those that got less than six hours of sleep or more than nine hours of sleep had 60-70% increased the risk of dying during the nine-year period of the study. 1

The importance of sleep versus exercise

Can getting proper sleep be as important as exercise? In men, it was found that too much or too little sleep carried the same risk to of dying as not exercising regularly. Within the nine-year period of the study, those that did not exercise regularly were found to have a 50% increased risk of dying compared to those that exercise regularly.1

From this data, it appears that getting proper sleep can be even more important than exercise in order to preserve life and vitality. Obviously, getting both proper rest and exercise would be even better! In fact, they’re connected. Getting an hour of exercise can boost your natural melatonin levels by two or three times!Melatonin has been shown to increase sleep quality and is also linked to increased longevity.3

The link between sleep and stroke risk

Researchers have been increasingly interested in sleep and its effect on health. In a recent study, scientists in Japan followed 100,000 middle-aged men and women for fourteen years. Upon observation, those that got four or fewer hours of sleep and those that got ten or more hours of sleep had a 50% increased risk of dying from stroke.4

In 2014 a similar study was conducted among 150,000 Americans. Individuals that slept for six hours or less or more than nine hours had the highest stroke risk. The lowest risk was found among those that got seven to eight hours of sleep per night.5 Other studies conducted in China, Europe, and elsewhere have confirmed that seven to eight hours of sleep is optimal for health and longevity.

Tips for better sleep 

  • Make sure to get natural light during the day and avoid nighttime light exposure, such as light from television and phone screens. This has been shown to boost melatonin production. 6
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat foods with natural melatonin, like oats, corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, bananas, and barley). 7
  • Sleep as early as possible. In general, the closer your bedtime is to sundown, the better for restful sleep. You know what they say, “Early to bed, early to rise.”
  • Eat foods high in tryptophan, such as tofu, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, and black walnuts. Tryptophan is one of the eight essential amino acids and is a precursor for melatonin production.

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The Secret To Winter Exercise You Need To Know

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The holiday season is strange. It’s filled with happy things, like food, family, and fun, but as the season grows colder and darker, and the holidays throw your schedule off kilter, you end up getting out of whack, too. Exercise gets put off until the New Year when you realize that a whole ‘nother year has passed, and you haven’t made any progress – or worse, you’ve gone backward – on your health goals. Well, I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some secrets to exercising in the winter.

Okay, I’ll admit I did click bait you just a little with the title of this post. There is no secret, per se, to getting good exercise in winter. First off it’s not just one secret, but several. Also, the secrets are not bound by any season. Excuses like, “it’s too cold today,” or “it’s too dark outside,” or “I’m too busy” are just that: excuses. They can be and are used all year-round. The same goes for the “secrets” I’m about to share – they can be used all year-round, too.

So listen up. These principles will help you exercise regularly, regardless of location, people, time, climate, and virtually any other excuse for not exercising.

1. What is your “why”?

The biggest reason people don’t exercise is because they cannot find a good enough reason to do it. It may sound too simple to be true but please read on, because it’s true. If the reason isn’t important to you, you’re not going to spend the time and effort on it.

There’s a flip side to this. Nowadays, medical care is so good that a lot of people just don’t care about their health. They think, when I have my heart attack they’ll just put one of those stent things in me through my wrist and I’ll go home in a day. As a cardiologist, I see this all the time. Years ago, heart attack patients used to have to be placed under medical care for months. (The medical community stopped requiring this after many of those patients died from blood clots from inactivity). When I was in training to be a cardiologist, the typical stay after a heart attack was one week. In the past twenty years, that has dropped down to just 48 hours for an uncomplicated heart attack! It’s no wonder people don’t worry about their health – it just doesn’t seem as serious as it did before!

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How to make your own CoQ10

Image Credit: Robert Owen-Wahl / Pixabay. This image has been modified

Chlorophyll is the green pigment that makes green leaves green. If you search for chlorophyll in the medical literature, a lot of what you find is about fecal fluorescence, a way to detect the contamination of carcasses in the slaughterhouse with feces to reduce the risk of food poisoning from pathogens harbored within animal feces. Fecal matter gets on meat either “with knife entry through the hide into the carcass, and also splash back and aerosol [airborne] deposition of fecal matter during hide removal”—that is, when they’re peeling off the skin. If, however, the animals have been eating grass, you can pick up the poo with a black light. As you can see in my video How to Regenerate Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Naturally, a solution of chlorophyll is green, but, under a UV light, it lights up as red. So, if you have a black light in a chicken slaughter plant, you can get a drop on the droppings. The problem is most chickens aren’t outside anymore. They’re no longer pecking at grass so there’s less fecal fluorescence. We could let them run around outside or we could save money by just adding a chlorophyll supplement to their feed so we can better “identify areas of gut-spill contamination” on the meat.

The reason I was looking up chlorophyll was to follow-up on the data I presented in my Eating Green to Prevent Cancer video, which suggests that chlorophyll may be able to block carcinogens. I found a few in vitro studies on the potential anti-inflammatory effects of chlorophyll. After all, green leaves have long been used to treat inflammation, so anti-inflammatory properties of chlorophyll and their break-down products after digestion were put to the test. And, indeed, they may represent “valuable and abundantly available anti-inflammatory agents.” Maybe that’s one reason why cruciferous vegetables, like kale and collard greens, are associated with decreased markers of inflammation.

In a petri dish, for example, if you lay down a layer of arterial lining cells, more inflammatory immune cells stick to them after you stimulate them with a toxic substance. We can bring down that inflammation with the anti-inflammatory drug aspirin or, even more so, by just dripping on some chlorophyll. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons kale consumers appear to live longer lives.

As interesting as I found that study to be, this next study blew my mind. The most abundant energy source on this planet is sunlight. However, only plants are able to use it directly—or so we thought. After eating plants, animals have chlorophyll in them, too, so might we also be able to derive energy directly from sunlight? Well, first of all, light can’t get through our skin, right? Wrong. This was demonstrated by century-old science—and every kid who’s ever shined a flashlight through her or his fingers, showing that the red wavelengths do get through. In fact, if you step outside on a sunny day, there’s enough light penetrating your skull and going through to your brain that you could read a book in there. Okay, so our internal organs are bathed in sunlight, and when we eat green leafy vegetables, the absorbed chlorophyll in our body does actually appear to produce cellular energy. But, unless we eat so many greens we turn green ourselves, the energy produced is probably negligible.

However, light-activated chlorophyll inside our body may help regenerate Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is an antioxidant our body basically makes from scratch using the same enzyme we use to make cholesterol—that is, the same enzyme that’s blocked by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. So, if CoQ10 production gets caught in the crossfire, then maybe that explains why statins increase our risk of diabetes—namely, by accidently also reducing CoQ10 levels in a friendly-fire type of event. Maybe that’s why statins can lead to muscle breakdown. Given that, should statin users take CoQ10 supplements? No, they should sufficiently improve their diets to stop taking drugs that muck with their biochemistry! By doing so—by eating more plant-based chlorophyll-rich diets—you may best maintain your levels of active CoQ10, also known as ubiquinol. “However, when ubiquinol is used as an antioxidant, it is oxidized to ubiquinone. To act as an effective antioxidant, the body must regenerate ubiquinol from ubiquinone,” perhaps by using dietary chlorophyll metabolites and light.

Researchers exposed some ubiquinone and chlorophyll metabolites to the kind of light that makes it into our bloodstream. Poof! CoQ10 was reborn. But, without the chlorophyll or the light, nothing happened. By going outside we get light and, if we’re eating our veggies, chlorophyll, so maybe that’s how we maintain such high levels of CoQ10 in our bloodstream. Perhaps this explains why dark green leafy vegetables are so good for us. We know sun exposure can be good for us and that eating greens can be good for us. “These benefits are commonly attributed to an increase in vitamin D from sunlight exposure and consumption of antioxidants from green vegetables”—but is it possible that these explanations might be incomplete?

 

https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/11/13/how-to-make-your-own-coq10/