Excess weight around the middle increases virus risk

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If you’ve been reading any of my posts lately, you already know that I have firsthand experience with coronavirus, since my family and I were hit by the virus.

Yet despite the uncomfortable and sometimes odd symptoms, we are now on the mend. We are really quite thankful.

But not everyone is so lucky.

And while age definitely plays a role for both young and old, COVID-19 can turn deadly for anyone. Doctors are telling us a common link in deadly cases is chronic medical problems, like heart and lung disease.

However, newer studies are revealing what may be the most significant risk factor so far (right behind age) …

And that is weight.

COVID’s obesity toll

Anecdotal evidence from health care workers all across the front lines of the pandemic overwhelmingly point to a simple truth… people who are obese are not only more likely to end up with COVID-19 after exposure, they are more likely to end up on ventilators.

Similar reports across the globe have highlighted this alarming trend in addition to new studies coming out of China.

Chinese studies found that patients with high body mass indexes (BMI) were at double the risk of severe pneumonia and were far more likely to die from the virus.

France has reported that half of COVID-19 patients in one city alone had obesity as a complicating factor — twice the rate of patients hospitalized for other reasons a year ago.

And here in the U.S., a whopping 60 percent of COVID patients from 41 hospitals across Louisiana and Mississippi are obese.

Why is obesity so deadly for COVID patients?

Excess body fat, especially in the abdomen, can make it harder to take deeper breaths. An extra volume of fat in your midsection puts pressure on your diaphragm and lungs, reducing chest capacity and compromising breathing.

Also, as The New York Times reports, “Obesity is known to cause chronic, low-grade inflammation and an increase in circulating, pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may play a role in the worst COVID-19 outcomes.”

Put simply, obesity keeps your immune system in a state of constant overdrive.

And when your immune system is always running at a high level due to the low grade, chronic inflammation obesity can cause… it can go haywire when you add a serious infection like coronavirus to the mix — sending you in to what’s known as “cytokine storm” …

…a perfect storm that destroys your body’s healthy cells (including the ones in your lungs) in addition to the virus it’s supposed to fight.

Natural inflammation busters

Since those extra pounds could be another reason COVID-19 turns deadly, it’s more important than ever to focus on maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise.

However, we have to be realistic here…

Losing weight is hard and takes time. Depending on what you have to lose, you may need to take additional steps to address the chronic inflammation that can send you into a cytokine storm.

Getting inflammation levels down while you’re in weight-loss mode is vital.

And the easiest way to do that is by using natural supplements known to help support a healthy inflammatory response, like:

#1 — Turmeric

This herb has been used in Aryuvedic healing for 4,000 years and is a powerful tool for supporting a healthy, balanced inflammatory response. It helps modulate your body’s NF-kb switch, the master regulator that signals and turns your body’s inflammatory response on and off.

And since this is a switch that (like far too many systems in our body) becomes less effective as we age, those over 40 and carrying extra weight desperately need the extra support.

#2 — Ginger

According to the National Institutes of Health, “ginger extract and gingerol-enriched extract are each reported to exhibit analgesic and potent anti-inflammatory effects.”

This could be due to its soothing effect on the lining of your digestive tract.

Why?

If you’re living with leaky gut, the proteins and other compounds that are supposed to stay in and be broken down by your intestines can pass through their lining instead, irritating your body and setting you up for inflammation and an overactive immune response.

So, by helping to tame leaky gut, ginger could be the key to putting out that fire.

#3 — Vitamin D3

Although you may already think of the sunshine vitamin as an immune booster, and you’re right, it also plays an important role in managing inflammation.

In fact, taking 5,000 IUs per day of vitamin D3 can help optimize your inflammatory response to help your immune system work correctly versus marshaling all it’s strength to fight which ultimately is the cause of cytokine storm.

#4 — Black Cumin Seed Oil

Black cumin seed oil (also known as black seed oil or Nigella sativa) contains two potent active ingredients — thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone.

These compounds work synergistically to target your brain’s control of your immune system and provide amazing inflammatory support. This immune modulation is behind the oil’s power to help calm inflammation throughout your entire body.

And while weight wasn’t an issue for me in this case (that hasn’t always been the case I, like so many, have struggled to maintain a healthy weight off and on for years), I was incredibly worried about my family history of heart problems. So I was certainly thankful I’d already made these powerful nutrients a part of my daily health plan when I needed a healthy immune response the most.