What I’m Doing for Extra Protection this Flu Season

October 1, 2020

By Anna Varriano

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Those of you who know me/follow me are likely familiar with my ‘flu season’ daily supplement protocol. For years and years and years it has included at least 4,000 IU of bio-emulsified vitamin D (I will double that for a week or so if I feel like I might be fighting something), in addition to my usual daily supplements (a probiotic with clinically proven bacterial strains, and a high quality, pure, highly bio-available fish oil or krill oil).

This year, based on accumulating research, I’ll be adding something new to the mix – liposomal vitamin C.

Isn’t All Vitamin C The Same?

I’m guessing you or someone you know has taken vitamin C during cold and flu season. There’s no doubt that vitamin C supports our immune system and our health in general; however, the form of vitamin C that you take makes a huge difference to how much of it is absorbed and used by the body. With common vitamin C supplements, you’ll likely absorb less than 30% of what the tablet or capsule contains; for example, if the label says that one of your chewable vitamin C tablets contains 1,000mg of vitamin C, you’ll be lucky if you absorb 300mg of that. Liposomal vitamin C is being referred to as a ground-breaking way to get high-dose vitamin C (the only other way is intravenously).

What Makes Liposomal Vitamin C Better?

What is it about liposomal vitamin C that gives it a substantially higher absorption rate compared to conventional vitamin C supplements? The answer is that it is coated with fat – more specifically a type of fat called phospholipids. For this to make any sense, you need to understand some basics about cellular biology – and you’re in luck – because in addition to my nutrition training, I have a B Sc in biology and I also teach health science courses at a couple of local private career colleges. So here’s a quick lesson related to phospholipids.

Phospholipids – We Can’t Live Without Them!

Phospholipids are a vital structural lipid/fat in the body. Their main function is that they are part of our cell membranes. Phospholipids have a hydrophobic (water-fearing) tail, and a hydrophilic (water-loving) head, and this structure (that I sometimes refer to as a ‘fat-sandwich) is the foundation of a cell membrane’s structure and function, which affects the cell’s overall structure and function, including what can easily get absorbed into the cell.

A cell’s membrane is made up of 2 layers of phospholipids (a bilayer) with their fat-fearing tails pointed towards each other. These layers are also supported by cholesterol, another fat-based substance. Substances that are not ‘fat-based’ face challenges when trying to cross the highly fat-based cell membrane.

This is where liposomes come in.  A liposome is a spherical-shaped vesicle, and just like a cell, it has a phospholipid bilayer shell.

When nutrients are inserted into/coated by a liposome, they are more easily absorbed into our cells. Why? First, because it’s easier for them to cross the cell’s fatty membrane, and second because our cells eagerly welcome substances containing phospholipids since they are needed to maintain, build, and repair our cell’s own phospholipid bilayer.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble/water-loving vitamin – so it’s a challenge for it to cross a cell’s fatty phospholipid cell membrane in order to enter the cell (think mixing oil and water).  Encapsulating vitamin C in a liposome solves this problem. Liposomes have been successfully used for decades as a way to better deliver nutrients to specific cells of the body. 

Where’s The Proof?

The therapeutic value of liposome encapsulated nutrients has been scientifically proven numerous times, and at present, liposomes are still cited as the most bioavailable way to deliver certain nutrients to our cells, including vitamin C.

A recent human study compared blood levels of vitamin C in subjects taking liposomal vs non-liposomal vitamin C and also compared it to intravenous vitamin C. The study’s data indicated that “oral delivery of 4 g of vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes produces circulating concentrations of vitamin C that are greater than unencapsulated oral but less than intravenous administration.”

While intravenous vitamin C has 100% bio-availability, it’s not something that is available to the general public. It must be prescribed, monitored, and administered by a specially trained health care provider and it can take hours, so liposomal vitamin C is the next best thing.

Connections to Covid-19?

I have heard about new research suggesting that high doses of oral liposomal vitamin C may speed up the recovery process in Covid-19 patients. I haven’t looked into it yet, so can’t comment on it; however, a recent article entitled: A Supercomputer Analyzed Covid-19 — and an Interesting New Theory Has Emerged discusses a new theory about how Covid-19 impacts the body and describes it as a vascular disease. While the article doesn’t mention it, one of the most important nutrients for vascular health and repair is vitamin C. The article does mention another nutrient though, and while those of you who follow me on Facebook may already know what that nutrient is, it’s worth sharing again here for those of you who don’t.

As an anatomy & physiology instructor, I found the mechanisms described in the article very interesting. As a practicing nutritionist, the following paragraph (from the article) was the most important one, as it gives us a practical way to protect ourselves:

Interestingly, Jacobson’s team also suggests vitamin D as a potentially useful Covid-19 drug. The vitamin is involved in the RAS system and could prove helpful by reducing levels of another compound, known as REN. Again, this could stop potentially deadly bradykinin storms from forming. The researchers note that vitamin D has already been shown to help those with Covid-19. The vitamin is readily available over the counter, and around 20% of the population is deficient. If indeed the vitamin proves effective at reducing the severity of bradykinin storms, it could be an easy, relatively safe way to reduce the severity of the virus.

Incidentally, I have seen reports that over 2/3 of Canadians are deficient in vitamin D.

Buyer Beware

Unfortunately, not all liposomal vitamin C supplements are the real thing; that is, rather than being encapsulated in a lipsome (the real thing), the product has simply had some fat added to it. I’ve done quite a bit of reading on how to choose the best liposomal vitamin C product and have found a trusted supplier.

As flu season ‘officially’ starts in October and goes to the end of March, I’ve stocked up on vitamin D and liposomal vitamin C for my family and encourage you to do the same.

 

The vitamin D is $30 + HST per bottle and lasts for months. The liposomal vitamin C is $48 + HST and lasts for one month. If you are interested in one or both of these products to support you during flu season, send an email to info@perfectresonance.com or call/text 613-299-4022 and I will contact you to arrange payment (via credit card or e-transfer)  and contact-less pick up (in Ottawa) or delivery (shipped anywhere in Canada for a flat fee of $5.00). 

Take control of what you can – it’s so important right now.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915787/
  2. https://elemental.medium.com/a-supercomputer-analyzed-covid-19-and-an-interesting-new-theory-has-emerged-31cb8eba9d63

 

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