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Take your Flavonoids into the Eye of the storm

By Dr Nick Gillitt

 Inflammation key to severe COVID-19 in high-risk groups

A recent report in the New York Times indicates that a higher COVID-19 death risk for patients with comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, liver disease, hypertension, and heart disease could be linked to the chronic inflammation associated with these diseases and in particular to dysregulation of something called the “inflammasome”. The researchers from MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute (MGTI) in Washington, D.C. and SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn suggested “On top of their pre-existing inflammation, inflammasome activation may be what brings on the “hyperinflammation” and immune dysfunction that makes these patients so severely ill”.  The report’s coauthor Dr. Alexander Kroemer of MGTI told Reuters, that this research “help(s) to explain why vulnerable patient groups are so severely affected by COVID-19”.

So, what is the “inflammasome” and why do we care about it? First, it is important to understand the type of inflammation we are concerned with here and how it occurs. It’s not really the kind you experience with a sprained ankle or a burn but the systemic kind associated with an infection, such as COVID-19. This type of inflammation occurs because your cellular inflammatory machinery if you like is kicked into action and helps alert the body to 1) the fact that something is wrong and 2) engage other systems to ultimately try to resolve the issue. Thus, in the case of a systemic infection, like COVID-19, there is an accompanying immune response, i.e., the cavalry is being sent in. One of the ways your cells mediate a response to things that cause inflammation is called the “inflammasome”. Now, the really interesting part is that this study suggests that the inflammasome has been implicated in the “cytokine storm” causing some of the issues during COVID-19 infection.

To coordinate their attack on an infection, the cells involved in the body’s immune response need to communicate with each other. They do this by releasing a set of proteins that serve as chemical messengers. These proteins, called cytokines, tell immune cells what to do and also tell the body to produce more of them to help deliver a knockout blow to the infection.

But in severe cases of viral infections, cytokine production can accelerate out of control. Immune cells release cytokines that tell the body to produce more immune cells, and in turn these new cells release even more pro-inflammatory cytokines. The positive feedback loop of cytokine creation can lead to a “cytokine storm,” a situation in which excessive cytokine production causes an immune response that can damage organs, especially the lungs and kidneys, and even lead to death.

So, why are you hearing about all this from the folks at GO Condition? Well, this article caught our eye as it coincides with the release of the latest research on Go Condition published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, which showed that two weeks of Go Condition use reduced inflammasome activation in athletes doing a 75 Km bike ride, effectively stopping inflammation from occurring. These anti-inflammatory effects come from the polyphenols contained in GO Condition and in fact a recent review paper from Italian scientists at the University of Naples has discussed the potential link between the way the inflammasome works and polyphenols and suggests that “…polyphenols may exert a marked and well-documented activity against coronaviruses…” at least in the lab.

The take home message from knowing these various bits of scientifically evaluated observations is that it seems pretty clear that those of us with high quality diets, i.e., those who eat lots of fruits and vegetables (which are correspondingly higher in polyphenols) are probably able to deal with inflammasome activation when it occurs better than those with low intakes and so importantly may exhibit less severe symptomology upon infection, which is a very good thing! So, of course the actionable advice is to improve your diet, to live healthily, then when something like this comes around, you’ll be better able to deal with it. However, in a modern, socially connected, society we can find it hard to really stop the infections from spreading. We do our best of course (masking, adequate social distancing etc.), but it’s important to realize we can do something about how our bodies potentially deal with infection when it arrives.

Go Condition like all supplements is not designed to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or condition, and we follow the research on the current global pandemic closely. We also understand Go Condition hasn’t been tested in the context of the Coronavirus. However, our research does show that a gap in phytochemical intake is associated with increased inflammasome activation. Our work shows that when phytochemicals are present (specifically in this case, in the form of GO Condition’s formula) inflammasome activation is lessened. And this could be beneficial not just for cyclists pushing themselves to the extreme on a 75Km ride but also acting against everyday viruses and infections.

Varied, colorful plant rich diets are the source of this effect. So, if you are a person that is on a healthy diet, laden with phytochemical rich fruits or vegetables this research should hearten and encourage you to keep on with your strategy.

But if that is not convenient or possible for any reason, using a dietary supplement like GO Condition which supplies a targeted level of phytochemicals you are actively creating the metabolic condition where a hyperinflammatory issue is less likely to take hold and accelerate out of control. Along with other precautions like avoiding cigarette smoke, eating healthily, minimizing alcohol intake, and getting plenty of good sleep and exercise you are maximizing your protective metabolism. Improving our diet in any functional way we can, should be a core health maintenance strategy

To be in “Go Condition”, means to be composed, prepared and expectant. This emerging research shows how Go Condition Health and Performance Supplement helps your body be just that. Research into GO Condition shows its preventative efficacy against hyper-inflammatory threats, in controlled trials with stressed athletes.

Immune preparedness or, how well your immune system can respond to such a threat, can be managed and modified by improving lifestyle factors as we note above and a beneficial consequence of this behavior is that your immune function is as strong and as robust as it can be when threats, invisible or otherwise confront us. 

About the author.

Nick Gillitt PhD is currently Chief Scientific Officer at the David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI) based in Kannapolis, North Carolina and a former Vice President of Dole Food Company where he was also Director of the Dole Nutrition Institute.