I’m warning you ahead of time, this is a deep dive into the emerging science of COVID-19 with strategies to empower you to ‘eliminate the curve’ for you, your family and those around you.
So, if you’re like ‘meh' about watching or reading, don’t bother. On the other hand, if you want to get ‘ahead of the curve,’ pay close attention so you can ‘connect the dots’ to allow your innate immune system to take out COVID before it takes you. Invest this time for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
How to Get "Ahead of the Curve"
Since early March, I’ve been talking about ways YOU can empower yourself to take action to boost your immune system.
In doing so, I have provided direction and strategies, as well as discussed COVID-19 in detail. Most of my stuff has been completely out of synch with the ‘Top Down’ ‘expert’ / ‘authority’ messaging of social distancing, mask wearing, testing and vaccination, which, in case you have not noticed, hasn’t changed a thing.
I have taken a lot of criticism for doing so, yet, boosting your metabolic fitness, which directly and indirectly strengthens your immune system, should be the very first strategy everyone should be taking to fight COVID-19 and/or other pathogens. This is more of a ‘Bottoms Up’ approach which puts information and power in your own hands. If you are an OFM Athlete, I don’t need to tell you this. YOU are living and breathing it!
The big news today is in keeping tabs and diving down the emerging science on COVID-19 I’ve compiled it into today’s vlog. What is really ironic here is this: The OFM protocols for performance fat adaptation are aligned with the emerging science on COVID-19: Things like optimizing fat metabolism, building your aerobic capacity on a fat-based physiology (after all, COVID-19 is a SARS Corona Virus!), intermittent fasting, optimizing Vitamin D & C, and supplementation like Zinc, Magnesium, Liver, Gelatin/Collagen, NAD . . . .
So, let’s take a look and ‘Connect the dots’.....
Dot 1: What’s the OFM / COVID connection?
Let’s start with the people I work with. Just the other day I was talking to my friend Chris Nolta, who was telling me he is down to 195 pounds, something he has not seen in at least 20 years. But what he casually mentioned as a side note was that since adopting OFM a few years ago, he doesn’t get the cold and flu viruses that make the rounds each winter, even though those around him at home and work do wind up sick. And he’s not the only OFM athlete who has told me this… Practically all have mentioned this added benefit of fat adaptation.
What’s the connection and WHY is it IMPORTANT to YOU?
Well, viruses, including COVID-19, hijack your cell’s metabolic machinery to replicate because they don’t have their own. For RNA replication, anaerobic glycolysis (essentially anaerobic sugar burning) is the energy modality while fat metabolism is shut down. Adding to this, SARS Coronaviruses are particularly virulent on your lung cells, affecting the very cells that facilitate oxygen intake! Naturally, this furthers the oxygen deficit, furthering anaerobic glycolysis, insulin resistance and runaway hepatic gluconeogenesis, all resulting in a downward cascade of metabolic dysregulation! Take a peek at this excerpt from this paper on COVID:
“Recent work suggests that COVID-19 progression is dependent on metabolic mechanisms. Elevated blood glucose and lipid levels were found to be risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 induced acute respiratory distress, independently from diabetes (Bornstein et al., 2020; Zhu et al., 2020). This data correlates with reports that the SARS virus caused insulin resistance in 50% of the patients over the course of infection (Yang et al., 2010). In fact, SARS infection results in hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia in patients even 12 years post-recovery (Wu et al., 2017). Indeed, palmitoylation of SARS spike proteins was shown to be essential for virion assembly (McBride and Machamer, 2010), while other coronaviruses showed elevated lipid accumulation upon infection (Yan et al., 2019b; Yuan et al., 2019). These data suggest that metabolic alterations may play a significant role in the lifecycle of SARS-CoV-2 and the progression of COVID-19.” - The SARS-CoV-2 Transcriptional Metabolic Signature in Lung Epithelium; Y. Nahmias et. al., Posted 14, July 2020.
Now, through connecting even more dots, we already know people who are obese, Diabetic, have Hypertension or metabolic syndrome are particularly susceptible, so you can begin to see these people, who are literally already sugar burners and on the edge of a proverbial metabolic cliff, get themselves pushed over the edge when infected with COVID-19. Backing them away from that cliff starts with shifting their metabolism far away from the glucose burning cliff and deep into the stable bedrock of beta-oxidation.
While you are probably not in that group, you can see how optimizing fat metabolism can get you on even higher, safer ground.
SARS-CoV-2 infection up-regulates lipogenesis
Now, viral infections sharply down regulate beta-oxidation, while, at the same time, hyperlipidemia occurs. In other words, the burning of fat stops while the synthesis of fat increases in lung epithelial cells. This results in an over accumulation of fat ‘rafts’ the virus RNA harnesses to facilitate replication!
"Lipid accumulation is often driven by endoplasmic stress (Han and Kaufman, 2016) and can support the viral lifecycle through increased palmitoylation and lipid rafts, two essential components of the viral replication complex (Takahashi and Suzuki, 2011). Indeed, SARS-CoV-2 infection shows the upregulation of lipogenesis and cholesterol synthesis genes in primary bronchial epithelial cells (Fig. 2C). The Infection differentially up-regulates both HMG-CoA synthase (HMGCS) and Squalene monooxygenase (SQLE) rate-limiting steps in cholesterol synthesis. Fluorescence microscopy confirmed a significant perinuclear accumulation of neutral lipids (p<0.01) and phospholipids (p<0.05) in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells (Fig. 2D)." - The SARS-CoV-2 Transcriptional Metabolic Signature in Lung Epithelium; Y. Nahmias et. al., Posted 14, July 2020.
Now, you don’t have to understand what this paper is saying to get the gist of what’s going on when a SARS CoronaVirus hits you, including COVID-19. Viruses drive anaerobic glucose metabolism! This is why it is so critically important to optimize your fat adaptation, including your aerobic capacity, on a fat-burning base.
Connecting the dots even further, optimizing fat metabolism has a profound effect to boost your innate immune system, particularly in lung tissue as noted in this brief published on March 3rd, 2020 based upon this basic research published on November 19, 2019. Essentially, a ketogenic diet, which induces a fat burning state, strengthens the immune system against viral infections. Here is an excerpt:
“This study noted that mice that were fed ketogenic diet had better survival and decreased loss when compared to mice that were not exposed to the ketogenic diet. The investigators sought to analyze the molecular underpinnings of this finding. They performed transcriptome analysis of the mice’s lungs noting that several genes were upregulated in ketogenic diet fed mice; particularly genes associated to γδ T cell responses were increased; including number of cells in lung tissue, and release of cytokines related to this specific cell type. The mice consistently showed lower virus titers than controls. The investigators then tested whether the ketogenic diet was actually exerting an effect on these T cell populations by comparing the function in mice fed a non-ketogenic high caloric density diet. They noted that these effects were specific for the ketogenic diet fed animals only. Additionally, the investigators noted that the ketogenic diet increased γδ T cell proliferation, noting that this was not directly related to increases in β−hydroxybutyrate, the primary energy substrate during glucose deprivation associated to ketogenic diet, but rather finding that the effect on γδ T-cell population is mediated by favoring fatty acid oxidation. This paper concludes that the effect of ketogenic diet exerts a potentially previously unrecognized immune effect. ”
OFM is ‘Beyond Keto’ so not only does it confer the benefits of dietary shifts but other equally critical factors like stress, training and supplementation to optimize your immune system, as well as performance.
Dot 2: Vitamin D - the natural steroid
Vitamin D optimization has been a cornerstone of OFM since way back in 2009/2010 when I did a lot of reading, thinking and developing of effective protocols to boost both Vitamin D levels and proper metabolism of Vitamin D. This was after recognizing that the great ‘sun scare’ essentially had most individuals deficient or sub-optimal in Vitamin D, which is critical to optimal fat metabolism.
You see, Vitamin D is, essentially, a natural ‘corticosteroid’ with all the anti-inflammatory benefits of a steroid, but unlike a steroid, healthy Vitamin D levels and metabolism BOOST your immune system function rather than suppress it! What’s more, I’ve also set the OFM reference range bar at 50 ng/dl of serum 25, Hydroxy Vitamin D, not the 30 ng/dl bottom of the reference range of modern medicine, yet well within the safe reference range.
The benefits are manifold, but with respect to immune system response and COVID-19 in particular, let’s start connecting.
This paper published on June 7th titled, “Vitamin D deficiency and co-morbidities in COVID-19 patients - A fatal relationship?”
“1.2. Vitamin D and immune system Vitamin D plays an essential role in the immune system . Vitamin D interferes with the majority of the immune systems cells such as macrophages, B and T lymphocytes, neutrophils and dendritic cells, which express VDR (for details  and Fig. 3). Cathelicidin, a peptide formed by vitamin D stimulated expression, has shown antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi and enveloped viruses, such as corona viruses [21,22]. Furthermore Vitamin D inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines and increases the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines .”- Vitamin D deficiency and co-morbidities in COVID-19 patients - A fatal relationship?; H. Biesalski et. al. 07 June 2020
Supporting this paper is this clinical review paper published on April 28, 2020 on Vitamin D Insufficiency (VDI) and COVID-19.
Simply put, low Vitamin D leads to poor COVID-19 outcomes.
The simple fact that populations of darker skinned people (those whose lineage evolved in equatorial latitudes but are now living in temperate latitudes like, say, Michigan) are hit hard by COVID and deficient in Vitamin D should help you ‘connect the dots’ when it comes to why YOU need to optimize Vitamin D metabolism.
Dot 3: Enhancing the Immune System
The next set of dots we are going to connect can be found in this and other papers;
Enhancing immunity in viral infections, with special emphasis on COVID-19: A review
And guess what! This paper recommends optimal nutritional status, which makes up the 2nd tier of the OFM Pyramid: Nutrition NOT Calories. Additionally, almost all of the supplements discussed are part of our OFM Foundation Supplement Pack.
Dot 4: Zinc - The Healer
This document focuses on the benefits of Zinc
“Therefore, it may be hypothesized that Zn supplementation may be of potential benefit for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.” - Med/ Hypothesis, 2020 May 25, Potential Role of Zinc Supplementation in Prophylaxis and Treatment of COVID-19, H. Kasuya et. al.
The OFM Foundation Pack has you covered with a superior formulation of Zinc + Copper to enhance the absorption and metabolism of Zinc.
Dot 5: Glutathione - The Protector
This paper discusses how deficiency of Glutathione is the most likely cause of serious cases and even death in COVID-19 patients. This is Dot number 5.
Guess what! Gelatin/Collagen rich foods and/or supplementation is something my athletes know I talk about a LOT!
I even GROSS them out with my pics of Menudo con Pata (Tripe Soup with the hoof/joints) or chicken feet, pigs ears or feet because of the multitude of benefits found in gelatin/collagen and ‘Whole Animal Eating’.
But don’t worry, we include a bottle each of gelatin capsules and Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine in the Foundation Pack to get the glycine substrate for synthesis of Glutathione! Add Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid/AA) and Vitamin D and you are ready to go!
Once again Dot number 2, Vitamin D, plays another, equally crucial role in Glutathione synthesis as demonstrated in this paper from 2014 … told you Vitamin D was “Well Connected”.
Dot 6: NAD/NAD+ (critical to metabolic health)
To top it all off, maintaining NAD/NAD+ levels are absolutely critical to COVID-19 outcomes as seen in this paper published a month ago.
Again, we’ve addressed this a few years ago when Chromadex introduced Tru Niagen (Nicotinamide Riboside) as a NAD/NAD+ supplement.
The thing is, all this emerging science on enhancing COVID outcomes aligns perfectly with the basic OFM Protocols I pioneered years ago to meet YOUR individual needs. Working with athletes of all ages and abilities, we’ve connected and rigorously tested those dots using real people in real world environments to consistently improve their health and performance while feeling decades younger and stronger in the process.
Next Steps Whether You Have an Event or Not
While you may think you don’t have anything to train for due to all the event cancellations, there actually is a BIG event to put on your calendar in 4 months time and it WON’T be cancelled . . . the next cold, flu and COVID-19 season. And there is no better time to make the metabolic shift and start training for the Cold, flu & COVID season than NOW! . . .just like my friends Chris, Gina, Jon, Jessica, Josef or Jeff.
So while the ‘experts’ and politicians are assuring you they are working on a vaccine or treatment, you know relying on this has yet to prove effective and is no sure thing. Most of all, YOU do not have any power nor control over their ‘solutions.’
OFM, on the other hand, offers a path that gives you the information and empowerment to act so you can ‘eliminate the curve’ for yourself and those around you. COVID-19 really is a wakeup call for our personal and collective health.
These science based solutions are available NOW because we implemented them years ago. In addition to their proven performance benefits, the combination of the OFM Foundation Pack and Vespa will immediately jump start your fat metabolism, optimize your nutrition, get your Vitamin D levels up, increase glutathione synthesis and NAD / NAD+, all to boost your immune system function.We are pitching in by offering the OFM Foundation Pack along with 2-12 packs of VESPA CV-25, a $341 Retail VALUE for $249. This will give a single athlete a month’s supply of VESPA and a 4 month + supply of the supplements in the OFM Foundation Pack or a 2 week supply of VESPA and 2+ month supply of the supplements found in the OFM Foundation Pack for a couple.
SPECIAL OFFER - OFM Foundation Pack
Value - $ 314
Save - $70
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So there you go… the scientific basis for optimizing YOUR immune system health and an actionable pathway to achieve it! What’s stopping you?
References & Resources:
Metabolism & Physiology:
The SARS-CoV-2 Transcriptional Metabolic Signature in Lung Epithelium
Immune System Health::