Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH.
There are 11 main systems within the human body. This includes things like the circulatory system, the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the immune system, the integumentary system, the muscular system, the endocrine system, the nervous system, the reproductive system, the renal system, the skeletal system and the respiratory system.
Today, I want to focus on the respiratory system in particular because we are in the midst of a pandemic. A lot of people know that with COVID-19, this is respiratory-borne, so we have to pay attention to the care that we are actually taking of our respiratory system during this time. I want to focus in on some science behind different nutrients and why these nutrients happen to be so beneficial when it comes to our respiratory system.
About the respiratory system
We know that the respiratory system is a network of different organs and tissues that help us breathe, so when we think about lungs, clearly that is part of the respiratory system, but also the airways, blood vessels and muscles that are all interconnected and work synergistically together to make sure that we can move oxygen throughout the body. When we breathe air in, we have to go through this filtration system through the lungs, but we also have to be able to allow for oxygenation to make its way out to the tissues.†
When we look at the long-term implications of COVID-19 and the major thing that most people focus in on is the respiratory implications and having that acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is what generally leads people to have to go onto ventilators. About 40% of COVID-19 patients will develop acute respiratory distress syndrome, and 20% of those cases fall into the severe category. It’s that severe category that may require oxygenation or even mechanical ventilation to maintain the ability of the respiratory system to do what we need it to do. When we see these different patterns with COVID-19, we also have to be aware of the long-term implications, even for someone who might have a mild case of COVID-19.†
We want to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to make sure that the respiratory system itself is functioning at its peak performance and making sure that we don’t have an excessive amount of an inflammatory response going on and doing damage. One of the areas that they’re starting to recognize now that there’s been enough COVID cases throughout the world is the development of fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis in particular.†
Tune into the full podcast episode to learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting respiratory health.
Nutrients for supporting the respiratory system
We know that there are many different nutrients out there that have shown that they can be very targeted when it comes to pulmonary fibrosis. There was a study that was published in The Pulmonary Medicine Journal in May 2020 looking at pulmonary fibrosis and that COVID-19 link. They were looking at the different evidence showing the overall risk factors in terms of development of fibrosis in the disease itself. This is something that I think people need to be cognizant of because there are COVID long-haulers, people who are still exhibiting symptoms even after having maybe a mild case of COVID-19.†
One of the areas that they’re starting to really hone in on is the extreme amount of damage that may have been caused within the respiratory system. In looking at that, we can see that the respiratory system is not defined as just the lungs themselves. We have the airways, the blood vessels, the musculature, all of these areas that could potentially be impacted due to COVID-19 exposure and have a real problematic effect moving forward.†
The Proven Health Benefits of Omega-3s for Respiratory Health – InVite Health Podcast, Episode. Listen Now >>
We know that there’s a lot of research out there looking at idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and we know that certain nutrients like NAC that have been looked at as being a potential treatment in the setting of pulmonary fibrosis. In The Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine Journal back in 2019, they were looking at NAC specifically. NAC has this powerful antioxidant capacity to it and does a lot in terms of support for the respiratory system, especially for the lungs themselves. NAC is a very very powerful way for you to support your respiratory system. When we look at ways to be proactive as opposed to being reactive. For someone who has not been exposed to COVID-19 but still has concerns and wants to make sure that they’re doing what they can to maintain overall respiratory health, NAC is a really important nutrient to consider having on board.†
Learn more about NAC by listening to the full podcast episode.
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