Today is May 11 2020, and the news cycle is still dominated by the Covid-19 issue. At the core of this issue is that specific groups of people have been found to be particularly susceptible to the SARS-CoV2 virus, while up to 80% of those who contract the infection remain asymptomatic. Let’s take a closer look at those who are at risk:
Obese people are at elevated risk, because obesity carries with it several additional risks: elevated inflammation (cytokine storms, which are runaway inflammation, cause the organ failure that can kill during an infection). Obesity causes insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, which is also a risk factor for Covid-19. Obesity causes high blood pressure, which is a risk, and use of ACE inhibitor blood pressure medications, which is-you guessed it-also a risk.
It’s time we took a look at obesity and food addiction and what drives it!
First, what is oxidative stress? Here’s the Wiki definition: “Oxidative stress reflects an imbalance between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biologic al system’s ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage”. More simply, it’s when the body’s cells work inefficiently and die in their own toxic wastes.
A recent study was published in the journal Behavioral Brain Research, evaluating a new way of understanding what drives food addiction and obesity. Their conclusions:
“Oxidative stress plays a critical role in food addiction and is both a cause and mediator of obesity. Reactive oxygen species play a direct role in adipogenesis and oxidative stress modulates all factors involved in obesity including genetics, sleep, gut microbiome, insulin, ghrelin, inflammation, adipokines, leptin, stress, HPA axis, and the hypothalamus.”
What this is saying is that oxidative stress (something most people haven’t been taught, and simply don’t think about!) is a critical factor in the development of food addictions and obesity. If you don’t think you have food addictions, try doing a food elimination diet by eating only one, healthy non-immune reactive food for 30 days. You’ll quickly understand what food addiction really is!
What can be done to reduce oxidative stress? Most people think of antioxidants, such as in vitamins or foods. Maybe just eat more blueberries? The truth is…
Antioxidants in the diet, or simple antioxidant supplements, don’t really help because they are not absorbed in a a useful form-ie they are not “bioavailable”. To really help, we need to activate our own body’s production of antioxidants.
How can that be done? If you’d like some strategies that can help, please contact me! I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my Facebook page for The Symbiont Factor, https://www.facebook.com/thesymbiontfactor.