According to this new Nature paper, those with severe COVID are spiking higher cytokine signatures early on. This would suggest value in testing, including possibly IFN-gamma (see below), and addressing it early through anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, as well as targeted anti-inflammatory nutraceutical interventions. This is, of course, a ‘standard’ approach used in Functional Medicine, but perhaps some individuals with specific immunological responses during COVID require a more aggressive version of this intervention. Click here to read.
Who is vulnerable to developing runaway IFN-gamma? On one hand, we suspect INF-gamma plays a key role in clearing the virus for some; but others, IFN-gamma looks to be dysregulated. Perhaps baseline IFN-gamma elevation from chronic inflammation (again, think about all of those comorbidities that go with COVID- all have higher baseline inflammation, and INF-gamma is commonplace)…. if you are running organic acid panels on your patients, a clue to INF-gamma elevation is high quinolinic acid, the potent neurotoxin produced from tryptophan under the direction of INF-gamma.
For a review of our phased immunological approach to COVID-19, including targeted anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals, please refer to this published paper.
Kara Fitzgerald, ND, received her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first Counsel on Naturopathic Medicine-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, PhD. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. With the Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald is actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. The first publication from the study focuses on reversal of biological aging and was published 04-12-2021 in the journal Aging. She has published a consumer book titled Younger You as well as a companion cookbook, Better Broths and Healing Tonics and has an application-based Younger You Program, based on the study.
Dr. Fitzgerald is on the faculty at IFM, is an IFM Certified Practitioner and lectures globally on functional medicine. She runs a Functional Nutrition Residency program, and maintains a podcast series, New Frontiers in Functional Medicine and an active blog on her website, www.drkarafitzgerald.com. Her clinical practice is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
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