The Role of Metabolic Health in Better COVID-19 Outcomes

Return guest Dr. Paul Saladino is a board-certified psychiatrist and also board certified in nutrition. He wrote “The Carnivore Code,” which just came out in an updated second edition. In this interview, he discusses the impact metabolic health has on COVID-19 outcomes.

He’s done a magnificent job explaining the science that supports the natural lifestyle strategies that optimize our immune systems to defeat not only COVID-19, but also most other infectious agents.

“The psychiatry was a jump-off point for thinking about how immune function and metabolic health affects mental health,” he says. “I quickly realized that everything in the body was connected and I couldn’t just focus on the brain without focusing on the rest of the body, and that has led us to where we are today.

I think that as we are faced with coronavirus, it’s a reminder of the metabolic health and how critical that is. I think so much of the media focus right now is on the next drug or the coming vaccine … but all of those strategies kind of miss the point. [They’re] just Band-Aids …

No drug is going to protect us from the next infection and the next infection. And one of the things that we’re going to talk about today, which is so eerie, yet revealing, is all of this data suggesting that coronavirus susceptibility is intimately connected with metabolic health.”

Immunometabolism Is an Important Field of Medicine

We’ve long known that metabolic health is crucial for robust immune function. Saladino believes immunometabolism — the connections between metabolism, metabolic health and the immune system — is easily one of the most important, if not the most important, field in emerging medicine.

Saladino reviews NHANES data1 from 2009 to 2016, which reveal 87.8% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy, based on five parameters. That data is over four years old now, so the figure is clearly greater than 90% of the population today.

That means virtually everyone is at risk for Type 2 diabetes and all the chronic diseases associated with insulin resistance, which run the gamut from cancer to Alzheimer’s.

“[NHANES] use criteria that we use to define metabolic syndrome,” Saladino explains. “They use a waist circumference of less than 102 or 88 centimeters for men and women respectively, a fasting glucose of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter, hemoglobin A1c of less than 5.7, a systolic blood pressure less than 120, a diastolic blood pressure less than 80, and triglycerides less than 150, in addition to an HDL of greater than 40 for men and 50 for women, as criteria for metabolic health.

What they found — and this is really the point that is so striking — is that only 12.2% of people met that criteria. That means 87.8% of people are metabolically unhealthy or have at least one of these metrics that suggests that they may have some degree of metabolic unhealth.”

Similarly, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that as of 2016, 39.8% of adults over the age of 20 were obese. When you include those who are overweight, that percentage skyrockets to 71%, and excess weight typically correlates with metabolic dysfunction and impaired health.

“Now, it’s not so much an indictment on our population; it’s an indication, it’s a real call-to-arms to say, ‘This is what we should be talking about,’ and it’s a real jumping-off point for discussions about how metabolic unhealth has repeatedly been connected with worse outcomes, [be it] COVID-19, MERS or seasonal flu. It’s a huge piece of it, and I haven’t really seen much media coverage of this at all.”

Insulin Resistance Is a Modern Plague

Indeed, while the media reports that the comorbidities include obesity, diabetes, age and being of color, they don’t discuss the underlying problems, which are vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance. As noted by Saladino:

“Insulin resistance underlies many of those comorbidities, and I’ll show data to suggest that as we age, more of the population becomes insulin-resistant, probably because we become a little less resilient to nutrient deficiency and we become a little more sensitive to the lifestyle factors that make us insulin resistant in the first place.

With aging, we see a direct correlation with insulin resistance. But the immune compromise, the insulin resistance that comes with aging, is not inevitable. It’s an assumption, because 88% of the population are metabolically unhealthy.

The narrative here is very important because if we can escape the immunologic sort of dysfunction and insulin resistance that so often accompanies aging, then we can totally change our lifestyle.”

Metabolic Age Is More Important Than Biological Age

Saladino discusses the results of a Nature Medicine study2 published in 2019, which looked at immune age and metabolic age using high-dimensional longitudinal monitoring:

“You can look at multiple measures of immunologic aging by looking at different varying proportions of immune cell subsets. This is all very esoteric and it looks complex, but the takeaway is that immune aging is associated with relative changes in different types of immune system response.

What’s very interesting is we see the same types of immune system response changes mirrored in people who have more severe coronavirus outcomes … One of the classic changes associated with insulin resistance, obesity and metabolic syndrome — these are all synonyms — is overactivation of the innate immune system, with decreasing activity in the adaptive immune system.

Characterized another way, we can look at the cytokines associated with different T-helper subsets. What we generally see … is that certain cytokines for T-helper 2 tend to predominate over T-helper 1, and you get changes in the way the innate and adaptive immune systems are responding to invaders. And that’s what we see in people as they age.

That’s associated with activation of different inflammasomes, like the NLRP3 inflammasome, which is associated with that innate immune system. The innate immune system is always activated; it’s dendritic cells, macrophages, natural killer cells, neutrophils.

The adaptive immune system is T cells and B cells. So basically, what we see in immunologic compromise, what we see in insulin resistance, is that the innate immune system gets overactivated at the expense of the adaptive immune system.

You might say, ‘Oh, that’s good. One part of the immune system is more activated.’ But what you have happening is that the adaptive immune system isn’t able to be activated properly, and the resolution of the inflammation doesn’t happen in the way it should.”

So, the overarching principle is that it’s not your biological age that matters so much, but rather it’s your immune and metabolic age. The good news is those are more malleable than we are led to believe. From that perspective, we can address COVID-19 in completely different ways.

“It’s a lot of fear-based messaging, saying, ‘Here’s a new spike of the virus.’ ‘It’s popping up here, it’s popping up there.’ But nobody’s really talking about what you can do to change your susceptibility to this virus,” Saladino says.

“What I want to empower people to understand is that this immunologic tolerance, this insulin resistance paradigm, has not been discussed at all despite the fact that there are tons of evidence that it’s really, really important.”

Cytokines

Cytokines are small proteins secreted by cells in your innate and adaptive immune systems. They serve to regulate diverse functions in your immune response. Cytokines are released by cells into your circulation or directly into your tissues.

cytokines

The cytokines locate target immune cells and interact with receptors on the target immune cells by binding to them. The interaction triggers or stimulates specific responses by the target cells.

In response to bacterial and viral infections such as COVID-19, your innate immune system generates both proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines.3 The inflammatory response plays a crucial role in the clinical manifestations of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 triggers an immune response against the virus, which, if uncontrolled, may result in lung damage, functional impairment, and reduced lung capacity.4,5,6,7

The SARS-CoV-2 viral infection-related inflammation and the subsequent cytokine storm in severe cases plays a crucial role in patient survival.8 The extensive and uncontrolled release of proinflammatory cytokines is termed the cytokine storm. Clinically, the cytokine storm commonly presents as systemic inflammation and multiple organ failure.9

Immunologic Tolerance Rises as Insulin Resistance Falls

One scientific article10 that speaks to this is “Association of Blood Glucose Control and Outcomes in Patients With COVID-19 and Pre-Existing Type 2 Diabetes,” published in Cell Metabolism, June 2, 2020.

What it found was that when blood sugar is well-controlled and there’s less glycemic variability, people do better when contracting COVID-19. When they have high levels of glycemic variability, which is indicative of insulin resistance, they fare much worse.

“So there’s really no question at this point that glycemic variability, overall metabolic status, overall metabolic health are critical,” Saladino says. The common mistake here is that you don’t want to get that control back using drugs. Your best bet is to get it back using natural lifestyle strategies.

Another paper11 that demonstrates the impact of insulin resistance on COVID-19 was published in Cardiovascular Diabetology, May 11, 2020. It found you can use the triglyceride to glucose index (TyG index) as a gauge to predict the severity and mortality of COVID-19.

“Imagine that. There’s an association of the insulin resistance marker, the TyG index — this is fasting triglycerides, fasting glucose — with the severity and mortality of COVID-19.

This should be, in my opinion, mainstream news headlines, and the headlines should be, ‘You can be stronger against coronavirus. You can have a stronger immune system. You can decrease your risk of having a severe coronavirus outcome.’ But instead it’s mostly fear, it’s ‘Hide in your homes. What’s the next drug that’s going to save us?’ … Cardiovascular health is immune health. That is immunometabolism.

What you do to improve your heart health is also what you do to improve your immune health, is also what you do to improve your brain health, is also how you decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s, is also how you decrease your risk of seasonal flu and every other single infectious illness that you will all encounter for the rest of your life. It’s one thing; not 60 different drugs … which is why the [conventional] paradigm doesn’t work.”

Low LDL Associated With Greater COVID-19 Severity

Interestingly, Saladino cites research showing that low levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with greater COVID-19 severity. LDL and total cholesterol levels were significantly lower in COVID-19 patients as compared to healthy subjects. “To me, this is a really interesting [finding] in two ways,” Saladino says, adding:

“In ‘The Carnivore Code,’ I challenged the LDL-centric hypothesis of cardiovascular disease and I share a lot of data about how important LDL actually is in the immune system. I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing in this study.

When your body is doing an immunologic thing, when your body is fighting a pathogen, it totally makes sense that the LDL would be a part of that, in either LDLs consumed, or those who have lower LDL are more susceptible to infection.

This is something we see over and over, and there are even genetic syndromes of very low LDL, specifically one called Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome involving a genetic polymorphism in an enzyme that makes cholesterol.

People with that syndrome have very bad infections and they can be rescued by giving them egg yolks. So these people are given cholesterol in the form of egg yolks, or they’re given supplemental cholesterol, and they do much better.

It’s pretty clear that cholesterol, which is packaged into this LDL lipoprotein particle, is intimately involved in the immune response. And so, in someone who is metabolically healthy, a higher LDL above 100 or 150, or even 200 mg/dL might not be the horrible thing that we’ve all been taught it is, especially if the HDL, the triglycerides, the triglyceride to glucose index, that glycemic variability, are all pointing toward metabolic health …

It’s about context. This LDL is a valuable immunologic particle and we can’t just get myopic, looking at LDL. We have to think about it in terms of all these other measures.”

Top Strategies to Improve Your Metabolic Health

Considering the fact that your metabolic health determines your COVID-19 risk, it would be a sound idea to implement strategies that will improve your metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity. Saladino’s top recommendations for achieving that include:

1. Eliminate processed carbohydrates, sugars, grains and vegetable oils — “I think that from a food perspective, those are the key evils that are really wreaking havoc on our metabolism,” he says. The worst culprit of them all is probably vegetable oils. “Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are highly oxidizable and very metabolically damaging. So, start with them,” Saladino says.

For more information about this, see “New Study Tells Why Chicken Is Killing You and Saturated Fat Is Your Friend,” which features Saladino’s interview with science journalist and author, Nina Teicholz. Saladino also reviews the mechanisms by which vegetable oils wreck health in greater detail in this interview, so be sure to listen to it in its entirety, or read through the transcript.

2. Eat animal foods — As noted in the paper,12 “Immune Function and Micronutrient Requirements Change Over the Life Course,” published in the journal Nutrients, nutrient deficiencies that can compromise immune function include vitamins, A, C, D, E, B2, B6, B12, folate, iron, selenium and zinc.

These vitamins are primarily found in animal foods, which is why shunning animal foods tends to lead to nutrient deficiencies. Even folate is found in organ meats in highly bioavailable form. “If you want to have a robust immune system, you want to be metabolically healthy. You don’t want to be insulin-resistant and you need to have nutrient adequacy in your diets,” Saladino says.

“How do you get nutrient adequacy? You get these micronutrients from bioavailable sources in organ meats and in the muscle meat of animals.” If you cannot stomach the idea of organ meats, consider using a desiccated organs supplement, such as those Saladino sells.13

3. Time-restricted eating — Compressing the window of time in which you eat down to six to eight hours a day, eating your last meal at least three hours before bedtime, is another very powerful strategy to improve your insulin sensitivity.

Eating a Varied, Real Food Diet Is Key

In short, eating real food, in a time-restricted window, is your surest bet to beat insulin resistance. Also remember to give some consideration to your macronutrient ratios.

As explained by Saladino, while a low-fat, high-carb diet may reduce your insulin resistance, you’re at high risk for nutrient deficiencies in the long term, as so many of the most bioavailable vitamins and minerals are found in animal-based fats.

“I think the sweet spot is eating an animal-based diet. Not exclusively animals for all people, but realizing that animal foods have been incorrectly vilified. They’re an integral part of the human diet, including organ meats.

Also include some of the healthiest carbohydrates, the nonprocessed carbohydrates, into your diet occasionally, and don’t go either low-carb, high-fat all the time or low-fat, high-carb all the time. Having a mix, but having a robust amount of protein throughout … I think that’s a sweet spot for most people.”

Low Glutathione May Increase COVID-19 Severity

Saladino also cites a recent hypothesis highlighting the potential role of glutathione in COVID-19. The paper,14 “Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations of Death From Novel Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19): A Hypotheses Based on Literature Data and Own Observations,” is written by a Russian medical doctor and Ph.D.

What he found was that the reactive-oxygen-species-to-glutathione ratio was able to predict the severity of COVID-19 and the patient’s outcome. When the patient had a low ROS-to-glutathione ratio, the patient had a very mild case. The fever disappeared on the fourth day without any treatment whatsoever.

When the ROS-to-glutathione ratio was high, the patient developed air hunger on the fourth day, experienced significant fever, hoarseness, myalgia and fatigue persisting for 13 days. A patient with even higher ROS and lower reduced glutathione had critical disease requiring hospitalization for COVID-19-related pneumonia. According to the author:15

“Based on an exhaustive literature analysis and own observations, I proposed a hypothesis that glutathione deficiency is exactly the most plausible explanation for serious manifestation and death in COVID-19 infected patients.

The major risk factors established for severe COVID-19 infection and relative glutathione deficiency found in COVID-19 infected patients with moderate-to-severe illness have converged me to two very important conclusions:

(1) oxidative stress contributes to hyper-inflammation of the lung leading to adverse disease outcomes such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure and death;

(2) poor antioxidant defense due to endogenous glutathione deficiency as a result of decreased biosynthesis and/or increased depletion of GSH is the most probable cause of increased oxidative damage of the lung, regardless which of the factors aging, chronic disease comorbidity, smoking or some others were responsible for this deficit.

The hypothesis provides novel insights into the etiology and mechanisms responsible for serious manifestations of COVID-19 infection and justifies promising opportunities for effective treatment and prevention of the illness through glutathione recovering with N-acetylcysteine and reduced glutathione.”

Glutathione, Zinc and Selenium

As noted by Saladino, these findings also tie into the issue of zinc and its importance for proper immune function, as zinc helps mitigate the oxidative stress reaction. The question is, why do these people have such low glutathione in the first place?

Saladino believes it’s probably due to underlying nutritional deficiencies such as glycine deficiency, or oxidative stress caused by smoking, heavy metal toxicity, EMF exposure, eating lots of processed vegetable oils or insulin resistance. Any of these could cause low glutathione.

To improve your glutathione, you need zinc, and zinc in combination with hydroxychloroquine (a zinc ionophore or zinc transporter) has been shown effective in the treatment of COVID-19.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), meanwhile, is a precursor of glutathione, and may protect against coagulation problems associated with COVID-19, as it counteracts hypercoagulation and breaks down blood clots.

Selenium is also important, as some of the enzymes involved in glutathione production are selenium-dependent. Saladino cites research showing an association between regional selenium status and the severity of COVID-19 outcome cases in China. The lower the amount of selenium in the hair, the lower the cure rate was.

“Why is this? It’s probably because glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase are selenium- dependent enzymes, and these enzymes are intimately connected by controlling this antioxidant redox system,” Saladino explains.

“So, what we’re seeing is this huge immunologic injury, this imbalance of the innate and adaptive immune system, we’re seeing insulin resistance, and we’re seeing diffused oxidative damage, and all that stuff can probably be controlled with lifestyle. That’s the huge takeaway.”

One of the best ways to increase glutathione, though, is molecular hydrogen. It is my absolute favorite as it does so selectively and will not increase glutathione unnecessarily if you don’t need it. You can view Tyler LeBaron’s excellent lecture on the details of how it does this in “How Molecular Hydrogen Can Help Your Immune System.”

More Information

We cover a lot of ground in this interview, far more than has been summarized here, so for more details, be sure to listen to the interview. Saladino is a wellspring of well-researched information. We also review:

  • The use of quercetin in lieu of hydroxychloroquine, either of which needs to be taken with zinc, at the first signs of symptoms.
  • The hazards of oxalates, found in many plant foods and the benefits of a carnivore diet.
  • Links between COVID-19 and pulmonary vasculitis — A new hypothesis suggests SARS-CoV-2 attacks the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels surrounding the lungs’ air sacs, or alveoli, causing fluid leakage and blood clots. According to Saladino, low glutathione may be at play here as well.
  • How you can improve your insulin sensitivity in as little as nine days by eliminating all fructose.

To learn more, be sure to visit his website, CarnivoreMD.com, and pick up a copy of “The Carnivore Code,” now in its updated second edition. He also has a great podcast called “Fundamental Health.” On the social media platforms, you can find him by searching for @carnivoreMD.

“If those who are susceptible to COVID-19 due to insulin resistance and diabetes are able to use this as a wake-up call and change their metabolic health, they will change the quality of life for the entire time that they’re living,” Saladino says.

“My dad is a perfect example of this. He’s 70 years old, a retired internist, and I’m going to get him a continuous glucose monitor. He’s not as metabolically healthy as he should be, but I’m encouraging him to improve his metabolic health.

And the beauty of that might just be that if coronavirus is the impetus, if coronavirus is the trigger that he needs to change his metabolic health — to use a continuous glucose monitor, to show himself his glycemic variability and understand how much risk that puts him at, or just to give him an indication that he’s a little insulin-resistant because he’s eating bread or vegetable oil, or not getting enough nutrients.

If he makes the change, he’s decreasing his risk of coronavirus, but he’s also decreasing his risk of seasonal flu, diabetic complications, coronary artery disease, hypertension and stroke. I mean, the list goes on and on. That’s what you and I are about, and that’s what I think it’s all focused on.”

Instruction on the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s
The Church’s Year


Implore God for help and protection against all temptations both visible and invisible, and say with the priest at the Introit:
INTROIT Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the protector of my soul: turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in thy truth, O Lord, my protector. (Ps. LIII.) Save me, O God, by thy name, and deliver me in thy strength. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
COLLECT Let the ears of Thy mercy, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliants: and that Thou mayest grant them their desires, make them to ask such things as please Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end, Amen.
EPISTLE (I Cor. X. 6-13.) Brethren, Let us not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them: as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither do you murmur, as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure, and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able but will make also with temptation issue that you may be able to bear it.
Can we sin by thought and desire?
Yes, if we desire evil and forbidden things, or voluntarily think of them with pleasure, for God prohibits not only evil deeds, but evil thoughts and desires in regard to our neighbor’s wife or goods. (Exod. XX. 17.) Christ says, (Matt. V. 28.) that he who looks upon a woman with evil desire, has already committed adultery. But wicked thoughts and imagination are sinful only when a person consents to, or entertains them deliberately. They become, however, an occasion of gaining merit, if we earnestly strive against them. For this reason God sometimes permits even the just to be tempted by them.
What is meant by tempting God?
Demanding presumptuously a mark or sign of divine omnipotence, goodness or justice. This sin is committed when without cause we desire that articles of faith should be demonstrated and confirmed by a new miracle; when we throw ourselves needlessly into danger of body or soul expecting God to deliver us; when in dangerous illness the ordinary and, natural remedies are rejected, and God’s immediate assistance expected.
Is it a great sin to murmur against God?
That it is such may be learned from the punishment which God inflicted on the murmuring Israelites; for besides Kore, Dathan, and Abiron whom the earth devoured, many thousands of them were consumed by fire; and yet these had not murmured against God directly, but only against Moses and Aaron whom God had placed over them as their leaders. From this it is seen that God looks upon murmuring against spiritual and civil authority, instituted by Him, as murmuring against Himself. Hence Moses said to the Israelites: Your. murmuring is not against us, but against the Lord. (Exod. XVI. 8.)
ASPIRATION Purify my heart, I beseech. Thee; O Lord, from all evil thoughts and desires. Let it never enter my mind to tempt Thee, or to be dissatisfied with Thy fatherly dispensations. Suffer me not to be tempted beyond my strength, but grant me so much fortitude, that I may overcome all temptations, and even derive benefit from them for my soul’s salvation.
Nineth Sunday After PentecostGOSPEL (Luke XIX. 41-47.) At that time, when Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written, My house is the house of, prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. And he was teaching daily in the temple.
Why did our Saviour weep over the city of Jerusalem?
Because of the ingratitude and obduracy of its inhabitants who would not receive Him as their Redeemer, and who through impenitence were hastening to destruction.
When was the time of visitation?
The period in which God sent them one prophet after another who urged them to penance, and whom they persecuted, stoned, and killed. (Matt. XXIII. 34.) It was especially the time of Christ’s ministry, when He so often announced His salutary doctrine in the temple of Jerusalem, confirmed it by miracles, proving Himself to be the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, but was despised and rejected by this hardened and impenitent city.
Who are prefigured by this hardened and impenitent city?
The hard-hearted, unrepenting sinners who will not recognize the time of God’s visitation, in which He urges them by the mouth of His preachers, confessors, and superiors, and by inward inspiration to reform their lives and seek the salvation of their soul, but who give no ear to these admonitions, and defer conversion to the end of their lives. Their end will be like to that of this impious city; then the enemy, that is, the evil spirit, will surround their soul, tempt, terrify, and drag it into the abyss of ruin. Oh, how foolish it is to squander so lightly, the time of grace, the days of salvation! Oh, how would the damned do penance, could they but return to earth! Oh, how industriously would they employ the time to save their soul! Use, then, my dear Christian, the time of grace which God designs for you, and which, when it is run out or carelessly thrown away, will not be lengthened for a moment.
Will God conceal from the wicked that which serves for their salvation?
No; but while they are running after the pleasures of this life, as St. Gregory says, they see not the misfortunes treading in their footsteps, and as consideration of the future makes them uncomfortable in the midst of their worldly pleasures, they remove the terrible thought far from them, and thus run with eyes blindfolded in the midst of their pleasure into eternal flames. Not God, but they themselves hide the knowledge of all that is for their peace, and thus they perish.
ASPIRATION. I beseech Thee, O Lord, who didst weep over the city of Jerusalem, because it knew not the time of its visitation, to enlighten my heart, that I may know and profit by the season of grace.
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CITY AND TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM
Has our divine Savior’s prophecy concerning, the city of Jerusalem been fulfilled?
Yes, and in the most terrible manner. The Jews, oppressed by the Romans their cruel masters, revolted, killed many of their enemies, and drove them out of Jerusalem. Knowing well that this would not be permitted to pass unavenged, the Jews armed themselves for a desperate resistance. The Emperor Nero sent a powerful army under the command of Vespasian against the city of Jerusalem, which first captured the smaller fortresses of Judea, and then laid siege to the city. The want and misery of the inhabitants had already reached the highest pitch; for within the city ambitious men had caused conflicts; factions had been formed, daily fighting each other, and reddening the streets with blood, while the angry Romans stormed outside. Then a short time of respite was granted to the unfortunate Jews. The Emperor Nero was murdered at Rome in the year of our Lord 68; his successor Galba soon died, and the soldiers placed their beloved commander Vespasian upon the imperial throne. He then left Jerusalem with his army, but in the year he sent his son Titus with a new army to Judea, with orders to capture the city at any price, and to punish its inhabitants.
It was the time of Easter, and a multitude of Jews had assembled from all provinces of the land, when Titus appeared with his army before the gates of Jerusalem, and surrounded the city. The supply of food was soon exhausted, famine and pestilence came upon the city and raged terribly. The leader of the savage revolutionists, John of Gischala, caused the houses to be searched, and the remaining food to be torn from the starving, or to be forced from them by terrible tortures: To save themselves from this outrageous tyrant, the Jews took the leader of a band of robbers, named Simon, with his whole gang into the city. John and Simon with their followers now sought to annihilate each other. John took possession of the temple. Simon besieged him; blood was streaming in the temple and in the streets. Only when the battle-din of the Romans was heard from without, did the hostile factions unite, go to meet the enemy, and resist his attack. As the famine increased, many Jews secretly left the city to seek for herbs. But Titus captured them with his cavalry, and crucified those who were armed. Nearly five hundred men, and sometimes more, were every day crucified in sight of the city, so that there could not be found enough of crosses and places of execution; but even this terrible sight did not move the Jews to submission. Incited by their leaders to frenzy, they obstinately resisted, and Titus finding it impossible to take the city by storm, concluded to surround it by walls in order to starve the inhabitants. In three days his soldiers built a wall of about ten miles in circumference, and thus the Savior’s prediction was fulfilled: Thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side.
The famine in this unfortunate city now reached its most terrific height; the wretched inhabitants searched the very gutters for food, and ate the most disgusting things. A woman, ravenous from hunger, strangled her own child, roasted it, and ate half of it; the leaders smelling the horrible meal, forced a way into the house, and by terrible threats compelled the woman to show them what she had eaten; she handed them the remaining part of the roasted child, saying.: “Eat it, it is my child; I presume you are not more dainty than a woman, or more tender than a mother.” Stricken with horror they rushed from the house. Death now carried away thousands daily, the streets and the houses were full of corpses: From the fourteenth of April when the siege commenced. to the first of July, there were counted one hundred and fifty-eight thousand dead bodies; six hundred thousand others were thrown over the walls into the trenches to save the city from infection. All who could flee, fled; some reached the camp of the Romans in safety; Titus spared the helpless, but all who fell into his hands armed, were crucified. Flight offered no better security. The Roman soldiers had learned that many Jews had swallowed, gold to secure it from the avarice of the robbers, and therefore the stomachs of many were cut open. Two thousand such corpses were found one morning in the camp of the Romans. The attempts of Titus to prevent this cruelty were unavailing. Finally, when misery had reached its height, Titus succeeded in carrying the fort, Antonia, and with his army forced a passage as far as the temple which had been held by John of Gischala with his famous band. Desirous of saving the temple, Titus offered the revolutionists free passage from it, but his proposition was rejected, and the most violent contest then raged; the Romans trying to enter the temple, and being continually repulsed, at last, one of the soldiers seized a firebrand, and threw it into one of the rooms attached to the temple. The flames in an instant caught the whole of the inner temple, and totally consumed it, so that this prediction of our Lord was also fulfilled. The Romans butchered all the inhabitants whom they met, and Titus having razed the ruins of the temple and city, ploughed it over, to indicate that this city was never to be rebuilt. During the siege one million one hundred thousand Jews lost their lives; ninety-seven thousand were sold as slaves, and the rest of the people dispersed over the whole earth.
Thus God punished the impenitent city and nation, over whose wretchedness the Saviour wept so bitterly, and thus was fulfilled the prediction made by Him long before.
What do we learn from this?
That as this prediction so also all other threats and promises of the Saviour will be fulfilled. The destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, the dispersion of the Jews, are historical facts which cannot be denied, and testify through all centuries to the truth of our Lord’s word: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matt. XXIV. 35.)
USEFUL LESSONS CONCERNING DEATH-BED REPENTANCE
Can a sinner rely upon his being converted at the end of his life?
By no means, for this would be a sin against the mercy of God which is much the same as the sin against the Holy Ghost. “God,” says St. Augustine, “generally so punishes such negligent sinners, that in the end they forget themselves, as in health they forgot Him.” He says: They have turned their back to me, and not their face: and in the time of their affliction they will say: Arise, and deliver us! Where are the gods whom thou hast made thee? Let them arise and deliver thee in the time of thy affliction. (Jer. II. 27-28.) And although we have a consoling example in the case of the penitent thief, yet this, as St. Augustine says, is only one, that the sinner may not despair: and it is only one, so that the sinner may have no excuse for his temerity in putting off his repentance unto the end.
What may we hope of those who are converted at the close of life?
Everything that is good if they be truly converted, but this is a very rare thing, as St. Augustine says: “It cannot be asserted with any security, that he who repents at the end has forgiveness;” and St. Jerome writes: “Scarcely one out of thousands whose life was impious, will truly repent at death and obtain forgiveness of sin;” and St. Vincent Ferrer says, “For a man who has lived an impious life to die a good death is a greater miracle than the raising of the dead to life.” We need not be surprised at this, for repentance at the end of life is extorted by the fear of death and the coming judgment. St. Augustine says, that it is not he who abandons sin, but sin abandons him, for he would not cease to offend God, if life were granted him. What can we expect from such a conversion?
When should we repent?
While we are in health, in possession of our senses and strength, for according to the words of St. Augustine, the repentance of the sick is a sickly repentance. As experience proves, man while ill is so tormented and bewildered by the pains of sickness and the fear of death, by remorse of conscience, and the temptations of the devil as well as by anxiety for those whom he leaves, that he can scarcely collect his thoughts, much less fit himself for true repentance. Since it is so hard for many to do penance while they are in health, and have nothing to prevent them from elevating their mind to God, how much more difficult will it be for them, when the body is weakened and tortured by the pains of sickness. It has been made known by many persons when convalescent, that they retained not the slightest recollection of anything which occurred during their illness, and although they confessed and received the last Sacraments, they did not remember it. If then you have committed a grievous sin, do not delay to be reconciled as soon as possible by contrition and a sacramental confession. Do not put off repentance from day to day, for thereby conversion becomes more difficult, so much so that without extraordinary grace from God, you cannot repent God does not give His grace to the presumptuous scoffer.

Mask Wearers are Collaborators Who Could Destroy Us All

Found Here:  https://youtu.be/pYk6nfnx_84

International best-selling author, Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA, explains why mask wearing rules are illogical, unscientific and dangerous, and why those who insist on wearing masks are ignorant and are threatening our lives and our future. For more unbiased information, please visit http:www.vernoncoleman.com The transcripts of the videos that YouTube banned are also on the website. Thank you for all your encouragement and support.

The Benefits of Keeping A Dream Journal

Recently, scientists from Caltech university proved that an ancient species of jellyfish has a sleep cycle. All known mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish on planet earth sleep, but this finding means sleep does not require a brain, and is one of the most ancient evolutionary traits around. So, a very important one.

If sleep is so important, could dreams be too? Dreams aren’t given much importance in modern society. In fact, dream sharing is considered oversharing around most office water coolers. But there are big benefits to taking your dreams seriously, and to keeping a dream journal. Even the Ancient Egyptians were known to keep “dream books.”

Faster Problem Solving

Many studies show that a well-rested mind is a smarter one. Students preparing for a test, for example, scored better when they dreamed about the test beforehand. Every night when you dream, your brain processes and categorizes all the day’s events. Your brain needs to dream to make sense of your waking life. But sleeping is not all you can do. By taking the extra step to remember and interpret your dreams upon waking, you are telling your brain that dreams are important to you. As a result, your dreams will take on a much more educational and beneficial role in your life.

Overcoming Anxiety

Nightmares are no fun, but they serve a purpose. Even rats have nightmares! A bad dream can help reveal your innermost fears, and give you a way to cope with them safely. If you’re like most people, you forget your dreams whenever you wake up. A dream journal will help you develop dream recall, causing you to notice different dream patterns, including reoccurring nightmares. This will give you valuable insight into all the anxieties that are holding you back in life, and give you a head start on addressing them. If you are having a reoccurring nightmare about being fired from your job, for example, you should practice positive thinking at work and confront any workplace challenges you have sooner than later.

Opportunity to Lucid Dream

Lucid dreaming, or becoming aware during a dream, can be induced by dream journaling. Lucid dreaming is a relatively fun and healthy hobby that has its own set of powerful mental health benefits. Many lucid dreamers regularly converse with “spirit guides” that give them advice and predictions to be used in the real world.

Better Spiritual Awareness

Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams contained messages from the gods, and so kept a careful record of them. The Egyptians weren’t the first to come up with this concept, and certainly weren’t the last. Every culture, it seems, from the Greeks to the Native Americans, have had similar beliefs about dreams.

Modern day mystics, including the late psychic Edgar Cayce, often focus on dreams as a way to remember past lives. Unbelievably, scientists have proven that memories and dreams can be inherited, passed on from generation to generation just like eye colour.

Whatever your belief system, keeping a dream journal forces you into a daily habit of thoughtful reflection, making you more aware of your deeper, wiser self over time.

Deciding to keep a dream journal could be one of the easiest, yet more life-changing decisions you’ve ever made! Luckily, there are many resources online to help get you started with a dream diary. Here are some beginner’s tips for keeping a dream journal:
•    Write in your dream journal every morning after you wake up
•    Don’t worry about stylist things like grammar, punctuation, or spelling
•    Keep your dream journal next to your bedside
•    Focus on dreams that are reoccurring
•    Remember to bring your dream journal with you when you travel

Before radio, television, and the Internet, people relied heavily on the dream world for entertainment and guidance, and this may have helped them to be more in touch with their inner self and spiritual side. By keeping a dream journal, you too can learn to tune out the outside world and tune up our own inner, conscious self.

Watch: Doctor Dispels Coronavirus Fears: ‘99.8 Percent of People Get Through This With Little to No Progressive or Significant Disease’

(Hannah Bleau) Erickson addressed the dominant narrative of rising cases of the virus within the U.S. and pointed out that it is causing undue fear.

The post Watch: Doctor Dispels Coronavirus Fears: ‘99.8 Percent of People Get Through This With Little to No Progressive or Significant Disease’ appeared on Stillness in the Storm.