As the World Health Organization declares the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic, fear captures the world. The media continues to focus on fast-tracking a vaccination, which often means little to no real safety or efficacy studies.
The "medical experts" on news stations across the world say that vitamins such as A, C and D do not boost immunity. We have all been led to believe that health comes from a needle and a pill, they recommend hand-washing, social distancing, but seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to improve our health and support the body to fight off illness.
The good news:
"When our immune system is working correctly, we don't even notice it. It's when the performance of our immune system is compromised that we face illness." - Dr Axe
Helpful Hints & Remedies to Optimize Your Immune System
1. Keep your gut healthy to maintain a robust immune system.
Eat a healthy diet high in organic fruits and vegetables. These nutrient-dense, high antioxidant foods fight off illness and provide important fiber to feed the healthy gut biome. Taking a high-quality probiotic and eating fermented foods can also be very helpful. "The microbiota plays a fundamental role in the induction, training, and function of the host immune system."
2. Avoid refined sugar and processed food.
White blood cells help fight off illness, and eating sugar puts our white blood cells into a temporary coma. In the 1970’s Dr. Linus Pauling, one of the most significant researchers in the field of microbiology, discovered that vitamin C is needed by white blood cells to engulf and absorb viruses and bacteria. High blood sugar prevents the body from adequately utilizing vitamin C and reduces the white blood cell's ability to absorb and destroy viruses by up to 75%. Sugar also inflames the body, which suppresses the immune system and interferes with the absorption of vital immune-boosting vitamins and minerals. Processed foods are void of bioavailable nutrition and contain salt, chemicals, and preservatives, which damages the immune system.
3. Stay hydrated with mineral and coconut water.
Coconut water boosts electrolytes. Coconut water is a well-balanced fluid loaded with minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and manganese, amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, and cytokinins, many nutrients that help improve immune health. Minerals such as zinc, iron, selenium, and potassium are often overlooked, but they are essential in providing the body enough energy to create immune cells.
4. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is imperative for a healthy immune system. Sleep and the circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune functions. Investigations of the healthy sleep-wake cycle showed that immune parameters like numbers of undifferentiated naïve T cells and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines exhibit peaks during early nocturnal sleep. T-cells are a type of white blood cell, which tailors the bodies response to pathogens. Inflammatory cytokines play a role in initiating an inflammatory response to defend against pathogens.
5. Minimize Long-Term Stress
Although some stress can be beneficial to the immune system because it signals the body to activate and can help to turn on the immune system response – chronic stress can have a profound negative effect on the immune system and health. It can lead to chronic inflammation and increases the risk of developing autoimmune conditions. Stress also impacts hormones such as cortisol, and hormones impact the immune system—making immune cells produce more of the stress molecule cytokines. Meditate, do yoga, listen to music, and exercise. Exercise not only reduces stress, but it also protects the immune system. A 2018 human study published in Aging Cell revealed that high levels of physical activity and exercise help to decrease the gradual deterioration of the immune system.
6. Induce a Fever with an Infrared sauna & do not be quick to lower it
At the first sign of a fever we often look to reduce it. However, studies show us that a fever between 100.4 and 103.2 is excellent for us. It stimulates the body's immune response. According to research, higher body temperatures drive the activity of specific proteins that, in turn, switch genes responsible for the body's immune response on and off.
7. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is excellent for viral infections; a high dose vitamin A protocol is often used by naturopathic and functional medicine physicians. Cod liver oil or vitamin-A palmitate is often used. In clinical trials, it has been seen to treat measles quite successfully. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and can accumulate in the body, and could be toxic if levels are too high. It is often recommended to get enough vitamin A in your diet. Best sources of vitamin A are sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, red peppers, paprika, chili powder, carrots, squash, herbs, cantaloupe, lettuce, and dried apricots. During an acute infection, high dosing is often recommended for a short time.
8. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant necessary for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It helps to strengthen our immune system to fight illness by assisting our white blood cells. According to Orthomolecular Medicine, there were three independent clinical trials on the use of vitamin C in the treatment of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Chinese government announced a recommendation to use high dose intravenous treatment of vitamin C to treat the outbreaks. For the prevention of a cold or flu at home, Ultra-Potent C by Metagenics is good because it also has lysine and glutathione, which assists in fighting viruses. Some great natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, red and hot chili peppers, red peppers, thyme, parsley, dark green leafy vegetables, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi.
9. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is an essential vitamin required by the body for proper immune functioning, and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Our body makes vitamin D with the help of the sun. It is believed we only get twenty-percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, caviar, meat, eggs, and mushrooms. It is often a good idea to supplement vitamin D in the cold and darker months.
Elderberry has been used for centuries as medicine to combat influenza, colds, and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. The Journal of International Medical Research reported that when treating with elderberry, symptoms were relieved on average four days earlier, and the use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. PLEASE NOTE: There are concerns of elderberry potentially causing a cytokine storm. Please be sure to consult with a trusted medical professional before introducing elderberry or any new supplement into your system.
11. Fish Oil & other Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil and other omega-3 fatty acids have potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities in a wide array of diseases. Modulators of the immune response, research demonstrates that it assists the body heal from a wide range of autoimmune disease, and infections. Fatty acids are considered one of the essential nutrients for immunity. The right balance of unrefined essential fatty acids tends to attract oxygen to the cells, which is one of the best ways to deactivate a virus.
Zinc is vital for cell survival, and also helps the body fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The Journal of Molecular Medicine reports that zinc improves immune health by improving T-cell (white blood cell) function. The best sources of zinc include lamb, beef, scallops, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, oats, turkey, shrimp, and green peas.
Don't have HCQ, don't panic. Most people don't need it. You can take Quercetin instead. It has an amazing antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect.
Coupled with zinc it does the same thing.
Quercetin is a plant flavonol from the flavonoid group of polyphenols. Nature provides. It can found in many fruits, vegetables, leaves, seeds, red onions and kale. It is also available in supplement form. Here is a Quercetin I personally recommend: Nutricost Quercetin