Tennee | Aug 19, 2020
When COVID came into the community, my mantra became “this too shall pass.”
5+ months down the COVID rabbit hole, I feel like we are living in a “groundhog day” perpetual loop and “this too shall pass” has changed its tune to “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
COVID is a situation that isn’t going away anytime soon. So unless you have the ability to lock yourself in your house and cease contact with the entire population for the next two+ years, it is much more likely that we will all eventually be exposed through herd immunity if we haven’t already.
There is some silver lining. More doctors and scientists are reporting that 80% of the population will likely have little to no symptoms after exposure to COVID.
The “fortunate” 80% likely have a supportive genetic profile, lower inflammation and oxidative stress and less nutritional deficiencies.
If you fall into the 20% you may be elderly and or are dealing with a comorbidity such as obesity, diabetes, autoimmunity, hypertension etc. If you do fall into the 20% it would be wise to stay home and limit contact with others for the time being.
Studies are starting to show that exposure to COVID may be much broader than most are currently aware. If reputable antibody testing was made available today, I believe it would show a much higher rate of exposure than what we believe it to be. One example of this was published in April 2020, when a antibody study in Santa Clara county showed that the residents had positive antibody numbers that were “50 to 85 fold more than the number of confirmed cases”. This study illustrates that the exposure to COVID is likely much higher than we originally thought.
Whether you have been exposed or not, the grand take away from this COVID pandemic has taught me that the most important thing I can do for my health and the health of my family is continue to put in place as much support (lifestyle, healthy food and supplements) to ensure that my family and clients don’t fall into the 20% of super sick people. If there was ever a time to “up the ante” health care / self care wise, this is it.
Healthy individuals are more likely to be supported by their immune system as it familiarizes itself with a new virus in the event of exposure.
Important nutrients that support the immune system during COVID-19
Certain nutrients have been reported as potentially relevant for the prevention as well as the treatment of COVID. These nutrients are also necessary for maintaining health during cold and flu season!
Critical nutrients cited in publications include: glutathione, vitamins A, D, and E minerals zinc and selenium and essential fatty acids as they support the immune system and lower systemic inflammation.
Glutathione is a master antioxidant that permeates every cell in the body but is especially important for the lungs. When inhaled through a nebulizer as a mist, glutathione can be used specifically to lower inflammation in the lungs. It also enhances other antioxidants that work synergistically including Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Studies show that use of glutathione as well as its precursor NAC have therapeutic applications for COVID. A handful of foods contain glutathione including asparagus, spinach, walnuts and avocado.
Vitamin A acts in the proliferation of T lymphocytes, production of immunoreactive cytokines and natural killer cells. Vitamin A and Vitamin D deficiencies are linked with infectious disease of the respiratory tract in children. Food sources for vitamin A include cod liver oil, eggs and yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D metabolites are known to support innate antiviral mechanisms including induction of antimicrobial peptides and autophagy. Levels of Vitamin D council recommends a maintenance level of 5000IU daily but therapeutic dosing will vary depending on the individual. Food sources of Vitamin D are found in fatty fish and egg yolks. Sunshine is another important source of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D and E work synergistically to regulate and modulate the immunological system.
Zinc and selenium
Zinc works specifically as an antioxidant and boosts metabolism and healing. Together with selenium, these two minerals reduce symptoms of viral infections. Oysters, red meat and poultry are good sources of zinc. Whole grains and dairy products tend to contain good amounts of selenium.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential Fatty Acids found in fish oil. EFA’s help to control inflammation, infections, and have an intrinsic relationship with the production of hormones and contribute to the production of antibodies. Deficiencies create compromised immune response in respiratory infections caused by this virus.
I have created a broad spectrum immune system protocol that I offer clients through Fullscript.
If you are interested there is a link below.
If you are feeling unsure about the status of your immune system and you want to know where you stand, I would recommend testing over guessing.
Stress, illness, lack of sleep, over exercising, medications, poor diet and alcohol intake create vitamin and mineral deficiencies throughout the body and with the great unknown of COVID looming along side the fact that we are moving into cold and flu season, it may be worthwhile to investigate the underpinnings of your immune system.
I have found micronutrient lab testing can provide relevant information regarding the building blocks of your immune system which involves your vitamin and mineral status. I recommend finding reputable testing that will evaluate your antioxidants, B vitamins and Vitamin D,C E, A etc. Looking at your levels will give you information so you can put in place correct dosages to correct any short fallings.
In general, I don't recommend “boosting” your vitamin levels
unless you know they are depressed.
There are specific micronutrient panels that can be obtained when working with a functional nutrition or medical practitioner. I work with a panel called the Whole Blood Micronutrient Panel by Vibrant wellness. Due to the SIP, this company now offers a finger prick test kit which can be done in the comfort of your own home without having to go to the lab. The whole blood nutrient panel by Vibrant Wellness uses mass spectrometry to evaluate a wide range of markers including antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and metabolites to name a few. It provides a comprehensive perspective for those who want to know where they stand with their vitamin and mineral status but don’t want to do a blood draw at the hospital or draw center.
If you are interested in more information regarding this test contact me.
I would also recommend looking at your genetic data if you have it. SNPS such as MTHFR, NOS 3, and COMT to name a few can be extremely helpful if you get COVID. Dr Ben Lynch the author of Dirty Genes provides a wonderful resource for decoding your genetic data.
5 Lifestyle Hacks to Boost Immune System Function
Sun will boost your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is essential for immune system modulation and low levels correlate with higher viral infections.
Get in the sun and if you tend to burn, support with antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Glutathione, PQQ and fish oil, these will support antioxidant production in the body.
Benefits of Sauna therapy include:
- Relaxation from stress which is a very large risk factor in this day and age.
- Detoxification is what sauna therapy was initially created to address. As the skin is the largest detox organ in the body. Sweating reduces the burden on the liver. Infrared sauna therapy is extremely helpful when working to strengthen the immune system function as a sauna raises the body temperature the same way a fever works. I invested in a infrared sauna 9 years ago and it has been one of the better investments in our health care routine throughout the years that we have travelled through specific health care challenges.
Juicing with leafy greens will help the body absorb folate and other important vitamins necessary for immune system health. The benefits of fresh juice are most beneficial when consumed within 20 minutes of juicing. If you are growing a garden, kale, apples, ginger, carrots and cucumber juiced daily are an incredible source of vitamins!
This is an intravenous vitamin infusion of multiple B vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. This infusion is reputed to enhance the immune system which can be quite helpful for those with severe immune system deficiencies. This may be especially important to consider if you are in the process of overcoming COVID. Traditionally Meyers Cocktails have been used to boost immune system function, fight fatigue, help with seasonal allergies, reduces symptoms of fibromyalgia and asthma.
The Myers’ Cocktail is named for the late John Myers, M.D., a Maryland physician who used intravenous injections of nutrients to treat many chronic conditions. IV therapy can be more effective than taking supplements orally for correcting intracellular nutrient deficiencies.
Get your ZZZ’s
Highly underrated and extremely important for immune system health. Most people don’t understand the mechanics behind why sleep is so important. During sleep the immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Certain cytokines are needed when you have an infection, are stressed or have inflammation. Sleep deprivation lowers your T cell count and decreases your beneficial cytokines, which are necessary for fighting infection. Studies show that that sleep disturbances can leave your immune system more susceptible to infection and illness. If you have difficulties with sleep consider putting in place a "sleep routine" before bed that will be more supportive for deeper sleep.
In the age of COVID, lowering inflammation, stress and raising the bar with nutrition is key to staving off infection. As with any flu virus, the immune system needs to be strong when you are fighting off infection. Strengthening the immune system in an educated way is the wisest approach forward.
Contact me for more information on working with the whole blood nutrient panel
or with questions about my consultations.
Wishing you a Radiant Reality!
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