The coronavirus is a novel virus. What does that mean?
That it’s never been seen before in a human, meaning that we have to build immunity. Because we don’t have acquired immunity, and due to the highly contagious nature of the virus, it can spread very rapidly. All of those factors feel overwhelming, especially some of the fatality rates in our older population.
So, let’s go over some basic tips for immunity.
This first tip is going to sound silly, but it’s an important one.
- Stay hydrated.
Drinking water can flush something that you are exposed to – like the virus – into your stomach. Your stomach is highly acidic, and those gastric juices can break down a lot of things, even, potentially, a virus.
- Be a clean freak.
We’ve talked about hand washing and social distancing, but the coronavirus can reach you in other ways. Landing on your clothes, your hair, etc. Going out and unwitting tracking this virus back into your house can expose your family. To combat this, a good rule of thumb would be to take off your clothes, shower, and clean the surfaces that you touched after coming home from running errands. The coronavirus can stay on surfaces for up to nine days, which poses terrifying possibilities when it comes to re-infection rates. Be careful, wear gloves when possible, and make a concerted effort to wash your hands.
- Have a good diet.
It’s really important to decrease inflammation in your system. In simple terms, that just means being careful about what you eat and what you’re putting into that system. Limiting those sugary processed foods, is recommended. Personally, I recommend either a keto or paleo-type diet that is filled with protein, fruits and vegetables. It’s always good to stick with foods that your body knows.
The reason for that is simple. Let’s say you got exposed to a virus, and the you’re loading up on cookies, cake, ice cream, pasta, and bread. Your body then ends up fighting two wars at a time. Both the virus and your diet are creating all kinds of inflammation and paralyzing your immune system. This gives the virus a great amount of time to take hold.
- Watch your nutrient deficiencies.
Nutrient deficiencies are really important, because a lot of them modulate and regulate the immune system. If you’re low in nutrients, you’re likely to get sicker. One of my favorite vitamins for immune boosting is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is actually an antioxidant, collagen booster and immune system booster. If you can reduce the current inflammation on your immune system, that can go a long way in a viral infections, which produce more. COVID-19 can be highly fatal for some infected people, many of whom have experience a complication that’s called a cytokine storm – basically their immune system losing control.
The next supplement that I think is great for boosting the immune system is Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an anti-infective, anti-inflammatory vitamin that enhances your immune system. It defends against infections, and has been known to work on various infectious diseases. It’s pretty powerful, and it has an affinity for the lungs and mucosal membranes. If you think about the points that are potentially exposing us to the coronavirus (nose, mouth, etc.) those are all mucosal membranes. Vitamin A integrity of these membranes, allowing less to get through when we’re exposed to something. We believe that Vitamin A will come to play a critical role in modern therapies.
Some questions that I’ve asked myself about this are, “Why over 60? Why are children recovering? What’s going on? What is the difference between the two groups of people?” After asking these questions, I ask, “Why did COVID-19 hit at the end of winter? What is the significance of that time frame?”
A couple different theories exist.
We’ve been indoors quite a bit throughout the winter, and we haven’t been able to synthesize Vitamin D – which is both a hormone and a nutrient – which could have lowered our immune systems. Vitamin D helps with stimulating the maturity of immune cells. Is that a piece that potentially is missing from our older adults versus our kids?
The other theory I’ve been looking at is stem cells. When we’re young, we have a lot of stem cells, but as we get older, the number lessens. There was a really interesting case out of China involving a man that was really struggling, to the point that doctors were predicting that he would not make it. They gave him intravenous glutathione, which helps us produce stem cells, and within a couple days, he was back.
Another vitamin that I found mention of while looking through the research was iron. We always want to know if iron is low or high in patients, because it needs to be in our bodies in balance. For instance, if you’re taking an iron supplement and your levels get too high, a virus can actually morph. On the other hand, if your iron is low, you can have decreased immunity and recurrent infections – especially aimed at the respiratory tract.
Last but not least is zinc. Zinc is a trace mineral that is important for the maintenance and development of immune cells, which help boost our immune system. Any sort of zinc deficiency creates immune system dysfunction and increases susceptibility to infectious disease, as well as allowing the replication of viruses such as COVID-19.
Could boosting up our immune systems really help what’s going in our country with this virus? From what I’ve seen in my office, yes.
We are currently doing virtual consultations from anywhere in the country, including appointments specifically related to immune boosting.You’ll get a personalized protocol that is right for you that can include testing.
Call our office at 303-652-0900, and request the immune system telemedicine. We are eliminating anyone coming into our offices to slow the spread of COVID-19, and thank you for your understanding.