Winter Immunity

Immunity for the Winter Season

With Winter upon us and in the midst of the holidays, once again a season of viral activity is in full swing. Whether it’s Covid, Flu, RSV or the preexisting cold viruses, there are some simple steps you can take to support a quick recovery- or avoid it altogether!

Please note that although we can usually arrange for a short consult during the weekday business hours if you are currently fighting something, the best thing you can do is to get prepared before something happens. For example, it’s best to have some basic supplements on hand in advance- outlined below.

But first, as always, the most important step you can take right now is to make the lifestyle changes that allow you to be the healthiest version of yourself possible. In the plant world, it is always the healthiest tree that survives the fungi, bacteria, and pests, no matter what kind of defenses you conjure up while playing plant doctor. So it is not so much about what to do if you are infected with something, it is what to do before. They are profoundly simple steps- but often not so simple to achieve. If you can’t do them all, pick one to start with. They boil down to the following: Breathe Air, Drink Fluids, Eat Good Food, Exercise, Rest/Sleep.

It’s no wonder that during the Covid epidemic, the US had more deaths than any other country. The overwhelming majority of people who died had two or more comorbidities (other illnesses), and the vast majority of those were preventable by lifestyle (i.e. Metabolic Dysfunction and Type II Diabetes). In other words, it is possible that hundreds of thousands of people could have been saved from these simple measures.

Breathe Air

Take 10 deep breaths when you wake up in the morning. This not only exercises the lungs but also helps you relax. Breathing is fundamental to a yoga or meditation practice, and the key to overcoming stress and anxiety, which also boosts the immune system.

Another takeaway from the Covid epidemic is that indoor air quality is extremely important. In my opinion, this should be an area we should be investing in nationally, instead of single-mindedly focusing predominantly on vaccines. If we improve the air circulation in our buildings and schools, we can significantly reduce viral transmission. On a local level, either the Air Doctor (https://airdoctorpro.com/purifiers/ ) or the Jasper Air Filter (https://jaspr.co/ ) are excellent air filters which clean your indoor air overall and can capture small microorganisms and viruses.

Drink Fluids

Drink 16 or more ounces of water or herbal tea in the morning. If you drink coffee, do this before your coffee. Make a point to drink at least 16 ounces of fluids at least 30 min before each meal as well. It is best not to dilute your digestive enzymes when you are eating. Do not drink fluids with sugar. There is nothing good about sugar but the worst way to consume it is by drinking it.

Eat Good Food

Even though this is 3rd on the list (we’d last longer without food than air and water!), it is critical to a healthy immune system. Again, it’s simple. Avoid processed food and sugar. Eat real food. Get enough healthy protein and fat. Healthy fat means – olive oil, nuts and seeds, avocado, coconut oil, butter, and fats from organic, regeneratively farmed meats and fish. Also be careful about heating your oils. They are best if minimally heated, or preferably raw. This is also a great time of the year for slow cooked stews and chicken soup. The fats from chicken, lamb, or beef will stay healthy if slow cooked, and the veggies can be easier to digest, especially when you are trying to stay warm and cozy.

Exercise

Any amount of exercise is good. Try to do what you enjoy doing. That can be stretching, a walk, or a hike, at least to get started. Be careful not to overdo it or it can be counterproductive. Generally you want to think about four types of exercise throughout the week: 1. Strength/ Resistance (Weights), 2. Zone 2 (thought of as something like a brisk walk or easy run, where you can still breathe through your nose and could carry on a conversation but your heart rate is up), 3. Zone 5 (High Intensity Bursts that get your heart rate up to Max), and 4. Stability Training (Such as Yoga- where you are targeting the muscles that support balance and stability).

Sleep/Rest

Before, during, and after any bout with a virus, rest, rest, rest. Deep, restful sleep improves your metabolism, releases growth hormone which helps with repair and maintenance, and improves immune function.

Top Supplements to Boost your Immune System

  • Vitamin DEvail 10K (Designs for Health)— This is the most important supplement for the immune system, more important than all of the others combined. It has the dual effect of not only increasing Natural Killer cells and immune system vigor, but also reduces inflammation. This is especially important as when fighting an infection, it is important to balance the inflammatory response necessary for killing virus while guarding against overreaction that can cause more damage to healthy cells than necessary.

Dosing: Continue to take your regular dose of Vitamin D and make sure you are getting your level checked regularly so that it is not too low or too high. You can take 50,000 IU of Vitamin D for 3 days in a row if you were exposed to a virus by someone else, or at the beginning of symptoms for an extra boost.

  • Zinc Carnosine 75 mg (18 mg zinc) (Integrative Therapeutics)– This is the most well tolerated form of zinc and also has special properties that promote gut healing as well as the mucosal healing necessary for respiratory tract infections.

Dosing: Take 1-2 per day. Increase to 4 per day during an illness.

  • Lysine 500 mg (Designs for Health)– This supplement is simply an amino acid and is inexpensive and easy to tolerate and has general anti-viral activity, particularly against shingles and herpes type viruses but has been shown to help with other viruses as well, including Covid.

Dosing: Consider 1-2 per day during less risky times, and increase to 4-8 per day for up to 1-2 weeks at a time during times of exposure or early illness..

  • Colloidal Silver (Argentyn)– Silver has amazing anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It is great to have a spray bottle but consider also getting a dropper bottle, refill bottle, and nasal spray bottle.

Dosing:  Picture silver molecules coating your respiratory system. The spray bottle is easy because you can simply spray toward your face while you take some deep breaths through your nose in order to get a gentle dose throughout your whole respiratory system. You could also use a nasal spray bottle. Use one spray in each nostril (breathed in all the way through the nostrils and down to the lungs) once in the evening. Consider using up to 3-5 times per day. You can consume 1-3 droppers orally for systemic use (and particularly gut health). Swish in mouth and swallow. Silver does have a metallic taste.

  • N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) 900 mg (Designs for Health) This amino acid is a precursor to the molecule glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant. Glutathione, in addition to providing a deep energy reserve, has the ability to protect cellular components from free radical and oxidative damage. This allows someone to stay strong while fighting a virus but can be taken on a daily basis preventatively, and often gives a noticeable boost to energy and vitality. NAC also has properties that help the lungs clear secretions, which is also obviously important. A few people experience some GI upset, so be cautious, and take with food if so.

Dosing:  Take 1-2 per day, and increase to 2-4 per day if needed while sick or recovering. Can cause stomach upset so take with food if needed.

  • Nattoserrazime (Designs for Health)— This enzyme helps break down biofilm which infectious microorganisms often utilize to hide from the immune system. It has an ability to break down protein and protein fragments, including the spike protein infamous in Covid. This can help reduce the long term inflammation that can occur from Covid or Covid vaccination.

Dosing:  Take 1 per day on an empty stomach. Increase to up to 1-2 twice per day on an empty stomach during times of higher need.

  • Quercetin 500 mg (Pure Encapsulations)— Quercetin is naturally found in many foods, especially onions. It is a flavonoid which influences many processes in the body. As with some of the other supplements on this list, it can improve the body’s ability to fight virus while also reducing inflammation. It can improve mitochondrial function which is necessary for the intense energy used up during illness. It also reduces histamine which has a tendency to be overreactive during a viral illness.

Dosing: Take 1 twice per day. Increase to 2 twice per day as needed.

Other Supplements to Consider

  • Immunotone Plus (Designs for Health)– A powerful and broad spectrum immune support formula. It is reasonable to take 1-2 per day on a regular basis, but generally recommended for short term use, especially at the beginning of an illness. In such cases, take 4 capsules twice per day and continue for as long as necessary.

Dosing: It is reasonable to take 1-2 per day on a regular basis, but generally recommended for short term use, especially at the beginning of an illness. In such cases, take 2 capsules twice per day and continue for as long as necessary.

  • Ion Gut Health– The incredible minerals in Ion Gut Health are derived from 60 million year old soil that help restore your microbiome. The true basis for our immune system is the microbiome. The amazing thing is that it is our non-human cells, the microorganisms that inhabit our gut, that are the most important basis for our immune health. Use about a teaspoon (1 squirt) of this liquid in 16 ounces of water, as many times a day as needed. This method delivers the amazing benefits while allowing you to stay hydrated at the same time. It is very subtle, but picture drinking from a pure mountain stream from 60 million years ago, before humans ever inhabited the planet. Add a pinch of sea salt to the water as well for extra micronutrients.

Dosing: Use about a teaspoon (1 squirt) of this liquid in 16 ounces of water, as many times a day as needed. This method delivers the amazing benefits while allowing you to stay hydrated at the same time. It is very subtle, but picture drinking from a pure mountain stream from 60 million years ago, before humans ever inhabited the planet. Add a pinch of sea salt to the water as well for extra micronutrients.

  • Stellar C (Designs for Health)– Take 1-2 per day on a regular basis. Take up to 3-6 per day during illness. Be careful of digestive side effects. Too much Vitamin C can cause loose bowels. We recommend Ultimate C 500, which has a good dose of Vitamin C plus a broad spectrum of flavonoids that enhance this basic dose.

A Final Note, About IV Therapy

Please note, we do provide Immunity/ Vitamin C Immune Boosting IVs in our clinic, as well as ozone. These are recommended for boosting the immune system in general, or for assisting in recovering once you are no longer contagious. We do not provide them during the time of acute illness, as we need to protect our staff as well as clients with certain conditions. When you are contagious, ride it out along with the above advice. However, as you are proceeding with your plan to optimize your health, you are welcome to consult with us about whether an IV or series of IVs could play a role in shaping that plan and building your immune system.

Once you have created your plan and made some common sense preparations, know you have done what you can and stay stress free. That’s good for the immune system too!

Posted by Dr. Rob

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