Survival of the Fittest (Immune System): COVID Coverage Continued

I have been gathering the recommendations of doctors, pharmacists, and experts in the nutrition field to see what nutrients/herbs most experts are suggesting to prevent COVID-19.  I have a recommended protocol  available for 25% discount at wellevate.me/abby-wilson-kurth, but some products may be out of stock due to high demand, so this guide will help to find products with similar ingredients.  

Instructions for how to take these supplements are available for those who register on the Wellevate site (wellevate.me/abby-wilson-kurth).  You can read previous articles at abbykurthnutrition.coach.  

  1. Aller C  (Vitamin C with Quercitin)
  2. Complivir – (Vitamins A and C, zinc, monolaurin, andrographis, elderberry, astragalus, olive, ginger)
  3. Herbal Biotic – (Berberine, forsythia, loncinera, garlic, myrrh) 
  4. Immune Health Basics – ( Beta-glucans)
  5. Pro-Influenza (Homeopathic)

STRENGTHENING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

We’ve been hearing the term “immune compromised” lately in relation to the COVID-19 virus.  Compromise means ‘to accept standards that are lower than desirable’, but I don’t think we need to compromise by accepting a weakened immune system – there are ways to strengthen our defenses against viruses and other microbes. My way of helping at this time is to offer some information that might support people to prevent the COVID-19 virus. 

Excerpts from an article by Biotics Research indicate that the immune system is defined as a complex network of cells, tissues, organs and the substances they make (cytokines, antibodies, etc.) that help the body fight infections and other diseases.  This network includes white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system, such as the thymus, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and bone marrow. 

What is a Strong Immune System?

A strong immune system has both powerful adaptive (respond to a specific pathogen) and innate immunity (physical, chemical and cellular defenses against pathogens); both work together to protect the self from foreign invaders. Living a healthy lifestyle boosts the immune system in many ways. Typically people between the ages of 10 and 50 will have stronger immune systems when compared with infants and the elderly. Other factors that contribute to having a strong immune system include lower stress and getting a good night’s sleep.

Can the immune system be too strong?  Dr. Kendall Stewart postulates that people who mount an extremely strong immune response may often be of European extraction and are the offspring of ancestors who survived the Bubonic Plague in the mid-1300’s due to this overly active immune response.  Prescription low dose Naltrexone is helpful, but natural anti-inflammatory products like Tumeric, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C and Quercitin also help calm the immune over-reaction. 

The good news of the overly active immune response was noted in one study where elderly people who had high levels of self-reactive antibodies (capable of fighting their own tissue) lived longer.  The downside was that they were more likely to have autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.  Another downside is that the fatal complications from COVID-19 are often the result of ‘cytokine storm’, where the immune system runs amok without brakes and/or a chance for the body to clear out the weapons created by the immune system (white blood cells, cytokines).  

Substances that strengthen immunity and/or healthy lifestyle habits won’t make the immune system even more reactive, but rather will bring it into balance.  Normally immune systems that fight themselves are due to genetic factors in the innate immune system, but we can influence how genes are expressed with lifestyle choices and nutrition.  

Weak Immune System 

An immune system might be considered “weak” due to a person’s age, if someone is health-compromised from a medical issue, poor lifestyle (alcohol, lack of exercise, poor diet), or if taking medication that lowers the immune response. Pharmacist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist Lisa Everett Andersen writes that coronaviruses use the ACE2 enzyme to “adhere to the targeted lung cells causing…excess mucus” and more.  “Some drugs raise circulating levels of ACE2. These include ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (i.e. lisinopril), and angiotensin II type-I receptor blockers (ARBs), (i.e. Valsartan).”

A blood test can determine how well an immune system is functioning by looking at levels of immunoglobulins, for example, which are proteins that fight infection. The test will also compare your levels of white blood cells and red blood cells to detect any possible weakness in your immune system.

Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System 

   1. Exercise.   In a year-long study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, researchers found that walking for half an hour a day can cut your chances of getting a cold in half, but let your body rest and repair if you do get sick.  

  2. Immune System Boosting Foods.  The foods that we eat impact our health greatly.  Best foods are: 

  • Bell Pepper
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Turmeric (curry)
  • Oily fish
  • Broccoli (especially broccoli sprouts)
  • Sweet Potato
  • Spinach
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Blueberries
  • Foods listed in a previous article (raw garlic, coconut oil, oregano, kimchi, fermented foods, walnut, pomegranate, green tea, apple cider vinegar, and mushrooms (shiitake, reishi, cordyceps, and turkeytail). 

3.  Avoid immune depleting foods.   Studies have shown that ingesting about 20 teaspoons of sugar (the amount that is contained in two average 12-ounce sodas) caused a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. The immune suppression was most noticeable two hours after eating, but the effect was still evident five hours after.  

4.  Nutrients to Boost the Immune System

  1. Vitamin A – is used throughout the body, especially the lungs,  and promotes a healthy immune system. 20,000 – 30,000 IU daily. Sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, algae, and cod liver oil.
  2. Vitamin C – can help support cellular functions needed by the immune system,  especially waste removal from the body. Sources of vitamin C include oranges, orange juice, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, and red bell peppers.  3,000 mg per day for prevention.  One source recommends 1,000 mg for ever hour awake if infected by the virus. 
  3. Vitamin D – 10,000 daily to prevent.  One source recommends 20,000 iu per day for 5 days if infected.  Powers up your cells and gives them the ability to fight disease. Vitamin D should come from sunlight and fortified foods, but supplements are advised during the winter months. 
  4. Zinc – 20 mg/day for prevention.  Plays a central role in the immune system, including protection against pathogens. Zinc is also an antioxidant that can help balance cells. Sources of zinc include seafood, chickpeas, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  5. Probiotics — Two strains called Lactobacillus delbrueckii LE and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LB3 work synergistically in combination to support otolaryngeal health and overall immunity.

5.  Herbs and Phytonutrients  These are the herbs I’m seeing most often recommended in a COVID-19 prevention plan. 

  1. Monolaurin – is derived from coconut oil and in research it seems to disintegrate the protective viral envelope, killing the virus, and in other studies it prevented the virus from attaching to its host (which is us).  
  2. Andrographis – is an herb also known as “Indian echinacea” and thought to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. 
  3. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra).  Neurobiologix has indicated in an article that Black Elderberry is best thought of as a preventative and not a treatment for flu.  Elderberry does raise the compounds of the immune system that create a “cytokine storm”, but not to any significant degree. 
  4. Astragalus – Astragalus contains anti-oxidants and “also supports deep immune function by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells and aids in their function” (Gaia Herbs). 
  5. Forsythia/Loncinera are often used in formulas together.  It promotes a healthy immune system , supports the respiratory system and benefits throat health.  Generally work best at the first sign of illness before it has settled in. 
  6. Garlic – Allicin exists only in raw garlic and works inside the body by promoting the ability of white blood cells to fight infections, and by stimulating other immune cells which fight viral and bacterial infections.
  7. Bioflavinoids – Bioflavonoids are found in citrus fruits, green peppers, lemons, limes, oranges, cherries, and grapes. Quercetin is a highly concentrated form of bioflavonoids found in broccoli, citrus fruits, and red and yellow onions.  Bioflavinoids have been studied in viruses and I find Quercitin immensely helpful with allergies.  
  8. Beta-glucans – A study on the National Institutes of Health site found that “dietary glucans can significantly reduce the effects of influenza infection.”

If infected Pharmacist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist Tom Schnorr recommends alternating Tylenol and aspirin 2 tables every 2 hours for a fever over 102 degrees.  Sources note that a fever up to 102 degrees is the immune system doing it’s job and should not be an issue for most people. 

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST (IMMUNE SYSTEM)  COVID Coverage Continued

I have been gathering the recommendations of doctors, pharmacists, and experts in the nutrition field to see what nutrients/herbs most experts are suggesting to prevent COVID-19.  I have a recommended protocol  available for 25% discount at wellevate.me/abby-wilson-kurth, but some products may be out of stock due to high demand, so this guide will help to find products with similar ingredients.  

Instructions for how to take these supplements are available for those who register on the Wellevate site (wellevate.me/abby-wilson-kurth).  You can read previous articles at abbykurthnutrition.coach.  

  1. Aller C  (Vitamin C with Quercitin)
  2. Complivir – (Vitamins A and C, zinc, monolaurin, andrographis, elderberry, astragalus, olive, ginger)
  3. Herbal Biotic – (Berberine, forsythia, loncinera, garlic, myrrh) 
  4. Immune Health Basics – ( Beta-glucans)
  5. Pro-Influenza (Homeopathic)

STRENGTHENING YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

We’ve been hearing the term “immune compromised” lately in relation to the COVID-19 virus.  Compromise means ‘to accept standards that are lower than desirable’, but I don’t think we need to compromise by accepting a weakened immune system – there are ways to strengthen our defenses against viruses and other microbes. My way of helping at this time is to offer some information that might support people to prevent the COVID-19 virus. 

Excerpts from an article by Biotics Research indicate that the immune system is defined as a complex network of cells, tissues, organs and the substances they make (cytokines, antibodies, etc.) that help the body fight infections and other diseases.  This network includes white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system, such as the thymus, spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and bone marrow. 

What is a Strong Immune System?

A strong immune system has both powerful adaptive (respond to a specific pathogen) and innate immunity (physical, chemical and cellular defenses against pathogens); both work together to protect the self from foreign invaders. Living a healthy lifestyle boosts the immune system in many ways. Typically people between the ages of 10 and 50 will have stronger immune systems when compared with infants and the elderly. Other factors that contribute to having a strong immune system include lower stress and getting a good night’s sleep.

Can the immune system be too strong?  Dr. Kendall Stewart postulates that people who mount an extremely strong immune response may often be of European extraction and are the offspring of ancestors who survived the Bubonic Plague in the mid-1300’s due to this overly active immune response.  Prescription low dose Naltrexone is helpful, but natural anti-inflammatory products like Tumeric, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C and Quercitin also help calm the immune over-reaction. 

The good news of the overly active immune response was noted in one study where elderly people who had high levels of self-reactive antibodies (capable of fighting their own tissue) lived longer.  The downside was that they were more likely to have autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.  Another downside is that the fatal complications from COVID-19 are often the result of ‘cytokine storm’, where the immune system runs amok without brakes and/or a chance for the body to clear out the weapons created by the immune system (white blood cells, cytokines).  

Substances that strengthen immunity and/or healthy lifestyle habits won’t make the immune system even more reactive, but rather will bring it into balance.  Normally immune systems that fight themselves are due to genetic factors in the innate immune system, but we can influence how genes are expressed with lifestyle choices and nutrition.  

Weak Immune System 

An immune system might be considered “weak” due to a person’s age, if someone is health-compromised from a medical issue, poor lifestyle (alcohol, lack of exercise, poor diet), or if taking medication that lowers the immune response. Pharmacist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist Lisa Everett Andersen writes that coronaviruses use the ACE2 enzyme to “adhere to the targeted lung cells causing…excess mucus” and more.  “Some drugs raise circulating levels of ACE2. These include ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (i.e. lisinopril), and angiotensin II type-I receptor blockers (ARBs), (i.e. Valsartan).”

A blood test can determine how well an immune system is functioning by looking at levels of immunoglobulins, for example, which are proteins that fight infection. The test will also compare your levels of white blood cells and red blood cells to detect any possible weakness in your immune system.

Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System 

   1. Exercise.   In a year-long study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, researchers found that walking for half an hour a day can cut your chances of getting a cold in half, but let your body rest and repair if you do get sick.  

  2. Immune System Boosting Foods.  The foods that we eat impact our health greatly.  Best foods are: 

  • Bell Pepper
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Turmeric (curry)
  • Oily fish
  • Broccoli (especially broccoli sprouts)
  • Sweet Potato
  • Spinach
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Blueberries
  • Foods listed in a previous article (raw garlic, coconut oil, oregano, kimchi, fermented foods, walnut, pomegranate, green tea, apple cider vinegar, and mushrooms (shiitake, reishi, cordyceps, and turkeytail). 

3.  Avoid immune depleting foods.   Studies have shown that ingesting about 20 teaspoons of sugar (the amount that is contained in two average 12-ounce sodas) caused a fifty- percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria. The immune suppression was most noticeable two hours after eating, but the effect was still evident five hours after.  

4.  Nutrients to Boost the Immune System

  1. Vitamin A – is used throughout the body, especially the lungs,  and promotes a healthy immune system. 20,000 – 30,000 IU daily. Sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, dark green leafy vegetables, carrots, algae, and cod liver oil.
  2. Vitamin C – can help support cellular functions needed by the immune system,  especially waste removal from the body. Sources of vitamin C include oranges, orange juice, broccoli, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, and red bell peppers.  3,000 mg per day for prevention.  One source recommends 1,000 mg for ever hour awake if infected by the virus. 
  3. Vitamin D – 10,000 daily to prevent.  One source recommends 20,000 iu per day for 5 days if infected.  Powers up your cells and gives them the ability to fight disease. Vitamin D should come from sunlight and fortified foods, but supplements are advised during the winter months. 
  4. Zinc – 20 mg/day for prevention.  Plays a central role in the immune system, including protection against pathogens. Zinc is also an antioxidant that can help balance cells. Sources of zinc include seafood, chickpeas, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  5. Probiotics — Two strains called Lactobacillus delbrueckii LE and Lactobacillus rhamnosus LB3 work synergistically in combination to support otolaryngeal health and overall immunity.

5.  Herbs and Phytonutrients  These are the herbs I’m seeing most often recommended in a COVID-19 prevention plan. 

  1. Monolaurin – is derived from coconut oil and in research it seems to disintegrate the protective viral envelope, killing the virus, and in other studies it prevented the virus from attaching to its host (which is us).  
  2. Andrographis – is an herb also known as “Indian echinacea” and thought to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. 
  3. Elderberry (Sambucus nigra).  Neurobiologix has indicated in an article that Black Elderberry is best thought of as a preventative and not a treatment for flu.  Elderberry does raise the compounds of the immune system that create a “cytokine storm”, but not to any significant degree. 
  4. Astragalus – Astragalus contains anti-oxidants and “also supports deep immune function by promoting normal levels of specific immune cells and aids in their function” (Gaia Herbs). 
  5. Forsythia/Loncinera are often used in formulas together.  It promotes a healthy immune system , supports the respiratory system and benefits throat health.  Generally work best at the first sign of illness before it has settled in. 
  6. Garlic – Allicin exists only in raw garlic and works inside the body by promoting the ability of white blood cells to fight infections, and by stimulating other immune cells which fight viral and bacterial infections.
  7. Bioflavinoids – Bioflavonoids are found in citrus fruits, green peppers, lemons, limes, oranges, cherries, and grapes. Quercetin is a highly concentrated form of bioflavonoids found in broccoli, citrus fruits, and red and yellow onions.  Bioflavinoids have been studied in viruses and I find Quercitin immensely helpful with allergies.  
  8. Beta-glucans – A study on the National Institutes of Health site found that “dietary glucans can significantly reduce the effects of influenza infection.”

If infected Pharmacist and Certified Clinical Nutritionist Tom Schnorr recommends alternating Tylenol and aspirin 2 tables every 2 hours for a fever over 102 degrees.  Sources note that a fever up to 102 degrees is the immune system doing it’s job and should not be an issue for most people. 

Hope this gives you some weapons to defend yourselves and leave you healthy enough to sing  Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” at the top of your lungs.  

Hope this gives you some weapons to defend yourselves and leave you healthy enough to sing  Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” at the top of your lungs.