Boosting Your Immune System in the Battle Against COVID-19
While pharmaceutical companies are indeed working around the clock to develop a vaccine that’s effective in preventing infection from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, don’t expect a vaccine to be available anytime soon.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a vaccine isn’t likely to be available for at least a year to 18 months. But here’s the good news: Your body is already equipped with an immune system that can be effective in warding off infection and significantly reducing the severity and duration of symptoms if you become ill.
What’s important is that you provide your immune system the support it needs for optimal function. Here at Restoration Healthcare, we recommend the following 10 tips for optimizing your body’s immune response.
1. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate!
Hydration is important for maintaining the mucous membrane in your nasal passages and reducing irritation when you cough, sneeze, or just breathe. Drink adequate amounts of fresh, filtered water — generally, at least 64 ounces daily, which is eight servings in 8-ounce glasses. Avoid beverages that dehydrate the body, including alcohol, coffee, and soda.
2. Engage in Light to Moderate Exercise.
Remain physically active as much as possible during the pandemic, exercising outside when possible, while maintaining social distancing and avoiding any shared outdoor exercise equipment. Avoid engaging in any intense workouts for more than 60 minutes at a time. Research shows that physically active people are less prone to acute respiratory infections but sustained high-intensity exercise negatively impacts immune function. In fact, serious athletes are among those considered immunocompromised.
In addition to remaining physically active and exercising, be sure to rest up and get enough quality sleep. Sleep helps your body detox, and it restores optimal function.
3. Take Vitamin C (1,000 mg 2-3 times daily).
Vitamin C may have immune-boosting effects and probably direct anti-viral effects. It seems to prevent pneumonia and reduce its severity, improve acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and sepsis and reduce ARDS/sepsis related mortality. (Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body releases excess chemicals into the bloodstream in an attempt to fight infection, causing severe inflammation that may result in multiple organ failure.)
Here are a few other interesting things to know about Vitamin C:
- Vitamin C increases neutrophil phagocytosis and chemotaxis. Neutrophils are the body’s primary defenders against invading pathogens. These cells are drawn to certain pathogens in response to their chemical composition in a movement is referred to as chemotaxis. Each neutrophil engulfs an invading microorganism and kills it, a process referred to as phagocytosis.
- Vitamin C also affects production of interferon — a protein that infected cells release to warn nearby cells to heighten their anti-viral defenses. It also enhances T and NK (natural killer) cell proliferation and modulates their function. T cells are white blood cells that are core to tailoring the body’s immune response to new pathogens. NK cells target and destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C also inhibits virus replication and is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from becoming damaged due to increased oxidative stress during infection.
- With your physician’s approval, Vitamin C may be safe without significant side effects up to doses of 1,500 mg/kg of body weight, and the doses for supplementing with the fight against pneumonia, ARDS, and sepsis are often much lower than that.
Our own in-house product — RH Mega C 4,000 — is currently in stock. If you’d like a bottle, please call the Irvine clinic at (949) 535-2322, etc. 1, and we’ll have it shipped directly to you home!
4. Train Your Anterior Cingulate.
The anterior cingulate is a region of the brain associated with several complex cognitive functions, such as empathy, impulse control, emotion, and decision-making. Meditation practices, including some types of prayer, help to develop the anterior cingulate, preventing the fight, flight, or freeze response, thereby decreasing inflammation and a strengthening the immune response.
Start with five minutes of relaxing prayer or meditation daily and work up to 20 minutes per day, which seems to be the sweet spot. It takes about three months before the impact can be observed objectively on a functional MRI.
5. Take Vitamin D (10,000 IU daily).
Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium and phosphorous absorption in the digestive tract, regulating and decreasing calcium loss from the bones, and supporting and promoting optimal cardiovascular function by supporting plasma renin function. Vitamin D may also play a role in supporting cellular health by promoting healthy glucose (sugar) metabolism and by regulating angiogenesis balance. (Angiogenesis is the process through which new blood vessels are formed from pre-existing blood vessels.)
6. Take a Quality Probiotic (at least 22 billion CFU daily).
Because 70 to 80 percent of our immune system is in our small intestine, it is vital that we have a thriving probiotic community in our intestines. Our in-house probiotic — RH Biotic Restore 22 — enhances immune system function, helps in maintaining a healthy gut-immune barrier and normal inflammatory balance, supports digestion and micronutrient absorption, and helps maintain gastrointestinal health.
Note: In addition to taking a quality probiotic, eat healthy — mostly plants along with quality protein. Avoid sweets and processed foods, which can destabilize the healthy balance of microorganisms residing in your gut.
7. Take RH Daily Restore.
Our RH Daily Restore supplement supplies key mitochondrial micronutrients and a smart combination of alpha lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, and acetyl L-carnitine to boost cellular energy production. Let us know if you’re interested in ordering this daily supplement, which can be shipped directly to your home. To place your name on the waiting list for when the next shipment arrives, please call the Irvine clinic at (949) 535-2322, ext. 1.
8. Take RH ImmUnity Restore Daily.
Our new RH ImmUnity Restore dietary supplement is a compound that offers full-spectrum immune coverage targeting viruses. It contains garlic, vitamin A, zinc, mushroom blend, and Quercetin, which are all vital for supporting immune response. Let us know if you’re interested in ordering this dietary supplement, which can be shipped directly to your home. To place your name on the waiting list for when the next shipment arrives, please call the Irvine clinic at (949) 535-2322, ext. 1.
9. Take Magnesium (400-800 mg daily).
Magnesium is essential for hundreds of biochemical processes in our body, including muscle and nerve function, glucose and blood pressure regulation, and nerve, muscle, and bone health. It also helps to ensure proper immune function. Unfortunately, modern farming and food processing practices remove magnesium from the foods we eat, leaving many of us magnesium deficient — a situation that can negatively impact the immune system’s ability to protect against infections, such as acute and viral infections like that which causes COVID-19.
10. If You Have One — Use a Far Infrared Sauna Daily.
Far infrared is a specific region in the infrared spectrum of electromagnetic radiation that has proven helpful in the fight against chronic pain, arthritis, joint stiffness, inflammation, and insomnia. It may also be used to apply heat to the sinuses to kill viruses and bacteria that tend to proliferate in the sinuses. If you have access to a far infrared sauna, now is the time to use it.
Viruses are susceptible to heat, and enough heat denatures and destroys them very readily. Viruses thrive and proliferate in cooler environments.
Viruses disintegrate at temperatures that vary widely depending on the virus. MERS-CoV, which is similar to SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be destroyed in 25 minutes at 56 degrees Celsius (132 degrees Fahrenheit) and in only one minute at 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit). Using a far infrared sauna, you can raise the temperature inside the sinuses to 132 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. And most saunas reach temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take the following steps:
- Target the maxillary and frontal sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are located on each side of your nose. The frontal sinuses are above your eyes, near your forehead.
- Wait for the sauna temperature to start climbing above 132 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Position your nose very close to the heating elements. (Touching them won’t cause a burn unless you maintain contact for a prolonged period.)
- Inhale briskly and deeply, hold for a couple seconds, and breathe out. Optimally, your nostrils will burn or sting a bit to confirm that you’re getting the maximum heat and it’s making its way into sinuses. This is similar to inhaling steam.
CAUTION: Be on the lookout for emails sent by scammers attempting to convince you to buy test kits, vaccines, and other drugs that claim to cure COVID-19. These emails and online ads often contain links that when clicked, will infect your computer and provide access to your personal data. As they say in soccer — when in doubt, kick it out (meaning: don’t click on the ad or email link).