Many patients are asking what they can do to boost their immune system. While none of us have encountered this particular Coronavirus previously, we do know the fundamentals of shoring up immunity.
Because 70-80% of immune function is found in the GI tract, any issues there should be prioritized. This starts with a healthy diet, with a particular focus on lots of veggies, some fruits and avoidance of high glycemic and especially refined carbs. Healing there can be assisted by probiotics, antimicrobials, colostrum, mucosal barrier support and other specifics based on individual concerns. An advanced stool test like the one we use here at Leaves of Life is a great way to know exactly what needs addressed to help optimize the largest part of your immune system.
Also important is managing stress, since our immune system can be inactivated during times of high stress. This is an adaptation carried over from the days when we had natural predators…it’s not important, after all, to fight a cold or flu virus if we’re about to be eaten for lunch. Managing stress can be easier said than done when infection and death tolls are being discussed on every newscast. It’s important to remember that this virus is much like other infectious agents…the healthier you are and the stronger your immunity, the less vulnerable you are. This can empower you to calmly take protective measures.
Sufficient sleep is essential for optimal immune function. If you’re practicing good sleep hygeine and still have trouble sleeping, consider seeking help from a professional. We get great results here with several different products: Perfect Sleep (DesBio), CBD, Melatonin and Alpha GABA PM.
Stay hydrated. This includes making sure your environment has a good level of humidity since bugs spread and persist more easily in dry air. The optimal level of hydration is 40-60% and can be tested and adjusted by purchasing a hygrometer for $10 or less. Hygrometer link here.
Aside from addressing GI concerns, eating healthy, managing stress and optimizing sleep and hydration, there are also natural products that can help enhance your immune response. Here are some of our favorites: (We’ve included many options because some of these are or will go on backorder as companies try to meet the demand.)
If you’ve not been taking vitamin D and you live north of Georgia, you’re likely deficient and should start with 10,000 IU daily for the next 3 weeks. At that time, we would suggest testing your blood level to determine dosing going forward. Your goal is 60-90 ng/ml. In my opinion, Vitamin D is one of the most crucial elements of protecting immunity. Here are a couple of studies from British Medical Journal and Scientific American that support that advice.
Andrographis Plus AND Essential Defense by Metagenics
Technically, the Essential Defense is meant to be taken when you’re fighting a new infection, and Andrographis Plus for once you’re actually sick, however, we find that they work best when taken together at the first sign of illness, 1 of each every hour. Often after 3-5 doses, patients are no longer sick. We suggest continuing to dose until you are symptom-free, though you can take less often as symptoms begin to abate.
Herbal Throat Spray, Propolis Throat Spray or Silver Throat Spray
Begin use at the first symptom of sore or tickly throat. Spray directly at the back of your throat 2-4 times every 1-2 hours or as needed for symptom relief. This can also be backed down as symptoms resolve.
Silver (we use Smart Silver from DesBio-dosing may vary based on ppm of silver)
1-3 tsp daily for prevention and increase to 1 tbsp 3 times daily if symptoms appear, lowering as symptoms resolve. You can also add silver to a spray bottle to use as a throat spray, add it to a neti pot for sinus rinsing, or apply it topically to disinfect wounds.
Ultra Flora Immune Booster
Helps with frequency, intensity, duration and onset of upper respiratory illness. Take one per day.
There are many different kinds of vitamin C to choose from, and you should know that taking too much can create diarrhea. This will quickly resolve if you lower your dose. Some doctors recommend dosing to bowel tolerance (just below the dose that would create diarrhea), while others recommend 1-3 grams daily. Whatever your strategy, know that vitamin C is water-soluble (unless labeled as liposomal) and will wash out within a few hours of ingestion. Liposomal provides a time-released, constant blood level, or you can simply divide your water-soluble vitamin C into several doses throughout the day.
We have several products to choose from – your provider can assist you in making the best selection for you, but be aware that chronic ingestion can cause imbalances in other minerals.
Elderberry, Viracid and Immucore are several more options should any of the options above be out of stock.
Our providers are available if you have questions or concerns surrounding symptoms or prevention. Let’s get through this together!