Boost Immune System Tips COVID 19 Pandemic

Corona Virus has arrived.  If you think you can hide behind walls of toilet paper you are kidding yourself. Complete avoidance is virtually impossible unless you are totally isolated or wear a hazmat suit when pumping gas, getting your morning coffee, using any public restroom, or entering a hospital. However, if you are elderly or immunocompromised you should be at home under voluntary quarantine for your own safety. Compromised Immune systems can result from many illnesses or even by medications that you are given by a physician. Medicines for cancer and rheumatologic conditions are high on that list.

Exposure to viruses and bacteria is inevitable. Follow this list to boost your immunity and lower your exposure. This way when you are exposed to germs, your body is primed and ready for the fight. Read about what Corona virus does in your body.

I. WASH YOUR HANDS LIKE YOU MEAN IT

A. Some 80% of exposure to germs occurs through touch, making proper handwashing key to protecting yourself.

B. Warm water kills germs better than cold water.

C. Water with soap is better than hand sanitizer. Soap v. Sanitizer

D. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice to make sure you washed long enough. Wash off grease and dirt before you start to sing.

E. Hand sanitizer is better than nothing but not better than soap and warm water. So when there is no soap and water around, use hand sanitizer.

F.  Anti-bacterial soap is usually not Anti-virus. Gels with 60%+ alcohol do have some anti-viral activity.

G. CDC guide on how to handwash


II. PAY BILLS WISELY

A. Money is filthy. You won’t shake hands but you will touch bills and coins? Money is dirty

B. A better choice is credit card payment. Use a contactless card or your mobile phone. If you must use a card and sign with a pen, then carry your own pen. Pens in public places are wonderful homes for germs. Common items that are germ magnets

III. MAINTAIN GUT HEALTH

A. Your stomach is like a giant vessel of healthy bacteria. If you have enough good bacteria and you happen to swallow a bad one (gross…. I know), then your good bacteria will kill the evil germs. Keep your gut primed for attack.

  1. Prebiotics are nutrients that promote the growth of good bacteria. Whole fruits and vegetables with skin on (containing essential fiber) are a great way to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut. Sourdough is one of the healthiest things you can eat for your microbiome and a great source of fermented fibrous material. Read about the benefits of Prebiotics
  2. Probiotics are bacteria known to be beneficial to the body. By topping off the good bacteria with a good probiotic (see below) the system operates with maximum efficiency. Read about the benefits of probiotics
  3. Phytonutrients possess anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Read about the benefits of Phytonutrients
  4. Garlic contains Allicin. Allicin is a well-studied chemical known for anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial effects. Allicin is released when garlic has been crushed and left out before cooking. Garlic supplements do not appear to be effective. Read about the benefits of Garlic
  5. Water is required to prevent dehydration and to keep the lining of the digestive tract (and respiratory tract) moist.  This will prevent unwanted bacteria and viruses from entering cells and infecting you.

a) Ten cups or water a day is sufficient for most people. Imagine that the water washes bad germs into your digestive tract where the good bacteria can do their job. No water means the germs can live in your mouth and you might inhale them into the respiratory tract where they can cause infectious pneumonia.

b) Caffeine and alcohol do not count as water and actually have the opposite effect…dehydration.

IV. SLEEP

A. For the immune system to work efficiently, sleep is required. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Read about Sleep and Immunity

B.  Sleeping pills are not advised unless you already take them.

V. EXERCISE

A. The lymphatic system works to move toxins out of the body. Keeping muscles moving allows the lymphatic system to do its job.

B. Taking a twenty-minute walk in sunshine is great for a mental break.  Exercise and sunshine help with Vitamin D function, and the virus is not a fan of sunshine and ultraviolet light.

C. Muscle building aids the thymus gland to help with immune cell production.

D. Read about Physical Activity and Immunity

VI. NUTRITION

A. Supplements

  1. Vitamin D data from 16 clinical trials with over 7,000 people demonstrated that taking Vitamin D supplements reduced the risk of experiencing at least one respiratory infection by one-third. The benefit is even greater in people with low vitamin D levels to start. Another study in the British Medical Journal reviewed 25 studies involving more than 11,000 people. Vitamin D supplements reduced the risk of acute respiratory infections by 11 percent. Vitamin D can be administered in a liquid or pill form. Read the study here
  2. Zinc is not made by the body; it must be consumed. Zinc supports immune system function. Natural sources include chocolate, shellfish, red meat, legumes, and seeds. Too much zinc can be toxic, so be careful.
  3. Turmeric / Curcumin has long been used in Indian cultures as a seasoning for food. But it is also used clinically to support a healthy inflammatory response, strengthen the GI barrier integrity, boost immune function, and offer antioxidant protection. Read more about this magical spice
  4. Vitamins B and C help support a healthy immune system. A good multi-vitamin will supply plenty of these vitamins.

B. Inflammatory foods to avoid

  1. Sugar, processed meats, vegetable oils, and alcohol can cause inflammation and tie up the immune system, leaving other more important problems unaddressed.

VII. STRESS

A. Stress releases hormones that are bad for the immune system. Reducing stress increases immunity.

B. Stress reduction occurs by spending time with people or participating in activities you enjoy. Meditation, yoga, and exercise are all easy to do at home.

C. Try to avoid binge watching or obsessively reading the news. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it is not helping any of us.

VIII. TOXINS

A. Avoid tobacco, air pollution, and pesticides. These are devastating for the immune system.

 IX. IMMUNITY BOOST

To assist with your Immunity Boost, I would like you to give yourself the gift of health by considering the following supplements that I personally recommend and use, as they have proven to be the most effective for me, my family, my colleagues, my patients, my friends, and my staff.    If you have any questions or complications placing an order please call us at 805-370-6877.  Glenn Cohen MD. Article from Glen Cohen MD. Article above written by Glenn Cohen MD.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.