Infectious Disease: Build Your Immunity!

Posted on: June 5th, 2020 by Brandon No Comments

This has been a challenging and difficult time due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Our hearts are with all of the families affected both here and around the globe. 

One thing that is certain is that both during the pandemic and after, we need to focus on being the healthiest we can be. Plainly speaking, I tell my patients that it is likely you will fall into one of three groups:

  • You won’t ever get the virus because you and the people around you are practicing proper precautions.
  • You will avoid the virus until a vaccine is developed and you will become vaccinated.
  • You will get the virus.

We will leave the messages about avoiding the virus through masking and social distancing to the health experts and local authorities. The message I like to share is to “be the best you can be” so you can have the best chance to fight off any illness that may come your way. The summer will likely provide some relief – as contracting viruses is more difficult in the summer season. But next fall, if a vaccine isn’t yet available, you should continue to prepare.

How can you develop the body’s resilience to infectious disease? Start with exercise. It is free, effective, and encouraged by the CDC. According to a 2019 scientific review in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, moderate to vigorous exercise was found to improve your immune response and lower illness risk. So it’s good to include a brisk walk, a run, or even an exercise class in your daily routine.

In addition to exercise, simply focusing on a healthy regimen is important; eating a well-rounded, whole food-based diet, reducing stress, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. These are vitally important to boost your immune system so you can either avoid the virus or, if you do get it, have a case with mild or no symptoms.

Vitamin D can help regulate the immune system’s defense mechanisms that begin once a virus enters the body. Research published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine notes that vitamin D helps to promote protective immunity by stimulating the production of key cells that are involved in the immune process. The study also points out that deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity (a person’s immune system attacking their own healthy cells and tissues) as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, became known as an immune-boosting antioxidant after two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling suggested in his books (in the 1970s) that it would not only reduce the duration of the common cold, but prevent it and other viral diseases altogether by boosting the immune system. Resveratrol, quercetin, and L-glutamine are other strong antioxidants known to support the immune system. An antioxidant known as N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is popular because studies suggest it may inhibit virus replication – such as one published in Biochemical Pharmacology that found NAC effective against seasonal human influenza A viruses.

Zinc is an important immune health supplement because it is crucial for the normal development and function of the immune system’s T and B cells, which are responsible for fighting off and destroying viral and bacterial invasions.  In addition to that, a study published in Molecular Medicine found that zinc supports cells that control the body’s innate immunity.

Mushroom and elderberry extracts, as well as many other natural herbal formulas, can also play a vital role in supporting the immune system.  Scientific journals, from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition to Alternative Medicine Review, have published research showing that mushrooms such as shiitake, reishi, and maitake can enhance and stimulate the immune system by helping important cells  multiply and function better.  Read my previous article, “The Immune-Boosting Power of Mushrooms.”  Elderberry is also a powerful immune health tool, as the European Cytokine Network, Israel Medical Association Journal, and Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine all have studies demonstrating its ability to reduce the severity and/or duration of various strains of influenza virus.You can learn more about the immune-boosting power of elderberry by reading, “The Essential Natural Cold and Flu Defense.”

Just like toilet paper, many of these supplements were hard to get in March and April – but our manufacturers have caught up on most of the backorders. We have made a special page that includes some of the best immune products that are in stock.  You can view it here.

If there is a particular kind of product you do not see there, or have any other questions about recommendations or whether something is in stock right now, give our customer service team a call at (888) 460-3091, or e-mail them at customerservice@oakwaynaturals.com.

Until next time, stay healthy!

Yours in health,  

Dr. Gregg Gittins   

www.OakwayNaturals.com

Our top pick is...
ImmunoBerry

ImmunoBerry™ Liquid provides immune support in a pleasant tasting liquid. Research suggests that certain herbs, mushrooms and other natural compounds have the ability to support normal immune functions such as natural killer (NK) cell activity, cytokine synthesis and the T-cell and B-cell mediated responses. The ingredients such as Elderberry, Shiitake and Wild Cherry Bark are known for their beneficial effects for maintaining a healthy immune system. ImmunoBerry™ Liquid is ideal for both children and adults.

This has been a challenging and difficult time due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Our hearts are with all of the families affected both here and around the globe. One thing that is certain is that both during the pandemic and after, we need to focus on being the healthiest we can be.

 

The message I like to share is to “be the best you can be” so you can have the best chance to fight off any illness that may come your way. The summer will likely provide some relief – as contracting viruses is more difficult in the summer season. But next fall, if a vaccine isn’t yet available, you should continue to prepare.

How can you develop the body’s resilience to infectious disease?
How can you develop the body’s resilience to infectious disease?

Start with exercise. It is free, effective, and encouraged by the CDC. According to studies, moderate to vigorous exercise was found to improve your immune response and lower illness risk. So it’s good to include a brisk walk, a run, or even an exercise class in your daily routine.

In addition to exercise, simply focusing on a healthy regimen is important; eating a well-rounded, whole food-based diet, reducing stress, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep. These are vitally important to boost your immune system so you can either avoid the virus or, if you do get it, have a case with mild or no symptoms.

Vitamin D can help regulate the immune system’s defense mechanisms that begin once a virus enters the body. Research published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine notes that vitamin D helps to promote protective immunity by stimulating the production of key cells that are involved in the immune process. The study also points out that deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity (a person’s immune system attacking their own healthy cells and tissues) as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.

Click here to view our vitamin D recommendations.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, became known as an immune-boosting antioxidant after two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling suggested in his books (in the 1970s) that it would not only reduce the duration of the common cold, but prevent it and other viral diseases altogether by boosting the immune system. Resveratrol, quercetin, and L-glutamine are other strong antioxidants known to support the immune system. An antioxidant known as N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is popular because studies suggest it may inhibit virus replication – such as one published in Biochemical Pharmacology that found NAC effective against seasonal human influenza A viruses.

Click here to view our vitamin C recommendations.

Zinc is an important immune health supplement because it is crucial for the normal development and function of the immune system’s T and B cells, which are responsible for fighting off and destroying viral and bacterial invasions.  In addition to that, a study published in Molecular Medicine found that zinc supports cells that control the body’s innate immunity.

Click here to view our zinc recommendations.

Mushroom and elderberry extracts, as well as many other natural herbal formulas, can also play a vital role in supporting the immune system.  Scientific journals have published research showing that mushrooms such as shiitake, reishi, and maitake can enhance and stimulate the immune system by helping important cells  multiply and function better.

Elderberry is also a powerful immune health tool, as studies have demonstrated its ability to reduce the severity and/or duration of various strains of influenza virus.

Click here to view our immune support recommendations.

We hope this slide show was helpful and informative. Should you have questions, or suggestions, please feel free to fill out our Ask the Doctor form found at the Doctors Corner.

 

Yours in health!

Dr. Gittins

 

* Nieman, David and Wentz, Laurel, Journal of Sport and Health Science: The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. 2019
 
* Aranow, Cynthia, Journal of Investigative Medicine: Vitamin D and the Immune System. 2011
 
* Geiler, Janina, et al., Biochemical Pharmacology: N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) Inhibits Virus Replication and Expression of Pro-Inflammatory Molecules in A549 Cells Infected With Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Influenza A Virus. 2010
 
* Prasad, Ananda, Molecular Medicine: Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells. 2008
 
* Percival, Sue, et al., Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. 2015
 
* Barak, V., Ph.D., et al., European Cytokine Network: The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. 2001

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