We continue to receive many calls and emails asking about the best supplements to protect and strengthen our immune system. So, I wanted to provide this follow-up to answer the most common questions, which include the following:
Is the Coronavirus Deadly?
Currently, the coronavirus is estimated to have at most a two to three percent fatality rate. So, while the vast majority of individuals who contract coronavirus have mild symptoms that resolve without complication. Some have no symptoms at all, which is why people are often walking around or traveling and spreading the virus without even knowing they are infected. And, as we previously mentioned, those most at risk have other pre-existing conditions that leave their immune or respiratory system compromised. Those at risk are patients with uncontrolled diabetes, heart disease, COPD or emphysema, the elderly or immune-compromised.
Additionally, as we are all well aware now, the number of severe cases could quickly overwhelm our hospitals.
Let’s take a deeper look at exactly how the coronavirus affects the body so you can have a better understanding of how to protect yourself.
How the Coronavirus Affects the Body:
The “SARS” in the coronaviruses’ official name “SARS-COV-2” stands for “Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome” because it can cause a sudden onset of respiratory failure. Coronavirus can lead to respiratory failure by causing:
- Damage to the membrane where gas is exchanged in your lungs
- Oxidative damage
- An uncontrolled inflammation from excessive production of cytokines
If your body becomes infected, the virus attaches to the surface of epithelial cells in the lungs, spleen, and lymphatic system. Once your body is alerted to the invaders, your immune system goes to work and deploys immune cells and sets off a cascade of chemical messengers, causing what is known as a “cytokine storm.” Cytokines are a type of chemical messenger the immune system uses to communicate with the rest of the body.
This flooding of cytokines and immune cells into the tissues of the respiratory tract is what causes damage to the alveolar-capillary barrier, oxidative damage, and uncontrolled inflammation.
This combination essentially halts the lung cell’s ability to move mucus out of the lungs and triggers the immune system to begin attacking your own lung cells. In susceptible individuals whose immune or respiratory systems are compromised, this can result in a severe lack of oxygen in the body, which eventually leads to death.
Fortunately, your chances of dying from coronavirus are pretty slim. But there are some simple steps you can and should take to protect yourself from coronavirus.
How to Boost Your Immune System:
Since you are already familiar regarding avoidance and hand washing, I will move right into ways of supporting your immune system. First, I would like to emphasize there are no medications or supplements (at this time) that have been clinically shown to directly kill the coronavirus. So, I encourage you to avoid anyone selling products making these claims.
In the previous article, we discussed supporting the immune system by:
- Getting plenty of sleep (7-9 hours per night).
- Reduce stress. Both emotional and physical stress increase inflammation and weaken your immune system making it more difficult to fight off infections.
- Take care of your gut. Your gut and immune system are closely linked. Make sure you are eating a healthy diet consisting of real foods including fruits and vegetables, and sufficient fiber to help stay regular and move out toxins.
Not only does this holistic approach make you more able to fight off infections but it will improve your overall health and wellness.
Since we have received so many calls and emails asking about supplements to boost immunity, we have put together this list of our top recommendations:
Mitocore - This is a great combination product that contains NAC, ALA, and acetyl L-carnitine, all of which have been shown to support immune function. It also has green tea, broccoli seed extract, resveratrol, and many vitamins.
IgG Protect (or SBI Protect) - This is highly concentrated immunoglobulin G and colostrum which improves immune modulation and strengthens the gut-immune barrier.
Liposomal Glutathione - While the NAC in the Mitocore will help increase glutathione production, studies have shown oral supplementation of glutathione elevates glutathione stores improving immune function and lowering levels of oxidative stress. (Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jan;72(1):105-111. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.132. Epub 2017 Aug 30.)
Probiotics - I am personally taking Ortho Biotic, but any good probiotic can help.
Vitamin C - I like buffered vitamin C powder and take a scoop morning and evening. Vitamin C brands we stock include Pure Encapsulations buffered C, Liposomal-C, Thorne buffered C, and C-Flav.
Vitamin D - I personally take 1000 IU daily. However, at this time I have increased my dosage to 5000 IU daily and will maintain this dosage for a few weeks.
So, How Concerned Should You Be?
As with all contagious illnesses, coronavirus should be taken seriously. With some preventative measures, you can drastically reduce your chances of contracting coronavirus or any other infectious disease. While strengthening your immune system is wise, avoidance is best. We strongly recommend you follow the recommendations of protecting yourself and others by remaining at home as much as possible. If we all work together we can get this under control much more quickly.
Being proactive by educating yourself and taking measures to keep your immune system running smoothly is your best bet when it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones against this emerging virus.
As always, we welcome your questions and comments.
To your health!
Mike and the Vitopia Team