Pandemic Toolkit - Creating Immunity
If I asked you to put your hand on your heart, would you know what to do? Most of us know that our hearts are on the left side, just below the collarbone. Now, if I asked you to put your hand on your immune system, would you know what to do? Most people don’t have any idea about where their immune system is. Of course, you know that it is inside your body; but where is it exactly?
Various organs participate in your immune system, but a majority of your immune cells and their activity happen in your small intestines. Yes, that is right, your immune system is mostly inside your digestive system. This gives a whole new meaning to “you are what you eat.” Your immune cells have direct access to the foods you eat and the beverages you drink.
It seems like diets and magic pills come and go, but strengthening your immune system isn’t likely to go out of style any time soon. Even when the pandemic is over, we will still have the lingering memories of how delicate our health status can be. Perhaps one positive note of the recent virus is that we have all become acutely aware of our immune systems. Hopefully we have each learned vital tools, skills, and habits that we will keep in place long after we have ceased sheltering in place.
Below are my top strategies for avoiding viral infections:
Studies and data are now being published about the pandemic virus. Now that this viral infection has been with us for the better part of a year, the medical community has had time to study the virus and viral patients. A recent study recorded that 90% of patients with SARS-CoV-2-associated ARDS showed undetectable vitamin C levels. They hypothesized that the virus caused the body to use all available vitamin C.
It has already been proven that vitamin C is natural anti-viral. Taking a daily dose of vitamin C can prevent and shorten the duration of a virus-induced respiratory infections. But how much should you take? There is no set answer because everyone needs a different dose.
Sufficient C is my preferred vitamin C supplement. The taste of plain vitamin C can cause a pucker and leave a bitter aftertaste. Sufficient C is a treat without added sugar. It is sweetened with stevia and also contains bromelain, green tea extract and lysine.
I recommend mega doses of vitamin C at the first sign or symptom of a cold or flu. 1000 mg or more is considered a mega dose. I recommend taking a dose each hour until symptoms have subsided, or to bowel tolerance.
To find your optimal daily dose of vitamin C, perform a bowel tolerance test.
- Start with a high-quality vitamin C powder. Don’t use anything that has added sugar because it will block absorption of the vitamin C.
- Prepare a notepad to record the time you take each dose.
- Plan to take 1000 mg each hour along with 8 ounces of water.
- Take a dose hourly until you have a loose bowel movement or diarrhea.
- Once you have loose stool, back down the dose by 1000 mg.
- On the following days, take your established personal vitamin C dose throughout the day.
For example, if you take a 1000 mg dose at 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, and 12pm, 1pm, and 2pm and then have watery stool "flush" at 2:30pm, your optimal dose would be 6000 mg. This is the dose you will take on a daily basis. It is best to divide this into one or two doses.
Transfer Point Beta Glucan is another valued component in my anti-viral plan.
Like vitamin C supplements, beta glucan supplements are a dime a dozen. You can even find them at the discount stores Walmart and Amazon. But there is a vast difference in quality and dose. Beta Glucan from Transfer Point was tested against all other beta glucan supplements available. The results showed the Transfer Point Beta Glucan was between 8 and 100 times more potent than all other products.
Many of the beta glucan supplements available are in such low doses that you could just as easily eat oats or mushrooms and get the same dose of beta glucan. But if you are looking for a high enough dose to decrease your viral flu symptoms, or avoid them altogether, you will have to take a supplement. While oats, bakers’ and brewers’, and mushrooms all have miniscule amounts of natural beta glucans, the amount is far too small to have a noticeable impact on your immune cells.
Beta glucans are immune cell stimulators. I think of them as a military sergeant for your immune cells. Just like a sergeant calls his soldiers to arms, beta glucans prime your immune cells so that they are ready for action. Here is a simple illustration of how they work in your body.
I recommend 10 mg per pound for acute illness. A 150-pound person would take 1500 mg per day or 3 of the 500 mg capsules. For prevention I recommend 500-1000 mg per day. Beta glucan is best taken 30 minutes before food or 2 hours after eating.
An added benefit is that children and pets can take Transfer Point Beta Glucan too.
Zinc is an essential mineral that your body needs in order to complete 100 functions. Ideally, you would get all of your zinc from food, but that is rare given our eating habits and food supply. Besides sexual health, zinc is linked to immune health, energy, smell and taste.
Zinc has received a lot of attention during the pandemic because it has been used as treatment and prevention. Inpatient studies found that those with lower zinc levels had a much higher death rate. Studies using zinc as a treatment for Covid are now underway.
Zinc can cause nausea, especially if you have low stomach acid. I recommend taking zinc at night with a handful of nuts as a remedy for this issue. Also, starting on a low dose and working up is another way to avoid nausea.
James Nestor wrote a New York Times Bestseller about how to breathe. He explored the ancient and recent traditions. He interviewed top researchers in breath and breathing issues such as asthma, COPD, and anxiety. He has put to rest the idea that breathing is automatic so it doesn’t matter how you do it.
He concluded that many ancient and modern breathing practices share several important principles: 1. Breathe through your nose whenever possible, even while exercising and especially while sleeping; 2. Breathe as slowly as possible unless you are doing a particular fast-paced breathing exercise. So if you want to know which breathing technique is the best, well, it doesn’t much matter. I use Wim Hoff or Kundalini Breath of Fire (fast breathing) to invigorate and wake up. I use these in the morning. In the evening, while meditating, or going to sleep, I use yoga pranayama, or 4-7-8 breathing. When my nose is clogged I use Buteyko breath pattern.
Everyone has an opinion on whether or not masks are helpful. Search the internet and you will find dozens of articles comparing cloth and other fibers that are used to make masks. The mask issue is almost as divisive as our current national politics. But, in the end, it doesn’t much matter if or how effective masks are, because every state has mandated mask wearing. So just follow the rules. Masks may not be as effective as we would like, but they certainly protect you from getting fined, and from the spittle that is inadvertently sprayed anytime someone is talking within close proximity to you.
We have all become acutely aware of how often we wash our hands. Although there is no specific number of times you should wash your hands, the duration is key. Experts recommend at least 20 seconds of scrubbing your hands together with soap. Technique is key also: washing just the palms is not very effective. Remember to lather all sides of your fingers, underneath your nails, and the backs of your hands.
I fully support DIY (do-it-yourself) health interventions. I strongly believe that every person is their own sovereign and should care for themselves in the way they see fit. And, I also believe that we should all exercise caution and good sense, as well as perform adequate research before experimenting on ourselves. Several well-known doctors including Dr. Mercola and Dr. Frank Shallenberger have recommended nebulizing hydrogen peroxide. This is a scientifically sound treatment that should be followed exactly as recommended by a doctor. Don’t substitute any ingredients. Do not use the hydrogen peroxide that you get from the drug store unless it is marked “pharmaceutical grade.” Dr. Shallenberer’s article about viruses is certainly timely given the current pandemic and our global concern about viral infections.
Let go of fear. Yes, there is actually sound science proving that fear, as well as other strong emotions, causes a decrease in your immune cell function. Now, more than ever, we need to protect and support our immune cells. There are many ways to “let go of fear.” Meditating, mindfulness, prayer, chanting, yoga, breathing exercises, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and EMDR, are among my tools. Some people use exposure therapy, various kinds of talk therapy, and visualization. Whatever it takes, find your preferred method of letting go of fear.
Check in with your mental health. The three most powerful solutions for mental health issues are: natural sunlight or a “happy light” for when there is no sunlight available; vitamin D supplements, and Omega 3 fish oil supplements. I’m a big advocate for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, meditation, and other wellness behaviors. But, these will only take you so far, if you aren’t getting adequate light, Omega 3s and vitamin D.
Nothing short of actually contracting the virus will give you true immunity. Even the new vaccines will not give you a guaranteed pass on this virus. And nothing short of living on a deserted island will keep you from being exposed to the pandemic. However, building a strong immune system will help you avoid or survive the coronavirus.
For a personalized plan for strengthening your immune system schedule a consultation with me.
For additional recipes, biohacking tips and lifestyle hacks -- check out my other blog on my coaching site www.cleancoachcarly.com! I post weekly about nutrition and lifestyle topics, all backed by science. Happy Reading!