Staying Safe Goes Beyond Mask Wearing, Hand Washing, and Social Distancing to Include Immune System Boosting
Engaging in immune system boosting means being strategic. This is especially true when it comes to fighting off serious viruses such as COVID-19 and the coronavirus.
Some people think we can’t strengthen our immune systems. Others believe we can take a collection of supplements to strengthen our immune function. Both are wrong.
Simply picking up vitamin C from the store to take each morning isn’t going to do much to help keep you safe from viruses, including the novel coronavirus. Like most things in life, good health is more complicated than that.
Today, we are going to focus on key nutrients which, taken in the right form and in the right dosage, have been demonstrated to strengthen immune system response.
Vitamin C for Anti-Viral Support
Vitamin C has been shown to have anti-viral properties.
The problem is, most people take ascorbic acid, because it is often less expensive, and people think that all forms of Vitamin C are the same. But this form isn’t going to be very helpful. Why? Ascorbic acid is only active in the cells for about 1.5 hours. You need anti-viral action for 24 hours, so what do you do for the other 22.5 hours?
The best form of vitamin C to for immune system boosting is liposomal vitamin C. This form is active in the cells of your body for a whopping 6 hours. Clearly, a much more active form of C. But even at that, we are not talking about “one and done” or we would be short of protection for ¾ of the day!
To provide the body with the most effective anti-viral support, you’ll want to take liposomal vitamin C four times per day. I recommend a full dose of 1,000 mg four times daily.
Yes, there are critics of using high doses of vitamin C. They will typically tell you that you are just going to pee out all that vitamin C that your body cannot use.
Yes, vitamin C is water soluble and so you will pee out some of it. That’s good! That means you cannot take in too much vitamin C and cause yourself harm. Under normal circumstances you might not want or need to flood your body with this much anti-viral protection. But these are not normal circumstances. Secondly, the fact that you will be taking liposomal vitamin C and that it stays in your system much longer means that you really aren’t peeing out anything that is still of value!
Important Roles of Zinc, Copper, and Iron in Immune Function
Another critical nutrient in boosting immunity we’ve heard a lot in this recent pandemic is zinc. Like vitamin C, zinc comes in various forms and some forms are more effective than others. But, with zinc, the story is more complex.
Taking high dose zinc actually causes problems for immune function. Zinc and copper share a transport carrier in the gut. Think of it as a delivery service with only one truck. If you have one truck that keeps transporting zinc, copper gets left on the curb.
That may not seem like a big deal until you understand how important copper is in the metabolism of iron. Copper is a key player in proper iron storage and proper iron storage is needed to prevent inflammation.
If you have been following me for a while, then you have heard me say this before: to protect our health, we must reduce inflammation.
Backing this up, you can now see that we must prevent a shortage of copper in our body. To do that, we need to take the right forms of zinc and copper together in the right ratio. I recommend 25 mg zinc picolinate with 2.5 mg copper.
Vitamin D Plays Crucial Role in Immune Function
Vitamin D is another key player in keeping our immune system running at full strength—as long as it is at the optimal level.
There are numerous studies coming out that show those with higher vitamin D levels can shake off this virus, while those with deficiencies are more likely to suffer the dire consequences.
Thinking we can get all the vitamin D we need from the sun is a common misconception. As an epigenetic nutritionist, I regularly see folks with genetic weakness in the genes involved in vitamin D synthesis, transport, and storage. The only way to know your levels is to test. Take enough vitamin D to keep your levels between 50 and 80 ng/mL.
Other Nutrients Important to Immune System Response
There are other nutrients that play a role in immune system response such as vitamin A, selenium, and the B vitamins. Eating a plant-based diet may meet your needs, but what I see in the clinic frequently are deficiencies in B vitamins due to stress.
Stress from work, family life, or even vigorous exercise causes us to burn through our B vitamins quickly. Taking a high-grade multi-vitamin and mineral formula will help ensure your needs are covered. Again, this is not to be confused with the typical one pill a day formula you buy at the local market. High-grade vitamins and minerals are also known as nutraceuticals.
The nutraceutical formulation that I recommend is Designs for Health Complete Multi.
All of these products are available in our office, 970-685-8531, and through our online store. If you want to read more about nutraceuticals, please visit our website at https://livingwellnutrition.com/natural-supplements/.
I’m a big fan of being proactive. Start your strategic immune system boosting plan today. And stay healthy and stay safe! (And keep washing your hands)