Immunity: Building A Solid Foundation

It’s a good time to apply some cornerstone fundamentals that create a comprehensive defense. Certainly now, taking the targeted nutrients; anti-viral and respiratory support supplements is a very good thing. But now, we especially need to start the journey from the other end to lay that foundation to build core immunity that can boost the targeted immunity (actions for a specific condition i.e. Covid-19) to be even more functional. Most importantly, this includes addressing:

  • pH and inflammation levels
  • nutritional vitamin and mineral levels
  • maintaining a healthy gut and
  • addressing underlying, chronic issues and defining any toxic or sensitivity factors.

Though evaluation and follow – up of this may involve clinical applications the big start IS ALL YOU.

Boosting your immune status is much the same as approaching any chronic condition in a nutritional manner – it will just make other issues better too.

This will be the beginning of a few installments to provide you some solid tips: Adopting good habits works well even a bit at a time to build that immunity. I always caution my patients that what I suggest may sound like what most people already know about fundamental health/nutrition so DON’T FALL SHORT, DO IT!

This starts as much with testing and lifestyle changes as supplementing with a nutrient.
Start here considering these three, initial factors:

  1. Gut health is paramount and primary. If you are experiencing issues, get tested.
    We can tend to forget that heart burn after eating and eliminating only 4 times per week is NOT normal, everybody!
    Consider a comprehensive stool analysis. Independent labs will have better test choices.
    They can be expansive and that is where clinical evaluation is warranted. But a thorough test most always includes; Common bacteria, parasites, yeast, gut microbiome, digestion and absorption markers and gut immune factors.
    We routinely order these for our patients.
  2. The literature suggests these core, immune vitamins at therapeutic levels. This would be barring any clinical contraindications and monitoring them as limits are reached.
    • A – 25,000 IUs per day
    • D – 15,000 IUs per day
    • C – 3 gms. per day – Consider a “C-calibration” to evaluate a maintenance dose.

    I’m in favor of formulations, multi – vitamins for example, where you might get all the Vit. A. You will most probably have to supplement Vitamins D and C, some may be in your other vitamin formulas so include in your dosage

  3. Zinc – The lone mineral here deserves mention – and not that an array of minerals isn’t a good foundation but be sure that this one is in an adequate, daily dose. The Coronavirus appears to be susceptible to the viral inhibitory actions of zinc. It also may prevent coronavirus entry into cells and appears to reduce the virulence. Typical daily dosing of zinc is 15 mg 30 mgs. There are available lozenges potentially providing this protective effect of the upper respiratory tract.
  4. Food and Lifestyle changes.
    Stop eating sugar! And stop eating processed “white”. Both of these are seen in baked goods; donuts, cookies, chips, and the hard one, bread. Everything I mentioned can be, yes, produced and purchased in a healthy, non-gluten and best, an organic version but these are typically what we skimp on to buy the healthier product. So, at lesser amounts these would be okay – but watch the carbs!
  5. Drink plenty of filtered/spring water.
    Clean water is crucial. Aim to drink about half your body weight in ounces each day (i.e. if you weigh 150lbs, aim to drink 75oz of water daily).

The effects of nutritional interventions in the progression of chronic diseases can take weeks, months, and even years in some cases. I do not suggest that personalized nutrition is a magic bullet to a global viral pandemic, however, personalized nutrition strategies beneficially influence the interplay between biology and nutrition.

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Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins A and D take Centre stage J. Rodrigo Mora, Makoto Iwata, Ulrich H. von Andrian
Nat Rev Immunol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 Jul 20.
Published in final edited form as: Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Sep; 8(9): 685–698. doi: 10.1038/nri2378V

Effects of Vitamin A Supplementation on Immune Responses and Correlation with Clinical Outcomes Eduardo Villamor, Wafaie W. Fawzi
Clin Microbiol Rev. 2005 Jul; 18(3): 446–464. doi: 10.1128/CMR.18.3.446-464.2005

Evaluation of vitamin D3 intakes up to 15,000 international units/day and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations up to 300 nmol/L on calcium metabolism in a community setting S. M. Kimball, N. Mirhosseini, M. F. Holick
Dermatoendocrinol. 2017; 9(1): e1300213. Published online 2017 Apr 13. doi: 10.1080/19381980.2017.

Papain-Like Protease 2 (PLP2) from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV):  Expression, Purification, Characterization, and Inhibition Yu-San Han,‡, Gu-Gang Chang,§, Chiun-Gung Juo,‖, Hong-Jen Lee,‡, Shiou-Hwei Yeh,⊥, John Tsu-An Hsu,‡ and, and Xin Chen*,‡Biochemistry 2005 44 (30), 10349-10359
DOI: 10.1021/bi0504761

According to the ANA – American Nutrition Association
“The above is general information about the actions of certain foods, nutrients, and compounds. Please focus on food first, and use caution before introducing any of the following measures. These should not replace formal, personalized advice that considers your health status, health history, medications, and supplements. Again, information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any condition and should be discussed with your healthcare team and physician.

Again, no foods, nutrients, or supplements have been shown to prevent or mitigate this virus, but many play supportive roles in immune function, especially for those individuals with nutrient deficiencies or nutrient-poor diets. By optimizing our health, we may be able to reduce the strain on our overburdened healthcare system.”