Coronavirus and an Immune Strategy
Dr. Michael Kane
The emergence of potentially deadly viral infections is nothing new. The real time tracking of the recent corona Virus has highlighted just how difficult a problem containment can be in a world that is so easily traveled. Teams of scientists and epidemiologist work to track, contain, and determine treatment options in a health crisis to minimize the impact these viruses can have on the global population. It leaves most of us in a state of worry or concern about possible exposure. The fear can be immobilizing for some. It is important to know that there are general things we can do to help prevent exposure. There are also ways to make sure our immune systems have a solid foundation of support.
Key immune system strategies for a strong foundation include:
- Take steps to avoid infection. Hand washing with soap and water especially if you are in public spaces is important.
- Restful sleep. Sleep is critical for the body and the immune system.
- Good nutrition. Diets full of fruits and vegetables that contain a nutrient dense profile are good for immune support.
- Avoid sweets and sugar. Immune system function decreases with the ingestion of sugar.
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol can impact immune function.
- Don’t smoke. Smoke can create inflammation in the lungs.
- Ensure good hydration. Hydration is key for most bodily functions.
- Exercise regularly. A fit body is stronger in many ways
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can have multiple health impacts.
- Minimize stress. High stress can weaken the immune system.
Innate immune system support
There are two arms of the immune system. They are Adaptive Immunity (aka Humoral Immunity) and Innate Immunity.
Adaptive immunity involves a multistep process where the scouts of the immune system identify and warn the body of invaders so that the specific antibodies can be made to attach to the invaders so they can be identified for a system wide attack. The adaptive process takes time and the lag time can be a problem.
Innate immunity contains independent body protectors that are on the lookout for invaders. Cells like Natural Killer Cells act like hired guards that can target virus and cancer cells on the spot. Immune support for Natural Killer Cells is a good immune boosting strategy.
A review of Literature finds some key components that can support these Natural Killer Cells.
The supportive compounds can be from a few categories.
Vitamins – Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, Vitamin D and Vitamin E
Polysaccharides – Mushrooms (Shitake, Cordyecps, Mitake), Bee propillis, Echinacea
Phytochemicals – plant compounds Resveratrol, Garlic, and Curcumin
Most of the compounds mentioned above have a therapeutic dose and are usually well tolerated. In our practice, we often will have a discussion with patients on how to best boost immune function. We will check blood work for nutrient levels and check for potential medication and supplement interactions.
If you would like an immune boosting formula that takes into account your specific needs, let us know.
Natural Immunomodulators 2018
Volume 2018 Article ID 4868417
Effect of Natural Compounds on NK Cell Activation
Malgorzata,Grudzein and Andrzej Rapak,
Laboratory of tumor Molecular Immunobiology, Lucwik Hirszfeld Institue of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Wroclaw , Poland
Immunomodullatory Effects of Mycelium Extract of Cordyceps
Su-Jin Jung, Eun-Soo Jung
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 19 Article number 77
Echinacea purpurea and melatonin augment NK cells in leukemic mice and prolong life span.
Journal of Alternative and Complement Med 2001, June 7 (3)
Currier Nl, Miller, SC
A Water soluble derivative of propolis augments cytotoxic activity of NK cells.
J Ethnopharmacol, 2018 May 23;
Takeda k, Nagamatsu K , Okumura K
Consuming Leninula edodes (shiitake) Mushrooms daily improves human immunity.
J Am Coll Nutr 2015;34(6) 478-87
Dai X, Stanika Jm, Rowe CA,