Posted by Dr. Armen Nikogosian on Apr 23, 2020 3:49:14 PM
People are thinking about their immune health more than ever.
Healthcare practitioners are trying to work remotely with patients and help them bolster their immune systems. And the population in general is searching for information on how to stay healthy.
People who are immunocompromised obviously face a greater risk of catching a bug, and infections will have a more severe impact on their health. Because of this, I want to offer some rapid immune boosting tips that will give your body the best chance at fighting off infections before they take root.
First and foremost, please note there is no measure of prevention that is guaranteed to be 100% effective.
My goal with providing this information is to arm patients and practitioners with a few extra tools that may help them to diminish risk − even if just by a little bit.
Drinking plenty of water is critical for immune function.
On an over-simplified yet fundamental level, water helps carry oxygen to cells throughout your body. When you're well-hydrated, it's not as easy for toxins to build up and overburden your immune system.
The amount of water we should drink daily varies from person to person. A good rule of thumb is kids between five and eight-years-old should drink roughly a liter or five glasses of water each day. Children between nine and twelve-years-old should drink around a liter-and-a-half or seven glasses, and teenagers and adults should drink at least eight glasses per day (roughly two liters).
Based on a study done by the CDC, the Chicago Tribune recently reported that nearly half of Americans don't drink enough water. The majority of them drink just four cups or less per day. Getting an adequate amount of water is the most basic step toward boosting your immune system, and I can't stress how important it is.
If you are only getting four or five hours of sleep per night, you're not doing your body any favors. It's essential to not only get sufficient sleep but also quality rest. Adults typically need seven to nine hours of sleep, while kids need as much as 12.
The body reduces the production of antibodies and white blood cells when we don't get sufficient sleep. Research shows that people who get too little sleep or experience poor sleep quality are more likely to get sick. This is just one reason why sleep plays such a vital role in human immune function.
Minimizing congestion helps with several things, but colloidal silver spray can be especially helpful to our immune defense.*
Colloidal silver has a direct immune-supporting effects.* It helps prevent significant amounts of outside invaders from making their way through your sinus membrane and into your system.* Any way that you can diminish the potential load of foreign invaders is an excellent preventative measure.
But remember, you have to eliminate congestion for it to work, so focus on nasal irrigation first, colloidal silver spray second.*
Zinc Lozenges work in the throat in a similar way to how nasal irrigation helps the nose.
Sucking on a zinc tablet isn't the same as taking zinc nutritional supplements. Lozenges don’t protect you on a cellular level, but rather coat your mouth and throat with a layer of film. You're trying to limit the load absorbed by your body when exposed to outside invaders.*
If you have to go out, pop a zinc lozenge in your mouth and repeat every 30 or 40 minutes while in public.
It takes time to replenish vitamin D levels, so when they are low you should start boosting it right away.
Vitamin D is an integral part of immune response modulation.* So, don't underestimate foods like cheese, egg yolks, and fatty fish. Orange juice is also rich in vitamin D and vitamin C. The good thing about vitamin C and it's antioxidant capabilities is that our bodies can raise its levels quite rapidly.*
There is a lot of discussion online about the effectiveness of wearing a mask. If you are concerned about going out in public when there is something going around, you should wear a mask, but not for the reasons that most people think.
Cheaper, cloth masks don't seal at all, and it's hard to get a perfect seal even with the N95 masks. If you talk or contort your face, the seal breaks. The shape of the mask also may not stay form-fitted due to its resting weight if not stored properly. But all “face covers” share one essential benefit for prevention: they limit your ability to touch your face.
Even a cheap medical mask or painter's mask will help because it keeps you from touching the areas around your nose and mouth. We unconsciously touch our faces up to 16 times per hour.
Probiotics are hot topic and for good reason. We've come to realize the importance of the gut microbiota and the role they play as signalers in immune and inflammatory response.* In essence, lactobacillus and Daptobacter — and their varying strains — set the tone for the body's immune function.*
Homemade fermented foods are a great way to go, such as coconut kefir and homemade sauerkraut and kombucha. If you don't have time to make these foods, high-quality supplements are an excellent option for recolonizing the GI microbiome with beneficial, immune-boosting bacteria.*
There are dozens of herbs that have proven their worth over a millennium. A few of the best plants and herbs for giving our immune system a helping hand are:*
Oregano is a known free-radical fighter.* Studies have also proven its immune properties, especially in more concentrated forms such as essential oils. *
Garlic is another common cooking ingredient we can use to help boost our immune function. Crushing or chopping garlic cloves releases Allicin, a potent immune-supporting chemical compound.*
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb often used in soup broths. Although studies are limited, astragalus has been used for centuries to help the body deal with many health challenges.*
Echinacea is well-known in the natural world as an herb that may help you feel better faster. Laboratory evidence shows that it is an immune stimulator.* However, this is still anecdotal because researches haven't been able to prove the effect on people.
Elderberry is beneficial because it may help minimize mucus production —also shows potential as a free-radical fighter and supports healthy inflammatory response.* The less mucus you produce, the fewer droplets you create when sneezing or coughing – which is better for everyone.
Chicken Soup is something that most people turn to when feeling ill. A couple of reasons it makes us feel better is because it helps to clear the sinuses and also may reduce mucus production. But chicken soup shouldn't be a last-ditch effort that we turn to after the fact. Chicken broth can be made with plenty of garlic, oregano, and astragalus for an easy-to-digest, protein-loaded, nutritious, immune-boosting meal. I recommend it as a regular in the diet of anyone who is immunocompromised.
There is no sure-fire way to ensure the maintenance of peak health. However, we can work to rapidly bolster our immune systems and take preventative measures that may drastically improve our immune capabilities.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
 "Echinacea: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage ... - WebMD." https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-981/echinacea. Accessed 8 Apr. 2020
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