Because of the Corona virus scare, people have been asking what they can do about it. In addition to being a doctor of chiropractic, I'm also a certified clinical nutritionist, certified functional medicine practitioner and have been helping chronically ill people for 36 years.
Who is at risk with the Corona virus? Those whose immune systems are compromised, and people who are malnourished. Also, older people are more susceptible. If you are not immunocompromised or malnourished, you aren't going to die. And there is no reason to panic.
Here's some of the things you CAN do:
Strategy 1: Use universal precautions. That means washing your hands with soap on a regular basis. While the Corona virus affects the respiratory system, touching mucus membranes and then touching somebody else facilitates transmission. Essentially follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
Strategy 2: Do your best not to live in fear or anxiety about the situation. Yes, it is a serious matter that requires our attention. However, it is important to note that when we get trapped in a fear response our immune systems shut down in favor of survival mechanisms, which actually further heighten our anxiety! Be wise and discerning about your lifestyle practices and choices, and trust you are doing what you can to keep yourself and your family safe.
Strategy 3: Eat clean. One of the ways to optimize your immune system function is to optimize your diet by eating as clean as you can. Eliminate sugar, junk food, fast food, dairy, gluten, and anything with ingredients you cannot pronounce. Avoid eating processed sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system and makes it less able to deal with viruses and bacteria. Be sure to read food labels carefully and to limit the amount of sugar you eat.
Strategy 4: Improve your gut function. 80% of your immune system is in your gut. The MALT (mucosa associated lymphatic tissue), and GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue) has a direct affect on your overall level of immunity. By optimizing the function of the gut, you are also optimizing immune function. There are certain supplements you can take to achieve this: probiotics, prebiotics (fiber), immunoglobulin G (IgG) and digestive enzymes all will improve gut function.
Strategy 5: Decrease chronic inflammation. Some of this can be achieved by avoiding pro-inflammatory foods (sugar, grains, dairy, soy). You can also reduce chronic inflammation by taking fish oil supplements as they contain omega 3 fatty acids. Other supplements that modulate inflammation in a variety of ways are resveratrol, curcumin, hemp oil complex, vitamin D3 and more.
Strategy 6: Implement Intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has been clinically shown to improve immune function.
Strategy 7: Stay Hydrated. Drink lots of purified water. Drinking good quality water and herbal teas, staying hydrated, is one of the best things you can do to flush out toxins from your body and help support the immune system.
Strategy 8: Fresh air is vital to healthy immunity - make a point of getting outside, daily. Even as little as 10 to 15 minutes three times throughout the day will benefit you.
Strategy 9: Rest! Get plenty of sleep and rest.
Strategy 10: Take some time off if possible. Perhaps use this time for a personal at-home retreat where you just enjoy some time spent away from work, extra-curricular activities and the hustle and bustle of life. Walks in nature, healthy dinners together with your family, board games, curling up with a good book and limiting your social contact are all enriching ways to protect yourself from community transmission.
Strategy 11: Get adjusted. There is evidence that those patients during the 1917-1918 flu pandemic had a lower death rate than those patients who only sought out medical care.
Strategy 12: Increase your intake of antioxidant and nutrient-dense infection-fighting foods (ike: organic blueberries, raspberries, spinach, sprouts, garlic, onions, ginger, parsley, cilantro, spirulina, celery juice, bone broth and fermented foods and beverages), supplements and green tea. See the information below to understand why.
Why older people get hit harder.
I've heard again and again about how the reason that older people are more impacted by Covid19 is due to their diminished immune system capacity. This seemed from the start to make little sense to me. I mean, if their immune systems were degraded, they'd have less acute inflammation as a result of infection, not more. Now I believe that the real reason is not that their immune system diminishes, but rather that their antioxidant defenses drop as they get older.
Studies have shown that there are statistically significant decreases of Zn,Cu-superoxide dismutase (SOD-1), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities in elderly people in comparison with the control group. Moreover, there is an inverse correlation between the activities of SOD-1, CAT, and GSH-Px and the age of the examined persons. (https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S201250)
Why would this matter?
Both the SARS coronavirus of 2003 and the novel coronavirus of 2019/20 are activated by TMPRSS2 and can thus be blocked by TMPRSS2 inhibitors. SARSCoV2 uses ACE2 as a receptor for entry and its spike protein is primed by TMPRSS2. Cells expressing TMPRSS2 show increased activation and replication of SARS-CoV. As an aside, TMPRSS2 is known be up-regulated by androgenic hormones, a possible explanation why Covid19 is more common and more severe in men.
Sprouts and Green Tea.
Sulforaphane is a natural plant compound found in many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale; it has been shown to block TMPRSS2. From the article below:
- 'Antioxidants, such as sulforaphane (SFN) dampens inflammation, alleviates oxidative stress, and alters the protease/ antiprotease balance.'
- 'Furthermore, we and others have shown that SFN decreases TMPRSS2 expression, which we speculate is mediating the SFN-dependent protection against influenza.'
- 'Indeed, our studies indicate that SFN is protective against respiratory viruses such as IAV. We have shown that SFN decreases IAV replication by reducing IAV entry into respiratory epithelial cells.'
- 'Furthermore, our group recently showed that sulforaphane-containing broccoli sprouts significantly decreased IL-6 and markers of viral replication in nasal lavage fluid from smokers in subjects inoculated with the live attenuated influenza virus vaccine.'
Green tea EGCG also reduced TMPRSS2 secretion, and decreased influenza replication.
By the way, this would also explain why the very young seem less impacted by Covid19: they have premium antioxidant defenses. Not only are their antioxidant levels higher, but they also work much better. On the other hand, many of the co-morbidities that seem to increase the odds of severe infection (smoking, diabetes, respiratory illness, etc) are also known to be associated with low SOD and catalase levels.
There are other agents that may also have activity, principally those that enhance the major internal antioxidant cycle that uses NFE2L2 (NRF2) via KEAP1. Perhaps other professionals in this group can take that further along.
My goal is not to sell you supplements. And because of that, I'm not even going to tell you which brands of supplements I prescribe for my patients. I'll just say that you get what you pay for. You cannot get decent quality supplements at Costco, Wal-Mart the Dollar Store or even at the supermarket. You should invest in the best quality supplements you can afford and buy products that are made the best raw materials, the most absorbable, and the ones backed by clinical research.
If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with chronic health challenges or autoimmune issues despite having medical management. Thank you, help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living!
Always remember one of my mantras., "The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself."
For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look at the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body's Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets. If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!
ALL THE BEST – DR. KARL R.O.S. JOHNSON, DC – DIGGING DEEPER TO FIND SOLUTIONS