The coronavirus has disrupted life as we know it and caused much concern and confusion. News reports are constantly updating us on the spread of the virus and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has closely monitored the situation since the coronavirus began spreading between people in America. The first confirmed person to person spread of this virus was on January 30, 2020. Previously all confirmed U.S. cases had been associated with travel to China.

As of today, over 20 million people have been infected worldwide and this number changes daily. While there have been at least 735,000 deaths, the vast majority of cases have not been classified as severe.  The elderly are particularly vulnerable, as they often have weak immune systems.  In addition to taking commonsense precautions such as hand washing, maintaining a strong immune system is very important, more now than ever.

Building Your Immune System

Becoming dehydrated weakens your immune system so be sure to drink plenty of water daily.  A vast majority of people are chronically dehydrated as they opt for more flavorful drink alternatives or consume caffeinated beverages and other drinks that act as diuretics and cause the body to expel water, further compromising the immune system and health over-time.  Lymphatic fluids, part of the immune system, make up four times the volume of blood and are designed to remove cellular waste products, including inflammation by-products from the body. Suffice it to say, to work properly and do its job of protecting you, your immune system needs the support of a continuous supply of water, so staying well hydrated is #1 in building and maintaining a strong immune system.  In addition, I recommend taking the following supplements:

Vitamin C – 2,000 mg/day

Zinc  – 50 mg/day

Vitamin A – 900 mcg/day

Vitamin D3 – 1,000 – 1,500 i.u./day

Elderberry Extract – 500 mg/day (increase to 1,125 mg day if you show symptoms of flu or virus.)

Pelargonium Sidoides Extract – (Commonly used for upper respiratory infections including bronchitis). P. Sidoides is marketed in the U.S. as Umckaloaba – 1 dropper full twice a day in 2 oz. of water or juice.

To learn more about the ingredients above, enhancing your immune system, and taking precautions against the coronavirus, continue reading.

If you show symptoms of the flu or virus, be sure to contact your physician.

Coronavirus – Nothing New, But Some Types Can Be Severe

Coronavirus has existed for a while and both animals and humans have been infected. It is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous, but sometimes, more serious strains develop. In the past few decades, the SARS and MERS outbreaks were examples of serious cases.   In early 2020, following a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified a new type, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Scientists are still assessing how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses tend to spread via cough and sneeze droplets.

But most coronavirus infections, in the past at least, have been mild and cause symptoms similar to the common cold. Although the concern for this new form of coronavirus is that the symptoms and dangers can be severe for some people.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, vomiting

How Coronavirus Spreads:

It’s thought to have originally spread from an animal-foods market to humans. Now it’s known to spread from humans to humans. Scientists don’t know everything about how coronavirus is spread but it’s thought that it’s “likely that coughs or sneezes from an infected person may spread the virus.”

Fortifying Yourself Against the Coronavirus and Other Viral Infections

Maintaining a powerful immune system is the surest foundation of minimizing your chance of developing long and severe viral infections.

Naturally bolstering your immune system is the most you can do at this moment to fight the coronavirus unless an effective vaccine is developed soon. And even in that case, many natural supplements have been shown to boost the effectiveness of vaccines.

Powerful Ways to Boost Your Immune System

It’s surprising to many people that sometimes the most effective and long-lasting ways of fighting infections have to do with natural methods.

Getting optimal amounts of immune-boosting nutrients and using herbs and other supplements to fight pathogens deeply boosts your body’s defenses and helps kill pathogens.

If you pour through research of the past few decades, you’ll find tons of cases of nutritional interventions effectively fighting the symptoms of stubborn “antibiotic-resistant” infections!

Boost Your Immune System, Fight Coronavirus

Coronavirus is another infection, similar to any other infection, that can be fought using immune-boosting practices. If fact, coronavirus is mentioned, along with other viruses,  in many studies that test immune-boosting methods.

Here are the methods that work and boost your immune system’s killing capacity in many ways.

1.  Astragalus

For at least 2000 years, Astragalus has been one of the most revered herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. Modern research has backed up its potential life-extending and strength-enhancing properties [1]

But most importantly to our conversation, astragalus is one of the most effective and straight-forward boosters of our immune systems. Research in humans has clearly indicated that astragalus boosts the number of many different types of immune cells (monocytes, neutrophils, and lymphocytes), and activates them to energetically kill pathogens [2][3]!

 2. Your Diet Should Be Mostly Whole (Unprocessed) Plant Foods

High blood sugar weakens your immune system response, causes immune dysfunction [4][5].

Eating plenty of fiber and antioxidants helps balance out your blood sugar levels and keep them within a normal healthy range. That’s why your diet should mostly consist of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruit.  Avoiding excessive amounts of sugar in your diet is very important to maintaining a strong immune system.

All of these foods also help feed the good bacteria in your gut, which is critical for a healthy immune system [6].

3. Reishi

Reishi mushroom is another powerful immune-boosting tool. It’s a mushroom that has been shown to increase the number of immune cells in our blood and the amount of immune-stimulating cytokines (signals that activate immune cells)  [7][8][9].

Reishi may also help destroy biofilms – protective layers of mucus that pathogens hide inside of to protect themselves from being killed [10].

4.  Vitamin D

This sunshine “vitamin” is actually a hormone that boosts the number of your antimicrobial peptides  (substances that help kill viruses and bacteria) [11]. Your immune cells produce these killing peptides.

Also, some studies have shown that vitamin D reduces the incidence of flu viruses and other infections [12][13].

Approximately 42% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which humans synthesize from UV light. Now that most of us are sheltering in place, we’re probably getting even less vitamin D from sun exposure than before, so supplementing with vitamin D is important to strengthen the immune system, particularly of people whose Vitamin D levels are low. Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of respiratory infections, regulates cytokine production and can limit the risk of other viruses such as the flu.  A respiratory infection can result in cytokine storms – a vicious cycle in which our inflammatory cells damage organs throughout the body, which increase mortality for those with COVID-19. Maintaining healthy vitamin  D levels may potentially provide some protection for vulnerable populations.

5.  Zinc

Zinc deficiency leads to a weak immune system function because this mineral is involved in so many metabolic reactions in the body and helps create cytokines that the immune system uses to fight infection [14][15].

If you’re deficient in zinc, you won’t make as many immune cells as you should and your thymus gland, responsible for developing immune cells can actually shrink [16]!

Also, many studies have shown that zinc supplementation can shorten the duration of viruses and interfere with virus replication [17].

Researchers say to take 75 mg a day of zinc if you have virus symptoms [18].

6.  Vitamin C

Good, old-fashioned vitamin C is critical for immune health. Your immune cells use vitamin C as fuel for killing pathogens [19]. Extra vitamin C helps immune cells literally eat viruses and bacteria and also empowers the “oxidative burst” – (think of it as toxic bombs) that immune cells kill pathogens with [19].

Many studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation can reduce virus duration [20].

7.  Elderberry

This special berry can interfere with virus replication and has been seen to handicap the influenza virus [21]. Elderberry has even been shown to bind to the outside of viruses and prevent them from entering host cells – those could be your cells [21]!

In one incredible study in humans, flu symptoms “were relieved on average 4 days earlier” in elderberry users compared to non-users [22].

8.  Pelargonium Sidoides 

Common names for pelargonium are “African geranium” and often marketed as “Umckaloaba” and “Zucol”.  There has been some evidence for effectiveness in treating bronchitis/acute respiratory tract infections due to Pelargonium’s direct antibiotic effect and host immune stimulation. [23].  It is not recommended for anyone with kidney or liver disease.

Common Sense Precautions – Hand-Washing = First Line of Defense

Like all viruses, the coronavirus can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Hand-washing is the first line of defense. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they release droplets of saliva or mucus. These droplets can fall on people in the vicinity and can be either directly inhaled or picked up on the hands then transferred when someone touches their face, causing infection. Because it is also flu season, it is always a good idea to take sensible precautions every day including:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Keep your hands away from your face and far from your mouth and nose.  Viruses don’t infect the skin.  They have to make it to the mucosal membrane in your mouth or nose to cause an infection.
  • Wash your hands after touching any communal surfaces. Wash with soap and water then use a clean towel or air dry.  You may also use a hand-sanitizer (60% alcohol).

The Power of Sleep
 When it comes to immune defense, never underestimate the power of sleep. These are uncertain and confusing times for everybody, and it’s normal if you are finding it harder and harder to sleep at night. But getting a good night’s sleep is more important now than ever, as research shows that poor sleep is associated with increased vulnerability to infectious diseases and viruses.  Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

When you get a full night’s sleep (i.e., you go through all the stages of the cycle and reach deep sleep), your immune system gets the chance to produce and release cytokines, a type of protein that acts as a chemical messenger and is secreted directly into the tissues and bloodstream. Cytokines bind to immune cell receptors and trigger an immune response targeting infection and inflammation.

Overproduction of cytokines can result in an auto-immune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system targets and promotes inflammation in healthy tissue. But when you don’t get enough sleep, and your body can’t secrete enough cytokines, you become more vulnerable to diseases.

Sleeping also increases T cell production, which plays an essential role in protecting you against viruses. T cells contribute to the body’s immune response when a potentially harmful foreign body enters the system. These immune cells recognize pathogens then activate integrins, which are a type of protein that allows T cells to attach to and tackle their targets. In fact, research has shown that quality sleep can increase your T cell’s ability to fight off infections.  In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. If you have difficulty reaching deep rejuvenating and protective sleep, consider Akeso Health Science’s Sleep All Night supplement.

Use Your Tools
Now that you know how many great tools you have at your disposal, build an incredibly strong immune system, and fend off the nasty viruses all around us!

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.
Chief Scientific Officer, Akeso Health Sciences

Corona Virus Updates & InformationCenters for Disease Control & Prevention

 

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