Immune Boosting Supplements
I've been wondering how you all are doing stuck inside during this shelter-in-place period. I hope you are staying healthy and trying to keep as fit as you can, but I know it's not easy If you haven't been feeling well, please feel free to contact me. I will help in any way I can.
I've been keeping busy home-schooling my kids, practicing yoga, pilates and weight lifting, and trying to eat well. We've been cooking a lot and trying new recipes. There are some upsides to staying at home. We've been spending more time together and slowing down our busy schedules.
I've also been working hard on getting my Telemedicine practice going. As many of you know, I have been studying Functional Medicine for the past year. Functional Medicine addresses the root cause of disease, using a systems-oriented, patient-focused model. It addresses not just the symptoms (like pain) but the underlying, often systematic causes of the symptoms. For example, systemic inflammation can cause pain and gastrointestinal dysfunction can cause inflammation. So rather than just addressing the pain through adjustments, we will help to heal your gut to reduce inflammation and thereby reduce pain. I do this through specialized testing, lifestyle modifications, and supplementation. Stay tuned and I will let you know how to work with me doing Video Conferencing or on the telephone.
I've been trying to think about how I can continue to help my patients even when we're practicing social distancing. I've put together a list of supplements that will boost your immune system to help you keep healthy during this worrisome time.
Where You Get Your Supplements Is Important
Before I start on the recommendations, I want to make sure that you're careful on what brands of supplements you buy and where you buy them from. When I ask my patients what they are already taking, often the answer is Centrum or some other grocery store multi-vitamin. If that's the case, throw them away! You're wasting your money at best and at worst endangering your health. The problem is, not all vitamins are created equal. There is no regulation on vitamins (a 23.4 billion dollar industry). The FDA doesn't keep track and therefore companies can put whatever they want in the vitamin. Often that means that what the company says is in the vitamin isn't there at all. According to an investigation by the New York State attorney general's office into store-brand supplements at four national retailers - GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, supplements don't contain what they say they do. All four companies received cease-and-desist letters demanding that they stop selling a number of their dietary supplements, few of which were found to contain the herbs shown on their labels and many of which included potential allergens not identified in the ingredients list.
"Contamination, substitution and falsely labeling herbal products constitute deceptive business practices and, more importantly, present considerable health risks for consumers," stated the letters to the companies.
The other issue is where are you getting your supplements? People often get them on Amazon. Please please don't buy your supplements on Amazon. Most reputable companies will not sell their products on Amazon because there is so much fraud. This means that there are quite often imposters who empty old bottles of supplements and put anything they want in there, or they make their own bottles, and you guessed it, put anything they want in them. My rep from one company I use, Metagenics, told me they spent over 3 million dollars last year getting their products off of Amazon. They don't want their reputations ruined with fraudulent products.
Dallas, Dr. Kimi and I have spent the last few days researching how we can get good products shipped to you. We have signed up with a company called Wellevate that carries most of the products we recommend. If the supplement you want is not in there, please contact us and we will call the company to ship direct to you. You can log in to our new dispensary here and get 10% off March 30 - April 30. See my "Core Wellness Immune Support Protocol".
Okay, enough of the speech. Here are the supplements I recommend most for boosting your immune system:
Vitamin D is manufactured by our skin cells when we are out in the sunshine. Over 40% of Americans are deficient in this vitamin despite being able to make it themselves because they don't get enough direct sun exposure and vitamin D isn't present in very many foods. There are many benefits to taking Vitamin D. The former CDC Chief Dr. Tom Frieden stated recently that the coronavirus infection risk may be reduced by Vitamin D.
Benefits of Vitamin D:
- Stronger Bones: Most people know that Vitamin D can help strengthen your bones through assisting with the absorption of Calcium. According to a review of 53 studies published in the journal The Cochrane Library, seniors who took a vitamin D supplement with calcium had a reduced risk of hip fractures.
- Improved Immunity: In an international study that looked at nearly 11,000 people over 25 clinical trials, researchers found that those with lower levels of vitamin D who then took a daily or weekly supplement were shown to cut their risk of an acute respiratory infection (such as pneumonia or the flu) and an upper respiratory infection (like a cold and sinus infection). A study published in Frontiers in Immunology also found that vitamin D could be therapeutic for those with an autoimmune disease, such as Lupus and multiple sclerosis.
- Lower Risk for Diabetes: Study authors from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Seoul National University followed nearly 900 healthy adults over a 12-year period. Their vitamin D levels, as well as two measurements for diabetes - fasting plasma glucose and oral glucose tolerance - were recorded. Over that 12-year span, 47 people were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 337 were diagnosed with prediabetes. The connection? Those with higher blood serum levels of vitamin D had between one-third and one-fifth of the risk of developing diabetes compared to those with lower levels of the nutrient.
- Vitamin D is also shown to improve health in pregnancy and lower cancer risks.
Sources of Vitamin D
The recommended dietary allowance for adults between 19-50 years old is 600IU (15 mcg) or 5-30 minutes of sunshine between 10 am and 3 pm at least twice a week. However this amount is quite low and will probably be changed in the near future due to the rampant low levels of Vitamin D in the American population. Up to 70% of white adults and 95% of adult African Americans in the US have a vitamin D level under 30 ng/mL. I recommend that everyone get their Vitamin D levels tested. Your medical doctor will do this or I can order a test for you. A healthy level is somewhere between 50 and 100 ng/mL. I recommend taking between 2,500IU and 5,000IU of Vitamin D to start, depending how deficient you are. It's important not to overdo Vitamin D as it can lead to hypercalcemia, a condition where too much calcium in your bloodstream can lead to weakened bones, kidney stones and heart and brain dysfunction.
I recommend taking Vitamin D3 with K2. Vitamin D3 ensures that calcium is absorbed easily and K2 activates the protein, osteocalcin, which integrates calcium into bone. Without D3 and K2, calcium cannot do its job effectively.
Click here to order Vitamin D and get 10% off March 30 - April 30. See my "Core Wellness Immune Support Protocol".
Gut flora (gut microbiota, or gastrointestinal microbiota) is the complex community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts.
Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics improve the composition of the gut microbiome, which is involved in many aspects of health including immunity, metabolism and mood.
Sources of Probiotics
We can boost our gut flora through the intake of fermented foods like pickled vegetables, yogurt and kefir. Everyone should also take a probiotic that contains at least 10 billion CFU's of probiotic. Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria have both shown an ability to survive the trip to your intestines, where they are able to destroy excess bad bacteria gathered there. Within the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria strains are several different species. When you purchase a probiotic, read the label to find out if the microorganisms are alive or freeze-dried. They have to be one or the other to do you any good. If they're live, the label should give you instructions for keeping them that way, often by refrigeration.
Click here to see my recommendation and get 10% off March 30 - April 30. See my "Core Wellness Immune Support Protocol".
Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular supplement taken to protect against infection due to its important role in immune health. Vitamin C supports the function of various immune cells and enhances their ability to protect against infection. It's also necessary for cellular death, which helps keep your immune system healthy by clearing out old cells and replacing them with new ones.
On Tuesday the New York Post reported that seriously sick coronavirus patients in New York state's largest hospital system are being given massive doses of vitamin C - based on promising reports that it's helped people in hard-hit China.
Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, said his intensive-care patients with the coronavirus immediately receive 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C. Identical amounts of the powerful antioxidant are then readministered three or four times a day, he said.
In two other studies, high dose intravenous vitamin C treatment has been shown to significantly improve symptoms in people with severe infections, including sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) resulting from viral infections.
While I don't recommend taking amounts this high, as a protective measure, you can take 500mg, twice a day. If you are feeling a little ill, you can double that amount. Click here to order Vitamin C and get 10% off March 30 - April 30. See my "Core Wellness Immune Support Protocol".
***Please note that Vitamin C has been on backorder from many companies during the COVID-19 outbreak. I added a few different types of Vitamin C to the protocol to give you choices.
If you do start to feel sick, take Zinc. It has been shown to shorten the duration of the common cold. A double-blind study published in 1996 divided 100 Cleveland Clinic employees who self-reported catching colds into two groups. Fifty took lozenges containing 13.3 milligrams of zinc gluconate every two hours as long as they had cold symptoms. Fifty others took placebo lozenges. They found that the zinc group cleared symptoms more than three days earlier - 4.4 days versus 7.6 days of the placebo group.
A 2013 study suggested that zinc helps control infections by gently tapping the brakes on the immune response in a way that prevents out-of-control inflammation that can be damaging and even deadly. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131344.htm
Help yourself stay strong during this uncertain time with supplementation to boost your immune system. I have put together an Immune Protocol package.
One last thing
The outbreak of COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place restrictions have compelled us all to be creative about how we can stay healthy and continue to support our local businesses. We are making remarkable efforts to protect our communities - including staying home and sharing information and resources- but it is also important to remember the health of our local business community. A great way to give your favorite businesses a vote of confidence during this difficult time, is by buying a gift certificate for items and services that you can use at a later date.
We offer gift certificates for chiropractic and massage services. You can purchase gift certificates and schedule your appointment by email or over the phone. Please consider treating yourself or a loved one and schedule relief that you can look forward to.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase a gift certificate or a package of chiropractic treatments.
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