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The entire world has been darkened by a very unwelcomed enemy officially known as Covid-19. This novel coronavirus has shaken humanity to its core, and going forward, most people will view the world through a very different lens. Always an optimist, I believe this darkness will give way to a great light…the desire to be empowered with the knowledge to protect ourselves and our loved ones on the other side of this pandemic.

Two types of Immunity

Human beings were amazingly and intricately created, but for simplicity, we will look at 2 basic types of immunity:

  1. Innate, also known as “natural immunity” is present from birth and it’s the first line of defense against pathogens or “invaders”. It is non-specific in that it defends against detected pathogens automatically upon exposure and the response is almost immediate. It’s comprised of physical barriers (skin, mucosal linings of GI and respiratory tracts), various types of cells (White blood cells, Phagocytes) and plasma proteins (Lipopolysaccharides).
  2. Adaptive, also known as “acquired immunity” is triggered by the Innate system, and then takes over the job to further defend against pathogens that attack us. This is a much more complex system that’s based upon antigen-specific responses, and comprised of an array of killer cells including T & B helper cells (Lymphocytes), and Cytokines, which are responsible for immune modulation via the body’s inflammatory response.

Key Nutrients

Our immune system requires very key nutrients to function optimally. One of the most essential vitamins for proper immune function is Vitamin D. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), over 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D. This is quite alarming—and I dare call this a global health crisis!

Another nutrient that is absolutely required for a functional immune system is Zinc. Because many sub-clinical issues are a result of Zinc deficiency, most people are not aware of this because conventional doctors don’t often include this marker on diagnostic tests. Some signs/symptoms that result from low Zinc levels are intestinal inflammation, increased blood sugar levels, fatigue, brittle nails/loss of hair, blurred vision, and various forms of skin dermatitis.

Vitamin D—the Storm Trooper

Vitamin D (also classified as a hormone) is responsible for many biochemical functions in the body and is vitally needed to build and maintain strong bones/teeth, and to aid with calcium absorption; however, its role in immunity is most critical. Vitamin D is needed to regulate the response of the T-helper cells, which in turn controls the inflammatory process. When looking at the more serious cases of Coronavirus, it’s been noted that these patients had weakened immune systems and co-morbidities, which led to a cytokine storm. This means they had an uncontrolled inflammatory response, and because this virus has an affinity for the lungs, it resulted in a condition called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Vitamin D deficiency is a key contributing factor in a weakened immune system, and this deficiency also raises the risk of a cytokine storm response.

Another significant role of T-cells regulation is to inhibit autoimmune responses (these responses attack our body’s own tissues, glands and/or organs); without adequate levels of Vitamin D we are at a much higher risk for autoimmune disease. Because inflammation is one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms, not only for fighting infections, but also in response to environmental threats and possible food antigens, it’s crucial for the inflammatory response to be regulated, and this cannot happen without sufficient Vitamin D being bio-available to the body.

Best Ways to Increase Vitamin D

One way we get Vitamin D is from the sun (which is why it’s known as the “sunshine vitamin”); it’s produced from cholesterol in our skin cells when activated by UV light, which is why I highly recommend being in the sun for 10-15 minutes daily. Unfortunately, sunshine alone is not going to provide the adequate amount of Vitamin D needed, especially in our world today. The best way to boost and maintain Vitamin D levels and protect against potential viral and bacterial threats is through supplementation; however, most Vitamin D supplements are ineffective due to poor absorption. A highly absorbable and effective Vitamin D supplement is made by Thorne. It’s a liquid form combined with Vitamin K2 (which is needed to effectively transport Calcium into the bones). I use this supplement personally, with my family, and with many clients, and have consistently seen its efficacy. Recommended dosage for additional immune support is 10 drops (5,000 IU) daily with food.

Zinc—the Equalizer

Zinc is classified as both a mineral and a metal, and like Vitamin D, is essential for good immune function for both the Innate and Adaptive immune systems.  Zinc is necessary to modulate the activation of white blood cells in response to infection, and upon infection, decreases the severity and duration of the infection. Zinc also serves as an antioxidant to help reduce free radicals (oxygen molecules that are unstable and split), which causes chronic inflammatory response that can lead to multiple diseases and early aging.

Factors that interfere with the absorption of Zinc:

  1. Oxalates (anti-nutrients that protect plants) found in foods such as spinach, rhubarb, beets, almonds, chard, and chocolate; these compete with Zinc to bind to certain receptors in the intestines
  2. Antacids will reduce the amount of stomach acid that’s needed for absorption of Zinc; high levels of hydrochloric acid are needed to assimilate Zinc
  3. Intestinal Permeability (leaky gut) refers to damaged mucosal lining of the intestines that inhibits Zinc absorption

To increase Zinc levels, I recommend adding seafood, pumpkin seeds, and red meat to your diet AND supplementing with Zinc Supreme by Designs for Health. This product is formulated with Zinc Bisglycinate Chelate and includes Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6 and Molybdenum Chelate; research has shown this form of Zinc to have the highest rate of absorption. The added benefit of Vitamin B2 & B6 will help break down dietary oxalates. Recommended dosage: 1 capsule daily with food.

One-Two Punch

Without adequate levels of Vitamin D and Zinc, the immune system simply cannot function properly. Protect yourself and your loved ones from the threat of Coronavirus and all potential infections by supplementing with Vitamin D/K2 and Zinc Supreme, and take advantage of the specials I am offering this month. Using an automobile analogy, I think of Vitamin D as the engine oil—the protective lubricant for the engine, and Zinc as the cylinders of the fuel injector system that regulate the amount of fuel injected into the system to ensure the engine runs smoothly and efficiently.

For the month of May, I am offering 2 bonuses:

*10% discount on all purchases of Thorne Vitamin D/K2

*10% discount on all purchases of Designs for Health Zinc Supreme

Purchase at Deeper Health Supplement Store

(1st time purchasers please enter Registration Code VF1430 to set up new account & enter coupon code HCPC1430WELCOME for 10% off order)

 

 

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