Naturopathic Philosophy & Immunity
As Naturopaths we believe that it is not so much about the germ or virus, but about the host. We are taught that the key to resistance is to support the body so that it can use it’s own innate intelligence to come back to balance and heal from DIS-‘EASE’.
You may have heard “there is nothing you can do to support your immunity“. Have you heard that? Well, we do not agree as there is now ample evidence showing that supporting our immune system with a healthy diet rich in good quality protein, health fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals leads to a more robust immune response and recovery. We also know how important the gut is for our general immunity, after all it has up to 70% of our immune system! Our microbiome (the bacteria in our gut) directly influences our immunity so a healthier and more diverse microbiome the healthier we are. Naturopaths have always believed the GUT IS THE SEAT OF HEALTH and now science is agreeing (catch up science hehe) Did you know that there are specific probiotic strains able to help you fight off a cold? The probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®), Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL 9 and Lactobacillus paracasei 8700:2 have been shown in multiple scientific studies to help reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold.
If you want to read more about how the immune system is linked to gut health have a look at these two blogs about PREBIOTICS AND PROBIOTICS. If you would like to know more about about herbal support for colds, influenza & Covid-19 at home care please read this blog HERE.
I have spoken before about this in earlier posts (check out our blog page) but just for a reminder here are:
MY TOP 4 Immune Supportive Nutrients & Herbs
Vitamin C – I recommend taking around 1000 mg of Liposomal or Ascorbic Acid once a day. But remember that you only absorb about 17% of Ascorbic Acid compared to Liposomal Vitamin C which may be absorbed up to 95%. Pretty neat huh? And that’s why Liposomal will often be superior as you just absorb more. You can take more during an acute illness but please speak with your Naturopath.
Zinc – I will bang on till the cows come home about Zinc. Our soil in Australia is often deficient in this crucial mineral. It is absolutely vital for our immune system to work, to modulate, for our skin/gut/mood. The RDA is 15 mg but the studies show that you may need up to 30 or even 50 mg a day. Especially if you have Pyrrole Disorder. But lets start with about 25 mg of zinc bysglycinate or citrate shall we?
Medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Shiitake or Cordyceps can be added to a warm drink in the morning and have a huge amount of evidence for their immune supporting, modulating & stimulating properties (if you need the research just let me know I can email it). They have been studied for cancer support and their effect on natural killer cell activity among many other things and have been in use in China for thousands of years. I love these products here.
Vitamin D or Sunlight each day, if you don’t believe me read this about Vitamin D and the flu (more recent research is coming in about it’s relationship with Covid-19 – I have written about it here ) and look at the references (4,5,6,7,8,9 IN THIS BLOG) which all link morbidity, mortality and severity of Covid-19 to Vitamin D insufficiency.
Vitamin D from sunshine is free and regular exposure for 20 minutes a day this time of year will provide about 1000 IU for people living in mid-latitudes who expose about 30% of their body surface. Vitamin D is available to almost everyone, even the poorest and recently unemployed. Populations that can’t get outside easily (the elderly, prison populations, indoor workers) may need Vitamin D supplements to achieve sufficient blood levels. We should work towards testing Vitamin D levels in those populations to ensure that they are sufficient. (9)
And of course lets not forget our original idea…
” Host nutritional status … the neglected virulence factor ” (17)