“The Immunity Fix: Strengthen Your Immune System, Fight Off Infections, Reverse Chronic Disease and Live a Healthier Life” is a brand new e-book written by James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D., with whom I co-wrote “Super Fuel,” and Siim Land, an esteemed biohacker and writer of “Metabolic Autophagy.”
In it, they assessment easy methods to enhance and regulate your immunity — a subject that ought to be excessive on anyone’s record nowadays. The catalyst for this collaboration was quite a few tutorial papers written by DiNicolantonio on the underlying causes for why some individuals endure worse COVID-19 outcomes.
Many who find yourself with extreme sickness produce low quantities of Type 1 interferon. There’s additionally a discount of their adaptive immune system. As a outcome, they do not clear the virus shortly and find yourself having to depend on a extra proinflammatory killing of the virus inside their cells as an alternative.
Immune System Basics
As a refresher, your immune system consists of two main “arms”:
- The innate immune system, which is your first line protection made up of pure killer (NK) cells, macrophages and white blood cells like neutrophils
- The adaptive immune system — T cells, and B cells that produce antibodies
As defined by DiNicolantonio:
“We used to assume that the adaptive immune system was this technique that takes some time to kick in, and upon getting immunity out of your adaptive immune system, then you could have a longer-term safety, which is true. However, the adaptive immune system additionally appears to have cross sensitivity, that means if you have been uncovered to earlier coronaviruses, your T cells appear to have some cross sensitivity to SARS-COV-2.
So, basically, what we see is a discount in T cells, within the cytotoxicity of those CD8 T-killer cells, which kill viruses in a pleasant, apoptotic, managed method.
When you could have a discount in these varieties of immune cells, you could have to rely extra in your proinflammatory innate immune system for clearing viruses — issues like neutrophils, white blood cells, macrophages. They kill in a a lot extra pro-inflammatory, non-specific method, and so they find yourself killing wholesome bystander cells.
What we predict is occurring is, basically, you could have this discount in Type 1 interferons … which intervene with the virus. And on the similar token, you could have a discount in B cells and T cells. So, what finally ends up occurring is you do not clear the virus as shortly, and you find yourself having this proinflammatory killing.
Siim and I collaborated as a result of these items are complicated. We want to get this in layman’s phrases. What our e-book boils all the way down to is that your weight-reduction plan and your life-style management these varieties of issues, and there is issues that you just can do to help your individual immune system.”
Your T cell operate tends to say no with age. It’s additionally diminished in these with continual illness. Reduced T cell operate seems to be a main explanation for extreme COVID-19, seeing how these with the worst COVID-19 outcomes are the aged and/or these with comorbidities resembling diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and heart problems.
These elements worsen the proinflammatory response that you just get from SARS-CoV-2, however additionally they weaken your immunity basically. “The Immunity Fix” critiques life-style methods that assist you to sidestep and stop this proinflammatory response. “It’s a very holistic approach to looking at the immune system,” Land notes.
Top Two Nutrient Deficiencies to Address
Diet and dietary supplementation are two key methods that may assist increase your immune operate. According to Land and DiNicolantonio, vitamin D could also be crucial nutrient on this respect.
Vitamin D prompts greater than 2,000 genes, DiNicolantonio notes, together with vitamin Okay-dependent proteins and restore genes. It additionally helps your physique produce highly effective antimicrobial and antiviral peptides.
Those over the age of 60 have a ninefold larger threat of dying from COVID-19 than that of youthful people. If you’re severely vitamin D poor, your threat may be 15fold larger. So, whilst you can’t change your age, you possibly can definitely alter your vitamin D standing, thereby doubtlessly minimizing your threat.
However, in order to transform the vitamin D into its energetic kind, you want magnesium, so magnesium would most likely be the second-most essential nutrient deficiency to handle. Magnesium can be required for immune cell operate, so in case your magnesium stage is low, your immune operate might be impaired.
“People who have genetically low magnesium in their natural killer (NK) cells and their CD8 T-killer cells … their immune system is down. They have chronic activation of Epstein-Barr, which 95% of us are infected with, and they’re at a much higher risk of lymphoma,” DiNicolantonio says.
“And that’s just one nutrient. Being deficient in one nutrient can potentially cause this immunodeficiency essentially. So, in the book, we go through how nutrients and your immune system interact and why nutrient deficiencies are probably leading to a lot of these poor COVID-19 outcomes.”
Zinc and Selenium Are Also Important
In phrases of significance, zinc would most likely nab the third spot. Taking zinc lozenges on the first onset of chilly signs has been proven to chop the period of the widespread chilly by six to seven days, however it’s important to take it accurately.
“If you’re using lozenges, you have to take it every two hours,” DiNicolantonio explains. “You got to take it within 24 hours of symptom onset. You have to take about 18 milligrams per dose, and you have to get the total daily dose over 75 milligrams.”
Fourth on the record can be selenium. Not solely is selenium deficiency related to a fivefold greater threat of dying from COVID-19 and a threefold greater threat of getting a poor COVID-19 end result, however it’s also related to coxsackievirus-induced cardiomyopathy (Keshan illness).
So, for those who’re poor in selenium, a nonvirulent RNA virus referred to as coxsackievirus, which generally solely causes hand, foot and mouth syndrome in sure kids, can develop into way more virulent, resulting in virally induced cardiomyopathy. Patients with this cardiomyopathy, generally known as Keshan illness, are sometimes given selenium. Selenium can be essential for the manufacturing of glutathione, which seems to play a big position in COVID-19.
The Importance of Melatonin
Another factor that’s related with improved COVID-19 outcomes is melatonin. DiNicolantonio explains:
“Melatonin is attention-grabbing. I sort of view it like molecular hydrogen however with some extra benefits. Melatonin can freely go into any cell membrane, in order that’s very key. If you wish to get to the oxidative stress, you could have to have the ability to entry it and get into the mitochondria. Melatonin and molecular hydrogen are two molecules that may do this and actually do that nicely …
Melatonin isn’t just this hormone we secrete within the mind. We synthesize it from serotonin, and it may be produced in lots of cells. So, it is energetic all through your entire day. What’s attention-grabbing is that it is one of many solely molecules that appears to extend the transcription of Nrf2.
Most plant polyphenols and all these different Nrf2 boosters solely inhibit the inhibitor of Nrf2, which is KEAP1. Essentially, they’re making the present Nrf2 ranges extra energetic. When you add melatonin, that will increase the transcription of Nrf2. Very few molecules can really do this.
And Nrf2 is how we increase our endogenous antioxidant enzymes. Really, that is the key. If you could have acute respiratory misery, you wish to increase your total endogenous antioxidant techniques, and one of the simplest ways to do tha is thru Nrf2 activators, significantly melatonin.”
High-Dose Melatonin Reduces COVID-19 Mortality
As for dosage, a current case sequence involving 10 sufferers with COVID-19-related pneumonia used 36 to 72 mg of oral melatonin per day in 4 divided doses, which is way greater than beneficial for sleep. DiNicolantonio feedback:
“It’s so protected. Doses of melatonin as much as 1,000 mg per day in people have proven just about no unintended effects moreover grogginess and sleepiness … Melatonin use is related to an 83% discount in mortality from COVID-19, a 30 to 50% discount in testing optimistic for SARS-COV-2, and in a case sequence of 10 COVID pneumonia sufferers, it lower the period of hospital keep by 5 days.
And none of these sufferers who received melatonin ended up on a mechanical ventilator or died whereas in comparable extreme COVID-19 instances that have been hospitalized on the similar time, 25% to 40% of these people ended up on mechanical ventilators or died.”
As defined by DiNicolantonio, melatonin is actively produced all through the day and is a grasp antioxidant, that means it scavenges free radicals. It additionally binds to melatonin receptors that upregulate your innate antioxidant protection techniques.
“Melatonin actually seems to concentrate in the bone marrow and that’s important because your immune system comes from stem cells produced from your bone marrow,” DiNicolantonio explains.
“From those stem cells, you get your immune cells. Some of your immune cells can even produce melatonin. We think it’s being concentrated in the bone marrow to protect immature stem cells and immune cells from oxidative damage, which actually makes a lot of sense.”
Nebulized Hydrogen Peroxide
While Land and DiNicolantonio hypothesized that inhaled molecular hydrogen at 2% or 3% can be a possible essential technique in COVID-19 sufferers requiring air flow in a hospital, this may be considerably costly. A greater different, for my part, can be nebulized hydrogen peroxide, which you’ll be able to do at residence. This is my private go-to technique, and I’ve seen many get better from COVID-19 utilizing this technique.
You can assessment my video beneath for extra detailed in formation.
Nebulizing hydrogen peroxide into your sinuses, throat and lungs is a straightforward, simple method to increase your physique’s pure expression of hydrogen peroxide to fight infections and may be used to help the immune system.
All you want is a desktop nebulizer, food-grade hydrogen peroxide and some saline. That method, you could have every thing you want and may start therapy at residence on the first indicators of a respiratory an infection. Keep in thoughts meals grade hydrogen peroxide should be diluted all the way down to a 0.1% dilution earlier than use.
I imagine the hydrogen peroxide works like a signaling molecule, and will even have some direct viricidal impact on the cells within the lining of the lungs and the sinuses the place the virus takes maintain initially. So, you are doubtlessly killing it straight, plus supporting your immune responses.
Address Your Metabolic Health
In addition to addressing nutrient deficiencies, specifically vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and selenium, Land stresses the significance of optimizing your metabolic well being.
“Research [has found] that metabolic syndrome, weight problems and diabetes, all these issues, worsen the outcomes of COVID-19 in addition to different infections like influenza. Obesity additionally will increase the period that you could carry the virus and share it for longer. So, it is particularly unfavourable in a society that tends to be in poor metabolic well being.
One attention-grabbing factor that we found in the course of the writing of the e-book is that one of many molecules that will get activated throughout an an infection known as HMGB1, which stands for High Mobility Box-1.
That will get activated throughout an an infection, and it is one of many key molecules that sort of offsets the cytokine storm by activating NFKB and NLRP3 inflammasome and ultimately causes this huge pro-inflammatory cytokine response …
What we theorized based mostly on this analysis, is that hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, elevated blood sugar will make it extra probably that HMGB1 goes to get into the cell and activate NFKB and these different pro-inflammatory cytokines that may ultimately result in the cytokine storm.”
The Case for a Low Linoleic Acid Diet
DiNicolantonio and I mentioned the significance of avoiding seed oils in our e-book, “Superfuel.” In it, we dove deep into the significance of wholesome fat for metabolic well being, and the harmful nature of linoleic acid-rich vegetable oils.
Linoleic acid (LA) is among the most perishable molecules in meals, that means it’s extremely vulnerable to wreck. When it oxidizes, it turns into oxidative metabolites referred to as oxidative linoleic acid metabolites or oxylipids or OXLAMs that injury proteins, DNA and cell membranes and are probably the first perpetrator of continual illness.
OXLAMs additionally activate pathways that destroy your immune response. What we didn’t absolutely recognize on the time was that even wholesome oils, resembling olive oil, can have a unfavourable influence, due to their LA content material. LA can be excessive in conventionally raised rooster, as these animals are sometimes fed LA-rich grains.
If you exceed 10 grams of LA per day, and maybe as little as 5 grams — no matter their supply — chances are you’ll radically worsen your metabolic well being. From a historic perspective, 150 years in the past, the common consumption of LA was 2 to three grams. Today, many get greater than 30 grams a day from their weight-reduction plan. In my view, an LA-restricted weight-reduction plan will be the single most essential dietary intervention out there.
“That’s an amazing level, and I feel from a COVID-19 perspective, the largest factor you wish to do is improve the resilience of your cells to oxidative stress. Unfortunately, for those who’re consuming a weight-reduction plan excessive in LA, and if it would not get burned for gas and it will get saved in tissues, the half-life of LA is 680 days, and it will possibly begin oxidizing the mobile membranes, together with on your immune cells as nicely.
If you improve your omega-6 consumption, that impacts the degrees in your immune cells. And for those who saturate your immune cells with this oxidized LA, you are most likely at a a lot greater threat of secreting extra proinflammatory cytokines in your individual cells, and your lungs and your arteries are most likely a lot extra vulnerable to the injury that happens when our physique tries to kill off viruses.
I’m certain if we have been to really have a look at the blood ranges of oxidized LA in extreme COVID-19 sufferers, they might be sky excessive … So yeah, it is probably an enormous driver of total irritation.”
Simple Strategies to Improve Your NAD+ Level
Another essential molecule is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), which may be elevated utilizing precursors resembling nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and/or nicotinamide riboside (NR).
NMN seems to be the superior of the 2, because it prompts a salvage pathway. However, you don’t have to take an costly complement to enhance your NAD+ stage. Strategies resembling train, scorching or chilly publicity and time-restricted consuming — which prices you nothing — can get the job accomplished. Land explains:
“Quite a lot of the NAD that your physique produces is recycled by means of the salvage pathway. Very little (lower than 1%) of it’ll come from meals, particularly tryptophan or niacin.
The best method to stop dropping your NAD as you grow old or as you get immunocompromised is to advertise the salvage pathway, and one of many activators of this NAMPT enzyme that governs the salvage pathway is AMP protein kinase (AMPK), and AMPK will get primarily turned on by catabolic stressors within the physique, resembling train, sauna, chilly, in addition to fasting.
What I’ve concluded is that doing this common intermittent fasting or timed consuming is a really environment friendly method of maintaining our vitality ranges excessive and stopping the decreasing of the opposite issues that decrease NAD, like irritation and oxidative stress.
The downside is that NAMPT is managed by sirtuins and sirt1 particularly. Sirtuins are longevity genes. Sirtuins additionally management your circadian rhythms. So, what I feel is that in case your circadian rhythms are misaligned, for those who’re doing shift work otherwise you’re jet lagged or one thing, then sirtuins should not going to be expressed, and additionally, you will then inhibit NAMPT, which is able to then shut down the NAD salvage pathway.”
In different phrases, when sirtuins are suppressed from mismatched circadian rhythms, you additionally suppress NAMPT, because the NAMPT requires sirtuins to work. Sirtuins additionally eat NAD, so in case your NAD stage is low, you’re not going to get the advantages sirtuins present.
“I think the supplemental NR and NMN are very useful if you’re in an NAD-deficient state because the problem is that if you’re already low in NAD, then it’s hard to raise that bar because you’re already so low and depleted,” Land says.
“If your NAD is high, then you experience the less negative side effects from inflammation oxidative stress because your body can repair and deal with it, whereas if you’re immunocompromised, you’re very old or you are just nutrient deficient and have low NAD, then it’s a vicious feedback loop. So, using something like a NAD precursor or a booster can be a quick fix to get yourself back on the right track.”
If you utilize an NAD or NMN complement, contemplate getting it in suppository kind. Other options embrace subcutaneous or intranasal administration, all of which are more practical than oral dietary supplements. That stated, as famous by DiNicolantonio, in case your NAD is low, your finest guess is to handle the underlying trigger moderately than merely including dietary supplements.
“Ultimately, any type of oxidative stress is going to deplete NAD. So, fix your metabolic dysfunction and improve your nutrient deficiencies first, and ultimately your NAD need is going to go down. Fix the things that are causing you to burn through your NAD.”
One of probably the most widespread sources of oxidative stress is electromagnetic subject (EMF) publicity, which is the subject of my e-book “EMF*D.” Two main enzymes eat NAD. One is poly ADP-ribose polymerases (PARP), which is often known as adenosine ribosyl transferase (ARTD). PARP is used to restore DNA injury, and each time PARP is activated, it makes use of up 150 molecules of NAD.
The excellent news is that methods resembling sauna, train and fasting not solely will enhance the manufacturing of NAD, but additionally will scale back the consumption of it. These methods additionally decrease irritation, which in and of itself will decrease your NAD consumption.
Other Benefits of Sauna Bathing
In addition to preserving your NAD, sauna bathing additionally mimics a fever, which is your physique’s first-line protection in opposition to infections. DiNicolantonio explains:
“The motive why we induce a fever to combat an an infection is as a result of that enables our cells to secrete warmth shock proteins. In order for a virus to replicate, it has to contaminate your cell, hijack your equipment, and it has to export its ribonucleoprotein complicated out of the cell to copy. In order for that complicated to get exported, the M1 protein has to dock onto it.
Heat shock protein 70, which will get launched throughout sauna classes, can mix to the viral ribonucleoprotein complicated stopping M1 protein from docking. [By] inhibiting the export of that viral ribonucleoprotein complicated, [heat shock protein] basically inhibits viral replication.”
According to Land, common sauna bathing and train are among the many finest issues you are able to do to strengthen your immune system and improve your physique’s resilience. The two are additionally complementary.
Exercise causes preconditioning hormesis, so for those who train earlier than your sauna, you then considerably bolster your physique’s means to deal with an infection and different stresses. The warmth can even promote restoration from the train by boosting development hormone, repairing broken proteins and decreasing irritation.
This interview merely touches on a small variety of highlights of the data present in “The Immunity Fix,” so to study extra, make sure you decide up a duplicate. To join with DiNicolantonio and Land, see their web sites, DrJamesDinic.com and SiimLand.com. Both will also be discovered on Twitter and Instagram by looking for DrJamesDinic (@drjamesdinic) and Siim Land.