I think we’re all realizing that there’s not going to be a green light that goes off telling us it’s safe to live our lives again. I know that the one thing I can control is my immunity. I can eat the right foods, drink water, go to sleep on time, manage my inner narrative (you know, that incessant mosquito between my ears), and take the right supplements.
I want to help you with proactive and (if ever necessary) reactive support for you and/or those close to you.
Below is information from a bookmark-able source, The Institute for Functional Medicine. The dosage and recommendations below are from them, but keep in mind this is for the general population and not specific to you (or me). If ever you do become very sick, always consult with your doctor.
I can’t diagnose anything for you, and you know I’m not in a lab doing these tests right now, but it’s my responsibility to be on the cutting edge of research for you, sharing what I find, and gathering resources (education and supplements) for you.
When all of this started happening, my private practice sold out of the immune essentials, but I got back on the waiting list as quickly as I could. (As of now, we are stocked up, so let us know if you’re interested so we can get you what we can!)
Here are the immune-boosting essentials I am taking daily and would increase dosage if I got sick:
Quercetin has been shown to have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral effects. It’s also been shown to help respiratory issues such as seasonal allergies and diseases associated with smoking.
In a cruel and unusual study where monkeys were given the equivalent of 400 cigarettes a day, the control group who was given supplemental quercetin was all still alive after three months, whereas the non-quercetin group was all, sadly, dead. This goes to show the protective nature of this antioxidant and is not an excuse to chain-smoke while taking quercetin!
Vitamin D is a heavy hitter when it comes to immune health, in general. Graphs show those hit the hardest by the virus have low levels of vitamin D. Most of us don’t get enough from the sun, so in addition to getting outside for some morning rays, it’s a good idea to supplement.
Suggested dose: Ideally, you would get your levels tested to know appropriate dosage (since unlike vitamin C, you don’t pee out extra vitamin D) but according to the Institute of Functional Medicine, 5,000 IU’s is a good, safe daily dose, if you don’t know your current levels.
I like this product of liposomal vitamin D in particular, because it’s highly absorbable; it’s important to have the correct form of vitamin D in ratio to vitamin K so it transports to the parts of the body that need it most!
Strong evidence points to zinc’s ability to strengthen the immune system, shorten the duration of sickness, and be especially helpful in the lower respiratory tract. More is not necessarily better when it comes to zinc, so check your multivitamin to see what you’re already getting. Personally, I love the Metagenics MultiVitamin because it’s all in one handy-dandy packet (I can get a good dosage of so many key vitamins for building immunity) including zinc, vitamin A, selenium, Omega 3’s, and so much more.
If you are wanting to supplement zinc separately, the recommended dose is 30–60 mg daily, ideally in divided doses.
Melatonin doesn't just make us sleepy, but has protective, anti-inflammatory benefits as well. It’s been postulated that the reason kids are so much less likely to contract the virus or get symptoms is because they naturally have 9x the amount of melatonin as the elderly.
Suggested dose: The Institute for Functional Medicine says you can take 5-20 mg/night, but I’ve read other studies showing that lower doses, like 3 mg/night, is just as effective and may have less of the potentially groggy or depressed side-effects that higher doses can sometimes cause.
You can take melatonin separately, but I like this Insomnitol product in particular because so many of us struggle with sleep and it’s got an amazing blend of other sleep-supporting herbs. Take two 20-30 minutes before bed and it should do the trick!
Keep in mind that a little morning sunshine, and a lot of evening darkness is key for natural melatonin production. After you finish reading this email, if it’s the evening, turn your computers and phones off (and turn on the mood lighting…).
NAC converts to glutathione in the body, a powerful antioxidant and detoxifier. It’s protective to the lungs, and in studies with both mice and elderly people, supplementation of NAC decreased the severity of influenza.
Suggested dose: 600-900 mg/daily
Both of these Apex products are incredible when it comes to inflammation and there’s some evidence that they may help in calming a viral response. Incidentally, they will also calm other inflammation markers, helping with anything from body aches and pains, to digestive issues, to even cancer prevention.
I like these forms especially because they are liquid which makes them more readily absorbable (and both taste amazing). Recommended dose when you are sick is 500-1000 mg of Curcumin daily and 100-150 mg of Resveratrol.
*HCP Code: nutritionalwisdom
The Institute for Functional Medicine also mentions the benefits of EGCC (green tea) and Elderberry, so see how you can incorporate these herbs too, especially if you feel like you might be coming down with something.
I’ve provided links above so you can order yourself, or if you’d rather have my staff put something together for you or for a loved one, send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do as much as we can to get you what you need!
Prevent a Leaky Bucket
All of the supplements in the world won’t make a difference if you’re dumping them in a leaky bucket. And by that, I mean into a body that is inefficiently using vitamins and minerals from increased stress and overexertion, or into a body that isn’t set up to absorb all these high quality products to their max capacity. This isn’t easy, I know. And you’ve probably seen a lot around immune boosting lifestyle practices, but it’s worth mentioning again (and again).
One of my most recent posts digs into specifics around sleep, exercise, hydration, and nutrition. There’s no way around the fact that the strongest contributing factor in weak immunity is stress. That means if you are taking all of these supplements but not managing your stress, you are still at risk. I wrote a heartfelt email last week about anxiety and stress because it’s a catch-22 right now with staying healthy and staying calm during a pandemic being equally important. I’d love for you to read it here and let me know if it served you.