Dr. Mercola Interviews the Specialists
This text is a part of a weekly collection by which Dr. Mercola interviews numerous consultants on quite a lot of well being points. To see extra professional interviews, click on here.
“The Immunity Fix: Strengthen Your Immune System, Fight Off Infections, Reverse Chronic Disease and Live a Healthier Life” is a brand new ebook 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 learn how to enhance and regulate your immunity — a subject that ought to be excessive on anyone’s checklist as of late. The catalyst for this collaboration was a variety of educational 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 Kind 1 interferon. There’s additionally a discount of their adaptive immune system. Because of this, 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 Fundamentals
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 method that takes some time to kick in, and after you have immunity out of your adaptive immune system, then you could have a longer-term safety, which is true. Nonetheless, 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, primarily, 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 approach.
When you could have a discount in these forms 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 approach, and so they find yourself killing wholesome bystander cells.
What we expect is happening is, primarily, you could have this discount in Kind 1 interferons … which intervene with the virus. And on the identical 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’d like to get this in layman’s phrases. What our ebook boils all the way down to is that your weight loss plan and your way of life management these forms of issues, and there is issues that you simply can do to help your individual immune system.”
Your T cell perform tends to say no with age. It’s additionally decreased in these with continual illness. Lowered T cell perform seems to be a main reason behind 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 simply get from SARS-CoV-2, however additionally they weaken your immunity on the whole. “The Immunity Repair” opinions way of life methods that aid you sidestep and stop this proinflammatory response. “It is a very holistic method to trying on the immune system,” Land notes.
High Two Nutrient Deficiencies to Handle
Food plan and dietary supplementation are two key methods that may assist enhance your immune perform. In line with Land and DiNicolantonio, vitamin D could also be a very powerful nutrient on this respect.
Vitamin D prompts greater than 2,000 genes, DiNicolantonio notes, together with vitamin Ok-dependent proteins and restore genes. It additionally helps your physique produce highly effective antimicrobial and antiviral peptides.
These over the age of 60 have a ninefold larger danger of dying from COVID-19 than that of youthful people. In case you’re severely vitamin D poor, your danger may be 15fold larger. So, when you can not change your age, you may definitely alter your vitamin D standing, thereby doubtlessly minimizing your danger.
Nonetheless, in order to transform the vitamin D into its energetic kind, you want magnesium, so magnesium would most likely be the second-most vital nutrient deficiency to deal with. Magnesium can also be required for immune cell perform, so in case your magnesium degree is low, your immune perform could possibly be impaired.
“Individuals who have genetically low magnesium of their pure killer (NK) cells and their CD8 T-killer cells … their immune system is down. They’ve continual activation of Epstein-Barr, which 95% of us are contaminated with, and so they’re at a a lot larger danger of lymphoma,” DiNicolantonio says.
“And that is only one nutrient. Being poor in a single nutrient can doubtlessly trigger this immunodeficiency primarily. So, within the ebook, we undergo how vitamins and your immune system work together and why nutrient deficiencies are most likely resulting in loads of these poor COVID-19 outcomes.”
Zinc and Selenium Are Additionally Necessary
By way 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 length of the frequent chilly by six to seven days, however it’s important to take it appropriately.
“In case you’re utilizing lozenges, you must take it each two hours,” DiNicolantonio explains. “You bought to take it inside 24 hours of symptom onset. You must take about 18 milligrams per dose, and it’s important to get the entire every day dose over 75 milligrams.”
Fourth on the checklist could be selenium. Not solely is selenium deficiency related to a fivefold larger danger of dying from COVID-19 and a threefold larger danger of getting a poor COVID-19 final result, however additionally it is related to coxsackievirus-induced cardiomyopathy (Keshan illness).
So, when you’re poor in selenium, a nonvirulent RNA virus referred to as coxsackievirus, which usually solely causes hand, foot and mouth syndrome in sure kids, can turn into far more virulent, resulting in virally induced cardiomyopathy. Sufferers with this cardiomyopathy, often called Keshan illness, are usually given selenium. Selenium can also be vital for the manufacturing of glutathione, which appears to play a significant role in COVID-19.
The Significance of Melatonin
One other factor that’s related with improved COVID-19 outcomes is melatonin. DiNicolantonio explains:
“Melatonin is attention-grabbing. I form of view it like molecular hydrogen however with some further benefits. Melatonin can freely cross 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 all the 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. Basically, they’re making the present Nrf2 ranges extra energetic. Once you add melatonin, that will increase the transcription of Nrf2. Only a few molecules can truly do this.
And Nrf2 is how we enhance our endogenous antioxidant enzymes. Actually, that is the key. You probably have acute respiratory misery, you need to enhance your general endogenous antioxidant methods, and one of the best ways to do tha is thru Nrf2 activators, significantly melatonin.”
Excessive-Dose Melatonin Reduces COVID-19 Mortality
As for dosage, a latest case collection 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 larger than advisable for sleep. DiNicolantonio feedback:
“It is so secure. Doses of melatonin as much as 1,000 mg per day in people have proven nearly no unwanted side effects apart from grogginess and sleepiness … Melatonin use is related to an 83% discount in mortality from COVID-19, a 30 to 50% discount in testing constructive for SARS-COV-2, and in a case collection of 10 COVID pneumonia sufferers, it lower the length of hospital keep by 5 days.
And none of these sufferers who bought melatonin ended up on a mechanical ventilator or died whereas in comparable extreme COVID-19 circumstances that have been hospitalized on the identical 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 methods.
“Melatonin truly appears to focus within the bone marrow and that is vital as a result of your immune system comes from stem cells produced out of your bone marrow,” DiNicolantonio explains.
“From these stem cells, you get your immune cells. A few of your immune cells may even produce melatonin. We expect it is being concentrated within the bone marrow to guard immature stem cells and immune cells from oxidative harm, which truly makes loads of sense.”
Nebulized Hydrogen Peroxide
Whereas Land and DiNicolantonio hypothesized that inhaled molecular hydrogen at 2% or 3% could be a possible vital technique in COVID-19 sufferers requiring air flow in a hospital, this may be considerably costly. A greater different, for my part, could be nebulized hydrogen peroxide, which you’ll do at residence. That is my private go-to technique, and I’ve seen many get well from COVID-19 utilizing this technique.
You’ll be able to assessment my video beneath for extra detailed in formation.
Nebulizing hydrogen peroxide into your sinuses, throat and lungs is an easy, easy technique 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 approach, you could have the whole lot you want and might start remedy at residence on the first indicators of a respiratory an infection. Bear in mind meals grade hydrogen peroxide have to be diluted all the way down to a 0.1% dilution earlier than use.
I consider the hydrogen peroxide works like a signaling molecule, and should 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 immediately, plus supporting your immune responses.
Handle Your Metabolic Well being
Along with addressing nutrient deficiencies, particularly vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and selenium, Land stresses the significance of optimizing your metabolic well being.
“Analysis [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. Weight problems additionally will increase the length that you may carry the virus and share it for longer. So, it is particularly damaging 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 ebook is that one of many molecules that will get activated throughout an an infection is known as HMGB1, which stands for Excessive Mobility Field-1.
That will get activated throughout an an infection, and it is one of many key molecules that form 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 Food plan
DiNicolantonio and I mentioned the significance of avoiding seed oils in our ebook, “Superfuel.” In it, we dove deep into the significance of wholesome fat for metabolic well being, and the damaging nature of linoleic acid-rich vegetable oils.
Linoleic acid (LA) is likely one of the most perishable molecules in meals, that means it’s extremely prone to break. When it oxidizes, it turns into oxidative metabolites referred to as oxidative linoleic acid metabolites or oxylipids or OXLAMs that harm proteins, DNA and cell membranes and are probably the first offender of continual illness.
OXLAMs additionally activate pathways that destroy your immune response. What we didn’t totally respect on the time was that even wholesome oils, resembling olive oil, can have a damaging influence, because of their LA content material. LA can also be excessive in conventionally raised hen, as these animals are usually fed LA-rich grains.
In case you exceed 10 grams of LA per day, and maybe as little as 5 grams — no matter their supply — it’s possible you’ll radically worsen your metabolic well being. From a historic perspective, 150 years in the past, the typical consumption of LA was 2 to three grams. At this time, many get greater than 30 grams a day from their weight loss plan. For my part, an LA-restricted weight loss plan often is the single most vital dietary intervention obtainable.
“That is an important level, and I feel from a COVID-19 perspective, the largest factor you need to do is improve the resilience of your cells to oxidative stress. Sadly, when you’re consuming a weight loss 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 could actually begin oxidizing the mobile membranes, together with on your immune cells as nicely.
In case you improve your omega-6 consumption, that impacts the degrees in your immune cells. And when you saturate your immune cells with this oxidized LA, you are most likely at a a lot larger danger of secreting extra proinflammatory cytokines in your individual cells, and your lungs and your arteries are most likely a lot extra prone to the harm that happens when our physique tries to kill off viruses.
I am certain if we have been to truly 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 general irritation.”
Easy Methods to Enhance Your NAD+ Degree
One other vital 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. Nonetheless, you don’t have to take an costly complement to enhance your NAD+ degree. Methods resembling train, sizzling or chilly publicity and time-restricted consuming — which prices you nothing — can get the job finished. Land explains:
“A variety of the NAD that your physique produces is recycled by means of the salvage pathway. Little or no (lower than 1%) of it will come from meals, particularly tryptophan or niacin.
The best technique to stop dropping your NAD as you become 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 approach of holding our vitality ranges excessive and stopping the reducing of the opposite issues that decrease NAD, like irritation and oxidative stress.
The issue 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, when you’re doing shift work otherwise you’re jet lagged or one thing, then sirtuins aren’t going to be expressed, and additionally, you will then inhibit NAMPT, which can 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 degree is low, you’re not going to get the advantages sirtuins present.
“I feel the supplemental NR and NMN are very helpful when you’re in an NAD-deficient state as a result of the issue is that when you’re already low in NAD, then it is arduous to boost that bar since you’re already so low and depleted,” Land says.
“In case your NAD is excessive, then you definately expertise the much less damaging facet results from irritation oxidative stress as a result of your physique can restore and take care of it, whereas when you’re immunocompromised, you are very outdated or you’re simply nutrient poor and have low NAD, then it is a vicious suggestions loop. So, utilizing one thing like a NAD precursor or a booster is usually a fast repair to get your self again heading in the right direction.”
In case you use an NAD or NMN complement, contemplate getting it in suppository kind. Different alternate options embody subcutaneous or intranasal administration, all of which are simpler than oral dietary supplements. That stated, as famous by DiNicolantonio, in case your NAD is low, your greatest guess is to deal with the underlying trigger somewhat than merely including dietary supplements.
“In the end, any kind of oxidative stress goes to deplete NAD. So, repair your metabolic dysfunction and enhance your nutrient deficiencies first, and in the end your NAD want goes to go down. Repair the issues that are inflicting you to burn by means of your NAD.”
One of the vital frequent sources of oxidative stress is electromagnetic subject (EMF) publicity, which is the subject of my ebook “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 harm, 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 in addition will scale back the consumption of it. These methods additionally decrease irritation, which in and of itself will decrease your NAD consumption.
Different Advantages of Sauna Bathing
Along with preserving your NAD, sauna bathing additionally mimics a fever, which is your physique’s first-line protection in opposition to infections. DiNicolantonio explains:
“The explanation why we induce a fever to struggle an an infection is as a result of that permits our cells to secrete warmth shock proteins. To ensure that 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 duplicate. To ensure that that complicated to get exported, the M1 protein has to dock onto it.
Warmth 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] primarily inhibits viral replication.”
In line with Land, common sauna bathing and train are among the many greatest issues you are able to do to strengthen your immune system and improve your physique’s resilience. The 2 are additionally complementary.
Train causes preconditioning hormesis, so when you train earlier than your sauna, then you definately considerably bolster your physique’s capability to deal with an infection and different stresses. The warmth will even promote restoration from the train by boosting progress hormone, repairing broken proteins and lowering irritation.
This interview merely touches on a small variety of highlights of the data present in “The Immunity Fix,” so to study extra, you should definitely decide up a replica. To attach with DiNicolantonio and Land, see their web sites, DrJamesDinic.com and SiimLand.com. Each can be discovered on Twitter and Instagram by trying to find DrJamesDinic (@drjamesdinic) and Siim Land.