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How to boost your immune system and fight the coronavirus

Coronavirus: Fright, flight or FIGHT?

How to boost your immune system and fight the coronavirus

In fighting this viral disease we focus on stopping the spread of the virus by isolating ourselves and avoid contact with others. Of course,  this is important but this is not the way of fighting the battle. It seems more like a fright and flight reaction. But now it is time for a fight reaction!

We seem to have forgotten that our immune system is able to fight and overcome many viral diseases and the fact that we can boost our body’s defense system. But how do we do this? Here are the four biblical and science-based key pillars to stand up and fight the coronavirus.

Let’s uncrown the coronavirus

Today, all eyes are focused on the coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; previously provisionally named 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV) disease (COVID-19)). It is spread by human-to-human transmission via droplets or direct contact, and infection has been estimated to have an incubation period of 6.4 days and a basic reproduction number of 2.24-3.58. Among patients with pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus pneumonia or Wuhan pneumonia), fever was the most common symptom, followed by coughing. [1] This fever can be dangerous especially for older and fragile people. That’s why it’s important to stop the spreading of this virus.

Corona means crown. It is also a circle of light that can sometimes be seen around the sun during an eclipse when the moon is positioned exactly between the sun and the earth. With this image in mind it is clear that we are fighting a natural and supernatural battle. That’s why we need natural and supernatural weapons.

Aging affects the immune system negatively (defined as Immunosenescence). This increases the susceptibility of elderly persons to infection, autoimmune disease and cancer. [2]

Fear, anxiety, inactivity and an unhealthy diet suppress our immune system and make us more vulnerable for (viral) diseases. [3]

The 4 Biblical & science based key pillars to boost your immune system are:

1. Prayer
2. Exercise
3. Sleep
4. Nutrition & supplements

(Courtesy of Fit People)

1. Immune Boosting Prayer 
Weapons: fear not, humble yourself and prayer and the blood of the lamb

Fear not!
The Bible calls on us not to fear but to turn to God. Fear is a weapon of the enemy. Fear and anxiety suppress us mentally, spiritually and physically.  That’s why the scripture calls us to FEAR NOT!

  • Isaiah 41:10 [NIV] So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
  • Psalm 27: 1 [NIV] The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?
  • Psalm 23:4 [NIV] Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
  • John 14:27 [NIV] Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Humble yourself, prayer and seek His face

  • 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 [NIV] "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place."
  • Psalm 91 [NIV] 1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

The blood of the Lamb.
President Trump declared Sunday,  March 15, 2020  a day of prayer for The United States of America, humbling ourselves before God. It was a type of ‘Passover’ as we see in Exodus 12.

Exodus12:7,13 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs.13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

(Courtesy of Fit People)

2. Immune Boosting Exercise
Weapons: perform daily strength, cardio and relaxation exercises

The pitfall in a time like this is that we withdraw ourselves, decrease our physical activity and stop exercising. But doing regular daily exercise is very important for immunological health. Even doing one single exercise directly boosts your immune system [4,5] Molecular and cellular events take place within seconds to minutes following the beginning of an exercise bout or period of physical activity. [Zhu] But doing regular (daily) exercise provides a much bigger benefit.  

Epidemiological evidence indicates that regular physical activity and/or frequent structured exercise reduces the incidence of many chronic diseases in older age, including communicable diseases such as viral and bacterial infections, as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancer and chronic inflammatory disorders. Regular exercise might limit or delay aging of the immune system. [4,6]  

It is a misconception to label any form of acute exercise as immunosuppressive. Even high intensity exercise like running and strength training has a positive effect on our immune system. [4] Vaccination studies have shown heightened responses to bacterial and viral antigens following times of exercise. Cardio exercise, Resistance training and relaxation exercise are all beneficial in activating the body’s defense system. [7, 8, 9] Exercise is being considered as a safe mode of intervention to reduce Immunosenescence in the elderly. [2]

In a recent interview, [10] Dr. Woods highlights the benefits of regular exercise on the immune system in a time like this with the coronavirus. Woods received his PhD from the University of South Carolina (USC), is a Mottier Family Professor at UIUC who focuses on researching the effects of exercise on the immune system, the gut microbiome, and aging. "It is safe to exercise during the coronavirus outbreak. One should not limit the multitude of health benefits that exercise provides us on a daily basis just because there is a new virus in our environment."

Dr.Woods tips for exercise & Coronavirus:

  • Exercise is safe & effective
  • Exercise regularly
  • Exercise at a moderate intensity. If you are a starter don’t overdo it.
  • Avoid long and stressful exercise sessions that you are unaccustomed to

Take precaution:

  • wash your hands with water and soap (or hand sanitiser with 60% alcohol or more), dry with a clean towel
  • Limit your exposure to exercise partners who have exhibited signs and symptoms of illness. The virus is transmitted through direct contact with infected people and airborne droplets.
  • If you use a fitness machine, clean it first.

Exercise is 'immunotherapy' 

Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Moderate exercise across the life span seems to increase resistance to upper respiratory tract infections. [11] Exercise training can be considered as a kind of 'immunotherapy', potentially representing a highly cost-effective measure that can dramatically improve human quality of life.[12]

With our Heavenly Health Program you can perform daily exercise that boosts your immune system in your own home. 

(Courtesy of Fit People)

3. Immune Boosting Sleep 
Weapon: perform relaxation exercise & use natural supplements to promote sleep

Anxiety can lead to sleep disturbance. Sleep has an important impact on our adaptive & innate immunity and antiviral immune responses and disease risk. [13]Sleep affects the innate and adaptive arm of our body's defense system. Sleep affects various immune parameters, is associated with a reduced infection risk, and can improve infection outcome and vaccination responses. [14] That’s why sleeping and having a good night rest are so important.

Tips for a good sleep

  • Minimize blue light exposure 1 hour before going to sleep
  • Perform relaxation exercise or prayer calms the Spirit, Body & Soul
  • Listen to relaxation music or soaking worship music
  • Use natural supplements that promotes good sleep like GABA, melatonin or 5-HTP
(Courtesy of Fit People)

4. Immune Boosting Nutrition & Supplements
Weapons: eat daily unprocessed fruit & vegetables and use supplements vitamin C, D3, magnesium, zinc, selenium & fish oil.

Eat more plant-based foods 

Eating more fruits & vegetables and using immune boosting supplements are also a key pillar. A more plant based diet boosts the body’s defence system [15]. Vegetables contain fibers that promote gut-health, several bioceuticals and anti-oxidants and immune boosting vitamins like vitamin C. Eating more unprocessed and plant-based foods and daily vitamin C supplementation can prevent you from illness and helps you to recover from inflammation and a cold. [16, 17]

Veggies can also be great sources of vitamin C. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services-National Institutes of Health promotes sweet red pepper, orange, Kiwifruit, Broccoli & Strawberries. Consuming five varied servings of fruits and vegetables a day can provide more than 200 mg of vitamin C. [18] That’s why you need supplements to achieve a ‘therapeutic dose’ of 3000 mg a day.   

Immune-Boosting supplements

There is a restrain against high dose supplementation but Swiss and Dutch scientists advise 3000 mg/day for several days (which is 30 times the daily recommended dose) to restore normal plasma levels of vitamin C in a critically ill patient. They report limited or even absence of side-effects.[17]

The diet in the elderly does not provide a sufficient level of nutrients needed to maintain an adequate health status leading to micronutrient deficiencies and impaired immune response with subsequent development of degenerative diseases. That’s way supplements are vital. [19]

Vitamin D3 is safe and it protects against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients, who are very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses, experience the most benefit. [20, 21, 22]

Daily Zinc supplementation is essential. Zinc supplementation may remodel the immune alterations in elderly leading to healthy aging. [Mocchegiani]

Supplements

  • Vitamin C: 3,000 milligrams (or more) daily, in divided doses.
  • Vitamin D3: 2,000 International Units daily. (Start with 5,000 IU/day for two weeks, then reduce to 2,000)
  • Magnesium: 400 mg daily (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form)
  • Zinc: 20 mg daily
  • Selenium: 100 mcg (micrograms) daily
  • Fish oil: 3 capsules of 1000 milligrams daily, in divided doses

Fight the Coronavirus with our Heavenly Health Program

You can find step by step guidance and more information in our Heavenly Health & Wellness Program. It’s all there:  proper exercise (videos) and healthy recipes for Immune-Boosting Smoothies and Salads in an environment of worship and uplifting music. This makes daily exercise and boosting your health and immune system easy & fun. Join us at www.fitpeopleusa.com


References

[1] Lai CC, Shih TP, Ko WC, Tang HJ, Hsueh PR.(2020).Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19): The epidemic and the challenges. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020 Feb 17:105924. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105924.

[2] Cao Dinh H, Beyer I, Mets T, et al. (2017). Effects of Physical Exercise on Markers of Cellular Immunosenescence: A Systematic Review.Calcif Tissue Int. 2017 Feb; 100(2):193-215.

[3] Dhabhar FS.(2014).Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. Immunol Res. 2014 May;58(2-3):193-210. doi: 10.1007/s12026-014-8517-0.

[4] Sellami M, Gasmi M, Denham J, et al.(2018). Effects of Acute and Chronic Exercise on Immunological Parameters in the Elderly Aged: Can Physical Activity Counteract the Effects of Aging?Front Immunol. 2018; 9: 2187.

[5] Dimitrov S., Hulteng E., Hong S. (2017).Inflammation and exercise: inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β2-adrenergic activation. Brain Behav Immun. 2017;61:60–68

[6]  Campbell JP, Turner JE.(2018). Debunking the Myth of Exercise-Induced Immune Suppression: Redefining the Impact of Exercise on Immunological Health Across the Lifespan. Front Immunol. 2018 Apr 16;9:648. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00648. eCollection 2018.

[7] Barrett B., Hayney M.S., Muller D., et al.(2012) Meditation or exercise for preventing acute respiratory infection: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Fam Med. 2012;10:337–346.

[8] Simpson RJ, Kunz H, Agha N, Graff R.(2015).Exercise and the Regulation of Immune Functions. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015;135:355-80. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2015.08.001. Epub 2015 Sep 5.

[9] Nieman D.C., Wentz L.M. (2019).The compelling link between physical activity and the body's defense system. J Sport Health Sci. 2019;8:201–217

[10] Zhu W. (2020).Should, and how can, exercise be done during a coronavirus outbreak? An interview with Dr. Jeffrey A. Woods. J Sport Health Sci. 2020 Mar; 9(2): 105–10

[11] Pedersen BK, Toft AD(2000). Effects of exercise on lymphocytes and cytokines.Br J Sports Med. 2000 Aug; 34(4):246-51.

[12] de Araújo AL, Silva LC, Fernandes JR, Benard .(2013).Preventing or reversing immunosenescence: can exercise be an immunotherapy?Immunotherapy. 2013 Aug; 5(8):879-93.

[13] Irwin MR.(2015).Why sleep is important for health: a psychoneuroimmunology perspective. Annu Rev Psychol. 2015 Jan 3;66:143-72. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115205. Epub 2014 Jul 21.

[14] Besedovsky L, Lange T, Haack M.(2019)The Sleep-Immune Crosstalk in Health and Disease. Physiol Rev. 2019 Jul 1;99(3):1325-1380. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00010.2018.

[15] Craddock JC, Neale EP, Peoples GE, Probst YC.(2019).Vegetarian-Based Dietary Patterns and their Relation with Inflammatory and Immune Biomarkers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Adv Nutr. 2019 May 1;10(3):433-451. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmy103.

[16] Kim Y, Kim H, Bae S, et al.(2013).Vitamin C Is an Essential Factor on the Anti-viral Immune Responses through the Production of Interferon-α/β at the Initial Stage of Influenza A Virus (H3N2) Infection. Immune Netw. 2013 Apr;13(2):70-4. doi: 10.4110/in.2013.13.2.70. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

[17] Berger MM, Oudemans-van Straaten HM.(2015).Vitamin C supplementation in the critically ill patient. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2015 Mar;18(2):193-201. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000148.

[18] National Institutes of Health: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

[19] Mocchegiani E, Romeo J, Malavolta M, et al.(2013).Zinc: dietary intake and impact of supplementation on immune function in elderly. Age (Dordr). 2013 Jun;35(3):839-60. doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9377-3.

[20] Marino R, Misra M.(2019).Extra-Skeletal Effects of Vitamin D. Nutrients. 2019 Jun 27;11(7). pii: E1460. doi: 10.3390/nu11071460.

[21] Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Hooper RL.et al. (2017).Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data. BMJ. 2017 Feb 15;356:i6583. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i6583.

[22] Martineau AR, Jolliffe DA, Greenberg L. et al.(2019).Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: individual participant data meta-analysis. Health Technol Assess. 2019 Jan;23(2):1-44. doi: 10.3310/hta23020.

 

Karl Noten is a well-known Physical Therapist/Manual Therapist, Orthomolecular Nutrition Specialist, Extended Scope Specialist, MSU Echo Graphist, Elite Athletic Trainer and Owner of Fysio Physics Group, with over 50 Physical Therapist practices, a Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Co-Owner of two Swiss Medical Companies, owner of Fit People USA, Teacher in Physical Therapy and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation, Author of 27 books, Founder of the Fysio Physics 4xT®Method and various lifestyle programs. He regularly works with celebrities, Christian leaders, world champion athletes.

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