• David Rivas

Nutrition Tips For Better Immune System and Resiliency Against Viral Infections


Inflammation is a key factor in the severity of the Corona Virus.

Researchers have noticed that patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) with higher levels of the inflammation marker (Interleukin-6 or IL-6) have a more severe disease when compared to people with low levels of IL-6. The decrease in the inflammation marker (IL-6) is associated with the treatment effectiveness against the virus. In other words, less inflammation (IL-6), less risk of severe disease. Other factors that increase the risk of COVID-19 are being male, obesity (which produces inflammation), diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.


Relaxation and low stress are vital for the immune system. Anxiety increases IL-6 (Inflammation marker) and will place you at a higher risk of severe disease. Watch comedies, read books that will make you grow, and exercise are excellent ways to cope with stress.


Nutrition Tips:

  • Eat low in refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates (white rice, bread, pasta, french fries, sweets, etc.) decreases the ability of your immune system drastically to fight infections. Eat proteins and fats like chicken, turkey, organic meat, avocados, flax seeds, chia seeds, and fish.

  • Eat two Brazilian nuts per day. It is high in selenium, which is essential for the activity of the immune system against viral infections.

  • Eat broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and spinach most days of the week. Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and spinach are high in the phytonutrient alpha-lipoic acid, which has anti-viral activity.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to lower inflammation (IL-6 and other markers of inflammation). Two to three grams (EPA + DHA) of high quality, molecularly distilled, and concentrated fish oil per day for adults will promote low levels of inflammation and a better immune system. Do not buy low quality, diluted versions of fish oil due to the presence of possible toxins. High-quality brands: Nordic Naturals, Omega-3 liquid fish oil by Now Foods, InnovixLabs, Solgar Triple Strength Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Pure Encapsulations.

  • N-Acetyl Cysteine 500 mg: One capsule twice a day. Excellent antioxidant with an anti-viral effect.

  • Vitamin D 5,000 IU: One capsule daily for adults. It lowers upper respiratory infections and improves the immune system.

  • Quercetin 500 mg: One capsule daily. It is found in fruits and vegetables with anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine effects.

Remember stress, and anxiety will work against our immune system. Enjoy your family, play table games, exercise, and eat healthily.


If you find this article useful, please, share it with your friends.


David Rivas, RPh, MSc, CCN

Pharmacist and Clinical Nutritionist

www.nuterel.com

drivas@nuterel.com


Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your primary care physician before using products based on this content.


References:

Baur, A., Harrer, T., Peukert, M., Jahn, G., Kalden, J. R., & Fleckenstein, B. (1991). Alpha-lipoic acid is an effective inhibitor of human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV-1) replication. Klinische Wochenschrift, 69(15), 722-724.

Beck, M. A., Nelson, H. K., Shi, Q., Van Dael, P., Schiffrin, E. J., Blum, S., ... & Levander, O. A. (2001). Selenium deficiency increases the pathology of an influenza virus infection. The FASEB Journal, 15(8), 1481-1483.


Liu, T., Zhang, J., Yang, Y., Zhang, L., Ma, H., Li, Z., ... & Yi, J. (2020). The potential role of IL-6 in monitoring coronavirus disease 2019. Available at SSRN 3548761.


Mauvais-Jarvis, F. (2020). Aging, male sex, obesity, and metabolic inflammation create the perfect storm for COVID-19. Diabetes, 69(9), 1857-1863.


Valle Flores, J. A., Fariño Cortéz, J. E., Mayner Tresol, G. A., Perozo Romero, J., Blasco Carlos, M., & Nestares, T. (2020). Oral supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and inflammation markers in patients with chronic kidney disease in hemodialysis. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, (ja).

Wu, F., Zhao, S., Yu, B., Chen, Y. M., Wang, W., Song, Z. G., ... & Yuan, M. L. (2020). A new coronavirus associated with human respiratory disease in China. Nature, 579(7798), 265-269.

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