This article is the follow-up to last month’s article which described viruses. This month I will focus on some beneficial viruses and supplements we can use to help boost our immune system functions.
Let me begin by stating that many trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganism make up the body’s “microbiome”. All of these organisms play a role in good health. Some microorganisms typically considered “bad” can play a role in maintaining good health. Bacteriophages, for example, are the most common viruses in the gut and help get rid of “sick” bacteria, which help maintain or establish gastrointestinal health. Microbes, including viruses, can favorably affect inflammation and repair metabolism. Furthermore, scientists are looking into using viruses as medication. The idea of using viruses as anti-cancer agents has been around for nearly a century. Also, viruses are involved in eradicating cancer cells. Virologist, Curtis Suttle, Ph.D. states that “healthy people are full of viruses.”
Viromes (virus groups) vary per individual but are more diverse than bacterial communities in the same individuals. In fact, there is a symbiotic relationship between the microorganisms within our bodies and when they are balanced they work together in harmony to produce a diversity of healthy organisms which enhance our immune system.
Now I will digress by stating that antiviral drugs do not destroy viruses; instead they inhibit their development. The new scientific view of our immune system is that it responds to danger or damage to the body. However, it will only do so when in a healthy state. For example, excessive stress increases our susceptibility to illness because it suppresses our immune functions. The same is true of malnutrition or excessive exercise or physical activity, and inadequate sleep. In addition, exposure to toxins and pollutants, serious disease or traumas are equally damaging to immune functions. Therefore, balanced living is key to establish and maintaining good health. Adequate sleep and exercise, with proper amounts of pure water, organic fruits, vegetables and proteins on a daily basis are foundational.
The following is a partial list of some important nutrients shown to help prevent or treat illnesses attributed to “pathogen” such as viruses, they are:
Protein – aids white blood cell production
Zinc – aids maturation of T-helper cells
Copper – works with zinc to increase pymphocytes or neutrophils
Vitamin C – enhances immune system broadly
Iron – enhances power of phagocytes (kills cells that eat bad germs)
Selenium and Vitamin E – deficiency reduces immune functions
Vitamins B & D – both act as immune system regulators and thymus integrity
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) – affect white blood cell function
Probiotics – improve systemic and mucosal immune capacity
(70 – 7 percent of immune function originates in our intestines)
Calcium and other minerals – are first responder to cellular damage
Herbs – Echinacea, garlic, licorice, ginger, cayenne, elderberry, horse radish, etc.
This is my short list. There are many more powerful nutrients at our disposal to enhance our biological terrain and immune system. So, put in the work and you will get the benefits.
Editor’s note: Dr. Meeks can be reached at 303-377-2511 or at www.LifeHealingDoctor.com or email at Dr.Meeks@netzero.com