“If you’re gonna get Corona virus you’re gonna get it. Nothin’ you can do.” Right??? WRONG! Wrong! wrong! Did you know it’s your immune system that determines if you get it and how sick you’ll be? And… if you’ll die. And you can, yes, you can do things to help out your immune system.
First, what is your immune system? It’s the lymph system and all the components that make the cells that fight infection. Problem? Our immune system is growing older every day, every minute. It’s called “senescence”. Isn’t that a pretty word? Not so pretty the meaning: weakening, diminishing with age.
But you can do some very simple things to help your immune system fight Covid 19.
Most of the information in this article comes from AARP’s May Bulletin; a very well researched and documented piece. The scientist, doctors and researchers quoted have credits that would take up this whole page. So please if you want documentation, read the AARP May Bulletin.
‘Bet you can’t guess what the one most important thing is that you can do to strengthen your immune system. Nothing fancy. Just movement: exercise. “Nature Reviews: Immunology” says that “muscles generate anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective proteins called myokines.” Inflammation occurs when the immune system goes hog wild and causes problems rather than solving them. This is called “deregulation” and it can be body-wide. The proteins that protect us (help the immune system) are easier to understand. The more movement the more of them you produce. Sit around and your immune system becomes just as sluggish as you are. Get moving, produce myokines and help your immune system protect you from Covid 19. This may explain why an active 104 year old in Oregon survived Corona Virus while an inactive 52 year old died.
“Exercise may be the most important lifestyle intervention you can add”, says a professor from John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Exercise. Move. Walk.
So if exercise is the number one thing then what is number two? Weight Management. Did you know that fat, especially belly fat, produces inflammatory cytokines that cause more inflammation, and remember inflammation is one of the big things in an overall body affliction. These nasty little cytokines inhibit the immune function according to a research study done in 2018. Obese people may take 42% longer to fight off an infection and with the Corona virus that isn’t good news. Cytokins are not your best friend and the belly fat that produces most of them is not a helper.
The third immune system helper is nutrition. Good basic nutrition is essential to combat deficiencies in “immunocompetence” and the ability to fight inflammation. Good proteins and fiber help feed the “good bacteria” in your “gut”. (Yes, gut is an accepted medical term for the entire gastrointestinal tract.) And there are good bacteria and a lot of immune cells in the gut. Fiber may be your best friend, it feeds the good bacteria. Read the labels on your purchased food and you’ll be amazed: they can even take all the fiber out of cereal…a grain product.
Mastering stress, getting vaccines and taking prescribed medicines are also important. But the big 3 are exercise, weight management and good nutrition. Get going. Strengthen your immune system. It is possible!