Hormone and Lifestyle Practices …to boost immune resistance to COVID and other viral infections

The best way to prevent COVID is to prevent people from getting the infection.  The accumulated data over the past year and a half shows that wearing appropriate masks can reduce infections by at least 66%, vaccines can reduce incidence by 80-94%, and avoiding indoor crowds can have a significantly positive effect.

Besides those, we know that supporting the innate immune system has major benefits to offer.  By eating a healthy diet, taking immune enhancing nutritional supplements, and optimizing hormones like thyroid function, adrenal function with cortisol and DHEA, melatonin, estradiol, and testosterone – all of these play major roles in increasing your resistance.  

1.Diets that include a high number of fresh fruits and vegetables along with optimal amounts of high protein foods (not charred or burned) improve the immune system and reduce infections.  It is a no brainer that avoiding sugar, sweets, and high glycemic index foods like breads, baked goods, pasta, and sodas/fruit juices reduces the rates of infection we develop.  These rates also drop when we reduce the amounts of dairy we consume.

2. Nutritional Supplements that improve the immune function include Vit D, medicinal mushrooms or the Beta Glucans they contain, zinc, NAC or glutathione, melatonin (coming up), vitamins A, C, and if testing indicates iron, iodine. 

3. Regular exercise boosts the physiologic functions of the entire body including the immune system.

4. Correcting deficiencies of the hormones may be the most important step in boosting the immune system. In addition, they can increase the production and efficiency of all our white blood cells required to attack and destroy intruders.

Probably the primary hormone for this purpose in the body is the thyroid. If you have low thyroid you are easily infected. We know that the studies show that when your thyroid is optimized you get fewer colds and flu. Recent studies on COVID have shown that low thyroid increases the rates of COVID and this virus can profoundly and negatively affect the thyroid gland itself.  Other viral infections like herpes and Epstein-Barr, hepatitis, HIV are reduced when there is an optimized thyroid.

The adrenals are critical for boosting our immune systems by providing cortisol and DHEA to the body. In the past, during major flu epidemics when cortisone was not available yet, (1940’s & 1957) patients with adrenal insufficiency died of the flu in higher numbers.  If you are low in producing cortisol and get COVID, you would benefit by taking cortisol right away after the onset of symptoms.  The use of  cortisol and DHEA can accelerate and improve the recovery of COVID patients. And, cortisol helps to fight off and recover from other viral infections like Herpes (including Shingles), hepatitis, HIV and others.

DHEA offers similar protection with positive effects against COVID, Coxsackie virus, flu, Herpes, Cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis, HIV.  Keeping optimal levels gives beneficial protection.

Some of the more world infections like West Nile virus that can cause serious encephalitis can have death rates reduced by 13 times (in one study) by taking melatonin.  Specific studies on COVID-19 have not been reported yet but because melatonin shows a significant reduction in viral infections in many studies, it is felt it will soon be shown to be beneficial against COVID.

Estradiol reduces viral infections by multiple studies and stimulates production of antibodies to fight infections in some studies. It is particularly helpful against hepatitis and flu.

Testosterone is less effective in reducing the flu but has been shown to be significant in reducing risks of the coronavirus and hepatitis.  Keeping testosterone levels optimal has made significant differences in keeping men from having to be hospitalized with COVID and reduced risk of death in several studies.

By diagnosing and treating hormone deficiencies, using nutritional supplements, eating a good diet and getting regular exercise you can effectively reduce your risks of contracting COVID and other viruses.  Added to using masks, getting vaccinated and avoiding indoor crowds there is significant reduction that can be achieved.

The best to you in staying healthy!

Jane