Flu “season” is almost upon us (October to March every year) and with it comes an uncertainty of how best to prevent it from spreading to ourselves and family members. The usual media hype and promotion of the flu shot has already begun. The term “influenza” is thought by some researchers to have originated from the Italian phrase “influenza di freddo”, or “influence of the cold” because its appearance in predominantly cold, dry weather⁽¹⁾. Along with the presence of the cold as the year ends, there are fewer hours of sunlight present each day. With that we also start wearing more and more clothing further limiting our skin exposure to sunlight. This means less vitamin D production (remember “vitamin” D is actually a hormone) and therefore deficient immune systems. Vitamin D is actually being discussed as a treatment for various diseases like tuberculosis, psoriasis, eczema, Crohn’s disease, chest infections, wound infections, and urinary tract infections. Also mentioned is the possibility that “eye infections and wound healing may benefit from adequate circulating 25(OH)D as substrate.”⁽²⁾
When most Americans get sick we tend to head to the doctor in order to get a prescription or go out and purchase supplements to help us “fight off” what’s infecting us. In reality, we aren’t sick because of a Tamiflu deficiency or a nutritional need for orange juice or lizard soup (okay most of us don’t reach for the lizard soup but it’s actually a Hong Kong custom!⁽³⁾). We are sick because our body’s immune system has failed in the detection and elimination of the microbe. In addition, our body has provided an environment for the pathogen to gain a foothold inside us.
So what is the best way to prevent the flu each and every year? Give your body what it needs to create a strong defense against pathogenic microbes. What about the pathogens that make it through to our body? Make the environment inhospitable to the microbe! In other words, internal resistance has to be stronger than external influence (which not ironically is the entire basis of Chiropractic healthcare by the way).
5 ways to increase immune function:
1. Vitamin D Supplementation: >30ng/mL blood level (2,000 IU a day and more if osteoporotic/ limited sun exposure/ or elderly).
As mentioned above, Vitamin D levels plummet in the cold, dry months of Fall/Winter. Vitamin D has inadvertently in the past been used to treat Tuberculosis (another virus that’s less common today) in sanatoriums by having the patient lay in direct sunlight with favorable results⁽⁴⁾. Another important point to make is that as we age, our bodies produce less Vitamin D (9/10 deaths from the flu are in older populations; age 65+) so it’s even more important for supplementation for the elderly. At our office, Liberation Chiropractic and Wellness PC, we frequently test blood for Vitamin D levels and can recommend a proper supplement for you and your family! In fact, Liberation was testing D levels on most patients years before our medical counterparts took notice and began to regularly do it themselves. You can even order this test from our site and send in yourself.
Depending on the situation, for most adults we recommend one Vitamin D Supreme per day. Note that this formula contains Vitamin K1 and K2 which you should take packaged with your Vitamin D as it prevents the risk of atherosclerosis due to increased Calcium absorption.
If you need a quick boost of Vitamin D in increased amount like when you do get sick, we recommend using the Emulsified D3 drops.
2. Omega Fatty Acids: A proper ratio of 2:1 Omega-3:Omega-6.
In today’s world of fast food, frozen dinners, and unhealthy snacks we see Omega-6 levels up to 15 times higher than Omega-3 fatty acids! This high of a ratio causes an increase in inflammation and impaired immune function⁽⁵⁾. The ideal ratio is 2:1 Omega-3:Omega-6 and we also test as well in our clinic. You can order this test on our store as well and mail to the lab https://liberationchiropractic.com/product/holman-omega-3-test/
We recommend most adults take one ProOmega 2000 per day until we have test results to direct otherwise.
We have children’s options, and more specific options based on test results as needed. These cases require more one on one direction.
3. Sleep: At least 7 hours of quality rest each night.
So much happens in our body as we sleep. Our body increases inflammatory markers such as a higher production of naive T-helper cells (most important cells in adaptive immunity) which compliments our body’s production of more “faster-acting” immunity during the day. Sleep also allows the body to take a break from the constant sensory bombardment and enter a parasympathetic state, which is a more relaxed nervous system essentially. So put the phone across the room, remove any distractions, and maybe try a guided meditation before bed to ensure that the sleep you’ll be receiving is of great quality.
4. Chiropractic Adjustments: Reduction of sympathetic activity and increase of total nervous system function.
More research is coming out about the somatovisceral effects of chiropractic care including increased nervous system function and innate immunity⁽⁶⁾. Immunoglobulin M and G were both increased in test subjects after a single chiropractic adjustment in another study done⁽⁷⁾. Chiropractic care also has shown to affect both mononuclear and phagocytic activity positively as well⁽⁸⁾. This can easily be achieved through gently, safe chiropractic care that is specific to correct subluxations (misalignments) of the spine.
5. Exercise: >30 minutes daily of moderate intensity (quickened breath but not out of breath, and a light sweat).
Exercise has been shown to increase the body’s natural killer cells⁽⁹⁾ and is even beneficial as we get older to a large extent⁽¹º⁾. Moderate exercise, in particular, has been linked with a reduction in inflammation⁽¹¹⁾ which is the root of most illness and chronic disease. Performing enough exercise with a moderate intensity (should be able to hold a conversation but not be able to sing) should ideally be done daily. Remember to breathe properly as well! This means in through the nose and out the mouth in order to maintain proper posture during exercise and reduce the impact of gravity on the vertebrae.
Follow these five lifestyle changes and you should see some improvements in adaptive and innate immunity (slow and fast acting respectfully). These tips as well as a healthy diet that provides additional antioxidants, phytonutrients, and proper hydration will help to provide the foundation for an optimum immune response to any microbe that gets thrown (or sneezed) your way!
Want to discuss ways we can help you personally? Give us a call at 251-607-0040, or email me at email@example.com
1) Elert, E. (2019, July 2). FYI: Why Is There A Winter Flu Season? Retrieved from https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-01/fyi-why-winter-flu-season/.
2) Schwalfenberg, G. K. (2010, September 7). A review of the critical role of vitamin D in the functioning of the immune system and the clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mnfr.201000174.
3) Wilson, D. R., & Kim, S. (2017, March 6). The Weirdest Cold Treatments from Around the World. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/world-remedies.
4) Aranow, C. (2011, August). Vitamin D and the immune system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/.
5) Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improves immune function, lowers inflammation in gastrointestinal cancer patients. (2018, June 19). Retrieved from https://www.lifeextension.com/Newsletter/2018/6/Omega-3-supplementation-improves-immune-function-in-gastrointestinal-cancer-patients/Page-01.
6) Ormos, G., Mehrishi, J. N., & Bakacs, T. (2009, September). Reduction in High Blood Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Levels After Manipulative Therapy in 2 Cervicogenic Headache Patients. Retrieved from https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(09)00188-2/fulltext.
7) Julita, McGregor2, M., Ruegg3, R., & Injeyan4, S. (2010, September 8). Interleukin 2-regulated in vitro antibody production following a single spinal manipulative treatment in normal subjects. Retrieved from https://chiromt.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1746-1340-18-26.
8) Brennan PC, et al. Enhanced Neutrophil Respiratory Burst as a Biological Marker for Manipulation Forces: Duration of the Effect and Association with Substance P and Tumor Necrosis Factor J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1992 (Feb); 15 (2): 83–89
9) Pedersen, B. K., Tvede, N., Christensen, L. D., Klarlund, K., Kragbak, S., & Halkjr-Kristensen, J. (1989, April). Natural killer cell activity in peripheral blood of highly trained and untrained persons. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2722326.
10) Bruunsgaard, H., & Pedersen, B. K. (2000, October). Special feature for the Olympics: effects of exercise on the immune system: effects of exercise on the immune system in the elderly population. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11050535.
11) Woods, J. A., Wilund, K. R., Martin, S. A., & Kistler, B. M. (2012, February). Exercise, inflammation and aging. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22500274.
It’s been quite a long time I know since we first broke news two years ago November, that we had purchased the property at Old Shell and Alverson Road. A lot has happened since then. The short story, after almost a year with plans still incomplete and drifting further away from our vision of what we wanted, I had to fire the architect and contractor I had. Hiring another, he had our new plans done within about 5 months. At this point in time, we have all the permits ready to pick up, the building is in it’s final buildable redesign as seen above, and we’re currently working on all the bidding which we nearly have all in. So if all goes well, we hope to be finally breaking ground by the end of the year. So keep an eye on the property and come celebrate Grand Opening with us when we finally get there!
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