A Global Health Threat

A Global Health Threat

The coronavirus is unfortunately still big news; it’s infiltrated the media and is now considered a global health threat. To help stay informed during this fearful time, here are some facts and easy to implement steps to boost your immune system and increase your resiliency to infections.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. The symptoms vary, but it’s generally characterized by fever, cough and shortness of breath. The most at risk populations are the elderly and those with compromised immunity.

We can think of a virus like a parasite in the sense that their survival is dependent on the host environment. By taking measures to increase the immune system’s ability to fight infection, a terrain is created that is not conducive to viral reproduction.

The Role of Astaxanthin

Using nutraceuticals for disease and immune function has been implemented by people for decades. In the case of astaxanthin, in-vivo and in-vitro studies on its effects on the immune system have been conducted since the 1990’s, yielding positive results. Astaxanthin boosts the immune system through multiple mechanisms.

One study conducted in humans found that astaxanthin was able to stimulate the immune system by:

  • Increasing lymphocyte proliferation 
  • Increasing the number of antibody producing B-cells 
  • Upregulating T-cell production 
  • Amplifying natural killer cell cytotoxic activity 
  • Significantly decreasing DNA damage (1)

In addition to this, immune cells exhibit an adverse sensitivity to inflammation. Astaxanthin has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation through several pathways - making it a top contender for immune protection (2,3).

Prevention is the best defense against pathogens, specifically viruses. As seen, astaxanthin is an effective preventative agent, but it has also been shown to upregulate activity of the immune cells that destroy viruses. An in-vivo study showed that the a daily astaxanthin supplement was significantly correlated with a reduced viral count, compared to a control group (2).

In addition to its immune specific effects, astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant. As a class of molecules, antioxidants have been shown to have a protective effect on immune tissue, while regulating the immune response (4). Astaxanthin’s antioxidant ability exceeds vitamin C by 6000x, is 500x stronger than vitamin E, 800x stronger than CoQ10 and is 293x more potent than blueberries.

Naturally Boost Your Immunity 

A strong immune system is the body’s ticket to health. Along with avoiding exposure here are effective ways to promote an effective immune system.

Reduce Sugar Intake

Sugar contributes to inflammation, which suppresses the immune system. Sugar also promotes the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the microbiome and reduces the amount of good bacteria - which are responsible for 80% of immune function.

Get Quality Sleep

Poor sleep hygiene negatively affects the ability of the immune system to fight infections. While we rest, the cells in the immune system are actively at work fighting infections, reducing the toxic load and decreasing inflammation. 7-9 hours of quality sleep a night decreases the risk of acquiring a viral or bacterial infection.

Mind Your Hands

A virus enters the body through mucous membranes, such as the mouth and nose. Reducing exposure to these areas, by avoiding touching these areas decreases the probability that a virus will enter the body and replicate.

In conclusion, while the threat of coronavirus is real, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Diet and lifestyle, along with targeted nutraceuticals and antioxidants such as astaxanthin, will provide benefits that reach far beyond acute viral infections.

References

  1. Chew, B., Park, J., Chyun, J., Mahoney, M., Line, L. (2003). “Astaxanthin Stimulates Immune Response in Humans in a Double Blind Study.” Presented at the Supply Side West International Trade Show and Conference, October 1- 3, 2003.

https://www.cyanotech.com/pdfs/bioastin/batl56.pdf

  1. Ambati, R. R., Phang, S. M., Ravi, S., & Aswathanarayana, R. G. (2014). Astaxanthin: sources, extraction, stability, biological activities and its commercial applications--a review. Marine drugs12(1), 128–152. https://doi.org/10.3390/md12010128

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917265/

  1. Davinelli, S., Nielsen, M. E., & Scapagnini, G. (2018). Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients10(4), 522. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040522

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946307/

  1. Benedich, A. (1993). A Physiological Role of Antioxidants in the Immune System. Journal of dairy sciences, 70(9), 2789-94. doi:10.31.68/jds.S0022-0302(93)77617-1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8227682 

Disclaimer: The article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any health concerns, you should see your doctor.


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