Here’s a quick, Q & A with QuirkyHealthTips’ Jack Tips, [Ph.D., C.C.N.] based on his in-depth scientific research and 35 years of clinical nutrition insights.
- What are the top 5 natural health enhancements we should all be using right now to help our immune system preparedness?
- The immune system requires vital nutrients to perform critically-important metabolic activities to thwart the many microbes that abound and have optimally, healthy immunity.
- Vitamin D3 tops the list. There are clear, definitive, scientific studies that show that low Vitamin D3 levels directly increase the risk of viral and bacterial infection severity and increased mortality.
- There are massive amounts of scientific studies demonstrating that Vitamin D3 is critically essential for the immune system to regulate its cytokine response, and protect respiratory epithelial cells. Vitamin D3 is Nature’s designer-molecule to help the body handle viral respiratory infections.
Q. Can you prove this?
A. Sure. Contact me. I’ll send a summary report with 185 scientific references.
Q. So should people run out an buy a Vitamin D3 supplement?
A. Well, let’s do it right. As a clinical nutritionist, here are the rules that meet the requirements of ethics and effectiveness. So the answer is YES, BUT ….
Rule #1. The sun is the best. It provides the sulfate in tandem with Vitamin D3. Supplements don’t do this. And with the sun, you can’t overdose on Vitamin D3. The body will instinctively prevent that. So get some gentle, mid-morning sun for 10 minutes on each side. It’ll give you energy and Vitamin D3 Sulfate for free.
Rule #2. First, test your Vitamin D3 levels. It’s a simple, inexpensive, at home, do-it-yourself finger stick (blood-spot). Then optimize your level to 75 ng/mL with sun and supplementation. Here’s a new, urgent deadline — optimize your Vitamin D3 before the winter flu season.
Rule #3. Always take Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2, and even better, with a little Vitamin A and E-Complex. All the fat-soluble vitamins work together. Vitamin K2 teams up with Vitamin D3 to prevent calcium from being deposited in the arteries, joints, and heart. It’s true that massive Vitamin D3 supplementation can be, well, too much. It’s difficult to do. Without K2, prolonged high doses could cause kidney stones in some people. The simple, ethical position is again, ALWAYS take Vitamin D3 with K2. It’s easy. Responsible supplements already come that way.
Rule #4. Take action now! If your Vitamin D3 is lower than optimal, get some sunshine, and take a D3/K2 supplement. If in deficit, you can take 5000 iu (with included K2) a day. Then retest in the Fall to fine-tune for the winter virus season. Vitamin D3/K2 is the #1 best action for viruses and flu.
Q. Could the Vitamin K cause blood thinning? I’m thinking of all the people who take dangerous blood thinners?
A. No. You’re referring Vitamin K1, not K2. Different thing. Vitamin K2 does not thin the blood, and it’s super-important for the immune system in its own right.
Q. What’s the second most important nutrient?
A. Zinc! We must have Zinc inside our cells for proper immune function. Zinc’s the first-responder for infections. It’s essential to make the immune proteins that fight the virus. Regarding the novel-virus, Zinc helps modulate and then turn off the immune response before it becomes excessive. Zinc is critical to avoid a cytokine storm.
Q. Don’t people already have enough Zinc?
A. Not likely. It’s been left out of American agricultural fertilizers, depleted from the soil, and milled out of processed food. It’s fair to say: Zinc deficiency is pandemic.
Q. How does a person get Zinc?
A. The real question is, “How does a person get Zinc inside their cells?” Taking Zinc does not guarantee it gets to the right place. It requires a Zinc ionophore. That’s a fancy word for a delivery system that transports Zinc through the cell membranes. A terrific Zinc ionophore is a flavonoid, Quercetin. So’s green tea.
Q. So people should take Zinc with Quercetin and drink green tea?
A. Great idea! I’ll mention that I particularly like liquid Zinc-sulfate as a supplement. Zinc-sulfate acts as a lab test. If it tastes watery, your cells need it. If it tastes metallic and yucky, then you have plenty. Here’s an individual Goldilocks principle–not too much, not too little. Your taste buds will tell you. Further, we all need the sulfate component for healthy cellular metabolic functions and normal liver life processes.
Q. What’s a good dose for Zinc-sulfate?
A. Doses are funny things. Dose for what metabolism? What gut microbiome? What bodyweight? What inhibitors and enhancers? A ballpark daily dose can be: Women 8-16 mg/day, and Men 11-20 mg/day.
Q. So Quercetin is on the list?
A. Yes, but first, let’s mention a good buddy of Zinc. Thus, Selenium makes the list because, like Zinc, it’s pandemically deficient in the modern diet. Selenium goes with Zinc like two peas in a pod. Selenium helps Zinc become more cellularly bio-available. It provides direct anti-viral immune support.
Q. Do you have a dose for Selenium?
A. The consensus for dosing Selenium, usually in the form of selenomethionine, is 200 mcg/day. After a few weeks of supplementing at that level, a person can reduce the dose by half.
Q. Okay, we have Vitamin D3, Zinc Sulfate, and Selenium, what about the Quercetin?
A. Quercetin is a terrific Zinc ionophore. And it’s scientifically proven to disarm the spikey prickles–the protrusions– that virus can use adhere to a cell’s ACE2 receptors to invade and infect. Further, it helps reduce allergy symptoms (mast cell histamine release), and it serves as a primary modulator of the body’s normal cytokine response.
Q. The cytokine storm is how people are dying of respiratory failure, right?
A. Right. That and medical intubation that forces air (and virus) into the body to find other ACE2 receptors in the heart, kidneys, and brain. Quercetin provides proper inhibition of the lipopolysaccharide-induced Tumor Necrosis Factor, a cytokine called TNF-α involved in collateral damage from the body’s immune response. Both Zinc and Quercetin help modulate the body’s two immune systems–Innate and Adaptive. The first-responder is Innate. It requires nutritional support to control its fervor to avoid excessive cytokines.
Q. So do you have a dose-recommendation for Quercetin?
A. 500 mg with two meals/day is good.
Q. One to go — the fifth nutrient?
A. t’s B-Complex vitamins. Especially B3-Niacin and B1-Thiamine. A general rule is, in various capacities, all the B vitamins work together. It’s easy to get a lovely array of B vitamins in a single B-complex formula.
I particularly like the certified organic plant-derived B vitamins as opposed to the chemistry-set, coal-tar synthetic vitamins. Plant-source vitamins are critically important since Dr. Stephanie Seneff published how synthetic-B9 (Folic Acid) can stress the liver and interact with agricultural glyphosate (RoundUp™ Herbicide) now a large part of the very SAD (Standard American Diet). So here’s a rule. For Vitamin B9, never, never take Folic Acid. Always take B9 as Folate, Folinic Acid, or Methylfolate.
Q. Why are B vitamins important?
A. B3-Niacin deficiency is associated with Zinc deficiency. Niacin is important for the body to have Zinc in serum for ready access by the cells. It’s a blood vessel dilator and helps ensure that the immune system’s needed nutrients are readily available. It’s the “logistics” facet of the immune system’s army. Besides, there are massive other benefits. It’s a precursor to NAD+ for youthful cells, and supports the PARP-1 enzyme that repairs damaged DNA.
Q. And you mentioned Vitamin B1?
A. Yes. When researchers found that symptoms associated with the current pandemic often resemble Altitude Sickness (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema), they latched on to the benefits of Thiamine. This B1 vitamin serves as a Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitor (involved with carbon dioxide in the blood and tissues) and promotes higher oxygen levels. So here we have a life-saver.
Here, we find the superiority of nature’s Vitamin B1. The drug, Acetazolamide™, tries to mimic Thiamine’s inhibition of several enzymes associated with ground-glass opacities and elevated levels of fibrinogen in the lungs – a sign of hydrostatic pulmonary edema.
I mentioned before that intubation–well-intentioned administration of a respirator that forces air/oxygen through the lungs into the body when the blood oxygen levels fall low–might hasten death. But here’s a simple vitamin that helps keep blood oxygen at higher levels from within.
A good dose of natural B1-Thiamine is 12.5 mg with two meals a day, but a good B-complex can get the job done.
Q. So we have: Vitamin D3/K2, Zinc Sulfate, Selenium, Quercetin, and B-Complex. Right?
A. Right. That’s the top five supplements.
Q. Why didn’t you mention Vitamin C?
A. Well, good point. And you are correct. We should all be supplementing with Vitamin C. But here’s the issue and why it did not make the Top 5. Large doses are needed. To supplement, people should find their bowel tolerance and then dose right below that threshold. This process is cumbersome, requires frequent repetition, and can cause exuberant liquid stools. So the simple, daily dose is a preparedness concept.
Research demonstrates that if a person is sick with a microbe such as a virus, heroic doses of intravenous Vitamin C can knock it right out. Begs the question, “Why aren’t all doctors putting infected people on Vitamin C drips?”
So, in respect, Vitamin C is #6 on an ever-growing list of nutrients. It only makes sense that the body requires every nutrient for optimal health and immune performance.
Q. So I’d like to hedge my bet and take Vitamin C.
A. Excellent. Vitamin C is famous for helping virus concerns. Get a buffered Vitamin C (mineral ascorbates, not ascorbic acid). Things such as Calcium-ascorbate, Potassium-ascorbate, Zinc-ascorbate, Magnesium-absorbate, etc. These are easy on the tummy and add enriching minerals. Right now is an excellent time to boost Vitamin C levels as it also inhibits normal viral replication processes. A general dose is 1000 mg with each meal.
Q. Any other urgent nutrients?
A. After supplementing with the Top 5, now Top 6, I’d turn to EPA/DHA (Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Acids). Let’s make EPA/DHA #7 on the list. These two Omega-3 Fatty Acids help modulate cytokine storms, protect the cardiovascular system, and provide molecules called Maresins, Protectins, and Resolvins are necessary to help turn off the immune response once its normal inflammatory support is completed, and launch healing.
Q. May I assume this is what you do for yourself and your family?
A. Yes, absolutely, daily! Despite the fact that people like to blame someone whom they think exposed them to a microbe, it’s really all about personal immune integrity. Always has been, always is, always will be. This is the way the body works. The key nutrients provide each person’s body a fighting chance to adapt and survive.
Q. Thank you for voicing what Natural Health can contribute.
A. It’s very strange how vehemently our natural health insights and research are being suppressed in the media right now, but our science is excellent, our intentions noble, and our outcomes superior. This info is freely available for each individual to take action because when it all boils down, it’s a simple matter of individual immune integrity and performance.