Week Four in a Series: Dr. Seeds on IMMUNE CONTROL
Everyone around the United States and the world is being inundated with information about the pandemic, with many people near panic given the truly frightening statistics of fatalities due to the disease. On many people’s minds is the question of why some people become very ill, while others get sick for a week or so or never even develop symptoms at all.
Just in case you missed it, here are the previous articles in the series:
In This Article:
- Acetyl L-Carnitine
Why do some people get sick while others don’t?
The state of their immune system.
As I’ve been mentioning in this Immune Control series, the underlying conditions that make some people more vulnerable to contracting infection vary. For some it’s type 2 diabetes and heart conditions; for others it’s COPD and other respiratory conditions; still others are vulnerable because they have kidney disease. And some people may have a hidden genetic vulnerability. Yet what all these situations have in common is a compromised immune system.
When the immune system has to work hard in a near-constant way as happens with chronic conditions, it tires out and loses efficiency. It then becomes less able to handle new foreign invaders like the coronavirus.
But here’s the good news: The more you support your immune system, the more you give it the power to restore, reset, and improve its functioning. And that’s what this week’s Immune Control advice is all about: Four Supplements to Restore Your Immune System Now.
4 Supplements That Can Help Restore Your Immune System Now
As you may recall, I am an orthopedic surgeon by training. But I’ve never really stayed in my lane so to speak. When I help my patients who are high school, college, and even pro and Olympic athletes recover from over-training, I tell them to take a molecule called L-Theanine.
L-Theanine is similar to what’s in green tea and helps the body calm down and decrease anxiety. But it also helps the immune system restore itself.
When my athletes get stuck in cycles of over-training, I have to help them calm down their systems so they can recover fully. You’ve probably heard those stories of top athletes having a sudden heart attack or developing a blood clot: these are examples of an otherwise healthy body’s immune system in revolt.
Overworked nurses, doctors, firefighters, police and paramedics — all the front liners who are in over-drive right now — they are in heightened stress mode and could very well be degrading their immune response without realizing it. Stressed out executives or small business owners fall into this camp as well. Anyone who experiences high stress in a near constant way will undermine their immune system and benefit from L- Theanine.
This supplement is readily available and works by up-regulating TH 1 cells of the immune system, specifically the Gamma Delta T cell that is a first responder to bacterial and viral pathogens.
In turn, it helps the two immune systems (innate and adaptive) come more into balance so they can do their job: protect your body and brain from outside stressors. Another amazing thing about L-Theanine? It works quickly to enable the body to recover and reset so that it’s able to fight the viruses and stop it from escalating.
Dr. Seeds Advice: Take 100-150 mg L-Theanine once a day in morning (or take it twice a day if you’re lagging)
L Carnosine is another readily available supplement that happens to be a di-peptide (two linked amino acids) that the body makes on its own. In other words, it’s a natural substance that is vital to cell efficiency. As you may recall from last week, for our immune systems to work optimally when under siege, they need for cells to be working efficiently.
Scientists have shown in studies that L- Carnosine improves insulin resistance, the main cause of type-2 diabetes, obesity and other disorders of metabolism by lowering elevated blood sugar levels and reducing long-term formation of dangerous advanced glycation end-products and oxidative stress.
Why is this effect on blood sugar (i.e., glucose) so important in our quest to support the immune system? Because glucose drives viral metabolism, activation, and replication. Excess blood sugar feeds the virus! People with insulin resistance and too much glucose circulating fuels the fire for this virus.
The good news is that studies have found that L-Carnosine supplements helped not only diabetic patients but also healthy adults. In short, at the level of the cell, L-Carnosine helps cells stay active by improving the functioning of mitochondria in the cell by regulating blood sugar metabolism and reducing inflammation.
And even better news is that L-Carnosine works relatively quickly: improvement in the immune system was seen within twelve weeks.
The take-away from this scientific evidence? Now, we can use L-Carnosine to help people with underlying conditions such as diabetes and obesity protect against corona or any other flu or virus.
Dr. Seeds Advice: 500 mg of L-Carnosine, twice daily for kids and adults
We have known for years that our body’s ability to burn fat helps maintain a healthy weight and protects us from developing metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Now, we understand how vital this is for the protection and support of our immune system. Over the past few years, I’ve been recommending that my patients who want to lose weight to supplement with Acetyl L-Carnitine.
Acetyl L-Carnitine, which is nearly identical to the amino acid carnitine produced by the body, has been shown in recent studies to help the body burn fat. Inside of the cell, L-Acetyl-Carnitine helps transfer long chain fatty acids (fat cells) across the mitochondria of the cell, which in turn helps produce more energy for the cell.
This energy — ATP and NAD+ — are preferential substrates that help make the immune system more efficient. This cycle also helps the front line immune cells — Treg cells — do their job better.
Different from Carnitine, L-Acetyl-Carnitine is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, delivering a more potent effect on fat metabolism and up-regulation of the immune cells. However, unlike L- Theanine and L-Carnosine, Acetyl L-Carnitine takes more time to make improvement. Give yourself three to six months to see significant fat loss.
Dr. Seeds Advice: Take 1-2 grams daily of Acetyl L-Carnitine.
Note: Remember, give your body time to build its supply. And I prefer acetyl-carnitine because it crosses the blood-brain barrier and has a more potent effect.
Working with athletes most of my career, I’ve always been on the lookout for how to help them recover faster and better. As I mention above, L-Theanine can help athlete
s who have over-trained re-set their bodies and avoid damage from over-training. Recently, I’ve been investigating another supplement — epicatichin — which shows signs that it can not only help build muscle and reverse sarcopenia (the loss of muscle associated with aging) but also protect against immune degradation.
Again, when we think of our first responders, we know the daily wear and tear on their immune system. The unrelenting stress from the outside (their work on the front lines, for example) sets off a cascade of immune responses on the inside, pushing the (innate) immune system to turn on itself. This is what typically happens in auto-immue diseases.
Epicatichin has been shown to calm down this over-response of the innate immune system in a couple of ways: 1) by improving the formation and functioning of endothelial cells (the cells that line important blood vessels); and 2) by upping muscle formation.
One of several risk factors for instance, is loss of muscle (sarcopenia) in older adults because of how it interferes with metabolism, in particular problems with out of control blood sugar. By building muscle mass, Epicatichin helps to strengthen the body’s use of glucose, balance blood sugar, and improve overall metabolism.
It can also fight against pro -inflammatory signaling that leads to further immune disturbance. It’s for these reasons that Epicatichin also helps protect against pre-diabetes and diabetes.
And when you include exercise with Epicatichin, you create an even more robust synergisitc effect — improving muscle mass, blood sugar metabolism, and an overall calming of the innate immune system that has become over-taxed.
Dr. Seeds Advice: Take Epicatichin 100 mg daily
Hope you’re enjoying this series on your immune system control! It won’t happen overnight, but with smart lifestyle choices you can set your body up for the best chance to do what it does best: survive and thrive! If you enjoyed this article, check out this related piece: